Having trouble waiting until October to get your zombie suspense fix? Pick up The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season ($70) on Blu-ray. This limited edition set includes all 13 episodes from the second season, as well as audio commentaries, webisodes, deleted scenes, over 10 new featurettes, all spread across fours discs, that come encased in a fittingly gross zombie-with-a-screwdriver-in-his-eye statue.
While it might be a little early to start putting together a collection of Nolan's work — his highest-profile film to date, The Dark Knight Rises, doesn't come out until July — but that doesn't mean that the Christopher Nolan Director's Collection ($35) isn't worth picking up. Included in the collection are Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Inception, Memento, and Insomnia, or more than enough cinematic goodness to hold you over until it's time to watch Batman's final big-screen showdown.
Enjoy all 156 episodes of this classic series in glorious high-def with The Twilight Zone ($230) on Blu-ray. Comprised of 24 discs, each episode has been re-transfered from the original camera negatives to look its black & white best, and is accompanied by remastered audio and a whole host of bonus features including audio commentaries, the Rod Sterling promos for the following week's show, and even the rarely-seen pilot movie "The Time Element."
Given the studios' penchant for double-dipping, you wouldn't think that it would take a centennial celebration to see the Blu-ray release of a classic like this. Yet here we are, staring at the "Universal's 100th Anniversary" edition of Jaws ($21). This re-release of Spielberg's seminal sea-faring thriller has been fully restored and remastered from the original 35mm print, and features a new DTS-HD Master 7.1 soundtrack to make John Williams' legendary score that much more powerful. Also included are a slew of bonus features, as well as DVD and Ultraviolet copies of the film. Arriving in August.
War movies come and go — we've seen more Vietnam-based films than we care to admit — but few can match the introspective fury of Full Metal Jacket ($26). Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Kubrick's classic is being reissued on Blu-ray with a 44-page book including a personal letter and behind-the-scenes photos, a new bonus disc featuring the 60-minute documentary Stanley Kubrick's Boxes, and the obligatory non-traditional packaging.
It's happening slowly, but we're surely finding out that Pixar's brain trust of animation auteurs have just as many chops when it comes to live-action fare. Take Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol ($22) for example. Helmed by Brad Bird, this fourth installment in the M:I franchise finds Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt and the rest of his squad — including Jeremy Renner and Simon Pegg — implicated for a terrorist attack, sending them across the globe to clear their names and save the world. Sure, not the most realistic, but definitely fun — and isn't that why we watch movies in the first place?
We're always a little skeptical of foreign film remakes — after all, subtitles aren't that irritating — but when you've got names like David Fincher, Daniel Craig, and Christopher Plummer attached, you can view with confidence. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo ($20) is based on Stieg Larsson's book of the same name, which was made into a 2009 Swedish film that also pre-dates this latest version. A murder mystery at heart, the film is anchored by a breakout performance by Rooney Mara, who plays the mysterious Lisbeth Salander to perfection as she and Craig's Mikael Blomkvist work to uncover the truth. Oh, and the Reznor/Ross soundtrack doesn't hurt, either.
Few DVD sets weigh in at 20 discs, but then again, few artists are as prolific as this. The Three Stooges: The Ultimate Collection ($100) includes all 190 Columbia shorts, as well as the Larry, Curly, and Moe films Rockin' in the Rockies and Have Rocket--Will Travel, as well as 28 solo subjects from Shemp, Joe Besser, and Joe DeRita, and three cartoons.
Not completely thrilled by this year's crop of Oscar nominees? Skip the New Releases section and cozy up with a cinematic classic like The Deer Hunter ($15). Nominated for nine Oscars and winner of five — including Best Picture and Best Director for Michael Cimino — this terrific Vietnam drama is helped along by fantastic performances by Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep, John Cazale, and Christopher Walken, who picked up Best Supporting Actor for his efforts.
"Bring out your dead!" Dead DVDs, that is, as Monty Python and the Holy Grail ($13) is ready to make its debut on Blu-ray. Along with a host of special features brought over from prior releases, it includes a remastered, HD version of the film, a 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack, 30 minutes of new special features including Lost Animations from Terry Gilliam and extended scenes and outtakes, and compatibility with a second screen iPad app called The Holy Book of Days that packs in special background content from each of the 28 days of filming. Alas, it seems the Day in the life of the Killer Rabbit documentary didn't make the cut this time.
Fresh off the shocking end of its sophomore season, the first season of Boardwalk Empire ($40) is now available on Blu-ray and DVD. Loosely based on the true-life happenings in and around Atlantic City at the start of prohibition, it's full of sex, booze, violence, and standout performances from well-known actors — Steve Buscemi is particularly great — and newcomers alike. One viewing of the Scorsese-directed pilot will have you hooked.
They're certainly not the most intelligent movies of the last decade, but when it comes to giving your home theater an audio/visual workout, there's little fare better than the Transformers Trilogy ($90). This seven-disc set includes all three of Michael Bay's robot-on-robot battles, including Transformers, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and Transformers: Dark of the Moon, all packaged in a trophy display along with a movie plaque signed by the infamous director himself.