Friday, December 18, 2009

Holiday Hoarder Gift Guide 2009

Oh, the season of good tidings is upon us, earlier and earlier every year. Black Friday's significance always outweighs the actual holidays, as folks toy with the idea of getting gifts for a bunch of people that probably don't deserve it. Still, you sometimes can't help but want to show your appreciation for friends and family, and maybe even that annoying co-worker that refuses to cut the damn small talk in the mornings, if only to shut them the hell up.

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, or just give gifts in the hope of getting something good back, I figured that a concise and short list of awesome things to buy for other people, and maybe a few for yourself, might be in order. Remember, the true spirit of the holidays isn't all about good will towards mankind, but good gifts and the manual release you might get because of them.

DVD And Blu-Ray

There is nothing quite like being a TV completest or film collector, but there are different flavors out there for everyone. With that in mind, here is a little piece of something for just about anyone on your list.

The Shield Complete Series Collection (DVD)

The Shield was a very popular show that loved to screw with its viewers. Between the hyper-stylized camera work, violence, and plot-twists, many people kept wondering just who they were rooting for and what the hell was going to happen next. Well, the show is done and over with and now you can get the whole set put out in a pretty awesome package. Made to both be a collectible coffeetable book, as well as hold all 27 DVDs, there are episode summaries, behind the scenes photos, and tons of other little visual goodies to read through before you even watch a single episode.

Who to get it for: Almost any manly man can enjoy this one. I dare say just about anyone can enjoy this one, but the sheer amount of pure assholes in this show may drive some people away. Still, it is one hell of a package and some pretty excellent TV.

Beethoven's Guitar Shred (DVD)

Beethoven's Guitar Shred, featuring The Great Kat, is one hell of a way to infuse both the love of metal and classical music into one gift. With performances of classical pieces like "Flight of the Bumblebee" amped up to 300bpm and face-melting solo work, as well as special features, including some animation, this is a great fun gift that will have you watching her fingers in awe. Here is an example of what you get to see:

Who to get it for: Any metalhead or guitarist can appreciate it, that's for sure. She als has a little bit of the theatrics going on, so likely if someone digs Gwar, they'll get a kick out of this.

The Bourne Trilogy (Blu-ray)

Matt Damon isn't the priss you always thought he was. In fact, he makes a much better action hero than Tom Cruise. For a series that lives within the confines of PG-13, the action is fast, brutal, and often bone crunching. Yeah, so are most other action movies, right? Still, this series has a few things many others lack, namely a plot and decent acting. There is also enough romantic entanglement to keep the odd Sex In The City fan at bay, so you can watch it with confidence, provided you have a less cool than usual significant other.

Who to get it for: Well, first of all, make sure the person has a Blu-Ray player or PS3, unless you plan to get them one too. Otherwise, this series is pretty accessible and fun, so you don't have to be that discerning, unless the person gets motion sickness easily. The camera does get a bit shaky in the last two installments.

Dawson's Creek: The Complete Series (DVD)

Yeah. I know what you're thinking. "Dawson's Creek? I thought this was, not" You're 100 percent correct there. Still, this is a gift guide, right? So remember, there might be someone you know who liked this show, or loved this show. My wife loves the Garth Ennis run on The Punisher and horror movies, but you might not be so lucky. Also, as I remember correctly, there were a lot of guys out there that got behind this show. Hell, I remember watchdogs freaking out about all the "racy" content when it first came out. In fact, this is a direct quote from critic John Leo about it: "The first episode contains a good deal of chatter about breasts, genitalia, masturbation, and penis size. Then the title and credits come on and the story begins."

Who to get it for: You don't want to have to sit through Gossip Girl, reruns, right? Trust me, you rather watch this. This was made by the guy who made Scream and the current Vampire Diaries. In other words, if you need to sit through stuff you don't really want to see in order to get to watch 24 and Monday Night Raw, you're better off watching something with some pop-culture references and witty dialogue.

Toys And Collectibles

So if you're one of those folks that thinks that toys are just for kids you have either been asleep for a very long time or you hate life. Most fans of anything wouldn't mine a 7 inch plastic version of what they love. Just look at all the women that bought the "Pocket Rabbit Vibrator." Anyhow, when you've got action-figures based off of R-rated movies and M-rated games, you can quite obviously tell the weren't made for the toddlers.

Sideshow Collectibles Star Wars Deluxe 12 Inch Darth Vader

Sideshow has been putting out amazing collectibles for years, but this Darth Vader is almost 14 inches tall, and goddamn awesome. Fully articulated, insanely cool looking, and yes, expensive, no Star Wars fan, sci-fi fan, or fan of James Earl Jones, David Prowse, or Sebastian Shaw would turn this giant down. There hasn't been a villain as cool looking or imposing as Darth Vader, and there probably never will be.

Who to get it for: I'd say me, but you probably don't plan on getting me anything. That is perfectly fine, I'm not getting you anything either, so we're even. Seriously though, if someone even uses the word "force" in a sentence around you they would probably appreciate the sheer amazing detail and awesomeness of this Darth Vader figure. You might even be able to get your 38 year old son out of the cellar if you tie it to a string and drag it up the stairs. It is pretty hard to resist.

Masters Of The Universe Classics: Scareglow

Some things aren't better in the past, via cloudy memories of nostalgia. Some things are actually better right now. Mattel's new line of collectible Masters of the Universe pieces are exactly that. Scareglow was possibly one of the lamest He-Man toys ever made, but now, thanks to the wonders of THE FUTURE he is back and better than ever. The cool thing about this guy is that not only does he glow in the dark, but unlike Skeletor, he is all bone. He's not scrawny bone, no, and he does seem to have some muscle mass, which is really weird, but at least he doesn't have a pale blue body. Oh, and he friggin' glows in the dark. Did I mention how much I love shit that glows in the dark? I've been tempted to eat the stuff in a glowstick just to see if I could pee glowing stuff.

Who to get this for: Well, you don't have to be a He-Man fan to appreciate this guy. If someone is obsessed with skeletons, skulls, Dia de los Muertos, or anything else remotely boney, they might enjoy this guy. Otherwise, any fan of the old line of Masters of the Universe toys would totally dig this.

Mega Blocks Halo Wars: Aerial Ambush

I admit that I'm not the biggest Halo fan out there. My fondest memories of the series were playing Halo 2 with my roommates, swimming in piles of pizza boxes, and constantly being sniped by the same guy in the same spot for 15 minutes straight. Still, I love me some LEGOs and Megabloks, and these are particularly awesome. Stylized and very cool, these collector sets come with just enough to clutter and cover your desk at work. Don't worry, since they are Halo toys, no one can tell you that they are kids stuff, right?

Who to get this for: The video game fanatic, the construction toy fanatic, or people that just like sticking things together will totally eat this up. These make great cubicle decorations and the attention to detail, considering how cartoony they are, is pretty damn awesome. I like these and I'm not even a fan of the game series.

Books, Comics, and Graphic Novels

I was originally going to separate this into two sections but the I realized that we should be at the point, by now, that we can consider comic books as literature. Yes, finally we can put the best works of Stephen King and Steve Niles on the same shelf (though Niles does have books out without pictures in them.) So, here it is, for the folks that need something to read on the train, the potty, or right before they hit the bed.

The Strain

Don't let Stephenie Meyer fool you. Books about vampires don't have to suck by default. When you team a visionary filmmaker and gritty but detailed crime author you get the varied and original mixture that The Strain brings to the vampire genre. Refreshingly detailed, well-plotted, and impossible to to put down, this book has some serious bite. Vampires and viruses combine to form a zombie-like outbreak of death and destruction. The best part? This is only the the first part of a trilogy. Just when you're thirsty for more you realize that you have to wait for 2010 for the second installment. You can get them the second book as a gift when it comes out!

Who to get this for: The horror fan, the vampire nut, and even the science buff you know will want to check this out. With equal parts horror, CSI and Mystery Diagnosis there is a lot to love in this book. The dual authorship allowed both Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan to deliver their strengths with very little of their weaknesses.

The Walking Dead Compendium: Vol. 1

The greatest story of human interaction ever told is not an old novel, a four hour movie, or that little book people call The Bible. No, in fact, it isn't even something that really happened or will probably ever happen. Robert Kirkman's iThe Walking Dead is one of the best comic books ever produced, and it is still going on right now. This compendium is over 1000 pages of amazing storytelling, fantastic art, and insane zombie action. With characters as real as you or me, this is the best zombie movie never made. Thankfully it will be hitting the small screen as faithfully adapted TV show. Until then you can get yourself or someone else ready for it with this huge introduction that includes the first 48 issues of the comic.

Who to get this for: If you like zombies, you'll like this. If you like horror, you'll like this. If you like soap operas you will like this. If you like being a human being you will like this. Really, it covers everything a human can go through and is so much more than just a zombie story. This should be read by everyone. It is just that good.
blog comments powered by Disqus