Holiday Gift Guide: Movies & TV
Do you have a friend or family member who loves to skip the movie theater and stay at home to watch the latest blockbuster? Are you looking for a gift for someone who loves to add discs to their already massive movie collection? We've compiled a list of great movie and television shows that have recently been released on Blu-ray / DVD to help you shop for your family and friends.
The Dark Knight Rises (December 4th, 2012)
It has been eight years since Batman vanished into the night, turning, in that instant, from hero to fugitive. Assuming the blame for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent, the Dark Knight sacrificed everything for what he and Commissioner Gordon both hoped was the greater good.
For a time the lie worked, as criminal activity in Gotham City was crushed under the weight of the anti-crime Dent Act. But everything will change with the arrival of a cunning cat burglar with a mysterious agenda. Far more dangerous, however, is the emergence of Bane, a masked terrorist whose ruthless plans for Gotham drive Bruce out of his self-imposed exile. But even if he dons the cape and cowl again, Batman may be no match for Bane.
Coming out on December 4th, 2012, The Dark Knight Rises is the final Batman movie from both Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale. The Blu-ray / DVD combo can currently be ordered for about $25 and the DVD only version is positioned around $15.
If your friends or family do not own Batman Begins or The Dark Knight, look for deals on the Blu-ray version of the entire Dark Knight trilogy for $30 ($20 on DVD). There's also a version of the movie with a Limited Edition bat cowl which can be found in the $25 range when on sale.
The Amazing Spider-Man
The Amazing Spider-Man is the story of Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield), an outcast high schooler who was abandoned by his parents as a boy, leaving him to be raised by his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field).
Like most teenagers, Peter is trying to figure out who he is and how he got to be the person he is today. Peter is also finding his way with his first high school crush, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), and together, they struggle with love, commitment, and secrets.
As Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand his parents' disappearance - leading him directly to Oscorp and the lab of Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), his father's former partner. As Spider-Man is set on a collision course with Connors' alter-ego, The Lizard, Peter will make life-altering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero.
Released during November 2012, the Blu-ray / DVD combo of The Amazing Spider-Man can be found in the $20 price range. The DVD only version is around $15. The 3D Blu-ray / DVD version of the film can be found between $25 to $30.
|The Amazing Spider-Man|
In this culmination of the last several movies from Marvel, Loki, the stepbrother of Thor, teams-up with the Chitauri Army and uses the Tesseract power to travel from Asgard to Earth. As he begins to excute a plan to invade Earth using the Chitauri, S.H.I.E.L.D's Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) puts the Avengers initiative in motion.
Coming together to battle the threat to humanity, superheroes such as Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) work together in an attempt to thwart Loki's plan and save Earth.
This popular Joss Whedon blockbuster has been highly praised for its entertainment value and quality within the superhero genre. Released during September 2012, the Blu-ray / DVD version of the film can be found around $25 and the DVD version is around $15. In addition, the 3D Blu-ray / DVD is positioned around $35, but also includes a digital copy and digital music download of the soundtrack.
Awesome Box Sets
Bond 50: The Complete 22 Film Collection
Only excluding the recently released Skyfall, The Bond 50: The Complete 22 Film Collection includes all 22 James Bond feature films from Dr. No to Quantum of Solace and more than 130 hours of bonus features including never-before-seen content from the Bond archives.
Specific to Blu-ray, the set includes nine titles available on Blu-ray for the first time ever: Goldeneye, Octopussy, The Spy Who Loved Me, You Only Live Twice, The Living Daylights, Tomorrow Never Dies, Diamonds are Forever, A View to a Kill and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
Ideal for anyone that absolutely loves the James Bond series of films, deals on this recently released box set can be found in the $150 range for the Blu-ray version.
|Bond 50: The Complete 22 Film Collection|
Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection
Poised to take advantage of Anthony Hopkins' Hitchcock coming to theaters this year, the Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection features 15 iconic films from the acclaimed director’s illustrious career including Psycho, The Birds, Rear Window, Vertigo, North by Northwest and many more.
Starring Hollywood favorites such as James Stewart, Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Paul Newman, Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins, Tippi Hedren, Sean Connery and Kim Novak, this definitive collection showcases a true cinematic master at his best. It also features over 15 hours of insightful bonus features plus an exclusive collectible book. Each film has been digitally restored from high resolution film elements for the ultimate Hitchcock experience.
Definitely for fans of Hitchcock films, the price point on the Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection on Blu-ray hovers around $200. However, if you prefer the DVD version (released during 2005), look for deals around the $50 price point.
|Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection|
Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures
This collection includes all four films; Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Suppliments with the films include featurettes about the production and a particularly entertaining piece about all the creepy crawlies in the films.
While the retail price of the set is around $100, look for deals on the Blu-ray version of Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures around the $50 price point. In addition, there's a DVD set with all four films that was released during 2008, but the price point on that box set is around $75.
|Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures|
Set in the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland, Disney Pixar's Brave follows the heroic journey of Merida (voice of Kelly Macdonald), a skilled archer and headstrong daughter of King Fergus (voice of Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (voice of Emma Thompson).
Determined to change her fate, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the unruly and uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin (voice of Kevin McKidd), surly Lord Macintosh (voice of Craig Ferguson) and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (voice of Robbie Coltrane), unleashing chaos in the kingdom. When she turns to an eccentric Witch (voice of Julie Walters), she is granted an ill-fated wish and the ensuing peril forces Merida to harness all of her resources including her mischievous triplet brothers to undo a beastly curse and discover the meaning of true bravery.
Released in November, the latest Pixar film can be found on Blu-ray / DVD around a $20 to $25 price point. The DVD only version of the film is around $16. In addition, the 3D Blu-ray is positioned around $28 and includes a digital copy.
Finding Nemo (December 4th, 2012)
Marking the first time that Finding Nemo will be available on Blu-ray, the popular Pixar film will be hitting store shelves on December 4th.
When his son Nemo is captured by a scuba-diver, a nervous-nellie clownfish named Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks) sets off into the vast ocean to find him. Along the way he hooks up with a scatterbrained blue tang fish named Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), who's both helpful and a hindrance, sometimes at the same time.
Marlin must navigate waters teeming with sharks, deep-sea anglers, fields of poisonous jellyfish, sea turtles, pelicans, and much more. The animated feature also features the voices of Willem Dafoe, Geoffrey Rush, and Allison Janney.
The Blu-ray / DVD combo of the film can currently be preordered around $27. However, the 3D version of the Blu-ray is positioned around $34 and includes a digital copy.
Great TV Series
Frozen Planet: The Complete Series
From the team behind Planet Earth and The Blue Planet comes Frozen Planet, the epic tale of two disappearing wildernesses. The Arctic and Antarctic remain the greatest wildernesses on Earth.
The scale and beauty of the scenery and the sheer power of the elements are unmatched anywhere else on our planet. And against all odds, these vast, frigid environments are teeming with life. Using the latest camera technology, Frozen Planet captures unimaginable imagery above and below the ice, and follows the extraordinary fluctuations that accompany the changes of seasons in this most extreme of environments, often for the first time.
Frozen Planet takes you inside a polar bear’s den to witness a mother polar bear and her newborn cubs, showcases the thrilling hunting tactics employed by a pod of killer whales to launch a seal off an ice floe, uses time-lapse photography to allow you to witness the amazing underwater fauna thriving around Mr. Erebus, the world’s most southerly volcano, and much, much more.
This Blu-ray version of the series was released during the first half of 2012, but it makes an excellent gift for someone that's interested in nature. While the retail price of the set is around $55, look for deals on the series between $20 to $25. There's also a DVD version of the series around $30.
Entourage: The Complete Series
The HBO hit comedy series created by Doug Ellin was based on the experiences of his good friend actor Mark Wahlberg. The series takes a none-too-serious look at the day-to-day life of Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier), an incandescent young Hollywood actor, and the three buddies he’s brought from their hometown in Queens, NY including manager Eric (Kevin Connolly), half brother/actor Drama (Kevin Dillon), and pal Turtle (Jerry Ferrara).
Also starring in the eight-season series, Jeremy Piven plays Ari Gold, the long-time agent for Vincent Chase that brings the actor into stardom. The series draws on the experiences of industry insiders to illustrate the excesses of today’s celebrity lifestyle, as well as the difficulty of maintaining relationships and artistic fulfillment in the show biz fast track.
Released during November 2012, deals on the Blu-ray version of Entourage: The Complete Series (retail $250) can be found for around $140 to $160 depending on the sale. Deals on the DVD version (also released this month) can be found around $110.
|Entourage: The Complete Series|