A batch of new releases right some old wrongs in the world of DVDs. First up is Twin Peaks Definitive Gold Box Edition ($99.99; Paramount), the complete series from director David Lynch. Surely the whole world agrees by now that this brilliant show should have been a miniseries. If it had run, say, 14 hours and climaxed with revealing who killed Laura Palmer, it would easily rank as among the greatest TV events of all time. Instead, a show that was wonderfully idiosyncratic and funny and spooky and compelling devolved into a mess. That doesn't take away anything from the hypnotic spell it casts for the entire first season and about half of the second (before the gateways to other worlds and the super-strong cheerleaders showed up). And now you can enjoy David Lynch and co-creator Mark Frost's achievement in one set with loads of extras. Previously, the show was available in two sets containing Seasons One and Two but without the two hour pilot, a bizarre situation worthy of Lynch himself. And hey, enough time has passed that a Return To Twin Peaks miniseries might be just the thing, guys.
The next wrong to be righted is My So-Called Life ($69.99; Shout). If ever a show deserved to be collected in a boxed set with loads of obsessive extras, it's this one. Unfortunately, the show previously was released in a bare-bones boxed set that was sporadically available at best. Teenage angst was never more painfully, dramatically captured than in this hearts-on-sleeves drama about Angela (a luminescent Claire Danes), her boy toy Jordan (Jared Leto) and her best friends. Everything mattered so tremendously to Angela, as only things can matter to a 15-year-old high school student. It was painful to have the show canceled, but in retrospect it was the best thing that could happen. The show's heightened tension would have been draining over five seasons and the perhaps unintentional arc of the series suggests Angela's future so neatly and beautifully that you might imagine they'd planned it all along.
Finally, there's Stanley Kubrick - Directors Series ($79.98; Warner Bros.), which collects five Kubrick films (I'd call them classics, but that would be redundant) and a very good documentary in one set. This supplants The Stanley Kubrick Collection from 2000, which also had Lolita and Barry Lyndon as well as the non-Warner Bros. title Dr. Strangelove -- none of which are here, but featured cropped presentations of Full Metal Jacket and The Shining. They insisted up and down that this was the way Kubrick wanted it, but sometimes directors are wrong. Making available again the meticulous images he composed for the big screen is definitely the right call. Eyes Wide Shut is included (Nicole Kidman's performance looks better and better) and the packaging says you can choose both the unrated and the silly, censored North American version. But as far as I can tell, only the unrated version is included, which is the only one Kubrick fans would want anyway. Confused? Here's a recap: you get a documentary and five great Kubrick films -- 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket and Eyes Wide Shut -- all beautifully remastered, with substantial extras and none of them cropped for video. It's far preferable to his last boxed set and brings his vision to DVD unaltered in any way.
Also out this week: Tobey Maguire exhausts the possibilities of Peter Parker in Spider-Man 3 Special Edition ($36.95; Sony), which can't match the peaks of Spidey 2 but is still fun; Angel Complete Series ($139.98; Fox), which collects all five seasons in a nifty box that can sit snugly on top of the Buffy box (with Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Bones as well, David Boreanaz might challenge Michael Landon for starring in the most hit series); No End In Sight ($26.98; Magnolia), a solid primer on exactly how the mess in Iraq developed; Don Cheadle shakes off that Sidney Poitier aura of nobility he's getting and delivers a loosey-goosey performance as radio dj Petey Greene Jr. in Talk To Me ($29.98; Universal); if you can't wait to watch the finale of the clever political miniseries currently airing on PBS's Masterpiece Theater, you can cheat by buying The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard ($39.99; Acorn) - now if only she'd run for president; the charming Adam Brody of The OC searches for the right vehicle to turn him into a leading man but doesn't quite seal the deal with In The Land Of Women ($27.98; Warner Bros.); prepare to say goodbye to the quirky, sentimental sitcom Scrubs -- which ends its run soon -- by collecting the Complete Sixth Season ($39.99; Touchstone); Marc Antony portrays salsa legend Hector Lavoe in the biopic El Cantante ($27.98; New Line) and even Antony would agree that fans who don't know Lavoe should start with his CDs La Voz or Live at the Cheetah with the Fania All-Stars; the classic anthology series Suspense Collection 2 ($39.98; Infinity) unearths 30 episodes unseen since they aired in the late 40s and early 50s; Luke Wilson wrote, co-directed and stars in The Wendell Baker Story ($27.98; ThinkFilm), a shaggy dog story of a con artist who goes to work in a retirement home; dog trainer Paul Owens offers more tips for "a compassionate, non-violent approach" in The Dog Whisperer Vol 2: Solving Common Behavior Problems ($29.95; Sand Castle), so it's a perfect gift for Michael Vick; Aquaman The Complete Collection ($26.98; Warner Bros.), is a cartoon that satisfies only the youngest fans thanks to characters like Aqualad and sea creatures named Tusky and Imp; Walter Brennan chews up the scenery as the old coot to end all coots in TV's The Real McCoys Season Two ($39.98; Infinity), the first "rural comedy" that spawned imitators like Green Acres and The Beverly Hillbillies; Sesame Street Old School 1974-1979 Volume Two ($39.95; Genius) is a bursting-at-the-seams 3 DVD set with complete episodes and tons of bonus segments that feature the best of the best including celebs like Lily Tomlin and Ray Charles; and finally The Jazz Singer Deluxe Edition ($39.92; Warner Bros.) takes a creaky if iconic movie starring Al Jolson and surrounds it with so many compelling extras that it becomes a must-have for serious film buffs.