2020 Gift Guide: Top 30 4K & Blu-ray Gifts for Movie and TV Fans
While moviegoing has fallen on hard times during the pandemic, home video viewing has soared. These days, most viewers like to stream their entertainment, but in a dystopian future where the internet is banned, you’ll be happy to have your favorite movies on physical media.
All kidding aside, with studios moving away from physical discs in favor of streaming, now is the best time to grab some of the wonderful 4K and Blu-ray editions that are circulating out there—featuring the kind of nifty packaging, special features/commentary and collectible pack-ins you won’t get from a digital download.
Below are our top thirty 4K and Blu-ray gift ideas that were released in 2020. Check out last year’s list, too, for many more good ones. Watch for price drops and deals on Ben’s in the coming weeks (set deal alerts here)!
Note: Links below are to Amazon (or Best Buy in some cases due to availability). Street prices are listed in parentheses.
Modern Classics on 4K
2020 continued to see restorations and reissues of modern classics from the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and ’00s released on 4K.
- The Mask of Zorro (1998): This fun romp starring Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins and Catherine Zeta-Jones gets the 4K (HDR10) treatment with dazzling results. ($23)
- Total Recall: 30th Anniversary (1990): Ahnuld and Sharon Stone go to Mars in this violent Paul Verhoeven sci-fi action thriller. ($18)
- Jaws: 45th Anniversary Limited Edition (1975): Steven’s Spielberg’s opus to monster movies receives an impressive 4K facelift from the original camera negative. ($20)
- 300 (2007): Meme-worthy and innovative, Zack Snyder’s Battle of Thermopylae gets thoroughly amped up on 4K (HDR10) and Dolby Atmos. ($25)
- Beverly Hills Cop (1984): Eddie Murphy solidified his place in the Hollywood firmament with this genre-busting comedy that shattered box office records. ($20)
- Gladiator / Braveheart 2-Movie Collection (2000/1995): These two epics were separately released on 4K in 2018, but get the value combo treatment in 2020. ($28)
- Mad Max (1979): The original post-apocalyptic action thriller established Mel Gibson as a worldwide star and over 40 years later gets a 4K Dolby Vision HDR upgrade. ($40)
- The Hunt for Red October (1990): The late, great Sean Connery stars as a Russian sub commander in the best Tom Clancy adaptation yet made and never loses his Scottish burr. Deal with it. ($28)
- Top Gun (1986): This 1980s time machine stars Tom Cruise in his superstar-making vehicle, while director Tony Scott’s inimitable style has never looked better in 4K. ($15)
Gift sets are for the super fan who wants everything, but they will definitely leave a dent in the wallet.
- The Office: The Complete Series (34-Disc Blu-ray): You can follow The Office from Netflix to Peacock in January 2021, or you can just own the whole series outright on Blu-ray. What say you?! ($112)
- Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection (33-Disc 4K+Digital): Fans will be blown away by how good the series looks on a physical format (vs. streaming), whether or not they liked the final season. ($195)
- Back to the Future: The Ultimate Trilogy (7-Disc 4K+Blu-ray+Digital): Go back in time with Marty and Doc in a souped-up 4K restoration (HDR10, Dolby Vision, HDR10+) with some new bonus features like the “Lost Audition Tapes.” ($40)
- Bugs Bunny 80th Anniversary Collection (3-Disc Blu-ray+Digital): 60 Bugs Bunny animated theatrical shorts are included (30 of which have never been released on Blu-ray or DVD), plus a new “doc” (digital only) and a Bugs Bunny Funko figure. ($73)
- The Lord of the Rings Motion Picture Trilogy (Extended & Theatrical, 9-Disc 4K+Digital): LOTR on 4K, it doesn’t get much better than this. Well, until summer 2021 when the Ultimate Collector’s Edition comes out. Hey, at least it’s not Star Wars on home video… ($90) Also available with a replica of The One Ring in a fancy book-style Collector’s Gift Set. ($150)
- Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga (27-Disc 4K+Blu-ray+Digital): Star Wars on 4K, it doesn’t get much better than this. Wait, the original theatrical cuts of the OT are not included? Sigh… here we go again. ($200)
- The Flintstones: The Complete Series (10-Disc Blu-ray): All 166 episodes of prime time’s first animated series are included in vibrant full 1080p HD. ($61)
Cult Classics & Genre Gems
Thanks to passionate fans, these special home video releases saw the light of day.
- The Last Starfighter: Special Edition (Blu-ray): Arrow Video restored this beloved 1984 sci-fi movie from a 4K scan, and threw in a bunch of new extras, including commentary with Lance Guest.
- The Goonies (4K+Blu-ray+Digital): Spielberg produced this Gen-X childhood favorite about treasure hunting kids in Oregon. ($25) Also available with collectibles in a Special Edition Gift Box. ($50)
- Popeye (Blu-ray+Digital): This very underrated 1980 musical, starring Robin Williams as the titular comic character and Shelley Duvall as Olive Oyl, is finally being released on Blu-ray. ($10)
- The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone (Blu-ray+Digital): Director Francis Ford Coppola got the go-ahead to recut 1990’s much-maligned Godfather Part III to closer approximate author Mario Puzo’s original vision. ($17)
- Flash Gordon: Limited Edition (4K+Blu-ray): Flash, ah-ahhh! You remember the Queen song, and the rest is… well, interesting. Nonetheless, it underwent an extensive restoration under supervision of director Mike Hodges. ($20) Also available with collectibles in a Limited Edition Box Set. ($40)
Golden Age Movies in 4K
These classical Hollywood pictures got brand-new life in beautiful 4K restorations.
- Spartacus (2-Disc 4K+Blu-ray+Digital): After a long wait, the spectacular 4K restoration of Stanley Kubrick’s 1960 epic is finally seen on 4K disc (HDR10, Dolby Vision) in the film’s original 3+ hour running time. ($18)
- Columbia Classics 4K Ultra HD Collection: Volume 1 (17-Disc 4K+Blu-ray+Digital): Includes Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Dr. Strangelove, Gandhi, A League of Their Own, Jerry Maguire and most notably, for the first time on 4K disc, David Lean’s masterpiece Lawrence of Arabia. ($165)
- The Alfred Hitchcock Classics Collection (8-Disc 4K+Blu-ray+Digital): Includes 4 of Hitch’s most well-known Hollywood pictures for the first time on 4K—Rear Window, Vertigo, Psycho (2 versions) and The Birds—all in a collectible digibook.
New Releases in 4K
Tenet is the one “new release” on this list that actually debuted in theaters in 2020. The rest are from 2019, but the home video versions were released this year.
- 1917: Winner of the 2020 Golden Globes for best motion picture (drama), this showy “single take” WWI epic can also stand in as your 4K reference disc. ($18)
- Tenet: Acclaimed director Christopher Nolan’s cerebral sci-fi thriller hit theaters during a pandemic but will undoubtedly find new life on home video. ($30)
- John Wick: Chapters 1-3: The individual movies have been previously released on 4K, but now all you John(ny)-Come-Latelys can get the value combo pack. ($28)
- Jumanji: The Next Level: The totally unnecessary sequel to 2017’s surprise hit Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is still a mostly fun movie when it focuses on the four main leads. ($20)
- Ford v. Ferrari: Director James Mangold captures the visceral excitement of race car driving in the 1960s, and the fantastic Dolby Atmos soundtrack is a treat. ($15)
- Frozen II: Regardless of whether it lived up to its high expectations, this sequel is still a hit with kids and the 4K transfer is beautiful to behold. ($20)