Seasons Greetings, high-def fans. If you have someone on your Christmas list that is so entrenched in his/her particular high-def format of choice, my first Holiday Gift Guide probably didn't interest you very much. Since both the HD-DVD and Blu-Ray formats have become so popular as of late, we decided to put together TWO Holiday Gift Guides to cover all of our DVD bases, and we have another 25 titles in the high-def formats for your perusing pleasure. Since we don't want to be redundant, you won't find any of the titles listed in the first Gift Guide here, even though you can find most of those previous titles on at least one of the formats. So kick back and enjoy our fresh batch of DVD goodies, high-definition style.
Movie PictureFamily: The Best of HD DVD / Family: The Best of Blu-Ray
Since it is the holiday season, and the holidays are about family, I thought it would be appropriate to start the guide off with this release. This collection gives you four family flicks in one set: Happy Feet, Scooby-Doo, Tim Burton's Corpse Bride and The Ant Bully. You can pick up Family: The Best of HD DVD or Family: The Best of Blu-Ray in stores now.
Another genre collection from both the HD DVD and Blu-Ray camps. This one focuses on the action flicks, and they give us four great action-packed movies in one set. The set contains Blood Diamond, Troy, Wyatt Earp and Alexander: Revisited - The Final Cut. This wonderful set of action flicks will put your high-definition system to the test. Action: The Best of HD DVD and Action: The Best of Blu-Ray are in stores now.
This Pixar hit from last year just came to the Blu-Ray format a few weeks ago, and this animated hit will score big with the entire family. This disc would be a great gift for any young parent with a solid high-def system... or any youngster with a PS3. Cars: Blu-Ray is currently available.
The first two seasons are already on the standard format and the third season is currently airing on Fox, but the first season of this hit show has finally made it to the Blu-Ray format. This six-disc set features all 22 episodes of this groundbreaking first season, and is loaded with special features as well. This is a great gift for new fans of the show, or for someone who is looking to convert their standard's over to Blu-Ray. Prison Break: Season 1 is in stores now.
They've made us laugh before some of Pixar's theatrical outings and on special features of other Pixar DVD's, but not you can own the whole collection on Blu-Ray DVD. This disc features 13 short films from Pixar's collection and, if the Vol. 1 is any indication, there will be more on the horizon from the animation powerhouse. You get such shorts as "Jack-Jack Attack" from The Incredibles and "Lifted" which was shown before this year's Ratatouille, just to name a few. Pixar Short Films Collection, Vol. 1: Blu-Ray is in stores now.
Yippie-Ki-Yay, Die Hard is coming to Blu-Ray! This set contains all four Die Hard movies: Die Hard, Die Hard 2: Die Harder, Die Hard 3: Die Hard with a Vengeance and the latest in the series, Live Free or Die Hard. All four discs will be available individually on Blu-Ray as well, but this collection packs the whole quadrilogy into one complete set. Die Hard Collection: Blu-Ray hits the shelves on November 20.
OK, so this special unrated edition of Bad Santa isn't the most ideal family holiday film. There's swearing and innuendo up the yang in this hilarious Billy Bob Thornton flick, but, deep down... OK, WAY deep down... it's a Christmas movie, in its own unique way. So, after all the presents are opened and the kids are all finally in bed, this is a great flick for the adults to wind down after the hectic holidays. Badder Santa: Blu-Ray comes to Blu-Ray DVD on November 20.
This is another one that's getting the high-definition treatment after a few seasons on the air. After three seasons on the Sci-Fi Channel, this reincarnation of the show is more popular than ever, and the move to HD DVD will give fans a fresher look in high definition. Maybe, if they step on it, they can get all three seasons on HD DVD before the fourth season premeires in April 2008. Even if they don't, this set will make a great gift for any sci-fi fan on your Christmas list. Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Season One: HD DVD will be available on December 4.
While Christmas time is all about family, you can take home this very different kind of "family" on either high-definition format. This last season of the immensely popular HBO series was released about a month ago, but, with the incredible fan base of the show, you can bet this will be a hot holiday buy this year. This four-disc set contains the last nine episodes of the series, including the very controversial series finale, and some bonus material as well. Any Soprano's fan would love finding this set under the tree.
This huge 10-disc set from both BBC documentary series is a wonderful gift set for Discovery Channel fans and fans of the environment as well. Although there are only 18 episodes combined in this set, the whole set runs about 950 minutes, with a 10-minute featurette accompanying each episode. This in-depth, award-winning look at our planet would be a great gift for any lover of nature.
This third installment of the popular ogre franchise, should be a popular holiday buy after another successful theatrical run. I'm sure all the kids will be hogging up dad's HD system after this one hits the shelves. Even though this is a single-disc release, they packed the sole disc with a bevy of extras for the kids, young and old, to play with. Shrek the Third is on the shelves now.
This two-disc set offers the most in-depth look into this classic sci-fi film that we've ever seen. Utilizing the massive disc space that Blu-Ray offers, they fit all three versions of the film - the original theatrical version, the re-edited 1980 theatrical Special Edition and Steven Spielberg's Director's Cut, released in the 1998 Collector's Edition - on to one Blu-Ray disc, with the second disc entirely for special features. The set comes with a scrapbook and a technical timeline as well, which is pretty darn cool. You can stop shopping for your sci-fi fanatic with this amazing set. Close Encounters of the Third Kind: 30th Anniversary Ultimate Edition: Blu-Ray is available now.
Who wants Spidey on standard when you can get him on Blu-Ray? We might not know for awhile if another Spider-Man film will happen or not, so this collection on Blu-Ray might just be the only collection you'll need. The collection looks to offer the same amount of special features from the regular editions, and this will make the web-slinging fan in your family a very happy camper. Spider-Man: The High Definition Trilogy: Blu-Ray is on the shelves now.
This innovative holiday film should be even more dazzling in the Blu-Ray format. It's quite a visual experience just in the theater or at home, and I can imagine a Blu-Ray viewing would be even more impressive. It's also a wonderful Christmas movie as well, and you can experience it in a whole new level with this Blu-Ray disc. So, gather the family up around the plasma screen and get ready for some holiday fun. Polar Express: Blu-Ray is on sale now.
Fly into the danger zone on both high-def formats this year! The classic Tom Cruise flying flick is sure to be a great viewing experience on either high-definition format. This is another great gift for those in the arduous process of converting their standard DVD's to a high-definition platform, or for anyone new to HD or Blu-Ray. This will be a great addition to any high-def guru's collection. Both formats are available in stores now.
The 2006 Best Picture Oscar winner was released on the HD/DVD Hybrid format back during its initial standard release in February (and on Blu-Ray as well), but this masterful movie recently received an HD DVD release all its own in October. It carries the same special features as the HD/DVD Hybrid version, and this is a simply phenomenal movie that should be a welcomed addition for anyone's HD DVD collection. This is a pretty safe bet for any guy on your list who doesn't already own the Hybrid edition. The Departed: HD is currently on the shelves.
This Original Directors cut of this classic 1969 Western can be enjoyed on both high-definition formats now, after it's initial standard release in January. This is a marvelous film by legendary director Sam Peckinpah that is considered one of the best ever in the genre. This new restored director's cut will impress even moreso on either high-definition format. This is the perfect gift for any Western junkie. Both versions are in stores now.
This title has been the highest-selling HD title every week since its release on October 16, and I doubt that will change much with the holiday season gearing up. This two-disc set offers up a nice variety of special features to go along with this summer's smash blockbuster hit. I doubt this will be a great gift for the ladies, but if there's a guy on your list anywhere from 13 to 35, or so, I doubt you'd hear any complaints. Transformers is available now.
They recently released the Stanley Kubrick Collection on the standard format, but they didn't release it on any of the high-definition formats. Oddly enough, they released all of the titles individually, in both formats, and this is one of my favorites of the collection. Kubrick's masterful rendition of Anthony Burgess' bizarre/amazing novel is one of the more faithful adaptations you'll likely see, and an astounding movie to boot. It was recognized on both of the AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies lists and this classic would be a wonderful gift for any movie droog... I mean, guy. Both versions are available now.
Here's another favorite of mine from our old pal Kubrick, finally available on both formats. Adapted from the Stephen King novel, this horror classic with Jack Nicholson and Shelly Duvall is a must-own for any horror or film buff. The creepiness will only be enhanced on either of these formats, and this will make a great gift for anyone not afraid of big spooky hotels.
If you have any Harry Potter fans on your list, don't be surprised if this is the only thing they want this holiday season. This nifty 12-disc set comes in a limited edition packaging that appears to be one of those trunks all the kids at Hogwarts have. It seems you get all five movies and a bunch of bonus discs as well. This is THE gift for any fan of the Harry Potter series. Both versions will be released on December 11.