"The Illusionist": Magic -- and magicians -- were in the air last year as filmmakers unleashed two tales of prestidigitators at odds with the forces of science and nature, this romantic triangle starring Edward Norton and "The Prestige" (due out on DVD in February). "The Illusionist" casts Norton as a master magician arriving in Vienna around 1900 and rekindling his relationship with a childhood sweetheart (Jessica Biel), only to learn she's the betrothed of the crown prince (Rufus Sewell), who assigns a police henchman (Paul Giamatti) to debunk the sleight-of-hand artist. The DVD has a making-of featurette and a segment focusing on Biel, along with commentary from writer-director Neil Burger. DVD, 29.98. (20th Century Fox)
"Crank": Jason Statham stars as a hit man aiming to quit the killing game and settle down with his girlfriend (Amy Smart), only to wake up one day and find he's been poisoned, sending him on a mad dash to keep his adrenaline flowing while he tries to rescue his love and find an antidote. The DVD and Blu-ray discs have commentary, making-of footage, interviews and other background material that can be accessed while watching the movie. The Blu-ray high-definition disc also has featurettes on stunts and other behind-the-scenes matters. The DVD and Blu-ray versions also allow viewers to choose an audio option that removes the harsh language for a "family-friendly" version of the movie -- as long as families don't mind the strong violence, sexuality, nudity and drug use that helped earned "Crank" an R rating. DVD, 28.98; Blu-ray disc, 39.99. (Lionsgate)
"The Night Listener": A timely tale in an era of authors whose purported memoirs about their harrowing lives have proved to be phonies. Adapted from the novel by Armistead Maupin, the film stars Robin Williams as a literary figure and late-night radio talk show host who becomes obsessed with the tragic story of a physically and sexually abused teenager (Rory Culkin) dying of AIDS. Yet questions about the boy's past and even his identity arise as Williams strikes up a long-distance telephone relationship with him and his adoptive mother (Toni Collette). The sparse DVD extras include a deleted scene and a segment on the film's plot twists. DVD, 29.99. (Miramax)
"Quinceanera": A rare double winner at last year's Sundance Film Festival, this engaging low-budget drama took home both the top jury prize and the audience award for favorite film as chosen by Sundance moviegoers. Newcomer Emily Rios gives a terrific performance as a Hispanic teen in Los Angeles with eyes only on her upcoming 15th birthday bash -- until she finds herself impossibly pregnant though she insists she's never had intercourse. Writer-directors Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland spin a vibrant tale of cultures clashing as Rios forges a new domestic life after her father's disapproval forces her to leave home. The DVD has commentary from Rios and other cast members, along with the directors. DVD, 26.96. (Sony)
"Bandidas": The Western gets a makeover as Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz turn outlaw to avenge their fathers' deaths, taking on a rich villain (Dwight Yoakam) with the help of an ex-bank robber (Sam Shepard) and a criminologist (Steve Zahn). The DVD has commentary from Hayek and Cruz. DVD, 27.98. (20th Century Fox)
"Color of the Cross": The passion of Christ from the black perspective. The film depicts the last 48 hours of Jesus' life, presenting Christ as a black man and suggesting that race may have played a part in the crucifixion. Director Jean Claude LaMarre stars as Christ, but the DVD sadly lacks any extras such as commentary or interviews with the filmmakers about the inspiration and relevance of the film. DVD, 26.98. (20th Century Fox)
"Idiocracy": The dumbing-down of humanity continues with this comedy starring Luke Wilson as a slacker put in suspended animation for 500 years, waking up to find he's now the smartest man on a planet of morons. The DVD includes five deleted scenes. DVD, 27.98. (20th Century Fox)
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