The holidays are approaching, and that means elaborate Blu-ray box sets are being touted as gifts for movie lovers. Canadian Press film expert John McKay highlights some of the collections, including a huge 'Harry Potter' set.
Peddlers of DVDs and Blu-ray discs face stiff competition these days from new movie delivery technologies such as streaming and cable on demand. So, how to compete? One trend is towards the elaborate box set that serves as a tribute to a favourite motion picture complete with bells and whistles and collectible trinkets. All aimed at the coming holiday season, of course. Let's start with what is by far the biggest, most elaborate and easily the most expensive of them all, from Warner Brothers.The Harry Potter Wizard's Collection is huge…more than 30 discs with everything ever released on video of the boy wizard….all eight films in the franchise, and more than 37 hours of feature material, including 10 hours of new content. As for the box itself…it's also huge, literally, like something borrowed from Dumbledore's Hogwarts office. There are secret compartments which pop open to reveal scrolls, medallions, concept art, etc. If there's a Potter fan you love and you're willing to shell out 350 clams…this is THE gift.Now, remember the 2004 sci-fi film I Robot (Fox) starring Will Smith? It's back on Blu-ray and in 3-D, plus a collectible robot head! Blade Runner (Warner) is also back, the earlier DVD gift set converted now to Blu-ray, with no less than five edits of the film and even a toy replica of Deckard's spinner car.Then there's that Bond 50 set ( MGM ), all 22 James Bond films remastered in hi-def…and the box even contains an empty sleeve where you can insert the new 007 film, Skyfall, when it comes to video early next year.