Gifts for Movie Lovers

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The holidays—Black Friday and Cyber Monday, that is—are fast approaching, and if you’ve got a cinephile in your life, you’ve got plenty of possible gifts to choose from. I’ve selected some of the best—or at least most interesting—products out there (some that I own, some that I just want) to recommend whether you’re shopping for a parent, child, spouse, friend, or even yourself.

And if you happen to be my fiance, mom, dad, or sister, any of these will do. Thanks, you’re awesome!

The Wes Anderson Collection
Critic Matt Zoller Seitz (the editor-in-chief of RogerEbert.com) spent some time with Wes Anderson when both were in their early twenties. Zoller Seitz was a film critic in Texas; Anderson had just completed his first short film, Bottle Rocket. Seven films and about 20 years later, Zoller Seitz is tackling Anderson in long form, and the results are, by all accounts, glorious. If you’re an Anderson fan, this is a must-own. If you’re not an Anderson fan, might I suggest you start with one of the best films of the last decade, The Royal Tenebaums, and come back to this baby later. (Buy it now.)

Pulp Fiction: The Complete Story of Quentin Tarantino’s Masterpiece
Deep dives on Tarantino seem to focus on the filmmaker’s entire body of work, but here, Flavorwire’s Jason Bailey goes all in on Pulp Fiction—its meaning, its release, its influences, and the films it influenced. Like The Wes Anderson Collection, it’s packed with original art—art that’s probably a little more bloody than what you’ll find in Zoller Seitz’s book. (Buy it now.)

My First Movie: Twenty Celebrated Directors Talk about Their First Film
Because I watch a lot of movies (and try to maintain a life outside the movies, as difficult as that can be), I don’t read nearly as much as I’d like to, and I tend to favor books that I can pop in and out of as time permits. This is a great anthology that I received as a gift last year for Christmas, actually, and if you ever wanted to get a movie made, you’d do well to learn how folks like Kevin Smith, Ang Lee, Oliver Stone, and the Coen Brothers managed to do the seemingly impossible. Their stories are sometimes funny, sometimes horrifying, always informative and interesting. (Buy it now.)

Conversations with Scorsese
When all is said and done, Scorsese might be film’s most important director—not just for the dozens of films he’s brought to the big screen, but also for his candor when it comes to discussing film history, his influences, his past, and his work. That’s Conversations with Scorsese in a nutshell. Do you need any other reason to read it? (Buy it now.)

Bond 50
I know, 007 was so 2012. This massive Blu-Ray set commemorated Bond’s 50th anniversary, and it includes the series’ first 22 films. (Don’t worry, there’s a sleeve for Skyfall, so you can keep all your Bond discs in one place.) For quite a few of the films, this is the first time they’re available on Blu-Ray, and as someone who isn’t typically a stickler for clarity and crispness of the image, I must say these films look incredible. This is the best Blu-Ray purchase I’ve ever made, and if you’re at all a fan of the series (or if Skyfall was your first brush with Bond and you want more), take advantage of this weekend’s deals and make the purchase. (Buy it now.)

Frances Ha
I’m at the point in my DVD-collecting career where I’m really only forking over cash for high-quality packages, and nobody does high-quality DVD/Blu-Ray packages like the Criterion Collection. Lord knows anyone who’s read more than a page or two on this site knows how I feel about Criterion, but they’re simply the best at what they do. Frances Ha is one of their first dabbles at dual-format releasing, which is interesting, but the real reason I’m recommending Noah Baumbach’s film is because it’s one of the best I’ve seen this year and one that everyone I’ve recommended it to has enjoyed. (Buy it now.)

Nashville
Another Criterion release, this one comes out in early December, and while I don’t know a ton just yet about the quality of special features, I don’t think you need to know too much about all that to want to own one of Robert Altman’s greatest films on Blu-Ray. At least you shouldn’t… (Order it now.)

ESPN 30 for 30 Gift Set Collection Season II – Volume I
If you’re unfamiliar with ESPN’s incredible documentary series: a.) Where have you been? and b.) Check out their films on Netflix Instant or buy one of the first two DVD/Blu-Ray box sets that are out there. This set includes seven discs—six with two or three feature-length documentaries a piece and one bonus disc with this season’s shorts. Some of the better features include 9.79* (about Ben Johnson and Carl Lewis’s track and field duals of the 1980s), Survive and Advance (about the late Jim Valvano, coach of North Carolina State’s basketball program during their improbable championship run in 1983), and Broke (about the startlingly large percentage of professional athletes who squander their fortunes). (Order it now.)

Hulu Plus subscription
This one’s simple: If you’re a Criterion fan, you can stream almost the entire collection for the low price of $7.99 a month. That’s five months of Hulu for the MSRP of one Criterion Blu-Ray, and while the quality lacks a bit and you won’t find much by way of special features, this is a great resource to catch up with films you simply want to know more about before buying a pricy package.

MoviePass
If you (or the person you’re buying this for) likes to go to the movies a lot, you can forgo the theater gift card this year in favor of a MoviePass subscription, which allows its holder to attend as many (2D) movies as he or she wants for a reasonable price that varies by area.

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One Response to Gifts for Movie Lovers

  1. Courtney November 27, 2013 at 12:26 am

    Brilliant idea for a post!

    Reply

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