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.
Get the Gringo: Mel Gibson returns to his action roots by playing a career criminal who is nabbed by authorities at the border and placed in the prison community of El Pueblito, which is ruled by a dangerous drug lord. Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain a short making-of documentary about the challenges of shooting the movie in an operational Mexican prison.
Check out a clip from Blu-ray below and check out our feature on the film's real prison as well:
Lockout: July is always a pretty slow month for new releases, but this sci-fi action movie starring Guy Pearce as a wisecracking CIA agent falsely accused of murder who is sent to an orbiting prison to rescue the president's daughter (Maggie Grace) will remind you of fun B-movies of yore like Escape from New York. Both the DVD and the Blu-ray have "Visions of the Future," a tour of the movie that highlights its futuristic designs.
Chariots of Fire: Just in time for the 2012 London Summer Olympics, Warner Bros. put out on Blu-ray for the first time this Best Picture Oscar winner about a group of English runners training for the 1924 Olympics. The new extra "Paris, 1924: Birth of the Modern Games" outlines how the Olympic games depicted in the movie ushered in a new era of athletics. The featurette has experts discussing the actual events and results, and how they differ from what you see in the film.
The Three Stooges: The Farrelly brothers tried to bring the nyuk-nyuk physical comedy of the Three Stooges to a 21st-century audience with this PG-rated flick, which is strictly for Stooges connoisseurs. Those people will also want to check out the "What's the Big Idea?: A History of the Three Stooges" featurette that highlights the several incarnations of the comedy troupe.
Margaret: It took six years for this troubled drama starring Anna Paquin, Mark Ruffalo and Matt Damon to get released in theaters because director Kenneth Lonergan fought to get the version of the film he wanted out there. This Blu-ray/DVD combo pack contains the entire 186-minute extended cut of the film so you can see for yourself what all the fuss was about.
Singin' in the Rain: Considered by many to be the best musical of all time, this 1952 classic has lavish numbers, including Gene Kelly's song-and-dance routine in—what else?—the rain. For its Blu-ray debut, the 60th Anniversary Collector's edition boxed set has a 48-page hardcover book and even comes packaged with a 40-inch umbrella—just in case feel inspired to follow in Kelly's footsteps.
The set also includes a newly produced, 51-minute retrospective on the film from the point of view of today's entertainers. Check out a clip from that below: