Holiday Gift Guide: What to Buy the Film Geek, Genre Lover, Child and / or Parent in Your Life

Holiday Gift Guide: What to Buy the Film Geek, Genre Lover, Child and / or Parent in Your Life

Dec 06, 2011

Movie Geeks

You know the type. The kind who go to the movies every Friday to catch whatever the latest blockbuster is. In truth, they're hard to shop for because they're also the type of person who already buys all their own movie stuff the day it comes out, but even if that is the case, a movie geek probably won't mind having a back-up copy of Lord of the Rings.



Going by sheer numbers, 2011 was a good year for geek-friendly movies. However, just because plenty were released throughout the year doesn't mean that they are all worth gifting. Sure, if you know someone who is obsessed with Green Lantern or Transformers, keep those respective films in mind, but these are the Blu-ray and DVD releases of the year that all film geeks need to have in their collection.









It's been a sparse year for movie-related books as far as the geek crowd goes, but there are a few standouts. The first is Ernest Cline's Ready Player One, a heartfelt ode to pop culture in the '80s that uses movies, TV shows and games to tell a thrilling, futuristic story. And speaking of '80s movies, Drew Struzan: Ouevre is a collection of the entirety of the legendary poster artist's works. It's incredibly comprehensive and gorgeously presented, so if you've got a poster-geek in your life, this is a must for them.

And finally we highly recommend giving the film lover in your life Vic Armstrong's autobiography, World's Greatest Stuntman. Not only does it offer fascinating insights into a side of filmmaking that isn't nearly as celebrated as it deserves, it's also just a thoroughly entertaining read.





Everything Else


Does the film geek in your life already have all the books and movies found above? If so, how about a Han Solo Chocolate Bar? Or the excellent soundtrack for Drive?

If chocolate and movie scores don't fit the bill, perhaps movie replicas will? No, that's not a lightsaber umbrella, it's a recreation of the light umbrellas from Ridley Scott's Blade Runner. Want some clothing? UD Replicas sells high-quality recreations of everything from Bruce Wayne's motorcycle jacket to Tony Stark's racing jacket in Iron Man 2.  

And finally, if one-of-a-kind is what you're looking for, this Etsy artist will paint canvas shoes with the image(s) of your choosing.







Genre Lovers

Love the darker, redder side of cinema? If your favorite movies ever year are those with the hardest ratings and the craziest ideas and images, then these are the gifts for you.



Though America has hardly been responsible for many of them, it's been a standout year for genre cinema from around the world. Takashi Miike's 13 Assassins, one of the finest films of his career and certainly one of the finest films of the entire year, saw its stateside release. As did Joe Cornish's maniacally fun Attack the Block, which is the coolest alien invasion film in years and absolutely deserves to be seen and embraced by a bigger audience.

Next up is A Serbian Film, a notorious shocker that lives up to its reputation. Unlike the likes of recent gross out films, however, A Serbian Film is actually a finely crafted and deeply disturbing horror film, albeit one you may only watch once in your life time.

That won't be the case with Rare Exports, however, a film that demands to be watched every Christmas with the same reverence as Gremlins. And finally, for those who appreciate the films of yesteryear, there's Trailers From Hell Volume 2, a DVD collection that should warm the hearts of any grindhouse fans.








Most casual fans of the Alien film franchise will already be overwhelmed with information from the variety of DVD and Blu-ray boxsets that have been issued over the years, but if you just can't get enough acid for blood in your life, this book is perfect for you.

If horror cinema is more your speed, Titan's brand new The Hammer Vault is exactly what it sounds like: a treasure trove of goodies from the genre's most prolific studio. And though it doesn't contain quite the glossy presentation as Titan's coffee table beauty, Shock Value is an equally in-depth look at the roots of modern horror.

If you're looking for original fiction that's good enough to one day wind up on the big screen, do check out Black Light and The Postmortal. The former is the first novel written by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan and its story of a rogue exorcist is far more interesting than any of their film work to date; the latter is an incredible piece of sci-fi that posits a world where a cure for aging has become a plague on mankind. It's a fascinating read and contains the most fully realized view of a new kind of apocalypse to arrive in years.





Everything Else


There's not a whole lot in the "everything else" department for horror and sci-fi fans that isn't already covered in other sections of the guide. So we leave you with this scale model of the genre's bustiest mistress of the dark and two zombie-fighting kits that belong in any respectable survivalist's panic kit.






It's tough to be a film geek and a kid today. Sure, us children-at-heart can pick and choose the cream of the kid-friendly crop, but if you're the type who will consume every movie that's age appropriate for you, frankly, you're not going to be living on a healthy diet. However, if you supplement this year's lackluster theatrical kids films with newly released Blu-ray and DVD issues of some all-time greats, you'll do just fine.



Granted, the Star Wars franchise is not strictly for children, but if you're a parent - even if you object to the revisionist approach George Lucas has taken to this piece of film history - you just know one day you'll be showing all of these films to your children. And as painful as it may be to acknowledge, since we're never going to get the exact films we all grew up with, this Blu-ray set of the altered films is the best we're ever going to get.

As for this year's kids films, the youngest of the young will get a kick out of Pixar's fluffy and fleeting Cars 2, while more mature kids will appreciate the thrills of Gore Verbinski's Rango (and parents will appreciate all the mature film references that go over their children's heads).

On the vintage front, Warner Bros. have put out a great collector's edition of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, which contains replica golden tickets and other Wonka-themed goodies. Then there's Disney's stunning Blu-ray of The Lion King, one of the finest animated films they've ever produced. And finishing out the guide is a collection of Tom & Jerry cartoons, because why not?









The cinematic history lesson that is Hugo may be lost on children the first time they see it, but that's why books like the Hugo Movie Companion exist. 

On the less informational, more inspirational side of things, your kids may get a kick out of The Art of Pixar, The Ballad of Rango, and Constructing Green Lantern: From Page to Screen. All three books offer unique insights to the impressive amount of artistry and craft that goes into filmmaking and should feed the imagination of any budding film geek.

As for the future movie geek collector in your family, why not give them a book to keep all of their ticket stubs in?






Everything Else


Odds are if you have children, you already own some variation of Yahtzee. If you don't, however, why not opt for a movie-themed version? The gameplay is the same spot of luck its always been, only now you can use Kermit's head to roll the dice.

There are a ton of movie tie-in games these days and honestly most aren't particularly amazing. And while Star Wars Kinect may not be one of the finest around, at the very least it'll have your child burning calories will swinging a lightsaber that isn't there. For an added adorable bonus: get them a pair of these superhero socks that come with built-in capes to wear while they flail their arms about.

And for those who like to look at things instead of wear or play with them, how about a miniature Snowy from The Adventures of Tintin? Or Star Wars bedsheets? Yes, it's very cool if you buy the latter for yourself-- we're already way ahead of you on that one.







Your Parents

All of the below gifts are perfect for your parents. No, not all parents; specifically your parents. It doesn't matter if you're a 30-year old with children of your own or a 12-year old shopping for your pops, these are the types of movie-related gifts your parents, however old they be, will enjoy.



Nobody does retrospectives of classic cinema quite like Turner Classic Movies, which is precisely why their Moguls & Movie Stars series is a must own for anyone who misses the Hollywood of yesteryear.

The same can be said of 12 Angry Men, Ben Hur and Blow Out, all three of which received stellar special edition DVD and Blu-ray sets this year. Ben Hur in particularly features one of the finest HD transfers of a vintage film ever created, not to mention a bevy of bonus items that'll help you revisit an era gone by.

And lastly but not least there's Page One: Inside the New York Times, a fascinating peek behind the ever-evolving curtains of one of the media's oldest institutions.








Even a decade after her passing, Pauline Kael remains an icon for several generations of film lovers, but it's hard to argue that few appreciate her contributions to film criticism more than your parent's generation. So let them take a trip down memory lane with The Age of Movies, a selection of Kael's film essays spanning her entire career.

If laughter is your parent's game, Albert Brooks' 2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America may not have to do directly with movies, but it's a strong, surprising debut from one of cinema's funniest men.

And finally, for those who remember what it was like when Steven Spielberg's Jaws kept an entire generation of film geeks out of the water and on the beaches, there's Jaws: Memories From Martha's Vineyard, a boots-on-the-ground remembrance of the production of one of cinema's true classics.



Everything Else


Do your parents want to keep up with all the new blockbusters out each week but can't stand to watch films in 3D? Why not get them a pair of 2D glasses that'll filter the image of any modern 3D film to look like its projected in 2D? Sure, it doesn't lower their ticket price, but hopefully it'll lower their chances of getting a headache.


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