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DVD holiday shopping guide

“Man of Steel.”

“Man of Steel.”

Heroes come in all forms in this holiday season’s crop of DVD picks. One wears a cape and has a big red S emblazoned on his chest. Others have claws, or uncanny driving reflexes, or surprisingly tuggable beards. One rides the Old West wearing a domino mask. Another haunts the Southwest wearing a black porkpie hat (and might not be such a swell guy, actually). One used to pride himself on being a villain, until he had a cartoonish change of heart. Others had been written off as over-complacent jerks, until they redeemed themselves, spectacularly. Among the heroic displays and other titles to consider:

FAVORITES/CLASSICS/ETC.

MAN OF STEEL

Superman (Henry Cavill) gets a little of the “Dark Knight” treatment from director Zack Snyder (“Watchmen”) and producer Christopher Nolan. Includes a bonus Blu-ray disc presenting the movie with branching featurettes. (Warner, $29.98; Blu-ray, $35.99)

JAMES DEAN ULTIMATE COLLECTOR’S EDITION

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It’s a deluxe hi-def reissue for the screen icon’s famously brief three-film body of work: “East of Eden,” “Rebel Without a Cause,” and “Giant.” Boxed with a 48-page retrospective book. (Warner, $99.98)

FAST & FURIOUS 6

In another all-hands-on-deck installment, retired racer-robbers Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, and crew get a call for help from frenemy Dwayne Johnson, who’s tangling with a new threat: resurrected Michelle Rodriguez. The Blu-ray gives play-by-play on all the chases. (Universal, $29.98; Blu-ray, $34.98; Dec. 10)

THE WOLVERINE

In the season’s other big superhero disc, Hugh Jackman and director James Mangold (“Walk the Line”) dispatch Wolverine to Japan to grapple with a sinister criminal element and his own virtual immortality. Includes a set tour of next year’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” (Fox, $29.98; Blu-ray, $39.99; Dec. 3)

THE LONE RANGER

Armie Hammer saddles up alongside Johnny Depp’s Tonto — a bit more than just a sidekick, kemosabe — in the classic serial’s big-budget update. Definitely a nostalgia springboard, even if you agree with the underwhelmed reviews. (Disney, $29.99; Blu-ray, $39.99; Dec. 17)

NASHVILLE

The definitive Robert Altman ensemble piece gets Blu-ray cineaste treatment, complete with new interviews with Keith Carradine, Lily Tomlin, and others. (Criterion, $39.95; Dec. 3)

TWILIGHT FOREVER

As YA-lit franchises like “The Hunger Games” and “Divergent” nudge “Twilight” ever further past the series’ sunset, we get one last look at the entire Bella-Edward-Jacob saga, with two hours of new supplements. (Lionsgate, $74.99)

ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND OF RON BURGUNDY

San Diego’s swingingest news stud may be “kind of a big deal” — but it’s been almost a full decade since Will Ferrell first introduced us to him. Gear up for “Anchorman 2” with this “Rich Mahogany Edition” reprise of the first installment. (Paramount, $26.98; Dec. 3)

“Breaking Bad: The Complete Series.”

TELEVISION

BREAKING BAD: THE COMPLETE SERIES

Heisenberg Lives! He does, at least, in a new feature-length retrospective accompanying this compilation of all five seasons of creator Vince Gilligan’s unforgettably harrowing character study with Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul. Packaged in a replica cash-stash barrel, naturally. The eight-episode series wrap-up is also available separately. (Sony, $299.99; Nov. 26)

CHINA BEACH: THE COMPLETE SERIES

“Reflections of the way life used to be,” indeed. In the Vietnam drama’s new DVD collection, Dana Delany and friends are reenlisted for a cast reunion — just one element of a sprawling 10 hours of supplements. (StarVista Entertainment, $199.95)

“Mary Poppins.”

FAMILY/ANIMATION

DESPICABLE ME 2

Steve Carell’s reformed baddie Gru engages in some cartoon espionage with secret agent soulmate Kristen Wiig. The sequel might not be all that warped — despicable? Nah — but the animators’ creative joy is infectious. Includes three new shorts starring Gru’s mischievous Minions. (Universal, $29.98; Dec. 10)

MARY POPPINS

Want to study up for “Saving Mr. Banks” by catching the Julie Andrews supernanny classic again? You can have your kids help you with your homework for a change by making a family night of this 50th anniversary Blu-ray reissue. (Disney, $39.99; Dec. 10)

BIG

A few years before Tom Hanks played Walt Disney in “Mr. Banks,” he played a little kid in a grown-up’s body. The 25th anniversary Blu-ray comes in a case that plays — what else? — “Heart & Soul.” (Fox, $19.99; Dec. 10)

MATILDA

Danny DeVito and little Mara Wilson (where’s she been?) charmingly adapt Roald Dahl’s tale of a very smart girl making her way in a very crummy world. Includes cast reunion featurette. (Sony, Blu-ray, $19.99; Dec. 3)

PLANES

On one hand, this spinoff isn’t “Cars.” On the other, it’s likable enough that they’ve already got the sequel slated for next summer. (Disney, $29.99; Blu-ray, $44.99)

RISE OF THE GUARDIANS

Jack Frost is placed at the center of an animated adventure that dream-teams “Guardians of Childhood” Santa (Alec Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), and the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher). New “Holiday Edition” comes packaged with a marching toy elf. (DreamWorks, $19.99)

ANGRY BIRDS TOONS: SEASON ONE, VOLUME ONE

Or have the kids all moved on to Minecraft by now? (Sony, $19.99; Dec. 3)

PHINEAS AND FERB: MISSION MARVEL

One of the upsides to Disney taking over the world: the opportunity for this wacky Danville-Marvel Universe splice job. (Disney, $19.99)

“Official 2013 World Series Film.”

AND IF YOU COULDN’TBE THERE…

OFFICIAL 2013 WORLD SERIES FILM

Our sports-championship DVD shelf is starting to bend a little by this point — and that’s fine by us. This Red Sox highlights disc drops on Nov. 26, and will be followed a week later by a World Series “Collector’s Edition” featuring all six games in their entirety, along with the American League pennant clincher. (Lionsgate, $29.98; Blu-ray, $34.99)

ONE DIRECTION: THIS IS US

Possibly the one thing they didn’t have at that 1D pop-up shop at Faneuil Hall: the boy band’s tour chronicle on disc. Includes both the original theatrical release and the subsequent extended fan cut. (Sony, Blu-ray/DVD, $35.99; Dec. 17)

Titles are available now unless specified.

Tom Russo can be reached at trusso2222@gmail.com.
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