The Sands of Time (Disney, Blu-ray or standard DVD, PG-13, 116 min.). Based on the 2003 Ubisoft video game, and often having its hero mimic the game’s leaping movement, this is a satisfying diversion, although it may not be the launch of another franchise, like “Pirates of the Caribbean,” for Disney.

Jake Gyllenhaal plays muscled action hero Dastan, who we first see as a young boy who so impressed King Sharaman (Ronald Pickup) as a lad intent on stopping the injustice of another boy being beaten, that the King adopted him as his third son. The other two, natural, sons are Garsiv (Toby Kebbell) and Tus (Richard Coyle). Fifteen years later, Garsiv, against the King’s orders, launches an attack against the holy city of Alamut in the Borderlands. Garsiv has been convinced by Nizam (Ben Kingsley), the King’s brother, that Alamut is manufacturing weapons for the Persians’ enemies. However, the real goal is the special dagger that Princess Ramina (Gemma Arterton) is guarding. It holds special sand in the hilt and, when the top is pressed, launches the holder back in time for a minute.

When the King is killed, Dastan is blamed, but he escapes, along with Tamina. Their adventures bring them in contact with desert con man Sheik Amar (Alfred Molina bringing some needed levity to the proceedings), who runs fixed ostrich races and has set up a whole Valley of the Slaves legend to avoid tax men. The film was made in Morocco, which looks wonderful in the Blu-ray version.

The Blu-ray version includes one extended scene and the ability to watch the film with branching to behind-the-scenes featurettes, hosted by producer Jerry Bruckheimer, when a dagger appears on the screen. Normally such extras can be viewed separately, but not here. However, if one is watching the film this way, clicking on pop-up on the remote accessing an index for these extras. The Blu-ray also comes with a standard DVD version and a digital copy. Grade: film 3 stars; extras 2.75 stars

The Twilight Zone: Season 1 (1959-60, Image, 5 Blu-ray DVDs, NR, 15 hours 30 min.). First off, the upgrade to Blu-ray looks terrific, especially as these programs are 50 years old. Secondly, the episodes themselves hold up as constantly entertaining — and thoughtful — due to the extraordinary writing. Take the opening episode, “Where Is Everybody?,” which stars Earl Holliman as a man on the edge of hysteria as he finds himself alone first in a diner and then a whole town — yet coffee on the stove is still hot and there is a cigar still burning in the sheriff’s office. He also has a strong sense he is being watched. (The recent ending for the American version of “Life on Mars” actually cribs from this.)

The episode has audio commentary by Holliman, as, in fact, half of the 36 episodes have audio commentaries (exclusive to Blu-ray), usually by the stars. Other commentaries are by actors Martin Landau, Rod Taylor, Martin Milner and Kevin McCarthy, among others. This episode also has an isolated track with Bernard Herrmann’s wonderful score. Other isolated scores are by Franz Waxman, Van Cleave, Jerry Goldsmith, Nathan Scott and three more by Herrmann. There are 34 in all, with all isolated scores exclusive to Blu-ray. One of the rarities is the original pilot version of “Where Is Everybody?” with narration by Westbrook Van Voorhis instead of Rod Serling. There also is the 1958 Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse presentation of Serling’s “The Time Element,” in which William Bendix plays a man having a recurring nightmare that he awakes 17 years earlier in Honolulu the day before the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor. Martin Balsam plays the psychiatrist he goes to for help. Desi Arnaz introduces the program (he and wife Lucille Ball were featured in most of the Playhouse episodes).

Other Blu-ray exclusives include 18 radio dramas; a vintage audio interview with director of photography George T. Clemens; and the “Tales of Tomorrow” episode “What You Need.” Also included are vintage audio recollections with various directors, writer Richard Matheson and actors Burgess Meredith and Anne Francis, and Serling’s audio lectures from Sherwood Oaks College.

Among the memorable episodes are a bookworm (Meredith) yearning for more time to read, before a nuclear holocaust leaves him alone in the world; a man (Richard Conte) terrified he will be killed by a man in his dreams; three astronauts (one played by Rod Taylor) return to Earth but no one remembers them; a history teacher (McCarthy) talks of the past as if he actually lived it; and a recurring hitchhiker seems to stalk a woman (Inger Stevens). Grade: season and extras: 4 stars

Rating guide: 5 stars = classic; 4 stars = excellent; 3 stars = good; 2 stars = fair; dog = skip it

Additional reviews are available online at and include TV releases “Glee,” “Big Bang Theory,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Fringe,” among others.