Top Ten Box Sets of 2018

10: Saved by the Bell: The Complete Collection (Shout Factory) / DVD

Shout Factory's Saved by the Bell The Complete Collection
Shout Factory’s Saved by the Bell The Complete Collection

You have to appreciate the time and effort Shout Factory took in putting this set together.  They could have easily cobbled something subpar together.  That isn’t their style.  What we got was a beautiful box set that houses every iteration of Saved by the Bell.  For those that are not SBTB aficionados that are the following: Good Morning Ms. Bliss, Saved by the Bell, Saved by the Bell the College Years, Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style (TV Movie), and Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas (TV Movie). Add to the set Commentaries and Featurettes.  You’ve got yourself a great box set. 

My Original Review

9: Critters Box Set (Scream Factory) / Blu-Ray

Scream Factory's Critters Collection
Scream Factory’s Critters Collection

The four Critters movies may be Gremlins-knock offs but Scream Factory has treated them better than WB has treated the Gremlin series by giving each film the full-on special edition treatment.  Each film comes complete with a Making-Of, Commentary, and other assorted bits.  Most importantly, Scream Factory took the time to restore each of these films to possibly look better than how they did during their initial theatrical run.  

My Original Review

8: TIE: Avatar: The Last Air Bender – The Complete Collection / The Legend of Korra – The Complete Collection (Paramount) / Blu-Ray

Avatar: The Last Airbender Complete Series and The Legend of Korra Complete Series

Paramount and Nickelodeon must know how much Avatar: The Last Airbender and its sequel The Legend of Korra mean to its fan base.  These two sets are beautiful complete collections filled with Audio Commentaries, Featurettes, and just about everything you could want BUT won’t break the bank cost wise.  They have managed with both Blu-Ray collections to deliver beautiful transfers.  Avatar: The Last Air Bender especially, as the show hasn’t been released on Hi-Def until this set.

7: Mission: Impossible – 6 Movie Collection (Paramount) / 4K UHD

Mission: Impossible 6 Movie Collection 4K UHD

The release of the Mission: Impossible series on 4K UHD discs represents the best example of big-budget Studio Filmmaking over the years.  Each disc feels like a time warp to a different area of big-budget Action Filmmaking preserved perfectly with every piece of film grain intact.  Watch Producer/Star Tom Cruise right before your eyes go from Youthful Star in his Prime to Superstar Stuntman Performing Death Defying Stunts for our Entertainment.  Paramount not only housed the 4K discs but included the Blu-Ray and Digital Copies.  At the price point, they’re selling the set right now, it works out to about $11 for each film.

6: It’s Alive Box Set (Scream Factory) / Blu-Ray

Scream Factory's It's Alive Trilogy Box Set
Scream Factory’s It’s Alive Trilogy Box Set

Larry Cohen is both a madman and a genius.  These two statements could never be more applicable than with the It’s Alive series.  The ultimate summation of Cohen’s career this lunatic series about Babies that are deformed, possibly by Government interference, play out both as Monster Movies and Biting Social Commentaries.  Each film with their respective leads manages to be a little bit crazier than the next leading to the third and truly deprived of the series.  Scream Factory gave us three discs brimming with extra features including three all-time great commentaries. 

My Original Review

5: The Matrix Trilogy (Warner Bros.) / 4K UHD

The Matrix Trilogy 4K UHD

Over the last two decades, one thing has been confirmed for me; I am all in on whatever The Wachowski’s do, in whatever medium they decide to do it in.  The Matrix represents the last era of full-on creativity within the Studio system.  Just a few years shy of the Reboot/Reminationation/Sequel/Super Hero Continuum that we find ourselves in now.  The Matrix is a pair of creatives taking their influences, confluences, ticks, fetishes, personal feelings, political leanings, psychological, spiritual and philosophical beliefs and wrapping in a commercial package so original, unique, intelligent that nothing was the same after it.  Warner Bros. does the series right by restoring each film in Dolby Vision, a sight to behold if you have the correct equipment, by Director of Photography Bill Pope (with The Wachowski’s supervision).  The films look better than they did during their initial theatrical run (I should know because I was a projectionist at the time).  Wisely, Warner Bros. including all of the extras from the previous Special Editions.

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