If you haven't gotten on the "Game of Thrones" bandwagon, I suggest you do before it returns for a second season April 1 on HBO.
The first-season DVD box set, out Tuesday, is chockablock with extras, including an interactive compendium of the noble houses and the lands that are part of the fantasy series.
"Game of Thrones" is based on the first of George R.R. Martin's best-selling novels set on the mythical continent of Westeros. It is filled with kings, queens, barbarians, giant wolves, dragons, black magic, palace intrigue and bloody wars.
As one of the series producers-writers, David Benioff ("Troy," "25th Hour"), has said, "George's fantasy is not for children. It's sexy and it's violent, and it's brutal, and none of the characters are safe."
That was something that became apparent not long into the 10-episode series. "Game of Thrones" was partly inspired by England's fratricidal Wars of the Roses. So the machinations of the men and women in pursuit of power are a lot of fun to watch.
The box set also offers handy profiles of the series' 15 major characters. Other features are a behind-the-scenes featurette and one on how the book - considered by many to be unfilmable - was turned into a series, as well as audio commentaries.
There are a couple of series on TV that may run a bit deeper than "Game of Thrones," but none delivers as much fun.
It has a top-flight cast, including Peter Dinklage, who has won both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his role as Tyrion Lannister. A sly and shifty figure, as a dwarf he's not taken seriously by anyone, including those in his powerful family. But we see him, almost by accident, begin to carve out an important role for himself. It will be fascinating to see what's next for him, as well as for Emilia Clarke's Daenerys Targaryen, a young woman from another family vying for the throne. At the end of last season, she literally had given birth to a "Game" changer.
Pedro Almodovar's film "The Skin I Live In" frustrated some critics, but I found it - like I do most of the Spanish filmmaker's works - engrossing. This one was a bit disquieting, however.
Antonio Banderas plays Robert, a plastic surgeon who prevents a beautiful woman named Vera (Elena Anaya), whom he is obsessed with, from committing suicide in the mansion she lives in and then tries to repair her.
That's sort of the story - on the surface anyway - but the film is splintered chronologically, and Almodovar has fun playing with shifting viewpoints and themes in this existential mystery.
Like the director's other films, "The Skin I Live In" is a visual treat, reflecting both the modernist art world and moments from classic cinema. It is Banderas' best role in years, and shows why he is still such an exciting actor.
The indie romantic drama "Like Crazy" from Drake Doremus has both some of the charm of a low-budget film and many of those moments that drive you crazy.
In this story of two young lovers (Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones) who meet in Los Angeles and then are separated by immigration issues, a lot of the dialogue was improvised. It also was shot in handheld digital.
Some of "Like Crazy" is cute, some rings true and some has a visceral, real feel to it. But too much of it seems like an incomplete sketch. This may be part of the point - a description of love today - but it doesn't always make for an interesting time.
Keep in mind
Universal is releasing a number of films from its vaults at bargain prices to celebratte the studio's 100th anniversary. Among them are "The Deer Hunter," "Charade," "Sullivan's Travels" and "My Man Godfrey."
There is also a new Blu-ray 30th anniversary edition of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" as well as the "Ultimate Collector's Edition" box set of Ben Affleck's well-done heist film "The Town."