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De Palma’s ‘Passion’ comes to disc

“Passion” (2013).

eOne Films

“Passion” (2013).

There’s been some fresh discourse about Brian De Palma’s auteur stylings the last couple of weeks – not concerning “Passion” (2013), the director’s first film in six years, but rather the “Carrie” remake, and the folly of messing with a classic. (It was worth a try to lose the original’s handful of semi-camp elements, we argued; utterly pointless, scoffed most.) Regardless, we’re getting a handily scheduled opportunity to consider De Palma’s new thriller, which bypassed local theaters. No wonder, really — this English-language redo of French director Alain Corneau’s “Love Crime” is a disjointed mess, tonally and narratively. Still, the casting and fleeting glimpses of De Palma’s bygone boldness might be a modest draw for the chronically devoted. Noomi Rapace (Sweden’s “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”) plays Isabelle, a pale, reserved creative type working at a Berlin ad agency under Christine (Rachel McAdams), a glamorous gal pal who’s more driven professionally (and erotically — it’s De Palma). When Christine steals the credit for Isabelle’s big new brainstorm, the betrayal touches off several rounds of bizarre sparring between them, from nasty reprisals to sexually charged moments of madness. You’ll likely be less wrapped up in the nominal twists than in the question of when Rapace is going to find a gig as juicy as Lisbeth Salander. (“Prometheus”? Nope. “Sherlock Holmes”? Nope.) Try to hold on for a split-screen sequence incorporating Nijinsky’s ballet “Afternoon of a Faun” – indulgent, but a talking point, anyway – and some eleventh-hour, comically excruciating suspense in the “Body Double” vein. (Entertainment One, $24.98; Blu-ray, $29.98)

BOX SET

JAMES DEAN ULTIMATE COLLECTOR’S EDITION (1955-56)

We’ve long been fans of “iconic” – great word – but we started to suspect the term was being slightly abused when we caught a magazine applying it to “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” And we knew it was being completely ruined when we got a press release last month hyping a DVD reissue of “that iconic sitcom ‘Saved by the Bell.’” How about reserving the tag for cases where it legitimately applies? Like, say, to James Dean and his famously brief three-film body of work: “East of Eden,” “Rebel Without a Cause,” and “Giant,” all now handsomely remastered for Blu-ray. (Warner, $99.98)

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012).”

FANTASY

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY (2012)

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Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) might view his journey as unexpected, but you knew exactly what to expect from Peter Jackson on disc. In short, if you were patient for a few months following the film’s initial DVD release, you’d be rewarded with this requisite extended edition. The new package includes a cut of the film that’s 13 minutes longer than the theatrical version, plus nearly nine hours of new supplements, from Jackson’s commentary with writing partner Philippa Boyens to a sprawling featurettes assortment. (Warner, $34.99; Blu-ray, $35.99; 3-D, $54.98)

Tom Russo can be reached at trusso2222@gmail.com.
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