The Original Christmas Specials Collection will come out in a Steelbook Blu-ray Nov. 2 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, featuring five classic stories produced by Rankin/Bass.
The collection includes Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town and The Little Drummer Boy featuring stop-motion animation and the animated Frosty the Snowman and Cricket on the Hearth. The productions feature the iconic voice talents of Fred Astaire, Jimmy Durante, Mickey Rooney, Danny Thomas, Burl Ives and many more, as well as classic songs.
To celebrate the film’s 75th anniversary, Paramount Home Entertainment will release director Frank Capra’s timeless classic It’s a Wonderful Life Nov. 16 in a collectible, limited-edition two-disc Blu-ray.
Named the No. 1 most inspiring film of all time by the American Film Institute, the film stars James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell and Henry Travers. In the film, an angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.
The Blu-ray set includes a colorized version of the film in high definition as well as the original, digitally remastered black-and-white movie in high definition, and access to a digital copy of the film. The set also includes 10 collectible recipe cards from Insight Editions’ “It’s a Wonderful Life: The Official Bailey Family Cookbook” with cuisine inspired by the film. Additionally, the set includes more than 45 minutes of previously released bonus content exploring the meticulous process of preserving and revitalizing this iconic masterpiece, a look at the movie’s extraordinary sound, music, cinematography and visual effects, and vintage footage from the film’s wrap party.
Lionsgate has six romantic double feature DVDs of favorite Lifetime Christmas movies ready to fill stockings this holiday season:
Christmas à la Mode/You Light Up My Christmas
In Christmas à la Mode, when a handsome stranger, Charlie, visits the family dairy run by Emily during Christmas time, Emily has to hide her attraction to him when it turns out he works with her ruthless sister who plans to sell the farm. Emily dreams up an ingenious plan to buy her sister out — an online ice-cream flavor contest that goes viral — but it’s up to Charlie to supply the key ingredient — and a recipe for romance.
You Light Up My Christmas follows Emma (Kim Fields), who returns to her hometown built around her family’s pioneer Christmas light factory to find the lights dim in the once festive town. Emma reconnects with her old flame and they set out to fulfill her father’s dream of creating the brightest light, as both the town and their hearts are set ablaze by the joys of Christmas. Lisa Whelchel, Mindy Cohn and Nancy McKeon — who costarred with Fields in the iconic TV series “The Facts of Life” — reunite as new characters in this charming holiday film inspired by true events.
A Very Vintage Christmas/Random Acts of Christmas
In A Very Vintage Christmas, when hopeless romantic Dodie (Tia Mowry-Hardrict), owner of a vintage store in the quaint town of Mountain View, finds a box with old keepsakes chronicling a timeless romantic union, she decides she must deliver it to its rightful owner. She persuades Ed (Jesse Hutch), a local contractor at the box’s listed address, to help in her quest, and in the end, they not only find the couple, they also rediscover the joys of Christmas — and true, ever-lasting love.
In Random Acts of Christmas, when anonymous random acts of Christmas kindness begin to pop up all over Chicago, investigative journalist Sydney joins forces with competing reporter Cole to land the big story of the festive season, and reveal the identity of this “Secret Santa.” As the city — and Sydney — are caught up in the spirit of the season, Sydney starts to fall for Cole. But he may not be the man he claims to be, and Sydney must choose between her cynical mind and her newly opened heart.
Christmas Hotel/A Storybook Christmas
In Christmas Hotel, when Erin’s company asks her to open a hotel in her hometown of Garland Grove, a small mountain town in love with all things Christmas, she decides to create a year-round “Christmas Hotel.” But first, she’ll have to use all of her charms — and some holiday magic — to win over Connor, her childhood crush and the man spearheading the movement against her new hotel.
In the romance A Storybook Christmas, if event planner Celeste Everett is going to save her business and treat her niece to a merry Christmas, she’ll need help, so she hires a nanny. But when the nanny turns out to be Taylor, a man who challenges her beliefs and ignites her passion, Celeste comes to a surprising realization: The holidays may be bringing her the gift of love.
A Date by Christmas Eve/Grounded for Christmas
A Date by Christmas Eve follows kind-hearted brand strategist Chelsea Simms, who discovers the latest dating app for her firm, The Good List, has given her the magical ability to teach all the “naughty” people in her life how to be good with a swipe of their name. When Chelsea falls for her next-door neighbor, Fisher, she lets the app get the best of her and puts him on the naughty list by mistake. Can she right her wrongs, get Fisher’s forgiveness, and find her way back onto the “nice” list in time for Christmas?
In Grounded for Christmas, Cleveland airline pilot Nina Rooney has plans for an exotic getaway over the holidays, but a snowstorm grounds all flights. When arrogant, womanizing pilot Brady Sloane has nowhere to go, Nina invites him to her nearby family home on the condition that he lie about being her boyfriend so she can survive the night without getting grilled for being single. But the storm continues, and they must maintain the ruse. As Christmas draws near, will the ice between these opposites begin to melt?
Always and Forever Christmas/Staging Christmas
Always and Forever Christmas follows Lucy Bowers, who arrives in Stowe, Vt., to help finalize the sale of Forever Christmas — the year-round Christmas store she inherited from her grandfather — and instead finds romance with handsome café owner, Scott. After learning the vital role the store plays in spreading holiday cheer to the community, can she really go through with shutting it down, or is Lucy willing to leave the life she knows behind to recapture the true magic of Christmas?
In Staging Christmas, it’s the holiday season, and for Lori, who stages homes for a living, it brings a special new client: Everett, a wealthy widower who asks Lori to design the perfect Christmas at his estate to surprise his daughter, Maddie. As Lori decks the halls of Everett’s home and spends more time with him, she realizes she’s created more than the ideal holiday — she’s set the stage for love.
Every Day Is Christmas/Jingle Belle
Every Day Is Christmas follows shrewd money manager Alexis Taylor (Toni Braxton), who gets the holiday visit of a lifetime in this movie inspired by the Charles Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol.” A self-proclaimed workaholic who “hum-bugs” love, Alexis ends up embracing the spirit of Christmas when her past, present, and future collide, forcing her to risk the one thing money can’t buy: her heart.
In Jingle Belle, every year, Isabelle (Tatyana Ali) and her high school sweetheart, Mike (Cornelius Smith Jr.), rocked their small town’s annual Christmas Eve Pageant with a sweet Christmas duet. But after graduation, Isabelle left to study at Juilliard in New York — leaving Mike behind. Years later, Isabelle returns to her hometown to write music for the annual Christmas Eve Pageant, which Mike is directing. Can Isabelle and Mike put the past behind them and reunite on stage for another show-stopping duet?
Vizio has unveiled “Unwrap the Magic of SmartCast,” its holiday hub featuring a collection of special programming for the holiday season.
With more than 200 hours of holiday-themed movies, TV episodes, music and more from app partners, the hub features free and premium holiday streaming options, including 12 days of special offers and discounts on video-on-demand movies throughout December.
Vizio has teamed up with ROW8 and Redbox to present 12 days of SmartCast movie deals with specially priced, video-on-demand holiday titles such as Elf, A Christmas Story, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and Arthur Christmas, as well as new releases such as Fatman, The Stand-in and Greenland.
“We are pleased to offer Vizio SmartCast consumers the ultimate holiday destination with hundreds of hours of holiday movies and programming to celebrate the season,” Katherine Pond, VP of business development for Vizio, said in a statement. “With our abundant holiday content offering free channels, premium apps, and discounted holiday titles, together with our seasonal discounts on our award-winning TVs and sound bars, Vizio continues to deliver a best-in-class entertainment experience for people of all ages.”
The holiday hub can be found on the SmartCast home screen and includes a combination of premium content and free channel options. SmartCast provides audiences with home screen access to subscription apps such as Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV, Hulu, Prime Video and Peacock as well as streaming across 130-plus free channels. SmartCast supports streaming from devices with Apple AirPlay and Chromecast Built-in, and smart home connectivity with Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant and Alexa-enabled devices.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation was the top classic and Elf the top post-2000 film in a Redbox customer survey on favorite holiday movies. The survey of 402 “engaged Redbox customers” took place Nov. 9-15.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is a 1989 comedy film starring Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold, a man who loves Christmas but whose plans to give his family the best Christmas ever are repeatedly spoiled by everything from a trapped squirrel to a Scrooge-like boss. Beverly D’Angelo, Randy Quaid and Juliette Lewis also star.
Elf, directed by Jon Favreau, is a 2003 comedy with Will Ferrell as Buddy, a human who was adopted and raised by Santa’s elves. When he discovers he’s not a real elf he travels to New York City to meet up with his real dad, a curmudgeonly book publisher.
Redbox is running a “Merry Movie Nights” promotion, featuring holiday hits at the Box, including Last Christmas, Christmas Under the Stars, Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch, Elf and The Nightmare Before Christmas; Christmas classics and family favorites On Demand, including The Polar Express, Home Alone, A Christmas Story, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and How the Grinch Stole Christmas; holiday romances On Demand, including The Holiday, Love Actually, Last Holiday, Serendipity, The Best Man Holiday and Just Friends; and “Not Really Christmas Movies,” including Die Hard, Edward Scissorhands, Gremlins, Why Him, Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone and Trading Places.
The transaction-based streaming service movieSpree is featuring a lineup of holiday features, new and old.
In The Farmer and the Belle: Saving Santaland, sparks fly between a famous model and a farmer with a young daughter when she visits her childhood home. The town is in danger of losing their beloved Santaland festival, but miracles happen with a little love, family and faith. The cast for this Dove-approved feature includes Jenn Gotzon, Jim E. Chandler, Corbin Bersen, John Schneider, Robert Amaya, Natasha Bure and radio superstar Delilah.
Angela’s Christmas is an animated short based on the children’s book Angela and the Baby Jesus by Frank McCourt (Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Angela’s Ashes). The story from the Oscar-nominated studio Brown Bag Films focuses on the power of family and the innocent desire of a child to ensure everyone is safe, warm and loved at Christmas time. The title features the voices of Oscar nominee Ruth Negga (2016, Best Actress, Loving), Lucy O’Connell (Song of the Sea) and Brian Gleeson with writer and director Damien O’Connor (TV’s “Doc McStuffins”). The title was nominated for three Emmy Awards.
Unlikely Angel stars country music legend Dolly Parton as the hard-living barroom singer Ruby Diamond, who dies in a car accident and meets St. Peter (Roddy McDowall) at the gates of heaven. The angel informs her that she must return to Earth to perform a selfless deed in order to gain admittance. Disguising herself as a nanny, Ruby soon edges her way into the joyless family life of workaholic widower Ben Bartilson (Brian Kerwin) and his children Sarah (Allison Mack) and Matthew (Eli Marienthal), hoping to both heal the grief-stricken family and earn her heavenly wings in time for Christmas. Unlikely Angel is punctuated by Dolly’s musical numbers.
Those who set up a free movieSpree account get an added bonus of the chance to redeem a curated assortment of 100 films to add to their accounts free of charge. The service’s app is available on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, iOS and Android devices.
Knives Out was voted the top movie to watch for Thanksgiving, Home Alone was voted the favorite family-friendly holiday film, and Die Hard was named the top unconventional holiday film by fans on Fandango’s transactional video on-demand services, Vudu and FandangoNow.
Fandango surveyed more than 1,000 film fans in the first weeks of November.
As might be expected, 92% of those surveyed expect to watch more movies at home during the holiday season than in previous years. Also, 71% said they are planning to binge watch during the holiday season, and 62% said they plan to watch their favorite holiday classics more than once.
“Watching a favorite classic movie is part of a beloved holiday tradition for many families,” Fandango managing editor Erik Davis said in a statement. “This year there’s an extra nostalgia factor because many of us cannot gather together in front of the same screen. The top picks center on the power of families, warts and all, and serve as the kind of cinematic comfort food we look forward to enjoying during the holiday season.”
Top Movies to Watch for Thanksgiving:
Addams Family Values
Planes, Trains and Automobiles
The Fantastic Mr. Fox
Home for the Holidays
Grumpy Old Men
Scent of a Woman
Pieces of April
Favorite Family-Friendly Holiday Movies
The Santa Clause
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
The Nightmare Before Christmas
The Polar Express
A Christmas Story
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
It’s a Wonderful Life
Favorite Unconventional Holiday Movies:
Bad Moms Christmas
Office Christmas Party
The Night Before
Anna and the Apocalypse
Favorite Performances as Santa Claus:
Tim Allen, The Santa Clause
Edward Asner, Elf
Billy Bob Thornton, Bad Santa
Tom Hanks, The Polar Express
James Cosmo, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe
Richard Attenborough, Miracle on 34thStreet (1994)
Paul Giamatti, Fred Claus
Edmund Gwenn, Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
Rickey Smiley, The Friday After Next
Alec Baldwin, Rise of the Guardians
Favorite Holiday Movie Villains:
Harry & Marv (Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern), Home Alone
Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman), Die Hard
Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore), It’s a Wonderful Life
The Grinch (Jim Carrey), Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Oogie Boogie (Ken Ross), The Nightmare Before Christmas
Frank Cross (Bill Murray), Scrooged
Scrooge (Jim Carey), Disney’s A Christmas Carol
Fulton Greenway (Michael Lerner), Elf
Ted Maltin (Phil Hartman), Jingle All the Way
Scut Farkas (Zack Ward), A Christmas Story
The winners can also be found in the holiday sections on Vudu and FandangoNow.
Lionsgate is unveiling three big releases for the holidays: Schitt’s Creek: The Complete Collection on DVD, the Arnold Schwarzenegger classic sci-fi film Total Recall on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, and the director’s cut of the 1999 Natasha Lyonne starrer But I’m a Cheerleader on 4K Ultra HD Digital.
Schitt’s Creek: The Complete Collection, DVD, Available Now
The irreverent character-driven comedy centers on the reversal-of-fortune story of the once filthy-rich Rose family. Suddenly finding themselves broke, the Roses are forced to rebuild their empire in Schitt’s Creek, a small town they once purchased as a joke. As the seasons go on, we see the family thrive in a place they begin to call home, ready to take their personal relationships, business pursuits and, for some, exit strategies, to the next level.
The show received 19 Emmy nominations during its run, with 15 for its sixth season, setting a record for most nominations for a comedy series in its final season. At the 2020 ceremony, “Schitt’s Creek” became the first Canadian show to win the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series, for its sixth and final season. In doing so, it also became the first ongoing series to sweep all four acting categories — Eugene Levy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, Catherine O’Hara for Lead Actress, Daniel Levy for Supporting Actor, and Annie Murphy for Supporting Actress — plus the awards for writing and directing, en route to nine total wins (it also won for casting and con-temporary costumes).
The cast also includes Chris Elliott, Emily Hampshire, Jenn Robertson, Sarah Levy and John Hemphill.
DVD special features include deleted scenes, bloopers, featurettes, outtakes, “Behind the Episode” segments, and the documentary “A Schitt’s Creek Farewell.”
The 1990 sci-fi classic comes out on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray for the first time in celebration of the film’s 30th anniversary. The three-disc combo pack will include the film on both 4K and standard Blu-ray, plus a Blu-ray of additional bonus material.
Directed by Paul Verhoeven and inspired by the Philip K. Dick short story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale,” the film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as a construction worker on Earth in 2084 whose memory implant of a vacation to Mars awakens the dormant personality of a secret agent involved with revolutionary forces on the red planet. The cast also includes Rachel Ticotin, Michael Ironside, Sharon Stone and Ronny Cox.
The film has been restored by StudioCanal in 4K from a scan of the original 35 mm negative. Supervised by Verhoeven, the restoration crew paid particularly high attention to preserving special-effects continuity. Total Recall was one of the earliest films to use computer-generated images for visual effects, winning a Special Achievement Oscar.
The 4K Ultra HD disc will include the film in Dolby Vision with Dolby Atmos sound, plus commentary with Schwarzenegger and Verhoeven, the film’s trailer, the new documentary Total Excess: How Carolco Changed Hollywood, and the new featurettes “Open Your Mind: Scoring Total Recall” and “Dreamers Within the Dream: Developing Total Recall.”
The second disc will contain the film on regular Blu-ray, plus the commentary and the two new featurettes. Disc three will be a regular Blu-ray with the Carolco documentary, the trailer, and previously released extras including the documentary “Imagining Total Recall” and the featurettes “The Making of Total Recall” and “Total Recall: The Special Effects.”
But I’m a Cheerleader: Director’s Cut, Digital 4K Ultra HD, Dec. 8
Collectors can celebrate the 20th Anniversary of “the best lesbian movie of all time” (Riese Bernard, Autostraddle) when But I’m a Cheerleader: Director’s Cut arrives on Digital 4K Ultra HD. From Primetime Emmy Award-nominated director Jamie Babbit (2017, Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series, “Silicon Valley”), the film features Natasha Lyonne, Clea DuVall, Melanie Lynskey, RuPaul Charles, Eddie Cibrian, Bud Cort, Wesley Mann, Richard Moll, Douglas Spain, Katharine Towne, Michelle Williams, Julie Delpy and Cathy Moriarty.
Remastered in 4K and featuring never-before-seen deleted scenes, this is Babbit’s definitive director’s cut and original vision of the film.
“I uncovered some amazing lost scenes that I wasn’t able to include in the original film and am so happy to see them added back into this cut. This film is so special to me and I can’t wait for everyone to fall in love with it all over again,” said Babbit.
This whimsically edgy comedy follows teenager Megan (Lyonne), whose suburban existence ﬁlled with friends, cheerleading, and all-American fun is upended when her straight-laced parents suspect she may be a lesbian. In a panic, they send her to True Directions, a “rehabilitation” camp run by the strict and prudish Mary (Moriarty), to mount an intervention led by counselor Mike (RuPaul Charles). Megan dutifully follows the program — until she develops feelings for another camper (DuVall) in this timeless, satirical romantic-comedy about self-acceptance and love.
Special features include an audio commentary with director Babbit, costume designer Alix Friedberg, and production designer Rachel Kamerman; “But I’m a Cheerleader Class Reunion,” reuniting the cast for the first time in 20 years; “Making But I’m a Cheerleader … In 1999”; “But I’m a Composer … A Chat With Pat Irwin”; and Babbit’s student film Discharge.
Walmart has increased inventory in electronics, with a focus on TVs, laptops and video games, in preparation for a holiday sales season that it plans to start early, the retailer says.
This also marks the first holiday season that physical media — DVDs, Blu-ray Discs and 4K Ultra HD — will be under lock-and-key in glass-walled display cases, a move the chain has taken over the past year for items that either command high prices (such as video game consoles) or can be easily stolen.
Walmart research showed 87% of customers who shopped the chain over the past six months say they plan to seek out deals and great prices earlier this year to better prepare for the holiday season, with one in three customers planning to start their holiday shopping before early November.
The retailer announced plans to address three key shopping trends expected for a unique holiday season: an increase in online shopping, evolving wish lists, and the need for a fast, easy and safe shopping experience.
“Over the past six months, our customers have been shopping differently, and we expect that will continue into the most important shopping season of the year — the holidays,” Scott McCall, EVP and chief merchandising officer for Walmart U.S., said in a statement. “We’ve heard from our customers that many plan on starting their holiday shopping well before Black Friday and that they’re looking for gifts that fit their current lifestyle. So, we’ve adjusted our strategy to adapt to these new shopping preferences — we’re offering more of what they want now, earlier than ever, and all at the best prices.”
Walmart is “promising an all-new Black Friday experience,” according to a press release, spreading traditional Black Friday savings throughout the season and will have more deals available online. More details will be shared soon, according to the press release.
To prepare for an expected increase in online shopping this holiday season, Walmart will hire more than 20,000 seasonal associates in its e-commerce fulfillment centers across the country, the company announced.
“The holidays are always a special time, and this year, we think the season will mean even more to our customers. As more of them turn to online shopping, we want to ensure we’re staffed and ready to help deliver that special gift to their loved ones while continuing to fulfill our customer’s everyday needs,” Greg Smith, EVP for supply chain for Walmart U.S., said in a statement. “We’re also proud to be able to continue to provide employment opportunities across the country when it’s needed most.”
In addition to electronics, the retailer is increasing availability of unexpected holiday gifts that reflect lifestyles in the “new normal,” according to the company. They include merchandise in athleisure, loungewear and sleepwear for the family, outdoor grills, bicycles and exercise equipment, outdoor sporting equipment, pet items and kitchen items.
Over the past six months, the retailer has taken steps to help ensure a safe in-store shopping experience for both its customers and associates, which will continue through the holiday season, according to the company, including:
Reduced Store Hours: Walmart stores, Supercenters and Neighborhood Markets will continue to be closed to customers overnight to give associates extra time to clean and sanitize stores and stock shelves.
Required Face Coverings: Associates and customers will continue to be required to wear masks or other face coverings while in Walmart stores.
Sneeze Guards: Plastic barriers will remain in Walmart pharmacies, at checkouts and at other points of sale to distance customers and associates.
Traffic Management: To manage customer flow and traffic, Walmart has vestibules divided into separate entrances and exits, social distancing floor decals and airs overhead announcements urging proper hygiene and the need to socially distance.
Other initiatives include:
Contactless pickup and delivery services such as pickup and delivery on more than 160,000 items that can be picked up or delivered as soon as the same day; express delivery on a wide assortment of items delivered within two hours, pending eligibility and customer location; and free next-day or free two-day shipping on online orders of more than $35, pending eligibility and customer location.
Contactless payment in stores: Customers can pay in a Walmart store contact-free on any register when using Walmart Pay via the Walmart app.
Walmart+ benefits: Customers can also sign up for a Walmart+ membership for $98 a year. With the membership, they receive unlimited free delivery from stores (including on gifts, such as electronics and toys), fuel discounts and access to tools such as Scan & Go that lets customers scan their items as they shop and pay using Walmart Pay.
Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special, an exclusive holiday program from multi-platinum, multi-Grammy award-winning artist Mariah Carey, will debut globally on Apple TV+ this holiday season.
The special — combining music, dancing and animation driven by a “heartwarming” story, according to Apple — is set to premiere on the heels of the 25th anniversary of Carey’s No. 1 holiday anthem “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” and will feature Carey and a lineup of guest stars.
Apple TV+ is available on the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, Mac, select Samsung and LG smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV and Roku devices, as well as at tv.apple.com, for $4.99 per month with a seven-day free trial. The Apple TV app will be available on Sony and Vizio smart TVs later this year. For a limited time, customers who purchase a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac or iPod touch can get one year of Apple TV+ free. The offer is good for three months after the first activation of the eligible device. For more information, visit apple.com/tvpr.