It’s that time of year again to figure out what DVDs to buy for those people near and dear to your heart. Buying DVDs can be a minefield to manoeuvre, while it might be tempting to simply ask the recipient of the gift what they would like, that would take all the fun out of the gift giving season.
So without further ado, here are some titles to consider that are sure to be perfect for someone on your list.
Based on the Vertigo/DC comic books, the first season of Preacher was a dark delight when it arrived earlier this year. Dominic Cooper stars as jaded Preacher Jesse Custer, his crisis of faith gets a rude awakening when he is bestowed with a supernatural gift, but this is far from a superhero story.
Produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, Preacher is a slow-burner, but it rewards your patience and the forthcoming second season can’t hit our TV screens soon enough.
One of our favourite films of the year is perfect viewing over the festive season thanks to writer/director Shane Black. The king of the buddy movie brings the best out of stars Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling in a noir-soaked action comedy that Hollywood used to make effortlessly. If you missed it on the big screen, be sure to add it to your Christmas DVD list.
At this stage it feels somewhat redundant to be recommending Game of Thrones, it’s like endorsing that the regular intake of oxygen can be beneficial to your health. Anyhoo, there are still plenty of people who have yet to watch HBO’s sweeping epic, as we endure the long wait for the seventh (and penultimate) season to arrive, why not catch up on the story so far.
I’m not sure when The Walking Dead shifted from being to compelling must-see TV to a gruelling endurance test on the nerves. Now that season seven is about to take a mid-season break, what better time to immerse yourself in AMC’s flagship misery hour.
Forget the Michael Bay franchise, the best Transformers movie ever made is still the 1986 animated movie and the newly released anniversary edition is a must own for any fan. A remastered version of the movie and a Blu-ray jam packed with extras is essential for true Transformers fans of all ages.
Easily the most fun entry in the rebooted Star Trek franchise was somewhat overlooked at the cinema earlier this year. J.J Abrams stepped down as the director as he was working on some indie flick called The Force Awakens, so Fast and Furious veteran Justin Lin was beamed up to take the franchise forward. Perfect DVD viewing for Boxing Day.
Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Alison Brie and Leslie Mann star in this surprisingly good rom-com that charts the trials and tribulations of modern dating. While it might lack the charm of Bridesmaids, if you’re missing Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha, then How To Be Single will scratch that itch.
In years to come, we’ll look back at Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of The BFG and wonder how the heck it flopped at the box office. Regardless of its shortcomings at the box office, The BFG is a wonderful retelling of Roald Dahl’s beloved creation that will warm the hearts of children and adults alike.
The Rocky franchise was brought to a fitting conclusion with Rocky Balboa, but Ryan Coogler’s offshoot manages to breath new life into the saga. Michael B Jordan delivers a knockout performance as Apollo Creed’s son Adonis, aided by a reluctant coach in the shape of Rocky Balboa (Stallone in an Oscar nominated performance), the two men forge an unlikely friendship to face their demons in and out of the ring.
Johnny Depp puts in a heavyweight performance in this critically praised crime drama based on the life of Whitey Bulger, from Crazy Heart director Scott Cooper. Also starring Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Kevin Bacon, Black Mass is a perfect DVD stocking filler for Dad.
For me it just wouldn’t be Christmas without the original version of The Wizard of Oz, there might be no shortages of clever modern spins on the classic story, it’s the 1939 version from Victor Fleming that remains the most beloved. The Blu-ray edition contains a lovingly restored version of the film, and it’s never looked so good.
James Wan returned to horror after Furious 7 for the follow-up to his masterpiece The Conjuring, reuniting Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as paranormal investigators The Warrens. The sequel delivers elegant chills and reminds you that not all horror films have to resort to blood and violence to get under your skin. The Conjuring 2 might not quite surpass the original, but it comes pretty ruddy close.
Every family has at least one member that enjoys a good weepy, be it Terms of Endearment or Steel Magnolias or any of the 476 Nicolas Sparks novels that have been made into a movie, the weepy is unavoidable over the festive period. Earlier this year Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke and The Hunger Games’ Sam Caflin starred in romantic weepy Me Before You and broke the hearts of millions of moviegoers. Based on the bestseller by Jojo Moyes, Me Before You was a resounding success making more than $200 million against a modest budget of $20 million.
Marvel’s Captain America Civil War is currently the biggest movie of the year and it’s not difficult to see why. Iron Man and Captain America stand divided and The Avengers are splintered into two sides, easily one of our favourite blockbusters of 2016, Civil War is out now on Blu-ray & DVD.
Regardless of the mixed reception from critics, the next chapter in the DC Extended Cinematic Universe still rocked the box office. David Ayer’s Suicide Squad finds some of DC’s most notorious bad-guys team-up to take down a threat more sinister than all of them combined. Much like Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad also has an extended cut out on Blu-ray that adds 13 minutes of previously unseen footage back into the movie.
While Zack Snyder’s movie certainly divided fans with his superhero grudge match, there’s no denying that Batman v Superman was one of the most talked about movies of the year. Dawn of Justice had a near impossible task of setting up the wider DC universe while simultaneously serving as a Man of Steel sequel and reintroduce Batman and Wonder Woman. A tall order for any filmmaker, that said, Ben Affleck is pretty darn solid as Batman.
If we’re talking about superhero movies, then Deadpool is simply a must own for literally anybody over the age of 15. What am I saying, your 14-year-old nephew would love the crap out of this movie.
Hard to believe that the first Harry Potter movie was released 15 years ago, that’s right folks, we were introduced to Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson all the way back in 2001. Now that Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is in cinemas (with four sequels in the works), take a trip down memory lane with the complete Harry Potter saga on DVD or Blu-ray.
It seems like such a long time ago that Christopher Nolan embarked on his quest to reintroduce the world to Batman. Over the course of three blockbuster movies, Nolan’s Dark Knight was placed in a more realistic world and changed the way filmmakers approach the superhero genre.
Even though you can enjoy all four seasons on Netflix right now, for those of you that have yet to subscribe to the streaming giant’s binge worthy original content, but are also available on good old DVD. Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright are electric in this remake of the hit UK series of the same name only relocating the action to the US. If you thought real-life American politics couldn’t get any weirder, you’ll be longing for a leader like Frank Underwood by this time next year.
There’s not long to wait before The Lego Batman Movie swoops into cinemas next year, but if you can’t wait to get a Lego DVD fix of your favourite DC superheroes (or know someone who does) then the Lego DC Box Set must be on your Christmas list.
I love a box set at Christmas, truth be told I believe a good box set isn’t just for Christmas; it’s for life. Bank Holidays are the perfect time indulge in a box set, and they don’t come much bigger than the Middle Earth collection that contains the theatrical cuts of all three Hobbit films and The Lord of the Rings.
Personally, I prefer the extended versions of Peter Jackson’s, but not everybody would agree with me, and the theatrical cuts are a gateway purchase to the extended releases.
Merry Christmas, and happy DVD shopping.