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New on Disc: 'Pirate Radio' and more …

12 Apr, 2010 By: Mike Clark

Pirate Radio

Street 4/13
Universal, Comedy, B.O. $8 million, $29.98 DVD; $36.98 Blu-ray, ‘R’ for language, and some sexual content including brief nudity.
Stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Kenneth Branagh.
Writer-director Richard Curtis’ fictional extrapolation of British pop history never quite mines potential that could have been the foundation for a classic. And yet, if you love rock and roll, there’s no way you should fail to check out this rendering of how official BBC blue-noses tried to pretend the Beatles, Rolling Stones and The Who didn’t exist. There are at least three reasons to give it a look:  Philip Seymour Hoffman as an imported American DJ; Kenneth Branagh, the film’s biggest laugh-getter, as a pasty BBC prig; and a brief appearance by “Mad Men” lovely January Jones.
Extras: Commentary and deleted scenes, and the Blu-ray adds six featurettes to the mix.
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The Natural (Blu-ray)

Sony Pictures, Drama, $24.95 Blu-ray, ‘PG.’
Stars Robert Redford, Glenn Close, Robert Duvall, Barbara Hershey.
With the passage of time, one appreciates even more the bang-up cast director Barry Levinson assembled and how much of an iconographic role that aging slugger Roy Hobbs now seems in the career of lead Robert Redford. But why in the world would Sony not release the superior 2007 director’s cut?
Extras: Several featurettes from the 2007 DVD. But missing is the wonderful 44-minute featurette from the very first DVD of The Natural (it wasn’t on the two-disc 2007 edition, either) in which Cal Ripken Jr. discussed his affection for the film.
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The Essential Games of the Detroit Tigers

A&E, Sports, $29.95 four-DVD set, NR.
Game 5 of the 1968 World Series is the jewel that kicks off this set, which also contains the 1984 World Series Game 5 clincher in which Kirk Gibson hit two home runs, the 1999 final game at old Tiger Stadium, and Game 4 of the 2006 ALCS.
Extras: Per always with these A&E baseball boxed sets, extras are bountiful.
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The Bombing of Germany (American Experience)

PBS, Documentary, $24.99 DVD, NR.
Narrated by Joe Morton.
Historians debate the bombing or at least present it in skeptical grays. But what’s missing is a real sense of the devastation’s horror and scope. 
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The Best Man

Available via Amazon.com CreateSpace.
MGM, Drama, $19.98 DVD, NR.
Stars Henry Fonda, Cliff Robertson, Lee Tracy, Edie Adams.
The movie of Gore Vidal’s Tony-nominated play is too smart and un-dated in certain regards to be called a museum piece, but for those used to seeing elections determined by the primary process, here is perhaps a revelatory window into how the political game was once played.
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