The Joy of Sets Gift Guide: The Stocking Stuffers Edition
Transformers and 300
So you have a list of people to buy for and no idea what to get them, right? Been there, suffered through that. And children, I can only offer you two options: piss off a bunch of friends over Thanksgiving so you don't have to get them anything, or head to the DVD section. Because nothing says "I put more thought into this than you deserve" than a movie starring some of their fave TV faces. And they're so easy to wrap!
300: Limited Collectors Edition
This. Is. Sparta! And it's also a spectacular sprucing up of Zack Snyder's green-screen epic of swords, sandals and Gerard Butler's abs. Thoughtfully put together to earn its Collector's Edition moniker, the set is so much more than just the 2-disc initial release in fancier packaging. It's got a film clip, an art book, and a brand-spanking new doc on the evolution of the tale from ancient Greece to Frank Miller's graphic novel to the big screen. But beyond all that, there is the movie, which is still a bangin' reminder of the magic that happens when great story and truly special effects play nice (and bloody) together.
Buy 300 at Amazon.com
I lovelovelove this monster-attacks-New York flick produced by Lost creator J.J. Abrams. It's short, stylish and scary as all get-out, with the shaky-cam footage surprisingly gentle on the easily disoriented. Honestly, I have watched this movie maybe 8, 9 times, and have never had the urge to purge (unlike Quarantine, which cost me a bucket of popcorn and a bit of embarrassment at the Regal 12 Cinema, if ya know what I mean). And for anyone adoring True Blood these days, here's the chance to see Lizzy Caplan, who plays crazy Amy on the HBO vamp soap, blow up big time. And I mean that quite literally.
Buy Cloverfield on Amazon.com
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
How I Met Your Mother's Jason Segel and Heroes' Kirsten Bell ex it up in the surprisingly sweet breakup comedy that for some reason had us convinced Russell Brand was funnier than he actually is. Do yourself a favor, though. As soon as you give this to someone, borrow it so you can see the alternate scenes. I need to know what these people were smoking on set.
Buy Forgetting Sarah Marshall on Amazon.com
Malcolm McDowell, another Heroes player — albeit a less-Kristen Bell-hot one — turns up in Rob Zombie's respectable remake of John Carpenter's classic as Dr. Sam Loomis, the shrink who is either responsible for Michael Meyers' madness or the codependent victim of it. I was never sure of that murky relationship, but I'll tell ya one thing: After seeing this hyper-realistic retelling, I don't think I'd wanna be related to either of them. But I'm always happy to have them to visit around October 31st.
Buy Halloween on Amazon.com
No, you weren't in some sort of explosion-induced delirium during last summer's bangin' action hit. That is The New Adventures of Old Christine's Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson. And yep, the TV news reporter Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark schtumps is Leslie Bibb, who not only rocked on Popular and Crossing Jordan, but is also now the face of those Almay commercials. It's about damn time people started paying attention to this one!
Buy Iron Man on Amazon.com
JFK: The Ultimate Collectors Edition
Can you deal with this being 17-years-old? Oliver Stone's 1991 gem doesn't look a day over "excellent" in this recent release featuring 17 unseen minutes, Presidential-caliber featurettes and some pretty nifty mementos (Pops Holbrook is gonna dig the copy of the real JFK's inauguration speech). And since this is Oliver Stone we're talking, the cast is packed with talent, including Easy Money's Laurie Metcalf, Ugly Betty's Tony Plana, Law & Order: CI creepy cop Vincent D'Onofrio and Dirty Sexy Money's Donald Sutherland. Plus, this is the movie that inspired Seinfeld's magic loogie. Back and to the left. Back... and to the left.
Buy JFK on Amazon.com
Because I refuse to grow up, a movie based on a cartoon based on toys is so up my alley, it's practically tickling my... never mind, that would be gross. Anyway, Michael Bay's boffo take of Optimus Prime and company is such a good time, ya can't help be get all hyped up over the action as small-screeners like Las Vegas' Josh Duhamel, Prison Break 's Amaury Nolasco, and Law & Order's Anthony Anderson take on the talking robots. I've given this one out like four times already, so I guess that means my friends aren't growing up, either. Phew!
Buy Transformers on Amazon.com
OK, so what flicks are you hoping to see stuffed in your stockings this year? Any of them starring TV peeps you think should be big-screen stars? Fill me in, folks!