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The Philm Guy Reviews: "The Wizard of Oz" 70th Anniversary Blu-Ray

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Sep. 29 2009, Published 8:51 a.m. ET

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If ever I were to make out with a Blu-ray box, the new The Wizard of Oz 70th anniversary collector's edition would be the unfortunate recipient of my passion.

This shoe-box-sized treasure trove bulges with all things Oz, including three discs smattered with any extra you could ever dream of, a hardbound retrospective book, a copy of the movie’s original line-item budget, a digital copy of the movie and a freaking wristwatch. Yes, a wristwatch. I looked in there for a Wizard of Oz-themed bidet but came up empty.

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The film looks gorgeous on Blu-ray, and makes me want to ditch my 720p TV for a new 1080p just to see what this thing can do when it has some real technological muscle behind it. The new set manages to outclass the incredible 2005 three-disc collector’s edition by including all its extras and adding scads of others – no small feat.

The sticker price is $85, but you can find the set for a little north of $50 in most stores, including Amazon. There’s also a scaled-down DVD available for cheaper, but you may want to hunt down the 2005 DVD set if you don’t have a Blu-ray player.

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Also out this week:

Away We Go – Maya Rudolph and John Krasinski play an expecting couple who travel around looking for the best place to start their family. Extras: Making-of featurette, short doc on green filmmaking and commentary.

How I Met Your Mother – Season 4. A witty cult favorite sit-com with consistently amazing work by a caddish Neil Patrick Harris. Extras: Panel discussion.

Monsters vs. Aliens – A charming little kiddie flick, and my 2-year-old boy’s favorite movie of all time. Extras:  Commentary track, making-of featurettes.

Villarreal’s humorous money-saving book, Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel, is available at bookstores and on Amazon.

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