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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!

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New From Flicker Alley: The Most Dangerous Game and Gow The Headhunter

Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack’s The Most Dangerous Game has been one of my favorite films since I first saw it about four years ago. I’m pretty sure Joel McCrea (man’s man), never looked better than he does running around the jungle in this film.

Clocking in at just around 60 minutes, it is one of the most thrilling films ever made; there is not a wasted frame. Flicker Alley has out a new Blu-ray of a restoration done by Lobster films.

Also included in this set is Gow, The Headhunter, which was released in various forms starting in 1928. The film is an exploration picture made by the same team and is a very interesting travelogue of the South Seas Islands. The version on this edition includes some pretty great/awful commentary by expedition member William Peck. It sort of reminds me of the commentary on The Endless Summer, only the comedy this time seems to be not on purpose.

Both restorations on this release are from the original 35mm fine gain master positives and boy to do they look amazing. This edition also comes with two full-length audio essays, a booklet containing notes on each film by Merian C. Cooper as quoted in David O. Selznick’s Hollywood by Ronald Haver and Eric Schaefer, and excerpts from an original audio interview with Merian C. Cooper conducted by film historian Kevin Brownlow. I would have included screencaps to show you how beautifully crisp this transfer is, but I don’t have a Blu-ray drive on my computer, so you’ll just have to trust me on this. The region free Blu-ray is available for pre-order now and will be released on July 3rd.

Disclaimer: This review is based on a review disc given to me by Flicker Alley, though the opinions are all my own.