DVDs: Boxer Shorts
Alfred Hitchcock The Masterpiece Collection (Universal, 15 DVDs, $120) Saboteur, Shadow of a Doubt, Rope, Rear Window, The Trouble with Harry, The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), Vertigo, Psycho, The Birds, Marnie, Torn Curtain, Topaz, Frenzy, Family Plot - all remastered and with the same extras from Universal's previous set. A bonus disc of new extras includes the American Film Institute's tribute and an in-depth discussion with Hitchcock.
Garbo The Signature Collection (Warner, 10 DVDs, $100) All of Greta Garbo's best-loved sound movies - Anna Christie (two versions), Mata Hari, Anna Karenina, Ninotchka, Grand Hotel, Queen Christina, Camille - as well as the silent classics Flesh and the Devil, The Temptress, and The Mysterious Lady. Extras include three commentaries, a feature-length documentary, the silent version of Camille, and three featurettes.
Batman The Motion Picture Anthology, 1989-1997 (Warner, 8 DVDs, $80) Each of the four films - Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever, Batman and Robin - has a new transfer, Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 soundtracks, a director's commentary (that's two by Tim Burton), and a disc of extras. The 18 hours of batty fun include two feature-length and four hour-long documentaries, and 14 featurettes.
The Wizard of Oz Collector's Edition (Warner, 3 DVDs, $40) Can it keep getting better? Apparently so: the picture, made from restored film elements using the Ultra Resolution process, is decidedly sharper, with greater detail and more distinct colors. Extras include a new commentary, four other adaptations of L. Frank Baum's story, and five new documentaries.
The Lina Wertmüller Collection (Koch Lorber, 6 DVDs, $100) The director's Swept Away and Seven Beauties appear newly restored, with 5.1-channel mixes. The Nymph, Ferdinando and Carolina, and Summer Night are available for the first time on video. A bonus disc offers an 80-minute interview with Wertmüller.
Jerry Lewis The Legendary Jerry Collection (Paramount, 10 DVDs, $63) For fans and Frenchmen: The Ladies Man, The Patsy, The Nutty Professor, The Errand Boy, The Stooge, The Bellboy, The Delicate Delinquent, Cinderfella, The Disorderly Orderly, The Family Jewels, The Stooge. Plus seven Lewis commentaries and two featurettes.
King Kong Collector's Edition (Warner, 4 DVDs, $40) This tin-clad Kong includes the 1933 original (from restored film elements) and primate descendents The Son of Kong and Mighty Joe Young. Extras include two commentaries, two feature-length documentaries, and two featurettes.
Warner Bros. Classic Holiday Collection (Warner, 3 DVDs, $30) This festive feast serves up Boys Town, A Christmas Carol (1938), and Christmas in Connecticut (1945). Each DVD includes vintage shorts and featurettes.
The Complete Monty Python's Flying Circus 16-ton Megaset (A&E, 16 DVDs, $200) Every single episode (48), Gillianimation galleries, useless tidbits, and Pythonisms. Two bonus discs contain two complete live shows, a retrospective hosted by Steve Martin, post-Python player highlights, and Fliegender Zirkus - the first Python show entirely in German.
Midsomer Murders Set 6 (A&E, 5 DVDs, $60)
Foyle's War Set 3 (Acorn, 4 DVDs, $60)
The Mystery Collection (WGBH Boston, 5 DVDs, $60) Two latest seasons of Brit crime solvers and an introductory collection of mysteries that includes A Great Deliverance (the pilot to the Inspector Lynley series), Second Sight 1, and Touching Evil 1.
Friends The One with All Ten Seasons (Warner, 40 DVDs, $300)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer The Chosen Collection (20th Century Fox, 40 DVDs, $200)
Sex and the City The Complete Series (HBO, 20 DVDs, $300) Need a theme for your marathon Christmas party? Relive the 1990s with 236 episodes of Friends, 144 of Buffy, or 94 of Sex and the City. Better yet, have an orgy with Buffy Sex Friends - 474 episodes. Friends comes with commentaries, a 45-minute gag reel, and cast reminiscences. Buffy has a cast-and-crew discussion and four featurettes. Sex includes commentaries on 18 episodes, deleted scenes, and a locations guide - and a bonus disc has four featurettes, three alternate endings, two cast seminars, and a trivia game.
BBC History of World War II (BBC, 12 DVDs, $150) A 30-hour TV history, no less. But for those needing more, there are three bonus documentaries, eyewitness testimonies, featurettes, and a 40-page booklet.Into the West (DreamWorks, 4 DVDs, $50) From the Earth to the Moon Signature Edition (Warner, 5 DVDs, $100) Two TV miniseries that chart America's defining struggle to conquer frontiers. The six two-hour episodes of West come with four featurettes. The 12 hour-long episodes of Moon come with six featurettes and President Kennedy's space-race speech.
The Simpsons Season 6 (20th Century Fox, 4 DVDs, $50) Because we all need a little ho, ho, Homer in our holidays. Comes with episode commentaries by Matt Groening, deleted scenes, and featurettes.