Top DVD & Blu-ray Releases: Week of 11-27-11

The holiday season is now officially in full swing. Are you ready for the chaos of the weeks ahead? Fortunately, MovieFanFare can help make your shopping a breeze. There’s no better gift for film fans than DVDs and Blu-rays, and this week sees the home video debuts of some amazing individual releases and box sets. Here’s an overview of what fantastic new titles are now available!

Humphrey Bogart: The Columbia Pictures Collection

“Love Affair” (1932) stars Humphrey Bogart in an early role as a pilot hired to give flying lessons to a beautiful heiress (Dorothy Mackaill). They begin a romance, but Mackaill must choose between love and money when she discovers she’s broke and another man (Hale Hamilton) is eager to marry her. Next, Bogart is a bootstrap attorney who defends a man (John Derek) driven to violence by his hardscrabble upbringing in the slums, in “Knock on Any Door” (1949). Believing his wife died in a Japanese concentration camp and unaware of the daughter she bore, an Air Corps hero (Bogart) finds both in a post-war Tokyo and is forced to fly war criminals out of the country to protect them, in “Tokyo Joe” (1949). WithFlorence Marly, Sessue Hayakawa. “Sirocco” (1951) stars Bogey as a gun-runner in war-torn 1920s Syria trying to play rival forces against each other. Lee J. Cobb, Everett Sloane co-star. And, in his last film, Bogart is a sportswriter-turned-press agent who learns how fighters are manipulated when he’s hired by a crooked boxing promoter. “The Harder They Fall” (1956) also stars Rod Steiger and ring greats Max Baer and Jersey Joe Walcott.

The Six Million Dollar Man: Season 1

The classic series finally makes its long-awaited DVD debut! “We can rebuild him. We have the technology.” Based on the novel “Cyborg” by Martin Caidin, this 1974-78 action/adventure series starred Lee Majors as Col. Steve Austin, an astronaut left near death after a crash. Cybernetic implants make him faster, stronger, and enhance his sight, but Steve must work as a government agent in order to repay the $6 million it cost to put him back together. Richard  Anderson co-starred as Austin’s boss, Oscar Goldman. All 13 episodes from the first season–including “Population: Zero,” “Day of the Robot,” “The Rescue of Athena One,” “The Coward,” and “Run, Steve, Run”–plus the made-for-TV movies “The Six Million Dollar Man,” “Wine, Women and War,” and “The Solid Gold Kidnapping” are collected in a six-disc set.

Thrill of Youth

In this yesteryear classic, an old man preaches about the dangers and evils of sexual promiscuity while his young sons have multiple affairs with married women. When the man, his offspring, and their lovers converge on a mountain cabin, fate teaches them all a lesson that they won’t soon forget. June Clyde, Allen Vincent, Dorothy Peterson star.

A Girl of the Limberlost

Compelling melodrama follows Elnora (Marian Marsh), a young girl whose father drowned on the night she was born. Unloved by her resentful mother (Louise Dresser), she befriends a childless couple who treat her with kindness as she grows up. When her engagement falls apart and her nest egg is stolen, Elnora feels hopeless until salvation comes to her from an unlikely source. Ralph Morgan, Helen Jerome Eddy co-star.

Another Earth

The (literally) far-out discovery of a planet orbiting–and very closely resembling–Earth is just the opening provocation of this unique drama, which finds a young woman (co-writer Brit Marling) struggling to cope with her role in a tragic car accident. Her fateful contact with a troubled music teacher (William Mapother) soon leads to the tantalizing chance that a trip to the other world could reshape their lives. With Matthew-Lee Erlbach, Meggan Lennon.

Beyond the Border

Saddle up for this silent western classic that stars Harry Carey as a heroic sheriff who comes to the assistance of a woman whose brother was wrongly accused of a crime he didn’t commit. While trying to clear the innocent man’s name, he must also deal with a smooth-talking rival and track down the true crook. With William Scott, Mildred Harris, Tom Santschi.

Pussycat, Pussycat, I Love You

In this sex-charged comedy, an American playwright (Ian McShane) living in Rome finds himself overwhelmed by relationship problems with his wife and various mistresses. Further complicating his life are recurring dreams about an oversexed gorilla. Will the writer’s problems subside when he starts visiting a therapist? Anna Calder-Marshall, Joyce Van Patten co-star in this intended sequel to “What’s New, Pussycat?” co-written by Woody Allen.

What Do You Say to a Naked Lady?

You’ll be surprised what people do say in this ribald and racy film written, directed, and hosted by “Mr. Candid Camera” himself, Allen Funt. Join Funt as he takes you where the TV show never could, setting up hilariously sexy stunts to see how people react when faced with unexpected nudity in casual, everyday situations

30 Rock: Season 5

More hilarity ensues in this three-disc set that collects all 22 episodes from the fifth season–including “The Fabian Strategy,” “Live Show,” “Christmas Attack Zone,” “Plan B,” and “Respawn.”

One Summer Love

A young man (Beau Bridges), newly discharged from a mental hospital with only the vaguest memories of his past, goes on a quest for the family that left him behind. His journey brings him into contact with a young woman (Susan Sarandon) who might help him find the answers and solace he seeks. Mildred Dunnock, Ann Wedgeworth co-star. AKA: “Dragonfly.”

Forgotten

Following the death of his wife, a kindly widower is bounced around amongst the homes of his married sons before they eventually put him in a nursing home–and out of their minds. Forced into a new life of sadness and solitude, he feels forgotten…until his daughter and her kindly fiance invite him to stay with them. Lee Kohlmar, June Clyde, Leon Ames star.

Friends with Benefits

Can L.A.-based web designer Dylan (Justin Timberlake) and New York headhunter Jamie (Mila Kunis) extend their new friendship to include sexual relations…with no strings attached? This irreverent romantic comedy digs into the funny complications that arise when two commitment-phobic beautiful people try their hands at lust without love. With Patricia Clarkson, Jenna Elfman, and Richard Jenkins.

Halls of Anger

Gripping, socially charged drama follows African-American teacher Quincy Davis (Calvin Lockhart) as he takes a job as vice principal at a tough, recently desegregated California high school. With white students now being bussed in, Davis is faced with a simmering race war with rising tensions that could tear the school apart from the inside out. With Jeff Bridges, Janet MacLachlan, Edward Asner, Rob Reiner.

Hannibal Brooks

In this comedic WWII adventure, Oliver Reed shines as Stephen “Hannibal” Brooks–a British prisoner of war who is forced by his German captors to work in a Munich zoo. After the facility is bombed by American forces, he is tasked with transporting an elephant to Innsbruck via train–hatching a clever escape plan along the way. With Michael J. Pollard, Wolfgang Preiss.

Hostile Witness

When his daughter is killed in a hit-and-run accident, British barrister Ray Milland has his world turned upside down. After he vows to get revenge against the person responsible, his neighbor is implicated in the crime and subsequently found dead. Now, Milland is put on trial for setting his plan of vengeance into action. With Felix Aylmer, Raymond Huntley, Sylvia Syms.

Hot in Cleveland: Season Two

All 22 episodes from the second season–including “Free Elka,” the two-part “I Love Lucci,” “Dancing Queens,” “Arch Enemies,” and “Elka’s Big Day”–are featured in this three-disc set

Impasse

This actioner stars Burt Reynolds as an adventurer who enlists the help of four World War II veterans to find $3,000,000 in gold that was hidden by the Japanese in the Philippines. Willing to do whatever it takes to get his hands on the riches, he encounters plenty of danger and excitement on his quest for fortune. With Anne Francis, Miko Mayama, Lyle Bettger.

The Smurfs

This live-action/animated film starring Belgian cartoonist Peyo’s merry blue creatures will make you smurf with joy! A New York advertising man (Neil Patrick Harris) facing a big deadline and imminent parenthood suddenly finds himself the guardian of Clumsy Smurf (voiced by Anton Yelchin), Smurfette (voiced by Katy Perry), Papa Smurf (voiced by Jonathan Winters), and their other smurfy pals after they are chased away from home by the evil Gargamel (Hank Azaria). With Jayma Mays,Sofia Vergara.

Mission: Impossible: The ’88 TV Season

All 19 episodes from the first season–including “The Killer,” “The Pawn,” “The Greek,” “The Fixer,” and “Bayou”–have been collected in a five-disc set.

Speed Devils

This drama features Hollywood bad boys Paul Kelly and Russell Hardie as racecar drivers who decide to open their own garage after they survive a major crash. Politicians soon want to use their new place in a devious scheme, but a local reporter who likes Kelly helps put a stop to their plan. With Marguerite Churchill, Leo Curley, Walter Fenner. AKA: “Thru Traffic.”

The Art of Getting By

Already convinced of life’s futility, high schooler and would-be artist George (Freddie Highmore) sees no point to doing homework…or much of anything else. His world is about to be rocked, however, after meeting the pretty but complex Sally (Emma Roberts). Their budding relationship leads the once-listless young man towards a powerful re-examination of his existence. Charming coming-of-age film co-starsBlair Underwood, Alicia Silverstone.

The 1000 Plane Raid

Does one American Air Force colonel (Christopher George) hold the secret to ending World War II with a single air raid? He believes so, attempting to organize a massive daytime raid of B-17 bombers to pummel the German nation–but he may be overlooking how his plan could be more dangerous and deadly than he realizes. Gripping war drama co-stars Laraine Stevens, J.D. Cannon, and Gavin MacLeod.

The Bed Sitting Room

After World War III reduces London to ashes, an offbeat group of characters attempts to go on with their lives as if nothing has happened. As such individuals as a BBC reporter determined to keep delivering the news, a civilian woman who is the heir to England’s throne, and a family who lives in an underground subway train attempt to exist normally, their experiences result in hilarity. Director Richard Lester‘s oddball comedy stars Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Spike Milligan, and Rita Tushingham.

The Canyon of Missing Men

Tom Tyler stars in this silent western that helped define his cowboy character. Here he’s torn between love and duty when he falls for the daughter of an outlaw gangleader. Will he be able to figure out how to stop the black hat without losing the girl? With Sheila Le Gay, Tom Foreman.

The First Time

Stuck in Buffalo for the summer, teenaged Kenny writes to his two pals about the bordello across the Canadian border he’s been frequenting. His buddies show up, anxious to check the place out for themselves. The only problem is, Kenny made it up. Undaunted, the trio’s determination to lose their virginity leads to an encounter with a mysterious beauty who needs their help to get into the U.S. Wes Stern, Rick Kelman, Wink Roberts, and Jacqueline Bisset star in this funny coming-of-age comedy.

The House of 1,000 Dolls

Vincent Price and Martha Hyer play nightclub illusionists in Tangier whose tricks are the dirtiest of all. They use their hypnotic prowess to act as suppliers for a white slavery racket, turning unsuspecting young women into compliant playthings. George Nader, Maria Rohm co-star.

The Manchu Eagle Murder Caper Mystery

Hilarious spoof of film noir concerns a novice private eye who gets most of his cases through the mail. After his eccentric milkman is murdered by an arrow, the goofy gumshoe begins an investigation with the help of a chicken hatchery owner. Can the bumbling duo possibly crack the case? Former East Side Kids Gabriel Dell and Huntz Hall co-star; with Will Geer, Jackie Coogan, and Barbara Harris.

The Pace That Thrills

In this vintage actioner, a womanizing cyclist addicted to chasing thrills finds himself in a heart-stopping love triangle when a beautiful reporter struggles to choose between him and an engineer working for the same motorcycle company. But can he possibly put aside his reckless ways and pursue a relationship with the beauty? Bill Williams,Carla Balenda, Robert Armstrong star.

Our Idiot Brother

Is that any way to talk about Ned (Paul Rudd)? As trouble-prone as he is, Ned’s heart always seems to be in the right place–plus, his girlfriend has just ditched him and taken their dog! The trusting, modern-day hippie moves in with each of his sisters (Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, and Emily Mortimer) and gets kicked out by all three, but his family soon starts to see all of Ned’s shortcomings in a new light. Charming comedy co-stars Steve Coogan, Rashida Jones, and Shirley Knight.

The Future

In this trippy indie feature from writer/director Miranda July (“Me and You and Everyone We Know”), thirtysomething Sophie (July) and Jason (Hamish Linklater) take it upon themselves to care for an injured stray cat, little suspecting that the gesture will spin them into an eccentric odyssey of introspection and self-discovery. Abruptly quitting their jobs, the pair attempts to divine what is most relevant in life. With David Warshofsky,Isabella Acres.

Safari 3000

David Carradine hops behind the wheel once again for another glorious road race actioner, this time playing a retired stunt man accepting the challenge of a 3000-mile rally across the Dark Continent. Saddled with a Playboy photojournalist (Stockard Channing) assigned to accompany him and a dastardly rival (Christopher Lee) out to win by any means necessary, he’ll have more than the price of gas to contend with.

Smallville: The Final Season

All 22 episodes from the 10th (and final) season–including “Savior,” “Kandor,” “Absolute Justice,” “Sacrifice,” and “Salvation”–are featured in a six-disc set.

Smallville: The Complete Series

Sixty-two-disc set features the complete seasons 1-10 of “Smallville,” plus a variety of new special features, an episode guide, and a Daily Planet newspaper.

One Day

This romantic drama adapted from David Nicholls’ novel follows Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter (Jim Sturgess), who connect on July 15, 1988 on the night of their college graduation. The story then visits them on the same day every year for the next two decades as they remain close while their lives take very different and separate paths. Touching portrait of the enduring power of love co-stars Patricia Clarkson, Rafe Spall.

5 Days of War

Built upon the facts surrounding Russia’s incursion into neighboring Georgia in August of 2008, this fictional tale follows the chaos surrounding an American journalist (Rupert Friend) caught in the crossfire. Accompanied by his cameraman (Richard Coyle), the reporter bears witness to terrible atrocities during his attempt to help a desperate woman (Emmanuelle Chriqui) locate her family. Andy Garcia, Val Kilmer, and Heather Graham co-star.

Sabu!

Selar Shaik Sabu (aka Sabu), who was an 11-year-old orphaned stable boy in India when he was discovered by director Robert Flaherty, made his film debut as the “Elephant Boy” (1937). Young Indian Toomai dreams of reuniting with his family’s beloved elephant after the animal is given away to a mean-spirited new owner. Exciting family adventure film co-stars W.E. Holloway, Allan Jeayes. Co-directed by Flaherty and Zoltan Korda; based on Rudyard Kipling’s “Toomai of the Elephants.” Next, “The Drum” (1938) offers a terrific action spectacle from the Korda brothers, starring Sabu as a 19th-century Indian prince who must stop the slaughter of British troops and protect his throne from treacherous uncle Raymond Massey. AKA: “Drums.” Three-disc set also includes “The Jungle Book” (1942).

The Stingiest Man in Town

Basil Rathbone stars as the ever-stingy Ebenezer Scrooge in this charming musical rendition of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” first broadcast as an episode of “The Alcoa Hour” TV series. The supporting cast includes Patrice Munsel, Martyn Green, Johnny Desmond, and Vic Damone as the young Scrooge. “Humbug,” “I Wear a Chain,” “One Little Boy,” and “The Birthday Party of the King” are among the songs.

For details and availability of more of this week’s new releases, click here.

Here’s a look at last week’s DVD and Blu-ray releases.