Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb: Criterion Collection (Blu-ray)

Rarely does nihilistic humor bubble up so relentlessly as in Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 masterpiece of political satire, Dr. Strangelove. The tale begins when Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden), a United States general who is as obsessed with the spread of communism as he is with the dangers of fluoridation, dispatches a flock of B-52’s into Russia, putting the world inexorably on a path toward self-annihilation. Kubrick’s early training as a photographer is evident, especially in his bold sense of visual composition. The film’s cartoonish characters grease the scathing commentary on cold war buffoonery.

Spartacus – Restored Edition (Blu-ray)

Stanley Kubrick’s first big-budget movie, a rousing testament to the unquenchable human thirst for freedom, was phenomenally successful when first released in 1960 and is today regarded — rightfully so — as one of the truly great cinematic spectacles. It was certainly a career highpoint for Kirk Douglas, who is superbly stoic as Spartacus, the former gladiator who led an army of fellow slaves against their Roman oppressors.

Spartacus (HD DVD)

Plot: What’s it about? Spartacus (Kirk Douglas) was born a slave and raised a slave, but he holds a sense of freedom within himself. Soon he is sold to Batiatus (Peter Ustinov), a man who trains slaves to do battle within the arenas, as gladiators. He is soon being drilled in the art of fighting…

Full Metal Jacket (HD DVD)

Plot: What’s it about? As a band of young soldiers enter basic training before being shipped off to Vietnam, they have no idea what awaits them, both now and once in Vietnam. The men are instructed by Sgt. Hartman (R. Lee Ermey), a loud and cruel drill instructor who has little patience and runs his…