Witness WWII from Space, Superman: Unbound and Open Road

Just when we thought we'd explored the fascinating topic of World War II from every possible angle, History delivers an unexpected new take with their December 2012 special, now conveniently on Blu-ray disc. Another fan-favorite Superman story arc is animated in grand style by the artisans at Warner, and a low-budget indie showcases an eclectic cast of charaters.

WWII from Space (History/Lionsgate)

The History Channel has deserves its reputation as the premiere source for engaging, insightful analysis of the Second World War, earning its dubious nickname, "The Hitler Channel." But after so many years and countless looks back at these monumental events, could they possibly gives us a new point-of-view?

Hells yeah: Bringing the facts of key military battles to life using extensive computer-generated imagery, this 90-minute program offers a deeper understanding of how the conflict unfolded. Illuminated by expert commentary, we see what's happening both in the moment as well as on a global scale, noting the profound, sometimes underappreciated forces that would alter the course of the entire 20th Century. It does veer from the basic premise of its title, and the choices of what to feature and what to gloss over are of course subjective, but it does indeed provide viewers with an entirely new perspective.

Superman: Unbound (Warner Premiere)

The latest DC Universe Animated Original Movie finds Superman (voiced Matt Bomer of White Collar, once short-listed for the lead in Superman Returns) going toe-to-toe with the formidable robot-man Braniac. Brainy has arrived on Earth with his trademark ill-intent, and Supes is charged with defeating his nemesis du jour, mentoring his cousin Supergirl and saving his adopted planet, including his favorite local resident, Lois Lane. It's big and thrill-packed and PG-13-rated, and if it's not for everyone then certainly Superfans have a lot to look forward to here.

The extras here are ample, bordering on the downright super. We're given a keen study of the villain Braniac plus four relevant episodes of Superman: The Animated Series and a too brief glimpse of the original Superman: Braniac comic by Geoff Johns upon which this movie is based. Exclusive to Blu-ray are a look at the fabled Bottle City of Kandor and an audio commentary on the main feature by director James Tucker, screenwriter Bob Goodman and comic book veteran Mike Carlin. It all lands in a handy combo pack complete with Blu-ray, DVD and an HDX UltraViolet Digital Copy, so there's a way for almost everyone to watch.

Open Road (Universal Studios)

Another quirky little under-the-radar drama given a second chance by a big-studio home entertainment release, Open Road follows Brazilian artist Angie (Camilla Belle) working her way across the U.S. in search of her father. It's an emotional tale brought to life by a surprisingly strong cast (including John Savage and Oscar nominees Andy Garcia and Juliette Lewis), with a distinct South American flavor imparted by its director, Marcio Garcia (no relation to Andy). Angie is somewhat naïve yet quite independent, so she doesn't know quite what to make of the people she meets along her journey, and these burgeoning connections provide much of the conflict in this laid-back, character-driven film.

A "making of" featurette is the only real supplement on the disc, although both iTunes and UltraViolet Digital copies are provided, but no DVD. Is this a new trend for Blu-ray releases?