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Ben-Hur 50th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition (1959) Dir.: William Wyler; Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Haya Harareet, Stephen Boyd, Hugh Griffith, Martha Scott, Cathy O'Donnell, Sam Jaffe. The classic film got a $1 million makeover - frame by frame from an 8k scan of the original 65 mm camera negative, making this the highest resolution restoration ever completed by Warner Bros. "Ben-Hur" has been on moratorium for the past year. Now limited and numbered, each set contains more than four hours of extras including an all-new hi-def feature length documentary hosted by son Fraser Heston; a reproduction of Heston's diary during filming; and an exclusive hard-bound photo book. Available as a three-disc Blu-ray ($64.99) and five-disc DVD set ($49.92) with the following extras: Commentary by film historian T. Gene Hatcher with scene specific comments from Charlton Heston; music-only track showcasing Miklos Rozsa's score; "Charlton Heston: A Personal Journey" (78 min), a new high-definition feature-length documentary chronicling Charlton Heston's life while filming "Ben-Hur"; "Ben-Hur": 1925 silent version, from the Thames Television restoration with stereophonic orchestral score by composer Carl Davis (143 min); 2005 documentary: "Ben-Hur: The Epic That Changed Cinema" in which current filmmakers reflect on the importance and influence of the film on modern epics (58 min); 1994 documentary: "Ben-Hur: The Making of an Epic" Hosted by Christopher Plummer (58 min; "Charlton Heston: The Ben-Hur Diaries," a first-time exclusive look into the Oscar-winning actor's experience while making the award-winning film, this is a reproduction of Charlton Heston's private and insightful diary from January 1958 through April 1960, documenting his time before production of the film all the way through his Oscar win; "Ben-Hur: A Journey Through Pictures" audiovisual recreation of the film via stills, storyboards, sketches, music and dialogue; screen tests (30 min); vintage newsreels gallery; highlights from the 1960 Academy Awards ceremony; theatrical trailer gallery; hard-bound book with rare photography, production art and reproductions from the original theatrical press book. Also available as a two-disc 50th Anniversary Edition DVD with the feature film restored and remastered for standard definition with commentary ($20.97). (Warner).

Carlos (2010) Carlos, directed by Olivier Assayas, is an epic, intensely detailed account of the life of the infamous international terrorist Ilich Ramirez Sanchezalso known as Carlos the Jackal. One of the 20 century's most-wanted fugitives, Carlos was committed to violent left-wing activism throughout the 70s and 80s, orchestrating bombings, kidnappings, and hijackings in Europe and the Middle East. Assayas portrays him not as a criminal mastermind but as a symbol of seismic political shifts around the world, and the magnetic Edgar Ramírez brilliantly embodies him as a swaggering global gangster. Criterion presents the complete, uncut, director-approved, five-and-a-half-hour version of "Carlos." New digital transfer, supervised and approved by directors of photography Denis Lenoir and Yorick Le Saux, with DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray edition. Extras: New video interviews with director Olivier Assayas, Lenoir, Le Saux, and actor Edgar Ramírez; Twenty-minute making-of documentary on the film's OPEC raid scene; original theatrical trailer; booklet featuring essays by critics Colin MacCabe and Greil Marcus, plus biographies on selected historical figures portrayed in the film, written by the film's historical adviser, Stephen Smith. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (The Criterion Collection).

Holly's World: The Complete Seasons 1 & 2 (2009-11) Three-disc set with all 19 episodes from the first two seasons,, $29.98. (MPI Home Video).

How I Met Your Mother Season 6: The New Is Always Better Edition (2010-11 Three-disc set with 24 episodes, $29.99. Extras: Deleted scenes, featurettes, gag reel, commentaries, an extended performance of "Stand By Me," more. (Fox).

How to Make It in America: The Complete First Season (2010) Two-disc set with eight episodes, $39.98. Extras: Commentaries. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (HBO).

Kendra: Seasons 2 & 3 (2009-11) Three-disc set with 24 episodes, $29.98. (MPI Home Video).

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit - The Twelfth Year (2010-11) Five-disc set with 24 episodes. (Universal).

Ma & Pa Kettle Complete Comedy Collection Five-disc set with all 10 Ma & Pa Kettle films. (Universal).

The Middle: The Complete Second Season (2010-11) Three-disc set with 24 episodes, $44.98. Extras: Unaired scenes, gag reel. (Warner).

The Phantom Carriage (1920) The last person to die on New Year's Eve before the clock strikes twelve is doomed to take the reins of Death's chariot and work tirelessly collecting fresh souls for the next year. So says the legend that drives "The Phantom Carriage (Korkarlen)," directed by the father of Swedish cinema, Victor Sjostrom, about an alcoholic, abusive ne'er-do-well (Sjostrom himself) who is shown the error of his ways and the pure-of-heart Salvation Army sister who believes in his redemption. Based on a novel by Nobel Prize winner Selma Lagerlof, this extraordinarily rich and innovative silent classic (which inspired Ingmar Bergman to make movies) is a Dickensian ghost story and a deeply moving morality tale, as well as a showcase for groundbreaking special effects. New digital transfer, restored in collaboration with the Archival Film Collections of the Swedish Film Institute. Extras: Two scores, one by acclaimed Swedish composer Matti Bye and the other by the experimental duo KTL; commentary featuring film historian Casper Tybjerg; interview with Ingmar Bergman excerpted from the 1981 documentary "Victor Sjostrom: A Portrait," by Gosta Werner; "The Bergman Connection," an original visual essay by film historian and Bergman scholar Peter Cowie on "The Phantom Carriage's" influence on Bergman; booklet featuring an essay by screenwriter and filmmaker Paul Mayersberg. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (The Criterion Collection).

Shalom Sesame: Adventures in Israel Last of the 12 DVDs in the "Shalom Sesame" series has Grover exploring Israel in his own way, $14.95. (SISU Home Entertainment).

Shalom Sesame: Adventures in Israel Last of a 12-part series that sees the Sesame Street characters travel to Israel to introduce Jewish holidays, traditions and cultures to viewers of all ages. $14.95. (SISU Home Entertainment).

3 By Theo: The Theo Van Gogh Collection (2010) Dutch film director, producer, and author Theo van Gogh was known for his controversial political views and advocacy for freedom of speech. Assassinated in 2004 by a religious extremist, van Gogh left behind a legacy of award-winning, critically acclaimed art-house cinema. This three-DVD set brings together van Gogh's most landmark and acclaimed films: "Blind Date": a bartender watches with amusement as a married couple role plays as strangers to overcome the pain of their daughter's death; "Interview": when a renowned political journalist is forced to interview famous actress Katja Schuurman, both reveal their darkest secrets; and "1-900": a young, single woman escapes her life through the fantasy of anonymous phone sex. But when the man she speaks to weekly wants more, their relationship takes a dangerous turn. $39.98. (Entertainment One).

Treasure island (1990 - TV) Charlton Heston, Christopher Bale, Oliver reed, Christopher Lee. First time on DVD. (Warner).
 
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