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New on Disc: 'An Education,' 'Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel' and more …

29 Mar, 2010 By: Mike Clark

An Education

Street 3/30
Sony Pictures, Drama, B.O. $12.5 million, $28.96 DVD, $38.96 Blu-ray, ‘PG-13’ for mature thematic material involving sexual content, and for smoking.
Stars Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard, Emma Thompson, Alfred Molina, Dominic Cooper, Rosamund Pike.
The core story is a good one, about  a 16-year-old (most deserving Oscar nominee Carey Mulligan) being swept off her feet by a thirtysomething man of mystery (Peter Sarsgaard), who is not what he seems.
Extras: The bonus featurettes are the usual back-patting boilerplate, though I liked getting the chance to see screenwriter Nick Hornby. The deleted scenes, which include what appears to be an alternate ending, are well above average.
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Mad Men: Season Three

Lionsgate, Drama, $49.98 four-DVD set, $49.99 three-disc Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, January Jones, Vincent Kartheiser, Christina Hendricks, John Slattery.
Along with “The Colgate Comedy Hour” in the 1950s and “Later With Bob Costas” in the 1980s, “Mad Men” is my favorite TV show of all time. This season of the 1960s ad agency drama puts into motion plot points that were subtly seeded in previous years.
Extras: In addition to some period documentaries (including one on civil rights figure Medgar Evers and another on cigarette advertising), every episode offers group commentary by cast or crew members.
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Collateral (Blu-ray)

Street 3/30
Paramount, Thriller, $29.99 Blu-ray, ‘R’ for violence and language.
Stars Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith, Mark Ruffalo.
It now seems this underrated drama of a professional hit man and a hostage L.A. cabbie trekking him to nocturnal “appointments” represents some kind of recent peak for both Tom Cruise and director Michael Mann. Collateral was shot in high-def video, then kind of a novelty, and its rough, occasionally grainy look transfers effectively to Blu-ray as one of the best movies I know to convey “night.”
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Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel

Street 3/30
Fox, Comedy, B.O. $218.7 million, $29.98 DVD, $34.98 two-DVD set, $39.99 Blu-ray, ‘PG’ for some mild rude humor.
Stars Jason Lee, David Cross, Zachary Levi, Wendie Malick. Voices of Justin Long, Christina Applegate, Jesse McCartney, Amy Poehler, Anna Faris.
This isn’t exactly a conventional “pick,” but it does provide an opportunity to reflect on just how amazingly long the Chipmunks have been with us.
Extras: The costlier DVD/Blu-ray Squeak-Along editions predictably milk it some with added featurettes.
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Wyatt Earp (American Experience)

PBS, Documentary, $24.99 DVD, NR.
At 60 minutes, it’s short for an “American Experience,” but a lot is packed in. You can’t make this kind of stuff up, even though a lot of Hollywood movies based on the Old West lawman concocted material that wasn’t this interesting.
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