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There’s a lot of imagination in this week’s best releases. From a ghastly creature haunting old visual mediums to reenvisioned historical moments, and world and their wars built entirely for the small screen, this week in home entertainment offers a little something for everyone, even if that something is watching scantily dressed teens try to find a younger sibling in a haunted house. Read on to learn about some of this week’s best releases, and maybe even a few that slipped under your radar.

Argo
There are so many subtle and often historically relevant details in Ben Affleck’s sophomore directorial effort, Argo. From the vintage Warner Bros. logo at the beginning of the movie to time-relevant jokes like Affleck teasing that if the six were going to bike out of Iran they were going to need Gatorade, Argo is well-thought out and affecting. The film follows a rescue attempt of six members from the American Embassy during the Iranian Hostage Crisis of 1979. A dramatic premise is supplemented by plenty of action, as well as great wit on the homefront from characters played by Alan Arkin and John Goodman.

For a movie that did so well at the box office and has received such wide critical acclaim, the Argo Blu-ray is a simple affair. The menu page is easy to navigate, but nothing spectacular and since it has no moving menu screen, it makes the disc look pretty cheap. Maybe the thought process is that the film stands on its own and doesn’t need a flashy intro screen, or maybe I’m just making excuses.

Best Special Feature: The menu page may be bland, but there are plenty of extras for movie buffs and history buffs alike. I’m a little biased in favor of the historical stuff, but if you’re not, the “Behind the Scenes” segment is certainly worthy of a watch. If you’re more like me, I loved the shorter segment that juxtaposes footage from the film with retrospective interview footage from many of the people involved in the big rescue attempted. It’s called “Rescued From Tehran: We Were There” and I think it gives the real behind-the-scenes perspective. If you want even more from where that came from, check out the Picture in Picture, but in its brevity, “Rescued from Tehran” has more of an emotionally impacting effect.

Other Special Features:
“Behind the Scenes: Argo: Absolute Authenticity”
Argo: The CIA and Hollywood Connection”
“Documentary: Escape From Iran: The Hollywood Option”
Feature Length Picture in Picture featuring commentary
Anna Karenina
An illicit love affair and a romantic time period make Anna Karenina a desirable film from the get-go. It helps that the source material is inspired, but Joe Wright and Tom Stoppard’s source material proves magical from it’s theatrical opening sequence to its imaginative transformations through time and space.

Anna Karenina may not be for everyone’s pallet, but its travels through wit and drama should leave any viewer wondering what will come next.

Best Special Feature: Each of the featurettes is fairly short and probably could have been put together as one longer documentary. However, of the short bonus features “Dressing Anna” is one of the best, as it explains the merging of the period piece with the fantastical and how costuming can sometimes have a greater effect on the creation of a film than the audience may usually think about.

Other Special Features:
Deleted Scenes
Anna Karenina: An Epic Story About Love”
“Adapting Tolstoy”
“Kiera as Anna”
“On Set with Director Joe Wright”
Anna Karenina: Time-Lapse Photography”
Feature Commentary with Joe Wright
Other February 19 Releases
It’s a good week for genre works. Scott Derrickson’s successful horror film, Sinister, actually popped up on Blu-ray this week, and while the film may be worthy of a watch, it doesn’t really compete with this week’s releases in the bonus feature department—which is often an unfortunate side effect of being a horror flick. In the TV realm, Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome is getting its Blu-ray and DVD release, and if you want a sneak peak at those extras, there’s plenty available. There aren’t a ton of standouts this week, but at least in the movie world, it's hard to compete with Argo and, perhaps wisely, distributors aren’t really trying.

Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike
Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chome
Fun Size
Game of Thrones: The Complete Second Season
Monster’s, Inc. 3D
Sinister
Swamp People: Season 3