DVD Shopping Bag: 5 Last Minute Criterion Blu-ray Gift Ideas! (Mania.com)

By:Robert T. Trate
Date: Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Source: Mania.com

We have a week to go until the big gift giving holiday. Ordering items on Amazon is a tough call, even at this point. So, your last hope is heading out into the malls! Now, wait, I know what you are thinking. The headline said “5 Last Minute Criterion Blu-ray Gift Ideas!”, but, Bob, where does one buy DVDs or Blu-rays from the Criterion Collection? You certainly can’t get them at Wal-Mart, Target or even Best Buy (don’t bother on the last one, trust me). No, my dear Maniacs, you have but one choice, Barnes and Noble. The Barnes and Noble selection of Criterion DVDs and Blu-rays is always amazing. The best part of this being a last minute gift column is that Barnes and Noble loves to hand out last minute coupons (via email) and Criterions are expensive by regular DVD/ Blu-ray standards. So this means (dunh dunh duh) they will be there! So without further eloquence or plugging, let’s get to Mania’s “5 Last Minute Criterion Blu-ray Gift Ideas!”
 
1. The Blob (Spine# 91) - For the B Movie Sci-Fi Horror Fan
Despite the film being incredibly dated by the clothes, cars, and film stock, The Blob glistens in 1080p. It is almost creepy to see loose strains of hair free standing off of Steve McQueen’s head. Jane Martin’s eyes truly are a bright blue sky and the one that McQueen is fighting for. The Blob, itself, glistens in the darkness and is completely translucent when it needs to be. It even appears to have a heartbeat with its blood red surface.

 2. The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (Spine# 452) - For Dad, Grandpa, and the Spy Enthusiast
A recent release from Criterion that features an incredible cast in Richard Burton and Claire Bloom. The Spy Who Came in From the Cold is a realistic portrayal of the life and times of Cold War Europe. A tale that is a tad more realistic than any James Bond film. What they will truly love are the hours of special features included on the Blu-ray. Everything from an uncompressed soundtrack, by Sol Kaplan, to interviews about the film from 1967 to 2000.

3. Godzilla (a.k.a.Gojira, Spine #594) - For the Kaiju Fan in the Family
There is an incredible featurette detailing the matte paintings and special effects used for Gojira. Key insights are supplied by the original special effects supervisor, Koichi Kawakita, and special effects director, Motoyoshi Tomioka. This featurette is required watching upon completion of either version of the film. You’ll wonder how they did so much with simple camera tricks. A recent (2011) interview with Japanese-film critic Tado Sato opens the doors to the impact Godzilla had on Japan and the world. Sato also elaborates on the men involved and how this was the biggest thing to ever come out of Japanese cinema. With all the rich commentaries and interviews on the disc, it was the short historical documentary about the Lucky Dragon #5 sailing ship that was the unexpected surprise. No, these sailors never met their end by the hands of a giant lizard. They were only witnesses to a hydrogen bomb test on the bikini atoll whose horrific story inspired the birth of Godzilla. Finishing off this documentary is look at the actual ship remains and its final resting place. 

4. Eclipse Series 37: When Horror Came to Shochiku - For the Movie Geek 
We all have that Movie Geek in the family. Usually, we are that Geek. We all know someone that seeks out the bizarre and unique. Criterion delivers it in four fold with Eclipse Series 37: When Horror Came to Shochiku. You’ll get THE X FROM OUTER SPACE (watch the trailer below), GOKE, BODY SNATCHER FROM HELL (A Japanese version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers), THE LIVING SKELETON (pirates, need I say more?!), and GENOCIDE (this one has killer insects). Check out the trailers here 

5. House (Spine #539) - Just to Get Even with Someone
Have you ever gotten a gift from someone that was just so out in left field, you still wonder why you got it? Here is your great chance to get even. House (1977) by Nobuhiko Obayashi is the perfect thing to screw with their mind. Imagine Sam Raimi (Evil Dead) and and Terry Gilliam (Brazil) collaborated on a film together and you get only a glimpse of what House delivers. School girls take a vacation to visit a friend’s grandmother, when hell, literally, breaks loose. This is one for the ages and if you truly love bizarre cinema, you’ll want to pick one up for yourself, as well.

Have any Criterion Suggestions Maniacs? Sound off below! 

Top 5 Picks of the Week:
1. The Whip and The Body: Kino Classics Remastered Edition [Blu-ray]
2. Kick-Ass 2 (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD with UltraViolet)
3. Predator [Blu-ray]
4. Indiana Jones & Raiders of the Lost Ark [Blu-ray]
5. Indiana Jones & Last Crusade [Blu-ray]

ACTION / ADVENTURE / KUNG FU/ THRILLERS / WESTERNS

2 Guns [Blu-ray]

Age of Kings

Barracuda Starring Christy Oldham, Shane Woodson, Pippa Hinchley

Crawlspace [Blu-ray] Starring Klaus Kinski

Force of Execution [Blu-ray] Starring Steven Seagal, Danny Trejo, David House and Dylan Kenin

Indiana Jones & Raiders of the Lost Ark [Blu-ray]

Indiana Jones & Last Crusade [Blu-ray] Starring Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Alison Doody

Indiana Jones & Temple of Doom [Blu-ray] Starring Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Jonathan Ke Quan

Line of Duty Starring Jeremy Ray Valdez, Will Rothhaar, Sean Patrick Flanery

The Lone Ranger (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) Starring Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, Tom Wilkinson

The Lone Ranger Starring Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, William Fichtner

Man Who Came To Kill, The Starring Luis Dávila, Fernando Sancho, Gloria Milland Carl Möhner

Prisoners (DVD + UltraViolet) Starring Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano and Viola Davis

Prisoners (Blu-ray+DVD+UltraVi... Combo Pack) Starring Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano and Viola Davis

Repo Starring Ben Gourley, Jason Mewes, Izabella Miko and Lindsey McKeon

The Secret Village Starring Jonathan Bennett, Richard Riehle and Stelio Savante

Shadow on the Mesa Starring Kevin Sorbo, Greg Evigan, Gail OGrady and Meredith Baxter

Toad Road Starring Sara Anne Jones and James Davidson

Those People Starring Alicia Avery, Deirdre Franklin, Stephen Hill, Pasqualina McBride, Thomas Daniel Donald Lavan

ANIME

Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero: Complete Series (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Jerrry Jewell, Felecia Angelle and Eric Vale

Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero: Complete Series (Limited Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Felecia Angelle, Eric Vale and Jerry Jewell

Di Gi Charat: Ova Series

Pet Girl of Sakurasou 1 [Blu-ray]

Pet Girl of Sakurasou 1

CARTOONS

Adventure Time: Season 1

Family Guy: Volume 12

CLASSICS

The Blue Angel: Kino Classics 2-Disc Ultimate Edition [Blu-ray] Starring Marlene Dietrich and Emil Jannings (1930)

COMEDY AND LOVE Mania Style

Psych: The Musical Starring James Roday and Dule Hill

HORROR

Devil's Pass Starring Holly Goss and Matt Stokoe

Fraulein Devil Starring Pamela Standford Lisa Long (1977)

Ghost Team One [Blu-ray] Starring Carlos Santos and J.R. Villarreal

Ghost Team One Starring Carlos Santos, J. R. Villarreal, James Babson

Hey...Stop Stabbing Me! Starring Mark Cartier, Brian J. Casey, Patrick Casey, Jeremy Coy Dan Buechler

Hospital, The Starring Jim O'Rear, Daniel Emery Taylor, Scott Tepperman

Mischief Night Starring Noell Coet, Daniel Hugh Kelly, Charlie O'Connell

The Secret Village Starring Jonathan Bennett, Richard Riehle and Stelio Savante

Silence Starring Masiela Lusha, Muse Watson Matthew Lawrence

Trauma Starring Arthur Kennedy Fabio Testi (1978)

Tormentor Starring SUSAN SCOTT, GEORGE MARTIN ROBERT HOFFMAN

The Bates Haunting Starring Rocco A. Amato, Randy Bates and Ashley Caspermeyer

Witch Who Came From The Sea, The Starring Lonny Chapman, Vanessa Brown, Peggy Feury Millie Perkins

The Whip and The Body: Kino Classics Remastered Edition [Blu-ray] Starring Christopher Lee

The Whip and The Body: Kino Classics Remastered Edition Starring Christopher Lee

SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY / SUPERHERO

Alien Uprising [Blu-ray Combo] Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bianca Bree and Sean Brosnan

Alien Uprising Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bianca Bree, Sean Brosnan

Dollman [Blu-ray] Starring Jackie Earle Haley, Kamala Lopez, Humberto Ortiz, Nicholas Guest Tim Thomerson

Elysium (Two Disc Combo: Blu-ray / DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy) Starring Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley and Alice Braga

Kick-Ass 2 (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD with UltraViolet) Starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD + Digital Copy) Starring Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Brandon T. Jackson

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (Blu-ray/DVD + DigitalHD) Starring Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Brandon T. Jackson

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters Starring Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Brandon T. Jackson

Predator [Blu-ray]

S.E.R.P. (search engine results page) [Blu-ray] Starring Robert Sean Campbell, Mark Balunis, Melinda Marks

Timeslingers Starring CARLY POPE, BARNA MORICZ, MARKUS PARILO, GERRY QUIGLEY, GLORIA SLADE TAYLOR LOCKE

TV LAND

Burn Notice: Season Seven Starring Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle Anwar and Bruce Campbell

Justified: The Complete Fourth Season [Blu-ray]

Justified: The Complete Fourth Season Starring Timothy Olyphant

Shameless:  The Complete Third Season Starring William H. Macy, Emmy Rossum, Justin Chatwin

Shameless: Complete Third Season [Blu-ray] Starring William H. Macy, Emmy Rossum, Justin Chatwin

BOX SETS

Burn Notice: The Complete Series

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