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Holiday Geek Gift Guide 2017: Blu-ray and DVD Edition
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Holiday Blu-ray Gift Guide 2017

Ladies and gentlemen, that sainted time of year is once again upon us. Stuffed to the eyeballs with carbohydrate-loaded food, we suck in our guts, put on our finest ensemble of pajama pants and Crocs, and venture out to the nearest mall/shopping center/big box retailer/gas station/roadside flea market to secure gifts for the ones we love. Meanwhile, the ones we tolerate will simply have to suffice with “A Tree Has Been Planted In Your Name” certificates and that fruitcake your grandfather accidentally sat on during Sunday dinner.

As we do every time around this time, Geeks Of Doom has provided for you a comprehensive guide to the finest films and TV series released to DVD and Blu-ray in 2017 (if you’re holding out for laserdisc or Betamax editions of these titles, I both pity and respect you) for you and yours to enjoy for generations to come.

Check out this year’s Holiday Geek Gift Guide: Blu-ray & DVD Edition

Recommendations by BAADASSSSS!

Alien: Covenant Blu-ray

Alien: Covenant
Blu-ray|4K Ultra HD|DVD

Ridley Scott‘s return to the franchise that made him a household name among filmmakers may have polarized fans even more than Prometheus, but Alien: Covenant‘s heady brew of Gothic horror, cheerful blasphemy, and ice cold dark humor results in a cruelly entertaining entry in a series that could have been put into permanent hypersleep years ago. Fox’s Blu-ray release includes deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes documentaries, still galleries, promotional materials, and a commentary from ol’ Rid himself.

Arrival Blu-ray

Arrival
Blu-ray|4K Ultra HD|DVD

Proving that not every story of an alien invasion can be FX-heavy destruction porn, Denis Villeneuve‘s haunting sci-fi drama in which Amy Adams‘ linguist attempts to establish a communication with extraterrestrial visitors before all Hell breaks loose on Earth is a landmark achievement in the genre and a bonafide feast for each of the human senses. The Blu-ray release from Paramount preserves the film’s gorgeous visuals and innovative sound design and compliments this masterful work of cinematic art with five immersive documentaries that explore the making of Arrival in extensive detail.

Assassin's Creed Blu ray

Assassin’s Creed
Blu-ray|Blu-ray 3D|4K Ultra HD|DVD

Seeing as how I’ve never been much of a gamer, I was able to be entertained by the flawed-yet-fun Assassin’s Creed, a far better film adaptation of a popular video game series than we have ever seen. The action is meticulously staged and photographed and director Justin Kurzel and star/producer Michael Fassbender treat the game’s mythology with a good deal of respect and intelligence. Sterling video and audio quality and a host of illuminating supplements (including deleted scenes, BTS docs, and conversations with Kurzel) make this release an easy recommend for a reasonable price.

Baby Driver Blu-ray

Baby Driver
Blu-ray|4K Ultra HD|DVD

Baby Driver is many things – an honest creative labor of love, a candy-sweet celebration of the undying power of love and music, a kinetic comic thriller – and and filmmaker Edgar Wright succeeds in making his cinematic fever dreams flesh with energy, wit, and loads of heart. Just like every other film he’s made, it’s instantly worthy of repeat viewings. As to be expected from a Blu-ray of a Wright film, Baby Driver looks and sounds fantastic and is backed up by hours of bonus content, including fillmmaker commentaries, deleted scenes, BTS featurettes covering a range of topics relevant to the film, and much more.

The Dark Tower Blu-ray

The Dark Tower
Blu-ray|4K Ultra HD|DVD

Longtime fans of Stephen King‘s fantasy-horror-adventure novel series were understandably less than pleased by this long-in-the-works semi-adaptation from director Nikolaj Arcel, but I personally found The Dark Tower to be a entertaining and visually enthralling distillation of the King stories with excellent performances from Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, and relative newcomer Tom Taylor, and much fast-paced action. Sony’s Blu-ray release features deleted scenes, a gag reel, and several brief-but-watchable featurettes.

Doctor Strange Blu-ray Banner

Doctor Strange
Blu-ray|Blu-ray 3D|DVD

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has conquered the earth and the furthest reaches of outer space, but with Scott Derrickson‘s dazzling adventure based on Marvel’s legendary Master of the Mystic Arts, the biggest ongoing superhero franchise in film history brings the thrills, chills, and offbeat humor to dimensions both amazing and terrifying in the spectacular Doctor Strange. Benedict Cumberbatch absolutely nails the title role as the latest force for good in the MCU, and he is backed up by a supporting cast any director would kill to secure. Disney’s Blu-ray release includes commentary from Derrickson, deleted scenes, bloopers, multiple featurettes, and a preview of future Marvel Studios releases.

The Founder Blu ray

The Founder
Blu-ray|DVD

Michael Keaton, enjoying one hell of a career resurgence thanks to his acclaimed performance in Birdman, dominates the fact-based feature The Founder as Ray Kroc, the struggling salesman who methodically seized complete control of a popular fast food establishment from the enterprising McDonald brothers and built it into a billion-dollar empire. It’s an ugly and unpleasant story, but director John Lee Hancock and screenwriter Robert Siegel mold the raw historical elements into an absorbing, well-acted drama that exposes the savage heart of the American dream. Solid A/V presentation and decent extras (mostly cast/crew interviews) add to this disc’s value, but for the film alone, it’s more than worth it.

Free Fire Blu-ray

Free Fire
Blu-ray|DVD

Fearless British filmmaker Ben Wheatley took aim at something a bit conventional than he’s made thus far and delivered a dysfunctional comic thriller about a gaggle of professional criminals and unbelievable screw-ups who turn a simple gun buy into an orgy of blood, bullets, and bad decision-making. An unconventional cult classic in the making, the Lionsgate Blu-ray release of Free Fire features a director/cast commentary and BTS featurette.

Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol .2-Blu-ray

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
4K Ultra HD | Blu-ray | DVD | Digital HD

Every bit as entertaining as the original, writer-director James Gunn returns to Marvel Studios’ most offbeat franchise to take his bickering badass heroes of the cosmos to even stranger places than before in an impressive stand-alone sequel also features solid ensemble acting, dazzling visuals, and more hilarity than you may have thought possible. Expect the usual assortment of supplements for a Marvel/Disney Blu-ray – chief among them director commentary, making-of documentary, deleted scenes, and one killer music video – on top of a reference-quality picture and sound presentation.

Heat: Definitive Director’s Edition Blu-ray

Heat: Definitive Director’s Edition
Blu-ray

As if Michael Mann‘s epic crime drama masterpiece that refuses to age couldn’t get any better, but the new Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox improves on the previous Warner Bros. release with a stunning 4K high-definition transfer and over 90 minutes of new extras, including a new conversation with Mann and stars Al Pacino and Robert De Niro (both actors delivering performances of legend here) moderated by filmmaker Christopher Nolan, in addition to every previously-available feature – director commentary, retrospective documentaries, deleted scenes, etc. – on this highly recommended two-disc edition.

Hidden Figures Blu-ray

Hidden Figures
Blu-ray|4K Ultra HD|DVD

The inspiring true story of three female African-American mathematicians (played winningly by Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe), whose brilliant contributions to NASA’s young space program in the early 1960’s helped ensure the success of John Glenn’s landmark orbital flight, gets the cinematic treatment it has long deserved in Theodore Melfi‘s warm and insightful drama. The Blu-ray presentation from Fox is as outstanding as the film itself, with gorgeous A/V quality and a host of enlightening extra features including deleted scenes, BTS featurettes, audio commentary with Melfi and Henson, and more.

John Wick: Chapter 2 Blu-ray

John Wick: Chapter 2
Blu-ray|4K Ultra HD|DVD

Rarely does a sequel come along that not only matches its predecessor in terms of sheer quality, but manages to surpass it in nearly possible way. Such is John Wick: Chapter 2, a veritable epic of widescreen action that features another sterling turn from Keanu Reeves as the assassin of assassins called back into the world he once called home for the proverbial one last job that goes horribly wrong. Lionsgate’s Blu-ray transfer is a genuine popper of the eyes to say the least and is backed up by great commentary from Reeves and director Chad Stahelski, deleted scenes, multiple BTS featurettes, and plenty more.

Justice League Dark Blu-ray

Justice League Dark
Blu-ray|DVD

One of the latest animated adventures in the direct-to-video DC Universe line, Justice League Dark brings together John Constantine, Zatanna, Etrigan the Demon, Deadman, and Swamp Thing and pairs them up with a reluctant Batman against a supernatural adversary ordinary superheroes simply can’t be bothered to deal with. Multiple featurettes and bonus cartoons from various DC-related animated series help make this intriguing and entertaining flick worth a purchase on home video.

King Kong Ultimate Edition Blu-ray

King Kong (2005): Ultimate Edition
Blu-ray|4K Ultra HD

Peter Jackson‘s gargantuan-budgeted remake of the seminal 1933 monster movie masterpiece King Kong has its share of flaws (grotesquely unnecessary running time among them), but the filmmaker’s love of the character and story permeates every frame and the resulting film is great fun with mesmerizing effects work, strong performances, and a little of Jackson’s trademark demented Kiwi humor to keep the most cynical viewer engaged. Previously released on Blu-ray from Universal in a no-frills edition, this re-release packages both the theatrical and extended cuts of the film on a single BR disc with optimum picture and sound quality and several hours of supplements on the second disc, including lengthy documentaries, deleted scenes, video production diaries, still galleries, and more.

Kong: Skull Island Blu-ray

Kong: Skull Island
Blu-ray|Blu-ray 3D|4K Ultra HD|DVD

Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts‘ big-budget reinvention of the King Kong mythos into a full-on assault of creepy creatures, grotesque violence, and quirky humor that Gremlins director Joe Dante would have appreciated. Silly, savage, and occasionally this giddy monster mash also featured fine performances, a killer soundtrack, and some of the best use of color I’ve ever seen in a major studio event movie. Kong: Skull Island amazes on Blu-ray, with Vogt-Roberts contributing a fine commentary track and the disc also providing featurettes, deleted scenes, and more.

The Lego Batman Movie Blu-ray

The Lego Batman Movie
Blu-ray|Blu-ray 3D|4K Ultra HD|DVD

Best Bat-flick to date? Not quite, but hands down definitely the funniest. The Lego Batman Movie didn’t just meet expectations, it didn’t just exceed expectations, it jumped behind the controls of the Batwing and reduced those expectations to dust and memory. Will Arnett absolutely killed it as always as a surprisingly introspective Batman, sick of being alone but reluctant to embrace being part of a family. The voice work from a talented ensemble cast couldn’t have been better, and the sugar-fueled animation was a dazzler. Warner’s Blu-ray is loaded with bonus features including a director/crew commentary, featurettes, deleted scenes, animated shorts, and promotional materials.

Logan Blu-ray

Logan
Blu-ray|4K Ultra HD|DVD

Not just the best Wolverine movie, the best X-flick, or one of the best comic book features ever made, but the best film I will see this year and cherish for many more to come. James Mangold‘s brutal, bloody, and elegiac thriller explodes theater screens big and small with Oscar-worthy performances from Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, and newcomer Dafne Keen, a host of memorable action sequences, and a tone that recalls the classic westerns of decades past. That tone is further heightened by the inclusion of the black & white “Logan Noir” version of the film on this Blu-ray, and it looks stunning. The disc also includes commentary from Mangold, deleted scenes, a documentary on the making of the film, and more.

Power Rangers Blu-ray

Power Rangers
Blu-ray|4K Ultra HD|DVD

Dean Israelite took the helm of this big-budget 21st century reinvention of the cheesy 90’s Fox TV action series for kids and delivered something I found to be very entertaining for the most part. Though the first two acts tend to suffer from odd pacing and jokes that fall flat, Power Rangers makes up for these deficiencies with an extended finale that packs in plenty of spectacle and excitement. The Lionsgate Blu-ray is overflowing with supplements including a director commentary, deleted scenes, extensive multi-part making-of documentary, outtakes, and the theatrical trailer (also with commentary from the director!).

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Blu-ray

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Blu-ray|DVD

Under the direction of Gareth Edwards, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story explores the side of the Rebellion that doesn’t have the benefit of employing Jedi mind tricks and lightsabers and must therefore fight tough and dirty to win any battle against the Empire they can. It’s a tale of unlikely heroes, soulless villains, and noble sacrifices that will live on for generations as one of the best entries in the Star Wars cinematic franchise. The Disney Blu-ray features terrific picture and sound and a host of informative behind-the-scenes featurettes.

Rough Night Blu-ray

Rough Night
Blu-ray|4K Ultra HD|DVD

A bachelorette party weekend for Scarlett Johansson‘s overworked politico wannabe starts out fun but takes a turn for the dark and frequently inappropriate in Lucia Aniello‘s hysterically raunchy romp and my favorite comedy of the year. Johansson and co-stars Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer, and Zoe Kravitz are clearly having an infectious blast, but the great Kate McKinnon proves to be a master scene-stealer and a comedy legend in the making. Sony’s Blu-ray features several featurettes, deleted scenes, and hilarious outtakes.

Spider-Man: Homecoming Blu-ray

Spider-Man: Homecoming
Blu-ray|Blu-ray 3D|4K Ultra HD|DVD

After making an impressive debut in Captain America: Civil War, the MCU incarnation of Spidey gets his first solo vehicle with the bright, funny, and spirited Spider-Man: Homecoming. Director Jon Watts lends the proceedings a light but honest touch, Tom Holland cements himself as the best silver screen Peter Parker (and his web-slinging alter ego) yet, and Michael Keaton makes for an intimidating villain as the Vulture. The Blu-ray features deleted scenes, brief featurettes, and a gag reel.

Transformers: The Last Knight Blu-ray

Transformers: The Last Knight
Blu-ray|Blu-ray 3D|4K Ultra HD|DVD

Love it or hate it, there will never again be a blockbuster franchise as loud, goofy, and beautiful to gaze upon as Michael Bay‘s Transformers series, which went out with a bang (and opened at the box office with a whimper) with Transformers: The Last Knight, a gonzo globe-trotting quagmire of heavy metal alien spectacle and oddball humor that rarely lets up for a breath once it begins and contains more money shots in any ten minutes of running time than the entirety of your average XXX adult feature. Paramount doesn’t let us down in the Blu-ray department with outstanding A/V quality and some juicy making-of featurettes.

Wonder Woman Blu-ray

Wonder Woman
Blu-ray|Blu-ray 3D|4K Ultra HD|DVD

DC Comics’ much ballyhooed cinematic universe may have stumbled confusedly out of the gate, but with Wonder Woman they finally knocked one out of the park thanks to Patty Jenkins‘ stunning direction of the long-awaited first big screen adventure of the iconic Amazonian superhero also known as Diana of Themyscira, portrayed with feminine grace, a warrior’s steely determination, and the soul of humanity’s best by the stellar Gal Gadot. The best movie based on a DC character since The Dark Knight, Wonder Woman is granted a first-rate Blu-ray presentation with a bonus short film, multiple featurettes covering various areas of the production, and extended scenes.

Recommendations by Adam Frazier.

War for the Planet of the Apes Blu-ray

War for the Planet of the Apes
Blu-ray|Blu-ray 3D|4K Ultra HD|DVD

Breathtakingly captured in 65mm by cinematographer Michael Seresin (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) and set to a full-bodied score by Michael Giacchino, War for the Planet of the Apes is a modern masterpiece. Not only is it one of the best conclusions to a trilogy ever, it’s the most moving film I’ve seen this year. Director Matt Reeves deftly balances substance and spectacle to deliver a film that is heartbreaking in its bleakness, but not without hope.

Read Adam’s review here.

Get Out Blu-ray

Get Out
Blu-ray|4K Ultra HD|DVD

It’s obvious that Jordan Peele, making his directorial debut here, has a deep understanding (and appreciation) for the genre, as he expertly wields its tropes only to subvert them at every turn. The result is a movie that is not only funny, scary, and flawlessly executed, but one that is as thought-provoking and vital as any of the classic horror films mentioned here.

Read Adam’s review here.

Slaughter High Blu-ray

Slaughter High
Blu-ray

With a solid high-definition transfer and some solid special features, this is another impressive release for the Vestron Video Collector’s Series. If you’re a fan of ’80s horror, slasher flicks, or nerds getting revenge on the a**holes who make their awkward adolescence a living hell, then Slaughter High is absolutely worth a look.

Read Adam’s review here.

Slither Collector's Edition Blu-ray

Slither: Collector’s Edition
Blu-ray

Scream Factory Collector’s Edition Blu-ray of Slither offers a 1080p high-definition transfer (1.85:1 aspect ratio) with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack. This release is a must-own, even if there isn’t a new 2K transfer included. This transfer appears to be sourced from an existing HD master, but it’s impressive nonetheless, with solid grain levels, fine textures, and vibrant colors.

Read Adam’s review here.

Cinematic Titanic: The Complete Collection

Cinematic Titanic: The Complete Collection
DVD

Cinematic Titanic: The Complete Collection is now available at Amazon for $28.59. That’s 12 films, essentially four volumes of Shout! Factory’s MST3K DVD releases, for nearly half the price of one volume! The live episodes are particularly great – it’s a thrill to see riffing with a live audience, where you feel like you’re part of the experience. This is a fantastic release and an amazing deal – if you’re a fan at all of MST3K or RiffTrax, this is a no-brainer!

Read Adam’s review here.

Dawn Of The Dead Collectors Edition (2004) Blu-ray

Dawn of the Dead (2004): Collector’s Edition
Blu-ray

Zack Snyder’s feature-length directorial debut, Dawn of the Dead feels like a big-budget Troma film, with skull-smashing special effects by Heather Langenkamp-Anderson, and David LeRoy Anderson‘s AFX Studio. While it isn’t as thoughtful or full-bodied as George Romero’s original, it’s an entertaining B-side; a speed metal cover of a classic song that hits the same beats but faster, with more intensity.

Read Adam’s review here.

Land of the Dead: Collector's Edition Blu-ray

Land of the Dead: Collector’s Edition
Blu-ray

When Land of the Dead was released in 2005, it followed recent zombie films like 2002’s 28 Days Later, and 2004’s apocalyptic trio: Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead remake, Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead, and Resident Evil: Apocalypse. Through that lens, a fourth zombie movie from Romero could have been seen as a lesser effort, but 12 years later, it’s easily the most relevant of the aforementioned films – a potent piece of social commentary from a true master of horror. If you’re a fan of the late George Romero’s 2005 film and are looking to complete your high-definition collection of the late director’s filmography, you won’t find a better release than this one.

Read Adam’s review here.

Recommendations by Stoogeypedia.

Stranger Things, Season 1 Blu-ray

Stranger Things Season 1
DVD/Blu-ray
Box Set With Exclusive VHS style packaging

One of the coolest shows on Netflix just got even cooler with the tremendously clever 80s-style VHS packaging for Season 1 of Stranger Things, right down to the detail of the weathered yellow price sticker disc. It already adds wonderful visual verve to a program that has fast become an outright phenomenon and almost the poster boy show for the term “binge watching.” The show, which has just launched its second Season on Netflix, is the tale of one town’s search for a young boy who has vanished, and the strange underlying supernatural mysteries that lurk beneath, all done with a crisp and imitation is the hugest form of flattery 80’s flair.

Game Of Thrones: The Complete Seasons 1-7 Blu-ray

Game Of Thrones – The Complete Seasons 1 – 7
Blu-ray

The literal crown jewel in the cachet of storied HBO programs, this deluxe box set, which includes all the seasons of Game Of Thrones except for the yet to be aired final eighth season, is a perfect way for one to relive or discover an instant TV classic, that has entered the pop culture lexicon and is one of the most successful if not the most successful show’s in cable history.

Dynasty: The Complete Series DVD Box Set

Dynasty – The Complete Series
DVD Box Set

With the B-grade reboot currently airing on the CW Network, the timing was right to release the entire oeuvre of the original Dynasty television series, spread out over 57 discs. An absolute 1980s guilty pleasure, the show, which was like a billionaire version of a Hatfields vs McCoys kind of metaphoric vibe, was replete with the kind of nighttime soap fodder one would expect and for some, gleefully relish.

The Streets of San Francisco: The Complete Series Box Set

The Streets of San Francisco – The Complete Series
DVD Box Set

Classic, tough, terse 1970s crime drama show with Michael Douglas and Karl Malden as two cops, produced by the late 60s/early 70s stalwart of these types of TV programs, Quinn Martin. This series collection for The Streets of San Francisco spans 52 discs and is filled with eye candy scenery and well told, exciting and entertaining stories, not to mention riveting performances by the two leads, the support cast and guest stars.

One Day at a Time: The Complete Series Box Set

One Day at a Time – The Complete Series
DVD Box Set

The TV show One Day at a Time, created by Norman Lear and which has also found a new generation with an all Latino-reboot version, was one of the seminal sitcoms of the mid 1970s – early 1980s. Focusing on the trials and tribulations of a single independent mother raising two teenage daughters on her own, the program ran for nine years on CBS. This collection houses the entire run, spread out across 27 discs.

Night Gallery: The Complete Series Box Set

Night Gallery – The Complete Series
DVD Box Set

Almost like a more macabre version of The Twilight Zone, Night Gallery, hosted by Rod Serling (who also helmed Twilight Zone) was at turns fascinating and chilling. Spanning three seasons and with episodes directed by a young Steven Spielberg and starring Hollywood luminaries such as Diane Keaton, Sally Field, Mickey Rooney, and Joan Crawford in one of her final appearances, the show is sophisticated viewing for the more sophisticated viewer.

CHiPs: The Complete Series Box Set

CHiPs – The Complete Series
DVD Box Set

Coming off the heels of an ill-fated reboot film released earlier this year is the complete collection of CHiPs, the late 70s, early 80s LA cop drama, replete with motorcycles and sunglasses and crime stories filled with B-grade celebrities from that era who made “special guest star” appearances. With just the right mix of camp and adventure, CHiPs remains slightly above cotton candy type TV fare, but only slightly. However, it’s for that exact reason why some might be enticed to the program and to the set.

Westworld: The Complete First Season Blu-ray

Westworld – The Complete First Season
DVD Box Set

Artificial consciousness runs sky high in this wholly original take on Michael Crichton’s classic 1973 film. Airing on HBO, which allows for more abandon in terms of narrative and presentment, Westworld has very quickly become yet another success for the cable network and for good reason. Jonathan Nolan (Chris’ brother) , his wife Lisa Nolan, and J.J. Abrams have created a world, in which freewill has never taken a more seductive, chilling, deadly, and thought-provoking turn. The first season is spread across three discs and housed in crisply designed packaging, and is highly recommended.

Recommendations by Empress Eve.

American Gods Season 1 Wednesday and Shadow

American Gods – Season 1
Blu-ray | DVD

Neil Gaiman’s 2001 epic fantasy novel American Gods got the small-screen treatment from Starz this year in an intelligent and sometimes twisted story about the battle between the Old Gods and the New Gods. This Season 1 home video release includes all 8 episodes with audio commentary with the cast and crew on the premiere and finale, along with along with hours of behind-the-scenes features, many of which feature Gaiman talking about his inspiration for the story and the journey to bringing it to the small screen. The documentary “The Road to ‘American Gods’” is 2 1/2 hours on its own. Any fan of Neil Gaiman will absolutely want to watch these bonus features to hear the master himself talk of his beautiful creation.

Recommendations by Dr. Zaius.

For the kids…

Beauty and the Beast Header Image

Beauty & the Beast (2017)
Blu-ray

Disney’s newest business model is reimagining their classic animated films as live-action updates and 2017’s Beauty and the Beast was a true instant classic. The year’s current leader in box office may be the best Blu-Ray to give to your kids this holiday season. The film stars Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as Beast, and the Blu-Ray features hours of extra footage and bonus features. Watch the entire cast sit around a giant table for an “Enchanted Table Read,” delve into the creating of the gorgeous sets, and of course sing along with all the songs with the “From Song to Screen” feature. The extras alone are worth having this in your collection, but something tells me the kids, and adults who grew up with the animated version, will have this on constant repeat.

Bambi Blu-ray Header

Bambi
Blu-ray – Signature Collection 2017

Another Disney selection, the 75th Anniversary edition of classic Bambi gets a special edition for the studio’s Signature Collection. The special edition Blu-ray contains hours of bonus features including rare footage from the golden era of Disney. There is so really interesting documentary extras like The Bambi Effect, which demonstrates the impact this film had on Disney animation. Of course, for the younger kids, they’ll only care about the film, which hold up as a fast-paced romp through childhood with some great characters and messages.

For the Whole Family –

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Blu-ray

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
4K Ultra HD | Blu-ray | DVD | Digital

The 5th installment in Johnny Depp’s Disney ride-inspired film series introduced some new characters into the fray and added an Oscar-winning villain in Javier Bardem. If you enjoy the Pirates films, you’ll definitely want to complete your collection with Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. The Blu-ray is loaded with 8 mini documentaries featuring interviews with the entire cast and crew, deleted scenes, blooper reels, and more.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 Blu-ray banner

Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2
4K Ultra HD | Blu-ray | DVD | Digital HD

This year’s current number 3 in box office was the hilarious and shockingly emotional sequel to 2014’s surprise hit for Marvel’s MCU. Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 continues the adventures of our favorite space pirates, mutated raccoons, and baby trees. This time the focus is less on fighting evil villains, but learning who Peter Quill’s (Chris Pratt) real dad is, and Kurt Russell and Michael Rooker are the surprise standouts. The movie is instantly rewatchable and fans love collecting the always entertaining MCU films, but the real treat here is the non-stop list of features added to the Blu-ray. There is a 4-part behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film that is somehow as entertaining as the film itself.

For the Adults whence kids are asleep –

Ash vs Evil Dead S2 Blu-ray review

Ash vs Evil Dead Season 2
Blu-Ray | DVD

Bruce Campbell’s return to the character that made him famous, Ash Williams, has been a bloody success. Season 2 of his Starz series Ash vs Evil Dead was just as graphically violent and vulgar as the first and this time his team of Ghost Beaters added an unlikely partner is season 1 villain Ruby (Lucy Lawless). Campbell is as fun as ever playing a character he can play in his sleep and co-stars Dana DeLorenzo (Kelly) and Ray Santiago (Pablo) up their game. The 2-disc Blu-ray set features all 10 episodes, each with behind the scenes content as well as mini documentaries and some of the most genuinely funny audio commentaries I’ve heard with almost the entire cast and crew dueling it out for a air. Make any Evil Dead fan happy and shove this up their… well down their stocking. It’ll definitely be the most groovy gift they’ll get.

Cult Of Chucky
DVD | Blu-ray | Digital

Cult Of Chucky Grace Lynn Kung with Chucky

The 7th film in the Child’s Play franchise gets back to its horror roots with one of the crazier films in the series… and this is the one about a killer doll. Picking up where Curse Of Chucky left off, we follow Nica (Fiona Dourif) to a mental institution where sure enough, Chucky is soon to follow. Once again voiced by Oscar nominee Brad Dourif (Fiona’s dad), Cult Of Chucky is probably my favorite Chucky film since the original featuring gory kills, and some off the wall humor. The Blu-ray is great for the completist horror fan in the family and features several behind the scenes mini-documentaries, including one by the head puppeteer’s daughter, showing how this franchise is the full family affair.

For those who want to support indie-horror –

If you want to spend your money on great films while helping out new and independent filmmakers, here are some great titles you can grab…

Night of Something Strange movie banner

Night of Something Strange

I saw director Jonathan Straiton’s Night of Something Strange at the New York City Horror Film Festival back in late 2016 where it won Best Feature. It is far and away one of the most ludicrously fun and disgustingly gross horror films you can watch. The premise: a sexually transmitted disease is turning a group of teens looking for a Spring Break sex romp, into sex charged zombies. You will not believe the shit that goes down here, but the audience was laughing and screaming equally. The Blu-ray contains audio commentary from the writer and director which is unique given the practical effects and low budget as well as other behind the scenes goodies. Check out the official site andand support Straiton’s next film Johnny Z on indiegogo here.

The Barn Blu-ray

The Barn

At the same horror festival where I saw Night of Something Strange, I missed The Barn, written and directed by Justin M. Seaman. I finally caught it this year at the New Jersey Horror Con and Film Festival and it blew me away. As a fan of 80’s horror, this felt cut and pasted from that era, and it’s a film that should be added to any Halloween fan’s collection. The story features three demonic spirits of Halloween out to haunt a group of teens who disturbed their barn. Their online store offers great sales on the Blu-ray which can be upgraded to signed copies featuring co-stars and legends Ari “First Jason” Lehman and Linnea Quigley. It features over 90 minutes of bonus material, making of documentaries and deleted and extended scenes.

Red Christmas Header

Red Christmas
Blu-ray

From Halloween to Christmas for this last one, Red Christmas took me totally by surprise. The Australian horror film stars horror icon Dee Wallace (Cujo, The Frighteners) and tells a tale of a family’s Christmas party ruined by an unwanted guest, the not-quite aborted and now grown fetus of the matriarch! If that description sounds awesome, you will love this. It has a unique sense of humor, is plenty gory, and isn’t afraid to use a sensitive topic to force the issue. The Blu-ray contains interviews with Dee Wallace and co-star Gerard O’dwyer as well as commentary with writer/director Craig Anderson.

Recommendations by eelyajekiM.

The Lion King

The Lion King
The Circle Of Life Edition
Blu-ray | Digital

Before a new generation of fans get to see the live-action adaptation of the animated classic, introduce them to one of Disney’s most treasured animated films, The Lion King. Like a lot of these re-releases we get a wave of interesting bonus features that take us through the history of the making of this film, plus some fun contemporary features like music videos for some of the film’s songs by Disney Channel’s Circle of Stars that features talents like Raven Symone, Hilary Duff, Christy Carlson Romano, and Anneliese Van Der Pol.

Moana

Moana
Blu-ray | DVD | Collector’s Edition

The Academy Award-winning film is just as entertaining to watch as it is beautiful to look at. Not only is Disney Animation Studio’s latest film Moana is a celebration of the Polynesian culture, it is also a voice for young female viewers who might not have confidence in themselves yet. There’s plenty of extras to look at ranging come movie commentary to a mini-documentary that takes a look at the amount of research that went into this film to make sure that it was respectful to the Polynesian Culture.

Pinocchio

Pinocchio
Walt Disney Signature Edition
Blu-ray | DVD

Pinocchio, the timeless Disney tale about a wooden puppet who dreams of becoming a real boy, is now back to own on Blu-ray. Rewatch the animated film with your new family, and take a look at all of the new bonus features that details the making of this film and the technological process of updating it for a new generation while still retaining the classic animated feel.

Remember, if all else fails, there’s also the Amazon.com Gift Card, you can have emailed to the recipient (arrives immediately) or you can print out the gift card at home and give it to the intended that way. If you order in enough time, you can get the physical gift card sent to you.

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