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Gift shopping hits: DVDs and Blu-Rays

By Alex Sferrazza
On November 8, 2012

Unsure of what to buy people for Christmas? Don't worry, plenty of others are in the same boat. Why bother wasting your time paying attention to what your respective gift recipients have been hinting at for the past year? That's what poorly written holiday buyer's guides are for.
Remember during this holiday shopping season that there are two things that all Americans enjoy: movies and ice cream. And, since ice cream-buying should be easy enough, lets stick with movies.
Assuming you are no longer living in the dark ages (which for the purposes of this article would be any time before the 2007 launch of the iPhone), you are the owner of a Blu-Ray video player and as such this article is focused on some of the best recent Blu-Ray releases dating back to September 2012.
"The Avengers" Blu-Ray Combo Pack is the highest grossing NJC (non-James Cameron) film of all time. "The Avengers" brings together Marvel's mightiest heroes together in one spectacular film. While comparatively light on bonus features, the set packs over 15 minutes of deleted scenes along with an all new Marvel short film. The two-disc combo pack comes with copies the film on Blu-Ray and DVD, while the four-disc combo pack includes 3D Blu-Ray and digital copies as well.
"E.T: The Extra Terrestrial" Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital/Ultraviolet Combo Pack is the 1983 Academy Awards runner-up for Best Picture. It is coming to Blu-Ray for the first time this holiday season. Featuring a spectacular transfer of the original film, not the altered and semi-censored 2002 re-release, this is a must buy. Packed with loads of bonus features like an extensive interview with Steven Spielberg and a new 50-minute documentary, the set does not disappoint.
With "Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures" Blu-Ray, Lucasfilm brings together three of the greatest adventure films of all time for the first time in Blu-Ray high definition, with all three films in the original trilogy undergoing a breathtaking HD transfer. The package includes a phenomenal bonus disc packed with material mostly from prior DVD releases but also adding over 60 minutes of all new HD behind the scenes footage. The set also includes a strange disc labeled "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," which I can only assume is intended to be used as a beverage coaster.
Upcoming releases include "The Dark Knight Rises" Blu-Ray/DVD/Ultraviolet Combo Pack on Dec. 4. The conclusion to director Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, and one of the most acclaimed and highest-grossing films of the year "The Dark Knight Rises" is a must-buy. The set is slated to include extensive features and provides a look into the film's production. Also, thanks to Batman's incomprehensible dialogue, this Blu-Ray is the perfect gift for that special someone on your list with a hearing problem.
The "Ted" Blu-Ray/DVD/Ultraviolet/Digital Combo Pack is set for release on Dec. 9. The hilarious directorial debut of "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane, the film is perfect fodder for comedy fans. Bonus features are slated to include an unrated version of the film, deleted scenes and a making-of documentary.
Disney's "The Rescuers/The Rescuers Down Under" Combo Pack is full of heart and charm, and is back in wide release for the first time in almost a decade. 1977's "The Rescuers" stands as one of the crowning achievements of Disney animation. Its good, but comparatively subpar sequel, acts as a nice bonus to the collection.

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