Holiday Gift Guide 2018: Movies in Convenient Box Form

Practically everyone enjoys movies. People who can’t tell you their favorite movie are probably into collecting unopened canvas sacks of coarse, stone-ground cornmeal or shaving guinea pigs. But the film fans in your life, especially those still enamored with physical media, would love to receive a box set this holiday season, filled with spectacular Blu-rays of their favorite films.

Don’t just give hugs this holiday season: give facehugs! This Alien six-film set may have come out last year, but it’s still a gorgeous collection. All the Xenomorphic goodness is here, including Ridley Scott’s controversial additions to the universe, Prometheus and Alien: Covenant. It’s a bare bones set, so don’t look for any extra features on the first four flicks, but if chestbursting action is all that is required, this may be the best and most economical way to do it.

If your recipient likes killer aliens, but wants them to be a little funny and maybe say a bad word or two, consider getting The Critters Collection from Scream Factory. These little monsters eat people and shoot spikes from their skin. They can also roll themselves up and join, like a massive Voltron armadillo-porcupine. I guess you just have to see it. All the Critters movies are here, and it’s fun to look for current stars in these older films. Yes, that’s Leonardo DiCaprio in Critters 3. That’s Angela Bassett in Critters 4. And look over there! It’s Dee Wallace-Stone. You can’t say no to Dee Wallace-Stone, can you?

From the ridiculous to the absurd, here’s a box of clever slapstick and understated social commentary. The Mel Brooks Collection offers nine movies from the comedy genius, most of which your father already has memorized. It’s important to not which movies are not here. There’s no original version of The Producers. There’s not a copy of the criminally overlooked Dracula: Dead and Loving It. You won’t find Life Stinks in here either, which is probably okay. But the classics are all included, such as Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles. It’s good, clean (for the most part) fun, and there are few things better on a snowy evening than a good old Mel Brooks film.

Speaking of masters of their craft, how about 15 (count ’em!) movies from Alfred Hitchcock? The Alfred Hitchcock Collection gives up the good stuff. None of that “Oh, here’s the silent version of The Lodger from 1929.” Psycho. Saboteur. Rope. Strangers on a Train. Everything that first pops to mind when you think about Hitchcock is here, even his final feature film, Family Plot. You even get the episodes from Alfred Hitchcock Presents that the man directed for television! Tons of extras make this a perfect gift for any suspense fan on your list.

For the serious film buff in your life, take a look at Ingmar Bergman’s Cinema from The Criterion Collection. There are 39 movies from the Swedish filmmaker in this sumptuous set. That’s a lot of angst! This is perfect for people who claim to have seen The Seventh Seal but truthfully only recognize allusions to it in other films. It also includes my personal favorite Bergman films: Persona and Hour of the Wolf. It’s expensive, though, so purchase it only for someone you really like. You like me, don’t you? Sure, you do. I would love that Bergman set. Come on. I’ll be your friend.

Okay, maybe you can’t afford to grab some fine world cinema for that special cinemaphile on your list, but here’s what you can do. Make them a charter member of The Criterion Channel. This streaming service will rise out of the ashes of the dearly departed FilmStruck, but will be totally owned by those wonderful nerds at Criterion. With charter member rates starting at around ten bucks a month, The Criterion Channel is one heck of a bargain. It’s not a box set, but you can put the receipt in a box and give it to your intended. Cut into thirds and put in three boxes. I don’t care. It’s a a box with movies in it either way, right?

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