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15 Great Gifts for the Movie Obsessed

Whether you’ve been naughty or nice this year, you deserve a Silicone Werepup.
Movie Gift Guide 2022
By  · Published on December 21st, 2022

Wall-E: The Criterion Collection

Wall E Criterion Collection
Criterion Collection/Pixar

You cannot create a holiday gift guide for the movie-obsessed without a Criterion selection. There are a ton of new discs to choose from this year. The Infernal Affairs trilogy is finally available. The new Malcolm X disc also contains the 1972 documentary of the same name directed by Arnold Perl and narrated by James Earl Jones. Criterion recently rescued The Power of the Dog from its streaming limbo. Again, say it with me, all hail physical media!

Keeping all those discs in mind, I gotta highlight the first Pixar gem to score a spine number. Andrew Stanton’s sci-fi masterpiece remains one of the studio’s most beautiful films, featuring a thirty-minute opener still unmatched among their filmography. The Criterion disc features a tour of the Pixar living archive, the 2007 documentary The Pixar Story, Stanton’s student film, the BurnE short, a masterclass anatomy of a scene with Stanton, and the usual audio commentaries and deleted scenes.

Mad God

Mad God

From one animated film to another…uh…but you can’t just recommend Mad Dog to any old film fan. You’ve seen director Phil Tippett’s work all over the place. He’s the stop-motion artist behind many creatures from the original Star Wars trilogy. He brought ED-209 to life for Paul Verhoeven. And Steven Spielberg nearly crushed his spirit during Jurassic Park‘s pre-production when he chose CGI dinosaurs over Tippett’s handcrafted beauties.

Mad God is Tippett’s ultimate stop-motion expression, and it’s a totally grotesque, squirming nightmare that will leave most viewers reeling. The production began nearly thirty years ago while Tippett was toiling away on Robocop 2, and he could sense his particular art form’s finality. He put the film on the shelf, but his students encouraged him to revisit it. After completing a Kickstarter campaign, Tippett finished the first reel. He then found some investors and got his brutal baby out into the world. Mad God is a film unlike any other I’ve seen. A movie that a certain few must witness. I wouldn’t buy it for my mother, but I’m getting it for every Harryhausen film freak I know.

Police Story 3: Supercop 4K Ultra HD

Police Story Supercop K Ultra Hd
88 Films

Criterion has your back as far as the first two Police Story discs are concerned, but you gotta go to 88 films for the Supercop trilogy capper. Jackie Chan and Michelle Yeoh supply some of the gnarliest stunts of their careers in Supercop, dangling from helicopters, Motorcrossing atop train cars, and tumbling from speeding convertibles. Watching the movie is an exercise in jaw-dropping. How the hell did any of these folks survive production?

Santa won’t be able to plop the 88 Films disc under your tree as it doesn’t see a release until January 9th, but he can write ya an IOU. The 4K Ultra HD is a little light on special features, including interviews with director Stanley Tong, actor Noel Rands, Philip Chan, and assistant director Johnny Lee. Honestly, however, the 4K transfer and the film are why you need to smash that pre-order button.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture 4K Collection

Star Trek The Motion Picture K Collection

Few films I’ll defend as strongly as Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Director Robert Wise made it his mission to pull the franchise from the small screen and make it a majestic cinematic spectacle. The TV show died on the vine after three short seasons. The success of Star Wars encouraged Paramount to pull it from the dustbin and hire a director who would inspire a grand sweeping vision. Wise shoots the Enterprise like it was never shot before or since. It’s all in the subtitle, “The Motion Picture.” Say it with me in a Scorsese accent, “This is cinema.”

Of course, some dubbed the movie “The Motionless Picture” in response. True, it’s a little slower than the small screen’s Wagon Train in space adventure. The plot is a little heady and a bit thin, but absolutely in spirit with Gene Roddenberry’s humanitarian idealism. And in 4K, the Final Frontier shines with absolute cosmic radiance. Grab the disc if you’re still on the fence regarding the film’s quality, but if you’re already in the choir alongside me, snatch up this Director’s Cut box set for $70. It’s jammed with old and new special features, stuffed with stickers, miniature lobby cards, a photo book, and a poster.

Shawscope: Volume 2 Limited Edition 10-Disc Set

Shawscope Volume
Arrow Video

We’re going to end this holiday gift guide the same way we concluded last year’s list. Arrow Video has single-handedly revitalized at-home kung-fu cinema. Their previous Shawscope box set featured an array of stone-cold classics from Runrun and Runme Shaw’s Hong Kong studio. And yet, they were holding off on a few key titles, most notably, The 36th Chamber of Shaolin. Fear not. Those obvious dangling classics sit proudly in Arrow’s Shawscope Volume 2.

Alongside The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, we also have its sequels, Return to the 36th Chamber and Disciples of the 36th Chamber, plus Mad Monkey Kung Fu, Five Superfighters, Invincible Shaolin, The Kid with the Golden Arm, Magnificent Ruffians, and Ten Tigers of Kwangtung. When we spoke to the RZA earlier this year, he named three of these flicks as essential viewing for anyone interested in his music or kung fu. You wouldn’t want to ignore the RZA, would you? The box set is a mighty one, knocking you back $145, but if you scour your favorite sellers, you can find it significantly discounted.

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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)