Holiday Gift Guide 2014
Finding the right gift for your friends and family can be arduous. Fortunately, Tuesday Night Movies is here with picks sure to please the lovers of pop culture in your life!
Two classic TV series have recently received the deluxe home video treatment. Both are available on a per season basis, but it’s the full series sets of these series that really deliver. If you know a fan of either of these series, these sets would make the perfect gift.
The first is the Batman: The Complete Television Series. For years, it looked like this TV series would never see a home release because of legal reasons. Fans of the Adam West Batman series were left with the choice of taping the series off TV Land broadcasts or buying from bootleggers (who taped the series from TV Land). This fall, Warner Brothers released a gorgeous remastering of the 1960s Batman TV series. This show has never looked as good as it does in this set. The colors really pop on a HD TV. The set includes all three seasons of the Batman TV series on Blu Ray, a digital download of the entire series, a 32 page episode guide, an Adam West scrapbook, a set of 44 Batman trading cards featuring characters and iconic moments from the show, and a Hot Wheels Batmobile. The box even plays part of the Batman TV series theme song!
The second is The Wonder Years: The Complete Series. Like the Batman series, this was a TV series whose home release was mired in legal red tape. Part of what made The Wonder Years so iconic was its inclusion of classic 60s songs. Unfortunately, it was much easier to license the rights to those songs when the show was first produced than it is today, making the chance of a proper home release very unlikely. Luckily for fans of this show, StarVista/Time Life managed to do the unthinkable, and get the licenses for the all the songs in the original series, including the iconic Joe Cocker cover of A Little Help From My Friends. The set even comes packaged in a metal Kennedy Jr. High school locker!
If you’re looking for TV shows a little more recent, look no further than Agents of SHIELD and Game of Thrones (both of which happen to be recapped on a regular basis on this site). Season one of Agents of SHIELD is available on both Blu Ray and DVD, and both sets are packed with bonus features. Seasons one, two and three of Game of Thrones are already on Blu Ray and DVD, and the fourth season is on its way to home release in early February. I’m sure any Game of Thrones fan, whether they pledge to House Stark or House Lannister, would be happy to receive a note this holiday season saying that they will be receiving the fourth season at their house as soon as its released.
Three of the best reviewed movies on Tuesday Night Movies were released early enough in 2014 to be out on DVD and Blu Ray in time for the holidays.
The first, and possibly one of the most unexpected great movies of the year, is The Lego Movie. As you may be able to tell in my review, I LOVED this movie. I highly recommend buying this movie as a gift for a loved one, whether it’s for a child or an adult. This movie proves that you can make an all-ages movie that can be enjoyed by moviegoers of all ages.
Battling The Lego Movie for the best movie I saw in the first few months of 2014 is The Grand Budapest Hotel. If you have a friend who has enjoyed any of Wes Anderson’s other movies, this movie is a must-buy and a lay up of a gift if there ever was one. I’d also suggest even buying this for any of your friends who lack social graces. Ralph Fienes writes the book on charm in this movie. Your friend might learn something.
2014 saw the release of two of the best, if not the two best, Marvel movies: Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy. Both are awesome. Both are available on Blu Ray. These movies both have high crossover appeal; they’re not just for your friends who read comics. If you know someone who loves James Bond, they will probably really enjoy Captain America: The Winter Soldier. And anyone who appreciates a few laughs mixed in with their butt kicking action will surely love Guardians of the Galaxy.
Your friend already owns Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy on Blu Ray? In that case, I suggest buying said friend the comics that inspired the movies. The comic book story that inspired Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a must read for any fan of the movie. Writer Ed Brubaker proves himself to a master of writing espionage, and the art by Steve Epting is absolutely gorgeous. The Guardians of the Galaxy movie drew its inspiration from the Guardians of the Galaxy comic book series penned by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. If you left the theater saying “I AM GROOT,” you have Abnett and Landing to thank. #yourewelcome
At the end of the day, no Groot fan’s desk is complete without a Groot bobblehead from Funko Pop Vinyl. Groot is available in both full size and dancing baby versions. The Groot fan in your life no doubt needs both.
If you listen to the Tuesday Night Comics podcast, then you know that I am a BIG fan of Michel Fiffe’s Copra. The original issues are very hard to come by in the secondary market, but Michel recently released Copra Round One from Bergen Street Comics Press. Copra Round One collects Copra issues 1-6, and gets you in on the ground floor of this ground breaking series. If you are interested in the recently announced Suicide Squad movie, I would suggest skipping the Suicide Squad DC comic currently being published and pick up Copra Round One instead. The series is Fiffe’s love letter to The Suicide Squad, Doctor Strange and Shade: The Changing Man.
If you know a Neil Gaiman fan, there is a distinct possibility that they may have missed out on reading Hayley Campbell’s excellent biography of Gaiman, The Art of Neil Gaiman, which was released earlier this year. Don’t be fooled by the title and the size of the book. This isn’t an art book in the traditional sense. Instead, it shows off Gaiman’s art: his writing. This book covers Gaiman’s entire writing career, from his early days as a journalist to becoming one of the most respected writers of novels and comic books. This book is a must read for any fan of Gaiman’s Sandman series. He gave Ms. Campbell access to his writing journals and notes. The Art of Neil Gaiman provides outlines, early script pages, notes on hotel napkins. There’s enough in here to keep any Gaiman fan occupied for many many hours.