This Week in DVDs December 7, 2010

Check out this week’s crop of DVDs, Blu-rays, and collector’s edition ultimate mega sets.

Since we know time is money, here’s a quick handy reference guide to recent DVD releases that should be on your radar and, in many cases, on your shelf. Immediately.

Inception (Blu-ray)

Release Date: December 7

What it is: The “little movie” Christopher Nolan knocked off in between billion dollar Batman juggernauts is a twisted, thought-provoking, and beautifully-crafted piece of sci-fi that pretty much kicks the ass of everything else that came out this year.

Why you need it: Don’t you want to start getting all the jokes? But seriously, Inception is a thoroughly refreshing movie experience. Smart, well-acted, and not based directly on existing source material like a comic book or old TV show. It’s unique, chock full of ideas (maybe too chock full to successful balance all its threads equally, but we’d rather a movie think too much than not at all), and features some of the most awe-inspiring visuals we’ve seen in a while. The best part? It ends leaving you wanting so much more. Nolan is at the top of his game, the cast – From Leo DiCaprio to Joseph Gordon-Levitt to Ken Watanabe on down the line – is superb. Oh, and there are also a ton of engaging special features. You want eye and brain candy? Dig in.

Big Bad Mama/Big Bad Mama II

Release Date: December 7

What it is: The DVD rebirth of all things Roger Corman continues, with this Angie Dickinson sex and gunplay double-feature. And breathe easy, it features absolutely zero appearances by Martin Lawrence in a fat suit. But it does have Tom Skerrit and William Fucking Shatner™.

Why you need it: Look, this is a B-movie romp and nothing more. The transfer is grainy and the special features pretty rudimentary, but the action onscreen is what you’re paying for and it doesn’t disappoint. Essentially Corman’s low-budget answer to Bonnie and Clyde (with more boobies) it used to be late night cable fodder for years back in the infancy of HBO and Showtime. The schlock is turned up and the quality turned down in Part II, but overall these are quirky fun movies back when such things got made.

20th Century Fox 75th Anniversary Box Set

Release Date: December 7

What it is: DVD box sets rarely contain this many movies and hit on this many styles, genres, and icons at once. Which is why this mammoth set is a rarity and a wonder.

Why you need it: We’re not overselling this. The Fox Anniversary Set covers everything from the 1933 film Cavalcade through the 2009 special effects blockbuster Avatar. Along the way, it hits on minor movies like, oh, I dunno, The Grapes of Wrath, Miracle on 34th Street, The Day the Earth Stood Still, All About Eve, The Hustler, Planet of the Apes, Sound of Music, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Patton, The French Connection, Star Wars, Alien, All That Jazz, Wall Street, Raising Arizona, Home Alone, X-Men, Slumdog Millionaire, and the aforementioned big blue cat people epic. Whew. Sure, a lot of these movies are already available in stocked special editions and Blu-rays, but having them all in one massive collection is a movie buff’s dream. And the packaging is nice.