The Top 12 DVD/Blu-ray Box Sets for Christmas

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If you have a film or TV buff in your life, then buying them a perfect Christmas gift is a no-brainer. Here are 10 of the best Blu-ray and DVD box sets available this Christmas …

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The Steven Spielberg Director’s Collection (Blu-ray; £47.60 at Amazon)

Eight memorable films from one of the most acclaimed directors in motion-picture history come together on Blu-ray for the first time. Since beginning his long and distinguished career on the Universal backlot more than 40 years ago, Spielberg has gone on to direct an unprecedented number of some of the biggest box office hits and critically-acclaimed films in cinematic history. The Steven Spielberg Director’s Collection showcases some of the most unforgettable movies the three-time Academy Award winner made for Universal, including his debut film Duel which has been digitally remastered and restored, and is presented in widescreen.

The collection includes Duel, The Sugarland Express, Jaws, 1941, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Always, Jurassic Park and The Lost World, as well as hours of bonus features including making-of documentaries, interviews with Spielberg, behind-the-scenes featurettes, archival footage, and deleted scenes.

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Batman: The Complete TV Series (Blu-ray; £227 at Amazon)

The perfect gift for the man who grew up watch the original Caped Crusader (Adam West) and Boy Wonder (Burt Ward) on TV in the 1960s. And for those who are too young to have seen it? Well, time to introduce them to this classic and hilarious high-camp show. Batman: The Complete Television Series features all three classic seasons, including all 120 original broadcast episodes completely remastered in HD. There is more than three hours of bonus material, including new interviews with both West and Ward. POW!

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Breaking Bad: The Complete Series (Blu-ray & DVD; £55 & £40 at Amazon)

The saga of high school chemistry teacher-turned-meth kingpin Walter White is here in its entirety: all 62 uncut, uncensored episodes. Emmy awward-winner Bryan Cranston plays White, a family man who turns to crime after a lung cancer diagnosis unravels his bland but simple life. Recruiting former student and small-time drug dealer Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) to be his partner in crime, Walt rises to the top of the meth trade, leaving a trail of bodies in his wake. But he can’t keep his dogged DEA agent brother-in-law Hank Schrader (Dean Norris) off his trail forever. Breaking Bad is one of the most talked about (and raved about) TV series of this decade, and this set is perfect for a rewatch – or a catchup if you have been left behind.

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Outnumbered: The Complete Collection (DVD; £22.99 at Amazon)

Yes, it’s the complete collection of Outnumbered, the semi-improvised awards-winning comedy that touched the hearts of the nation. Outnumbered was a British sitcom on BBC One from 2007 to 2014 which centred on the Brockmans, a middle-class family living in south London, whose two parents are outnumbered by their three, somewhat unruly, children. Dad Pete (Hugh Dennis) and mum Sue (Claire Skinner) constantly struggle to get the upper hand as they bring up Jake (Tyger Drew-Honey), Ben (Daniel Roche) and Karen (Ramona Marquez). Sweet, charming and funny family comedy.

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Star Trek: The Next Generation Complete (Blu-Ray; £158.50 at Amazon)

Make it so in time for Christmas. Newly restored and meticulously re-mastered in brilliant high definition, Star Trek: The Next Generation still dazzles as a true milestone in TV history. Rejoin Picard, Riker, Data, Worf, Troi, Crusher and the rest of the crew of the USS Enterprise-D for their exciting adventures, now available on Blu-ray vivid, pristine high-definition.

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Modern Family: The Complete Seasons 1-5 (DVD; £31 at Amazon)

Enjoy the first five seasons of the smash-hit, Emmy-award winning US sitcom. Shot in mockumentary style, Modern Family documents the lives of three tiers of a modern American family, each layer of which couldn’t be more different. Jay (Ed O’Neill) is the patriarch, and a real man’s man. He’s been divorced and remarried to a much younger Colombian bombshell named Gloria (Sofía Vergara), who has a pree-teen son, Manny (Rico Rodriguez). Jay’s daughter Claire (Julie Bowen) is married to Phil (Ty Burrell) and they have three kids of their own. Jay’s gay son Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and his partner Cameron (Stonestreet) have an adopted daughter.

Modern Family is one of the freshest, funniest and best-written sitcoms to come along in a while. The casting is perfect, the characters all well-rounded, “real” people and the one-liners come thick and fast. The three families find themselves in situations that we can all relate to – we’ve all had to deal with the day-to-day minituae of life, but the results are not always this funny. The fake documentary style works well, too. Most of the time the cameras are ignored, but every now and then someone will cast a sideways glance at us, just to keep us in the reality of the situation.

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Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery (Blu-ray; £44 at Amazon)

Wo killed Laura Palmer? That’s the mystery that had the world talking back in 1990, and here is THE TV series that probably single-handdedly revitalised television in the 90s. Now for the first time ever, Twin Peaks is here on this 10-disc Blu-ray box set containing an extraordinary archive of special features culled from the entire history of Twin Peaks on home video, including featurettes, cast and crew interviews, promotional reels, archival deleted scenes and more. This extraordinary box set includes every episode from the original TV series, making Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery an outstanding Christmas gift for anyone that loves TV at its best.

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Six Gothic Tales (Blu-ray; £58.34 at Amazon)

From Merchant of Menace Vincent Price and B-Movie King Roger Corman come six Gothic tales inspired by the pen of Edgar Allan Poe. This limited edition Six Gothic Tales Blu-ray box set (there are just 2,000 of them being released) includes The Fall of the House of Usher, Tales of Terror, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Raven, The Haunted Palace and The Tomb of Ligeia. In The Fall of the House of Usher, a young man learns of a family curse that threatens his happiness with his bride-to-be. In The Pit and the Pendulum, a brother investigates the untimely death of sister, played by Barbara Steele. Tales of Terror adapts three Poe classics – Morella, The Black Cat and The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar – each starring a horror icon. The Raven is a comic take on the famous poem concerning three rival magicians. In The Haunted Palace, a newcomer in a New England town is suspected of being a warlock. And in The Tomb of Ligeia, filmed in Norfolk and at Stonehenge, a widower’s upcoming marriage plans are thwarted by his dead first wife.

The six films boast a remarkable cast list: not just Price and Steele (Black Sunday), but also Boris Karloff (Frankenstein), Peter Lorre (M, The Beast with Five Fingers), Lon Chaney Jr (The Wolf Man, Spider Baby), Basil Rathbone (The Black Cat) and a very young Jack Nicholson. Adapted for the screen by Richard Matheson (The Twilight Zone, I Am Legend) and Robert Towne (Chinatown), these Six Gothic Tales now rank as classic examples of 1960s horror cinema.

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Mork & Mindy: The Complete Series (DVD; £59.89 at Amazon)

Get ready to laugh with Mork & Mindy, the insanely popular Happy Days spin-off that crash-landed onto television in 1978. Fans went wild for this wacky, off-the-wall sitcom featuring a misfit alien who leaves the planet of Ork to come study “crazy” Earthl customs. After touching down near Boulder, Colorado, Mork (Robin Williams) encounters the beautiful college student Mindy (Pam Dawber). The two strike up a charming and entertaining friendship that is full of good times and unexpected surprises. Revisit the hilarious sitcom that launched Williams’ career into warp drive with this four-season, 15-disc collection.

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24: Seasons 1-9 (DVD; £80 at Amazon)

Experience all nine exhilarating seasons of the critically-acclaimed one-hour drama 24. Emmy winner Kiefer Sutherland stars as former Counter Terrorism Unit head Jack Bauer, who sidesteps authority and tries to stop terrorist attacks – his way. Featuring tension-filled storylines that unfold in real time, and a knockout supporting cast including Mary Lynn Rajskub, William Devane, Kim Raver, Dennis Haysbert, Carlos Bernard and Cherry Jones, 24 is one of the most electrifying series ever made! This collection offers all nine seasons, as well as the feature-length 24: Redemption.

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The Hayao Miyazaki Collection (Blu-ray; £162.82 at Amazon)

Do you love Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli? Well, here is the entire series of films from the legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki assembled together for the first time in a complete Blu-ray box set – and just in time for Christmas. To say Hayao Miyazaki has been inspiring and enthralling both audiences and filmmakers alike over the course of his remarkable career does scant justice to his influence. Lauded by the likes of Pixar’s John Lasseter as one of the great filmmakers of our time, he has produced in the likes of Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle what many would regard as the pinnacle of hand-drawn animation and storytelling. With the recent news of his retirement from feature film production, this box set finally brings together all 11 of his feature films for collectors to once again explore in turn the fun and fancy of a storytelling genius. The films included in the set are: The Castle of Cagliostro, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Laputa: Castle in the Sky, My Neighbour Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Porco Rosso, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, The Wind Rises and Ponyo. This limited edition collection also includes a 90-minute bonus disc, featuring Miyazaki’s official retirement press conference, and a booklet exploring the director’s films and style.

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Friends: The Complete Series (Blu-ray; £65 at Amazon)

Yes, it’s The One With All The Episodes On Blu-ray! Ten years, 236 episodes, 63 Primetime Emmy nods, a string of comedy awards, a pretty big cultural impact, ratings that increased over the show’s 10-season run, a series finale that drew millions of viewers, and an ever-rabid fanbase that continues to expand – that’s the legacy of Friends, one of the most popular sitcoms to ever grace the small screen. For those of you born post-2000, Friends is a US sitcom about six friends –  Chandler, Joey, Monica, Phoebe, Rachel and Ross – living, loving and laughing in Manhattan. Friends has certainly left its mark on television history, and stands as one of the most influential and beloved television comedies of all time.

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Stuart O’Connor

One thought on “The Top 12 DVD/Blu-ray Box Sets for Christmas

  • The Breaking Bad box set is one I’ll definitely be buying for my son this Christmas. Do you know whether there are any other Netflix series like ‘Orange Is The New Black’ that have got box sets out in the shops?

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