Streaming or downloading movies is a convenient way to rent a flick even though the picture and sound quality are not as good as Blu-ray, but those fun behind-the-scenes extras are not usually available digitally. To keep you spinning physical discs for years to come, studios are including innovative and often immersive bonus features on the DVDs and Blu-rays of your favorite movies and TV shows. Read all about this month's best extras served up on shiny silver platters that take you beyond the feature presentations.
Men in Black 3 Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack
Agents J (Will Smith) and K (Tommy Lee Jones) are still regulating alien activity in New York in this long-awaited sequel that has J traveling back in time to 1969 to team up with a younger version of K, played to perfection by Josh Brolin. It's the addition of Brolin that breathes new life into the series after the disappointing Men in Black II back in 2002. MIB 3 is also the first in the franchise to be shown in 3D, and the effect translates wonderfully at home—especially the trippy time-jump sequences that have J falling off a skyscraper and journeying through history.
Best Extras: Men in Black 3 utilizes the interactive capabilities of Blu-ray with the "Spot the Alien" game, in which you use your remote to zap aliens. Also exclusive to the BD are "The Evolution of Cool: MIB 1960s vs. Today," "Keeping It Surreal: The Visual FX of MIB 3," "Scene Investigations" and progression reels.
Extra Extras: Included on the DVD and Blu-ray versions are a making-of featurette, a gag reel and the "Back in Time" music video by Pitbull.
Blu-ray Bonuses: The Blu-ray 3D has two exclusive features for more fun in three dimensions. There is a short featurette on converting the movie to 3D, but the real treat is "The Case of Boris the Animal: The 3D Models of MIB 3"—an immersive interactive feature that allows you access to the case files on Boris, his weapons and more.
Lawrence of Arabia 50th Anniversary Collector's Edition
Winner of seven Academy Awards including Best Picture 1962, Lawrence of Arabia is considered to be an essential motion picture masterpiece. The movie, which stars Peter O'Toole as a WWI British officer who heroically unites rival Arab desert tribes and leads them to war against the Turkish Empire, makes its Blu-ray debut in this handsome edition.
Best Extras: This Collector's Edition comes packaged with an 88-page coffee table book, an authentic 70mm film frame and the soundtrack CD.
Extra Extras: A making-of documentary, a conversation with Steven Spielberg, original newsreel footage of the New York premiere, a 1970 making-of special, original theatrical advertising campaigns and more behind-the-scenes featurettes.
Blu-ray Bonuses: The "Secrets of Arabia: Picture-in-Graphics Track" lets you access trivia and additional information as you watch the movie. Also included is a new interview with O'Toole as he revisits his career-making role.
The Amazing Spider-Man Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack
Did we need another origin story of the webslinger only 10 years after Sam Raimi's Spider-Man and five years after Spider-Man 3? No, we absolutely did not. Once you get beyond the been-there business with the radioactive spider and death of Uncle Ben, The Amazing Spider-Man turns out to be an exciting superhero flick as Spidey takes on the Lizard. The casting is key, with Andrew Garfield as an ideal Peter Parker who makes sparks with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone).
Best Extras: The "Rite of Passage: The Amazing Spider-Man Reborn" Blu-ray exclusive has over 90 minutes of in-depth making-of featurettes.The limited edition combo pack also comes with figurines of Spider-Man and the Lizard.
Extra Extras: Deleted scenes, audio commentary, stunt rehearsals and a production art gallery can be found on both the DVD and Blu-ray.
Blu-ray Bonuses: In addition to pre-visualization sequences and progression reels, the Blu-ray also has a Second Screen app that allows an immersive experience on a tablet device while the movie plays concurrently on your TV. The Blu-ray 3D has two more glasses-on exclusives: "Interactive 3D Film School with Director Marc Webb" and a 3D progression reel.