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Master and Commander on DVD

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Russell Crow in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.  

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Captain Jack returns in Peter Weir’s salty, old-fashioned seafaring drama, starring Russell Crowe. A two-disc edition piles on deleted scenes and a bevy of behind-the-scenes extras that focus on the special effects. PG-13; $34.98.

The Flower of Evil
French director Claude Chabrol reveals the hidden secrets of a well-to-do small-town family in this unimpressive, slow-moving drama. NR; $24.99.

3 Women
Robert Altman’s dream-inspired 1977 drama, starring Sissy Spacek and Shelley Duvall, is full of odd incongruities, but it’s classic Altman—frustrating and well worth seeing. PG; $39.95.

In My Skin
French writer-director Marina de Van stars in this hard-to-watch film about a woman who cuts her own flesh. As New York’s Peter Rainer advised, “Plan to have dinner first.” NR; $24.98.

King of New York
Christopher Walken delivered his most over-the-top, profane, and creepy performance (and that’s saying a lot) in Abel Ferrara’s overblown and lurid 1990 gangland drama. R; $19.98.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
George Hearn and Angela Lansbury headline this far-from-authoritative recording of Stephen Sondheim’s brilliant musical, filmed for television during a 1982 tour. NR; $24.98.

Our Pick
Japanese master Yasujiro Ozu’s 1934 silent A Story of Floating Weeds and his 1959 remake, Floating Weeds, demand an archival-quality edition—and they get it here. The twin films, recently featured in a New York Film Festival retrospective of the iconic filmmakers’ work, elegantly render a timeless tale: A traveling theatrical actor revisits the town where he once sired a son, meets the child he never knew, and reunites with his ex-lover. The actor’s life, of course, dissipates into tragedy as his last mistress vindictively plots his ruin—and the only salve for his sadness is that voyeurs get to watch the whole debacle in Criterion’s crisp, new digital transfer, which restores both films with a warm grace. Two discs; NR; $39.95. Extras: audio commentary by Roger Ebert and film scholar Donald Richie; essay by Richie; new subtitles by Richie; new score for the silent by Donald Sosin.


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