Digital Breakdown: ‘Host’ is the most 

Many legendary monster movies are from the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s; since then, few have measured up to the classics. But add this new one to the list: "The Host" is a Korean masterpiece about a mutant toxic-waste monster that terrorizes Seoul, and more specifically, a low-income family that owns a snack shack.

Beautifully shot, amazing in scope and boasting a great story line, "The Host" is the best monster movie in a decade — by far.

"The Host" collector's edition DVD is loaded; a second disc is devoted to special features. Audio commentary by director Joon-ho Bong provides a great behind-the-scenes starter. Even better is the making-of-the-film documentary that literally serves as a clinic on how to put together a movie.

Additional material focuses on deleted scenes, reflections with Joon-ho, a gag reel, and more.

Price: $29.98.

Rent or buy: Buy.

LAND OF THE GIANTS — COMPLETE SERIES LIMITED EDITION

Irwin Allen’s classic two-season camp series from the 1960s, "Land of the Giants," is finally available in one set for the first time.

The show, about a group of travelers who pass through a strange cloud and arrive on an alternate Earth where the inhabitants are 12 times the size of the visitors, isn’t a new concept (remember "Lost in Space" and "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea"), but it won enough fans who still clamor for it today.

The DVD includes all 51 episodes originally broadcast, as well as the pilot, which didn’t air on TV.

The set’s best features are the numerous, in-depth interviews with cast members who discuss their characters and the impact of the show as well as reminisce and reflect. Also included are original photos from the set, a Spindrift keychain, a crew iron-on patch, reproduction of the first comic book, trading cards and a collectable booklet.

There’s a ton of great extras on this immense, albeit expensive, DVD.

Price: $199.98.

Rent or buy: Buy.

ZODIAC

"Zodiac" represents a battle of wills — your will against the movie’s long, convoluted and altogether too-complicated plot about the serial killer that terrorized the Bay Area in the late 1960s and ’70s.

Can you hold out for two and half hours that pile on numerous characters, an array of physical and circumstantial evidence, a slew of nonsensical subplots and, above all else, endless amounts of dialogue?

If you can, "Zodiac" may be your kind of movie. The rest of us will find our time better spent enjoying the great special features on "The Host," picking up on all the subtleties we missed when we saw it the first time.

Price: $29.99.

Rent or buy: Rent, if that.

BLACK LAGOON — VOLUME 2

Geneon studios are producing some of the best anime today, offering a laundry list of titles such as "Ergo Proxy," "Zipang" and the new "Black Lagoon," about an ex-corporate type who falls in with the wrong crowd — hard-core mercenaries working for the Russian mafia in order to acquire certain items of value.

Heavy on action with some great story lines (such as finding the prize of the Nazi military), "Black Lagoon" is fun, adult anime.

It doesn’t pull any punches, and serves up fresh plots that don’t insult our intelligence.

Price: $29.99.

Rent or buy: Buy.

MONSTER SQUAD: 20TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Count Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, Wolfman, the Mummy and Gillman have teamed together to find an amulet that will give them ultimate power … If that premise alone isn’t cheesy enough, add in the fact that a group of nerdy kids find out the plan and set off to battle the beasts.

Campy, hilarious and great fun, "Monster Squad" is a classic cult movie that shouldn’t be missed.

The DVD has many special features, including a five-part retrospective featuring new interviews with the cast and crew, a never-before-seen featurette with Frankenstein, two new audio commentaries with the cast and crew, deleted scenes, trailers and more.

Price: $19.98.

Rent or buy: Buy.

Other DVDs out Tuesday: "Ergo Proxy — Volume 5," "Todd Mcfarlane’s Spawn: The Animated Collection," "Harvey Birdman: Season 3," "The Secret of Isis — The Complete Series," "Shadow Puppets," "Benson — The Complete First Season," "Cashback," "Unconscious" and "Perfume."

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Staff Report

Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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