EuroCultAV.Comís Holiday Gift Guide
(and sort of best of 2012)
By Scott MacDonald
Welcome to the EuroCultAV.com 2012 Holiday Gift Guide/Best of 2012 List. Before I get down to the listing, I want to say this list is going to focus mainly on AV product, but I'll sneak a few gizmos, gadgets, and what not in here. I call it a gift guide/best of because I'll be sticking some of my personal favorite release from 2012 on here, and also some stuff that looks really really awesome that readers of the site might be interested in. This is not going to be comprehensive by any means, so if I miss something email me at Scott@eurocultav.com, and I'll try and get it added.
Doctor Who - Limited Edition Gift Set
When Doctor Who came back on the air in 2005, I was completely ecstatic to have my all-time favorite show back on TV. However, I never bought the David Tennant-era DVD's until last year when the BBC unleashed an awesome looking, but not quite awesome for the discs themselves package (I had to tear the pockets apart slightly so the discs wouldn't scratch in that set). It appears that error has been corrected here with this limited edition gift set, which takes all the pre-existing releases, and crams them into one truly epic box set that includes everything from New Series of Doctor Who from the 9th Doctor to the 11th. If that wasn't incentive enough the Beeb have been kind enough to add a new disc of bonus features, and a comic book, and an 11th Doctor Replica Sonic Screwdriver.
For the Teadrinkers out there (myself included). The BBC has issued a Teapot in the shape of a TARDiS made of ceramic.
Doctor Who Christmas Ornaments
These ornaments would look fantastic on the Christmas Tree of any Who fan. They are allegedly handcrafted by glass artisans, and look simply amazing. They come in various Dalek colors (gold and red I believe), and a TARDIS.
Doctor Who - The Daemons and the Ambassadors of Death
Every year the Doctor Who Restoration Team and BBC Worldwide regal as Whovians with the greatest special editions to ever hit any TV show ever, and honestly 2012 was such a fantastic year for releases it's hard to settle on just 1 or 2, but for simplicities sake I will do that. The Daemons has become quite possibly my favorite Doctor Who serial of all time, and the Ambassadors of Death was one of my many serials to suffer at the hands of the BBC purge now restored and in the best possible color presentation for the first time.
Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 1 and 2 Blu-ray
OK, now that I've got the Whovian out of me onto my new geekly obsession. As a kid and teenager I liked Star Trek: TOS, but never got into Next Generation, DS9, or Voyager. I had friends who liked them, but for the life of me, I could never get into it. Now CBS and Paramount have done something truly glorious (aside from making me a fan). They have gone back to the original film elements the show was shot on, and are remastering the show on Blu-ray from those elements in what could very well be the most epic HD remastering process ever undertaking, and thus far the results are outstanding. If you haven't picked up Next Gen on DVD yet, or are holding out on upgrading, these are well worth the price of admission.
The Cinema of Jean Rollin - Redmeption/Kino Blu-ray's
2012 has been a banner year for genre films on Blu-ray, and one of the reasons for this is the recent pairing of Kino Lorber with Redemption films. It's sort of funny back in the DVD days neither label was known for their stellar DVD releases, but on Blu-ray both have become champions in their own right. Kino with their fantastic releases of silent and classic cinema, and Redemption now alongside them with classic horror, Eurohorror, and sleaze releases (through Jezebel imprint). The highlight of these releases for me at least have been the 11 Jean Rollin Blu-ray releases this year. The whole set can be purchased for one click through Kino Lorber's website, but no matter where you go, there are no finer releases in EuroCult this year then the Kino/Redemption line.
Scream Factory - They Live and Halloween 3: Season of the Witch
If you are a horror fan, you should know this label made a prety big dent in the horror Blu-ray scene in the last half of 2012. Halloween 3: Season of the Witch is my personal favorite of the Halloween sequels, and They Live is an action horror masterpiece, both have been lovingly restored in excellent special editions by Scream Factory, and are worth it for the A/V quality alone, but the extras really push these over the top.
James Bond - 50th Anniversary Blu-ray Box Set
Mom, Dad, Jess, Dear Readers? Are you paying attention? This is personally speaking the top most wanted item on my personal wishlist this year. I have yet to buy a single Bond film on Blu-ray, and have neglected to see any of the Craig films (I know, I know). The box set even includes a space for the recently releases Skyfall, and I believe it is currently the only way to get all 22 currently released Bond films on Blu.
Brazil - The Criterion Collection
I know Universal released a Blu-ray of this a few years ago, and a good few of us went out and got it. I held out knowing that Criterion was probably going to re-release their excellent Brazil box set on Blu-ray, and here it is just in time for the holidays. It includes the combined contents of the original edition which included the Love Conquers All cut of the film.
Pasolini's Trilogy of Life - The Criterion Collection
I have never seen this, but right behind the Bond set is this release. Pasolini's Trilogy of Life and one of Criterion's 2 box set releases for 2012 (The other being the Qatsi trilogy). The box contains Pasolini's interpretations of the Canterbury Tales, The Decameron, and the Arabian Nights.
Godzilla - The Criterion Collection
Classic Media back in the days of DVD did a pretty decent job bringing the big G into the digital era, but when it came time to bring our favorite giant monster to Blu-ray they just weren't up to the task. Lucky for fans and film viewers Criterion was and created this truly monster set, with excellent packaging to boot.