Boxed sets make great gifts
By heft alone, the season’s gift set to reckon with is Paramount Pictures’ Millennium Collection, a 10-movie slab of Hollywood hits that jams the voluminously epic (The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, Braveheart, The Ten Commandments) into a box with the crowd-pleasingly ultra-pop (Top Gun, Forrest Gump, Grease, Ghost) and tosses in the inexplicable Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and the eternal Breakfast at Tiffany’s just for kicks — and $189.50. It’s the boxed set for the man who lacks everything. If you’re not shopping for him, consider these other no-brainers:
For the Speed Freak
The trains and trucks and race cars of Velocity go vroom.
For the Monkey Man
The Planet of the Apes Collectors Edition includes widescreen versions of the seminal simian sci-fi flick, its sequels, and a making-of documentary hosted by the late Roddy McDowall.
For the DVDiva
The 1998 Olympic Gold Gift Set nicely exploits the technology with multiple-angle figure-skating footage.
For the Soul Sister-in-Law
Foxy Brown, Coffy, and Friday Foster make up The Pam Grier Collection, an ode to the rediscovered blaxploitation queen.
For the Testosterone-Addled
Warner Bros.’ 75th Anniversary Action-Adventure Collection, which combines three manly classics (Blade Runner, Dirty Harry, and Lethal Weapon), one glossy dud (Eraser), and a 46-minute slice of promotional hoo-ha.
For History Buffs
Ken Burns’ Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery recounts the explorers’ 2 1/2 year journey in 240 minutes.
For Jay Leno,
who could learn a thing or two from its graciousness and humor: Jack Paar: As I Was Saying… and More!.
For Mr. Natural
The limited-edition Grateful Dead Collection assembles 10 hours of the psychedelic noodlers in concert.
For the Potty Mouth
Either of the two South Park Three-Packs collects six episodes of the scatological Comedy Central hit.
For the Cineaste
The Kurosawa Noir Three-Pack, which includes High and Low, The Bad Sleep Well, and Stray Dog, stands as a thrilling tribute to the late master.
For the Angst-Ridden Teen
The Best of My So-Called Life finds Claire Danes, and creators Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz, in top form.
Just as store-bought presents are less precious than those forged from the giver’s toil, boxed sets have nothing on improvised tokens of affection. We still recall rushing to the tree on one early-’80s dawn to find a VHS copy of Citizen Kane tied to a sled. Though we cursed Santa then (we had a Betamax player), we hope his spirit lives on in these ideas.
Starship Troopers and… an ant farm
Men With Guns and… a puppy
Titanic and… bath salts
A Shari Lewis tape and… tube socks
Austin Powers: Internation Man of Mystery and… a rug…a shag rug, baby!