If you’re the type of person who gets suicidal when Shark Week on The Discovery Channel ends, then perhaps you should ask Santa/Hanukkah Harry for a Great White shark that flies through the air like a graceful killing machine. Fill it up with helium and set it free to feed on unsuspecting family members or, better yet, loop the Jaws theme and pump it through the house while this baby floats through various rooms. Fun times for all!
If you happen to have a RPG’er on your list, there’s going to be no other gift that is going to “light-up” their soul the way that a 20 sided die will…and, if it happens to glow red every time they roll a critical hit, well, I’m just saying that someone is going to get a +2 hug.
Star Trek might be a little over the heads of your young ‘uns but that doesn’t mean they should be deprived of the awesomeness that is Captain Kirk. So start them off right with a couple of Potato Heads (Kirk and Kor) and re-enact the Errands of Mercy episode for them. I’m sure they will enjoy it.
Make your own diorama of chaos and terror with these figures that recall the Corman days of film. What fun for the whole family!
I love Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan. I love phasers. Put the two of them together and I think I just had a bit of an orgasm. Shatner toupee not included.
Doctor Who Eleven Doctors Action Figure TARDIS Box Set
An entire collection of every single Doctor since the series began in one convenient box set, who would have thought it possible? It’s like the gods of sci-fi looked deep into your soul and granted you your secret wish to make every Doctor your very own bitch. I’m guessing that Tom Baker and David Tennant will be sans clothes in no time.
So what if it cost $600, when you are picking out a tune on this ukulele no one is going to criticize the wad you blew on it, all they are gonna think is how naked they will have to get with you in order to touch it.
Chuck Norris not only approves of this plush doll, he made it himself out of the tears of his enemies.
You heard Sheldon’s kitty song now, squeeze this plush cat’s paw and hear “Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur. Happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr, purr, purr” to your heart’s content. For every geek who just wants to snuggle.
Turn any darkened room into a starry galaxy far, far away with the “It’s no moon, it’s a space station” Death Star planetarium. Not only does it project earth’s night sky, it also includes the star map for the Star Wars universe as well. Astronomy has never been more awesome.
Hey, you know what would make you look cool? Pulling out a magic wand at your next get-together and changing the channel from the football game to a Harry Potter movie. oh sure, you might get beat up at first, but after a couple of fists to your noggin someone is bound to notice that your wand is magic. And that’s where your cool comes in. The wand can control up to 13 devices (so you aren’t limited to just the TV) and has no need for codes in order to work. Just wave it around, and let your inner Wizard/Witch out.
Okay, so this is one of those “If Only” gifts (seeing that it costs $1299.00) but how cool would it be to own a 3-D printer of your very own? I mean think about all the awesome things you could make! My god, the sex toys alone would be worth the investment (I’m sorry, I’m projecting my own freak here). And the best part? It’s small enough to sit on your desk while it cranks out your very desires in 3-D form (Hello, realistic love dolls).
While my first computer was an Apple IIe, my husband bowed down before the Commodore 64 and to this day will get a bit misty-eyed when reflecting upon his days of sitting at the computer for hours at a time playing Mail Order Monsters before his butt cheeks grew numb. So this is for all the C64 fans who wish they could go back in time while still having today’s technology (it’s customizable and can include a 2TB Hard Drive). Your dorkiness has finally been rewarded.
There are a lot of speaker/docking stations on the market for your iPod/MP3 but none are as fabulous as kicking out all your late 70s punk tunes as this old Skool amp. And just like Nigel Tufnel, you can crank it all the way up to 11.
Bounty Hunter Shmounty Hunter, deep down inside what Boba Fett really wanted to do was to mix some tunes and get jiggy with it (I may be wrong about this but let’s pretend shall we?) so why not honor the man’s wishes by celebrating the complete catalog of Justin Bieber through the 40 mm thumping power drivers that will surround your ears.
Falling asleep with earbuds in is akin to having bamboo under your fingernails and let’s face it, who wants to deal with a couple of head holes that have been accosted physically until they bleed. With the SleepPhones you just slip it over your ears like an 80s headband and go to sleep to the soothing sounds of Death Metal.
If you’re tired of all the precious looking laptop cases available and would rather have something simple to carry your computer in, then try slipping your “up-to 17-inch” beauty into this battered looking faux envelope that looks like something you’d pick up dog poop with. With a tear-resistant tyvek cover and extra padding inside, your lifeline to Facebook will be protected and no one will be any wiser of the contents within.
What better way to preserve your data than enclosing it in a flash drive of Carbonite? All right, so it’s not real Carbonite but it’s Han Solo in Carbonite so you know all your music downloads will be safe…at least until it unthaws and has to fight Jabba the Hutt.
You know what might ease the pain of never holding David Tennant snuggly in your arms? Wearing a replica of his coat from his tenure on Doctor Who. I know it’s merely a substitute but with it’s cinnamon brown fabric and handsome dark blue lining, at least you’ll look good while stalking the former Dalek fighter before the authorities are called.
Why should actual Starfleet officers have all the fun lounging around at home without pants on when you should be able to as well. And thanks to these comfy fleece robes (they come in Command gold, Operations red and Science blue) you can strut around your own SS. Rental Property shouting out commands of your own in total geek style.
It’s a sweatshirt with Paddy’s Irish Pub printed on it. What more do you people need?
If you find the warmth and comfort of a Snuggie subpar you might want to take a look at the Selk’bag, a sleeping bag onesie that will allow you to walk around town while maintaining a comfortable body temperature. Why, you can even fall on the ground and fall asleep in complete comfort knowing that it’s rated for temperatures as low as 35 degrees! (Makes passing out from alcohol poisoning in the parking lot a bit more reassuring doesn’t it?).
Insert Coin is a British clothing company that takes a subtle approach to gaming gear that only those who have spent countless sleepless nights hitting buttons on a joystick can truly enjoy. In fact, the gear is so low-key only those that share your depraved mania for video games (like the N64 game GoldenEye from 1997 at the link) would get the reference.
Just because you’re all grown up and have real furniture now doesn’t mean you have to be all uppity with your coasters. When connected one on top of the other, these protectors of your coffee table look just like the Rubik’s cube of your youth and will mingle happily with all your adult stuff so that your significant other can’t belittle you for playing with toys (see, because it serves an actual purpose).
Make your home look like a video game…because one should always live as if you were in a world where Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde are your roommates and they want to kill you…a lot.
One of my very favorite artists has both prints and original paintings available. The one above is entitled “Wet Willie, The Pond Daddy Chick Chaser” is a print inspired by hot rod model kits and is from an original run of 100 pieces, signed and numbered for a ridiculously low $25.00
Ah, science. For some people it is a scary subject that requires the memorization of formulas and large words, but everybody eats so why not get your science on while cooking up some tasty goodies as well (it’s less frightening when there are brownies around). With this kit you can make spaghetti out of tomato soup, molecular brushetta and fruit juice caviar just to name a few, but the best reason to get this science-based cooking kit is all the oooohs and ahhhs you’ll get when you serve up a plateful of beet foam.
Standing in line for a popular panel to start at a comic convention can be a tiring affair but once you whip out this R2-D2 folding arm chair you’ll not only be comfortable but quite possibly the coolest person on line. Of course, that may be an overstatement but at least you can sit down while checking out all the cosplayers walking by you.
Star Wars fans are a different breed of human. We not only analyze every little nuance of the movies, we practically start fist fights when our vast knowledge of it is maligned. Which brings me to the following mural, at 9-feet tall by fifteen-feet wide, this homage to the film that changed the lives of millions is not only impressive, it will damn near crown you King/Queen of the Star Wars Fanatics thus making it possible to lord over those who doubt your love affair with Porkins.
Drink beer from a glass that represents a more innocent time when video games were new, the graphics basic, and obsession was born. It also allows family members to re-ignite a long-forgotten argument over who actually scored the highest in Centipede (it was me you bastard) or who played a better game of Missile Command (still me). Asteroids and Tempest round out the set.
Leave notes about picking up toilet paper on a little bit of the past and hearken back to the days when a 3.5” floppy disc contained your whole world (but not all of your porn).
Give your couch a break from being shredded by your feline friend and instead let them lay down some heavy BPMs with this Cat Scratch Turntable that will provide hours of fun for fluffy while leaving you with something to sit on that doesn’t smell like pee and despair.
If you have actually paid to have someone to follow you around and pick stray lint off of your shirt then perhaps you have the coin to purchase the following life-size replica of the Robot from Lost in Space ($24,500) which can walk around and talk to you/for you. If you don’t have the money for such luxuries then feel free to mock those that do (even if you are so jealous that you want to kill someone). Robby The Robot from Forbidden Planet is also available at a mere $49,999.95!
Food gifts are a holiday staple and what says “Happy Holidays” more thoroughly than a jar of Bacon-flavored spread that is both vegetarian (?) and Kosher friendly? I know, a gift for every religion! It’s like a miracle in a jar.
The countdown to the Zombie Apocalypse is nigh so it might be a good idea to start stockpiling the food rations now. And besides, the irony of eating Zombie jerky will provide many a laugh as you barricade yourself in your basement and start drinking your urine to stay alive.
Is there anything better than hot chocolate and marshmallows? Yes, when the marshmallows contain caffeine and are licensed as a Ghostbuster collectible item (the box is made of rubber and makes for a lovely office supply receptacle) then it is frakking bitchin’.
Shove some freeze-dried food into your mouth and pretend you are just like Neil Armstrong (which is pretty much the only way you are going to have an out-of-this-world experience). This pre-packaged food set even includes a couple of rods of chocolate and peanut butter to suck on so you won’t feel bad about not being good enough to be an astronaut.
Keep those french fries piping hot and properly seasoned with this delicious ketchup salt. Plus, if you’re a sloppy eater, no more accidents! The ketchup stays on the food and not on your shirt! Also great on eggs, popcorn and burgers!
What’s inside this can is nothing more than heaven. If you like bacon (and if you don’t you should be beaten within an inch of your life) you are going to fall in love with the 18 servings of bacon strips all flavored with enough preservatives that give this plethora of smoked-meat taste a ten-year life span. Once opened you either refrigerate the remaining goodness or shove the whole can into your gaping maw (which is what any self-respecting carnivore would do).
At first glance, it’s a gold orb with the Queen logo, but it’s top crest opens to reveal a USB drive containing all 15 of Queen’s studio albums. The pure magic of one the greatest and most influential bands the music by Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon is presented in both 24-bit FLAC (44.1 kHz) and MP3 (320 kbps). Within the orb is a velvet bag containing a pendant necklace.
The legendary unreleased Beach Boys opus, Smile, finally gets released in a box set that’s packed to the gills and includes 5 CDs, 2 LPs, 2 7″ singles, a book, art, etc. Granted, one of the discs focuses on the song “Good Vibrations”, resulting in a little bit of crazy and a whole lot of harmonies. This fascinating look into the creative process of one of pop’s most legendary bands is unparalleled.
Renaissance man, Donald Glover aka Childish Gamino is a writer, actor, comedian, and now rapper! You might know him best as “Troy Barnes” on Community, but Camp is one of the best albums of the year and a Glover is a fantastic new voice in hip-hop.
Comprised of two CDs and a DVD, this set includes the original album, a disc of remixes and a DVD copy of her concert video Lady Gaga Presents The Monster Ball at Madison Square Garden. Meat dress not included.
Craig Yoe’s line of titles (published primarily through IDW Publishing) are a breath of fresh air, reprinting the best material by either subject or creator with exhaustively researched histories and some of the best comic book stories ever committed to paper. There’s something here for all tastes, and more importantly all ages.
The Great Treasury of Christmas Comic Book Stories
The Carl Barks Big Book of Barney Bear
Archie’s Mad House
Krazy Kat & the Art of George Herriman
Amazing 3-D Comics!
Archie: A Celebration of America’s Favorite Teenagers
Dick Briefer’s Frankenstein
Popeye: The Great Comic Book Tales of Bud Sagendorf
Scott Snyder, Jock and Francisco Francavilla deliver one of the best Batman storylines in years. This time, it’s former Boy-Wonder Dick Grayson wearing the bat-suit, as he deals with Gotham City’s organized crime.
A comprehensive look at the creative process behind Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize winning Maus graphic novel. Filled with notes, sketches, and commentary, it’s a rare, but truly inspiring examination of the creative process. Also includes a DVD copy of the original graphic novel.
The complete collection of Evan Dorkin’s hilarious comic strip is funny, irreverent and a must gift (or must have) for anyone you know that appreciates good humor. Merv Griffin!
Almost 700 pages, this epic by Blankets creator Craig Thompson is a love story depicted across a fictionalized Middle East tableau. The art and lettering are both stunning and Thompson has rendered a complicated, dense story that truly elevates the medium.
Over forty years in the making, this passion project by Michel Choquette is the equivalent of finding a lost painting by Picasso or reading an unpublished book by J.D. Salinger. Originally intended for publication during the Seventies, this book is a look back at the Sixties as depicted in 129 new strips by 169 writers and artists including C. C. Beck, René Goscinny, Harvey Kurtzman, Jack Kirby, Moebius, Art Spiegelman, Bob Levin, William Burroughs, Federico Fellini, Tom Wolfe, Frank Zappa and Gahan Wilson. This is a book to be bought and treasured; it’s a museum and a time capsule between two covers.
One of comics greatest and most influential artists, Bernie Wrightson produced some of his best work at Warren Publishing (Eerie and Creepy), all of which are collected in this volume. Featuring stories written by Bruce Jones, Nicola Cuti, Bill DuBay, Budd Lewis and Wrightson himself, the highlight of this volume is the gorgeous art and brush work by the master.
It’s like experiencing an epic Seventies-era Shaw Brothers film on the printed page with nonstop action, electric brush work and zombies! Kagan McLeod’s 464 page epic is reminiscent of the work of Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima mashed up with Gordon Liu (who provides the introduction) and MAD Magazine‘s Jack Davis (seriously!). This is one to kick back and spend an afternoon with.
Other recommended graphic novels:
Kamandi, The Last Boy On Earth Omnibus Vol. 1 by Jack Kirby
Thor by Walter Simonson Omnibus by Walter Simonson
Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: “Lost in the Andes” by Carl Barks
Any Empire by Nate Powell
Hellboy: House of the Living Dead by Mike Mignola and Richard Corben
Bubbles & Gondola by Renaud Dillies
Super Dinosaur Volume 1 by Robert Kirkman and Jason Howard
Reed Gunther Volume 1 by Shane Houghton and Chris Houghton
Moriarty Volume 1 by Daniel Corey and Anthony Diecidue
If you find a collection of prank catalogs aimed at fraternal lodges, primarily filled with various ways to electrocute your friends funny, this book is for you.
Basically it’s the secret origin of Steve Jobs, as told to Walter Isaacson by Jobs’ friends, enemies and Jobs himself. If you want to find out what makes a genius tick, this book is it.
Is there anyone better of more qualified than cinegeek/director John Landis to write this amazingly informative and beautiful book on movie monsters? Even more impressive are the dozens of phenomenal items photographed and annotated “from the collection of the author.” From Edison’s Frankenstein to the latest releases, this book covers cinema’s most beloved malcontents.
Set aside those drawings and paintings that you’re putting up on your fridge. Maddox’s new book critiques kid’s artwork for what it is. Crap.
More than any other animation studio, Pixar has carved out their own unique identity as storytellers. Written by Amid Amidi, The Art of Pixar focuses on two very unique areas; first are the color scripts for all of their films, indicating how the palate will be used in conjunction with the story, denoting tone, mood and tempo. The second half of the book features a number of pieces of art from the Pixar vaults, each reproduced on a full page. Both insightful and inspiring, The Art of Pixar would make an excellent addition to the library of painters, animators and storytellers.
Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum have interviewed over 400 people to document the engrossing oral history of MTV from 1981 to 1992. And every single one of them remembers when MTV used to play videos.
If you’ve ever wanted to build your own AT-AT or Star Destroyer, this amazing book of blueprints (95% never previously published) is a good place to start. The book is pricey, retailing for $500, but are you really going to raise money on Kickstarter to build a Millennium Falcon without some solid schematics?
Larry was born without nostrils, Curly got his nickname from his abundant pubic hair and Moe once owned the New York Yankees.
None of those facts are true, which is why you need this book.
This leather-bound tome is so packed with information about the Dark Knight you’d have sworn that your parents were murdered in front of you and you dedicated your life to fighting crime disguised as a nocturnal rodent. Or, you might just really dig Batman. Either way, it’s pretty neat.
Clay Hayes again collects some of the greatest concert posters by some of the world’s best graphic designers. The best part is each one can be taken out of the book and framed, so you can lie to everyone and tell them you go to a ridiculous number of really cool shows.
If you are a fan of Pee-wee, Caseen Gaines tells the fascinating story of the rise and fall of Paul Reubens’ alter-ego as well as Mr. Herman’s resurrection to the pop culture pantheon.
An amazing look at Ridley Scott’s Alien, from conception to release. The hardcover comes with assorted reproduced ephemera including storyboards, script pages, Polaroid photos and concept art by H.R. Giger. Ian Nathan has written the definitive book on the film and it’s a must have for every cinegeek.
This book looks at the legendary company and their progress in the world of special effects, specifically digital. Packed with photos from dozens of films, I was amazed at both the spectacle and more specifically, the number of not so obvious effects that ILM has produced in recent years.
Author Matt Taylor has created what might be the very best book ever published on my favorite movie of all time (the only possible exception being screenwriter Carl Gottlieb’s The Jaws Log). Packed with hundreds of never before seen pictures and packed with anecdotes, interviews, and an introduction by Spielberg himself. This is my favorite book release of the year and the definitive “must-have” of the holiday season!
An interesting book that chronicles the development of the adaptation of the iconic comic series. Filled to the brim with concept art, behind-the-scene photos and final designs, the book is written by the film’s lead conceptual designer Chris Guise who offers a unique perspective on the creative process.
An updated edition of this classic book (over 50% of the text is new), now includes both modern films and Pixar. This book is a testament to the magic of both the Disney Studios as well as their theme parks. But the real treasure are the hundreds of photos, stills and concept art found within. First published in 1973, this book has had minor updates over the years, but this edition truly is a must have for any fan of animation, but even more so, for a younger reader who will find the magic within inspiring.
For a generation of film-goers, a poster with a signature by “Drew” usually meant you were in for a treat. Drew Struzan is responsible for some of the most memorable and iconic movie posters of all time. This updated edition includes work as recent as Cowboys & Aliens and The Walking Dead. From Star Wars to Indiana Jones to Back to the Future to Hellboy to E.T., Ouevre is an amazing book by an even more amazing artist.
Whenever you make a “must list,” you leave yourself open to criticism regarding choices and omissions. This giant book by Paul Gravett lends itself to that, but it’s a hell of a place to start, whether you agree or disagree with the selections within, there’s 1001 titles for you to explore. Recommended for those with a curiosity about the medium and highly recommended for fans who might need to expand their horizons.
One of the most beloved features in MAD Magazine were the fold-ins found on the inside back cover. For almost five decades, Al Jaffe’s cartoons required the reader to fold the page to reveal a gag image. Filled with irreverent and absurd humor, this four volume set reproduces 410 fold-ins with their corresponding folded image. That’s right, kids, no troublesome folding necessary to enjoy!
Bursting with over 1400 images, this book profiles one of the most influential and important graphic designers of the 20th century. Bass is responsible for some of the most iconic movie credit sequences as well as dozens of iconic images that have become a part of American culture. This book is an inspiration to artists, designers, and filmmakers and should be studied and embraced as a definitive work on a legendary visual stylist.
Written by Jamie Smart (Bearfoo comic), Find Chaffy is a lot like Where’s Waldo only much cuter (it has dinosaurs and robots in it) but don’t let the adorable nature of it scare you. There’s enough geekiness in it to satisfy anyone (and by the way Jamie is writing a licensed version of Where’s Doctor. Who where you have to find villains, assistants, and, of course, the Doctor himself.
For all that is holy, it’s Zelda! And let’s face it, if you dropped some coin on the Wii, good games are few and far between so you are going to want to play this one and get some use out of your system before you dump it in the closet to make room for the Wii U.
The graphics are beautiful, the game play is intense and it takes place across an entire city which will allow you to spend even more hours sitting on your ass smelling like spray cheese. And besides, don’t you want to play a game in which you can embody the incredible chick that is Catwoman?
This is the game that you play if you are looking for a Nathan Fillion-specific charcter and is the continuation of a storyline that is hand’s down, the best action-adventure/comedy game to have ever been created (and did I explain how much Drake reminds me of Nathan Fillion?).
PETA hates this game because Mario wears a hollowed out Tanookie skin (although they don’t seem to have a problem with his Terrapin abuse). I play this game because it is freakin’ Mario and because it is the first game that proves that 3D doesn’t have to be a gimmick (are you picking up what I’m putting down here Hollywood).
Let’s face it, Minecraft has become one of the most popular games to stay continuously in Beta and for that I have to give it a thumbs up, but now it has finally crossed over and can be played on your phone/tablet which will hopefully stop me from having to listen to anymore Angry Birds games.
“Hang on to your butts…” Spielberg’s dinosaur trilogy gets refreshed as it gets digitally remastered for Blu-ray. This series that made raptors a household name looks better than ever. This comprehensive set is packed with all of the older features from previous releases as well as a new six-part documentary. Pure fun.
Tarantino’s blockbuster sophomore effort, Pulp Fiction, is not only the best film of the Nineties, but his third effort, Jackie Brown which received a lukewarm reaction upon it’s release, has aged gracefully and might be considered an even better film. Both discs look phenomenal on Blu-ray and these two films might be Tarantino’s best. Fantastic soundtracks, sharp dialogue and memorable performances aren’t enough as both discs are packed with extra features including new featurettes on Pulp Fiction and a roundtable critic’s discussion on Jackie Brown. Both films are available at a bargain and there’s no excuse why you aren’t watching them right now.
The best genre movie of the year from first time director Joe Cornish chronicles an alien landing in a tough neighborhood in England. The results are enormously entertaining and a film I’ve recommended to dozens of people with the description, “Imagine John Carpenter’s The Goonies.” Produced by geek royalty Edgar Wright and a supporting role by Nick Frost, it’s really John Boyega as gang leader Moses who commands the screen. Highly recommended for any and all genre fans. It’s tremendous fun.
The Rocketeer (Blu-ray)
Based on the comic by Dave Stevens, The Rocketeer is a love letter to days gone by: spies, Nazis, G-Men, jetpacks, Howard Hughes, Rondo Hatton, Bulldog Cafes, bi-planes and Bettie Page (though in the film she’s called “Jenny”). Joe Johnston’s homage to movie-serials is a giddy nonstop romp and this remastered edition will charm even the most jaded of viewers.
Matthew Vaughan turns the clock back to the beginnings of the mutant franchise, focusing on a handful of obscure characters and the relationship between Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr set against the backdrop of the Cuban Missile Crisis. As a result, it’s an enormously entertaining and refreshing look at the origins of these characters. The success in no small part comes from it’s production design and solid cast which includes James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and a hammy Kevin Bacon as a Nazi war criminal turned megalomaniac.
Three Amigos / Cannonball Run (Blu-ray)
Time to upgrade from your Betamax copies, these two classics from the Eighties get a major facelift. Three Amigos appears in widescreen for the very first time and features twenty minutes of previously unseen bonus footage and an interview with stars Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and Martin Short. Cannonball Run looks great and features a commentary track from director Hal Needham and producer Albert S. Ruddy. Pick up both of them for a lazy Sunday afternoon double feature.
Nostalgia is overwhelming with this amazing set collecting the entire series as well as the first season of it’s spin-off, Fish. With sharp writing and one of television’s best ensemble casts (Hal Linden, Abe Vigoda, Max Gail, Ron Glass, Jack Soo, Gregory Sierra, James Gregory and Steve Landesberg), Barney Miller remains fresh and funny decades later. Although the image quality isn’t as pristine as one would hope, the fact that exists at all makes it a must have. Extras are plentiful including new interviews, commentaries by series writers and the previously unseen (and very different) pilot. If you grew up in the Seventies or don’t know what to buy your father or grandfather, this set will make you a hero.
J.J. Abrams’ homage plays far better at home than it did theatrically. This is a love letter to Eighties cinema and although it doesn’t always work, it’s worth revisiting. Among it’s bountiful extras are deleted scenes, commentary and a several part “making of” documentary that is as good as the film itself. Mashing up the work of storytellers Steven Spielberg and Stephen King results in something not entirely original, but nostalgically pleasing.
Captain America: The First Avenger / Thor (Blu-ray Combo)
Marvel Studios’ latest two prequels to the upcoming The Avengers often feel heavy on the easter eggs and light on the content. Thor stumbles a bit under the direction of Kenneth Branaugh and an overly melodramatic performance from Sir Anthony Hopkins, but it’s MVP Chris Hemsworth manages to sell the inherently silly demigod with a strong presence and sense of humor. Captain America, is a rollicking adventure film with Nazis, mad scientists, and plans to destroy the world and fares a bit better, with Chris Evans leading an eclectic cast which includes Haley Atwell, Sebastian Stan, Dominic Cooper, Tommy Lee Jones, Hugo Weaving and Stanley Tucci. Extras on both are plentiful and both include an original Marvel Studios short featuring Clark Gregg as S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Coulson bridging the Marvel films together.
This long overdue release comes courtesy of the Warner Archive (inspired by the Vincent Minnelli film with Glenn Ford and Ron Howard). I used to race home to watch Bill Bixby as widowed father Tom Corbett raising his son, Eddie (Brandon Cruz). Last year I revisited a single episode of the series that appeared in the Warner Archive Classic Christmas Collection and was pleasantly surprised how good the series still was. The first season is no disappointment. With a theme song by Harry Nilsson and supporting performances from Miyoshi Umeki as housekeeper Mrs. Livingston and series creator/producer James Komack as “Uncle” Norman Tinker, The Courtship of Eddie’s Father is a sweet and sensitive series, yet not formulaic or falsely sentimental. It is as good as you remember it and appropriate for viewers of all ages.
Features all six episodes from the premiere season, all with commentary tracks, featurettes aplenty and the pilot presented in comic book accurate black & white. This super short season is so addicting it’s possible you’ll tear your way through it in an evening.
Granted, none of us are happy about George’s continued tinkering, and we all want the originals on disc, but set that aside and acknowledge the hours and hours of extras and the fact that the films have never looked so good. Not having this is like a cheap motel not having a Gideon Bible. A must for any pop culture connoisseur.
Evil Dead 2: 25th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray)
As long as there is a way to watch movies, you can bet that there’s a rerelease of Evil Dead 2 in the works. This 25th Anniversary Edition brings everyman Ash Williams into Blu-ray for the first time. Mixing splatter with slapstick, Bruce “Woodshed” Campbell became a cult icon and Sam Raimi became a filmmaking demi-god with his mash-up of Three Stooges antics with horrifying special effects. The picture looks better than ever and this disc’s extras include a length documentary, Swallowed Souls: The Making of Evil Dead 2, a 30-minute behind-the-scenes production video, and a return to the shooting location featurette. Bonus material from previous releases have been carried over including featurettes, commentary and trailers. If you need to get a gift for a geek and don’t know what to get, you won’t go wring with this (don’t worry if they have it, fans always have multiple copies of this film for some reason). Groovy.
Master storyteller Neil Gaiman, creator of Sandman and author of Stardust and American Gods along with co-writer Lenny Henry (The Lenny Henry Show, Chef!) and director Dewi Humphreys (The Vicar of Dibley), bring viewers into the two cities of London: Above, the genuine one, and Below, the one in your nightmares.
In Neverwhere, Richard Mayhew (Gary Bakewell, Chef!) leads an ordinary life in London when one day a girl named Door (Laura Fraser, He Knew He Was Right) falls and injures herself across his path. Door belongs to a different world – London Below – and has come to London Above determined to learn why her parents have been killed. The next thing he knows, Mayhew’s life as he knew it is gone and he’s underground, pursued by the murderous messengers. The two attempt to find the Angel Islington, who knows the secret behind the murder of Door’s family, and possibly a way for Richard to go home.
Along with all six episodes, the release hosts fresh bonus material including all new audio commentary and introduction with Gaiman, Henry, and producer Clive Brill. Plus the DVD will feature the original cover artwork as created in 1995 by artist/director Dave McKean. Music is by Grammy Award winning producer Brian Eno. For fans of the show, this new edition is well worth the upgrade, and for fans of Gaiman’s work (including the published novelization of this very series), they’re in for a treat.
There’s something brilliantly daffy about Heather Morris who plays Brittany S. Pierce. With remarkable timing, she somehow grounds this show where high school students break into song on a fairly regular basis. I like Glee a whole lot, but I love Heather Morris.
And Diana Argon. And Naya Rivera. And there’s something about Lea Michelle…
Cozy up by the fire with a cup of cocoa and thoughts of sugar plums…err Legos! Who doesn’t love Legos? The Cartoon Network and Lucasfilm teamed up to bring us this 22-minute original standalone special about Jedi younglings and includes 5 additional shorts and an exclusive and collectible minifigure, which makes it a perfect stocking stuffer for any fan.
You might need to be a Man of Steel to lift this 62 disc set containing an entire decade of Tom Welling as Clark Kent (in other words, he’s clocked in more hours as Superman than every other actor combined). A mere 192 hours of content awaits as we watch Clark go from a high school sophomore to a mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper (he might even get a pair of tights by the end). And although the series has it’s misses, the vast number of hits make up for it as we see more and more of the DC Universe including Green Arrow, Black Canary, Martian Manhunter, Supergirl, The Justice Society, The Flash, Aquaman, Zatanna, Cyborg, The Legion of Super-Heroes and the Wonder Twins. Also represented in full are the vast number of characters from the Superman mythos including Lois Lane, Martha and Jonathan Kent, Jor-El and Lara, Lana Lang, Pete Ross, Lex Luthor, Perry White, Jimmy Olsen, Professor Hamilton, Braniac, General Zod, Metallo and more. Christopher Reeve even makes a few appearances as the mysterious scientist Virgil Swan.
And, of course, there’s kryptonite.
In addition there are over five hours of newly added special features such as an unaired, never-before-seen Superboy pilot from 1961, a retrospective look at the series with over 100 minutes of season featurettes, the Aquaman television pilot, a decade of Comic-Con featurette and more!
In addition, exclusive printed materials include a Daily Planet newspaper, written by DC Comics, that highlights the important storylines developed during the 10-year run of the show and an episode guide with never-before-seen production art (storyboards/sketches) and behind-the-scenes photos.
Smallville: The Complete Series reimagines the hero’s journey and would be an ideal purchase for a younger viewer or for family viewing.
This holiday season, in celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the BBC premiere of the original Ricky Gervais comedy sensation, The Office, the BBC has released The Office Collection Special Edition featuring the complete, original UK series plus an assortment of new bonus features. BBC AMERICA first introduced U.S. audiences to the comedy genius of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant when it premiered the show in 2003. It went on to win two Golden Globes, inspire the U.S. version on NBC and continues to influence the tone and look of everything from television comedy and movies to commercials and pop culture at large. Only twelve episodes and a 2-part Christmas Special were ever made, but its influence on television comedy is unparalleled. New bonus features include the original pilot, six specially recorded episode introductions by co-creators Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, and two BBC specials, Comedy Connections: The Office, and Heroes of Comedy: Ricky Gervais.
David Tennant first appeared as The Doctor in 2005, and went on to star in three seasons and eight specials as the tenth incarnation of the Time Lord. BAFTA-winner Russell T Davies (Torchwood, Queer as Folk) is lead writer and executive producer and BAFTA-winner Julie Gardner (Torchwood, Life on Mars) is executive producer.
This collection celebrates Tennant’s tenure by bringing together The Complete Second Series co-starring Billie Piper (Secret Diary of a Call Girl) as Rose Tyler, The Complete Third Series co-starring Freema Agyeman (Law & Order: UK) as Martha Jones and The Complete Fourth Series co-starring Catherine Tate (The Office, The Catherine Tate Show) as Donna Noble, all eight specials, and two spin-off animated adventures, in a collectible package. If you haven’t started with Doctor Who yet, but have intended to, this set is a pretty comprehensive place to start.
This comprehensive anthology of the Doctor Who spinoff contains both seasons of the original series along with the epic mini-series event Torchwood: Children of Earth, which premiered in the U.S. on BBC AMERICA. Torchwood: The Complete Original UK Series (14-disc DVD and 12-Blu-ray mega sets) is the perfect companion to the U.S. based Torchwood: Miracle Day, produced by BBC Worldwide Productions, which aired on Starz (U.S.) and Space (Canada) this summer. Created by Russell T Davies, Torchwood follows the mysterious adventures of Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman, Doctor Who, De-Lovely) and his team of investigators who use alien technology to delve into the unknown and fight the impossible.
Experience the ultimate portrait of our world like never before as BBC Earth releases Planet Earth Special Edition and Planet Earth Limited Collector’s Edition to DVD and Blu-ray. Harnessing new advances in high definition technology, the blockbuster series looks more beautiful than ever. The must-own gift of the holiday season, both the 6-disc DVD and Blu-ray box sets showcase over three hours of fresh bonus materials including a sneak peak at Alastair Fothergill’s next project Frozen Planet, the all-new specially made program “Great Moments of Planet Earth” and several other new features. Additionally, the Planet Earth: Special Edition Blu-ray contains the original behind-the-scenes featurettes and bonus series, Planet Earth – The Future. Available only for a limited time, the Planet Earth Limited Collector’s Edition comes in an exquisite, individually numbered collectible globe package with four exclusive art cards.
My name is John Crichton, an astronaut.A radiation wave hit and I got shot through a wormhole.Now I’m lost in some distant part of the universe on a ship,a living ship, full of strange alien life forms.Help me. Listen, please. Is there anybody out there who can hear me?I’m being hunted by an insane military commander. Doing everything I can.I’m just looking for a way home.
So began Farscape, which lasted for four season on the Sci-Fi (now Syfy) Channel. Combining smart writing from Rockne S. O’Bannon and puppets created by Brian Henson, Farscape bucked the trend of science fiction television by letting the characters evolve and change. Whereas the various Star Trek series ended each hour with a return to status quo for safe syndication, Farscape‘s story was far more complicated and intricate. This box set includes all four seasons and an amazing number of special features, most notably a new documentary, Memories of Moya: An Epic Journey Explored. In addition, there are 29 episode commentaries, multiple interviews, featurettes and documentaries, profiles, galleries and over 90 minutes of deleted scenes.
Thankfully, Farscape has arrived on Blu-ray looking and sounding better than ever before (the only thing missing is the follow up miniseries, The Peacekeeper Wars, which attempted to wrap up the series after it’s abrupt cancellation at the end of season four (season five had already been announced prior).
Look upward, and share… the wonders I have seen.
The most innovative sitcom on television might not make it. Check out these first two seasons and learn what all the fuss is about. Troy and Abed in the morning.
Didn’t get that reference? Watch the show.
Idris Elba stars as Detective John Luther in these first two seasons of this fantastic new crime series from BBC America. Following his own moral code as much as the rules of criminal law, Luther is a self-destructive near-genius, and might just be as dangerous as the depraved criminals he hunts. The first season has him dealing with Alice, a beautiful, highly intelligent mass murderer, which forces him to face his own capacity for violence. Season 2 gives Luther two new depraved sociopaths to deal with. A must see for any fan of crime fiction or addictive television.
From the Oscar-winning visual effects team that brought to life the worlds of Avatar and Lord of the Rings comes revolutionary new ground – a CGI ape that delivers a dramatic performance of unprecedented emotion and intelligence (through the motion capture of actor Andy Serkis), and epic battles on which rest the upended destinies of man and primate.
James Franco portrays a neuroscientist living trying to develop a cure for Alzheimer’s disease by testing on chimpanzees, giving them a human level of intelligence. After a test subject’s baby, Caesar, is orphaned, Will decides to raise him at home on his own with his Alzheimer-stricken father. What begins simply as a continuation of his experiment quickly turns into a problem for Will, as Caesar is taken away from him and forced to live in a primate facility. As Caesar’s intelligence continues to grow, he begins to stake his claim as the leader of his new primate counterparts, which will ultimately lead to the Rise of The Planet of the Apes. Extras are plentiful with deleted scenes, commentary, featurettes, concept are and more!
This DVD collection is a must have for any Eighties horror fan, and includes the deluxe editions of original Friday the 13th through Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan. Also includes a miniature hockey mask. Sssh Shhh Shhh Haa Haa Haa…
Discover humanity’s amazing, complex and profound relationship with nature in the BBC Earth DVD and Blu-ray release Human Planet. Four years in the making and filmed in over 70 locations, the ground-breaking BBC/Discovery Channel co-production weaves 80 stories, many never told before, to illuminate humanity’s uncanny ability to adapt and live throughout our planet. While airing in the UK, Human Planet earned rave reviews including The Telegraph proclaiming, “It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before.” The DVD and Blu-ray contain the original UK broadcast edition including three hours of footage not broadcast in North America. Additionally, both releases feature 10 Behind the Lens making of featurettes and the Blu-ray contains the BD-live feature Zanskar.
Inspired by Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief, this series lasted for two-and-a-half seasons, mashing-up espionage with heists. Featuring the television debut of Robert Wagner as playboy and sophisticate Alexander Munday, the world’s greatest cat burglar… until the day he got caught. Granted a pardon in exchange for stealing for the American espionage agency, SIA, Munday works closely with department head Noah Bain (Malachi Throne).
Guest stars include Fred Astaire, Raymond Burr, Susan Saint James, Gavin MacLeod, Tina Louise, Bill Bixby, Eve Plumb, Ricardo Montalban, Joseph Cotton, Richard Kiel, George Takei, Teri Garr, Roddy McDowall, Julie Newmar, Peter Sellers, Frankie Avalon, Elsa Lanchester, Bette Davis and Cesar Romero.
This set includes an extended feature length version of the pilot, all 66 episodes, interviews and ephemera including coasters and senitype.
The first mecha-anime to be broadcast during the Eighties, Robotech was a genius idea, taking three different, unconnected anime series, and editing and redubbing them into a singular narrative. The three resulting series generated 85 episodes chronicling the multi-generational epic set at the turn of the millennium, when a mysterious spacecraft crash-landed on a South Pacific island. The secrets of alien knowledge aboard this vessel were unlocked, leading to the development of “Robotechnology” and the creation of a vast arsenal of robotic “mecha” to defend the Earth against the alien threats that would eventually strike, attempting to lay claim to the mysterious power source known as “protoculture.”
Told through the eyes of characters caught in a successive series of three extraterrestrial invasions, the saga was the first anime series that many fans had seen, and is often credited with the explosion of anime fandom that continues to grow in the U.S. today. These three invasions are known as The Macross Saga, The Robotech Masters and The New Generation. The box set collects the entire series with a plethora of extras including The Making of Robotech Documentary, alternated versions of episodes, original pilot, commentary, promotional videos, commercials, stills appendix and more.
Robotech has become a seminal anime series with innovative and sophisticated storytelling and this set should be in the collection of any otaku or sci-fi fan.
Audiences familiar only with Sir Alec Guiness as Obi-Wan Kenobi are in for a treat in these two brilliant mini-series based on the novels of John le Carré. In Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Guiness plays George Smiley, an older British Intelligence agent, called out of retirement to discover the identity of the high-ranking Russian mole who has infiltrated the Circus (aka the British Secret Intelligence Service). With the mole’s identity being only one of four possible men, Smiley begins to question each of the subjects, trying to reveal the truth amidst the growing levels of secrecy and politics.
Guiness reprised his role in Smiley’s People emerging again from retirement to engage his lifelong nemesis, the Soviet spymaster Karla, in a final test of wits, nerves, and loyalties.
With the remake of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy coming this winter, both of these mini-series would make several nights of engrossing entertainment.
The set no cinegeek should be without. An exhaustive collection of the work of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy over 10 remastered DVDs, this set contains the most comprehensive collection of their work available. Over eighty years old, the 58 films within are still fresh and funny today. The majority of the films included were produced by Hal Roach (he’s also responsible for The Little Rascals/Our Gang). Among the memorable shorts presented are Helpmates, Hog Wild, Another Fine Mess, and The Music Box. Included within the 10 disc set the features Pardon Us, Pack Up Your Troubles, Sons of the Desert, The Bohemian Girl, Our Relations, Way Our West, Swiss Miss, Block-Heads, A Chump at Oxford, and Saps at Sea. Extras include interviews with other comedy legends discussing their influence and commentary tracks by fans of the duo. This is a piece of film history that should be embraced and celebrated. Give it to a cinegeek you love.
It’s the eve of Christmas in northern Finland, and an ‘archeological’ dig has just unearthed the real Santa Claus. But this particular Santa isn’t the one you want coming to town. When the local children begin mysteriously disappearing, young Pietari and his father Rauno, a reindeer hunter by trade, capture the mythological being and attempt to sell Santa to the misguided leader of the multinational corporation sponsoring the dig. Santa’s elves, however, will stop at nothing to free their fearless leader from captivity. What ensues is a wildly humorous nightmare – a fantastically bizarre polemic on modern day morality.
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale is a reimagining of the most classic of all childhood fantasies, and is a darkly comic gem soon to be required perennial holiday viewing. Extras include the two original short films, a Making Of documentary and the Blu-ray contains Santa Claus Versus the Martians. One of my favorite films of last year for it’s sheer creepiness, this is not to be missed. Show it to the kids and watch them cry themselves to sleep.
The sixth season includes a two-part premiere that was set and filmed in the U.S. as well as an episode penned by long-time Doctor Who fan and award-winning writer Neil Gaiman (Coraline, Neverwhere, The Sandman). This must-own release for all sci-fi fans contains every thrilling episode form the widely-acclaimed sixth season along with the 2010 Christmas Special starring Michael Gambon (Harry Potter), “A Christmas Carol,” and a plethora of bonus features including exclusive “Meanwhile in the Tardis” scenes, Doctor Who Confidential, Monster Files and Audio Commentary.
From Andrez Bergen!
Cut to Melbourne, Australia–the most glamorous city in the world. It also happens to be the only one left standing, but nevermind that, we’re there now and I’d like you to meet your narrator, a certain Floyd Maquina, a likable chap with one hell of a story to share. See, the powers that be are knuckling down on the Deviant menace that plagues the city, and our boy Floyd’s unknowingly got himself in the thick of it. Cue guns, intrigue, kidnappings, conspiracy and all sorts of general mayhem that make for cracking good headlines.
Does Floyd stop the bad guys? Does he get the girl? Does he make Humphrey Bogart proud? Grab some popcorn and read on.
From Steve Ahlquist!
Dating people who are psychotic is something we all have to go through, but wouldn’t it be easier to find out that your newest love interest likes to burn their significant other with cigarettes before it happens? Well, perhaps if you wear this Rorschach t-shirt on the first date you might be able to glean a little bit into the emotional make-up of a potential love interest by quizzing them of what it looks like. And if they say “Someone on fire” you can make a run for the door.
From Charles J. Baserap!
On September 11, 2001, the United States and the rest of the world watched in horror as Islamic terrorists struck the American heartland, killing thousands. In the immediate aftermath, politicians and analysts debated on how best to strike back, and America found itself struggling to handle the changing world around it, leaving us dangerously close to repeating the mistakes of the past. This is the book that steers us towards the truth, that strips away the partisan arguments of issues like the PATRIOT Act and the War on Terror, that gets us away from the rumors and political blame games that have hampered an effective strategy in dealing with terrorism for decades. This is the view of an American at the crossroads that shows that somewhere between Right and Left lies a common ground we all must see if we are to win this War on Terror.
From DJ Crystal Clear!
- Hip, stylish, and positive clothing and accessories collection built around the varied interests and experiences of three open-minded and eccentric 9 year old girls.
- Bold, graphic style, that appeals to trend-conscious women and girls.
- More playful, inclusive, and diverse line of products for a consumer who wants a fun way to express their inner-joy and sense of taste.
Sometimes gift giving comes down to one thing: What does that asshole really need this year? I know, I know, it can be difficult to come up with something awesome that doesn’t reek of desperation but I promise you, the following gifts will not only make you look like a superstar, they will make everyone wish that you were their friend.
For the audiophile: Graveface Records Club
10 albums/cds/whatever from the Graveface record label (these are bands that you won’t hear being played at Hot Topic). The best part is that Graveface is based in my old hometown of Savannah, Georgia and music from that part of the country is swamp rock/punk/blues/rock-n-roll heavy so anyone who loves music will love this gift.
For the movie geek: THE CIRCLE OF TRUST from Oscilloscope Laboratories
For $99 you get 10 DVDs or Blu-rays sent to you of independent films and documentaries (Score!) but while that may sound like a good deal for anyone who lives and breathes film, this membership also comes with some perks (like getting a movie sent to you about a week before anyone else can get them) plus exclusive invitations to Circle of Trust screenings and movie premieres which will make any movie freak cream in their jeans. Oh, and sometimes they like to send you stuff they find in their laboratory, just for fun.
It’s 12 months of gourmet bacon sent to the home of a back fat fiend…I can’t think of a more delicious way to say “I tolerate you during the holidays” then a gift of pig meat.