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Movie Gift Ideas?

I normally try to keep this blog focused on Adobe tools and techniques, but seeing it’s a holiday weekend, I’m deviating to talk about something cool that may give you a gift idea for the movie fanatic in your household.

If you haven’t guessed, I’m one of those fanatics. I love owning movies. I have about 500 movies on DVD, and about 65 on Blu-Ray, and that number grows monthly. I love the feeling of physically owning a copy of a movie, and even though Netflix and on-demand has made me more picky about my purchases, I still love buying movies.

There are hundreds of movie titles out there that never see a home video release. In many cases, these films were not successful at the box office, are too old, or just not recognized as ‘significant’ films, and thus will not be profitable enough to garner a widespread release on DVD.

In the past year, I’ve noticed a couple of sites that make it easier to see these types of movies. The first is the Warner Brothers’ Archive, which features a burn-on-demand way of owning some of these lost gems of movies. I’ve purchased a couple of discs from the archives, and the quality is better than my VHS copies. I wouldn’t call them “reference” quality – in many cases, the prints have some dirt and/or scratches. And, there’s very little in the way of extras. The menus are also generic “Warner Archive” menus. But this is still a wonderful way of getting a movie that’s unavailable for any reasonable price otherwise.

Universal is also jumping on the Archive bandwagon by teaming up with Turner Classic Movies. Lately, they’ve been focused on their “horror collection,” including some of the really obscure titles like “The Mad Ghoul.” It’s cool seeing some of the lesser-known Universal monsters see the light of day.

For an online experience, check out the Criterion Online Cinematheque. For US$5, you can watch a movie on their web site, and if you want to own it, the $5 goes towards owning the disc! Since Criterion has such a wide array of movies from many different eras and genres, there’s bound to be something worth checking out.

I hope everyone has a nice Thanksgiving weekend, and stay safe on Black Friday!

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