Kingdom of Heaven
Critical and financial success proved elusive with this uneven extravaganza set in Jerusalem during the Crusades. Orlando Bloom, Jeremy Irons and Liam Neeson star. Ridley Scott, a DVD enthusiast, always documents every aspect of his productions, and Kingdom of Heaven is no exception. The ambitious "interactive production" grid allows one to access all the production documentaries through the perspective of the director, the crew and the cast. There's also an informative text commentary and two documentaries that aired on A&E; and the History Channel. It does seem odd that Scott doesn't provide a commentary track. Perhaps he is reserving it for a special-edition DVD.
[New Line] $20
The ensemble thriller was made in 2002 and features Oscar-winning Hilary Swank, who also was one of the executive producers. It played the festival circuit, was released internationally last year and played a few theaters stateside this year.
Written and directed by first-timer Greg Marcks, the fast-paced and interestingly structured thriller revolves around events that lead up to a gruesome death at 11:14 p.m. in a small town. Henry Thomas plays a tipsy young man who has an accident while driving, Rachael Leigh Cook is the town's bad girl, and Patrick Swayze and Barbara Hershey play her frantic parents. Extras include a making-of featurette and passable commentary with Marcks, who was 25 when he directed this film.
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
The performances of Amber Tamblyn, Alexis Bledel, America Ferrera and Blake Lively spark this adaptation of Ann Brashares' popular coming-of-age novel. Extras include a behind-the-scenes documentary, a conversation with Brashares and deleted scenes with commentary by director Ken Kwapis.
The Complete First Season [Warner] $60
The UPN detective series starring Kristen Bell has a loyal cult following, The set includes an extended version of the pilot with an unaired opening sequence.