Smile on disc will make horror fans merry and Pulp Fiction gets a 4K debut: December's best Blu-ray and 4K UHD releases

Screenshot:  Paramount Pictures
Screenshot: Paramount Pictures

While streaming services continue to remove titles from their libraries and generally devalue legacy content (read: any movie released before 2000), physical media increasingly becomes a reliable source for people to watch what they want, when they want. As collectors ourselves, The A.V. Club is committed to providing a monthly look at the best new home video releases—from the biggest blockbusters to must-see obscurities—as companies from Warner Bros. and Sony Pictures to Vinegar Syndrome and Criterion Collection keep cinephiles’ shelves full of DVD, Blu-ray, and UHD discs.

What’s spinning in December, you ask? Highlights include the 4K UHD debuts of the original Black Christmas and Pulp Fiction, a Better Call Saul box set, another Shawscope box set, plus the horror hit Smile and Jamie Lee Curtis’ final turn as survivor Laurie Strode in Halloween Ends.

Read more

Pulp Fiction (1994)

Pulp Fiction (1994) Blu-ray Trailer | 4K

Available December 6

December is looking a whole lot cooler with the 4K UHD debut of Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, starring John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson as professional hit men, as well as Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, Tim Roth and Harvey Keitel. The new 4K restoration of the seminal crime film features Dolby Vision HDR and all of the bonus features from the previous Blu-ray release. Tarantino diehards will want the limited edition SteelBook version under their Christmas tree.

Black Christmas (1974)

BLACK CHRISTMAS Theatrical Trailer [1974] 4K

Available December 13

The 1974 horror film Black Christmas is set at a college sorority house over Christmas break and stars Olivia Hussey and Margot Kidder. Although not often credited with kicking off the holiday-themed slasher genre, Black Christmas predates John Carpenter’s Halloween by four years. If you own the previous DVD or Blu-ray presentations of Black Christmas, you know that the crummy transfers are akin to getting coal in your stocking. Scream Factory hopes to correct this with a new 4K restoration of the movie from the original camera negative, presented with Dolby Vision HDR. The second Black Christmas miracle is a new restoration of the audio that restores missing dialogue, music and sound effects for this Collector’s Edition.

Better Call Saul: The Complete Series (2015-2022)

Better Call Saul - Full Series Trailer

Available December 6

This acclaimed AMC legal and crime drama serves as both a prequel and sequel to Breaking Bad. Bob Odenkirk plays Jimmy McGill, a shady defense lawyer who transforms into the egomaniacal Saul Goodman over the course of the series. The Complete Series Blu-ray box set boasts more than 70 hours of extras, including commentaries on every episode, deleted scenes, gag reels, behind-the-scenes featurettes and much more.

Shawscope Volume Two (1978-1993)

Shawscope Volume 2 Trailer Reel

Available December 6

If you have to buy a gift for the martial arts fan in your life, look no further than Arrow Films’ second volume of Hong Kong classics from Shaw Brothers studio. The 14 movies in this Blu-ray box set are The 36th Chamber Of Shaolin, Return To The 36th Chamber, Disciples Of The 36th Chamber, Mad Monkey Kung Fu, Five Superfighters, Invincible Shaolin, The Kid With The Golden Arm, Magnificent Ruffians, Ten Tigers Of Kwangtung, My Young Auntie, Mercenaries From Hong Kong, The Boxer’s Omen, Martial Arts Of Shaolin and The Bare-Footed Kid. Of the 14 HD presentations, nine are new 2K restorations. Included in the box set are a 60-page illustrated collector’s book, hours of never-before-seen bonus features and interviews, and two exclusive CDs of music used in the movies.

The Woman King (2022)

THE WOMAN KING – Official Trailer (HD)

Available December 13

This historical epic starring Viola Davis is based on the true story of the Agojie, an African unit of warrior women. Available on both Blu-ray and 4K UHD with Dolby Vision HDR, The Woman King includes a behind-the-scenes featurette of Davis on set, a filmmakers’ commentary, plus several more in-depth featurettes.

Smile (2022)

Smile | Official Trailer (2022 Movie)

Available December 13

The psychological horror movie Smile became a surprise blockbuster hit with its story about a therapist (Sosie Bacon) who witnesses the bizarre suicide of a patient and then begins to see scary visions, which she attributes to the supernatural. Available on both Blu-ray and 4K UHD with Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos, Smile includes bonus features such as audio commentary by director Parker Finn, a making-of featurette, deleted scenes, and “Flies on the Wall: Inside the Score.”

Carrie (1976)

CARRIE (1976) | Official Trailer | MGM Studios

Available December 13

Brian De Palma’s classic adaptation of Stephen King’s novel Carrie has been released on disc several times before, but this 4K UHD debut from Scream Factory takes the crown. This Collector’s Edition of the movie starring Sissy Spacek, John Travolta, Nancy Allen, William Katt and Amy Irving boasts a brand new 4K restoration of the film from the original camera negative, presented in Dolby Vision HDR. All of the extras from the previous Scream Factory release are ported over, including interviews with the cast and De Palma. The 4K UHD Collector’s Edition is also available in a limited-edition SteelBook.

Silent Running (1972)

Silent Running HD Trailer Remastered and Reconstructed

Available December 13

Bruce Dern plays a space botanist on board the spaceship Valley Forge who opts to make a run for the rings of Saturn instead of following orders and returning to a ruined Earth in Silent Running, the directorial debut of Douglas Trumbull. Arrow Video’s 4K UHD debut of the cult postapocalyptic sci-fi movie boasts a 4K restoration from the original camera negative presented in Dolby Vision HDR. Extras include an audio commentary by Trumbull and Dern, a 1972 on-set making-of documentary, and several other behind-the-scenes featurettes. If you score a first pressing of the 4K UHD release, you’ll be treated with an illustrated collector’s booklet inside the case.

Cooley High (1975)

Cooley High (1975) Trailer

Available December 13

This coming-of-age Black-cinema classic is set in 1964 Chicago and stars Glynn Turman and Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs. Criterion Collection dusted off this gem and gave it a 4K restoration supervised by director Michael Schultz for this Blu-ray release. Extras include a conversation between Schultz and film scholar Racquel J. Gates, a making-of featurette, and a 2019 panel discussion about Cooley High recorded at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Lyle, Lyle Crocodile (2022)

LYLE, LYLE, CROCODILE – Official Teaser Trailer (HD)

Available December 13

Shawn Mendes voices the titular NYC-living crocodile in this musical comedy starring Javier Bardem, Constance Wu, Shawn Mendes, Winslow Fegley and Scoot McNairy. The movie is based on the children’s book by Bernard Waber about a singing crocodile who loves baths, caviar and great music. Available on both Blu-ray and 4K UHD with Dolby Vision HDR, Lyle, Lyle Crocodile extras include the “Croc and Roll: Lyle on Set” featurette, “Take a Look at Us: The Cast” featurette, and two music videos.

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three Official Trailer #1 - Walter Matthau Movie (1974) HD

Available December 20

This 1974 crime drama directed by Joseph Sargent is about the hijacking of a New York City subway train and stars Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw, Martin Balsam, Hector Elizondo and Tony Roberts. Kino Lorber has done a 4K restoration of the film from the original camera negative for The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three’s 4K UHD debut. Most of the extras are featured on the combo pack’s Blu-ray disc, including several making-of featurettes, interviews, an image and poster gallery, and classic TV and radio spots.

Halloween Ends (2022)

Halloween Ends - The Final Trailer

Available December 22

Halloween Ends is not only the final time that Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and boogeyman Michael Myers will face off on-screen, it is also the conclusion of David Gordon Green’s trilogy that began with 2018’s Halloween and continued with 2019’s Halloween Kills. Available on both Blu-ray and 4K UHD with Dolby Vision HDR, the Halloween Ends extras include deleted and extended scenes, an interview with Curtis about her iconic “final girl” character, a featurette on the final fight sequence between Laurie and Michael, a gag reel, and several more behind-the-scenes featurettes. For an extra treat, Best Buy has an exclusive SteelBook edition, while Walmart offers a package with collectible art. There is also either a 4K UHD or Blu-ray Halloween Trilogy combo pack featuring Halloween (2018), Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends.

More from The A.V. Club

Sign up for The A.V. Club's Newsletter. For the latest news, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Click here to read the full article.