TOP PICK – DVD
Harry Potter Ultimate Editions (Warner)
Just in time for the final (and possibly most awesome) Harry Potter movie, two of the best – 2007's Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and 2009's Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – get super-sized in these hefty new boxes. The Blu-ray sets include a ton of behind-the-scenes info, memorabilia, photo books, leftover scenes – pretty much everything you'd want from the boy wizard, short of an evil spell.
Deep Focus series (Soft Skull)
This cool new series is like the pocket-size 33 1/3 volumes, but they're about movies instead of music, breaking down movies from critical, historical, and fanboy perspectives. The two latest titles take a look at the teen black comedy Heathers and The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training, probably the first and last time this movie will receive such scholarly treatment.
Duke Nukem Forever (2K)
It's been called the Chinese Democracy of video games, and it lives up to that title in so many ways. It's taken years for the game to hit shelves. It's messy. It can't compare with earlier outings. And it's stuck in the past. But it's still an occasionally fun ride. Not much has changed in the 15 years since the last game. Duke still packs a big gun, and he still blows away anyone who gets in the way. Kinda like Chinese Democracy.
Mr. Wong, Detective; The Mystery of Mr. Wong (Twentieth Century Fox)
The two best titles in the new batch of MOD DVDs from MGM's Limited Edition Collection are these late-1930s oddities starring Boris Karloff as a Chinese detective. Yes, Frankenstein's monster is playing an Asian guy. No matter, these two movies are loads of fun, as Wong investigates the death of some pals (Detective) and tries to figure out why people are dying over a gem (Mystery).
Paul Simon reissues (Columbia/Legacy)
Simon's first four solo albums – Paul Simon, There Goes Rhymin' Simon, Paul Simon in Concert: Live Rhymin', and Still Crazy After All These Years – get upgraded, remastered, and bonus tracks in the form of demo recordings. Simon's self-titled 1972 debut and 1975's Grammy-winning Still Crazy are the ones to start with. Between them, they include some of Simon's most enduring solo cuts.