I try to check Amazon’s “Gold Box” deal of the day as often as possible, which usually amounts to the one day per week when I actually remember to do so.
I luckily happened upon a particularly attractive deal recently. The phenomenal Warner Brothers 90th Anniversary blu-ray Collection was on sale for a whopping 70% off. This set includes 50 movies plus a DVD documentary about the history of the studio.
Streaming media options and other market factors have driven down the price of blu-ray and DVD fairly dramatically over the past three years or so. This set is no exception. Originally retailing for $600.00, you can pick one up for about $250.00–$270.00 at this point. The Gold Box Deal in question had it going for about $100 below that. Even though that was still a luxury, I was too excited by the title list not to pull the trigger.
It would be an understatement to say that this group of 50 films alone would instantly give you a great movie collection. Here’s the complete list of titles, in chronological order. Movies in bold won Best Picture:
Grand Hotel (1932)
Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
Wizard of Oz (1939)
Gone with The Wind (1939)
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Mrs. Miniver (1942)
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
An American in Paris (1951)
Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
North By Northwest (1959)
How the West Was Won (1962)
Doctor Zhivago (1965)
Cool Hand Luke (1967)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (1971)
Dirty Harry (1971)
Clockwork Orange, A (1972)
The Exorcist (1973)
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
Superman: The Movie (1977)
The Shining (1980)
Chariots of Fire (1981)
Risky Business (1983)
The Color Purple (1985)
Lethal Weapon (1987)
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
The Bodyguard (1992)
Natural Born Killers (Director’s Cut) (1994)
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
The Matrix (1999)
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
Million Dollar Baby (2005)
The Departed (2006)
The Dark Knight (2008)
The Blind Side (2009)
The Hangover (2009)
Sherlock Holmes (2009)
While any list or collection such as this one isn’t going to please everyone (Why all three LOTR films, while other series only get one entry?), and there are a couple of duds in the mix (The Bodyguard?!?), even the most jaded movie fan will have to admit there’s a treasure trove of classic and/or influential films in the set. There are sixteen Best Picture winners alone, plus another few films that easily could have won that top honor.
The set itself is an A-plus overall, especially if you’re buying it at something like $3.00 per film. Most of the movies included are also the “extended” or “director’s cut” versions of the films in question, where applicable. In other words, you’re getting deluxe editions of every movie that has such a version.
I should note, however, that these blu-ray discs are sometimes just the first disc of a two-disc set, where the second disc included a lot of additional features. Personally, I don’t care much about that. But people should know they’re sometimes getting one disc of was was once a multi-disc set for a given film. Most of the movies, though, are complete, one-disc editions.
What’s the point of all this, other than self-congratulation over the purchase of a pricey blu-ray collection? I intend to review all of these movies as I work my way through the set. These reviews may be straightforward, they may just talk about one aspect of a given film, or they might be satirical. Who knows? I’m not going to be married to a consistent but ultimately confining format.
But, even though it may take me a year, I’m going to work my way through all of these, roughly in chronological order. I’ll even re-watch movies I’ve seen before, and write about each one individually.
Except maybe Lord of the Rings.
With that in mind, be on the lookout in the near future for the first in a lengthy series of untimely movie reviews.