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 V.18 No.50 | December 10 - 16, 2009 

Film Lover's Gift Guide

I’ll Have a Blu-Ray Christmas

Ten gifts for film fans

After hours of precise calculations and empirical research, I have arrived at the 10 best gifts you can buy for the film lovers in your life. If you happen to get them something from this list and they don’t appreciate it? Well, then they aren’t really film lovers, are they?

10) “Eastbound & Down” (DVD, Blu-Ray) It blows my mind how many people have yet to see this series. From the incredibly talented duo of Danny McBride and Jody Hill, “Eastbound & Down” is quite simply one of the funniest damn TV shows ever made. Period. Give it to those you love and watch as they quote it nonstop until summer rolls around. (HBO, $19.99)

9) Night of the Creeps (DVD, Blu-Ray) After languishing for years as a bootleg tape traded and sold at horror conventions, Fred Dekker’s alien/zombie masterpiece from the ’80s has finally gotten a proper release! The good news is your dates are here. The bad news is they’re dead! (Sony, $19.99)

8) “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” The Complete Season One (DVD, Blu-Ray) I would have killed to have had a Star Wars cartoon series back when I was a kid. (“Droids” and “Ewoks” don’t count.) Not only does “Clone Wars” look fantastic, but the series is amazing. Hook up that special geek in your life with the entire first season—and then borrow it from him or her later. The Force is strong with this one. (Warner Home Video, $44.98)

7) Mad Dog Morgan (DVD) They branded him. They raped him. They turned him into a Mad Dog, and now he’s biting back! Dennis Hopper stars in this incredibly rare ’70s classic of Australian exploitation. Based on the true story of Daniel Morgan, Mad Dog Morgan delivers the goods in every way possible way. (Troma, $19.99)

6) The Wizard of Oz 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition (DVD, Blu-Ray) Sure, L. Frank Baum was a racist piece of shit. But damned if he didn’t know how to write a pretty spectacular fantasy! Packed with documentaries, screen tests, home movies, radio spots and a hi-def picture that’s sure to melt your eyeballs, this box set is definitely the way to relive a must-own family film. (Warner Home Video, $84.99)

5) The William Castle Film Collection (DVD) If you have a lover of horror or cult films in your life, then it doesn’t get any better than this. From the twisted mind of William Castle, this five-disc set includes eight cinematic tales of terror—from the little-known fantasy-comedy Zotz! to the Vincent Price classic The Tingler. (Sony, $77.99)

4) UP 4 Disc Combo Pack (Blu-Ray, DVD, Digital Copy) You know what’s better than a Pixar film presented in HD? Give up? Not a damn thing, that’s what! Disney comes correct with this four-disc set of one of the year’s best films. Overflowing with content, the set includes both a DVD and Blu-Ray version of the film, a digital copy and more special features than anyone deserves! And by the way, if the first 15 minutes of this movie didn’t make you cry, you have no freaking soul. (Disney/Pixar $19.99)

3) The General (Blu-Ray) Sorry Charlie, but Buster Keaton was the king of physical comedy. Now you get to see for yourself in glorious high-definition! In this career-defining film, Keaton put it all on the line and walked away with having made a freaking masterpiece. Top it off with a bunch of cool extra features (three complete musical scores!), and we have ourselves a sure bet. (Kino, $21.99)

2) North by Northwest: 50th Anniversary Edition (DVD, Blu-Ray) If you don’t already own a copy of this film, add this disc to your holiday wish list right away. Nobody does suspense like Alfred Hitchcock, and with the picture fully restored for this special edition, you can see why for yourself. The Blu-Ray even comes with a book full of trivia, stills and vintage art. (Warner Home Video, $19.99)

1) AK 100: 25 Films of Akira Kurosawa (DVD) It’s exactly like the title makes it sound, folks: 25 of Akira Kurosawa’s films in one box set. Everything from Stray Dog to Seven Samurai is included, making this the greatest DVD box set ever assembled. You want to make that special film fan in your life collapse in utter ecstasy after opening a gift? This is the gift to give. (Criterion Collection, $284.99)

 
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