Check TV and movie fans off your list with recent gift-set DVD and Blu-ray releases

Special to the Star-Telegram

Shopping for the perfect big Christmas gift for a movie buff or TV fanatic?that task has never been easier, thanks to the availability and compact packaging of DVD and Blu-ray box-set collections.It wasn’t so long ago, remember, that giving the gift of every film from a popular movie series or every episode from a long-running TV show would have meant boxing up an unwieldy stack of videotapes.Imagine how clumsy the packaging would be for, say, 20 big seasons of Law & Order if it was still sold in the old half-inch VHS format.but today, that megaset, more than 450 episodes on 104 discs, fits neatly in a box that won’t look as if you’ve gift-wrapped a refrigerator and shoved it under the tree. thanks to advances in home-video packaging, you can finally go big without taking up too much shelf space.Here are some showcase DVD and Blu-ray collections that would make spectacular gifts (and if you shop wisely, you can find significant discounts off the list prices).For movie-lovers Scarface There’s a perfectly watchable Blu-ray version of Scarface, the 1983 Al Pacino gangster flick, available in limited-edition packaging for $29.98. then there’s the “living large” version for a very specific type of excess-loving film and cigar enthusiast. the Scarface Humidor Gift Set packages the Blu-ray screener in a limited-edition, Spanish cedar humidor that holds 100 cigars. List price: $999.99.’Harry Potter’All eight installments from the most popular movie saga of the past decade have been bundled together in Harry Potter: the Complete 8-Film Collection, which includes at least one bonus feature with each disc. List price: $98.92 on DVD, $139.99 on Blu-ray. Jurassic Park Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster dinosaur movies have been digitally remastered in the Jurassic Park Ultimate Trilogy, which includes a new six-part documentary and a menacing T-rex statue. List price: $119.98 on Blu-ray.’The Lord of the Rings’The story in the Lord of the Rings: the Motion Picture Trilogy Extended Edition hasn’t changed, but this compilation has six more discs and 26 more hours of behind-the-scenes documentaries. List price: $119.98.Also worth consideringThe 15-disc Pirates of the Caribbean Four-Movie Collection comes in a little treasure chest, $169.99; the Blu-ray Star Wars: the Complete Saga box comes with more extras than ever, $139.99; the 11-disc Cars Director’s Edition Blu-ray/DVD combo pack includes both movies and lots of extras, $119; the eight-disc the Lion King Trilogy Blu-ray/DVD combo pack is the ultimate compilation of these films, $100; a 10-disc Laurel & Hardy: the Essential Collection showcases the best work of the legendary comedy duo, $65; the Citizen Kane 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition comes with a reproduction of the original 1941 souvenir program, $64.99 on Blu-ray, $49.92 on DVD.For TV-lovers Law & Order You’ll have to spend a lot of cha-change to get all 20 seasons of “cha-chungs” in one box. the Law & Order: the Complete Series DVD set lists at $700. but look at it this way: That’s less than $2 an episode. Plus, the package also includes a 46-page episode guide.SmallvilleThis 62-disc Smallville: the Complete Series DVD set includes all 218 episodes, spanning 10 seasons. Extras include the unsold Aquaman spinoff pilot, a never-aired Superboy pilot from 1961, an episode guide and an issue of the Daily Planet. List price: $339.98.Friday Night LightsThe version of this 19-disc Friday Night Lights: the Complete Series DVD collection that die-hard Dillon Panthers fans will love best is the one that comes with a “Sweatshirt Stadium Blanket.” List price: $99.98. Barney Miller the 25-disc Barney Miller: the Complete Series DVD collection includes a half-hour retrospective, a 40-page booklet, an unaired pilot and the first season of Fish, the Abe Vigoda spinoff. List price: $159.99.Also worth consideringThe Band of Brothers/The Pacific Special Edition Gift Set puts two classic HBO WWII miniseries in one box, $159.98 on DVD, $199.99 on Blu-ray; the Big love: the Complete Collection DVD set spans all five seasons, $199.95; the Farscape: the Complete Series Blu-ray edition includes a new documentary, $199.95; the It Takes a Thief: the Complete Series DVD box includes a four-piece coaster set, $199.98; the L Word: the Complete Series spans six seasons and includes a 2011 cast reunion, $144.99.For documentary enthusiasts and sports fansPlanet EarthThe beautiful imagery captured in this acclaimed BBC nature-travel docuseries is the main attraction. but the packaging for the six-disc “Planet Earth: Limited Edition” collection is a lot of fun: It comes in a sturdy globe-shaped container. List price: $79.98 on DVD, $99.98 on Blu-ray. WWII in HD the Collector’s Edition version of the acclaimed History Channel series comes with two additional WWII documentaries. List price: $59.95 on DVD, $69.95 on Blu-ray. the recent series Vietnam in HD makes a solid companion piece. List price: $24.95 on DVD, $34.95 on Blu-ray.2011 World SeriesPortions will be painful for Texas Rangers fans to watch, and the packaging is geared to St. Louis Cardinals fans. but the eight-disc the St. Louis Cardinals 2011 World Series Collector’s Edition DVD set contains every play from every game of the riveting World Series showdown. List price: $79.95.Also worth consideringThe Yankeeography: Pinstripe Legends DVD collection is 16 discs of New York Yankees love, $179.95; the Baseball’s Greatest Games Collector’s Edition DVD set showcases 10 games that rank among the sport’s all-time classics, $99.95.

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Check TV and movie fans off your list with recent gift-set DVD and Blu-ray releases


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