New DVD Releases: 'Final Destination 3,' 'Benchwarmers,' 'Chappelle's Show' Lost Episodes

Plus: The Beastie Boys and 'The Boondocks,' and 'The Prisoner' turns 40. 

Every week takes a look at the most promising DVD releases, from recent big-screen hits to Hollywood classics to television shows finally getting their due.

"Final Destination 3" (Thrill Ride Edition) (2006)

Do you remember those books that let you decide a character's fate just by turning to a certain page? Well, the "Choose Their Fate" feature included on the DVD of "Final Destination 3" allows you to re-create that experience on your TV (the theatrical cut is also included). The third installment of the "Final Destination" franchise focuses on the survivors of a deadly incident on a roller coaster. The film stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead ("Sky High") and is directed by James Wong, the man behind the original "Final Destination." This may be the scariest theme-park movie since 1978's "Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park."

New Line Home Entertainment has also included the following extras in this two-disc set:

  • Commentary with director and co-writer James Wong, co-writer Glen Morgan and cinematographer Robert McLachlan
  • "Kill Shot: The Making of 'Final Destination 3' " documentary
  • "Dead Teenager Movie" featurette offers an in-depth look at this subgenre of horror films
  • "Planned Accidents" featurette looks at the filming of the roller-coaster scene
  • Original animated short "It's All Around You"

"The Benchwarmers" (2006)

An interesting subgenre has recently emerged within American comedy: the "Sandler's Friends" movie. A "Sandler's Friends" film usually features a simplistic plot reminiscent of early Adam Sandler efforts like "Billy Madison"; is more often than not produced by Sandler's "Happy Madison" production company; and is written by, directed by and stars his fellow "SNL" alums and other regulars from Adam's movies. (An actual Adam Sandler cameo is nice, but not required.) "Sandler's Friends" movies include "The Hot Chick," "Joe Dirt" and this year's "Grandma's Boy" — but "The Benchwarmers" may be the definitive "Sandler's Friends" movie. It stars "SNL" vets Rob Schneider, David Spade, Jon Lovitz and Tim Meadows, as well as "Napoleon Dynamite" himself, Jon Heder. The film, which follows a group of nerds who start a Little League team, was directed by "Happy Gilmore" helmer Dennis Dugan and written by the "Grandma's Boy" himself, Alan Covert.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has included the following extras:

  • Commentaries with Jon Heder, David Spade and Dennis Dugan
  • Deleted scenes
  • "Mr. October": Behind the scenes with Reggie Jackson
  • "Nerds vs. Bullies: Whose Side Are You On?" featurette

  • "Play Ball: Cast and Crew Discuss America's Pastime"
  • "Who's On Deck?: Howie's Greatest Moments"

"Chapelle's Show: The Lost Episodes" (2005)

Dave Chappelle's sketch-comedy show on Comedy Central immediately established its star as a pop icon while making its mark on the cultural lexicon. Sadly, the show's phenomenal success seemed to push the comedian into seclusion after just a few of the new season's segments had been completed; the remains of the much-anticipated third season is available on these lost episodes.

Paramount Home Video has included the following extras:

  • Audio commentary 
  • Unaired sketches
  • Deleted scenes 
  • Bloopers 
  • "The Fabulous Making of 'Chappelle's Show' "

"Beastie Boys: Awesome; I F---in' Shot That!" (2006) (2006)

We all know that concert docs usually don't capture the feel of being at an actual concert. No lines, no crowds, no dude behind you shouting and no overpriced concession-stand drinks. However, with "Awesome," New York's own Beastie Boys may have created the most realistic concert movie ever. When Mike D, Ad-Rock and MCA played Madison Square Garden in October 2004, they wanted their fans to document the show. While you would normally receive a massive beatdown from security for attempting to bring a camera into an arena, the Beasties not only encouraged it, they provided the equipment. And so, behind the film are 50 Beastie fans equipped with hand-held Hi8 cameras. In addition to providing an accurate view of the concertgoing experience, the movie — directed by Adam "MCA" Yauch's alter ego, Nathaniel Hornblower — is filled with plenty of classic Beasties tunes such as "Sabotage," "Brass Monkey" and "Intergalactic."

Thinkfilm Company has included the following extras:

  • 30-minute short film "A Day in the Life of Nathaniel Hornblower"
  • "Beastie Boys BBQ" short film 
  • Alternative audio and camera angles 
  • To the 5 Boroughs Tour "Shout Outs" and "Bits" 
  • Photo gallery

"The Prisoner" 40th Anniversary Collection (1967)

"I am not a number, I am a free man!" shouts Number Six, played by Patrick McGoohan, the prisoner of the British show's title. At the time, McGoohan had been famous for portraying TV spy "Danger Man" (or "Secret Agent Man," as he was called in the U.S.). "The Prisoner" subverted his popular image with a dark, twisted tale of a former spy who's sick of cloak-and-dagger games. McGoohan is drugged, kidnapped and taken to the Village, an isolated town whose inhabitants are known only as numbers. Throughout the series, Number Six would be forced to match wits with Number Two in an effort to extract information for the enigmatic Number One, all the while unraveling the mysteries of the Village and trying to regain his freedom and individuality.

In addition to all 17 episodes of the series, A&E Home Video has included the following extras in this 10-DVD set:

  • Original footage of the 1966 location shooting, complete with commentary by Bernie Williams, the series' original production manager
  • "The Prisoner Video Companion"
  • Alternate version of "The Chimes of Big Ben"
  • Bonus "Foreign File Cabinet" footage
  • Original broadcast trailers, promotional trailer and production galleries
  • Production stills
  • Interactive map of the Village
  • 60-page "Collector's Booklet"

"The Boondocks: Complete First Season" (2005)

Based on the controversial comic strip by Aaron McGruder, "The Boondocks" was in development at Fox for nearly two years before debuting on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. The series and strip follow a pair of brothers, the politically minded 10-year-old Huey and the aspiring gangsta, 8-year-old Riley, as they move from the inner city to the suburbs to live with their grandfather. While much of the humor of the series is more traditional than the politically charged comic, the show is not afraid to use humor to examine topics such as race relations, hypocrisy, money, murder and sex in a post-9/11 world. Both brothers are voiced by "Ray" actress Regina King, and the 15 episodes of the show's first season featured such varied guest voices as Samuel L. Jackson, Charlie Murphy, Mos Def, "Ren and Stimpy" and "Futurama" vet Billy West, Quincy Jones, Judge Reinhold, Ed Asner, Mike Epps and MTV's own Sway and Xzibit.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has included the following extras:

  • Commentaries by Uncle Ruckus
  • Behind-the-scenes footage
  • Deleted scenes
  • Animatics
  • Unaired "Adult Swim" TV promos
  • Printable storyboards

"Animaniacs, Volume 1" (1993)

In the early 1990s, Warner Bros. enlisted Steven Spielberg to develop new television series in order to bolster its flagging animation division. The first endeavor, "Tiny Toons Adventures," which featured "adolescent" versions of the company's roster of big-name stars (Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig), was a moderate success. But it was the follow-up series, "Animaniacs," with its enormous cast of all-original characters, that put Warner back on the animation map. With its witty use of double-entendre, obscure references and sharp send-ups of pop culture, the show was an instant hit with college kids, who then turned it into an early Internet phenomenon, sharing their fandom with the world.

In addition to the first 25 episodes of the series, Warner Home Video has included the following extra in this five-disc set:

  • "Animaniacs Live!": Comic Maurice LaMarche (the voice of Brain from "Pinky and the Brain") hosts an in-the-studio-style interview via satellite with Animaniac friends

"Gravion Zwei: The Complete Collection" (2004)

"Gravion Zwei" is the sequel to legendary anime designer Masami Obari's "Gravion" series. Not only does it stand head and shoulders above the original, but Obari also brings a ton of laughs to this giant-robot saga. In the near future, after the defeat of the evil Zeravire by wealthy industrialist Klein Sandman's robots, a.k.a. the Gravion, the United Earth Forces develop their own army of G-Troopers. When the Zeravire forces once again threaten the planet, will the inexperienced G-Troopers be able to stop them?

In addition to all 12 episodes of the series, ADV Films has included the following extras in this three-disc set:

  • Character profiles and art gallery
  • "Inside the Actor's Head" interview with the voice actors
  • Original Japanese commercials 
  • Clean opening and closing animations

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