Gift Guide: Smokin' DVDs from 'Scarface' to 'Harry'
And the award for Most Elaborate Home-Video Gift goes to . . . "Scarface?"
Universal Pictures is celebrating the not-quite-30th anniversary of that 1983 gangster film, starring Al Pacino as a maniacal Cuban kingpin, with a Blu-ray Disc packaged with a hand-painted, limited-edition, Spanish cedar humidor with room for 100 cigars. The price: just $999.99.
It's a rare example of extravagance in this year's group of mostly back-to-basics home-video offerings. Last Christmas, several DVD sets came with elaborate additions like the "Goonies" board game or "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" trading cards. And remember the 2009 "Woodstock" DVD that allowed fans to "virtually" groove to the music together? Online bells and whistles remain only a minor trend, perhaps because social networking while movie-watching is almost as annoying at home as in a theater. Instead, this year's home-video sets are sticking to the usual booklets, documentaries and featurettes.
As a side note, there are also two television-series collections tied to upcoming movies. Acorn Media recently released the excellent 1979 BBC series "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" (DVD $49.99), ahead of the film version due in theaters Dec. 9. And Steven Spielberg's "The Adventures of Tintin," based on the Belgian comic books and due Dec. 21, has prompted Shout! Factory to release the first season of the 1992 animated French-Canadian series (DVD $19.93).
Here's a brief roundup of this year's most gift-worthy home-video sets -- cigars not included.
Universal Pictures is celebrating the not-quite-30th anniversary of that 1983 gangster film, starring Al Pacino as a maniacal Cuban kingpin, with a Blu-ray disc packaged with a hand-painted, limited-edition, Spanish cedar humidor with room for 100 cigars.
The price: just $999.99.
CITIZEN KANE 70TH ANNIVERSARY ULTIMATE COLLECTOR'S EDITION
Still No. 1 on the American Film Institute's list of the greatest movies, Orson Welles' masterpiece is being repackaged with extras and paraphernalia, including the 1996 Oscar-nominated documentary "Battle Over Citizen Kane" (about the clash between Welles and William Randolph Hearst) and a reproduction of the original 1941 souvenir program.
HOW MUCH Blu-ray $64.99; DVD $49.92
HARRY POTTER: THE COMPLETE 8-FILM COLLECTION
The title says it all: Every "Potter" movie, from the 2001 original to this year's final chapter, with at least one bonus feature on each disc.
HOW MUCH Blu-ray $139.99; DVD $98.92
WILLY WONKA & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY 40TH ANNIVERSARY ULTIMATE COLLECTOR'S EDITION
The highlight of this extra-wide box set is a 144-page book, "Pure Imagination," in which director Mel Stuart chronicles the production of his memorably weird children's movie; he even explains how he made that chocolate river. A Golden Ticket Instant Win Game piece will offer five winners a trip to Warner Bros. Studios in Los Angeles.
HOW MUCH Three-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo $64.99
THE LORD OF THE RINGS MOTION PICTURE TRILOGY: EXTENDED EDITION
What's the difference between this set and the one that came out last year? Six more discs and 26 hours of additional content, including several documentaries and behind-the-scenes shorts. Warner Home Video is calling this "the most comprehensive 'The Lord of the Rings' compilation ever."
HOW MUCH $119.98
JURASSIC PARK BLU-RAY TRILOGY (Universal) The Steven Spielberg franchise has been digitally remastered in a fancy box set that includes an all-new six-part documentary and -- hey, kids! -- a fighting T-Rex statue. That goody, however, doesn't come with the DVD version. HOW MUCH Blu-ray $119.98; DVD $49.98
STANLEY KUBRICK: LIMITED EDITION COLLECTION
It just wouldn't be the holidays without "A Clockwork Orange," which is included (in a bonus-packed 40th-anniversary edition) in this box set of Kubrick's entire 1960-1999 output, from "Spartacus" to "Eyes Wide Shut." The set also features a 40-page hardcover book and the documentary "Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures."
HOW MUCH Blu-ray $148.95; DVD $74.92