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Headsup: Father Knows Best. So Does the Emperor.

An ongoing attempt to make sense of the onslaught of new swag that people want you to buy. Should you? I’ll try and help.

Father Knows Best Season 1 DVD Cover Art
Warner Bros. Pictures Gangsters Collection Vol. 3 DVD Cover Art

The well-adjusted television proto-family gets the first season treatment from Shout Factory. That’s right, it’s Father Knows Best–a window on a simpler time of television sitcommery, where Mom and Dad knew what was up and could dispense with wisdom as needed, and all the kids were relatively normal and well-behaved to a point. Fans of the show will want to snag it because it’s pretty stacked: new interviews with the actresses who played the daughters, home movies from Robert Young, behind the scenes color footage from the show, a pilot episode from Young’s next series Window on Main Street, and also a special episode that they filmed for the U.S. government to promote savings bonds. Oh, and twenty-six episodes of the show across four discs as well. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

The third volume of Warner Brothers’ Gangsters Collection has six films: Smart Money (with Edward G. Robinson and James Cagney), Lady Killer (Cagney), Picture Snatcher (Cagney), The Mayor Of Hell (Cagney), Black Legion (Cag–wait, no, Humphrey Bogart), and Brother Orchid (Robinson and Bogart). What’s nice about this set is that every film comes with an audio commentary by at least one film historian. They also come with the option to show it as “Warner Night at the Movies,” so before each feature you get shorts, cartoons, newsreels and trailers as though you were seeing it in the cinema. Of course, you can view the extras separately as well. Fans of Cagney or Bogart will want to snag this as the films look great and the features are commendable. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

Sharkwater DVD Cover Art
The Fall of the Roman Empire DVD Cover Art

Sharkwater is a docu that takes a look at sharks. They’ve survived for millions of years but are they going to be able to survive mankind? Rob Stewart is the man behind this who asks that question and decided to try to set the record straight on our toothy friends. They’re really not the bloodthirsty bastards the media wants to make them out to be. This is out from Warner Brothers and comes with a featurette, the naval training film “Shark Defense” (which is rather amusing, admittedly) plus TV spots and a theatrical trailer. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

Genius has put out this quite formidable Fall of the Roman Empire limited edition set. You can check out the trailer here (with John Landis’ commentary). Starring Sophia Loren, Alec Guinness, James Mason, Christopher Plummer, Omar Sharif and others. It’s a madly ginormous and epic film that is the proto-Gladiator that comes with a commentary, a promo film, a making-of, a historical docu, a “Hollywood vs. History” docu, a musical score featurette, and more. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)