Last minute DVD box sets for Christmas

You’ve done it again, haven’t you? You’ve left your Christmas shopping till the last minute. Lucky for you Cloverdale Mall is on extended hours and there’s plenty of free parking. If you still have a TV fan on your list, and they’ve been especially good this year, here are five DVD box set suggestions pre-tested at TV Feeds My Family:

Hands down the prize for best packaging this Christmas goes to Paramount Home Media for Mission Impossible: The Complete Television Collection. The explosive container comes in the shape of a red dynamite keg, complete with fuse. Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to crack open the case and check out the eight metal “tape” cans inside. They contain 56-discs covering all eight seasons of the original Cold War classic (1966-73). Jim Phelps (Peter Graves) and his Impossible Missions Force returned in 1988 for two more seasons (shot in Australia), and those episodes are included here, too. The best adventures, however, are the early seasons, where real life husband-and-wife Martin Landau and Barbara Bain bring an adult edge to the James Bond shenanigans. Remember to turn up the sound: Lalo Schfrin’s jazzy score—still setting up the Tom Cruise films—sounds better than ever.
The Incredible Mel Brooks: An Irresistible Collection of Unhinged Comedy (Shout! Factory) is a must-have for comedy fans. It comes in a handy little book that you can throw at anyone who doesn’t think Mel Brooks is hilarious. It was fun to be reminded just how much Brooks helped shape comedy in the last half of the 20th century, spanning television with Your Show of Shows through Get Smart and even into the ’70s misfire When Things Were Rotten. Then there were the box office hits, especially his great genre films Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles. Brooks even conquered Broadway and had hit comedy albums making him one of just a few entertainers to enjoy Oscar, Tony, Grammy and Emmy wins. Brooks humour holds up because it is flat out funny and not as ironic as much of what came later. (A similar collection of Steve Martin’s work through the decades is almost shockingly dull.)
For more on Brooks and the other three DVD Box Set choices, follow this link to the story I wrote for The Canadian Press.

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