Cinema Fanatic’s 2012 Holiday Gift Guide

I was pretty happy with last year’s Holiday Gift Guide, so I thought I’d do it again this year. This year gifts range from $5 books to $250 dollar box sets. I’ve scoured Amazon for the best box sets, as well as added some films and books that have made my year pretty great. I think there’s a little something for everyone here. Treat yourself. Treat the movie lover in your life. Treat your favorite film blogger. Everything you need can be found in this handy, dandy guide. I upped this year’s list from 15 to 20 items because there were just so many great new Blu and box set releases this year!

1. Blade Runner 30th Anniversary Collector’s Edition

I would be lying if I said I didn’t want someone to buy this for me, too. This is such a magnificent collection. And if you don’t want all the bells and whistles of the gift set, there’s just a Blu-ray available as well.

2. Magic Mike

Probably the most misunderstood/mis-advertised/overlooked film of 2012. I know people who avoided it because of the world it was set in – male stripping – and I know people who thought there was too much story, not enough dancing. Ridiculous. Presumably Academy Award winner Steven Soderbergh’s penultimate film is one of the best films of the year. End of story. I’ve linked to four different formats for your viewing pleasure.

3. Harold and Maude from the Criterion Collection

Also available on DVD, this new transfer and all the special features are exactly what this perfect film deserves.

4. Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection

This limited edition set contains fifteen of the Master of Suspense’s most revered films in some really killer packaging.

5. Bond 50: The Complete 22 Films Collection

Everything from Dr. No to Quantum of Solace plus 130 hours of extra features, some never before seen.

6. Lawrence of Arabia (50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition)

This transfer was made from the new restoration of the film (I got to see a peek of it earlier this year and it is flawless/I will hopefully be seeing it at the Castro Theatre in December!)

7. Casabalnca (70th Anniversary Limited Collector’s Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo)

I actually own this. I like that it comes with both Blu-ray and DVD. Also all of the memorabilia stuff is to die for. It’s a shame the restoration is a little too flawless (leave the film grain alone, guys!)

8. The Ultimate Buster Keaton Collection

The most expensive thing on this guide, clocking in at nearly $250!; it contains every Keaton film that Kino has ever released (which is MOST OF THEM).

9. Tarantino XX

A celebration of twenty years of cinema since Tarantino’s 1992 debut Reservoir Dogs, it contains every film he’s directed (save that guest spot on Sin City) plus True Romance (which he wrote; I wonder why it doesn’t include Natural Born Killers?)

10. Lili from the Warner Archive

I just wrote about this film, but I wanted to include something I thought you could give to children/was family friendly. I think this would be a great film to introduce your kid to the era.

11. Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection

This set includes remastered/restored versions of Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Phantom of the Opera and Creature From the Black Lagoon.

12. The Most Dangerous Game / Gow the Headhunter from Flicker Alley

Another new release that I wrote about, this crystal clear transfer of The Most Dangerous Game is to die for.

13. Red Dust from the Warner Archive

Ever since the release of the Jean Harlow collection last year I had been waiting for this film to come out on DVD and this remastered version from the Warner Archive was definitely worth the wait.

14. Strangers on a Train

If you don’t want to spend big bucks on the Hitch box set, you can buy this delicious Blu of my second favorite of his films.

15. Laura

This DVD has been out for over a decade and I’ve still got my finger’s crossed for a remastered version (although I own this and it is still quite beautiful), I just had to include this gem of a film. After seeing it on the big screen three times in the last year I have decided Laura is a perfect film.

16. Wings

For the longest time Wings was one of the only Best Picture winners not to be available on DVD. This January that all changed. I own this and it is gorgeous. I’ve also seen this restoration on the big screen twice this year (once with live sound effects by Academy Award winner Ben Burtt, who supervised the restored sound design for this film (yes, it’s a silent, but in its original roadshow release it had live sound!). This is also available on DVD.

17. Lew Ayres: Hollywood’s Conscientious Objector

I’m not just posting this because I wrote the foreword; it’s also a great chronicle of one of my favorite actor‘s unbelievably courageous life.

18. L.A. Confidential screenplay by Brian Hegeland & Curtis Hanson

L.A. Confidential is also a perfect movie. I checked this screenplay out of the library last fall. Then I bought it at a bookstore. I have re-read it many times since then. It is probably my favorite screenplay I’ve ever read.

19. Bright Star: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne

Bright Star is one of my ten favorite films ever and this book of poems illuminates so much of the process and inspiration Jane Campion took from Keats and Brawne to create such a moving portrait of their love.

20. Vanity Will Get You Somewhere: An Autobiography

Joseph Cotten may well be my favorite actor (sorry Lew!) and this candid autobiography is a must-read for fans. It’s a shame the cover is so ridiculously 80s.

Hopefully you’ll find something on here for yourself or someone on your Christmas shopping list. Remember, if you order from my shop it’s just like ordering from Amazon (when you check out it goes to the regular Amazon shopping cart area), I just get a little something for referring the product. It’ll be like a little gift to me from you!


About Marya E. Gates

Cinephile to the max.

Posted on November 20, 2012, in DVDs, Site Update and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I am just lusting that blu-ray set of Lawrence of Arabia…it looks good

  2. Love this…it gives me some great gift ideas for my husband (Hitchcock!), and I really need to get that Joseph Cotten book for myself.

  3. The Hitchcock set looks pretty tempting…I also love the cover of the Harold and Maude dvd.

  4. Strangers on a Train, Laura….most of the movies on this list are on my list of shame. I need to work on this. I need TCM back.

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