Everyone loves movies. At least, that's our philosophy at the CraveOnline Film Channel. But not everyone loves the same movies, and not everyone knows what to buy the diehard filmlovers on their holiday shopping list. Never fear, dear readers: The 2012 Holiday Gift Guide for Film Lovers is here, and it's got all the hottest items available for everyone you could possibly need to buy for this season. We've got Blu-rays for all audiences, Classic Film Lovers, Cult Fans and Kids. We've got books in all shapes and sizes (note: mostly rectangles), and gadgets, toys, replicas and apparel galore! Let CraveOnline do your shopping for you this year, and hey, why not pick up a little something for yourself while you're at it…?
Let's start off with…
Blu-Rays for Everyone:
The Jaws Blu-ray came out earlier this year, and if you’re on a bit of a budget it’s the ideal gift for any movie lover on your list. The disc comes with a strikingly crisp high-definition transfer of the Steven Spielberg’s original blockbuster – seriously, it’s probably never looked this good – and a host of special features, including the feature-length documentary The Shark is Still Working: The Impact & Legacy of Jaws, made by fans, for fans. If you want to shell out a little more money (to show that you care, naturally), there’s a special edition that comes with a 42-page “making of” book as well.
The Dark Knight Rises: Limited Edition Bat Cowl
Let’s be fair: if you know somebody who wants The Dark Knight Rises on Blu-ray this holiday season, they’re probably buying it for themselves when it comes out. But they may not be willing to shell out the extra cash necessary for this beautiful “Bat Cowl” edition, which comes with a replica of the broken mask that Bane drops in the middle of the film. Limited to 35,000 copies, it’s not going to last, so preorder your copy now.
Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures
If they don’t mind having a copy of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in their home, Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures is a stellar set to give any movielover this holiday season, with all four motion pictures – most of them looking fantastic – and hours of behind the scenes special features. For many of us, the Indiana Jones movies were among the most desired Blu-rays since the dawn of the high-definition medium. This set almost made the wait seem worth it. Almost.
Every single (canonical) James Bond film in one Blu-ray set, with a space left over for the inevitable release of Skyfall. Each of these films looks amazing, every disc is packed with bonus content. There are some duds in Bond 50, but even a bad James Bond movie is fascinating in its own spectacular way. Every action movie fan needs this set in their collection.
Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One
If you know someone who loves the Marvel Studios movies, they probably own all of them (or at least all the ones they like) already. So justifying the purchase of a lavish gift set, housed inside a briefcase with a glowing Tesseract inside, may be a little difficult for them. Pre-order this set for your loved ones, and then when it comes time to give them “the big gift,” just give ‘em a handmade coupon. Watch as their disappointment turns to glee when they realize what’s coming on April 3, 2013. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Blu-Rays for Classic Movie Lovers:
Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection
This glorious Blu-ray release includes the first high-definition remasters of Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, The Phantom of the Opera and The Creature from the Black Lagoon. Some of them look like they were shot yesterday, and each comes with commentary tracks and special features illuminating the productions. For classic movie fans, and horror fans of any stripe, Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection is the perfect gift.
Lawrence of Arabia: Fiftieth Anniversary Collector’s Edition
David Lean’s classic epic Lawrence of Arabia finally hit high-definition earlier this year, and it’s amazing that it took so long. The film’s luscious cinematography and incredible vistas make it a natural fit for the Blu-ray medium. The film is available by itself if you’re on a budget, but if the recipient is especially beloved, go for the collector’s edition, which comes with an extra disc of documentaries, the soundtrack CD (including two previously unreleased tracks), a coffee table book and a number, mounted 70mm film cell.
Francis Ford Coppola: 5-Film Collection
The title is actually a bit of a misnomer, since this set actually includes four movies: The Conversation, Tetro, One from the Heart and Apocalypse Now, along with the extended cut of the Vietnam War classic, Apocalypse Now: Redux. But even so, film lovers are going to want this collection to relive some of the best films of Coppola’s career, especially since they probably already own the Blu-ray collection of The Godfather.
Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection
Our pick for the best Blu-ray collection of the year goes to Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection, which includes 14 of the master’s very best films, and also the disappointing dud Topaz. Most of these films have never been on Blu-ray before, but even the smaller movies – like The Trouble with Harry and Frenzy – get the four star treatment. Introduce yourself to some of Hitchcock’s lesser known works, and marvel at the glorious new transfers of Vertigo, Rear Window, Shadow of a Doubt, The Birds, Psycho, North by Northwest and more. At any price, this collection is a bargain.
Universal 100th Anniversary Collection
This twenty-five film Blu-ray set would be one hell of an exciting thing to find under the tree. Universal has packaged some of their greatest films together in one nifty package for their 100th anniversary, and while some of them are headscratchers (Mamma Mia! is in the same set as All Quiet on the Western Front?!), there’s certainly something for everyone in the impressive Universal 100th Anniversary Collection.
Blu-Rays for Cult Fans:
42nd Street Forever: Blu-Ray Edition
The Blu-ray edition of these beloved grindhouse trailer collections finally came out earlier this year, and whether you plan to absorb them all at once or leave these strange genre curios on in the background at parties, it’s a wonderful addition to any cult film lover’s collection. 42nd Street Forever: Blu-Ray Edition includes such mindbending trailers as The Italian Stallion, Shocking Asia, When Women Had Tails, Black Samson and dozens more.
Little Shop of Horrors: Director’s Cut
Speaking of “long unavailable,” the Blu-ray release of the ultra-violent camp musical Little Shop of Horrors includes an alternate ending that hasn’t been seen since the original, out of print DVD release, and it’s a doozy. Post-apocalyptic singing plants abound, and that’s just the gild on this wonderful lily, a hilarious motion picture with unforgettable songs that have proven more timeless than the original, low budget Roger Corman movie the musical is based on.
Halloween III: Season of the Witch
The Blu-ray edition of Halloween III: Season of the Witch gets a better treatment than this black sheep horror sequel possibly deserves. The only film in the Halloween franchise that doesn’t feature Michael Myers, Season of the Witch stars Tom Atkins as he investigates a life-threatening conspiracy to hypnotize the nation’s children into a homicidal rage on Halloween. It’s bizarre, but it’s also not nearly as bad as they’d have you believe. This is the gift for the horror movie fan who has everything.
Wizards: 35th Anniversary Edition
Ralph Bakshi’s classic fantasy, about a group of magical creatures fighting an army of Nazi-inspired techno-monsters, finally came to Blu-ray this year in a beautiful remaster that emphasizes the director’s famous, bizarre vision of the future. You’ll be amazed by the imagery, you’ll be shocked by the ending, and you’ll fall in love with this movie even if you’ve never seen it before.
Battle Royale: The Complete Collection
Buy this Blu-ray set for the Hunger Games fan in your life and then watch their head explode. It’s a little something for both of you. This ultraviolent, deeply poignant tale of a school of teenagers forced to kill each other for the amusement of adults who feel threatened by their rebellious spirits has all the thrills that The Hunger Games couldn’t deliver with a PG-13 rating, and tackles real issues teens face with greater sensitivity, even while they’re disemboweling each other. The sequel, also included, doesn’t hold up to the original, but even so Battle Royale: The Complete Collection is a “must give” this holiday season.
Superman vs. Spider-Man XXX
Superman vs. Spider-Man in a live-action feature? And it co-stars CraveOnline’s own William “Bibbs” Bibbiani in a non-sex role?! Well, that’s something that the adults on your Christmas list surely need to own, isn’t it? In Axel Braun’s latest parody, Superman and Spider-Man team up to take down Lex Luthor and Doctor Octopus, and The Black Cat, Spider-Woman and Supergirl come along for the ride. Just don’t get confused by the cover and give it to one of your nephews by mistake. His parents will never forgive you.
You'll have to find your own copy on the internet, but here's the SFW trailer, courtesy of CraveOnline
Blu-Rays For Kids:
Looney Tunes: Platinum Collection Volume 2
Since you already bought the kids on your list the Looney Tunes: Platinum Collection Volume 1 (right?), the next logical step is the Looney Tunes: Platinum Collection Volume 2, which includes high-definition remasters of classics like Rabbit Seasoning, You Ought To Be In Pictures, Wabbit Trouble and dozens more. Timeless classics that the whole family can enjoy. It’s this or Ice Age: Contintental Drift. Choose wisely.
The Secret World of Arrietty
Tired of the slew of pop culture joke-laden family movies, more focused on selling toys than telling a story that can enrich your kids’ lives? Buy them The Secret World of Arrietty, a beautifully animated rendition of The Borrowers by Mary Norton, from Studio Ghibli, the makers of My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away. A family of people just inches tall lives in seclusion beneath the floorboards, but when their impetuous daughter gets herself seen by the giant human beings above them, they have to decide whether to trust the giants or move into the dangerous forest. Touching and meaningful, perfect for children of all ages.
The odds are good that the kid on your holiday list didn’t see John Carter in theaters, because nobody else did. But they missed out on a truly spectacular sci-fi fantasy that should entertain them all afternoon and beyond. Rectify this horrible mistake and give them the gift of John Carter, a film that deserved a much bigger audience than it got, and will dazzle any child who has run through all the Star Wars and Harry Potter movies and doesn’t know where to go next.
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Anniversary Edition
Newly remastered, and without the CGI-tampering of the previous DVD release, Steven Spielberg’s heartwarming classic about a boy and his alien finally came to Blu-ray this year and the reviews were stellar. Every kid deserves to discover this sci-fi classic for themselves, so make it easier for them by giving the gift of E.T. this Christmas (or holiday celebration of your choice).
Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection
Wanna spoil your kid rotten? Give ‘em the Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection with all seven films on a staggering 31 discs, a label collection and a new book by the graphic designers of the series. Whether they’re reliving the magic of Harry Potter or encountering J.K. Rowling’s universe for the first time, they’ll give you the biggest hug imaginable for your (very expensive) trouble.
Darth Vader and Son by Jeffrey Brown
Jeffrey Brown’s Darth Vader and Son is a charming picture book for Star Wars fans young and old, telling the story of what would have happened if Darth Vader had raised Luke Skywalker after all. Watching Darth Vader’s arm fall asleep while holding his son mid-nap makes the villain more sympathetic than all three Star Wars prequels combined.
Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Did someone in your family love Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln? Get them the book it was based on, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin and get an even deeper look at the dramatic political machinations that the 16th president had to undertake to abolish slavery once and for all.
The True Adventures of the World’s Greatest Stuntman by Vic Armstrong (with Robert Sellers)
Vic Armstrong’s career has spanned decades, from bit parts in James Bond movies to playing James Bond in action sequences to directing the action in several James Bond films, and he also played Superman and Indiana Jones too! Armstrong’s memoir The True Adventures of the World’s Greatest Stuntman is full of fascinating behind the scenes stories about all the filmmakers and actors he’s encountered on his travels, and it’s a page turner from start to finish.
The Dark Knight Trilogy: The Complete Screenplays with Storyboards
Can’t get enough of Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies? Give the gift of The Dark Knight Trilogy: The Complete Screenplays with Storyboards and marvel at their glorious beginnings. These three scripts by Christopher Nolan, his brother Jonathan Nolan and David Goyer represent some of the best superhero writing in the cinematic medium, and they come with selected storyboards to boot. If anyone you love is interested in going into screenwriting, or just loves Batman, or both, this is the gift to get them.
James Bond Unmasked by Bill Desowitz
If they weren’t James Bond fans before Skyfall, the people on your list are probably diehard enthusiasts now. Give them the gift of James Bond Unmasked by Bill Desowitz, and let them discover the behind the scenes scoop on the series with new interviews featuring all the former Bonds. Or, if you want to shell out a little extra, try…
The James Bond Archives by Paul Duncan
Taschen’s latest foray into movie history includes stunning new pictures from the EON Productions library, and an in-depth look at the entire James Bond series – including some of the non-canonical films – featuring oral histories from the cast and crew. Every Taschen book is on a film lover’s wishlist, but they’re pricey enough that they may not have bought any for themselves. The James Bond Archives are a great way to show them you care.
Gadgets, Replicas, Toys and More:
Horse Head Pillowcase
Relive your favorite scene from The Godfather every single day with this fabulous horsehead pillowcase from Gadgets and Gear. Don’t forget to cast Johnny Fontane!
Soylent Green Crackers
Soylent Green is spinach and plankton! Soylent Green is spinach and plankton! Well, now it is, thanks to the good folks at Think Geek who have given the sci-fi foodstuff a healthy, less cannibalistic makeover with these hilarious new Soylent Green inspired crackers.
Camera Lens Mug
Got someone on your list who actually makes movies? We can’t think of a better gift than this snazzy coffee mug, designed to look like a real camera lens, with a cap that doubles as a little plate, courtesy of Think Geek.
James Bond Solitaire Prop Cards Replica
What do you get the Bond fan who has everything? Why not try these nifty replica tarot cards from Entertainment Earth, designed after Jane Seymour’s iconic deck from Live and Let Die? It’s a bit of a thinker unless they’re real diehards, but it’s bound to be a treat for anyone who already has the Bond 50 Blu-ray set.
The Fast and the Furious Neon Underglow Car Light Kit
Fans of The Fast and the Furious might have to wait until May 24 for the next sequel, but they can live the action now with this easy-to-install underglow kit that works on any car. Just follow the instruction on this affordable Gadgets and Gear item to make your very own vehicle into a gaudy roadster worthy of the hot rodding franchise. (Note: Scantily clad bikini babe accessory not included.)
The Hobbit Deluxe Sting Sword
Get the kids on your list this nicely detailed, glowing toy replica of Sting, officially licensed from The Hobbit and available from Think Geek. It also makes neato swishing noises as you swing it around. Or, if there’s an adult Tolkien enthusiast in your life…
The Hobbit Bilbo Baggins Sting Sword Full Size Prop Replica
…pre-order them this surprisingly inexpensive prop replica, 22-inches long and suitable for display. This one doesn’t glow, but it will certainly shine on your gift recipient's mantelpiece come January 13, when it becomes available courtesy of Entertainment Earth.
Star Wars R2D2 Folding Chair
With a whole new Star Wars trilogy on the way, the sci-fi fans in your life are likely to spend a lot of their time waiting in lines over the next few years. Why not support them in style by buying them this R2D2 themed folding chair, straight from Think Geek? We can’t think of a reason, anyway…
Harry Potter Proclamation Board
It’s a little on the expensive side, but Harry Potter fans will absolutely love this dry erase board, modeled after Dolores Umbridge’s educational decrees from The Order of the Phoenix. Outlaw running in the hallways and remind yourself to buy milk with all the authority that the Ministry of Magic can muster, courtesy of Think Geek.
Hunger Games Replica Training Shirt
Did the Hunger Games fan on your list not appreciate the Battle Royale Blu-ray set? Make it up to them with these gorgeous replica workout shirts from Think Geek, modeled after Katniss and Peeta’s training outfits from the blockbuster motion picture. Then, hunt them for sport. (Just kidding!) You can get them from Think Geek.
Is money no object? Why not throw it away at one of the coolest prop replicas we’ve seen in a long time, this reproduction of the HAL 9000 unit from Secret Compass Collectibles? For just under $500 you can own this sleek artificial intelligence unit, perfect for any interior décor, and 99% guaranteed not to kill you in your sleep.