Christmas Gift Guide 2013: Best TV and Film Blu-ray box sets

Whether you're looking for a present, or just something to play on the snazzy Blu-ray player that's wrapped up under the tree, we've got you covered

As the season of Yule hoves into view, Hollywood gathers up its cinematic output and stuffs it into bulging Blu-ray box sets, to be wrapped up and crammed beneath your Christmas tree.

Whether you're looking for restored classics, bang-up-to-date new releases or special editions crammed with extras, we've got you covered.

Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy (£20)

Geek heroes Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright reunited this year for The World's End, the finale to their "Three Flavours Cornetto" trilogy. This time around, Pegg and Frost's everyman heroes take on alien robots while attempting to complete a pub crawl they started twenty years earlier.

Now, with metronome inevitability, you can pick up a box set of the three films – though let's be honest, if you're buying for a Stuff reader they'll probably have Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz already.

Amazon.co.uk

Read our interview with Nick Frost

Breaking Bad: The Complete Series Deluxe Barrel Edition (£250)

The Best TV Series Ever™ reached the end of its fifth and final season this year, and it's been sent off in style with this spectacular box set. You get Blu-rays of all five seasons packaged in a replica money barrel, a two-hour documentary on the making of the final series, a Los Pollos Hermanos apron, a 16-page booklet written by series creator Vince Gilligan and a "challenge coin," whatever that is.

Sadly the deluxe edition is officially sold out, so you'll have to take your chances with resellers – or pick up the less-ostentatious complete series boxset for £76 from Amazon.

amazon.co.uk

Doctor Who: The Complete Box Set (£145)

With Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor bowing out in this year's Christmas Special, it's the perfect time to get up to speed with the show. This box set, collects the entire run of episodes from the new series (less the recent Day of the Doctor 50th anniversary special).

Among its many extras, the box set features the first four series on Blu-ray, "remastered at full 1080p high definition." That's a bit of a stretch, considering that they were shot in standard-def – but marketing fluff aside, it's a nicely-packaged way of catching up with the Doctor's adventures.

amazon.co.uk

The Dark Knight Trilogy: Ultimate Collector's Edition (£59)

This Batman box set charts Christopher Nolan's reimagining of the Caped Crusader as Christian Bale's brooding Dark Knight, over the course of Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises.

As well as the films, you get 90 minutes of new special features plus a photo book, villain prints by film art gurus Mondo, and reproductions of Batman's vehicles from the films. "Where does he get those wonderful toys?" indeed.

sainsburysentertainment.co.uk

Disney/Pixar The Complete Collection (£90)

For the last 18 years, Pixar has consistently delivered brilliant films using CG animation, packed with original plots and realised with the help of technological innovations. So, perfectly suited to Stuff readers, then.

To mark the animation studio's coming of age, it's released this massive, comprehensive box set – containing every single theatrical film and short film, plus tons of extras and design commentaries. No, you don't get any fancy extras like polystone statues or hardback books – but when the product's this good, do you really need them?

zaavi.com

Martin Scorsese Presents: World Cinema Foundation: Volume One (£30)

For the ardent cinephile, this collection gathers three neglected classics of world cinema from Turkey, Morocco and Kazakhstan – Dry Summer, Trances and Revenge.

All three are restored by the World Cinema Foundation, a film preservation organisation founded by Martin Scorsese – who also contributes introductions to each restored film.

sainsburysentertainment.co.uk

Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for film buffs

More after the break...

X-Men Adamantium Collection (£90)

What home would be complete without a disembodied Wolverine claw? This collection gathers all the X-Men and Wolverine movies in glorious Blu-ray – including the benighted X-Men 3 and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but let's not dwell on that.

With the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past set to gather almost every mutant featured in the series together, there's never been a better time to reacquaint yourself with Charles Xavier's School for the Gifted.

zaavi.com

Anna Karenina/Atonement/Pride & Prejudice (£14)

Director Joe Wright's three collaborations with Keira Knightley are gathered together in this Blu-ray collection.

Pride & Prejudice banishes all memories of Colin Firth with a more down-to-earth adaptation. We hesitate to refer to a Jane Austen story as "gritty," but it does strike a realistic note; Wright's Bennet sisters have muddy skirts and live in a relatively pokey house, not a massive country pile.

At the opposite end of the scale is Anna Karenina, which does away with realism to depict Imperial Russia on a single theatrical stage. Atonement, meanwhile, is guaranteed to tug on the heartstrings – maybe don't watch that one on Christmas Day.

zaavi.com

Boardwalk Empire Seasons 1-3 (£38)

HBO may have lost ground to Netflix and AMC in recent years, but it still has some killer TV shows up its sleeve. One of the finest is this Prohibition-era gangster series, which mixes the crime drama of The Sopranos with the period detail found in the likes of Mad Men and Deadwood.

Steve Buscemi stars as Nucky Thompson, a political mover and shaker who swaps the ballot box for bootleg booze – and latterly bombs and bullets – when the Volstead Act comes into force. Sky-high production values and a starry cast (including Man of Steel's Michael Shannon and No Country For Old Men's Kelly Macdonald) make this one to savour like a fine bourbon.

amazon.co.uk

Iron Man 3 Movie Collection (£33)

Since all Stuff readers basically aspire to be Tony Stark, this box set collecting the Iron Man films is the ideal gift for their gadget-obsessed selves. It's cheaper than an Acura NSX, and just as much fun. And the latest movie, Iron Man 3, is even set at Christmas. How perfectly festive.

thehut.com

Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection (£24)

From the 1930s to the 1950s, Universal Studios created a host of iconic movie monsters – conjuring up the defining versions of Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster and the Wolf Man, among others.

This box set gathers together all the classics: Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, The Phantom of the Opera and The Creature from the Black Lagoon, plus oodles of extras. Draw the curtains and prepare to be chilled to the marrow.

amazon.co.uk

The World at War: The Ultimate Restored 40th Anniversary Edition (£30)

This classic documentary series charting the course of the Second World War has been given a high-definition spit and polish to mark its 40th anniversary – with the aged footage restored and regraded, and an optional 5.1 surround sound audio mix. Perfect for armchair generals.

amazon.co.uk

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