News Column

Holiday time brings big-box Blu-rays and DVDs

November 20, 2013


It's the time of year when some folks are telling Santa to go big-box or go home.

A single DVD, or a single season of a series, is not going to be enough to satisfy some fans at holiday time. The completists and collectors on your giving list are going to long for something massive _ possibly something so doorstop-sized that it makes real doorstops jealous. Something where the watching time might have to be measured in days, not hours.

Things retailers _ both in-store and online _ are happy to provide.

What follows is a list of some of the major box sets that have been released since Christmas 2012. They span genres. The prices vary, but can run into the high three figures. Some are older items reissued (and often remastered) in Blu-ray. Some have cool packages _ or toys _ to get you to embrace these sets instead of simply going for downloads or online viewing. Unless a release date is listed with the item, it is available now. Happy browsing.

_ "The Amityville Horror Trilogy." Scream!Factory/MGM, $69.97 Blu-ray. Collection with The Amityville Horror (1979), Amityville II: The Possession (1982) and Amityville 3-D (1983). The third film is in both 2-D and 3-D Blu-ray; you need a 3-D TV and related equipment to watch the 3-D version. Does not include the 2005 Amityville Horror.

_ "Beverly Hills 90210: The Complete Series." Paramount, $349.99 DVD. Massive set of the show's 10 seasons, with 72 discs in two yearbook-style cases. Some music is different from the original telecasts'.

_ "Boy Meets World: The Complete Collection." Lionsgate, $99.99 DVD. As TV awaits the successor series Girl Meets World, this set covers the original adventures of Cory (Ben Savage) and his friends.

_ "Breaking Bad: The Complete Series." Sony, $299.99 Blu-ray. Nov. 26. Every deed done by Walter White (Emmy winner Bryan Cranston), in a barrel-shaped case. On Nov. 26, the final season will be available separately on DVD ($55.99) and Blu-ray ($65.99).

_ "Bruce Lee: The Legacy Collection." Shout!Factory, $119.99. Four films _ The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, The Way of the Dragon and Game of Death _ on Blu-ray and DVD, plus documentaries and other elements on DVD.

_ "Burn Notice: The Complete Series." Fox, $149.98 DVD _ although some individual seasons are also on Blu-ray. Arrives Dec. 17. The seventh and final season will also be released separately on that date. Does not include the companion TV-movie Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe, which is sold separately ($9.98 DVD, $14.98 Blu-ray).

_ "China Beach: The Complete Series." StarVista/TimeLife, $199.95 DVD, $274.95 in a "collector's edition" with scripts of three episodes and photographs. The 1988-92 drama focusing on women in the Vietnam War. The sets are sold through; the first season is sold separately ($29.99) and more widely available.

_ "Chucky: The Complete Collection." Universal, $59.98 DVD, $84.98 Blu-ray. Six movies about the killer doll, from the original Child's Play through Curse of Chucky.

_ "The Dark Knight Trilogy: Ultimate Collector's Edition." Warner, $99.99 Blu-ray. Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, plus a photo book, toy vehicles and other items.

_ "Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts: Complete Collection." StarVista/TimeLife, $249.95 DVD. Fifty-four roasts including those of Frank Sinatra, Muhammad Ali, Lucille Ball and Ronald Reagan, plus bonus features and a two-disc Best of the Dean Martin Variety Show compilation. The set notes, "WARNING: Some of the jokes and ethnic references heard in these roasts would most likely not be allowed on network TV today." Vendors include

_ "Dexter: The Complete Series Collection." Paramount, $359.99 DVD, $459.99 Blu-ray, and $544.99 in a special Blu-ray gift set (which is sold only through All versions of the serial-killer series have unusual packaging and extras.

_ "Doc Martin Special Collection: Series 1-5 Plus the Movies." Acorn, $129.95 DVD. The British series starring Martin Clunes. Series 6 will be available separately on Dec. 10 ($39.99).

_ "Duck Dynasty: Season 1-3 Collector's Set." Lionsgate, $49.98 DVD, $49.99 Blu-ray. Dec. 3. All the episodes plus new bonuses and a Duck Camo bandana.

_ "Family Ties: The Complete Series." Paramount, $220.98 standard DVD. Episodes and extras in a photo-album-style package.

_ "Foyle's War: The Home Front Files (Sets 1-6)." Acorn, $149.99 DVD. The 2001-2010 episodes of the British crime series set during and just after World War II. A seventh set is available separately.

_ "Friday the 13th: The Complete Collection." Warner, $129.95 Blu-ray. The 12 movies in the series, from the 1980 Friday the 13th through the 2009 version, plus a bonus disc and booklet. The 3-D Friday the 13th Part III is old-school 3-D not requiring a special TV set; the package includes two sets of vintage cardboard 3-D glasses.

_ "Futurama: The Complete Series." Fox. $199.98 DVD, Dec. 10. In 2009, Fox released an elaborately packaged complete set. Then the show was put back in production, leading to the new set. The new one includes a 2013-14 calendar.

_ "The Hollow Crown: The Complete Series." Universal, $45 DVD. Recent adaptations of Richard II, Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 and Henry V, with Ben Whishaw, Jeremy Irons and Tom Hiddleston (Loki in the Thor movies).

_ "James Dean: Ultimate Collector's Edition." Warner, $99.98. The three movies in the Dean canon _ East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause and Giant _ on Blu-ray plus documentaries on DVD, a photo book and other extras.

_ "JFK: Ultimate Collector's Edition." Warner, $49.99. The director's cut of Oliver Stone's film about an investigation into Kennedy's assassination, on Blu-ray, plus DVDs of documentaries and PT 109, a drama of Kennedy's World War II experiences, with Cliff Robertson. Also a book of Kennedy quotations and other extras.

_ "John Ford: The Columbia Films Collection." TCM Vault Collection, $49.99 DVD. Restored and remastered versions of five notable films by the great director: The Whole Town's Talking, The Long Gray Line, Gideon's Day, The Last Hurrah and Two Rode Together. Sold through

_ "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman: The Complete Series." Shout!Factory, $249.95 DVD. The comedic twist on soap operas, starring Louise Lasser and set in fictional Fernwood, Ohio. Besides the 325 episodes, essays and two featurettes, the set also includes 10 episodes of the spin-off Fernwood 2-Night.

_ "Power Rangers Legacy: The First 20 Seasons." Shout! Factory. On sale Dec. 3. Ninety-eight-disc limited edition set of the live-action series, with six discs of bonus materials. $650, standard DVD, only through There are also smaller Power Rangers sets, such as one collecting seasons 8 through 12 ($169.99).

_ "Prime Suspect: The Complete Collection." Acorn, $119.99 Blu-ray. The classic detective series with Helen Mirren (also available on DVD in a previously released package).

_ "The Story of Film: An Odyssey." Music Box, $69.96 DVD. Although this 15-part history of the movies was actually released on DVD in December 2012, some viewers might have discovered it only recently as TCM aired it. The set also includes a collector's booklet and viewers guide.

_ "The Vincent Price Collection." Scream!Factory/MGM, $79.97 Blu-ray. The Pit & The Pendulum, The Masque of the Red Death, The Haunted Palace, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Abominable Dr. Phibes and Witchfinder General (also known as The Conqueror Worm), plus extras.

_ "The Vivien Leigh Anniversary Collection." Cohen, $59.98 Blu-ray. Four early Leigh films: Fire Over England, Dark Journey, Storm in a Teacup and St. Martin's Lane. This is Leigh's centennial year.

_ "Weeds: The Complete Collection." Lionsgate, $119.97 Blu-ray. All eight seasons of the series starring Mary-Louise Parker as a pot-dealing widow, with extras.

_ "X-Men: The Adamantium Collection." Fox, $129.99 Blu-ray. Dec. 3. exclusive. Six movies in the X-Men series (X-Men 1-3, First Class, Origins: Wolverine and The Wolverine, in a box that also includes a sleeve for the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past. Which should help _ until the distributor offers a post-Past collection with seven films and some extra you cannot do without.


(c)2013 Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)

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