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Humbug: The Director's Cut

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We know you're aware of "The Bourne Ultimatum," "The Simpsons Movie" and the latest "Harry Potter." While not quite anti-Santa, the following is intended to help get your mind off the usual holiday fare and maybe add a little weirdness to the season. Besides, the movies you give and receive will almost all be enjoyed after the chaos passes, when they'll be best suited to take people's minds off all that holiday junk.



"Blade Runner: The Final Cut" ($14.49-$40) -- Skip the wimpy four-disc set and go for the "Five-Disc Ultimate Collector's Edition," which includes five versions of Ridley Scott's classic sci-fi noir plus figurines and a numbered "Deckard" briefcase. Scott's new director's cut nixes the Hollywood ending the studios tacked on in favor of Rutger Hauer's mesmerizing performance as an unstoppable replicant who decides to exit with more dignity than the humans can muster.

Also: "Next" ($20) — Nicholas Cage can see the future, but only wants to see Jessica Biel.



"Ingmar Bergman: Four Masterworks" ($100) — Quiet all that boisterous holiday cheer with back-to-back screenings of famous films from the Scandinavian master of icy introspection. Included in this new Criterion collection are "The Seventh Seal," "Wild Strawberries," "Smiles of a Summer Night" and "Virgin Spring."

Also: "Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen" — The composer's four-opera cycle generally takes four nights to perform live. On DVD, you can skip chapters and get right to the Götterd„mmerung.



"Ford at Fox: The Collection" ($300) — Want to truly be remembered for your gift? God help the recipient who has to watch all 21 discs in this massive monument to "The Grapes of Wrath" director John Ford, showcasing his Fox movies from the silent-era films to the '50s. That's 21 discs. When will you stop asking, "Have you seen 'When Willie Comes Marching Home' yet?" Never!

Also: "Becoming John Ford" ($15) — The man behind the 21 discs.



"The Last Man on Earth"/ "The Omega Man" ($15 each) — Flaunt your film knowledge with these two campy sci-fi classics, both having been remade into the upcoming Will Smith vehicle, "I Am Legend."

Also: "Superfly: The True, Untold Story of Frank Lucas, American Gangster" ($20) — He, too, was legend.



"Two-Lane Blacktop" ($40) — No, this isn't the New Zealand band (though it did inspire their name), but Monte Hellman's 1971 ode to cars, girls and music — a cult favorite given definitive release in the Criterion Collection. The plot is simple: A '55 Chevy races a GTO across the country with winner takes car. Starring musicians James Taylor and Dennis Wilson.

Also: "Killer of Sheep" ($40) — Same era, different culture. This is L.A.'s Watts neighborhood in the 1970s.



"Underdog" ($30) — Yes, it makes perfect sense to give "Underdog" to all your friends' kids, but this recommendation is really about the adults on your list, at least the ones you don't care for. Let them open one of the worst adaptations in recent history and then crazily testify how amazing Jason Lee is as a talking wonder-pooch. They'll never bother you again, believe me.

Also: "Kickin' It Old Skool" ($28), "A Christmas Too Many" ($15) — One has Erik Estrada and David Hasselhoff; the other has Gary Coleman and Clint Howard. Like "The Ring," these videos will kill you. S



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