Posted Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 09:00 AM PST by Matthew Hartman
It's that special time of the year, when everyone gets into the festive mood and gets ready to celebrate the holidays! From Superheroes to War Rigs to Personified Emotions to Rampaging Dinosaurs, 2015 saw a number of amazing hit films burst onto screens, all jockeying for your hard earned dollars. Many of those titles, along with a sleighful of old film and TV favorites, have now hit Blu-ray, or will debut on the format in time for the holidays! The chances are good that you know people eager to add these HD favorites to their collections. High-Def Digest is here to help you get just the right gift for everyone on your list!
And with that, we're pleased to bring you High-Def Digest's Holiday Gift Guide 2015!
In my family, the Holiday season isn't ever truly complete without a viewing of what could be arguably considered Chevy Chase's last great cinematic offering. It hits all of the notes of preparing for the season, searching for the right gift for those important people in your life, as well as the inevitable invasion of extended family - especially the ones you don't expect to see. It's heartfelt and hilarious and never gets old. Best of all, this Blu-ray will usher in a newly restored transfer of the film - and it's desperately needed it - to make the infectious Griswold holiday cheer all the more memorable!
If the original Will Ferrell starring 'Elf' wasn't enough for you, well now you'll be able to pull out this adaptation of the hit Broadway musical! If 'Elf' proved one thing, it's that you can't get enough holiday cheer and you can't get enough Buddy. Sure this movie may be a stop-motion animated remake of the original, but the whole family should get plenty of joy and holiday spirit out of this one - especially the little ones who enjoy catchy songs and colorful critters!
The network television Christmas special is a long standing tradition. You take a popular show, or grab a set of actors and toss them into a convoluted plot that is inspired to boost Neilsen Ratings as well as put its audience in the right mood for the upcoming holidays. While the 'Star Wars: Holiday Special' nearly killed the practice, networks still churn out these once-a-year specials. Thankfully the indelible Mr. Herman has brought his own unique flavor to the idea. This Blu-ray release is the perfect complement to the already incredible Pee-Wee's Playhouse: The Complete Series Blu-ray set, this one should please kids of all ages!
Christmas isn't really Christmas without a viewing of this holiday classic. As wonderful as the original Dr. Seuss classic children's book is, this beautifully hand-drawn animated film has always defined the lovable Grinch in my opinion. Now that this film is enjoying its 50th Anniversary, you can recapture the magic all over again. And if you have little ones in your home, go ahead and slip a copy in their stocking, I bet it'll put a big smile on their faces!
If you're like me and saw the original movies in theaters as a kid, or if you came up in the heyday of VHS tapes, 'Home Alone' holds a special place in your holiday heart. The idea of a kid foiling the evil plot of some thieves out to spoil the Christmas season is as much fun today as it was then. Sure the sequels offered diminishing returns, but they still had that special charm to them that should appeal to just about everyone. This 7-Disc Set offers the first two films on Blu-ray and DVD, along with DVDs of the sequels, as well as a whole host of nicknacks conveniently packaged in a paint can!
This film is probably one of my absolute favorites from Director Tim Burton. It's a wonderful movie about understanding and acceptance of people who may be a bit different but offer something unique to the world. It also happens to be a wonderful Christmas film as well! 20th Century Fox has just released this film again with a fresh and beautiful new 4k transfer with some great extras. This is a surefire crowd pleaser this holiday season!
In this day and age, one shouldn't ever believe that Pixar doesn't have what it takes to create strong original content. This was a wonderful movie that hits you right in the feels, while also making you laugh out loud. One would think that a movie about personified emotions wouldn't cater to the little ones in the home, but due to some beautiful animation, a wonderful script, and top-tier voice talent, 'Inside Out' proved to be one of the best movies of the summer season. Now you and yours can enjoy this grand title on either 2D or 3D Blu-ray!
Right at this moment, kids young and old love Minions, so it's only natural that a movie dedicated to the little noise making ruckus rousers would come along. The film itself may not have been a hit with critics, but it got kids in theaters in a big way this summer. Give yourself over to the innocent charms of this one and you'll have a great time. I can pretty much guarantee that the little ones in your life will have this one on their holiday wish lists. Thankfully you have a 2D and 3D option with this title and either option you choose should put a big smile on the recipient's face!
Whenever Disney releases a treasured title onto Blu-ray it's a big deal. 'Aladdin' is no exception to the rule. With a sterling picture and audio presentation and a host of extra features, this is a must own back catalog release. A good Disney movie can be timeless, 'Aladdin' is a great Disney movie, one that should appeal to everyone in the family, and provide those who haven't seen it with endless entertainment with the colorful animation, catchy tunes, as well as the infectious voice talent of the late, great Robin Williams.
So prior to the arrival of 'The Green Mile,' 'The Land Before Time' was the only movie to ever make this writer cry at the theater. This movie still tugs at your heart strings, but it also proves to be a beautifully animated film before the dominance of 3D computer animated offerings. If your little ones haven't been introduced to Littlefoot, and his quest to reach the green lands with his buddies and outwit the evil Sharptooth you'll want to get this. With a solid A/V presentation, this Blu-ray becomes the perfect gift.
Growing up I loved tearing through these books. As each new book came out I would stay up well past my bedtime reading by flashlight and devouring each new adventure of Omri and Little Bear. When a movie was announced in 1995, I was a bit worried, it was a favorite book of mine and I didn't want to see it sullied with a bad movie adaptation. Thankfully, Director Frank Oz knocked it out of the park. The movie is wildly entertaining and should prove to be a big hit in any home - especially with a new 4k video transfer!
As an animation nut, I'm a huge fan of just about everything Aardman Studios produces. From 'Wallace & Gromit' to 'Chicken Run' each of their feature films and shorts offers some dizzyingly elaborate stop-motion animation accompanied by a witty and creative story. Any of their films is sure to entertain, but I found this one to be a real delight from start to finish and it was a blast to see it in a theater full of kids. A screening at your home should have the same effect!
When you have a winning formula, why change anything? Marvel's output provides hit after hit that entertains viewers young and old, and 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' is no exception. The Blu-ray release, either 2D or 3D, should be a big hit in your home as it offers up all of the familiar faces you've come to know and love while also letting a couple of new heroes get their day in the sun. With a sterling DTS-HD MA 7.1 audio track, a gorgeous video presentation as well as some awesome extras, no Marvel collection is complete without this one!
Hot on the heels of 'Arrow' comes 'The Flash' the latest in the CW's ever-expanding universe of television superheroes and this show is one of the best things to hit your TV screen. Every episode is an exciting thrill ride and the Blu-ray set provides fantastic picture resolution and action-packed DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio tracks with a host of great extras. TV fans needing a good fix should be happy, and comic book fans will be sitting on the edge of their seat as soon as they tear off the gift wrap!
Marvel proves that heroes come in all sizes with the thrilling and funny 'Ant-Man.' Paul Rudd nails the role, offering a terrific blend of comedy and action within the structure of a heist flick. If you have someone on your list that likes a good laugh or enjoys some visually arresting action sequences, this great movie should fit that bill nicely. With top notch video and audio and tons of extras, this one is a heck of a stocking stuffer!
A great show just keeps doing its thing and expanding its television universe at the same time! Not only are Oliver/Arrow's adventures fun and exciting, he gets some help from some new heroes on the block and ties in nicely with 'The Flash: The Complete First Season' while also working to introduce us to the world of The Atom and other DC Comics heroes. With tons of extra features and a picture perfect A/V presentation, someone on your list is going to be very happy to unwrap this little gem!
If you have a very good little boy or girl that you're shopping for this holiday season, this amazing collection featuring 'Iron Man 3,' 'Thor: The Dark World,' 'Captain America: The Winder Soldier,' 'Guardians of the Galaxy,' 'The Avengers: Age of Ultron,' and 'Ant-Man' should do the trick nicely! They get all of that as well as a ton of exclusive extra features and some slick collector's packaging that should instantly become the highlight any Blu-ray collection!
If you have a diehard Batman fan on your shopping list, this first season of the popular show should fit the bill nicely. Featuring Batman's rogues gallery before there was a Batman, the lucky person that gets this from you will have hours of entertainment with tons of extra features to pick through as they enjoy the early exploits of James Gordon as he deals with the likes of The Penguin and other baddies!
Life finds a way, or rather Hollywood finds a way to reinvigorate a long dead franchise into the biggest hit of the summer! Audiences devoured this movie for weeks on end and it shouldn't be any surprise that the Blu-ray release is going to be a behemoth. With multiple special editions to choose from in either 2D or 3D, any kid - big or small - will be happy to unwrap this one and bathe in the beautiful video presentation and soak up the thundering DTS-HD MA 7.1 audio mix! And if you don't have the previous films on Blu-ray, there's no time like the present! Get it? Present?
Part of the fun of being a Doctor Who fan or knowing one are the great annual Christmas episodes, and this set combines the last three season's specials with a bunch of awesome extras, and that's before you get your very own Tardis Speaker! Resist getting this one for yourself if you can, there's sure to be someone on your list that would love this and love you for giving it to them!
With 'Star Wars The Force Awakens' looming on the cinematic horizon, it's perfectly understandable to want to reconnect with your favorite Jedi or Sith. Now you can pick and chose which of the movies you want to add to your collection! While these are repackaged from the previous collections, the new steelbooks look slick and should help get that certain someone on your list in the mood for the new adventure that is set to hit theaters very soon! Grab up Episode I, Episode II, Episode III, Episode IV, Episode V, and Episode VI while you can!
What can one say about one of the biggest sci-fi hits of the summer? 'Mad Max Fury Road' was a hit with critics and fans and the Blu-ray is one of the best releases of the year. If by some chance you know someone who loved this movie but hasn't yet picked up a copy - save Santa a trip through the wastelands and get it for them! The video quality is pristine and the disc features a terrific engine-revving Dolby Atmos audio track to bring George Miller's weather-ravaged dystopia to life.
While it may have divided audiences and critics, Brad Bird's Tomorrowland is a bright and beautiful film that is wildly creative and entertaining. The Blu-ray from Disney is no slouch either featuring a perfect A/V presentation along with a massive number of extra features to keep you occupied for a good long while. If you were a fan of the flick or know that special someone that could use a kickstart to the imagination, this release should remain on your radar.
It's tough to keep a franchise down. While the movie may not have wowed at that domestic box office, fans came in droves and kicked up the international box office. Some loved it, some hated it, I was right there in the middle. Action fans should get a kick from this one, and fervent fans of the franchise should be pleased to see Arnold Schwarzenegger still has some tough muscles to flex. Great for under the tree or as a solid stocking stuffer, this one should stay on your gift giving list.
With a fresh new 4k transfer and Dolby Atmos sound, Sony inaugurates their Supreme Cinema Series with one of the most wildly imaginative and colorful science fiction films of the 1990s. Sure, this movie has already made a Blu-ray appearance, but this time around, the double dip is sure to be worth it for that special someone who needs something shiny and fun on their home theater screen.
What could possibly be better than having 23 fun and entertaining movies all conveniently boxed up together? If you have someone on your list who hasn't managed to gather these film up in High Definition, you'll be doing them a huge favor with this fantastic set. If they don't love all of the movies, might we suggest the various actor specific sets? Choose from Sean Connery Vol 1, Sean Connery Vol 2, Roger Moore Vol 1, Roger Moore Vol 2, Timothy Dalton, Daniel Craig or George Lazenby's single outing as 007 and get them just their favorites. OR if you really want to get them something fun, pick up a few of the James Bond Steelbooks!
When you see that a franchise is entering its fifth installment, you start to wonder how much steam it has left. 'Mission Impossible Rogue Nation' proves that this franchise still has what it takes to wow audiences with some death defying stunts, action, international espionage, and should be the perfect gift for just about anyone on your list!
Another entry in Sony's new Supreme Cinema Series, 'Leon: The Professional' is action filmmaking at its finest. This new Blu-ray features a brand new transfer and Dolby Atmos sound, both cuts of the film, as well as a host of great extra features. For the action lover in your home, this release is a must!
The epic adventure of Katness, and her cohorts who rise up against President Snow begins with this rousing and exciting flick. The Blu-ray release is a winner too featuring a stellar video presentation and a thundering Dolby Atmos track to match! Fans of the books and the films will absolutely love opening this great gift from you!
With a new James Bond movie as well as another Mission Impossible flick, you shouldn't miss 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.' this holiday season. The film is a rollercoaster ride of action, suspense, and humor and should make the action junkie or spy film fan in your home incredibly happy. Or get it for yourself! Either way everyone in your home is sure to enjoy this release.
Who doesn't love the 'Die Hard' movies? Sure the later entries aren't as good as the originals, but they're still fun. 20th Century Fox has seen fit to gather up all five films in a convenient set that just so happens to be housed in a replica of the building from the first film! Whoever you're getting this for, make sure you get them a couple of G.I. Joe figures so they can recreate their favorite moments while watching the movie. At least, that's what I would do if I was given this set on Christmas morning!
Seven films in, and the engines on this franchise show no signs of slowing down anytime soon. The film itself is a wild and fun adventure while also serving as a fitting final tribute to the late Paul Walker who died tragically before filming could be completed. For those fans that don't already have other entries in the franchise, that's okay, this one also comes in a really cool box set - so you should have no trouble catching up! With a beautiful picture and an impressive engine-roaring DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 audio track, whoever gets this one from you will be very happy!
As ridiculous as a movie about a young Finnish boy on a hunt saving the life of the President of the United States may sound, this film proved to be a rousing delight all the way through. The best part is that it's age-friendly for everyone in your home. The disc sports an impressive picture and audio that plays up all of the film's action-packed strengths. The little action fan in your house is sure to love it just as much as the grown ups!
Al Pacino delivers one of his best performances in this retelling of true events. The film itself is a fierce and visceral work and provides plenty of fertile ground for its amazing cast to showcase their vast talents. It's also a heck of a great Blu-ray release and if you have a fan in your home who hasn't made the leap for this film on Blu-ray, take the plunge for them and wrap it up really nicely.
John Green is like the Stephen King of the 2010s. His books are being adapted into movies left and right, and like 'The Fault In Our Stars' 'Paper Towns' is a pleaser for dramatic and romantic hearts of all ages. Even if the person you're shopping for hasn't read the novel, this Blu-ray release is sure to please. You could even get a copy of the book to go along with it!
Disney's streak for hit live-action adaptations of their classic animated stories just keeps rolling along with this visually stunning retelling. The Blu-ray release is an absolute winner featuring an outstanding picture and audio presentation with tons of great extra features. The romantic on your list should love this one.
Who doesn't enjoy a good mystery? This time played by Ian McKellen, an older Holmes is retired, but compelled to solve a case that has haunted him for years. The film should please just about everyone on your list that enjoys beautiful filmmaking, intricate story, and great performances.
A true classic film in every sense of the word, 'You Can't Take It With You' is one of Frank Capra's best films and has everything you could hope for in a film featuring great performances that also won Oscars for Best Director and Best Picture in 1938. It'll make you laugh and it may make you tear up just a bit as this film provides some of the most delightful entertainment you could hope to find on Blu-ray.
Why purchase 'Spartacus' on Blu-ray again? A: It's a Stanley Kubrick film and no collection is complete without it. And B: This film has undergone a painstaking restoration effort and features one of the best catalog image transfers Blu-ray has yet seen. The film is also a gripping work of cinematic powerhouses and those who love their epic films with a sense of grandeur and rich visuals - it doesn't get much better than this release!
Martin Scorsese's classic mob film finally gets the worthy High Definition it has so rightly deserved with this Blu-ray release. Even if that special fan in your home already has the previous release, do them a favor and take that copy and turn it into a drink coaster, purchase this new edition, wrap it up nice and pretty, put it on the shelf alongside the rest of their collection and send them on a scavenger hunt! Once they find it, you're sure to see a big smile on their face because the remastered picture and new DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio improvements alone make this edition worth the purchase.
When you've got one 'Magic Mike' it's hard not to jump into the second film. While not quite as good as the first, those on your list who enjoy some sly humor - as well as ripped guys taking their clothes off - should find a lot to like with this release! The Blu-ray is a top notch release and should be the perfect complement to your certain someone's ever-growing Blu-ray collection!
Another anniversary edition for another wonderful and amazing film. This is a film that has remained in theaters steadily since it's original theatrical run as a midnight movie attraction. While that is absolutely the best way to experience this movie, this Blu-ray release from 20th Century Fox is no slouch either featuring a brand new 4k image remaster along with a beautiful DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 audio track! The Rocky Horror fan in your home will love this release and is the perfect addition to your holiday gift list!
Amy Schumer is on fire these days. Alongside her hit show on Comedy Central, she wrote and starred in this Judd Apatow directed flick. It's a laugh a minute that features some amazing cameos from the likes of John Cena, Dave Attell, Daniel Radcliffe, Marisa Tomei and LeBron James just to name a few. This movie was a laugh a minute and will surely please the raucous comedy lover on your list!
As this wonderful mockumentary shows, vampires have a hard time fitting in with modern society. From Jermaine Clement and Taika Waititi, this movie was a laugh a minute and a real audience pleaser. This film should please the people on your list who need a laugh, and it should absolutely delight horror fans. Between the exhaustive extra features, the film's beautiful picture and subtle but spooky DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track and this disc becomes a real winner.
When you've got someone on your list in desperate need of a great laugh with a dash of action and adventure, I would think that a lot of your shopping would be taken care of with 'Spy' on Blu-ray. The film was a hoot and a holler and cements lead actress Melissa McCarthy as a top comedic talent while showcasing the fantastic writing and directing talents of Paul Feig! The Blu-ray is loaded with bonus features as well as a top-notch A/V presentation to match! Wrap this one up, no matter who you give it to, they should have a blast!
Grab your coconuts and get ready for the mother of all great comedies from one of the funniest groups to dominate television screens and the silver screen. Whether you're a Knight of the Round Table or a Knight Who dares to say Nee, this elaborately wonderful anniversary set is sure to make that Python fan in your home very happy. If they're not happy when they open this, call the good gents at Confuse A Cat, they just may be able to help!
One ring may have been needed to rule them all, find them, and in the darkness bind them, but to get the full Middle Earth story, you're going to need to pick up Peter Jackson's Extended Edition trilogy! Fans of the films should be very happy to have either the 2D or 3D set as it brings all of the films together and with mountains of extra features for them to enjoy. Be that awesome Aunt or Uncle or great friend and wrap this one up for someone on your list!
One of the most visually amazing and inventive films is getting the grand Blu-ray special treatment. Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro's science fiction/fantasy gem is long overdue on Blu-ray and this special edition should prove to be a big hit for someone on your list.
Both Season 1 and Season 2 get the collectible steelbook packaging sporting the same magnificent video transfers, but the big upgrades here are the brand new Dolby Atmos audio tracks! Now you can experience the coming of winter, the betrayals, and the battles, with the wall-rattling audio it's meant to have! If not for you, then whoever you give these two seasons to is going to be very happy.
One of the big surprise hits of the past television viewing year was this adaptation of the popular novel series. The shows vivid scenery and sweeping story is captured in all of the Blu-ray glory and is sure to be the perfect gift for that romantic on your list. It should certainly help them get ready for the next season! With Volume 1 and Volume 2 on Blu-ray, your shopping just got easier!
Finally! The wait for one of the greatest, most iconic television shows of all time is over. The X-Files has made the grand leap to Blu-ray! This amazing and attractive set features all 9 seasons boxed up together and ready to dominate your home viewing time for hundreds of hours on end. If your special someone wasn't a fan of all 9 seasons, that's perfectly alright, each season will be enjoying its own separate release so you can easily snap up Season 1, Season 2, Season 3, Season 4, Season 5,Season 6, Season 7, Season 8, Season 9 and ensure there is a very happy person on your shopping list!
This is a show that just keeps chugging along, providing tons of fun entertainment. If you have a fan of the show in your home, this set is an absolute must get this holiday season. Even if you're new to the show, the good news is that all previous seasons are readily available and ready for you to devour in High Definition!
Are you stuck waiting for the next season of Downton Abbey to arrive? Well, get your fix for some aristocratic dramatics with this beautiful and sumptuous. Fans of the show will love to have the set, or if you're stuck on getting someone a gift, this show will be a worthwhile surprise. The Blu-ray features gorgeous picture and audio quality and plenty of entertainment for anyone on your list!
After quickly picking through the first season, it's quick to see why this show is so popular. It's also a great opportunity to scratch a few names off the shopping list! Season two picks up the momentum from season one and doesn't let go. Fans of the show will be glad to have it in their collection. If they don'y already have it - go ahead and add Season One to the list too!
One of the best shows to ever air on network television in recent years has come to a close with this third thrilling season. It'll take a lot of stars to align before another season is even possible, so before that happens you're going to need make sure you or that special someone who happens to love murderously delicious cuisine and a dash of cannibalism has this set wrapped up beautifully beside a spread of fava beans and perhaps a nice chianti as well?
This show was a modern western that provided star Timothy Olyphant a wonderful rebound project after 'Deadwood' was prematurely ended. All six seasons of the show's amazing run are boxed together with an extra disc full of bonus features. It also comes packaged with a flask with the show's title emblazoned on it, making it the perfect gift set for that die hard fan.
Just like 'Justified' and 'Hannibal', 2015 saw the end of another amazing television series. If you have someone on your shopping list who was on the fence about jumping aboard the Blu-ray sets, this complete series collection is perfect gift giving opportunity! You can never have too much Don Draper and this set is primed to provide hours and hours of entertainment value that is tough to beat.
Classic science fiction television fanatics who are already caught up on their Blu-ray seasons of 'Star Trek' and 'The Twilight Zone' have got something grand coming their way. Help your good friend or family member suit up along with Starbuck and enjoy this great piece of action science fiction television. Every episode of the original series, as well as the 1980 season and the pilot film are on deck with this grand set!
What's wrong with you, you galactic gelatinous generous gift giver? This complete series is a must own for any classic television or science fiction fan, and I'm willing to bet you have more than a couple of them on your list. Hopefully, a few of them live in the same household and you shouldn't have any trouble scratching off a few names with this amazing Blu-ray set!
One of the best shows to air on HBO makes a wonderful Blu-ray entrance. With all seasons boxed together, anyone that is lucky enough to unwrap this set should have no trouble marathoning through this engrossing and addictive show. Just make sure whoever gets this set has a wide open timespan to devour it because it's going to be really hard for them to stop watching.
Get lost in David Lynch's hypnotic masterpiece has finally made its way to Blu-ray and in grand fashion. This is a darkly beautiful and mysterious movie that gets the full Criterion treatment with a jaw-dropping A/V presentation and some solid extras including interviews with Lynch, the cast, as well as legendary composer Angelo Badalamenti. The person on your shopping list that gets this will love you eternally, and it would also spread that holiday cheer!
Anytime a Wes Anderson movie gets the Criterion Collection treatment, it's a great day for film fans and Blu-ray collectors! The film is an absolute joy from start to finish. With a ton of great extra features as well as well as an amazing video and audio presentation makes it a must-own release for fans. That's where your shopping list can do a whole lot of good by picking this one up for that certain someone on your list!
Jack Nicholson delivers one of his greatest performances in Bob Rafelson's incredible film. The Criterion Collection brings the film to Blu-ray in grand fashion with a bunch of extra features and an incredible A/V presentation. This film is an absolute classic and it's given the treatment it rightly deserves with this incredible release. Someone on your list is going to be very happy to unwrap this one!
My Dinner With André, Vanya on 42nd Street, and A Master Builder get the full Criterion Collection treatment in this amazing three film collection. Every fan should have a spot on their shelf reserved for this set - that's where you come in. Obviously this is a pretty big set, so if that special someone on your list has been extra good this year, consider this one their reward!
David Cronenberg's fantastic fright film finally arrives on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection. Sure it may be a bit scary and dark for a holiday gift but ti does take place in winter, so that should at least set the mood a little bit. This is the release fans of Cronenberg's have long been waiting for. If you've got someone on your list that has a space reserved on their shelf for this title, you'd be spreading a lot of happiness this holiday season by picking it up for them!
2015 was a busy year for great titles being released on out favorite HD physical media format. Several films saw big anniversary releases and others got their long overdue restorations. Shopping for the holidays is always tough, and we here at High-Def Digest hope that this guide offers you a little bit of a roadmap of sorts to help you navigate your quest to find the perfect gift for those deserving people on your shopping list. As always, be safe out there this holiday season and be sure to turn on a great movie with your friends, family, and loved ones!
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