The Gift of Giving Movie Freak

The Movie Freak

VUDU On-Demand Movie Service
Netflix isn’t the only one making unique partnerships with TV manu- facturers. VUDU, the premier high-definition on-demand movie service is now accessible in two new LG models (LH50 and PS80), and it’s an integral feature of Mit- subishi’s Unisen TVs (LT-46249 and LT- 52249). VUDU currently has more than 2,200 HD titles in its movie library in additional to thousands more in SD.—KW


1209gift.battlestar150.jpgBattlestar Galactica The Complete Series Blu-ray Set ($250)
OK, it’s a full TV series and not, technically speaking, a movie. But if you can hang on for the entire ride, no movie or television series produced in the last ten years, with the possible exception of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, will provide you with more compelling drama than this. It’s pricey, but it’s widely available at substantial discounts.—TJN

1209gift.kevinsmikth150.jpgKevin Smith 3-Movie Collection ($90)
This year Santa might not be the only fat man squeezing down your chimney. Here’s a New Jersey trilogy of foul-mouthed Blu-ray hilarity from Silent Bob hisself, Mr. Kevin Smith. The BD debut of Clerks and Chasing Amy and a double-dip on Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, with lots of extras. Snoochie-boochies! —SCB

Sony BDP-CX960 Mega Changer ($800)
You’d have to be a freak not to love having 400 Blu-ray Discs available at your infrared command. In addition to 1080/60p and 24p output, Sony’s BDP-CX960 upconverts DVDs, supports all the audio codecs, and includes an Ethernet port to download BD-Live content and metadata from Gracenote. And it’s impressive just sitting on the shelf.—DW


1209gift.criterion150.jpgCriterion Collection Blu-ray Discs ($32 to $56)
Blu-ray is not just for mass consumption flicks. Criterion Collection recently announced Blu-ray titles such as Jean-Luc Godard’s French new wave classic Pierrot le Fou ($32) and D.A. Pennebaker’s historic documentary Monterey Pop ($40) remixed in 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio. Monterey Pop has never sounded like this! Also available: the two-disc Complete Monterey Pop Festival ($56).—MFr

1209gift.wonderfullife150.jpgIt’s a Wonderful Life Blu-ray Disc ($30)
The traditionalist on your list will be pulling out this classic holiday hit on Blu-ray long after the decorations are taken down. The subtle nuances of the acting in this film get better and better with every viewing. Best of all, you get to watch Jimmy Stewart’s unparalleled performance in high def (in black and white or colorized). I’m getting excited just thinking about it.—DS

Stewart Filmsreen Cabaret Americana Screen (Price varies)
The Cabaret Americana is a retractable screen. With its removable valance and nine different finishes, the Cabaret Americana is sure to fit in with any home theater décor. It’s compatible with Lutron QS, QED, and Legacy 120-volt quiet motors.—JH


1209gift.northwest150.jpgWarner Classics on Blu-ray ($28 to $65)
You can’t call your movie collection complete without these three Warner classics, now given the Blu treatment. Each film more than earns its place on AFI’s Top 100 list. North by Northwest is a Digibook edition, while The Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind are Ultimate Collector’s Editions that come with a box full of goodies. Don’t miss these.—CL

1209gift.hitchcock150.jpgHitchcock and Selznick ($32)
In this book, subtitled The Rich and Strange Collaboration of Alfred Hitchcock and David O. Selznick in Hollywood, Leonard J. Leff offers insights into the making of Rebecca, Spellbound, Notorious, and The Paradine Case. The obsessive studio boss and eccentric director emerge as richly drawn characters in themselves. The in-print paperback is pricey, but used editions are much cheaper.—MF

1209gift.Startrek150.jpgStar Trek on Blu-ray ($30 to $140)
2009 was a very good year for Trekkies. (Sorry, I mean Trekkers!) By year’s end, all three seasons of the 1960s Original Series and all 11 movies from 1979 to this summer’s blockbuster will be available on Blu-ray. Based on the level of interest, your gift can range from a single movie to a TV season or multi-film boxed set.—JZ