Summer smashes bring fall DVDs

  • Article by: RANDY A. SALAS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 12, 2009 - 9:51 PM

"Transformers," "Up" and a host of TV shows are due on disc this season.

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Optimus Prime from Michael Bay's "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," the sequel to the 2007 hit based on the venerable Hasbro toys.

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The summer's top box-office hits will be coming soon to DVD and Blu-ray, as will a host of classic films and TV shows, recent and vintage.

Here are the highlights from fall's releases on home video, according to a bevy of sources -- with the standard reminder that dates can change.

The top 10 new movies

Most of the home-video release dates for this year's top 10 movies have been announced. They are, in decending order by box-office revenue:

"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," Oct. 20.

"Up," Nov. 10.

"Star Trek," Nov. 17 (plus the second season of the classic TV series is due on Blu-ray Sept. 22).

"Monsters vs. Aliens," Sept. 29.

"Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs," Oct. 27.

"X-Men Origins: Wolverine," Tuesday.

"The Proposal," Oct. 13.

"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," "The Hangover" and "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" have no release dates yet, but all are expected in November.

Older movies get a revamp

One of the great psychological thrillers, 1987's "The Stepfather," finally makes its DVD debut Oct. 13. The masterful Terry O'Quinn ("Lost") stars as a father who just can't seem to find the right family in this independent film that has received much acclaim.

The family classic "The Wizard of Oz" makes its Blu-ray debut Sept. 29 with a 70th-anniversary set (also on DVD). Among the whopping 16 hours' worth of bonus material are four hours of behind-the-scenes documentaries not included on previous editions.

Disney dusts off and polishes another one of its treasures when "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" goes high-def on Oct. 6 (with a DVD version to follow on Nov. 24). Other Blu-ray debuts for older movies include "Easy Rider" on Oct. 20, "North by Northwest" and 1951's "A Christmas Carol" on Nov. 3, Buster Keaton's "The General" on Nov. 10, "Gone With the Wind" on Nov. 17 and, one of my favorites, "The Way of the Gun," on Nov. 24.

New TV shows on disc

Simon Baker's hit "The Mentalist" arrives in a six-disc, first-season set on Sept. 22. Fans who want to check out his previous TV outing can get Season 1 of "The Guardian" on Oct. 27.

The first season of "Crash," the popular Starz TV adaptation of the Oscar-winning film, comes out Tuesday on DVD and Blu-ray.

Ken Burns' new miniseries "National Parks: America's Best Idea" will arrive in both disc formats Oct. 6.

The latest "Family Guy" send-up of the "Star Wars" films comes out Dec. 22, just in time for Christmas. "Something Something Something Darkside" will be available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Three failed TV shows will be dumped onto DVD in complete-series sets Sept. 29: "Day Break," "Kings" and "Life on Mars." Other first-season sets include "Sanctuary" (Tuesday), "Flashpoint" (Oct. 13) and "Clone Wars" (Nov. 3). The special "Battlestar Galactica: The Plan" hits both formats on Oct. 27.

Classic TV shows make debuts

"Ally McBeal" will finally show up in a first-season set on Oct. 1. But if you're really into her, you can buy a complete-series set on the same day. That's right, no waiting for piecemeal releases.

The innovative "It's Garry Shandling's Show" gets laughs on Oct. 20, when a complete series set comes out.

Three vintage shows that made fans anxious with best-of collections or poor-quality public-domain discs are getting proper first-season releases. The anthology series "One Step Beyond" and the western "Bonanza" come out Tuesday, and the comedy "Mister Ed" arrives Oct. 6.

Disney's "Zorro" slashes across the screen again Nov. 3, when its first and second seasons come out as part of the lovingly produced "Walt Disney Treasures" series.

Other notable DVD debuts of classic shows include "The Patty Duke Show" (Sept. 29), "Vega$" (Oct. 20) and "On the Road With Charles Kuralt" (Oct. 27). High-def debuts include the complete run of "The Prisoner" on Oct. 27.

Finally, "The Mary Tyler Show" is back on track after a three-year hiatus of DVD releases. Season 5 of the beloved Minneapolis-set sitcom is planned for Oct. 6.

Randy A. Salas • 612-673-4542

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