Batman: The Motion Picture Anthology 1989-1997 ($79.92) and Batman Begins ($30.97)
Anthology movies: Extras: Begins movie: Extras:
The Dark Knight returns in two Bat-tastic DVD sets: an eight-disc Anthology of the first four Batman films (director Tim Burton’s inventive Batman and Batman Returns are both worthy of a fresh look), and a two-disc release of Begins, which exhilaratingly resurrected the series this summer.
Extras: The Anthology includes a host of juicy docs and commentaries, from Jack Nicholson licking his chops over playing the Joker to director Joel Schumacher admirably apologizing for the franchise’s nadir, his dreadful Batman & Robin. Begins also boasts an impressive lineup of featurettes, confusingly hidden within an elaborate comic-book-style navigation menu. (PG-13)
The Interpreter ($29.98)
After United Nations translator Nicole Kidman overhears a potential assassination plot, she turns to tortured Secret Service agent Sean Penn. Despite some thrilling scenes that would do Hitchcock proud, the film loses its direction after a few twists too many.
Extras: Illuminating glimpses of real-life U.N. interpreters and how the filmmakers finagled their way into filming at the U.N.; a lackluster alternate ending and deleted scenes. (PG-13)
Gladiator’s brutal battles have nothing on the crackerjack death matches in this intriguing tale of a human pit bull (Jet Li) imprisoned since childhood and molded into a ruthless enforcer. For the first time, Li’s acting chops are on par with his always-astounding physical feats, but he drowns in the sappy script whenever he learns new life lessons.
Extras: The promised behind-the-scenes look at the battles pulls its punches with blink-and-you-miss-it training footage. (Not rated)