DreamWorks Home Ent., $19.95
A SUMMER TENT POLE double-disc DVD with no commentary tracks? Suspicious, but (a) I can live without two and a half hours of Tom Cruise's and Steven Spielberg's "You're a visionary. No, you're a visionary" shaft-stroking (which is duly represented in the extras anyway), and (b) Report's ancillaries on this Dec. 17 release are righteously valuable on their own.
Report is packaged much like Spielberg's last misunderstood, grim, shoulda-ended-a-half-hour-earlier, audience-polarizing sci-fi epic, A.I.: one disc of just the film (Cruise heads a jackbooted police unit that aborts future homicides with the aid of three psychics, who then predict he'll commit a murder himself); another disc meticulously outlining stunts, storyboards, Industrial Light and Magic effects, and conceptual theory.
The latter element is easily the most fascinating. Although we regrettably never meet the think tank of futurists, architects, and scientists whose input fashioned Report's flabbergasting 2054 Washington, D.C., their ideas are competently elucidated by set designers, animators, and even Cruise. We're pulling teeth to crank out a second rickety-ass monorail, but 50 years from now transportation will hinge on a mag-lev system in which cars glide along the sides of skyscrapers? Hit fast-forward, Mayor Nickels!
Of course, the future ain't a picnic. In case you weren't aware, when he's not rescuing children and suing anyone who whispers the G-word, alpha male Cruise Does His Own Stunts, bravely back-flipping through intricate alleyway pulley systems. Truthfully, his bleached-out "future noir" plight produced two acts of classic sci-fi that, for all of its ingrained pomposity, deserves repeated looks on disc.
ALSO WORTH A LOOK as the holiday countdown dwindles, Dec. 17 brings Scorsese's 1983 King of Comedy with new interviews—but not with Mr. De Niro—and deleted scenes. Diane Lane could be Oscar-nominated for Unfaithful; she and director Adrian Lyne provide commentary tracks along with 12 axed scenes. After a slump, former Oscar winner Marisa Tomei has continued her path to respectability with Happy Accidents. The documentary Brian Wilson: I Just Wasn't Made for These Times is by turns sad, disturbing, and uplifting. In the sluff pile (for gifting that cousin you really don't like), consider The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course or The Country Bears.