This Month's Highlights

PLUS: Home Theater and Film Flops


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Home Theater

DVDs to put in your cinephiles’ stockings this month.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
DVD Release Date: December 8, Warner Home Video
With the next Harry Potter movie not due out until August 2010 at the earliest—and that will only be part one of a two-part series finale—Harry addicts will need this DVD set to get them through an otherwise Potterless winter. The penultimate film in the series gives them lots to pore over, looking for clues as to Snape’s true intentions.
District 9
DVD Release Date: December 29, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Got a sci-fi fan in your family? District 9 is reminiscent of some of the most classic sci-fi films of all time, when all the creators had to work with were shoestring budgets and big imaginations (not comic books and other already-established properties). The film explores what happens when misguided aliens accidentally land on Earth and are herded into slums in South Africa, and the DVD features take a look at how they made the aliens look so realistically bug-like without a mega-budget.

Inglourious Basterds
DVD Release Date: December 15, Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Say what you will about Quentin Tarantino, but his vision of World War II is vastly different from any other filmmaker’s—especially that of Enzo G. Castellari, who directed the original 1978 Inglorious Bastards this film was loosely modeled after. Brad Pitt leads a troop of Jewish American soldiers looking to get revenge on Nazis—and the film is worth watching for his broad Tennessee accent alone.

(500) Days of Summer
DVD Release Date: December 22, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
For the starry-eyed hipsters in your family, get them this year’s only romantic comedy that’s been approved by the skinny-jean-wearing crowd. Starring two darlings of indie cinema, Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the film takes a look at how quickly a new relationship can go from the honeymoon highs to something much darker—and all to the tune of a pretty rad soundtrack.


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