20 Nov
If you are jonzing for a more passive medium this holiday season, plenty of discs both new and old have come in to satiate your movie lust, be it on standard or high-definition. Even as digital distribution threatens to overcome the hard disc industry, hundreds of films on both formats continue to flood store shelves at an incredible rate. If your gifts come most often bonus features and in-case manuals, we’ve got all your shopping covered for even the most finicky cineaste on your list.

Holiday 2009 – New Releases

This year was an exceptional one for home releases of films both fresh from the cinema and restored from the distant past. Massive collections of multiple discs may litter the horizon hoping to capitalize on your holiday rush, but are they the true gifts that will make your present-ee warm up their respective film players? We have the essential movies of both Blu-Ray and DVD that must be the stuff that stockings are full of.

For the Hardcore:

51GAPmiCd9L._SS500_Stereotype all you want, but there is no greater film-lover’s filmmaker than Mr. Reservoir Dogs himself, Quentin Tarantino. The latest in the fan-favorite’s ouevre is both a send-up of WWII style Nazi-killing revenge-porn and of films in general, making it the perfect gift for those watchers with an eye for the apparatus. Bust out the extra cash for the special edition, Blu-Ray especially if possible, as this director makes better use out of featurettes and commentary than most directors with three times his budget. It’s a no-brainer, but sometimes the easy choice is also the right choice.

For the Rest:



Since we can’t claim anyone under the industrialized sun as a “film newcomer or casual,” we have split the rest of the recommendation list into a general gift that could amuse 90% of those that could receive it. In placing such a broad category on a pedestal, it was difficult to narrow the season down to one title, so we split the vote between two films that – given the option – wouldn’t leave a single human being dissatisfied. Between the year’s most surprisingly excellent comedy and the most nostalgic film of all time, both containing multiple discs with hours of special features, “The Hangoverunrated edition and/or “The Wizard of Oz”: 70th Anniversary Edition on DVD or Blu-Ray are two undeniably showy and excellent selections for absolutely anyone on your list.

Films You Should Already Own

For the Hardcore:

61UuM4DakzLAnother no-brainer in the hardcore category, the five-disc edition of the sci-fi masterpiece Blade Runner collects every single version of the film – and for a Ridley Scott picture that is saying something, not to mention a never-before-seen workprint edition of the film, along with dozens of hours in amassed bonus features. While especially stunning in high definition, the restoration team managed one of the most beautiful DVD prints in history for the standard-def version of this collection, giving you no excuse when it comes to check-out time.

For the Newcomer:



Once again a split vote, the “rest” category sits between collections celebrating one of comedy’s greatest directors and one containing the most unrecognized-as-a-Christmas-movie movie. Brooks’ rambling wit and slapstick will satisfy most older tastes on your list, and possibly new ones if they have the patience to embrace the film’s lack of overt physical comedy. “Die Hard” still ranks as one of the best action films ever made, Bruce Willis injecting a human, everyman quality that Hollywood actors have all been attempting to recreate since, the rest of the series continues the high-stakes, high-action tradition throughout, making it an explosive addition to any gift pile.

4 thoughts on “Elder-Geek’s Holiday Buyer’s Guide: Movies”

  1. Kind of a cop out. I would recommend Star Trek, I Love You Man, and the Hurt Locker (which comes out in January, so). For the music lover, look out for Anvil, Story of Anvil. Also, Drag Me to Hell wasn’t bad, and I completely support what it was trying to accomplish.

    There, those are my 10 cents worth.

  2. Really such a short list? Star Trek Blu-Ray needs to go up there, and when ever District 9 comes out get that. This article was just ill thought out, it needs about 15 more movies on it to be acceptable.

  3. nice read i guess, should have had something more though. especially when you’ve got two “no brainers” in there.

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