DVD Gift Guide: Boxed sets worthy of consideration

Los Angeles Daily NewsNovember 21, 2012 

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    These DVDs also were released this week (when two prices are listed, the second is for Blu-ray):

    New movies: The Expendables 2 ($29.95, $39.99).

    For kids: Cinderella ($29.99); Cinderella II: Dreams Come True and Cinderella III: A Twist in Time ($29.99, $39.99); Nilsson, Harry — The Point: Definitive Collector's Edition ($14.95); Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Complete Series ($119.99); Transformers Prime: Season Two ($29.93); Pokémon: Black & White, Set 1 ($19.97); Dragons: Riders of Berk ($14.98).

    Television: Ancient Aliens: Season 4 ($29.95, $39.95); Diff'rent Strokes: The Complete Fourth Season ($29.93).

    Music: Coldplay: Live 2012 ($23.99, $34.98); The Beach Boys Live in Concert: 50th Anniversary ($14.98); Les Misérables: 10th Anniversary Concert ($34.98); Chris Isaak: Beyond the Sun Live ($17.98); Color Me Obsessed: A Film About The Replacements ($19.95).

    Sports: 2012 San Francisco Giants: The Official World Series Film ($29.95, $34.95).

    Holiday-related: Christmas With Danny Kaye ($14.98); Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups ($29.99).

There are a few interesting DVD gift sets to ponder this week. Here's a rundown.

Doctor Who: Limited Edition Gift Set ($249.95) includes the complete seasons 1 through 6 covering the ninth, 10th and 11th Doctors (Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and Matt Smith), plus hours of bonus features. There are three new Doctor Who specials on DVD for the first time, and the set also includes a collectible 11th Doctor Sonic Screwdriver, three original art cards and the comic book Doctor Who at Comic-Con.

Tarantino XX Eight-Film Collection ($119.99 on Blu-ray) includes Reservoir Dogs, True Romance, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, Death Proof and Inglourious Basterds, plus two discs with five hours of new bonus material.

The collector's boxed set of Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season — Collector's Edition ($99.97 on Blu-ray) is adorned with the sigils of the four main houses and comes with a premium dragon egg paperweight, a Blu-ray bonus disc of the first episode of Season 2, and the bonus materials and interactive features from the original DVD and Blu-ray releases.

Then there is the Criterion edition of Heaven's Gate ($39.95, $49.95 on Blu-ray) directed by Michael Cimino, Oscar winner for The Deer Hunter. Heaven's Gate was maligned at the time of its 1980 release and a giant box-office flop, but critics have come to reassess the ambitious film, based on the real-life bloody Johnson County War of 1892 in Wyoming, in which rich cattle barons drove the area's European settlers from their land. Released in a truncated form, even the original had some glorious moments of filmmaking. This is the full director's cut, letting viewers judge Cimino's true intentions.

And don't forget Ken Burns' timely and fascinating documentary The Dust Bowl ($24.99, $29.99 on Blu-ray), which aired earlier this week on PBS.

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