Holiday Shopping Guide: Entertainment Classics
Rare films, classic TV, revivals and revolutionary cinema. DVDs make great presents because they're great experiences, whether discovering the early works of Charlie Chaplin, reminiscing on a first date movie, uncovering the latest and greatest of art crimes, or journeying deep into the jungle into one of the greatest war films ever made. If there's one thing the end of year brings us, it's a host of new DVD releases, all specially packaged for gifting. Choose a film or TV set that a friend would be proud to have as part of their library. Here are our top picks:
Mad Men Season Three
With an ominous Old Fashioned decorating the cover of the new box set of AMC's groundbreaking show, the cover design foretells Don Draper's deadening downward spiral in the unparalleled Season Four. There's only one thing to hold us over until Season Five. Revisit Season Three for all of its amazing story turns: marriages crumble, agencies fall apart, hidden identities revealed, all amidst the backdrop of JFK's assassination, putting the 60s all into perspective. It's one of the few shows that delivers more and more with each viewing. Snap up this boxset and revisit the magic and tribulations of Madison Avenue in preparation for next year.
Exit Through the Gift Shop
Love it or hate it, street art gained definitive new ground in Bansky's infamous "Exit Through The Gift Shop." Poking aim at the consumerism of art and the new generation of faux artists out for the fame, "Gift Shop" is a must-have for any serious art collector on the state of our galleries and streets. A hoax, a mystery and a movement wrapped into one thrilling doc, snag up this exclusive set with loads of DVD goodies including glasses, stickers and deleted scenes. The price of admission is worth it alone for the never before seen access into the life of the art world's most notorious character.
For the ultimate film lover, "Exit Through the Gift Shop" is part of the Oscilloscope Circle of Trust, a 10-disc subscription series where your lucky gift-recipient will receive a series of top picks throughout the year. This past year included amazing titles such as the touching Maurice Sendak documentary "Tell Them Anything You Want," and comical Golden Globe nominee "The Maid." All packaged in gorgeous collectible boxes, it's truly the gift that keeps on giving well beyond the holidays.
Tonight – Four Decades of the Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson
Let the master himself guide you through 40 years of cultural history. Tonight offers an exclusive look into America's heritage, through the eyes of late night television's original host. The massive set of over 1800 minutes of show clips including gems from the 60s (Woody Allen, The Muppets), the 70s (Muhammad Ali, The Jackson 5, Carol Burnett, Chevy Chase), the 80s (Jerry Seinfield, Betty White, Brooke Shields) and the 90s (Bob Hope, B.B. King). With the resurgence of all things retro, teens to grandparents will appreciate this carefully curated look into TV's greatest moments.
Sherlock: Season One
The next generation in Sherlock Holmes has taken Britain by storm, creating an entirely new drove of fans for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's timeless detective dramas. U.S. fans caught the series on PBS's Masterpiece Mystery, and now the entire first season is available on DVD. The new series features Benedict Cumberbatch of "Atonement" as Sherlock, and his sidekick Watson as Martin Freeman from "The Office." The famous crime-solvers, brought together by chance after Watson's return from the war in Afghanistan, embark on a series of mysteries that carry the same fast-paced spirit of adventure of the original stories. It's a must have gift for any fan of modern-day crimes and mysteries.
Apocalypse Now Full Disclosure
It was Francis Ford Coppola's greatest risk, and his most successful one. Coppola fully backed Apocalypse Now, and now owns the film with his family. While a script existed, he shot the film largely from his own annotated version of "Heart of Darkness," he carried around in his pocket on set. Available for the first time in stunning high definition from Lionsgate, Coppola's journey deep into the hell of war never loses its timeliness. The onscreen chemistry of Martin Sheen and Marlon Brando is unparalleled in any adventure movie. It's a journey deep into fear and rebellion, a look inside the human condition. Featuring both "Apocalypse Now" and "Apocalypse Now Redux" as well as nine hours of bonus materials including "Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse," the making-of feature documentary. Full Disclosure is a must edition to any Coppola collection, packaged in a keepsake case complete with archival poster images designed by Japanese artist Eiko Ishioka.
Chaplin at Keystone: An International Collaboration of 34 Original Films
The moustache, the twitch. The hat, the silhouette. Charlie Chaplin defined modern cinema. It all began at Keystone Studios where Chaplin came in 1913 as a small vaudevillian and quickly rose to fame. It was Keystone where he perfected his Tramp persona and create 34 comedies. After an extensive worldwide search for original prints and painstakingly beautiful restoration, for the first time, it's possibly to see the ingenious films Chaplin made at Keystone and witness his incredible rise. Accompanied by greats of silent cinema including Neil Brand and Antonio Coppola, the new collection is a must have peek into the early life of Chaplin for cinema and history buffs alike.
Toy Story Trilogy
Toy Story marked the beginning of a new era in animation. With the wrap-up of the trilogy this year, fans can experience the magic from start to finish. This 10-disc set, lets you watch the movies on any format, your DVD player, Blu-ray player, or on your computer. All come in a fun toy chest packaging that is a delight for kids to treasure the gift of Buzz and Woody.
Doctor Who: The Complete Fifth Series
And for any British TV Fan worth their salt, the Doctor Who Fifth Season is a sure-fire gift to get them smiling. The continuing sci-fi series is just as delightful and enthralling as the original. New Season, new doctor, with Matt Smith debuting as the new hero who is tasked with saving the world in under 20 minutes. The 6-disc set includes 13 episodes of breathtaking storytelling coupled with all new effects, deleted scenes and outtakes.
Dirty Dancing: Limited Keepsake Edition
Anyone who claims to not be a "Dirty Dancing" fan may just be secretly lying. Whether taken as camp or romantic comedy, the film has touched audiences for over 20 years. This new edition includes a well-deserved Patrick Swayze tribute, three new featurettes on the film's locations, and a 52-page hardcover commemorate book. The new Blu-ray edition also includes a digital copy, never before released stills gallery, "Dirty Dancing: Live in Concert," and Elanor Bergstein's Shooting Script. The definite set has finally arrived to relive all your memories of Baby Houseman and Johnny Castle at their very best.
The Tudors, The Complete Series
See King Henry VIII in all his terror and glory in this complete 15-disc set from Showtime. Witness Jonathan Rhys-Meyers and his amazing supporting cast nail the 40-year reign of Britain's most notorious ruler. The set includes amazing extras that delve deep into Tudor history with looks into the recent past of the British Library, Tower of London and Hampton Court. The series has everything for Medieval buffs, costume aficionados, and simply those who love a good story.
Being Human Season One and Season Two
It's BBC America's answer to the vampire craze. Neither as romantic as "Twilight" nor as gory and glitzy as "True Blood," "Being Human" is Britain's answer to the human conundrum of being other-wordly. Following a teen vampire, werewolf and ghost, the series follows the lives of three teens who, while trying to live their lives as usual, are anything but normal. A perfect gift for those who can't get enough of the lives of the paranormal, bloodsuckers, or two-sided creatures among us.
Glee Season One Giftset
It was hard not to get sucked into Glee last year, a show that gave new meaning to the term musical television. The high school classic of our generation, Glee has something for every member of the family. Snatch up the Season 1 gift set and prepare to be awed all over again by the singular personality of Sue, the passion of Mr. Schuester and the collective antics of one singing club on a great big mission. The Gleek giftset includes a limited edition journal, perfect for the superfan in your life.