I'll Have a Blu-ray Christmas With You
Holidays are a good time to round up the extended family in front of the new HDTV, ideally with a movie on Blu-ray to show off that 1080p screen. But up until this year, there's been a shortage of Christmas classics in Blu-ray format. Fortunately, movie studios have rectified that situation over the last few months, and the selection of Blu-ray holiday movies is now strong enough to satisfy your entire family's tastes.
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
Sure, NBC shows "It's a Wonderful Life" on Christmas Eve every year, but this timeless tale of appreciating what you've got seems a little sweeter on Blu-ray. Extra features include a "making of" video and the original theatrical trailer.
A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
We get the irony of talking about a movie the rejects materialism in a feature about buying material goods. Whatever, save the deep ruminations for later, after you've had a chance to giggle at Snoopy's antics. This is just a half-hour show, but the Blu-ray version also has "It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown" and a "making of" feature.
A Christmas Carol (1951)
Alastair Sim's take on Ebenezer Scrooge looks extra grumpy when digitally restored. Keep it in mind if you can't make it to the theater for Jim Carrey's version.
If you're family's not enamored with holiday cheese, give them this twisted tale of a Christmas present gone awry. Bonus features include audio commentaries, behind-the-scenes footage, and deleted scenes.
Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966 and 2000)
Take your pick of the 26-minute animated special from the 1960s or the remake starring Jim Carrey. Both were released on Blu-ray in October, to the dismay of Whos everywhere.
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)
The Griswold family's third helping of slapstick humor is sure to stir up nostalgia for the days when Chevy Chase was funny. Re-released this year as an "Ultimate Collector's Edition," the Blu-ray package includes holiday drink coasters with movie quotes, a miniature mug replica, an "I Survived a Griswold Family Christmas" button and, for some reason, instant snow.
Miracle on 34th Street (1947 and 1994)
Both the classic and the remake of this timeless Christmas tale went to Blu-ray this year, telling the story of a department store Santa who claims to be the real deal. The 1947 Blu-ray version is packed with features, including audio commentary, back stories, and a feature on the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.
A Christmas Story (1983)
In the age of video games and computers, would little Ralphie Parker still want that Red Ryder BB Gun? Reminisce about these simpler times with the Blu-ray edition, released last year, which includes audio commentary, actor interviews and a featurette on that hallowed gun.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
No need to give out shrunken heads and Christmas tree-eating snakes as gifts this year. Jack Skellington has that covered in Tim Burton's twist on Christmas storytelling. The Blu-ray version keeps almost everything from an earlier Special Edition DVD release, including animated shorts from Burton, still image galleries and a lengthy "making-of" documentary.
The Yule Log
Even when the family's attention is directed everywhere, you can still bask in the warmth of your new HDTV with a Yule Log in Blu-ray format. The version released last year includes a soundtrack of classic tunes to accompany the crackling fake fireplace.
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