It's that time of year once again, kids: that instance wherein we shuffle throughout crowded store aisles like maniacs and send cheesy messages of holiday cheer to family members and old acquaintances whom we would normally give absolutely no inkling of thought to. Yes, it's the holiday season, and — as always — the notion of "What the Hell do I buy for that movie/TV-obsessed loser in my life this year?" emerges. Thankfully, the folks at Universal Studios Home Entertainment have made shopping for even the pickiest person in your group a cinch — by giving us several truly kick-ass collections to covet like, well, maniacs in crowded store aisles.
Unless you've lived under a rock all your life or your parents only ever subscribed to Lifetime Network, you have probably heard of a fellow by the name of Alfred Hitchcock. For you truly naïve people out there, Hitchcock revolutionized the method of moviemaking in general by developing many different styles which he used in his now-legendary line-up of thrillers. And Universal's Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection (MSRP $299.98) brings us fifteen of the master's features, from 1942's Saboteur to his swan song, Family Plot (1976) — with all those great epics in-between (Psycho, Vertigo, North by Northwest, The Birds, Rear Window). This 15-disc Blu-ray set contains numerous special features for each title, most of which are not available individually, and is an absolute must for fans of classic thrillers that helped to pioneer the genre.
Speaking of pioneering genres, where would the very field of horror movies be without the classic Universal monsters? OK, I'll be the first to admit there are a lot of god-awful scary flicks out there today, but we can hardly attribute those failures to the films that you'll find in Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection (MSRP $159.98) — a positively dynamic set that brings us the premiere features that would go on to spawn several cult franchises: 1931's Frankenstein and Dracula (as well as the Spanish-cast version of Dracula), The Mummy (1932), The Invisible Man (1933), The Wolf Man (1941), The Phantom of the Opera (1943), and The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), which is available in both 3D and 2D here. For additional information on this must-have set, please check out my review here.