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 V.13 No.50 | December 9 - 15, 2004 

Holiday Film

DVD Gifts for Movie Fanatics

Box Up This Year's Best DVD Boxed Sets

The Ultimate Matrix Collection Limited Edition Collector's Set

Suggested Price: $129.99

Number of Discs: 10

This giant collector's set is the ultimate nerd gift for the ultimate nerd on your list. If you know someone who really liked The Matrix--I mean really liked The Matrix--then this monster will keep them busy for the next two years. Seriously, there were only three movies, and there are 10 freaking discs here! Plus an 80-page book, plus a collector's display case, plus a ceramic bust of Keanu Reeves (OK, that last item's a little creepy). I can't even get into all the extras on these discs. This thing is so damn cool it almost makes me want to watch The Matrix Revolutions again. Almost.

Star Trek” The Original Series--The Complete Seasons 1-3

Suggested Price: $379.99

Number of Discs: 24

Who doesn't love “Star Trek”? Now, you can get gorgeous DVD versions of the first three seasons of the original 1966 series. There aren't a whole lot of extras (text commentary of three of the episodes, a few short documentaries on the actors, some production art), but the discs come wrapped in really cool plastic replicas of the “Trek” tricorders that will be the envy of all your Trekkie friends (assuming you have Trekkie friends).

Akira Kurosawa--Four Samurai Classics

Suggested Price: $87.99

Number of Discs: 4

This is really just a package containing four of Criterion Collection's previously released Akira Kurosawa films. Still, they're four of his best, and if you know someone wanting to jumpstart a collection, this is a spectacular place to start. The films (The Seven Samurai, The Hidden Fortress, Yojimbo and Sanjuro) are four of the best action films ever made, and the transfers are stunning. The films have minimal extras (one has a commentary by a “film expert,” one has an interview with George Lucas), but you don't need much to gloss up these masterpieces of Japanese cinema.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Platinum Series Special Extended Edition Collector's Gift Set)

Suggested Price: $79.99

Number of Discs: 5

The previous Platinum Series Special Extended Editions of Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers have already proved to be two of the finest DVDs ever wrought. This one, nearly a year in the making, includes 50 additional minutes of film footage and more behind-the-scenes, making-of footage than you can shake a sword at (two discs worth!). This gift set includes a bonus disc dedicated to Howard Shore's Lord of the Rings symphony, a detailed polystone statue of Minas Tirith (if you know what it is, you know you want it) and a gift box illustrated by Alan Lee. The fantasy lover in your life has just got to hobbit!

"Seinfeld" Limited Edition Gift Set (Seasons 1-3)[

Suggested Price: $119.99

Number of Discs: 8

Forty-one episodes of the sitcom classic are enough to make any comedy fan slap happy. Add commentary by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld on four episodes, commentary by Jason Alexander, Michael Richards and Julia Louis-Dreyfus on five more, two versions of the pilot episode and a bunch of documentaries and you've got a must-have gift. Did I mention deleted scenes, bloopers and unseen footage of Jerry's standup act? It's in there too. This special gift set, designed for the “Seinfeld” fanatic, also features an original script with notes by Larry David, a deck of collectable playing cards and a set of salt & pepper shakers from “Monk's Diner.” Throw in a Pez dispenser and a puffy shirt, and you'll make some Seinfeld fan's holiday.

“The Office” Complete Collection

Suggested Retail: $59.99

Number of Discs: 4

That this BBC-produced show gets funnier every time I watch it comes as no surprise. It's that well written, that well performed. What's amazing, though, is how much more poignant it gets on subsequent viewings. It's pretty darn hard not to get absorbed in the lives of these characters. Now you can turn someone on the the entire amazing series including season one's six episodes, season two's six episodes and the series wrapup Christmas special. The special contains a hilarious commentary by the creators, and the “How I made ’The Office'” documentary is essential viewing for any fan. The best BBC comedy ever made? Could be. A perfect stocking stuffer? Undoubtedly.

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