Three new DVDs -- We review ''The Last Temptation of Christ,'' ''Harold and Maude,'' and ''Henry V''

By Marc Bernardin
July 21, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT

Three new DVDs

Those who protested the theatrical release of Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Jesus Christ, a heated vision of the battle between divinity and humanity that may well have raged within Jesus, failed to realize that for some, the key to faith lies in the exploration of that faith with the prayer that the resulting answers will only deepen one’s devotion. This DVD allows one to, essentially, explore Scorsese’s exploration. You can sample some of the various research materials — paintings, texts, and other movies — that informed everything from Temptation‘s production design and cinematography to actual sequences in the film. (The similarities between Hieronymus Bosch’s painting Christ Carrying the Cross and the sequence in which Christ proceeds to his crucifixion are a testament to both Scorsese’s inspiration and his technical prowess.) There’s also a video journal Scorsese kept during the production that reveals just how much making this film took out of him, physically and mentally, as well as commentaries by Scorsese, star Willem Dafoe, writer Paul Schrader, and Jay Cocks (who contributed to the script). Since the film’s soundtrack has been remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1, it’s only fitting that an interview with Peter Gabriel, who wrote the evocative score, is included as well, along with a still gallery of the exotic instruments responsible. This DVD peels back the surface of a ”blasphemous” film and offers a look at the workings of a director who has nothing but passion for his God. A-

Harold and Maude
It seems like only yesterday that Bud Cort and Ruth Gordon struck up their peculiarly poignant friendship in this darkly comic cult classic. Features: Theatrical trailers, anamorphic wide-screen, Dolby Digital 5.1

Henry V
The Royal Shakespeare Company’s finest thespians enliven this, Kenneth Branagh’s first cinematic take on the Bard. Features: Theatrical trailer, wide-screen