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The 9 Best DVD and Blu-ray Releases of 2010

WHV

If you thought every great film had already maxed out its possibilities on home video (you know, VHS, DVD, special editon DVD, anniversary edition DVD, Blu-ray, special edition Blu-ray... and so on), well, you'd be mistaken.

This year proved another great year for high profile DVD and Blu-ray releases, and what better time to run through the 2010's highlights than during holiday shopping mania?

Some of the films on this list are Blu-ray debuts, some are fan favorites packaged with collectible gewgaws and one set is a whopper too big to ignore. They all have one undeniable thing in common: someone you know wants one of them wrapped with a bow.

9. Clint Eastwood: 35 Films, 35 Years

Make someone's day with this handsome collection of Eastwood's 35-year relationship with Warner Bros. -- from "Where Eagles Dare" through "Invictus." Included in the set are the octogenarian's "Dirty Harry" movies, Oscar-bait films like "Mystic River" and "Million Dollar Baby," Westerns like "Pale Rider" and "Unforgiven," and many more. The set also features the acclaimed documentary "The Eastwood Factor," which offers a rare intimate look at the actor and director. Although some of the films packaged here are available individually on Blu-ray, this complete set can only be had on DVD.

8. Psycho: 50th Anniversary Edition

Universal

We all go a little bit mad sometimes, especially for Norman Bates in high definition. Alfred Hitchcock's seminal thriller starring Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh has been released on DVD in several versions, but none are more impressive than this remastered 50th anniversary edition that flawlessly reproduces the inky blacks of the shadows surrounding the Bates Motel and the sound of the screeching violins during the shower attack with a new DTS-HD 5.1 surround mix.

The BD is packed with a fruit cellar's worth of extras, including making-of featurettes, archive footage, a feature-length documentary, a look at Hitchcock's legacy and more.

7. Avatar: Extended Collector's Edition

If you can't get enough of the phosphorescent world of Pandora featured in James Cameron's sci-fi blockbuster, this edition of "Avatar"—available on both DVD and Blu-ray—blows away the barebones versions released earlier this year. This extended edition features three different cuts of the movie as well as eight hours of supplements, including 45 minutes of deleted scenes, interactive scene deconstruction, "Pandorapedia" and exhaustive making-of featurettes. The Blu-ray even has hidden Easter eggs that allow users with sweet setups to view the film's trailer and "Pandora Rediscovered," narrated by Sigourney Weaver, in 3D.

6. Inception Briefcase Gift Set

You are not dreaming—Warner Bros. released a limited edition (fewer than 2,000 units) of "Inception" exclusively on WBShop.com that is worth seeking out on eBay now that they are sold out. The DVD and Blu-ray of Christopher Nolan's mindbender are the same as those available for individual sale, but the discs in this gift set are housed in a silver briefcase with art cards, "The Cobol Job" comic, a PASIV manual replica and a replica of Leonardo DiCaprio's totem—the spinning metal top.

5. Apocalypse Now: Full Disclosure Edition

Lionsgate

"The horror…the horror," mutters Marlon Brando toward the end of Francis Ford Coppola's 1979 Vietnam War epic, but the actor didn't live to see this impressive Blu-ray debut that contains the original theatrical cut as well as the extended "Apocalypse Now Redux." The new transfers were supervised by Coppola and mark the first time the film has been presented on disc in its proper aspect ratio.

In addition to all the exhaustive extras ported over from the previous incarnations of the film on disc, this Full Disclosure Edition includes the feature-length documentary "Hearts of Darkness," a 48-page collectible book with never-before-seen archive photos, a 52-page script excerpt with notes written by Coppola, a storyboard gallery and marketing archives.

4. Alien Anthology

In space, no one can hear you scream, but fans of Sigourney Weaver's Lt. Ellen Ripley can be heard everywhere clamoring for the Blu-ray debuts of "Alien," "Aliens," Alien3" and "Alien: Resurrection" — each presented with a theatrical version and an extended or director's cut. The extensive bonus features from the previous DVD quadrilogy are ported over here as well as hours of new bonus material, like Weaver's original screen test, unseen deleted scenes and thousands of still photographs from the Fox archives. H.R. Giger's monster with acid for blood and a double jaw that gestates in human host is the stuff of nightmares, but fans will still dream of having this set's discs housed in a replica Alien pod, which is also available.

3. Fox 75th Anniversary Collection

If there is one collection of movies to rule them all this holiday season, this 75-film massive set binds them. Each of the three volumes included here highlights 25 years of Fox's legacy and includes an exclusive hardcover book. The set has everything from blockbusters to Oscar winners to classics, including "South Pacific," "Star Wars," "Alien," "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," "The Devil Wear Prada," "All About Eve," "Planet of the Apes," "The French Connection," "Working Girl," "Wall Street," "Moulin Rouge," "X-Men," "Slumdog Millionaire," "Avatar" and many more. The only way this collection — which will set you back about $360 — could be more impressive is if Fox also made it available on Blu-ray. For that, there's always next Christmas.

2. The Goonies 25th Anniversary Collector's Edition

"Goonies 'r' still good enough" for fans of Richard Donner's classic 1985 adventure, but this collector's edition —available on either DVD or Blu-ray — is even better. Both versions contain director and cast commentary, a making-of documentary, deleted scenes and the two-part music video “Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough” by Cyndi Lauper. The real booty includes a "Goonies" board game, storyboards, a reprint of "Empire" Magazine's "Goonies" reunion, a reprint of the original "Goonies" souvenir magazine and even a sheet of "Goonies" temporary tattoos.

1. Back to the Future: 25th Anniversary Trilogy

Universal

"Great Scott!" Although the "Back to the Future" trilogy starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd has been available for some time on DVD, this Blu-ray debut with its restored picture and sound elements is nearly future-proof.

All three movies are loaded with extras from the previous editions and enhanced with BD-exclusive bells and whistles, including the U-Control interactive viewing option, a BD-Live portal to online supplements and D-Box motion capability for those with chairs that will allow viewers to feel every bump in the road along with Fox's DeLorean.

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