With nearly 30 films as director and scores more as producer, Steven Spielberg has become one of the world's most powerful forces in filmmaking. So it seems more than appropriate to give cinephiles a Spielberg boxed set as a holiday gift.
The eight-disc Steven Spielberg Director's Collection from Universal Studios contains an eclectic selection from the master's oeuvre, including two early highlights: his first movie, the quirky 1971 TV thriller Duel, starring Dennis Weaver, and 1974's The Sugarland Express, an exciting prison-break road movie starring Goldie Hawn. The set, which comes with a glossy memento book, also includes Jaws, E.T. - the Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park, and 1941.
There are only a few shopping days left, so get going.
(www.universalstudiosentertainment.com; $119.98 DVD; $199.98 Blu-ray; not rated)
Other holiday gift ideas
The Henning Mankell Collection. Mystery fans: Expand your horizons beyond America and Britain! It's time you discovered Swedish master author Henning Mankell and his brilliant creation, the brooding detective Kurt Wallander. This 22-DVD set, available directly from MHz Networks, contains 25 feature-length episodes of the Swedish production of Wallander. The first six star the first TV Wallander, actor Rolf Lassgård; the latter 19 feature the better-known Krister Henriksson. The set also includes a German-language Mankell adaptation, the three-hour mini-series Kennedy's Brain. (http://shop.mhznetworks.org/; $154.83; not rated)
Harry Potter Hogwarts Collection. Help a whole new generation become hooked on the wonders of J.K. Rowling's magical universe with this lovely boxed set that includes all eight Harry Potter movies plus more than 45 hours of special features. (www.wbshop.com; $78.92 DVD; $99.98 Blu-ray; $249.99 DVD/Blu-ray Combo; rated PG-13)
Sons of Anarchy: The Collector's Set. It did not receive as many headlines as Breaking Bad, but Kurt Sutter's terrific cable drama about an outlaw biker club in California has generated plenty of heat during its first six seasons. This 19-disc set comes in a handsome box that has a space reserved for the discs that'll be included in the seventh and final season. (www.foxconnect.com; $169.98 DVD; $299.99 Blu-ray; not rated)
Spartacus: Complete Series Limited Edition Blu-ray. The rebel slave and gladiator has never before been depicted with such bluster, fury - or screen sex - than in this four-season cable drama. This 13-disc boxed set comes with a statuette of the hero. (www.anchorbayentertainment.com; $199.99; not rated)
Pee-wee's Playhouse: The Complete Series. Paul Reubens' ingenious TV show was a delightful break for kids but also contained enough surreal action and cultural references to stimulate grown-up noggins. All 45 episodes are included in this eight-disc boxed set. (https://www.shoutfactory.com; $149.99; not rated)
Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Series (Blu-ray). Starring Jeremy Brett as the master sleuth, Granada TV's show, which aired in the late '80s and early '90s, remains the most exciting version of Holmes on screen. This boxed set includes gorgeously restored editions of all 36 episodes and five TV movies. (www.mpihomevideo.com; $229.98; not rated)
Borgen: The Complete Series. Made by the same folks who brought us the original version of The Killing, this Danish TV series has been hailed by critics as one of the best political dramas in the world. This 12-disc set includes the entire three-season run. (www.mhznetworks.org; $119.96; not rated)