New releases are an excellent option for holiday gifts, because unless you're out shopping for someone who buys, rather literally, everything the day of release, you can almost be guaranteed that it's something they don't already have. We've got a good wide-ranging selection of stuff this week, too, with a major dream-related movie, a classic collection of the best games ever released and a more.
5. Inception (DVD, Blu-Ray) Inception was the rare Hollywood special effects bonanza to make people actually think a little by the end. Sure, it's not exactly as heady or deep as people make it out to be, but at the same time it's a big-budget movie that doesn't dial in to the lowest common denominator. If you haven't even seen the movie yet, you and your friends are in for a treat, because there's a 99 percent chance you won't stop talking about the ending for at least a week.
4. Bejeweled 3 (PC/Mac) Bejeweled is one of the most addictive, time-wasting and overall enjoyable casual games to ever hit the market. In this update there are tons of new modes and achievements -- all that puzzle-solving fun you've wasted away your days with. Sure, when it boils down to it, it's just a reiteration of the classic Bejeweled gameplay, but it's that gameplay that put the developer, PopCap, on the top of the casual game sales charts.
3. Burma Chronicles by Guy Delisle Burma, or Myanmar, depending on what year you're talking about, is one of the most confusing, strange and often terrible places on the planet. It's rare to find a reliable story about the place, but Guy Delisle, who details his travels there with small, nonfiction vignettes, captures it better than any news reporter could. It's a graphic novel on the surface, but it's a long, hard look at a country that has baffled Westerners for a long time once you dig in.
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2. Buzz: The Life and Art of Busby Berkeley by Jeffrey Spivak The days of the Hollywood song-and-dance era might be long gone, but for those interested in learning about one of the key dance directors of the era, Buzz will satisfy. It's clear Spivak took researching seriously as he tapped into Berkeley's unpublished autobiography and tons of field interviews. In the end, you get a classic story of Hollywood: a genius who had a turbulent life involving abuse, multiple marriages, suicide attempts and alcoholism.
1. Super Mario All-Stars: Limited Edition (Wii, December 12) Sure, the games featured in this collection have been available for a while, even available for download on the Wii's own Virtual Console, but it's been a while since they've all been collected together on an actual retail disc. It doesn't matter if you missed the original games or if you just want to relive the experience, you'll get everything you need in this collection: Super Mario Bros 1-3, a soundtrack CD and a 32-page history book. We're a little sad that it doesn't include Super Mario World, though.