Room with a view
The year's best home viewing
The holiday season is winding down, but you might still have some late gifts to buy, or presents for those poor souls with birthdays the week after Christmas, or maybe you just feel like throwing an extra generous New Year’s Eve party and giving out presents to all the guests. Or, even better, you just scored a gift card or a lousy present you’re ready to exchange.
Well, Blu-rays are relatively inexpensive, they usually don’t smell all that bad, and they have been known to cure influenza in farm animals. I’m lying about that last one, but they make great gifts.
All of these items listed below are Blu-ray. Many of them also contain DVDs for those of your gift recipients who are super late to the Blu-ray party. The prices listed were taken form the all hallowed Amazon.com at the time I wrote this. I provide these prices to give you a ballpark figure for shopping, and it’s not an exact science, so get off of my back!Because it's the greatest TV show that ever was, that's why
Breaking Bad: The Complete Series ($244.99)
The conclusion of Breaking Bad was astoundingly, astonishingly good. Along with Agent Cooper’s bloody face laughing into a cracked mirror on Twin Peaks, Bryan Cranston’s final moments as chemistry teacher turned meth master Walter White count as the best series finales I’ve ever seen.
You get every season in this set, with the final episodes of the show available for the first time on home video. The final season started where the prior season left off, with—spoiler alert—Dean Norris’s Hank finally figuring out what his brother-in-law was doing in his spare time. From the moment he confronts Walter, to the musical strains of Badfinger’s “Baby Blue,” the final season is a wild, wild ride.
All of the seasons come in a nifty “money” barrel. (Those who saw the final season know of the barrel’s significance). You get a nice booklet, an awesome Los Pollos Hermanos apron, and many hours of special features, including an over-two-hour documentary that is special to this set. The already circulated Malcolm in the Middle fake ending is here, as well.Because it has the COOLEST CASE EVER!
The Walking Dead Season 3: Limited Edition ($79.99)
Yes, the Breaking Bad money barrel is awesome and will make collectors go “Oooh, ahh!” but take a look at this sucker. You get season three of The Walking Dead inside a zombie head aquarium designed by McFarlane Toys. Yes, it has water in it. Yes, it has zombie heads in it. Yes, it is a sick and twisted ode to the Governor and his weird taste in pets. Yes, it’s so cool, it’s crazy.For the Sea World enthusiast you want to bum out
Do you dislike someone planning a Sea World excursion? Well then, hook that douchebag up with this sometime horrifying look at why orcas should not be held captive in tanks for us to press our noses up to and gawk. The death of an Orlando Sea World trainer, along with other captive-whale-related fatalities, are at the center of this well made documentary. Many who see this may very well be converted to an anti-Sea World sentiment.
So, if you know somebody who loves Shamu, and they owe you money or stole your shoes or something like that, give them this and make them feel like dookie. Happy holidays!For the one who finds the end of the world potentially hilarious
This is The End ($22.99) and The World's End ($19.99)
Two of the year’s best comedies were about the Apocalypse, and they both get decent Blu-ray treatments. Seth Rogen and friends (including a hilarious James Franco) spoof themselves and celebrity with their extremely funny, surprisingly violent flick wherein Franco is actually eaten by Danny McBride. Simon Pegg completed his Cornetto trilogy with a great one about bar-hopping while alien robots pull an Invasion of the Body Snatchers. (There’s also a Cornetto Trilogy Blu-ray pack featuring Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End).Because they both have Eric Idle in them
The Rutles Anthology ($19.88) and Monty Python's The Meaning of Life ($14.96)
Monty Python have recently announced reunion shows, marking the end of a small feud between Eric Idle and the rest of the group. The Rutles Anthology gives you Idle’s Beatles spoof, and The Meaning of Life Blu features an awesome reunion of sorts (John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones sit in a room, with Eric Idle piped in via satellite video). These two in the stocking are highly recommended for Python fans.Also British and also cool
Help! ($24.78) and Paul McCartney and Wings: Rockshow ($19.49)
While Help! is only the second-best Beatles movie ever, it’s only because A Hard Day’s Night is so damned good. Help! is entirely awesome and cool, featuring a Ringo performance for the ages. As for Rockshow, you’ll make McCartney fans happy even if it does feature a couple of Wings clunkers.To remind that slasher film fan that they are getting old
Halloween: 35th Anniversary Edition ($26..94)
The umpteenth edition of John Carpenter’s classic Halloween is worth having, and a fine reminder that many of those who caught in in theaters are now in their 50s! That is some messed-up shit right there.Because when the folks who get the above stop weeping and examining their wrinkles in the mirror, they will want more Carpenter
Prince of Darkness ($24.87)
The Fog ($22.38)
In the Mouth of Madness ($14.96)
Some of Carpenter’s lessor known but still scary as all heck movies got decent Blu-ray treatment this year, especially Anchor Bay’s treatments for Prince of Darkness and The Fog. In the Mouth of Madness has fewer bells and whistles, but it’s still a pretty good film finally coming to Blu-ray.For those highfalutin, indie-movie loving, stuck-up movie fans
This is one of the year’s best movies, and offers a distinct reason for why many of us movie critics have stopped making fun of Matthew McConaughey.For that person you sort of hate
The Internship ($17.99)
If there’s somebody on your list that you kind of hate, but find yourself having to give them a gift for one reason or another, go ahead and give them this piece of shit.For the Disney freak
Peter Pan ($19.99)
Mary Poppins: 50th Anniversary Edition ($24.99)
The Little Mermaid ($29.96)
Disney released a lot of good stuff this year. If you get that Disney maniac on your list these three flicks, you will be in good shape. I didn’t like Wreck-it-Ralph, so it has been excluded. Yes, my motivations are selfish and biased, but it’s my article, so there you go.Because it's Charlie Chaplin and part of the Criterion Collection
City Lights ($22.99)
The ever-reliable Criterion folks continue their series of Chaplin reissues with this treasure.Because the monster eats a diner and it's part of the Criterion Collection
The Blob ($24.99)
Steve McQueen stars in a movie about a big piece of Jell-O going around absorbing people and, yes, eating a diner. It has a great theme song, too!Longer, still kind of lame, but collectors want it on their shelf
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition ($24.99)
It’s longer, still boring, and has those lengthy behind-the-scenes looks and a Peter Jackson commentary. Tolkien fans who don’t like this movie want it anyway, including myself.