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Blu-ray Holiday Gift Guide 2011

Blu-ray Holiday Gift Guide 2011

It’s that time of year again! Whether you’re taking advantage of holiday Blu-ray deals for yourself or adding to the collections of friends and family, you can’t avoid picking up a few new discs this month. If you’re having trouble finding the perfect gift or just looking for a list of the best new discs that were released this year, you’ll find it all below.

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Blu-ray Holiday Gift Guide 2010: The Best of the Year

Blu-ray Holiday Gift Guide 2010: The Best of the Year

Even a relatively comprehensive gift guide won’t quite cut the mustard if it ignores the best of the best. The following titles represent some of the finest new films released on Blu-ray this past year.

Next up: The Best Blu-ray Player

MORE GIFT IDEAS:

* GIFT & BOXED SETS
* TV ON BLU
* ANIMATION
* CLASSICS


Avatar (Three-Disc Extended Collector's Edition + BD-Live) [Blu-ray] (2009)

Nothing beats the heavyweight champ. The biggest film of the year or possibly even of all time. James Cameron’s Avatar makes its triumphant return to Blu-ray in a 3-disc set that should find its way under every Blu-ray fan’s Christmas tree this year.

Not only is this Extended Collector’s Edition packed to the gills with the deleted scenes and extras you’ve been waiting the year to see but it also features three cuts of the award winning film, all demo-disc worthy. With the technical quality of the video and audio presentation off the charts (and surprisingly equal to the stand alone disc available earlier this year) this Blu-ray set has claimed the crown of high-def title to beat! Bring on the challengers!!

READ MORE: Top 5 New Blu-ray releases for the Week of November 16 – AVATAR EXTENDED COLLECTOR’S EDITION

AMAZON: $23.99


Inception (Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) (2010)

Christopher Nolan‘s Inception might have been my favourite Hollywood film of 2010. I’m fully aware of all the character deficiencies and possible plot holes in the script but I don’t care. The film managed an incredible feat, as far as I’m concerned and spent the first three-quarters of the narrative setting it up – a storytelling gag wherein a group of characters live and interact at different speeds within different dream states. It’s a fantastic narrative gymnastic feat that has never been attempted before and I think it succeeds in a marvelous way. Also, I can’t stop listening to Hans Zimmer‘s incredible score for the film. Seriously. Every time I put my iPod on it’s Inception. I think it might be bordering on unhealthy.

READ MORE: Inception Blu-ray officially announced and detailed

AMAZON: $17.99


Sherlock Holmes [Blu-ray] (2009)

I skipped this one in the theatres. I love, love, love Sherlock Holmes stories and had no desire to see Guy Richie butcher the character with his ‘enslickened‘ boy-with-guns style, so I just avoided the film all together. I honestly couldn’t have been more wrong about it. It’s so good, from top to bottom! I hate to say it but it works on almost every level – it’s well designed, well performed and, as much as it pains me to admit, it was quite well directed. And the Blu-ray disc is spectacular to boot, replete with a killer transfer and some incredible special features.

READ MORE: Sherlock Holmes Blu-ray Disc Review

AMAZON: $15.49


An Education [Blu-ray] (2009)

The coming-of-age story of An Education, young girl being wooed by older man, is fairly well worn but the wonderful performances here in this film really make it shine. Carey Mulligan emerges as the breakout star, practically painting herself as this generation’s Audrey Hepburn. Great film. Great Blu-ray disc.

AMAZON: $20.99


The Karate Kid (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) (2010) (2010)

Okay, honestly, this Karate Kid remake is quite great. That’s right. It’s not just good. It’s great. Nevermind that it’s more Kung Fu now than Karate, with the location of the film transplanted from the California, USA of the original 1984 classic film to China 2010. And nevermind that aged Japanese sensei Mr. Miyagi has been replaced by Jackie Chan‘s far more genuinely skilled, and far more Chinese Mr. Han. This is a faithful representation of the tone and themes of the original with a whole new modern spirit and vastly improved photography and musical score. The Blu-ray disc is damn-near flawless, sporting one of the best transfers we’ve seen all year. The Karate Kid is a winner on Blu-ray!

AMAZON: $22.99


A Prophet [Blu-ray] (2009)

Combine the HBO prison drama OZ with a touch of the Godfather and you’ve got a glimpse of where Jacques Audiard‘s A Prophet will lead you. It feels epic at its monster 149-minute run-time but honestly doesn’t waste a minute of screen time. This is two-and-a-half very tense hours that will fly right by. One of the best films of 2009 and highly recommended on Blu-ray!

AMAZON: $28.99


The White Ribbon [Blu-ray] (2009)

If you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen. And if you can’t handle being disturbed and unsettled by a film, you’d best avoid Michael Haneke‘s latest unflinching gaze into the darkest heart of mankind, The White Ribbon. Great, ghostly black and white visuals add the sinister tale a layer of subtle depth. Highly recommended for those who can handle it.

READ MORE: The White Ribbon Blu-ray Disc Review

AMAZON: $28.99


The Secret in Their Eyes [Blu-ray] (2010)

The Secret in Their Eyes (El Secreto de Sus Ojos) is, without question one of the finest films of the last year and long overdue for a domestic Blu-ray release. In direct competition with Michael Haneke‘s The White Ribbon for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film this past year, Secret edged out the popular pick to take the prize. And it deserves it.

Highly recommended!

AMAZON: $27.99


The Ghost Writer (Single-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (2010)

Roman Polanski‘s The Ghost Writer is one of the best films I’ve seen all year and one of the director’s absolute best in decades. It’s got a great script by Robert Harris (adapting his novel of the same name) with some incredible performances by some of my favourite actors (I’ll watch pretty much anything starring Ewan McGregor.) Highly Recommended.

READ MORE: Top 5 New Blu-ray releases for the Week of August 3 – THE GHOST WRITER

AMAZON: $23.99


Cemetery Junction [Blu-ray] (2010)

I fully understand that this won’t be a very popular sentiment, but Cemetery Junction is one hell of a great little film. One of the most enjoyable I’ve watched all year, in fact! It’s a light, comedy-infused drama from the brilliant minds of The Office creative team of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant (who both wrote and directed the film!), both of whom turn up on screen in smaller yet brilliant roles. Aside from being a fantastic film about growing up in 1970s England, the Blu-ray is so packed full of amazing bonus features, you’ll feel like you’re getting two entire, extremely entertaining packages for one price!

AMAZON: $23.49


Red Cliff International Version - Part I & Part II [Blu-ray] (2009)

Red Cliff is, without question, a return to form for director John Woo. This is the film we’ve been desperate to see from him for years now. There are two versions on the market – the extended version, consisting of both Parts 1 and 2 of the film and the truncated, edited down version that cuts them both into one, much shorter film. Take my advice and get yourself or your loved one the Extended Edition. You’ll thank me later!

READ MORE: Red Cliff: Extended Edition Blu-ray Disc Review

AMAZON: $18.99


Micmacs [Blu-ray] (2009)

Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet can do no wrong in my eyes. The French auteur’s latest opus of quirk and style, Micmacs, might not be able to compete with his best work ever (Amelie!) but that doesn’t keep it from being one of the best films out on Blu this year.

READ MORE: Micmacs Blu-ray Disc Review

AMAZON: $26.99


Shutter Island [Blu-ray] (2009)

I really, really wish that I loved Shutter Island a lot more than I did. I mean, it’s a great looking film with some amazing performances and a killer vibe but ultimately it just plays its hand way too early and too fiercely to be as effective as I would like it to be. Nevertheless, even the worst Martin Scorsese film is a work of genius and worthy of checking out. And this is far from the worst Scorsese film.

The Blu-ray from Paramount looks and sounds like a million bucks. Sadly, it’s damn light on special features. But if this is a flik you love and you’re not bothered by the lack of extras you could find a brand new demo disc with this one!

READ MORE: Paramount brings Scorsese’s Shutter Island to Blu-ray in June

AMAZON: $24.99


The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus [Blu-ray] (2008)

If you’ve read this blog in the past, you know that I’m an unabashed Terry Gilliam fan. And while there are a whole host of his films that just plain don’t work for me, I can’t count the The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus among them. It’s not his best flik, by far, but it manages to incorporate so many themes and images from his past work that I couldn’t help but feel warmly toward it. It’s good stuff.

READ MORE: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus Blu-ray Disc Review

AMAZON: $18.49


Predators ( + Digital Copy) [Blu-ray] (2010)

Predators wasn’t my favourite film of 2010 but it’s certainly one of the most fun, action packed Blu-ray discs to come out this year. The film can’t really measure up to the original but it’s paced with enough original ideas and call-backs to the 80s to make it feel worthy of its title. The film looks and sounds like a million bucks on Blu and is definitely worth a look.

READ MORE: Predators Blu-ray release date and details announced

AMAZON: $18.99


Zombieland [Blu-ray] (2009)

If you don’t like a zombie movie, we can’t be friends. Slap an “…of the Dead” suffix on just about any film title and I’m there! Whether it’s high-grade Hollywood fare or low-rent, B-movie imports made on a shoestring and shipped over from Italy, I’ll watch just about anything with a staggering, lurching undead brain-eater in it. Joining the ranks of the best zombie action captured on celluloid is Sony‘s Zombieland, a truly excellent adventure/teen-romance/zombie film captured on a truly excellent, feature packed Blu-ray!

READ MORE: Zombieland Blu-ray Disc Review

AMAZON: $13.99


The Damned United [Blu-ray] (2009)

I can’t believe how much I really loved this movie. Like I said in my review, I loathe sports and I possess an even greater loathing for films about sports. The fact that I could enjoy it at all makes The Damned United a pretty special movie, in my books. But ultimately, it’s less about the game than it is about the rise and fall of football club manager, Brian Clough, played brilliantly here by Michael Sheen. Watch the film for his performance, if nothing else.

READ MORE: The Damned United Blu-ray Disc Review

AMAZON: $26.99


Moon [Blu-ray] (2009)

Moon is one of the best films of the year. And it’s also a really fine Blu-ray disc. Don’t just pick it up for the quirky sci-fi story or the brilliant performance by Sam Rockwell. Pick it up because its a great all-round debut from a fine filmmaker (I’m looking at you, Duncan Jones!) given a spectacular Blu-ray disc treatment courtesy of Sony.

AMAZON: $13.99


The Informant! [Blu-ray] (2009)

I’m not one of those crazy Steven Soderbergh fans. I’m not one of those art-jerks who’ll drool over everything the man touches (I thought Full Frontal was absolute garbage) but everything he’s touched lately seems to me to be quite brilliant. That goes for Che and that certainly goes for his newest release, The Informant! (and yes, that exclamation mark is a part of the title.) It’s a cracking, fun little story, told with a ton of style, beautiful photography and the best Marvin Hamlisch score I’ve ever heard. And Matt Damon is not half bad in it either…

READ MORE: The Informant! Blu-ray Disc Review

AMAZON: $13.99


Broken Embraces [Blu-ray] (2009)

I loved Broken Embraces. Not only does this look and sound fantastic on Blu but it’s a wonderful all-around film as well. As per his usual, Almodóvar delivers a rich, finely textured tale of damaged people and, once again, provides the lovely Penélope Cruz an opportunity to break our hearts. Wonderful all around!

READ MORE: Broken Embraces Blu-ray Disc Review

AMAZON: $21.99


MORE GIFT IDEAS:

* GIFT & BOXED SETS
* TV ON BLU
* ANIMATION
* CLASSICS

Read More
Blu-ray Holiday Gift Guide

Blu-ray Holiday Gift Guide

It’s that time of year again! Whether you’re taking advantage of holiday Blu-ray deals for yourself or adding to the collections of friends and family, you can’t avoid picking up a few new discs this month. If you’re having trouble finding the perfect gift or just looking for a list of the best new discs that were released this year, you’ll find it all below.

Read More
Blu-ray Holiday Gift Guide 2009

Blu-ray Holiday Gift Guide 2009

It’s spending time, folks! Whether you’re taking advantage of holiday Blu-ray deals for yourself or adding to the collections of friends and family, you can’t avoid picking up a few new discs this month. If you’re having trouble finding the perfect gift or just looking for a list of the best new discs that were released this year, you’ll find it all below.

All links will take you over to Amazon.com, where you can learn more about the titles we’re excited about. And don’t forget that you can help support our work here at The Blu-ray Blog by making your purchases through those Amazon links (just click the images!). Thank you so much for reading and have a happy holiday season!


INCREDIBLE FILMS IN INCREDIBLE GIFT SETS

Gone With The Wind: 70th Anniversary Blu-ray Box

I’m blown away by the work Warner Home Video has been doing lately. They’re really knocking it out of the park. And this gorgeous, red-velvet encased Gone With The Wind: 70th Anniversary Blu-ray Box is indicative of their efforts. Featuring a host of collectibles, the film soundtrack on CD, a 6-hour documentary on the history of MGM, 8-hours of special features and a spot-on perfect film transfer, this box set is the ultimate gift for any film lover. Perhaps bested only by…

The Wizard of Oz: 70th Anniversary Collection Blu-ray

I didn’t get a review copy of this to check it out for myself but if all the reports I’ve read are any indication, this is the boxed set of the year. With a ton of extra content, goo-gahs and a perfect 8K film transfer, you can’t go wrong picking up the Wizard of Oz: 70th Anniversary Blu-ray boxed set.

Amazon: $54.49 (each set)


And speaking of the awesome work of Warner Home Video, take a gander at these beautiful new Harry Potter: Ultimate Edition boxed sets…

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: Ultimate Edition Blu-ray

These things are absolutely spectacular. I’ve got these first two (all the films will receive this treatment eventually, so we can expect to see films 3 and 4 released in the next year) and they take my breath away. The packaging of each set feels and looks like a perfect little hardcover book.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Ultimate Edition Blu-ray

Both the Philosopher’s Stone (or Sorcerer’s Stone, if you live in the USA) and Chamber of Secrets sets contain the theatrical and Extended cuts of the films, along with a nice hardcover book and lots of special features. The best of which is a single part each of the amazing new 8-part documentary series, “Creating the World of Harry Potter“. Each “episode”, one per set, is over an hour long and includes so much detail and behind the scenes footage that any Potter fan would be happy to find these boxed sets under the tree this year!

Read my full review of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Amazon: $29.99 (each set)


star_trek_blu_ray_limited_edition_uss_replica

Not to be outdone, Paramount brings us a beautiful, classy gift set of one of the most exciting, best films of the summer of 2009! This is the Amazon.com exclusive, limited edition Star Trek: Starship Enterprise replica set. Modeled directly from the digital files used to create the ship in the film and limited to only 5000 units, this beautiful model is crafted from solid metal with chrome, textured steel and pewter finishes and measures over 8″ long.

I’m sure I don’t need to gush any more about the incredible Blu-ray set contained within the package. If you have any doubts about it, read my Star Trek review here.

Amazon: $103.99


Forrest Gump Chocolate Box Blu-ray set

Paramount also brings us this Chocolate Box gift set of the Forrest Gump Sapphire Edition Blu-ray disc. This is for fans only, as the contents of the box don’t really add that much to the experience of the disc. The Blu-ray is outstanding, however and would be a welcome gift for any film lover!

Read my full Forrest Gump Blu-ray review.

Amazon: $24.99


Up Blu-ray Luxo Jr. Gift Set

I loved Up (read my review of the amazing Blu-ray disc here) and I think this Luxo Jr. gift set is one of the nicest gift sets on the market at the moment. It’s a working Luxo-style lamp that holds the Up Blu-ray discs in its base. Awesome! It’s tough to get a hold of, so if you’re at all interested head over to Amazon.com ASAP and grab one!

Amazon: $179.99


Snow White Collector's Edition Blu-ray Box Set

I loved the Snow White Blu-ray that Disney released earlier this year (read my full review here). If you have an animation lover or film lover on your list, you won’t go wrong picking up this gift set for them. The box contains the Blu-ray disc set, a red velour covered jewelry box with 8 cloissoné pins of Snow White and the dwarfs, an envelope of eight lithographs of original line art and a beautiful hardbound 160 page book.

Amazon: $139.99


watchmenultimateadpic

This boxed set from Warner is simply magnificent. And if you know anyone who is a crazy Watchmen fan, this is the ideal gift. The Watchmen: Ultimate Cut gift set includes the longest version of the film that will ever be available, including the animated Black Freighter cartoon edited into the live-action footage! This is as close to the original graphic novel as this film can get.

Add that to a ridiculous amount of bonus features (new commentary tracks, new featurettes, video journals, the “Under the Hood” doc and all 12 chapters of the Watchmen: The Complete Motion Comic disc!) tucked inside a gorgeous black box and you’ve got the ultimate Watchmen package home video can offer.

Amazon: $39.49


The Mel Brooks Collection Blu-ray

This Mel Brooks Collection boxed set is totally not my bag. I’ve never been a fan. I mean, I love Young Frankenstein as much as the next guy but watching all 9 of these Blu-ray discs would be tantamount to torture for yours truly. That being said, one of my best pals is a Mel Brooks nut and would be ecstatic to find this under his Christmas tree.

Amazon: $92.99


Continue on to Page 2 of our Holiday Gift Guide for the best TV on Blu-ray!

Pages: 1 2 3 4

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