Here are a few prime gift-giving contenders on DVD and its smarter, better-looking cousin, Blu-ray. Tossing in a Blu-ray player wouldn't hurt
West Side Story (1961) The timing of this 50th-anniversary release is bittersweet, given the reopened investigation into star Natalie Wood’s death. She and the rest of the cast are alive and high-kicking as the feuding, singing and dancing gangs in New York. In one bonus, lyricist Stephen Sondheim provides song-specific commentary.
Harry Potter Complete 8-Film Collection (2001-2011) No sooner has Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 cleaned up at the box office than a Blu-ray set of all eight Potter films – and hours of bells and whistles, with picture-in-picture options – arrives for Christmas.
(Courtesy of Warner Bros Pictures)
The Rules of the Game (1939) Jean Renoir’s tale of upper-middle-class characters at cross-purposes arrives with extras on Criterion. Booed upon release for its depiction of the bourgeoisie and hailed in retrospect, it introduced the ultimate statement on the human condition. 'The awful thing about life is this: Everyone has his reasons.'
(Nouvelle Edition Francaise / The Kobal Collection documentary)
Stieg Larsson’s Dragon Tattoo Trilogy: Extended Edition (2009-10) Made in part for Swedish TV, director Niels Arden Oplev’s films of Larsson’s three books lost a total of two hours when edited for North American release. This multi-disc set, timed to the release of the English remake, reinserts the material.
Planet Earth Special Edition (2006) This globe-spanning BBC documentary series explores the world’s mountains, rivers, caves, poles, deserts – well, there’s a reason it took five years to make. It’s repackaged with new bonuses. If you can find it, a collector’s edition slots the discs into a cute replica of Earth.