Get your Christmas shopping started....In addition to this week's new releases, an outstanding gift set hits stores today that's definitely worth letting you know about: The Wizard of Oz 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition, on remastered Blu-ray and DVD, with a host of cool features and collectibles in a limited-edition, numbered box.
Of the 16 hours of bonus features, four have never been available before: A featurette on the original Munchkins; two 1914 silent films produced by Frank L. Baum, including never-seen-before footage; a special sing-along track; a documentary on director Victor Fleming. Watch an exclusive clip from the doc here. (One thing: the film has been previously restored for DVD in '05, so that version is the same, but this is its first release on Blu.) The movie looks fabulous, its Technicolor palette hyper-real to the point it looks more like a beautifully illustrated living storybook than a film. Definitely worth a look if you've only seen it every year on TV or on pre-2005 DVD.
While box sets often include memorabilia for collectors, Warner Bros. outdid themselves with the ones included: Oz fans will enjoy the 70th anniversary watch available nowhere else that incorporates Oz art and real crystals; Behind the Curtain, a 52-page hardcover book containing lots of unpublished material; and reproductions of archive material, like replicas of the original movie budget and the highly entertaining original 1939 press kit which actually reads: "A book famous in fiction, a play celebrated on the American stage, a picture that is truly a triumph for EXPLOITATION." For real.
Was that Wizard of Ahhs?