TOP PICK — DVD
King Kong (Warner) The world's greatest giant-monster movie comes to Blu-ray. And while the nearly 80-year-old film doesn't gain much in HD, it's still a thrill to see the big ape pummel dinosaurs and scare the shit out of natives. The coolest extra recreates the lost spider-pit scene, where doomed crew members meet a grisly fate. The seven-part documentary is almost as massive as Kong. DVDThe 4 Complete Ed Sullivan Shows Starring the Beatles(UMe)The old-school Pillsbury commercials are fun. So are the even older school vaudevillians. But the Beatles' appearances on Sullivan's TV show are at the center of the four complete episodes included on these two discs. The history-making 1964 debut is here, but the performances from 1965 are even better. John, Paul, George, and Ringo are funny, charming, and yes, fab.
John Lennon reissues (Capitol) Part of a campaign marking Lennon's 70th birthday, the former Beatle's core eight albums receive a sonic upgrade similar to the one his band's catalog got last year. Lennon's 1970 debut, Plastic Ono Band, remains his best solo record, but the biggest revelation here is Double Fantasy (released days before his death in 1980) and its new intimate "Stripped Down" disc.
The Maltese Falcon, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre( Warner) Two of Humphrey Bogart's best and toughest films, both directed by John Huston, make their Blu-ray debuts in these extras-packed sets. The Maltese Falcon (from 1941) is a crime story bristling with snappy dialogue; The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1947) is about ruthless gold diggers. Both are timeless classics. Best of all, HD bonuses include Bugs Bunny cartoons!
The Corin Tucker Band: 1,000 Years (Kill Rock Stars) The former Sleater-Kinney frontwoman grows up on her solo debut, taking in her new role as wife and mother. Nothing here rocks as hard as Sleater-Kinney's best, but Tucker reveals a more tender side. Still, Tucker hasn't quite settled into domestic bliss: There's plenty of restlessness in the grooves, lyrics, and her shaky voice. Call the doctor — mama's on fire!