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Holiday Gift Guide 2012: Movies


Little Shop of Horros Blu-rayAhh, movies! Is there any greater escape than sitting in a dark room and letting the sweeping imagery, amazing scores, and mind-blowing special effects of a film transport you to a new world, scare your socks off, or take you back in time? As the holiday season approaches, we look at some rereleases of old classics, some new favorites, and two epic collections that are sure to please the cinephile in your life. ~Jason Enright

New Versions of Old Classics

Recommended by Chris Spicer

There are a couple of classic ’80s films getting new treatments and director’s cuts for the first time.  

The first is Frank Oz’s 1986 film of the Menken/Ashman musical, Little Shop of Horrors.  Based on the off-Broadway musical (which was itself based on a super cheesy Roger Corman film), Little Shop comes to Blu-ray with the original theatrical version of the film, along with a newly restored director’s cut featuring 20 minutes of newly finished footage that restores the film’s original, bleaker finale.  Rick Moranis and Steve Martin are great in it, but holy crap does Ellen Greene steal the show.  Little Shop’s success vaulted Ashman and Menken to Disney, where they created some of the great Disney songs of the ’90s.

Also coming to Blu-ray is the Criterion Collection’s newly remastered director’s cut of Terry Gilliam’s brilliant, brilliant satire Brazil.  Again, this set includes both the shorter, studio-approved version of the film, along with Gilliam’s longer edit.  Brazil is visually stunning and flat-out essential viewing.



Safety Not Guaranteed HGGNew Favorites

Safety Not Guaranteed
Recommended by Ellen Tremiti

The story of this movie begins in reality. Years ago, a man placed an ad in a real newspaper looking for “someone to go back in time with” him. He went on to write, “This is not a joke . . . Must bring your own weapons. Safety Not Guaranteed. I’ve only done this once before.” Screenwriter Derek Connelly obtained the rights to this infamous ad, and it is now the basis of the surprisingly touching and completely entertaining film, Safety Not Guaranteed.

In the movie, three journalists set off to find the writer of this ad for a fluff piece in their magazine. The closer they get to the man behind the ad, the more they question who they are and what they want out of life.

This movie topped my list of best Sundance films of 2012. If you’re looking for an offbeat, humorous drama with a sci-fi twist, Safety Not Guaranteed is the perfect present. Safety Not Guaranteed is available at on DVD ($19.99) and Blu-ray ($24.96).

Beasts of the SOuthern WildBeasts of the Southern Wild
Recommended by Ellen Tremiti

Set in Southern Louisiana, in an area called the Bathtub, a small community lives on one side of a levee, seemingly cut off from the outside world. Six-year-old Hushpuppy has only her father Wink to raise her. Her father regales her with tales of her mother, but this tiny family begins to rip apart as Wink deals with an illness and his own mortality. 

At the same time, Hushpuppy’s teacher warns her that “the fabric of the universe is coming unraveled.” Hushpuppy takes this concept literally and envisions a world crumbling at its seams. This film left audiences breathless at Sundance 2012, and its sweeping story and heartfelt emotions will complement holiday festivities with gusto. 

This visually breathtaking bildungsroman topped my Sundance 2012 list, and the DVD is available for pre-order at with a release date of December 4, 2012, for DVD ($19.96) and Blu-ray ($29.86).



Blu-ray Box Sets
Recommended by Chris Spicer

As geeks, we do tend to obsess over our favorite things.  For the film geek in your life, there are a couple of ridiculously cool box sets coming out for the holidays.  

Bond 50 Box SetThe first is Bond 50: The Complete 22 Film Collection.  From Connery to Craig, from Dr. No to Quantum of Solace, this great collection spans a half century and contains every Bond film to date (excluding Skyfall).  It also includes over 150 hours of bonus materials.  In addition, nine films in the series will make their Blu-ray debut in this set.  

On a similar note for obsessive collectors, Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection is also available.  The set contains 15 of Hitch’s greatest films, including Vertigo, Psycho, Rear Window, The Birds, Rope, North by Northwest, and The Man Who Knew Too Much.  The set contains numerous commentary tracks, as well as over 15 hours of bonus materials.







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