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New to DVD this week

Once Upon a Time in America: Special Edition (Warner) In 1984, director Sergio Leone (The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly) returned after a 13-year hiatus with this breathtaking epic about Jewish gangsters. He made up for lost time: His masterpiece spans a huge chunk of the 20th century and runs nearly four hours. Robert De Niro and James Woods play childhood friends whose complicated lives collide over the years. Leone’s last film is violent, beautiful, and mesmerizing, and it’s one of his best. It’s also one of the greatest gangster movies ever made — essential viewing with The Godfather and Goodfellas. The two-disc set includes a documentary and commentary by critic Richard Schickel, who puts it all in perspective.

Dances With Wolves (MGM) — Kevin Costner’s best movie celebrates its 20th anniversary with a Blu-ray debut, a two-disc set that includes an extended cut of the Oscar winner. There’s plenty to like in the new-age western, especially the epic storytelling and Costner’s laidback direction.

Raging Bull: 30th Anniversary Edition (MGM) — One of the best movies ever just got better with this Blu-ray set that includes extras like Cathy Moriarty’s 1981 appearance on The Tonight Show and reflection by director Martin Scorsese. The knockout boxing scenes have never looked better.

Army of Shadows (Criterion) — This terrific 1969 movie — a look at the French Resistance and its daily operations — didn’t screen in the U.S. until 2006. The Blu-ray debut tags on historical extras like a short documentary from 1944, back when the Resistance was still secretly pushing forward.

More by Michael Gallucci


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