Blu-ray roundup: Should you buy Darko, Pinocchio, Solace, Batman?

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Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

A roundup of some the recent and upcoming sci-fi and genre Blu-ray releases.

Donnie Darko. Feb. 10 (Fox Home Entertainment, $29.99). This two-disc set offers two chances to be confused by its labyrinthine tale of a teenager struggling to understand a series of bizarre visions. In addition to featuring both versions of Kelly's directorial debut, multiple commentaries, featurettes and documentaries delve into Donnie's dark world. Beyond an upgraded transfer, this set seems designed only for die-hard fans or folks looking to condense their collections.

Pinocchio. Mar. 10 (Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, $35.99). Disney's second animated feature returns to home video in a gorgeous, encyclopedic set. The transfer alone is beautiful enough to cause sensory overload, but a commentary, a trivia track, a making-of documentary and multiple featurettes provide background and perspective on the benchmark film. An essential addition to your entertainment library whether you're a Disney-phile, an animation fan or just a moviegoer who loves great, beautiful storytelling.

Quantum of Solace. Mar. 24 (Fox Home Entertainment, $39.99). Marc Forster takes the reins for the latest James Bond adventure, turning in the shortest and fastest-paced film in the series' 40-plus-year history. The Blu-ray features a number of lightweight featurettes, but the main appeal is being able to slow down or pause the action on a smaller screen, if only so you can figure out what the hell is happening. An essential purchase for Bond fans, but given its predecessor's Blu-ray double dip (and the fact there's no commentary from the usually talky Forster), it's probably a good idea to hold out for the possibility of a future deluxe edition.

Batman: The Motion Picture Anthology. Mar. 10 (Warner Home Video, $129.95). Warner's pre-Nolan Batman films debut on Blu-ray in a deluxe box set featuring tons of extras. While the first two are really the only ones anybody will likely want, the featurettes and extras on Batman Forever and Batman & Robin provide sufficient context to justify their existence, unwelcome though they may be. The fact that the transfers (especially on the first two) are vastly superior even to the 2005 special editions makes this a worthy purchase, but unless you love all four films it might be worth waiting to see when Warner drops them in single-disc editions.

Let the Right One In. Mar. 10 (Magnolia Home Entertainment, $34.98). Tomas Alfredson resuscitates vampire movies with this remarkable, poignant tale of preteen blood lust. The extras are few, including deleted scenes and behind-the-scenes footage, but the transfer is great, and both the English- and Swedish-language tracks are coldly beautiful. Chances are this film bypassed a lot of genre fans because of its limited distribution, but it's a worthy choice as a rental or a flat purchase in any language.