Welcome once again to DVD Tuesday, where we break down the best bets at the video store for all your nerd needs. We’re going to take a slightly different approach this week, because Friday is the day that the much-debated Star Wars: The Complete Saga finally hits Blu-Ray. With that in mind, before we give a verdict, there’s going to be a brief weighing of options.
STAR WARS: THE COMPLETE SAGA – TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY
For weeks now, we’ve been hearing terrible tales of how George Lucas has once again taken a hot digital knife to his masterpieces to revise them for a new release. It’s nothing new to us, but every time it happens we bubble up with nerd rage all over again. And then we go buy Star Wars stuff anyway, because even though we hate Lucas, we still love the franchise (for the most part). So now we have, for the first time, the whole saga in high definition with a boatload of special features and a hefty price tag. What’s a nerd to do?
Honestly, if it were me? If I had the extra cash to drop on this massive box set right now, I would, for the special features alone. But I don’t, so it’s a pass for me at the moment. That’s a purely financial decision that I’m sure many of the rest of you are struggling with as well. Many of you are also no doubt struggling with nerd built over whether or not you give George Lucas any more money. The point is this really is quite a toss-up situation, so if you’ll forgive a slight cop-out, here’s the verdict:
BUY IT IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT. PASS IF YOU DON’T THINK IT’S WORTH IT.
There. Moving on.
Kenneth Branagh directs this Marvel Comics-inspired action flick about the thunder god Thor (Chris Hemsworth), a powerful warrior whose father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins) — the king of Asgard — forces him to live among humans on Earth and learn humility. Once there, he finds a friend (Natalie Portman), along with unexpected enemies sent from his world. Kat Dennings, Stellan Skarsgård and Rene Russo co-star.
It didn’t get the praise of X-Men: First Class, but I had fun watching Thor. It’s a light, low-stress action flick about a dude that swings a magic hammer, and it’s a solid tie-in to where everything in Marvel cinema is headed these days.
The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Fourth Season
This season the Big Bang gang’s romantic universe expands. On the rebound from Penny, Leonard falls into the arms of Raj’s sister Priya. Sheldon gets a girlfriend, or rather a friend who is a girl: Amy, a dour neurobiologist who declares herself besties with Penny. Howard and Bernadette heat up. And so do Raj and Bernadette (at least in Raj’s Bollywood daydream). All in the furtherance of award-winning genius comedy.
The Big Bang Theory hit its stride mid season two, and it seems it’s reached a plateau. But that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. The fourth season was still funny, still full of nerd love and still loaded with Sheldon madness. That’s good enough for me.
Supernatural: The Complete Sixth Season
The prize: ending the Apocalypse. The price: Sam’s life. Season 5’s horrific finale left Dean alone, as Sam descended into Hell. Now a different man, Dean vows to stop hunting and devote himself to building a family with Lisa and her son Ben. Then, mysteriously, Sam reappears, drawing Dean back into the old life. But Sam’s a different man too. He’s returned without his soul. How the Winchesters confront this greatest challenge yet to their powerful bond is the troubled heart – and soul – of the profound and thrilling 5-Disc, 22-Episode Season 6. As the brothers struggle to reunite, they must also battle deadly supernatural forces. Demons. Angels. Vampires. Shapeshifters. And a terrifying new foe called the Mother of All.
Yup, those CW dudes are still fighting monsters. If you’re a fan, go see what they’re up to.
Spartacus: Gods of the Arena
The House of Batiatus has towered above the city of Capua for many years. Spartacus: Gods of the Arena will explore its deadly history before the arrival of Spartacus, and the death he carried with him. Loyalties will be tested, lives shattered, and battles waged in this thrilling prequel to Spartacus: Blood and Sand.
Right on the heels of the untimely passing of Spartacus: Blood and Sand‘s star, we get a prequel to the series. It might make you feel better, but it might not. Tread lightly.
Camelot: The Complete First Season
The classic fables of King Arthur’s realm get the Starz treatment in this series, which features plenty of romance, magic and chivalry as Arthur and his knights struggle against dark forces — including Arthur’s half-sister, Morgan.
Kings, swords, knights, fantasy and sex. It’s like Game of Thrones, but not as good. But hey, Eva Green naked. There are worse things to look at.