The death of physical media has been greatly exaggerated. While sales of DVDs and Blu-rays are clearly down thanks to the endless viewing choices offered by Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Clomper, etc, there are still those out there who will always love holding stuff in their hands. Have you actually tried to gift wrap the cloud? Good luck with that. So this Gift Guide is for those intrepid souls on your shopping list who will only get rid of their discs when you take it from their cold, dead hands.
Superman: The Movie: The Extended Cut
A favorite among tape-traders in those heady pre-Internet days, the three-hour extended television version of the first Superman movie makes its long-delayed official debut on Blu-ray. Featuring nearly 40 minutes of rare footage, this comes paired with Richard Donner’s 2000 special edition of the film, making this release the final word on the movie that made you believe a man can fly.
Stranger Things Season 1 Collector’s Edition
With Stranger Things most likely available on Netflix until the end of time, the problem of how to get people to buy a physical copy of the show is a valid one. Target stores came up with a solution — place a DVD/Blu-ray combo of the first season in retro-themed packaging exclusively available through their store and geared towards the growing VHS collecting community. Looking like something you would find on the sci-fi shelf at a circa-1987 mom and pop video store, this is kind of the perfect gift idea for the office gift exchange where you know nothing about your co-workers other then that they share your love of binge-watching.
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman remains the MVP of DC’s shared film universe. We cried as she, um, pined for Steve Trevor and cheered as she lassoed the truth out of evildoers. Best of all, Gadot eradicated Brett Ratner from being involved in any additional films in the franchise, proving that she’s a superhero on screen and off.
Batman vs. Two Face
Adam West made his swan song as Batman in DC’s latest effort, which sees the Caped Crusader and Robin (Burt Ward) squaring off against Two-Face (William Shatner, who is so perfect in the role that you wish he was cast as the character on the show back in the 1960s) while dealing with Catwoman (Julie Newmar). The film is a bit darker than last year’s Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, but the tonal shift works well and it’s fantastic — if bittersweet — to see West shine again one last time.
Spider-Man: Homecoming (Mask Case)
The only thing we love more than Spider-Man Homecoming is this super cool special version of the 4K Ultra HD version of the film that comes packaged in a replica of Spidey’s mask. (THE EYES SQUINT YOU GUYS). Okay, someone be the guy in the chair and hop on to Amazon and buy us one of these, please?
Beyond Westworld: The Complete Series
Because everyone you have to buy something for has already seen the first season of HBO’s Westworld at least twice, we humbly suggest you gift them this short-lived 1980 CBS spinoff from the original film and its sequel Futureworld in which a group of heavily hair-producted heroes go in search of Delos androids who are posing as important members of society. Their mission? World domination of course! RIYL Logan’s Run: The Complete Series, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Robert Reed lookalikes, shows that you can watch over the course of a single afternoon and then ponder exactly what the hell you are doing with your life.
In Search Of with Leonard Nimoy: The Complete Series
What would you say if we told you that you could own all 144 episodes of the 1977-82 speculative “science” show In Search Of… for less than 20 bucks. Sounds crazy, right? But it’s true, for the low, low cost of roughly 80 Chicken McNuggets you or someone you love can own the entire series in which an often porn-stached Leonard Nimoy would discuss amazing topics like Bigfoot, D.B. Cooper, the Loch Ness Monster, Jack the Ripper, Animal ESP, and so on. Did he actually find any of these things he was searching for? Well, to tell you that would spoil the cheesy fun.
The Zodiac Killer
Here’s a gem for psychotronic film fans: 1971’s The Zodiac Killer, a gritty, low-budget movie that was created entirely with the intent of catching the murderer and bringing him to justice. The person behind this inspired plan was Tom Hanson, a man who directed the film during a time in which the Zodiac was active in the Bay Area. He theorized that if he made a (historically inaccurate) movie about the Zodiac’s crime spree and publicized it, the actual killer would show up to a screening. (Something that if the Blu-ray’s extensive liner notes are to be believed, may have actually happened). And while the movie didn’t nab the Zodiac, it did capture the attention of the film lovers at the American Genre Film Archive, who have lovingly restored it in a new Blu-ray edition that is loaded with special features — including a compelling audio commentary featuring Hanson that details the bizarre true story behind the film. And yes, it makes an incredible double feature with David Fincher’s Zodiac.
Riverdale: The Complete First Season
With the show’s star on the rise, here’s your opportunity to check out every shirtless Archie moment, maple syrup blood feud reference, Cheryl Blossom bon mot, and inexplicable musical performance. Just promise us that you won’t watch it while high on the Jingle Jangle.
Game of Thrones: The Complete Seventh Season
This shocker of a season of HBO’s fantasy superhit had all of our characters deciding to share the Iron Throne, resulting in an unprecedented era of peace and happiness in the Seven Kingdoms. Wait, what’s that? Really? That Happened? Well shit.