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DVD releases for August 8th.

Brick (2006) Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Nora Zehetner, Lukas Haas, Noah Fleiss, Emilie de Ravin, Brian White. Meagan Good, Noah Segan, Matt O’Leary, Richard Roundtree. Noir mystery set in a Southern California high school. Extras: Commentary by cast and filmmakers, deleted and extended scenes, “The Inside Track: Casting the Roles” featurette. (Universal)
Brick is a brilliant small budget hard-boiled film that, in my opinion, belongs in the library of every fan of the detective genre. Set in high school, a loner is determined to find the identity of his ex-girlfreind’s killer, and bring him to justice. Now before you say “How precious”, this is hard-boiled through and through. An excellent script and strong performances by the entire cast make this one of my top films of 2006.

Inside Man (2006) Dir.: Spike Lee; Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster, Christopher Plummer, Willem Dafoe. Bank heist thriller with twists and turns. Extras: Commentary by Lee, deleted scenes, making-of featurette, “Number 4” featurette on the fourth collaboration between Lee and Washington. (Universal).
This film is noteworthy for a few reasons: It is only the second film that Spike Lee directed that he did not write. It also reunites Lee with Denzel Washington after 9 years. Washington has starred in three Lee films.
Inside Man is a game of Cat & Mouse between Police Detective Fraizer(Washington) and Dalton (Clive Owen). Dalton is the brains behind the perfect caper. How do we know it is the perfect caper? Simple: He tells us.
Inside Man is a smart film that plays with the audience. It never tells us everything, but gives us enough hints that an astute viewer will figure out what is happening right before we are shown.

Prison Break: Season One Six-disc set with 22 episodes, $59.98. Extras: Commentary on select episodes, alternate scenes, “If These Walls Could Talk: Profile of the Joliet Correctional Center” featurette, “Behind the Ink” featurette, “Inside Look: Prison Break — Manhunt” featurette. (Fox).
Season one of what turned out to be a major hit for this year for Fox. Review forthcoming.

The Wire: The Complete Third Season Five-disc set with 12 episodes, $99.98. Extras: Five commentaries, “Unraveling the Wire” featurette. (HBO Video).
Third season of the brilliant HBO series. This show has never gotten the recognition it deserves and that is a damn shame. The writing staff has featured some of the true greats of the crime fiction genre, including George Pelecanos and Dennis Lehane. Full review coming soon.

This is a week that should drain your wallet. But you really can’t go wrong with any of these titles.