More Blu-rays, DVDs available for holiday gift giving
By Bob Bloom
Still searching for that perfect gift for your favorite Blu-ray or DVD collector?
Don’t worry, here are plenty of other choices:
“!0 Movie Family & Romance Holiday Collection” (Cinedigm) offers a series of films to get you into the holiday spirit. The titles included in this three-disc set are “!2 Days of Christmas Eve,” “Holiday Baggage,” “A Christmas Proposal,” “Annie Claus Is Coming to Town,” “Christmas in Canaan,” “The Christmas Pageant,” “Moonlight & Mistletoe,” “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” “Holiday Engagement” and “Merry-in-Laws.”
“A Belle for Christmas” (Anchor Bay Entertainment) is a heartwarming tale about two kids being raised by a recently widowed father who get a puppy to help heal their hurt.
“A Golden Christmas Triple Feature” (Cinedigm) will please pet lovers as dogs and puppies are the focus of these three titles: “A Golden Christmas: A Tail of Puppy Love,” “A Golden Christmas 2: The Second Tail” and “A Golden Christmas 3: Home for Christmas.”
These are aimed at the entire family and the adorable pups will grab your heart.
“A Very Funny Christmas” (BBC Home Entertainment) offers a pair of British comedies, “Gangsta Granny” and “Mr. Stink,” with holiday overtones.
“A Very Merry Mix-Up” (Cinedigm) is another Hallmark holiday offering. This one centers on a young woman who is nervous about meeting her future in-laws. A series of unfortunate events finds her stranded until she meets her future brother-in-law at baggage claim.
Of course, this leads to further complications that sort themselves out in time to celebrate Christmas.
“Cartoon Network Holiday Collection” (Cartoon Network-Warner Home Video) includes episodes from “Adventure Time,” “The Amazing World of Gumball,” “Regular Show,” “Clarence” and “Steven Universe.”
“The Christmas Ornament” (Cinedigm) is a Hallmark Channel movie about a newly widowed woman who is doing everything she can to avoid celebrating the holidays because it will bring back memories of her late husband.
But when she meets a Christmas tree shop owner, sparks fly and hope is resurrected.
“Dear Secret Santa” (DVD + Ultraviolet, Lionsgate), is a story of love during this most festive of seasons.
“Duck Dynasty: Duck the Halls” (Lionsgate) lets you celebrate the holidays with the Robertson clan as they perform a live nativity scene. The DVD comes with a “Duck Dynasty” video game.
“Hallmark Holiday Collection” (Cinedigm) offers four features that capture the joy and spirit of Christmas. The titles are: “Nine Lives of Christmas,” “A Cookie Cutter Christmas,” “A Royal Christmas” and “Signed, Sealed, Delivered for Christmas.”
“Happy Christmas” (Rated R, Paramount Home Entertainment). This film, which made its debut at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, stars Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey and Lena Dunham in a dramady about family, love, reconciliation and relationships.
The film is sharp and, at times, sweet.
“Holiday Family Classics” (CBS DVD-Paramount Home Entertainment) offers a pair of made-for-TV movies, “The Thanksgiving Treasure” and “The House Without a Christmas Tree” that embody the spirit of the holidays.
“Holiday Triple Feature” (Lionsgate) offers a trio of Lifetime original movies. The set features “A Country Christmas Story, “Twelve Trees of Christmas” and “Kristin’s Christmas Past.”
“John Denver: The Christmas Gift” (CBS DVD-Paramount Home Entertainment) stars the late singer in a touching Dove Family-approved feature making its DVD debut.
The story follows a widower and his children who discover a mythical small town in Colorado where everyone still believes in Santa Claus.
“Little House on the Prairie: A Merry Ingalls Christmas” (DVD + Ultraviolet, Lionsgate) offers two popular episodes from the classic TV series as the Ingalls family celebrates the holiday on the frontier, strengthening their bonds in the process.
“Thomas & Friends: The Christmas Engine” (HIT-Universal Studios Home Entertainment) finds Thomas and the other engines on the isle of Sodor ready to help Santa as well as clear the tracks so passengers can get home in time for the holidays.
Contemporary television series
“Spartacus: The Complete Series” (Blu-ray+ Ultraviolet) may appeal to the family’s macho gladiator who fantasizes about being a warrior.
The set features 13 discs that cover the series from season one’s “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” to “Spartacus: War of the Damned.”
The set is bloody and violent, loaded with sex and political intrigue. It definitely is an adults-only gift.
The set is filled with extras that look at the overall series as well as behind-the-scenes and fan favorite featurettes.
“The Office: The Complete Series” (Universal Studios Home Entertainment) allows you to relive all nine seasons of the antics at Dunder Mifflin.
The series featured a great cast headed by Steve Carell with formidable support from Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Ed Helms and Jenna Fisher, with appearances by James Spader, Amy Adams, Kathy Bates, Rashida Jones and Amy Ryan.
This 38-disc set features hours of hilarious behind-the-scenes extras, including deleted scenes, extended episodes, webisodes and commentaries.
“Psych: The Complete Series” (Universal Studios Home Entertainment) is a 30-disc set featuring all 119 episodes of this popular USA network series about two friends who stumble into a career of solving crimes, despite having no clue about what they are doing.
The series mixes comedy and detection, but it is the byplay between stars James Roday and Dule Hill that is the foundation of the series.
The set is loaded with bonus features including deleted and extended scenes, audition tapes, animated vignettes and much, much more.
“WKRP in Cincinnati: The Complete Series” (Shout! Factory) ran from 1975 to 1980 and showed the behind-the-scenes fun at a radio station where the off-air hijinks was just as much fun as the on-air deejays.
The set features all 88 episodes. One to watch, for certain, is a more serious venture that centered on the real-life tragedy at a Who concert in Cincinnati in which some people were killed.
It is a wonderful example of the power of television.
“Annie Oakley: The Complete Series” (Cinedigm) aired from 1954 to 1957, when Westerns ruled television.
The 11-disc set features all 88 episodes centering on Annie (Gail Davis), her deputy, Lofty, and her brother, Tagg.
Any resemblance to the real Annie Oakley is purely coincidental, but that should not stop you from enjoying these Western adventures.
The set comes with an episode guide booklet, a featurette on the show’s directors, original commercials, a featurette on the making of the series and photo galleries.
Read more movie and Blu-ray & DVD reviews by Bob Bloom at ReelBob.com, The Film Yap and Rottentomatoes.com.