Lists · Movies

21 Great Gifts for the Movie Obsessed

Let’s worship at the altar of physical media and discover a few new obsessions like Squeak the Mouse!
Gifts For Movie Lovers
By  · Published on November 24th, 2021

The Outsiders: The Complete Novel in 4K UHD

The Outsiders The Complete Novel Movie Gift Guide
Warner Bros.

Francis Ford Coppola’s The Outsiders is an overly melodramatic coming-of-age weepy. The 1983 adaptation of the S.E. Hinton novel is an incredibly sincere saga painted with the same brush wielded by Douglas Sirk and Victor Fleming. And the tone suffers from market shortcuts, a studio unsure of the product and the length the director needed to tell it. Decades later, Coppola got another chance.

The Outsiders: The Complete Novel contains 22 extra minutes, reconstructed from the original camera negatives. Presented in 4K UHD for the first time, the film has never looked better, selling those saturated frames exceptionally. Coppola considers this cut the definitive version, and the 4K set offers an education in his thought process. Not only do you get both edits, but the four-disc set provides multiple commentary tracks and several features on the restoration process and the novel’s cultural significance. It’s a hefty package for $34.99.

Dune 4K

Dune Arrow Video K
Universal Pictures/Arrow Video

With Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Dune consuming our end-of-the-year Best-Of contemplation, now is the perfect time to revisit David Lynch’s reviled and possibly misunderstood interpretation. The 1984 version of Dune is a wonky take on Frank Herbert’s novel, but dammit, the Twin Peaks director really goes for it. It’s wild and imaginative and built on massive sets populated by somehow even more massive performances.

The new 4K Arrow Video release packages the sci-fi oddity in a magnificent wraparound cover by Dániel Taylor that might even be worth the price on its own. The 4K box is a scrumptious, somewhat affordable ($59.95), and hefty treasure chest. It just feels good in your hands. Inside, you’ll find a 60-page booklet featuring multiple contextual essays, the film itself (duh), and numerous documentaries on the FX, design, costumes, miniatures, and models.

Night Gallery

Night Gallery Kino Lorber
Universal Television/Kino Lorber

Night Gallery is The Twilight Zone‘s slightly more macabre cousin. In 1969, Rod Serling hoped to continue his work with thought-provoking fantasy fiction, and even though he did not have as much control over this series, he still delivered on that mission. Night Gallery‘s stories primarily focused on the supernatural, adapting classic horror short stories from H.P. Lovecraft, Fritz Leiber, Clark Ashton Smith, Richard Matheson, etc. The pilot episode of the anthology series featured the directorial debut of Steven Spielberg and contained the final performance of Joan Crawford.

The new Night Gallery Blu-ray set from boutique label Kino Lorber is currently on sale ($29.97). It includes all 44 episodes, and that’s 96 segments. Like The Twilight Zone, the series is a feast, never skimping and always providing dense imagination. These are stories that stick; they’ll rattle around your noggin for years to come.

The Randolph Scott Western Collection

The Randolph Scott Western Collection
Mill Creek Entertainment

Growing up, I couldn’t stand Westerns. They were fuddy-duddy affairs made for grandparents. Then, I discovered Clint Eastwood, or more importantly, Sergio Leone. From there, Sergio Corbucci. Oh, hell yeah. I was soon mad for Westerns.

Only years later did I travel backward and discover Randolph Scott and his filmmaker-partner-in-crime, Budd Boetticher. Their Western collaborations were not forgettable black and white morality tales. They were tough, weathered confrontations with the American West. The Tall T, Ride Lonesome, Buchanan Rides Alone — these are blazingly beautiful achievements and must-watches for fans of the genre.

Mill Creek Entertainment has jammed 12 Randolph Scott flicks into one slim case. Besides the titles mentioned above, the set also includes The Desperados, The Nevadan, Santa Fe, Man in the Saddle, Hangmans Knot, The Stranger Wore a Gun, A Lawless Street, Decision at Sundown, and Comanche Station. Like any collection, you’re going to like some better than others, but there are more hits than misses. Unlike the other Blu-ray boxes in this guide, the Mill Creek collection is light on the bonus material. But, gosh, 12 films. That’ll keep anyone busy.

Once Upon a Time in China: The Complete Films

Once Upon A Time In China The Complete Films
Golden Harvest/Criterion

You can’t have a movie gift guide without a Criterion release on the list. Last year, they produced the extraordinary Bruce Lee: His Greatest Hits collection, and this year they’ve returned to Hong Kong with the magnificent Once Upon a Time in China set. The 1991 Tsui Hark original starring Jet Li is an essential watch, but the entire series is nearly as luminous.

These films established Li as an action icon. His fighting style is unlike anything else we’d seen before, lightning-quick and inhumanly fluid. Once Upon a Time in China‘s action kicks off quickly and builds rapidly into an all-time great martial arts battle. Like most Hong Kong flicks of this era, the five films want to do everything, stuffing comedy, romance, and action into every frame. And like all Criterion releases, the box set is equally stuffed with bonus material that will keep you busy for days. The set’s list price is $124.95, but you can find it for 50% off via Barnes and Noble’s seasonal Criterion Sale.

Shawscope: Volume One

Shawscope Volume One Arrow Video
Shaw Brothers Studio/Arrow Video

Run Run and Runme Shaw are legends. Throughout the ’70s, they produced one iconic action film after another. We’re talking rock-solid Kung Fu masterpieces like King Boxer, Five Shaolin Masters, The Five Venoms, and Crippled Avengers. Collecting their work has always been a challenge. Until now.

Arrow Video assembles 12 Shaw Brothers classics in pristine condition, seven of which received new 2K restorations. They’ve gone all-out with the artwork, recreating illustrations for each film, and they’ve also included a 60-page booklet crammed full of critical essays. Presented across eight discs, the collection includes various commentary treatments from Shaw Brothers’ scholars and interviews with performers like Gordon Liu and Kong Do.

The enormous box set is not available until December 28th, but any Hong Kong action fan in your life will be utterly joyful to find a pre-order slip in their stocking. The best part: the set is called Shawscope: Volume One. Oh yeah, we’ve got more Shaw Brothers movies to devour in our future. Currently, the collection is on sale on Arrow’s site ($130), but again, you might find various other retailers selling the box at a discount.

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Brad Gullickson is a Weekly Columnist for Film School Rejects and Senior Curator for One Perfect Shot. When not rambling about movies here, he's rambling about comics as the co-host of Comic Book Couples Counseling. Hunt him down on Twitter: @MouthDork. (He/Him)