The holidays are upon us and that means food, laughter and….Watching Movies! Streaming movies is great, but having them on a disc means that there’s no worries about a bad connection to the Internet or too many people online trying to watch the same thing when you want to. And of course having the Blu-ray or DVD player now so portable, it’s an easy carry to Grandma’s or the in-laws for hooking up to their TV. With so many genres and so varied people’s tastes, let us suggest a few worthy of your consideration.
It’s A Wonderful Life / Blu-ray and DVD
Jimmy Stewart embodies the spirit of the holidays in this well-beloved classic. As directed by Frank Capra, the movie has both highs and lows visualizing a life that is not always easy and happy, but ends on a high and inspirational note. It is not rated but suitable for all audiences.
Batman: The Complete Television Series / Blu-ray and DVD
BAM! ZAP! WOW! The entire Batman TV series brings all the color and “camp” that has made it a cult legend. Filled to the brim with TV and movie star cameos, watch as Batman and Robin save Gotham City from the likes of the Joker, the Penguin, the Riddler and more. Definitely not like the movie versions, this Batman is a fun ride in a Batmobile that can be enjoyed not only on the TV but off (as a Hot Wheels Batmobile comes with the box set). Not rated, but acceptable for all age groups.
The Good Lie / Blu-ray and DVD
A tale of survival and family, Sudanese refugees adjust to life in America and strive for the “American Dream.” Reese Witherspoon plays a caseworker who is drawn into their story. Touching and at times sad, it is rated PG-13 (parental guidance suggested)
Clint Eastwood: 40-Film Collection / DVD
Over a long career, Clint Eastwood has played many parts, but regardless of whether he’s a cop or cowboy or soldier, mostly he’s a tough guy who doesn’t back down when doing the right thing is needed. Included are such favorites as Dirty Harry, Million Dollar Baby, Pale Rider, Where Eagles Dare and many, many more. Ratings vary, so parental guidance is suggested.
Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Episodes I-VI) / Blu-ray
Featuring all six movies — the original trilogy and the prequel trilogy — what was a cultural phenomenon has since metamorphosed into a mainstay of pop-culture. Some will love all the films, some will prefer one to another, but the quality of the reproduction and sound will make everyone realize how improved home theater is now and how the movie theater, while not kaput, doesn’t own the rights to making a movie look good. The force is now with home theater.
THE VINCENT PRICE COLLECTION: VOLUME II / Blu-ray
Horror films aren’t about special effects — it’s all about atmosphere and how the actors play their parts. This collection of favorites has Vincent Price in some of his best roles — for example, the Raven, The Last Man on Earth and Dr. Phibes Rises Again. With a sense of humor rarely found in horror films today, Price maintains his calm amidst horrendous goings-on, and is joined by notables such as Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre and Basil Rathbone too. Not rated, but parental guidance suggested.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY / Blu-ray (+3D) and DVD
Set in the Marvel Universe, our “hero” Peter has just the right amount of nerve, skill and wiseacres to make this galactic adventure a fun ride. Add in a cast of “real” and “digital” characters, all with their own agendas, and there’s something for everyone. Just remember not to root for the bad guys, no matter how cool their outfits are. Bright and colorful, with exceedingly well done special effects, this one will get everyone bopping to the oldies tunes of the 80’s that feature in the film. And if you have a 3D TV, it gets even better. It’s rated PG-13 (parental guidance suggested).