In our weekly column, we give you the lowdown on the weekly top three essential DVDs and Blu-ray releases.
This week's a big one for special features, as each of the following films is packed to the brim with all the commentaries, photo galleries and insider information your little heart could desire. These Blu-rays will take you around the world, from Scotland in the enormously popular animated film "Brave" to the heat of the desert with "Lawrence of Arabia," before ending our run in America with the superhero epic decades in the making, "Watchmen."
1. "Brave" 3D
Starring: Kelly MacDonald, Julie Walters, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Kevin McKidd, Julie Walters and Craig Ferguson
Director: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
Studio: Pixar/Disney/Buena Vista
Running Time: 93 min.
Princess Merida (Kelly MacDonald) is a tomboy through and through, but the king (Billy Connolly) and the queen (Emma Thompson) have other plans for her — like marriage. When Merida seeks to change her fate with the help of a witch (Julie Walters), she sets off a terrible chain of events that may cause her to lose her relationship with her mother forever. Can Merida get things back to normal and claim her rightful place in the kingdom before it's too late?
The special features on this animated adventure are extensive, spanning several discs, including the Pixar short "La Luna" and behind-the-scenes featurettes galore. With storyline breakdowns, extended scenes, alternate openings, an art gallery, animation bloopers, director commentary and much, much more, this is one of the most extensive releases we've seen yet this year.
This magnificent release comes with a 3D Blu-ray, a regular Blu-ray, a DVD and a digital copy of the film.
2. "Lawrence of Arabia"
Starring: Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins, Omar Sharif and José Ferrer
Director: David Lean
Studio: Sony Pictures
Running Time: 227 min.
The 50th anniversary of the epic film features the 227-minute director's cut, complete with overture, intermission, entr'acte and exit music, and the film itself has been carefully restored.
Thomas Edward Lawrence (Peter O'Toole) was a complicated man who found glory in the Arabian desert and then fought anonymously as a commoner under a false name. The film begins with Lawrence's accidental death and continues with flashbacks to his various exploits as an intelligence officer in 1916, and his investigations into Arab revolt in World War I. For two years, he leads the Arabs in their war efforts, eventually leading his small army north and assists in the destruction of the Ottoman Empire.
Bonus features on this remarkable 4-disc Blu-ray release include interviews with Peter O'Toole, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, William Friedkin and Sydney Pollack, plus a soundtrack CD and an 88 page book with photographs and notes.
Starring: Malin Akerman, Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode, Carla Gugino, Jackie Earle Haley and Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Director: Zack Snyder
Studio: Warner Bros.
Running Time: 215 min.
One of the strongest comic book adaptations of all time comes to Blu-ray in a special collector's edition.
The year is 1985, and when a famous superhero is found dead, the vigilante Rorschach (Haley) looks into the matter in his own way. He begins questioning superheroes Dr. Manhattan (Crudup), Nite Owl (Wilson), Silk Spectre II (Akerman) and a host of others. As things progress, Rorschach is lead deeper into a world of violence and confusion, and uncovers a mystery that could prove potentially world-threatening.
The special features on this fantastic 4-disc Blu-ray release include the official director's cut of the film, over 30 minutes of "Watchmen" in-film focus points, the original theatrical cut on DVD, a collector's edition of the graphic novel and a music video from My Chemical Romance.
This release comes with a Blu-ray, a DVD and a digital copy of the film.
Want more awesome DVD picks? Check in with Queue it Up over at NextMovie!