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Forces of Geek 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Blu-rays & DVDs

 

Batman: The Animated Series Deluxe Limited Edition

The greatest interpretation of Batman ever, now in High Definition, all 109 action-packed episodes, 35 hours of crime fighting! The critically acclaimed, Emmy-winning series, that redefined the complex super hero to the Dark Knight that fans love today is now available in a Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-ray set featuring such stellar voice talent as Kevin Conroy, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Robert Hastings, Loren Lester, Richard Moll, Arleen Sorkin, John Vernon, Adrienne Barbeau, Helen Slater, Ron Perlman, Roddy McDowall, John Glover, Dick Miller, Tim Curry, John de Lancie, Bud Court, Bill Mumy, John Rhys-Davies, Jean Smart, Robbie Rist and many more

Also includes collectible Batman, Joker and Harley Quinn Funko Pocket Pops!, 7 exclusive lenticular collector cards of original animation artwork, plus 2 bonus discs of animated films Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero! Includes 25 In-depth featurettes including new definitive Batman: The Animated Series making-of documentary, “The Heart of Batman” — A rare gathering of talent defined Batman for a generation. Also includes commentaries on 12 episodes with animation creators.Twenty-five years later, Batman: The Animated Series continues to inspire fans and myth makers all over the world. The ultimate must-have set of the year!

 

Robin Williams: Comic Genius – Ultimate Box Set

While Robin started doing stand-up in the mid-’70s, most of America first fell in love with him as the naïve and hilarious alien from the planet Ork in Mork & Mindy. He became an instant superstar and went on to do five HBO stand-up specials and dozens of feature films. Robin performed steadily for nearly four decades—from comedy clubs to stadiums, from talk shows to USO tours—and continually amazed audiences with his frenetic energy and unbelievably quick wit.

Robin Williams was truly an out-of-this-world talent and now all his most memorable stand-up and television performances are together in one collection, Robin Williams: Comic Genius.

You’ll get 22 DVDs and over 100 performances, including:

  • All five HBO stand-up specials together for the very first time, including Off the Wall (1978), An Evening with Robin Williams (1983), An Evening at the MET (1986), Live on Broadway (2002) and Weapons of Self Destruction (2009)
  • Never-before-released shows, including Robin’s full MGM Grand Garden stand-up from 2007 and the Montreal stop on his last tour in 2012, a conversation on stage between Williams and comedian David Steinberg
  • Robin’s best talk show and late-night TV appearances on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Graham Norton Show, Saturday Night Live and more
  • Rare, never-before-seen clips including early stand-up, raw footage from HBO’s promo shoots, a hilarious toast to Richard Pryor by Robin as Mrs. Doubtfire, and more
  • Brand new interviews with close friends and family including Billy Crystal, Steve Martin, Jay Leno, Eric Idle, David Steinberg, Lewis Black and Zak Williams
  • 11 hilarious episodes of Mork & Mindy, including the two-part pilot!
  • James Lipton’s Emmy Award-nominated 90-minute interview with Robin on Inside the Actors Studio, plus deleted scenes
  • A comprehensive collection of Robin’s USO shows around the world
  • Hours of bonus features including behind-the-scenes footage, local highlights from tour stops, promos and more. Featurettes include: The Early Years, San Francisco: Where It All Started, Comic Genius, and TV’s Best Guest
  • Critically acclaimed 2018 HBO documentary, Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind from Emmy Award-winning director Marina Zenovich and Oscar-winning producer Alex Gibney.
  • “Robin Williams: Uncensored,” a collectible 24-page, full-color memory book featuring rare, archival photos from award-winning photographer Arthur Grace, reminiscences from friends and colleagues, Robin’s personal tour notes and more.
  • All housed in a deluxe collector’s box!

 

Saved By The Bell: The Complete Collection

Missing your favorite pals from Bayside High? It’s alright, ’cause you’re Saved By The Bell! Conduct your own class reunion with this Max-ed out collection of the iconic 90s Saturday morning sitcom. The adventures of Zack and his friends – Kelly, Slater, Jessie, Lisa, and Screech – were a cultural touchstone for a generation of teens. Now, you can relive the laughter, lessons, and love (Zack + Kelly 4EVER) all over again. From JFK Junior High to Cal U, Miss Bliss to Mr. Belding, Malibu Sands to Hawaii, and dance contests to “dearly beloved!”

With 118 episodes from all three series – Good Morning, Miss Bliss, Saved By The Bell & Saved By The Bell: The College Years, plus both movies and a locker full of special features, this Zack Morris megaset is a must-have for fans!

 

Mamie Van Doren Film Noir Collection
(The Girl in Black Stockings / Guns, Girls and Gangsters / Vice Raid)

Newly Restored in 2K! This collection includes three film noir classics starring the voluptuous screen goddess Mamie Van Doren (Teacher’s Pet). The Girl in Black Stockings – A party girl is murdered, and everyone in a Utah motel is a suspect. Directed by Howard W. Koch (Big House, U.S.A.) and co-starring Anne Bancroft (The Graduate), Lex Barker (Tarzan’s Peril) and Marie Windsor (The Killing); Guns, Girls and Gangsters – In Las Vegas, a group of criminals plan to rob an armored truck hauling casino loot to the bank. Directed by Edward L. Cahn (Invisible Invaders) and co-starring Lee Van Cleef (Sabata), Gerald Mohr (The Angry Red Planet) and Paul Fix (El Dorado); Vice Raid – A prostitution syndicate sends one of their callgirls (Van Doren) to New York City to frame a police officer. Once again directed by Cahn and co-starring Brad Dexter (99 River Street), Richard Coogan (Three Hours to Kill) and Barry Atwater (TV’s The Outer Limits).

 

The Best of The Three Stooges


For over 50 years, The Three Stooges presented a brand of pie-throwing, eye-poking and head-bonking routines that cracked up multiple generations. They were the masters of mirth, merriment and mayhem that turned slapstick comedy into an art form. With a body of work including over 220 films, television, stage shows, cartoons and more –they are forever ingrained in our culture.

Now the greatest comedy team of all time is here to poke, smack, slap and bonk their way onto your screens in this exclusive collection of their work!

Includes

  • All 87 of the Columbia Pictures Shorts produced between 1934 and 1945
  • 28 Comedy Shorts featuring the independent work of Shemp, Joe, & Curly Joe
  • Four Three Stooges Feature Films
  • Vintage Animated Cartoons
  • Memory Book
  • 2 DVDs featuring the “Hey Moe! Hey Dad!” 9-Part Documentary Series, including never-before-seen footage, home movies and rare photos.

 

Scrooged

Comedy legend Bill Murray stars in this uproarious take on Charles Dickens’ classic tale, which has become a perennial favorite during the holidays. The film also features an all-star cast including Karen Allen, John Forsythe, Bobcat Goldthwait, Carol Kane, Robert Mitchum, and Alfre Woodard.

High-spirited high jinks on Christmas Eve put Frank Cross (Bill Murray) in a ghostly time warp in this hilarious take-off of Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol.’ Cross, a modern-day Scrooge, has made the meteoric rise from the depths of the mailroom to an uncaring, and unforgiving television executive whose live production of ‘A Christmas Carol’ is more important than any true meaning of Christmas. Before the night is over, he’ll be visited by a maniacal New York cab driver from the past, a present-day fairy who’s into pratfalls and, finally, a ghoulish, seven-foot headless messenger from the future. Will Cross find redemption and put a little love in his heart?

 

Star Trek Discovery

Star Trek Discovery follows the voyages of Starfleet on their missions to discover new worlds and new life forms, and one Starfleet officer who must learn that to truly understand all things alien, you must first understand yourself. The series features a new ship and new characters while embracing the same ideology and hope for the future that inspired a generation of dreamers and doers.

Star Trek Discovery stars Jason Isaacs, Doug Jones, Shazad Latif, Sonequa Martin-Green, Clare McConnell, Kenneth Mitchell, Maulik Pancholy, Anthony Rapp, Damon Runyan, Terry Serpico, Rekha Sharma, Mary Wiseman, Michelle Yeoh, and Simon Northwood, along with guest stars James Frain and Rainn Wilson. Extras include featurettes and deleted and extended science.

 

Nathan For You: The Complete Series

Experience all four seasons of Nathan Fielder s entrepreneurial genius, as he provides real small businesses with strategies no traditional consultant would dare attempt. From the infamous gas rebate excursion to the grand opening of Dumb Starbucks to the epic feature-length series finale, Finding Frances. This 9-disc set also includes never before seen footage, deleted scenes, and brand new audio commentary from The Movement’s Jack Garbarino.

 

The Original Christmas Specials Collection

‘Tis the season to enjoy the timeless holiday classics in The Original Christmas Specials Collection: Deluxe Edition featuring 5 unforgettable stories. Produced by the legendary Rankin/Bass, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town and The Little Drummer Boy feature iconic Animagic stop-motion animation and Frosty the Snowman and Cricket on the Hearth are beautifully illustrated. Starring the voice talents of Fred Astaire, Jimmy Durante, Mickey Rooney, Danny Thomas, Burl Ives and many more, these favorites also feature some of the most beloved songs of the season and are sure to entertain audiences of all ages for generations to come!

The Original Christmas Specials Collection: Deluxe Edition includes Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964), Frosty the Snowman (1969), Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town (1970), The Little Drummer Boy (1968), Cricket on the Hearth (1967).

 

Ernie Kovacs: The Centennial Edition

To celebrate the 100th birthday of television’s original genius, this collection combines the previously released volumes of groundbreaking, rule-breaking, surreal and charmingly silly comedy of Ernie Kovacs. Included are over 22 hours of decidedly offbeat entertainment from across his many television shows and specials, all of which showcase an utterly unique sensibility that has influenced such comedy institutions as Monty Python and SNL.

Across the 9 discs of Ernie Kovacs: The Centennial Edition, home audiences will find a cornucopia of Kovacs’ greatest and most memorable “hits”, showcasing an utterly unique sensibility that has influenced such comedy institutions as Monty Python and “Saturday Night Live” including episodes from his local and national morning shows, episodes from his NBC prime-time show, his five ABC-TV specials, the rare color version of his legendary silent show, “Eugene”, 3 complete episodes of his offbeat game show “Take a Good Look”, “A Pony for Chris”, Kovacs’ rarely-seen pilot for “Medicine Man” co-starring Buster Keaton, the only existing filmed solo interview with Kovacs himself, his award-winning commercials for Dutch Masters Cigars, a collection of short films, tributes rarities and much more!

 

The Outer Limits: Season One and Season Two

“There is nothing wrong with your television set.” Misused inventions, interplanetary communication, and warped time peculiarities permeate the 1960s science fiction anthology program The Outer Limits. Created by Leslie Stevens, the program gained a rabid cult following and influenced science fiction in it’s 49 episodes.

The series’ writers included Joseph Stefano, Harlan Ellison, Otto Binder, and Robert Towne, and showcased such actors as Robert Culp, Robert Duvall, Dabney Coleman, David McCallum, Sally Kellerman, James Frawle, James Sikking, Janos Prohaska, Donald Pleasence, Eddie Albert, Macdonald Carey, Vera Miles, William Shatner, Adam West, Carroll O’Connor, Warren Oates, Ralph Meeker, Cliff Robertson, Martin Sheen, James Doohan, Chita Rivera, Joyce Van Patten, Grace Lee Whitney, Ted Knight. Marion Ross,Bruce Dern, Russell Johnson, Edward Asner and James Hong. Packed with special features this must have collection has been described as Steven King as, “The best program of its type ever to run on network TV!’

 

Community: The Complete Series

Community is a smart, exuberant comedy that was consistently ranked as one of the most inventive and original half hours on television. This ensemble comedy centers on a tight-knit group of friends who all met at what is possibly the world’s worst educational institution – Greendale Community College.

Recently disbarred lawyer Jeff Winger enrolls to get a legit degree the quickest and easiest way possible, but when he starts a fake Spanish study group solely for the purpose of hooking up with a sexy classmate, he doesn’t expect to be joined by a random group of misfit fellow students. Over the course of the next six years, this group finds themselves involved in epic paintball battles, chicken finger conspiracies, sci-fi conventions, campus-wide pillow wars, and everything in-between. In the process, they become so much more than just a study group…they become a family.

 

Rescue Me: The Complete Series

They save us, but who saves them?

For the first time ever, all seven seasons of Rescue Me are available in one complete Blu-ray box set.

From series creators Denis Leary and Peter Tolan, the highly acclaimed Rescue Me galvanized audiences with its uncompromising portrayal of the New York City firefighters of 62 Truck, whose duty to save lives puts their own in constant turmoil – on the front lines, in the firehouse, and at home.

Leary is electrifying in his role as Tommy Gavin, a deeply driven first responder with a combustible personality and personal demons to match. Through seven groundbreaking seasons, we follow his gripping story, along with those of his fellow crew. Provocative, profane, dramatic, humorous, and unflinchingly honest, it is an unforgettable journey of courage, conflict and ultimate salvation.

 

The Big Lebowski: 20th Anniversary Limited Edition 4K

The Dude. One cool guy. Who one day comes home to find two thugs have broken in and ruined his favorite carpet-the one that made the room “hang together”. Thing is, they did it because he’s got the same name as one of the richest men in town. Lebowski. But, hey, no problem. He’ll get even. At least he’ll get someone to pay for the carpet.

With unforgettable scenes and outrageous humor, The Big Lebowski: 20th Anniversary Edition showcases hours of bonus features including retrospective documentaries, an interactive map, an in-depth look at the phenomenon known as the Lebowski Fest taking audiences deeper than ever before into the upside down world of “The Dude.”

From The Coen Brothers and starring Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, Philip Seymour Hoffman and John Turturro, The Big Lebowski: 20th Anniversary Limited Edition is the perfect gift for any fan and the exclusive set includes a collectible bag, bowling ball pencil holder, polishing cloth and sweater packaging.

 

Keeping Faith: Series 1

Award-winning actress Eve Myles stars in this BBC thriller as Faith Howells, a fun-loving lawyer with a happy marriage and three children, enjoying an extended maternity leave from the law firm she founded with her husband, Evan (Bradley Freegard). Then one day, Evan leaves for work but never arrives. Faith scrambles to handle the clients Evan left behind, all while trying to find out what happened to her husband. As the days go by with no sign of him, Faith becomes the police’s prime suspect, and her search for the truth leads her to the criminal underbelly of her quiet Welsh town. When long-buried family secrets come to light, Faith wonders if she ever really knew her husband at all.

Filmed on location along the stunning Welsh coast, this suspense-filled mystery also stars Mark Lewis Jones, Matthew Gravelle, Eiry Thomas, and Aneirin Hughes.

 

Castlevania: Season One

Inspired by the classic video game series and written by Warren Ellis, Castlevania is a dark medieval fantasy following the last surviving member of the disgraced Belmont clan, trying to save Eastern Europe from extinction at the hand of Vlad Dracula Tepes himself.

In Season One, Trevor Belmont, embittered and excommunicated, finds himself drawn into a battle for the survival of Europe – a region that has brought doom upon itself by taking away the one thing its greatest monster loved.

 

Killing Eve: Season One

Killing Eve centers on two women: Eve (Sandra Oh) is a bored, whip-smart MI5 security officer whose desk-bound job doesn’t fulfill her fantasies of being a spy. Villanelle (Jodie Comer) is a mercurial, talented killer who clings to the luxuries her violent job affords her. Based on the novellas by Luke Jennings, Killing Eve follows these two women, equally obsessed with each other, as they go head to head in an epic game of cat and mouse.

 

Popeye The Sailor: The 1940s Volume 1


Produced especially for the adult animation collector, Popeye the Sailor: The 1940s, Volume 1 features the first two Technicolor seasons of Popeye’s animated theatrical shorts (1943-44 and 1944-45) produced by Famous Studios, Paramount’s revered New York-based cartoon studio.

Popeye, who will celebrate his 90th anniversary in 2019, made his debut on January 17, 1929 in the comic strip “The Thimble Theater,” created by cartoonist E.C. Segar. Loved by fans from around the globe as the tough, spinach-loving sailor man who always stands up for the underdog, Popeye is one of the world’s most recognizable pop culture icons who has maintained a loyal following for decades.

In addition, all cartoons in Popeye the Sailor: The 1940s, Volume 1 are complete and uncut as they were originally seen on movie screens, and retain their original titles (which were removed for television exhibition in the 1950s).

The 1940s brought new sights and sounds to America’s favorite cartoon star. In Popeye the Sailor: The 1940s, Volume 1, regulars Olive Oyl and Bluto return, while Popeye resumes his riotous relationship with his shipmate Shorty and his naughty nephews Pipeye, Poopeye, Peepeye and Pupeye. With the addition of full color, cartoonists were now free to let loose with journeys to exotic lands and give Popeye a fresh stock of new friends and foes.

But it’s the eternal love triangle, Popeye and Bluto competing for the attention of Olive, that drives the majority of these zany situations – as well as the hilarious action-packed gags. Whether our heroes are posing as circus acrobats or puppeteers or even taking turns at being Superman, these gems from the Golden Age of Hollywood will blow you down with laughter.

 

Counterpart: The Complete First Season

Howard Silk is a lowly cog in the beaueaucratic machinery of a Berlin-based United Nations spy agency. When Howard discovers that his organization safeguards the secret of a crossing into a parallel dimension, he is thurst into a shadow world of intrigue, danger, and double cross … where the only man he can trust is his near-identical counterpart from this parallel world.

The show explores themes of identity, fate, and lost love, posing the eternal question, “what if our lives could have been different?” Starring J.K. Simmons, Harry Lloyd, Nazanin Boniadi, Olivia Williams, and Sara Serraiocco.

 

Detectorists: Complete Collection

All three seasons of the universally adored, BAFTA-Award winning BBC comedy starring Mackenzie Crook, who also wrote and directed the series, and Golden Globe- and Emmy-nominated actor Toby Jones as two oddball metal detecting enthusiasts scouring the English countryside for treasure while dealing with their messy personal lives. Rachael Stirling, and her real mother, Diana Rigg also star in the series.

Resoundingly praised by critics and fans alike, this endearing British comedy follows two misfit friends and metal-detecting enthusiasts as they scour the English countryside for treasure. Budding archaeologist Andy (Crook) muddles through his relationship with his girlfriend, Becky (Stirling), and struggles to live up to the expectations of her imperious mother (Rigg). Meanwhile, hapless romantic Lance (Jones) flounders in the dating pool until an unexpected person enters his life. But even as their hobby provides them refuge from their everyday problems, it also forces them to contend with rival detectorists clubs, double-crossing acquaintances, and development that threatens their favorite fields.

 

Hidden: Series One

From the award-winning co-creator and producer of the global hit Y Gwyll/Hinterland, the drama series was filmed back-to-back in Welsh and English. Starring Sian Reese-Williams as DCI Cadi John as she investigates the death of a woman in her hometown.

After years away from her isolated hometown, DI Cadi John (Reese-Williams) returns to help her sisters care for their ailing father. Paired with the capable but overloaded DS Owen Vaughan (Sion Alun Davies), she soon begins investigating a young woman’s suspicious drowning.

With bruises on the victim indicating that she was shackled before her death, Cadi realizes that someone is abducting women and holding them captive. When another girl goes missing, the detectives rush to apprehend the culprit before she becomes his next casualty.

 

Cabin Boy (Special Edition)

A cult classic for fancy lads everywhere, Cabin Boy was met with a frothy blend of confusion and hostility upon first release, but has aged like a fine flagon of wine. From Chris Elliott and Adam Resnick, co-creators of the influential deconstructed sitcom Get a Life, Cabin Boy is one of the most surreal comedies ever released by a major Hollywood studio. After graduating from finishing school as a well-bred “Fancy Lad,” Nathanial Mayweather (Chris Elliott) prepares for a trip to Hawaii. But his plans are dashed when he mistakenly boards The Filthy Whore, a fishing boat manned by a ragtag crew of salty shipmates, and soon becomes the vessel’s hapless Cabin Boy.

On his journey, he woos the feisty but beautiful Trina (Melora Walters) and encounters a host of eye-rubbing curiosities including an amiable shark man, a savage ice monster, a tobacco-chewing cupcake, and a six-armed seductress (Ann Magnuson) who relieves Nathanial of his virginity, much to the displeasure of her 30-foot salesman husband (Mike Starr).

Inspired by classic seafaring yarns like Captains Courageous, Cabin Boy has grown in reputation over the years as a truly offbeat cult comedy-fantasy with Ray Harryhausen-like special effects, a hilariously oddball performance by Elliott, and a treasure chest of eccentric supporting players including Brian Doyle-Murray, Brion James, James Gammon, Andy Richter and Russ Tamblyn, plus a seminal cameo by Elliott and Resnick’s old boss David Letterman as an antagonistic sock-monkey vendor.

 

Mystery Science Theater 3000: Season 11

Normally, anything revived from the dead is something to be feared.

But when fans broke crowdfunding records to bring back Mystery Science Theater 3000, it was an event worthy of the finest disco cannons! Hapless Jonah Heston (Jonah Ray) is trapped on the dark side of the moon and forced to watch cheesy movies by the evil, profit-obsessed mad scientist Kinga Forrester (Felicia Day) and her fawning henchman Max (Patton Oswalt).

So Jonah does what any gadget-savvy kidnappee would do: make fun of the films with the help of his wisecracking robot pals, Tom Servo (Baron Vaughn), Crow (Hampton Yount) and Gypsy (Rebecca Hanson). With luminary guest stars Mark Hamill, Neil Patrick Harris, Joel McHale and Jerry Seinfeld, and the return of some familiar faces, MST3K: The Return is sure to keep you laughing till you bust a seam in your jumpsuit!

 

MacGyver: The Complete First Season

MacGyver (Richard Dean Anderson) is a modern-day “knight-errant,” a person people turn to in a crisis.

He has a penchant for arriving on the scene in the eleventh hour, when the clock is ticking ominously and innocent lives often are at stake. MacGyver is a packrat and his collection of ordinary items help him improvise his way out of trouble.

Guest stars include Michael Lerner, Shavar Ross, Keye Luke, Joan Chen, Sid Haig, Robin Curtis, John Vernon, Gregory Sierra, Vernon Wells, Jackie Earle Haley, Nana Visitor, Robert Romanus, Carl Franklin, Robert Englund, Steven Williams, Lynn-Holly Johnson, Teri Hatcher, Persis Khambatta, Russell Johnson, Rob Paulsen, John de Lancie, and Marvin Kaplan.

 

Charmed: The Complete First Season

The Halliwell sisters are destined to protect the innocent, vanquish evil and evil doers, and generally righting wrongs.

Prue (Shannen Doherty), the oldest, is driven to succeed and dislikes the free-spirited antics of the youngest sister Phoebe. Piper (Holly Marie Combs), the earthy middle sister, mediates between her siblings. Phoebe (Alyssa Milano) discovers The Book of Shadows in the attic and their witchly powers are activated, igniting a bond that reaches beyond petty, sisterly grudges. The sisters must band together to protect themselves, and the world, from dark, demonic forces.

Guest stars include John Cho, Billy Wirth, Stacy Haiduk, Billy Jayne, Christina Milian, Billy Drago, Bernie Kopell, Finola Hughes, Michael Weatherly, Raphael Sbarge, Michael Trucco, Lisa Robin Kelly and David Carradine.

 

Superman: The Movie 4K

Most readers, I’m sure, are aware that the Superman movie is a grand epic told in three distinct linked episodes. First we get a 20-minute Krypton episode starring Marlon Brando as Jor-El, father of Kal-El (Clark Kent or Superman on Earth). Some find Brando stiff or slow, but I adored his studied resolve. The mood in this episode is serious and spiritual. Next we get a 20-minute Smallville episode featuring Glen Ford as adoptive father of the teenaged Clark Kent. The mood shifts to Andrew Wyeth-inspired sweetness. Third we get a 90-minute Metropolis episode featuring Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor and Margot Kidder as Lois Lane. Now the mood becomes the one that most viewers would expect: adventurous, humorous, and romantic.

Comic book historians have often seen analogies between Superman and Christ or Moses; the movie quietly depicts these associations on screen. Krypton was purposefully filmed (as the commentary tells us) to look Biblical. Everything glows, everything seems abstract. The crystalline structure to the buildings and machines evokes primeval perfection. On Krypton, Jor-El’s knowledge and precognizance make him a godlike figure; at the Fortress of Solitude he takes on the image of a god. He sends his “only son” to Earth where the boy will help mankind and lead by example.

In Smallville we are assured that Kal-El was sent to Earth “for a reason.” Apparently he was meant to lead us by principled example, but ultimately he changes the course of human history, even against his father=s ancient wishes (is this disobedience perhaps a statement about the fallibility in a being who is godlike – but not truly divine?).

The most overtly religious scene occurs when Kal-El visits the Fortress of Solitude a second time. The church-like images, including those of an altar and a pipe organ, are unmistakable. Kal-El speaks to his father like a parishioner confessing to a priest. He hears a brief sermon against vanity. He learns that mortal men are good, but that “they only lack the light to show them the way.” Finally, he raises his hands in Christlike steadiness.

Isn’t it fascinating that Superman, greatest of all American (or even Earthly) heroes is actually an alien? Quentin Tarantino lifted Jules Feiffer’s essay for David Carradine’s Kill Bill monologue. Unlike other heroes who started out as regular humans and became heroes later, Superman – because his alien biology gives him great powers on Earth – started out as the hero and only pretends to be human: “Superman didn’t become Superman. Superman was born Superman. When Superman wakes up in the morning, he’s Superman. His alter ego is Clark Kent.”

The 4K debut of this classic title sometimes suffers from too much clarity. Fake snow in the Fortress of Solitude looks pretty fake, but most importantly the film’s natural charm and warmth stays intact, and once again you’ll believe a man can fly. ( – David E Goldweber)

 

Picnic at Hanging Rock

Enigmatic Hester Appleyard (Natalie Dormer) runs a finishing school for young ladies in an isolated mansion. On Valentine’s Day, 1900, several of the schoolgirls attend a field trip to Hanging Rock, but three of the girls and one of their teachers mysteriously disappear. As the police search the Australian wilderness for the missing women, Hester struggles to keep her college afloat amid the rumors and speculation that overtake the town.

The complex, interwoven narrative charts the subsequent investigation and the event’s far-reaching impact on the students, families, and staff of Appleyard College and on the nearby township. Theories abound, long-held secrets are exposed, and paranoia and hysteria set in, as in vastly differing ways their lives are changed forever.

 

Longmire: The Complete Series

Based on the Walt Longmire mystery novels by Craig Johnson, Longmire stars Australian actor Robert Taylor as Walt Longmire, the dedicated and unflappable sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming. A man in psychic repair after the murder of his wife, Longmire buries his loss behind a brave face and dry wit.

At the urging of his daughter, Cady (Cassidy Freeman), and close friend and confidant Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Phillips), he sets out to rebuild his personal and professional life one step at a time. But with his county in turmoil, Sheriff Longmire relies on his loyal deputies Vic Moretti (Katee Sackhoff), Branch Connally (Bailey Chase) and the Ferg (Adam Bartley). At the end of the day, it’s Longmire’s job to keep the peace in Big Sky Country in this contemporary crime thriller.

 

Instinct: Season One

Instinct stars Alan Cumming as Dr. Dylan Reinhart, a former CIA operative who is lured back to his old life when the NYPD needs his help to stop a serial killer.

Dr. Reinhart, a gifted author and university professor teaching psychopathic behavior, is enlisted by top NYPD detective Lizzie Needham (Bojana Novakovic) to help her catch a serial murderer who is using Dylan’s first book as a tutorial. Helping them is Julian Cousins (Naveen Andrews), Dylan’s invaluable CIA comrade who rivals Dylan in brilliance and wit. Lizzie’s boss, Lt. Jasmine Gooden (Sharon Leal), is glad to see her best detective finally agree to work with someone on a case, since Lizzie has refused any partner since a tragic event one year ago.

But as Dylan feels reenergized tapping into his old skill set, his husband, Andy (Daniel Ings), is concerned that Dylan’s breaking their pact about putting away his cloak and dagger for good. Though Dylan and Lizzie initially clash, when it comes to catching killers, they realize they will make an ideal team if they both trust their instincts.

 

Single-Handed: The Complete Collection

Set against a landscape of epic beauty and isolation, this Irish police drama delves into a world rife with conflicted characters and moral ambiguity. Garda Sergeant Jack Driscoll (Owen McDonnell) returns home to the windswept west coast of Ireland to patrol the insular community of his youth. But small-town life presents challenges Jack never faced in Dublin—chief among them, winning the villagers’ respect and escaping the shadow of his father (Ian McElhinney), a retired policeman. Fighting corruption and those who would take the law into their own hands, Jack investigates heinous crimes, including a child’s abduction, murder dressed up as arson, and a local schoolgirl’s involvement with a Dublin pimp.

 

Scorpion: The Complete Series

The a high-octane drama about eccentric genius Walter O’Brien (Elyes Gabel) and his team of brilliant misfits, who are the last line of defense against complex, high-tech threats of the modern age. Pooling their extensive technological knowledge to solve predicaments amazes federal agent Cabe Gallo (Robert Patrick), who shares a harrowing history with O’Brien. While this socially awkward group is comfortable with one another’s humor and quirks, life outside their circle confounds them, causing them to rely on Paige Dineen (Katharine McPhee), whose young, gifted son, Ralph (Riley B. Smith), translates the world for them. These quirky masterminds have found the perfect job as members of Team Scorpion where they can apply their exceptional brainpower to solve the nation’s crises while also helping one another learn how to fit in.

 

Gift Guide Index

 

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