PRE-ORDER, December 12th. If you like dark comedies then this one's for you. Alexander Payne killed it with this flick about a super competitive high school student body election. This was a break out role for Reese Witherspoon and my favorite Matthew Broderick performance this side of Ferris Bueller. You're seeing a lot of great dark comedies on this list and this is one of the best ones.
We talked a little bit about the screwball comedy earlier in this list and here's another shining example of the quick-witted, sharp banter. From legendary director Howard Hawks and starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in a career-defining role.
For those that want to really deeply dive into world cinema Criterion and Martin Scorsese have you covered. This set includes 7 quality international films hand-picked by Scorsese, one of cinema's great contributors and fans. Not for the casual movie-goer, but great for those deep rooted cinephiles out there.
At the cusp of the summer of love a rock festival was held with the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, Ravi Shankar, Simon and Garfunkle, The Who, The Byrds and The Mamas and the Papas. This collection documents those performances in a 4k restored collection. Far out, man!
Richard Linklater has some impressive movies in his filmography, but in my mind his most accomplished is this trilogy, showing three completely honest and real stages of love. It can be both sappy and cynical and Linklater expertly threads both throughout these three films. Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy are simply marvelous in all three films and have some of the richest, deepest, most complex character arcs ever shown in cinemas.
Francis Ford Coppola's Godfather series is unquestionably a gigantic achievement in cinema. Epic in scope, incredibly involving and immaculately performed. This is cinema as art and entertainment at the same time, especially the first two films which are kind of miracles of storytelling. Must owns and now you can add this limited, numbered edition.
Cinema Paradiso was one of my earliest foreign films and it's a celebration of the art of cinema. Not the making of movies, the way we watch them and how they speak to us on a deep level. This story is told through the eyes of a child and his friendship with the local projectionist. That bond is beautiful to watch unfold and gives us one remarkable film.
Did you know that once upon a time Bill Murray played Hunter S. Thompson? Way before Johnny Depp took on the persona Bill Murray teamed up with Peter Boyle to make this film. It's not great. Gonna warn you about that right up front, but holy shit is it worth it to see Murray doing his best Hunter Thompson.
All the Peter Sellers Pink Panther together in one blu-ray package. The quality of these films vary, but there's not one with Peter Sellers actually in it that's not worth watching. The bumbling Detective Clouseau is one of the best movie characters ever and now you can get his greatest adventures all in one place.
I have no idea why this Blu-Ray is so expensive, but I guess they're pricing it to match the value of the product. Val Kilmer was so damn good at comedy when he started out. Watch this, watch Top Secret and even more recently in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. The dude is so great at it and Real Genius is probably Kilmer at his most pure, comedically. If you haven't seen it, think of this as a better, less rapey Revenge of the Nerds.
Billy Jack was a weird franchise, a drive-in success story that spawned a whole leftist, politically conscious action series. In this set you get Born Losers, Billy Jack, The Trial of Billy Jack and Billy Jack Goes To Washington.
The latest release of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes. You get Girls Town, The Amazing Transparent Man, Diabolik and Satellite Dishes.
Bunny Lake Is Missing is a great psychological thriller about a mother who says her young daughter has been kidnapped... the strange thing is nobody at the school seems to have any memory of her and as police investigate they find no evidence of this girl ever existing. Is the mother crazy or is there a conspiracy afoot? From director Otto Preminger, starring Carol Lynley as the frantic maybe-mommy and Laurence Olivier as the detective trying to get to the bottom of things.
No, not the Spielberg Jurassic Park sequel. This is the original 1925 silent film that first took on the task of bringing dinosaurs back to life again. This film directly influenced King Kong, which in turn influenced the next generation leading all the way to today. The full cut of this film has been lost since 1929, but previously lost footage has been found and the result is this restoration.
PRE-ORDER, December 31st. Have you heard about that fancy 4k restoration of Suspiria, one of the films that calls out to be restored in as high definition as humanly possible? Well, that transfer is on this limited, numbered blu-ray release by Synapse Films. You get the restoration in a steelbook with the film on one disc (so it can be uncompressed), extras on a second disc and a CD of the film's iconic score. You should know this movie, but if you don't it's about a school run by witches and has probably the most lush color palette of any movie ever made. Widely considered Dario Argento's masterpiece.
Hellraiser steelbook gets you the new 2k restoration, uncompressed audio and a whole bunch of extra features. No puzzle box that opens up a door to hell, unfortunately, but that's probably a good thing all things considered.
Arrow put out this really cool George Romero box set that collects his films between his first two zombie flicks. You get There's Always Vanilla, Season of the Witch and The Crazies. Season of the Witch isn't very good, I haven't seen There's Always Vanilla (but it's his follow up to Night of the Living Dead so of course I'm curious) and The Crazies is frickin' great. Arrow always does right by their titles, so I'm sure this is a killer set.
This is a pretty good Stephen King adaptation. It's not as great as The Shining or Shawshank, but it's a pretty solid and creepy tale about killer kids in a small mid-west town that feed adults to some monster in the corn. Terminator's Linda Hamilton stars in this adaptation.
J.D.'s Revenge is a blaxploitation horror movie about a man who is possessed by the spirit of a murdered 1940s gangster who uses his newfound body to go exact revenge on those who wronged him. Glynn Turman and Louis Gossett Jr. star in this horror fan favorite.
PRE-ORDER, December 5th. Now this is a quality horror set. You get some not-so-obvious everyone-has-seen-'em films here from Amicus' heydey. Amicus was a production outfit that produced horror out of the UK. Here you get Asylum, And Now The Screaming Starts and The Beast Must Die as well as a fourth disc filled with Amicus trailers and other special features. All three are good and I in particular love The Beast Must Die, which I'm absolutely shocked hasn't been remade yet. It's an Agatha Christie murder mystery, but instead of trying to find out who is a killer you're trying to find out who is a werewolf.
I saw this one under the title Raw Meat, which is a better title. It's about a cannibal society that has developed in the abandoned tube system under London. Raw Meat's much better! Halloween's Donald Pleasence stars in this great, underseen British thriller.
You know, I saw the VHS of this on the rental store rack all throughout my childhood, but I don't know if I've ever seen it. It's a striking cover image, though. You don't shake that. Doing a little digging and the plot is generic enough that I still can't tell if I've seen it (nerd gets bullied at school, is disfigured in the process and exacts his revenge against the popular kids 5 years later), but look at that cover!
This was another VHS cover I remember being attracted to as a kid, except I know for sure I rented this one. Film students put on an all-night horror film fest and start dying off one by one as the night goes on. This disc comes with commentaries, interviews, featurettes and a 2k interpositive transfer, so you can bet it's never looked better... probably even when it was first released!
Here you get all four Psycho movies, which is a better overall franchise than it gets credit for. Psycho II in particular is an incredibly smart sequel that somehow makes you sympathize with Norman Bates after the events of Hitchcock's original film. It's way gorier, but just as smart with its characters as Hitch was. Psycho III is fine and IV is much better than it has any right being considering it was done as a TV movie. It's Norman calling into a self help style talkshow and giving his backstory, so we see young Norman (played by ET's Henry Thomas) and Mama Bates (Olivia Hussey) long before Bates Motel came around. Now they're all gathered together.
In terms of consistency Frankenstein had the best run of the Universal monsters (in my humble opinion, of course). This Blu set includes Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, The Ghost of Frankenstein, Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, House of Frankenstein, House of Dracula and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. Doubles up a lot of titles with the other Universal Monster blus, but I'd say if you only bought one this is the one you should go for.
PRE-ORDER, December 12th. Donnie Darko gets a brand new 4k transfer for this limited edition steelbook Blu-Ray release with a whole buncha special features. Pretty great release for this title, which hit movie fans like a ton of bricks when it came out. Smart, mysterious and catapulting Jake Gyllenhaal to stardom. Very interested in seeing this new 4k transfer with my own eyes.
They don't do these big tchtochke-laden Blu-Ray releases much anymore and I get it. Who needs a bunch of cheap plastic shit to fill your drawers with? But I can't deny that it felt a little bit like Christmas going through these gift set Blu releases. Dirty Dancing has a big one, though so that's something. It comes with a compact mirror, a copy of the shooting script, dance step cards, “I carried a watermelon” wristlet wallet, a keychain, post cards and a mini-poster. No corners or babies included, but that's okay because nobody puts them together anymore. Or so I heard.
I don't know if there's a Wishmaster worth a damn past the very first one, but in case you've got a Wishmaster fantastic in your family here's this cool Vestron release of all four Wishmaster movies. That's a whole lot of evil djinn Andrew Divoff.
Now this is a horror set I can whole-heartedly endorse. There's more hits than misses with the Child's Play films, thanks in large part to them realizing how ridiculous it is that they have a horror franchise centered around a killer doll and turning them into horror-comedies about halfway through. The first movie still pretty legit scary and Bride and Seed are really fun. Haven't caught up with the latest, Cult of Chucky, yet, but it's included in this set as well.
This is a goofy, goofy movie and I loved it when I was a kid. John Cleese, Kevin Kline and Jamie Lee Curtis in particular shine in this whack-a-doodle tale about jewel thieves and stolen diamonds. This packed special edition blu-ray includes a new 4k transfer and a ton of special features.
Arrow also picked up John Frankenheimer's Robert De Niro starrer Ronin. It's a heist film by one of our great filmmakers that wasn't celebrated as much as it should have been upon release. I remember, I was there! I'm old...
When Takashi Miike does a crime/action series you know you're in for some fucked up shit and that's exactly what you get here. Drugs, guns, robots with penis heads for faces... that kind of thing. This collection brings together all three films from Japan's most bizarre filmmaker
This was the first title I bought when I got my new 4k TV. I'm a sucker for Spielberg, what can I say. And it looks great, plus this cool special edition limited release thing has a lenticular cover where you can watch Elliott and ET fly across the moon with a slow twist of the wrist! I'm a sucker for good packaging and that's some damn good packaging! Now just get me my 4k UHD Jaws release and I'll stop with the whitehouse.gov petitions, I promise.
You can get theme individually (linked above) or you can save a bunch of money and get 4k Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas all in one collection! Even Pigpen agrees that's the right move and that dude walks around in a filth cloud all the time.
PRE-ORDER, December 5th. Coming very soon is the super silly and fun Men In Black series in 4k UHD. If you don't order it, I'm sure you'll get a very stern, incomprehensible tweet storm from Jaden Smith telling you're wrong because the elves living in the cosmos whispered in his ear that these were his dad's best movies or some such shit. Actually that'd be pretty awesome, so maybe hold off and see if you can get social crazied by Will Smith's kid.
I told you I'm a sucker for good packaging. For less than $20 more than just buying the regular 4k UHD version of Homecoming you can get a special edition that comes with your own Spider-Man mask. Fuck. Yes.
One of the most consistently great tentpole franchises in recent memory. You can get Caesar's Apes trilogy in 4k UHD for less than $15 a flick. War for the Planet of the Apes in particular should look stunning since director Matt Reeves shot it in crazy high resolution. All three films together and as we know from the movies apes together strong.
ET was my first 4k purchase. This was my second. Like with part 1 on Blu-Ray before it BBC's exquisitely shot nature documentaries seem designed to show off new HD tech and I can tell you from experience that this is incredible. It's like opening a window to some of the most incredible vistas in the world in your living room. I swear, I glanced down at my computer screen while watching this and looked back up to see a monkey staring back at me and my brain registered it as actually being in my living room for half a second the image was so bright and clear.
Nobody documents America's wartorn past like Ken Burns. His epic documentaries on the Civil War and WW2 are like the best possible history lessons because he makes you feel like you're in the shoes of some of the participants, from grunts to generals. Vietnam in particular is a clusterfuck and it'll take a strong, smart and precise storyteller like Burns to guide us through the twists and turns of that very political conflict.
PRE-ORDER, December 12th. The cut down the number of episodes this season which has its upsides and downsides. The downside is that it feels like things were on fast-forward a little bit, but the upside is they poured all the money they saved by cutting down the episode count into some of the most epic fantasy battle sequences since Lord of the Rings. The Mother and her Dragons are finally unleashed and Winter actually arrives. Lots of payoff this season and it ends on a note that makes me wonder how these people I've grown to love will make it out of this alive... and given this show's history perhaps most won't.
You might not want to watch this with your grandma, unless your family is super close and open with their sexuality and nana's super into fantasy violence and butt-sex. This adaptation of Neil Gaiman's book pulls no punches and is incredibly well done. I can't believe it exists, to be honest, but I'm psyched it does.
I think Preacher's thunder is being stolen a little bit by American Gods, but it's another genre show that I can't believe exists. So far it has diverted quite a bit from the comics, but you can't deny it captures the spirit of books. This season focuses on our ragtag group of a-holes facing down the Saint of Killers, Arseface befriending an oddly sympathetic Hitler in hell and introducing the most twisted, perverted agent you've ever seen. We also get one of the most blasphemous scenes ever put on TV. I'm surprised there haven't been picket lines and death threats over it, to be honest. Good shit.
Speaking of extreme TV, they do something in this season of Ash Vs. The Evil Dead I still can't believe was allowed on TV. I won't spoil it if you haven't seen it, but it concerns a nude corpse, a Prince Albert piercing and Ash getting way, way too intimate with both. The first season was good, this season steps everything up.
Doctor Who intimidates me, someone who didn't grow up with it. There seems to be an almost literal lifetime worth of material to dive through. There's so much Who! I've dipped my toe into these waters and genuinely liked what I've seen, but I'm only about 2 seasons into Who. Some day I will make the plunge, but in the meantime here's the latest season. I know they've transitioned to the first female Doctor and that excites me, a novice, so I can't imagine how pumped most hardcore Who fans will be to see where they take that.
Quantum Leap is one of the best shows ever aired. If you somehow have never seen it I'm super jealous that you can experience it fresh. This was a staple for me growing up and I'm surprised it has yet to be rebooted. You have a guy who invents the ability to jump through space and time, occupying different people with each jump with a goal to fix past mistakes and make the world better. I miss this show!
This isn't the original Rod Serling series, but the short-lived '80s relaunch, which is actually pretty good. You have all 65 episodes here, some written by such notables as Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen King.
If you want more Rod Serling then here's the complete collection of his Twilight Zone-ish followup series Night Gallery. Of particular interest is an episode that marks the first directorial outing for a young lad named Steven Spielberg. You get 98 episodes in this set.
I watched a lot of old TV when I was a kid thanks to Nick At Nite, which always reran stuff like Mr. Ed, The Patty Duke Show, The Monkees and, yes, Green Acres. See cosmopolitan city slickers try to make farmlife work in this ahead of its time sitcom!
Ezra Miller did a good job in Justice League, but Grant Gustin has been kicking ass as Flash on TV for a few years now. Season 3 is the latest to hit Blu-Ray and you can pick it up right this very second.
I haven't seen a single episode of this show, but I know there are people out there who love it. This one's for you, Gothamites! Gothamaniacs? I like Gothamaniacs more, I think. Gonna stick with that one.
Melissa Benoist has been a great discovery for this show. I have a few issues with Supergirl, but none of them rest with how Benoist has been in the role. There's more of her teaming with her more famous cousin (Superman, silly) and some deep cut DC cameos this season.
The DC films seem to be floundering a bit, but they're really bringing it to their TV stuff. Legends of Tomorrow isn't afraid to fully embrace some of DC's sillier characters (there's a bad guy named Captain Cold!), which is pretty neat and makes for a really fun experience.
iZombie has been a delight. Veronica Mars' Rob Thomas has made a damn fun procedural with a great twist... The lead is a brain-eating zombie coroner who sees flashes of the life and experiences of those whose brains she consumes. She also takes on their traits, so if she eats the brain of a ditzy cheerleader she starts acting like a ditzy cheerleader. Very fun concept with a great, loveable cast lead by Rose McIver.
The Negan Season. Rick and Co are in a world of shit this season (what else is new?) and for the first time in a long time I found I wasn't sure at least some of the heroes would find a way out of their troubles.
Clear eyes, full hearts! Bring every single episode of Friday Night Lights (even the weird, random serial killer season) home with this complete box set on Blu-Ray at the lowest price ever for Blu-Ray.
The show that gave the world Mila Kunis! And Ashton Kutcher, but we'll forgive them for that. Sorry, Ashton. I know we've never met or anything, but I like ya' bud. Just making a funny goof is all. Here you get every episode of That '70s Show on 16 blu-ray discs. Groovy and stuff.
HBO's Westworld hasn't gotten to the level of Game of Thrones yet, but goddamn is this an intriguing series. All about an advanced theme park with too-lifelike robots that let you fulfill any kind of real feeling western storyline your heart desires, no matter how gory and violent it may be. The AI is waking up and let's just say they're not all that happy at being shot up by rich asshole tourists. Heady ideas, incredibly well-executed, great performances. Can't wait for season 2!
Star Wars on TV has been fantastic since The Clone Wars, but I feel like Rebels has taken it to the next level. Rebels is a key reason why I'm excited to see Rian Johnson spin off a new Star Wars movie series with completely new characters. The universe is so rich and can support new characters to fall in love with, as proven by Rebels. I love this crew... maybe not as much as Han, Luke, Leia, Chewie, R2 and 3PO, but lots and lots. Thrawn makes a great new villain for our Rebels crew to face.
You guys have heard of this video game series called Halo, right? It's a shooter game with these powerful armored dudes called Spartans and you in the multiplayer mode you can have Red or Blue teams that fight each other. I know the Rooster Teeth regulars might not be familiar with something as obscure as Halo, so I just wanted to make sure you guys were caught up. Smart-assiness aside, this blu-ray set compiles 5 discs worth of animated Halo stories. Figured this might be up your guys' alley.
Walking Dead always puts out a crazy collector's edition for each season that is a piece of gory art. This year is no different with a big ol' spike walker that'll hold your Season 7 blus. Limited to 5000, this special edition is sure to sell out an shoot up in value like previous seasons
PRE-ORDER, December 12th. You can get all 7 available Game of Thrones Seasons in high def in this big ol' box set. Me personally I'm waiting for the series to end before I dish out big bucks for the entire collection, but that admittedly makes catch-up binge watching a little bit of a pain in the ass. But I'm showing some uncommon restraint and holding off for the inevitable complete box set (preferably in 4k). But I'm barely holding out, so I understand if you want to treat yourself or a loved one to some of the most fun and exciting TV out right now.
For less than $6 a movie you get some of the best work from one of the best filmmakers of all time in high def, no less! You get Saboteur, Shadow of a Doubt, Rope, Rear Window, The Trouble With Harry, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Vertigo, North By Northwest, Psycho, The Birds, Marnie, Torn Curtain, Topaz, Frenzy, Family Plot and 2 extra discs loaded with special features. That's a hell of a bargain!
Fritz Lang: The Silent Films (Kino)
Fritz Lang directed one of the most influential sci-fi films of all time in Metropolis, but he did a whole lot more than that one film. This Blu collection from Kino assembles 11 of his silent-era films, including Metropolis. Catnip for Old Hollywood cinephiles.
This is really cool for fantasy fans. There was nothing better when you were a kid than curling up in front of the TV and watching Ray Harryhausen's stop motion magic unfold. This limited edition blu-ray set gathers the three Sinbad movies (7th Voyage, Golden Voyage and Eye of the Tiger) together in newly remastered transfers. Yes, please!
This special Amazon-exclusive Blu-Ray set for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them comes in a cute-ass Niffler statue. Don't put it near anything valuable, though. That little shit really does like to steal shiny things. I learned that lesson the hard way...
Boooooooyyyyyy! The Phantasm series is pretty awesome. You got a tall old man demon coroner alien dude, evil Jawas and rad flying silver spheres that will slice and dice you all to hell. This limited edition set gathers all of the Phantasm films together. It's expensive, but only rising in price as this thing gets sucked into collector's hands. You get all 5 Phantasms plus an extra disc of special features.
Five seasons of completely remastered Samurai Jack and yes, that includes this current (fifth) season.
This show was way better than it had any right to be. Freddie Highmore made a surprisingly great Norman and Vera Farmiga was unsurprisingly great as Mama Bates. This show took what you know from the Psycho films and twisted them a bit, keeping the one key thing: Norman Bates has to be sympathetic. He can be creepy, but you gotta understand him. That's what separates Norman from most movie psychopaths. You can actually empathize with him. Also worth shouting out Olivia Cooke who is on a hell of a career trajectory right now, but launched on this show. You can get every single episode in this one blu set.
Okay, another giant geeky TV hole in my life. I haven't seen one episode of Orphan Black, but boy have I heard about how great it is for years. I will fix this wrong one day and BBC has made it easy on me by finishing out the series and offering every single episode up in one convenient collection!
Here you have 10 years of DC Universe animated movies. That's 30 complete films and over 20 hours of bonus content. That's a lot of DC animation! I talked about it a little earlier but the DC animated films have been almost totally on point and here they are all together at less than $7 per movie if you buy in bulk. Kinda like Costco. You pay more for toilet paper, but it lasts, like, 2 years. You get more value for your money.
For The Super Rich Only ($250.00 and up)
PRE-ORDER, December 5th. So above you got 10 years of DC animated movies. Criterion is all like “Hold my beer,” and is offering you 100 years of Olympic Film. That's 100 years worth of on-the-ground footage of the world's best athletes making history in a 32 blu-ray disc set with fully restored footage, that's over 6,000 minutes. It's crazy this thing exists, but if it had to I'm glad Criterion is the one handling it.
If you just want the complete cartoon you don't need to dish out $300. In fact, you can get the actual content for about $20. You're paying for the giant Speed Racer head. Do I think that Speed Racer collector head is cool? Hell yeah, I do. Do I think it's worth $280 extra? Fuck to the no, but someone out there might. This one's for you, moneybags!