The holiday season is upon us, and apparently Santa Claus doesn’t know the meaning of the word “recession.” There are no lay-offs at the North Pole (unless you’ve just watched “Family Guy’s” Road to the North Pole episode)! With that in mind, we’re sure you’ve got some films fans on your shopping list, so we’ll lend a hand with our list of the best DVD and Blu-Ray discs that were released this year.
Whether they’re jam-packed with some of our favorite films of the year and some simple must-have films to satisfy the film fan on your list…
7. Toy Story 3
Admit it, you teared up a little bit when you saw this one. If you can handle weeping like a child in front of family and friends again, it’s a good idea to pick this one up. Your best bet is to grab the Blu-Ray-/DVD/Digital Copy combo pack. The price is steeper, but it’s perfect if Santa/Best Buy delivers that HDTV you were hoping for.
Noteworthy Features: Day and Night theatrical short with commentary, a look at the toys featured in the film, “The Science of Adventure” NASA featurette, and many more!
6. Avatar Three-Disc Edition
We all knew the bare-bones edition of this movie that was released a few months back would soon be replaced by a more expensive, feature-filled collector’s version (and we all knew we’d curse ourselves for buying the first one). Luckily, this is the kind of movie that can justify that type of treatment. For any fan of movies in general, it’s great to see how one of the most impressive cinematic achievements in recent history was brought to the screen. We suggest purchasing the Blu-Ray version if you have the equipment for it; no other format captures the glory of Pandora as well.
Noteworthy Features: Three versions of the film (Theatrical, Special Edition Re-Release, and Collector’s Extended Cut), deleted scenes, Capturing Avatar documentary, screen tests, deconstructing a scene feature and many more!
5. Alien Anthology Blu-Ray
For a fan of the Alien franchise, this set is a must have. Collecting all the films together for the first time on Blu-Ray and boasting plenty of special features, this one will provide hours of entertainment. Or, you know, at least the first two films will. Can’t promise you’ll enjoy parts three and four…
Noteworthy Features: Extensive making-of documentaries for each film, productions material, scripts, commentary…everything you could want!
4. True Grit
To coincide with the release of the upcoming Coen Brothers remake, we get a Blu-Ray edition of this classic Western. Although we suspect that Joel and Ethan will deliver a remarkable movie, this purchase is great for the disgruntled film enthusiast who is sure nothing can compare to the original. By “disgruntled film enthusiast,” we mean your grandpa.
Noteworth Features: None, save for the film (unless you consider subtitles noteworthy), but for most fans of this type of movie, that will be just fine.
3. The Town Extended Cut
It wasn’t in theaters too long ago but it looks like Ben Affleck’s sophomore directorial effort is being rushed to DVD and Blu-Ray for the holiday season. While it may not exactly be this generation’s GoodFellas, it does feature some of the best heist scenes since Heat. It’s just what you need to forget about Gigli. Pick up this combo pack that features DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital Copy versions of the film.
Noteworthy Features: Commentary by actor/director Ben Affleck on extended and theatrical cuts of the film, “Ben’s Boston” featurette, “Pulling Off the Perfect Heist” featurette, and more.
2. Inception Blu-Ray
Inception wasn’t just one of the best films of the year, it was one of the most impressive science-fiction films of all time. Featuring heart-stopping action and genuine emotion, this is what going to the movies is all about (a good-looking cast didn’t hurt, either.) Your home theater probably can’t recreate the real theater experience, but this Blu-Ray copy comes as close as possible. With special features that take you inside the world of dreams and show you how the imagination of director Christopher Nolan was translated to screen, this is a must-have for film buffs.
Noteworthy Features: Dreams: Cinema of the Subconscious documentary, extraction mode which takes you inside the movie
1. The Complete Metropolis
The name of this disc is something of a misnomer, seeing as most film historians agree that there will never be a “complete” version of this film. Too much of it has been lost but this DVD release is the best one fans have seen so far. Not only is it the fullest version of the film available but it also features remarkable picture quality for a film of this age. It’s the perfect gift for the die-hard film fan on your list.
Noteworthy Features: This is pretty bare-bones, but it wasn’t like we could resurrect Fritz Lang for an audio commentary track.
What did we miss? Tell us in the comments!