November 26, 2014

THC's Holiday Gift Guide! Part 2: TV Shows & Non-Genre Movies

*Why fight the crowds when Amazon has Blu-ray & DVD up to 80% off! Amazon's Movie & TV Holiday Deals Calendar

Movies, movies, movies. We love 'em, you love 'em, and most important of all, we want other people to love 'em too. That's why they make great gifts.

Below you'll find some great TV Shows, as well as some of the best Non-Genre movies that were released in 2014, all of which make for great gifts for the Horror Lovers in your life, or even yourself. There's no shame in taking advantage of some Black Friday Week bargains for yourself. Guilt is for suckers.

  • Keep in mind that prices will rise and fall, so if you want something that is still a bit too much for your tastes, add it to your cart, and check back until it drops again. 
  • Also, if you prefer DVD versions of these movies, you can select that option form the linked Blu-ray pages.

We'll be back tomorrow with Part 3 of our Holiday Gift Guide, which will cover Gift Sets & fun items (like Horror-related games & toys.) For now though, peruse the list below, click the pics to order whatever strikes your fancy, and make hay while the sun shines!
Pre-Order for December 9th So Guardians of the Galaxy was pretty much the biggest movie of 2014 (Mockingjay be damned!), and it deserves to be; this was non-stop fun from start to finish, and one of the best times we had in theaters all year. Marvel needed a movie in their universe with a bit of a lighter heart, and Guardians filled that void perfectly. We can't wait to own this one on Blu-ray. $19.99.
The other big Marvel movie of 2014 was Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Though it may have lacked the levity of Guardians of the Galaxy, it was every bit as good, and it even improved on the first Cap movie. Chris Evans is truly at home in the role of Steve Rogers, and with Scarlett by his side, there's really no limit to the ass that they can kick. Robert Redford wasn't too shabby in this one either. $19.96.
The best retro Crime Thriller of 2014 is Cold in July, hands down. It may also be the only retro Crime Thriller of 2014, but that doesn't make it any less awesome. Anchored by the fantastic performances of Don Johnson, Sam Shepard, and Michael C. Hall, and accented by a brilliant synth-driven score, Cold in July is a dark and gritty movie about revenge, betrayal, and as it turns out, snuff porn. Who knew? If you want to surprise someone with a movie that they most likely have never heard of, but will most likely love, then this is your ticket. $14.99
As monumentally great as The Raid was, The Raid 2 is not only better, but it's bigger, badder, and if you can believe it, more breathtakingly violent. I have personally never seen a better, more relentless action movie than The Raid 2, and I've seen "them all." If you love action flicks and you've never seen either of the Raid movies, just buy them both, and send us a nice thank you note after they completely kick your ass. Or cookies. We always accept cookies. $14.96.

Damn the naysayers; Maleficent was a really great take on the Sleeping Beauty story. I know, Disney purists are all pissed off that Maleficent wasn't quite the evil caricature in this one as she was in the 1959 animated classic, but you know what? There are no "bad guys" in movies that are completely evil and irredeemable. Oh, they exist, but that's called shitty writing. Aside from the stunning visuals, the real draw of this movie is Angelina Jolie's performance as Maleficent... and here comes the hyperbole: she was truly born too play this role. She was just perfect in this, and if it weren't for the fact that the movie isn't the type that academy voters consider award-worthy, I wouldn't bat an eye if she got an Oscar nom for her performance here. I know it sounds crazy, but I promise you, she's that good. $24.99.
The Hobbit movies... They're not as good as the Lord of the Rings movies (for various reasons), but they are still enjoyable on a purely escapist level. If you're going to own either of them (and eventually, the third one), then the Extended Editions are the only real way to go. The EE's won't make either Hobbit film radically different on the level that they did for the LOTR movies, but they still play a bit better, and the Special Features are a great watch. $19.96.
Pre-Order for December 2nd We never expected to like Rise of the Planet of the Apes when it was released back in 2011, but we loved it, and we can honestly say that we love Dawn of the Planet of the Apes even more. For a movie filled with CGI monkeys (which by the way, looked real), Apes never felt fake or forced, in its visuals or narrative. It's a hell of a movie, and it would make for a great gift. $19.96.
If there was one movie that was unfairly abandoned by the movie-going public this year, it's Edge of Tomorrow. Much like  Expendables 3 and Sin City 2, it basically bombed at the Box Office, which is a shame, because unlike those other two movies, it didn't suck. In fact, it was really good. If you like Sci-fi flicks, and you haven't seen Edge of Tomorrow yet, just take a chance and see it now. Tom Cruise really doesn't make bad movies, you know? So trust him. $19.96.
Some loved it, some hated it, but either way, Godzilla was a big, fun popcorn movie that delivered the goods. Don't listen to anyone that whines about not seeing very much of Godzilla on-screen until the third reel of the movie, because that's how most Godzilla movies have always played. Plus, this is an "origin" story, so we're sure to see more monster action in part 2. *Rodan, King Gidorah, and Mothra are all but confirmed! This is exactly the kind of movie that Blu-ray was made for. $22.96.
Yes, this is a cheesy sequel to a movie that was probably a bit over-hyped to begin with, but that doesn't mean that 300: Rise of an Empire isn't still enjoyable as hell. I may not be as good as 300 in some ways, but Sullivan Stapleton makes for a compelling lead, it's visually stunning, and it has Eva Green in it... Eva Green naked! If you liked the first one, you'll be surprised at how much you actually end up enjoying this one as well. It made $331 million worldwide, so it can't be too bad... right? $19.96.
Do we really have to explain to you how great NBC's Hannibal is, or why you should be watching it? We sure hope not, because you should already know how great this show is. If for some reason though you haven't taken the Hannibal plunge yet, then now is a great time to dig in and catch up. There's never been a Network TV Show this violent, artistic, or visually stunning before, so let's support it as much as we can, so they keep making it. We need more. $17.94.
Season 2 of Hannibal was just as good as the first, and even better in many respects, and its Season Finale stands as one of the craziest, bloodiest, insane things that we've ever seen on any TV Show, ever. Maybe wait until it drops to around the $19 mark (because it will) before grabbing it, but grab it none the less. $25.00.
You know what this is, we're just here to point out how crazy cheap it is on Blu-ray right now so that you can buy it if you don't already own it. $9.99.
Having just watched back through our Blu-rays of TWD Season's 1-4, we have to say that we liked this season more than we did the first time through. Many people complained about their time on the farm as being boring and uneventful, but we disagree; they can't run around all the time, fighting through hordes of hungry walkers, because they'd be dead by now if they did. This season is better than most give it credit for, and for the price of $14.99, it's a steal.
You still know what this is, so why are we still explaining it to you? We really need to learn to trust you more. $14.99.
You can't own one season of TWD without owning them all, but wait for this season to drop lower than $37 before you buy it. Because it will drop. $37.00.
Only 8 episodes long, Showtime's excursion into the realm of Gothic Horror proved to be a worthwhile one. The way that Penny Dreadful takes the legends of Frankenstein, Dracula, The Wolfman, etc... and twists them all together into one coherent and related story is something special to experience. Eva Green is an acting powerhouse in this one, proving herself more than just a pretty face (and dynamite body.) If you like your TV Shows creepy and Gothic, then it doesn't get much better than Penny Dreadful. $27.99.
You have to really, really love True Blood to be willing to pay nearly $200 for this Blu-ray set of The Complete Series, but if you do love it that much, then it's absolutely worth it. $194.99.
True Detective was about as good as TV got in 2014. Matthew McConaughey was mesmerizing to watch as a tortured detective trying to solve a series of murders, furthering the notion that he might just be the best actor alive right now. Woody Harrelson was just about as good as his partner, but MM stole this one, hands down. The Lovecraftian overtones throughout were great too, and let us not forget that Alexandra Daddario was naked in this one. NAKED. $29.99.
For Twin Peaks fans, Christmas came in July this year when Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery was released on Blu-ray. Now, this show was good, but it's also really bizarre and quirky, so if you're curious about it, maybe stream a few episodes on Netflix before coughing up $80 for this massive set. If you do end up liking it though, then every penny of that $80 will be worth it to not only have the entire series in Blu-ray, but also the movie (Fire Walk With Me), and a wealth of great Bonus Features. *It doesn't come with a slice of cherry pie though. Sorry. $84.96.
We really expected this show to suck, because how do you make a quality TV Show out of a beloved Coen Brothers movie like Fargo? That's nearly impossible. Well, they somehow managed to make this Fargo TV Show just about as good as the movie (and you could argue that it's better in some ways), and we're more than happy to admit that we were wrong to have doubted. This show is worth watching for Billy Bob Thornton's killer performance alone. $29.96.
Sure, go ahead and dismiss this Cinemax show as being low-brow entertainment, because how could  Cinemax ever produce a great TV Show of any sort of quality? Well they have produced a great TV Show with Banshee, and it's been one of the most entertaining things on TV since it premiered in 2013. If you like unapologetic action, great melodrama, and anti-heroes kicking ass, then this show was tailor-made for you. $16.99.
As much as we enjoy Cinemax's Banshee, we love their Strike Back even more. Over the course of 3 seasons, this BBC Worldwide/HBO co-production is a pure action-fest that delivers the adrenaline-pumping goods week in and week out. Sullivan Stapleton and Philip Winchester make for a perfect tandem of mercenary badassery, and we'll be sad to see the show end its run after its upcoming 4th Season (5th, counting the British one.) If you like action, you simply have to add this show to your library. $16.99.
Many people consider The Sopranos to be the best Television Show ever made. We'd personally put The Wire ahead of it (and maybe 1 or 2 others), but the fact remains that it is stellar, in just about every respect. Yes, even the ending. This series is worth watching for James Gandolfini's performance alone, and it's sad to think that we'll most likely never see a Mob Drama of The Soprano's quality again. At least now we have it to re-watch at our leisure on Blu-ray. $170.00.
Band of Brothers is some of the best Television that has ever been filmed, and that is a fact. It's hard to explain what makes it so great, probably because there are so many things that do, but the fact remains that it is perfect in every way. I can't imagine how anyone could sit and watch this stellar Mini-Series, and not be blown away by its emotional narrative. For the CRAZY LOW price of $22.99, this is a PERFECT gift for a Dad or a Grandpa, or for anyone who loves top-tier drama. Or for anyone who likes to cry.
If Band of Brothers is a perfect 10, then The Pacific is a 9.5. In some ways, we prefer this one to Band of Brothers, probably because we like Leckie's story so much. On its own though, The Pacific stands as a harrowing chronicle of the Soldiers that fought in the South Pacific during WWII, which makes for a compelling and emotionally-draining watch. Watch The Pacific back-to-back with Band of Brothers, and then go find a Veteran and give them a hug. Because you'll need to. $22.99.
While we're on the topic of TV Shows that revolve around war, allow us to add Generation Kill to our list of Must Own Blu-rays. This is one of the most enjoyable Mini-Series we've ever seen, and for $19.99, it's a Must Own if you're a fan of good drama mixed with dark humor. Generation Kill is the perfect TV Mini-Series experience, and that is not hyperbole. If you take a blind chance on anything that we recommend to you, make it this. $19.99.

1 comment :

  1. I am considering ways to organize my TV series collection as I add to it, while also making sure the collection is filled with hits and not with DVDs that just take up space.