It’s that time of year again when we scramble around looking for the perfect present for the people we love and like. While we’re big fans of movie-watching around the holidays we don’t recommend seeing one in a theater on Christmas day. Your patronage is requiring some poor shlub to have to work, and that’s not cool.
But movies to own are never a bad gift idea, and with that simple mantra we present our second annual Blu-ray & DVD Holiday Gift Guide featuring items that were released in 2012!
Click on the image to check current prices and buy a copy!
- Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection – 15 of the suspense master’s finest film including Shadow of a Doubt, Rear Window, Vertigo, North by Northwest, The Birds and more and loaded with special features!
- Bond 50 – Fifty years of James Bond including all 22 films from Dr. No to Quantum of Solace!
- Buster Keaton Collection – Kino’s last few years of remastering Keaton’s work are collected here in a set that features both his movies like The General and College as well as his shorts!
- The Complete Thin Man Collection – All six films in the classic William Powell/Myrna Loy series about a screwball husband and wife detective team!
- The Dark Knight Trilogy – Plot holes be damned, Christopher Nolan’s trilogy is a giant in field of superhero movies for good reason… they’re fantastic entertainment!
- Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection – All eight films in one ridiculously complete collection! The entire film series is available in a far less pricey Blu-ray set too.
- Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures – Two brilliant adventures, one good one and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, plus numerous extras!
- RVBX: Ten Years of Red vs Blue – The best thing to ever come out of the Halo game universe is this hilarious machinima series!
- Tarantino XX – Twenty years of Quentin Tarantino collecting all of his films on Blu-ray along with the best one he wrote but didn’t direct himself, True Romance!
- The Tim Burton Collection – Seven of Burton’s quirky hits from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure to Charlie & the Chocolate Factory collected with an exclusive hardcover book!
- Universal 100th Anniversary Collection – Twenty five movies (and only a few questionable choices) from Universal’s library on Blu-ray and packed with extra features!
- Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection – Eight b&w monster classics from Frankenstein to Creature From the Black Lagoon!
“Classics” on Blu-ray
- Battle Royale: The Complete Collection – Finally, the wonderfully violent Japanese classic comes to America complete with its inferior sequel!
- Casablanca: 70th Anniversary Edition – One of the screen’s most well known romances in a fancy box set!
- Citizen Kane: 70th Anniversary Edition – Orson Welles’ second greatest achievement after his voice work as Robin Masters on Magnum PI!
- E.T. the Extraterrestrial – Steven Spielberg’s classic tale of a boy, an alien and a delicious candy treat in HD!
- The Funhouse Collector’s Edition – Fun slasher from Tobe Hooper gets the special edition treatment!
- Halloween III: Season of the Witch Collector’s Edition – The bastard stepchild of the Halloween franchise gets a fantastic release from Scream Factory! They also released a Collector’s Edition of Halloween II.
- The Island – Michael Caine versus modern day pirates led by David Warner… what’s not to love?
- Jaws – The first, and possibly still the best, summer blockbuster of all time!
- Lawrence of Arabia: 50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition – David Lean’s epic masterpiece gets a lavish special edition!
- Letter From an Unknown Woman – #74 on the list of the things that no one knows about me… I love Joan Fontaine!
- They Live – John Carpenter’s smart and fun sci-fi film about consumerism, capitalism and alien invaders gets the Blu-ray treatment it deserves!
- To Kill a Mockingbird: 50th Anniversary Edition – Gregory Peck’s finest performance in one of Hollywood’s finest films!
Best Criterion Releases of 2012
- Brazil – Remember when Terry Gilliam made bold and wonderful cinema?
- The Game – David Fincher’s underrated gem of misdirection and guilt!
- The Gold Rush – Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator remains my favorite, but this is still a gem!
- La Haine – Mathieu Kassovitz’s searing b&w indictment of racism and angry youth in Parisian suburbs!
- Harold and Maude – I’ve been told I look like Bud Cort in this movie. Not as he is now thankfully, but as he was here. Even if that’s not the case the film is a darkly comedic delight!
- In the Mood for Love – Wong Kar Wai’s sultry and seductive classic oozes atmosphere and class!
- Rashomon – Akira Kurosawa’s film dissects the very nature of truth and reconstitutes it into a dramatic masterpiece!
- The Royal Tenenbaums – Still the best Wes Anderson film as it deftly mixes drama, laughs and oddness.
Worth the Import (Most of these require region-free player)
- Demons/Demons 2 – Lamberto Bava’s fun and gory horror film about monsters and movies! (Region B)
- Island of Lost Souls – HG Wells’ classic story gets a thrilling adaptation and beautiful presentation! Available in a cheaper non-steelbook too. (Region B)
- King of New York – Christopher Walken’s performance here deserves more eyeballs as does the film itself. Fantastic look at crime in ’80s NYC! Available in a cheaper non-steelbook too. (Region B)
- Lady Snowblood – An absolutely beautiful Japanese revenge film (and its sequel) made even more gorgeous by Arrow’s presentation! Available in a cheaper non-steelbook too. (Region B)
- Phenomena – My favorite Dario Argento film! Not his best mind you, as that’d be Deep Red, but it’s incredibly fun, gory and often suspenseful! (Region FREE)
- Southern Comfort – Walter Hill’s neglected thriller is a fantastically entertaining clash of cultures and features both Powers Booth and Keith Carradine at the top of their game! It’s only available on Blu-ray in the UK! (Region B)
- That Obscure Object of Desire – Speaking of artists at the pinnacle of their talent, Luis Bunuel’s 1977 film is a ridiculously great mix of laughs, love and satire! (Region B)
- Zombie Flesh Eaters – Lucio Fulci’s first horror film remains one of his best, and this brand new release from Arrow restores the picture and loads it up with fun and informative extras! Available in a cheaper non-steelbook too. (Region B)
TV on DVD
- All in the Family: The Complete Series – All 208 original episodes plus making-of featurettes and spin-off pilot eps!
- Charlie’s Angels: The Complete Series – Five seasons and 110 episodes (including 69 with the lovely Kate Jackson)!
- Columbo: The Complete Series – All 69 episodes and 24 TV movies!
- The Complete Hammer House of Horror – All 13 episodes from British TV’s classic horror series!
- Dark Shadows: The Complete Original Series – An astounding 1225 episodes across 131 DVDs!
- Friends: The Complete Series – All ten seasons of the seminal sitcom on Blu-ray for the first time!
- The Fugitive: The Most Wanted Edition – Complete Series – All 120 episodes of one-armed man chasing fun!
- House MD: The Complete Series – All 176 episodes of medical oddities and Hugh Laurie’s Emmy-winning performance!
- Masters of the Universe: 30th Anniversary Commemorative Edition – All the episodes, tons of extras and a sword!
- Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Complete Series – Ignore the early racism and enjoy the goofy fun!
- Mission: Impossible – The Complete Series – All of the original series and both seasons of the reboot from the ’90s!
- Rescue Me: The Complete Series – Join Denis Leary and the NYFD in one of FX’s early successes!
- Route 66: The Complete Series – 116 episodes of one of my dad’s favorite shows!
- Scooby-Doo Where Are You! The Complete Series – A bus filled with all 41 episodes plus numerous extras!
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Classic Series Collection – Another busload of animated action!
- The Twilight Zone: The Complete Series – Rod Serling’s classic anthology series in HD for the first time!
Fun (or Cruel) Gifts In Spite of Their Apparent and Near Guaranteed Awfulness
- Attack of the Vampire
- A Christmas Story 2
- Disgruntled Employee
- Horse Trailers 101
- I Am an Animal: The Story of Ingrid Newkirk and PETA
- Porkchop II: Rise of the Rind
- Whitney: Season One
Fantastic and/or Fun Movies New to Blu-ray/DVD in 2012 But That You May Have Missed
- Arthur Christmas – fun for kids and adults!
- Bedevilled – gruesome and cathartic revenge thriller!
- Breathless – heartbreaking and beautifully acted look at the cycle of violence!
- Chico & Rita – animation for adults that fills your eyes and ears with beauty!
- Detachment – starkly powerful look at our decaying school system!
- Father’s Day – ridiculously gory and fun horror comedy given a tremendous special edition!
- Goon – very funny, very violent and probably the reason Kevin Smith is giving up on his own hockey comedy!
- Headhunters – slick and darkly comedic Norwegian thriller!
- The Hedgehog – sweet French drama/comedy!
- The Innkeepers – quiet, building horror featuring the cute as hell Sara Paxton!
- Jiro Dreams of Sushi - inspirational food porn!
- Katy Perry: The Movie – Part of Me – shut up, this is fantastically entertaining and inspiring!
- Kill List – dark, twisted and surprising thriller!
- The Loved Ones – fantastic Australian thriller that shifts effortlessly from teen drama to torture porn to wtf!
- Oslo, August 31st – the best film of 2011!
- ParaNorman – beautiful, hand crafted stop motion animation used to tell a fun story with serious undertones!
- Perfect Sense – powerfully affecting sci-fi drama about what it means to be in love!
- The Raid: Redemption – action, action and more action!
- Red Lights – surprisingly good thriller and the best thing Robert De Niro’s done in years!
- Safety Not Guaranteed – fun, sweet and wonderfully acted little comedy!
- A Separation – Academy Award winning drama from Iran!
- Shut Up and Play the Hits – an odd, sonically beautiful concert film from LCD Soundsystem!
- Sleepwalk With Me – Mike Birbiglia’s real life dramas and pain turned into comedy gold!
- Sound of My Voice – intense and surprising indie thriller!
- Sound of Noise – the best film about musical terrorists ever made!
- The Story of Film: An Odyssey – an enlightening, informational and exhaustive look at the history of movies!
- Take This Waltz – heart wrenchingly honest film about love, fidelity and the search for happiness!
- The Yellow Sea – fantastically thrilling action from South Korea!
- Young Adult – Charlize Theron kills it in this challenging but very funny dark comedy!
- Your Sister’s Sister - three perfect performances in a story of love and friendship!
Gifts That Keep on Giving