"Beowulf" (PG-13) The monster Grendel is as repugnant as ever, but his mom gets a facelift, with Angelina Jolie playing the creature as a gorgeous seductress in Robert Zemeckis' adaptation of the epic poem. The film uses the same technology Zemeckis applied to "The Polar Express," with actors' performances digitally captured and costumes, sets, effects and other details then completed through computer animation. Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, Robin Wright Penn and John Malkovich join Jolie for this revisionist version of "Beowulf," in which the mythic hero battles murderous Grendel but falls under the spell of his foe's vengeful mother. The movie comes in a bare-bones DVD ($30, Paramount) with the theatrical version and a making-of featurette and in a more-explicit director's cut on DVD and HD DVD two-disc set ($40), with deleted scenes and segments on creatures, art design and story development that went into the modern rendition of the ancient story.
"30 Days of Night" (R) Vampires head north to Alaska to take advantage of the endless winter nights when the sun stays down for weeks above the Arctic Circle. Josh Hartnett and Melissa George lead the human cast as a sheriff and his estranged wife struggling with a small band of survivors to outlast the bloodsuckers' rampage, with Danny Huston playing the king of the snarling vampires. The DVD ($29, Sony) and Blu-ray disc ($39) come with featurettes that examine bloody effects, set design, stunts and the rigors of shooting at night, while Hartnett, George and producer Rob Tapert offer commentary. The Blu-ray release also has a gallery of photos comparing the movie to the graphic novel on which it was based.
"The Darjeeling Limited" (R) Shortly after Owen Wilson's apparent suicide attempt last summer, his latest collaboration with director Wes Anderson ("The Royal Tenenbaums," "The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou") began making the festival rounds before its fall theatrical debut. Wilson this time teams with Adrien Brody and Anderson's "Rushmore" star Jason Schwartzman, the three playing brothers at odds who set out to mend their relationship on a spiritual quest through India. The DVD ($30, 20th Century Fox) includes Anderson's "Hotel Chevalier," a short film featuring Schwartzman and Natalie Portman in a prologue to "Darjeeling," plus a behind-the-scenes featurette.
DAVID GERMAIN, ASSOCIATED PRESS