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New on DVD, August 19, 2008

What to Netflix: New DVD Tuesday

All of the new DVD releases hit stores (and Netflix) on Tuesdays. So each week in What to Netflix: New DVD Tuesday, I sort through the best of the batch and tell you what to add to your queue. In addition to the selections below you can also check out the fourth season of House, Street Kings starring Keanu Reeves, and the HBO movie, Recount which I chatted about with Citizen here.

Gossip Girl: Season 1
Try to ignore for a moment that nobody on that DVD cover looks like a character I recognize from the show. Am I right? That is some wacky Photoshopping there. But anyway, the first season of Gossip Girl is now out on DVD so you can get your collection started and catch up if you haven't seen all the episodes. I'm sure some of you will appreciate this as the CW was not great about putting all their episodes on the Web, especially during the latter part of the season, so you may have missed some pivotal episodes.

I'm excited to relive the early GG days — especially the pilot — but I'm most looking forward to the special features. They include unaired scenes, featurettes titled "The Beginning, XOXO: Concept to Execution," "Gossip Girl Couture," "A Gossip Girl Wedding," and "LOL: Gag Reel." The DVDs also include music videos from The Pierces. How sweet is that?

Three more good ones, so


Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
What do you get when you blend Frances McDormand with Amy Adams and sprinkle in Lee Pace? A no-brainer Netflix pick!

I adored this little movie about Guinevere Pettigrew (McDormand) an out-of-work governess who sort of accidentally becomes the social secretary of American cabaret singer Delysia Lafosse (Adams). The energy of the two women plus the solid acting from the men who make up the rest of the cast make this movie a total delight. If you didn't catch it in the theaters, it's high time you treated yourself.

Special features include deleted scenes and featurettes titled "Making an Unforgettable Day" and "Miss Pettigrew's Long Trip to Hollywood."

The Life Before Her Eyes
I was so intrigued by the trailer for this film adaptation of Laura Kasischke's book, I made the novel my April Buzz Book Club selection. House of Sand and Fog director Vadim Perelman paints a beautiful portrait with this movie starring Uma Thurman and Evan Rachel Wood as the older and younger versions of the same woman. The plot might leave you a bit dissatisfied, as it did me (though he changed some aspects of the book that I found jarring, so I may be biased), but it's visually lovely, and not a bad choice for a thought-provoking movie at home.

Special effects include deleted scenes, a behind the scenes featurette and, most intriguingly, an alternate ending.

Dexter: Season Two
If you missed this season (or the entire series thus far), now you can catch up with the new second season DVDs — and not with the neutered episodes on CBS . Dexter (Michael C. Hall, who was nominated for an Emmy for this role) continues with his serial killing — but only picking off the truly evil ones, of course. Meanwhile, he works to maintain a pristine image at home. This season, FBI agent Frank Lundy's (Keith Carradine) work threatens to expose Dexter.

It's worth catching up with Dexter before the new season starts on Showtime September 28.

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