Headsup: Gender Roles, Reconstruction, and the Ponderosa

What Men Want“[In What Men Want,] Ali Davis (Taraji P. Henson) is a successful sports agent who’s constantly boxed out by her male colleagues. After a wild night out with her girls, she mysteriously gains the ability to hear men’s thoughts. With her newfound power, Ali looks to outsmart her colleagues as she races to sign the next basketball superstar, but the lengths she has to go to will put her relationship with her best friends and new love interest to the test.” — from Paramount

What Men Want is now out on DVD and Blu-ray, with the latter boasting over an hour of bonus content. Extras include audio commentary with director Adam Shankman, featurettes about the characters, storyline, and guest star athletes, interviews with the cast, a gag reel, deleted and extended scenes, and a parodic “infomercial” with Erykah Badu as an eccentric psychic. The film is available now on Amazon on DVD for $14.96 and on Blu-ray for $19.96 (a significant difference in price, but when you consider all the bonus features you get by going for the Blu-ray, it may be worth it.)

Reconstruction: America After the Civil War“[In Reconstruction: America After the Civil War,] Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. presents the definitive history of one of the least understood chapters inAmerican history — the transformative years following the American Civil War, when the nation struggled to rebuild itself in the face of profound loss, massive destruction and revolutionary social change. The film takes a broad view of the Reconstruction era and its aftermath…. [it] also explores the flowering of African American art, music, literature and culture as tools of resistance in the struggle against Jim Crow racism, and the surge of political activism that marked the launch of iconic civil rights organizations.” — from PBS

Reconstruction: America After the Civil War
is available now on DVD. No bonus features on this one (not really surprising since it’s a documentary), but you are getting four hours of run time with the film itself, so it’s a significant amount of content. You can get the DVD for $19.99 on Amazon, but it’s also worth noting that you can also purchase the documentary digitally there for only $7.99. Considering that there aren’t any bonus features to be had by going with the DVD, this might be the best option unless you really want to have a hard copy on the shelf.

Bonanza: The Official Ninth Season“One of the longest running and most popular classic Western series, Bonanza follows wise patriarch Ben Cartwright (Lorne Greene, Earthquake) and his three sons, Adam (Pernell Roberts, “Trapper John, M.D.”), Hoss (Dan Blocker, “Cimarron City”) and Little Joe (Michael Landon, “Little House on the Prairie”). The Cartwright family runs and defends the Ponderosa, their thousand-square mile ranch above the shores of Lake Tahoe, while helping the surrounding community.” — from CBS

Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the show, CBS is releasing the ninth season of Bonanza for the first time on two DVD sets. The season has been digitally restored and features multiple extras, including behind-the-scenes and on-location photos, an excerpt from the 1966 tv special “Danny Thomas Goes Country & Western”, audio commentary from Andrew J. Klyde for the episode “To Die in Darkness”, and awesomely vintage Chevrolet promos. The two sets of Bonanza: The Official Ninth Season are available on Amazon, with both Volume One and Volume Two currently priced at $31.26.

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