With some players now going for under $100, movies priced at what people are used to paying for DVDs and more cherished catalog titles becoming available in the hi-def format, Blu-ray is paving wide inroads for consumers this holiday season.

Pick of the week: Blu-ray from the Criterion Collection

With some players now going for under $100, movies priced at what people are used to paying for DVDs and more cherished catalog titles becoming available in the hi-def format, Blu-ray is paving wide inroads for consumers this holiday season.

The fine archivists at Criterion have been part of the Blu-ray revolution for over a year, and they've already got a half-dozen titles slated for 2010, including Fellini's 8 1/2. This week they offer two extraordinary works that, though completely different, should be equally welcome by most serious movie lovers.

There's the Blu-ray edition of 2000 Criterion release The Rolling Stones: Gimme Shelter, the Maysles brothers' fascinating, eventually chilling account of the Stones' fateful 1969 concert at the Altamont Speedway.

New to both Blu-ray and DVD is A Christmas Tale, Arnaud Desplechin's wonderfully smart, subtle and absorbing family drama, starring Catherine Deneuve and Mathieu Amalric (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly). As with all Criterion releases, both discs hold exclusive extras like filmmaker commentaries and essays by noted critics.

New this week on DVD

"Flame & Citron"

Bond villain Mads Mikkelson (Casino Royale) co-stars in the other movie about murderous Nazi haters released in the U.S. in 2009. The drama's based on the true story of a pair of assassins who targeted powerful collaborators in occupied Denmark.

"Mystery Science Theater 3000: XVI"

The latest box of episodes from TV's shrine to cracking wise at bad movies includes four episodes with features like Night of the Blood Beast and Santa Claus. For the total geek fantasy, go for the limited-edition package with a Tom Servo figurine.

"Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian"

It's predictable and it panders, but the Night at the Museum sequel has going for it treats like a Jeff Koons balloon dog come to life, and Amy Adams as 2009's best Amelia Earhart. Grade: C+

"Paper Heart"

Regardless of whether co-stars Charlyne Yi and Michael Cera actually had a romance offscreen, this sweet, semi-fictional look at the very existence of love stands - albeit shakily at times - on its own merits. Grade: B-

"Saturday Night Live: The Complete Fifth Season"

Relive the first time the show started to go downhill. Though Aykroyd and Belushi are gone, Bill Murray's still around, and musical guests include Bob Dylan, David Bowie and Blondie.

"Terminator: Salvation"

If only director McG and star Christian Bale had just loosened up some, this might have been a fun finale to a huge sci-fi franchise. Grade: C

"Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" (1998)

"The Mask of Zorro" (1998)

"Snatch" (2000)