Holiday gift ideas for movie, TV, book buffs
Black Friday has come and gone, and there are many of you who still have to shop for that one person who’s difficult to please as you realize Christmas is less than a month away.if you want to play it safe, you really can’t go wrong with gift cards from just about anywhere. However, for those who love movies and TV here are some great suggestions:“Inception”: “the Dark Knight” director Christopher Nolan helms a very mind-bending movie about dreams (that’s simplifying the plot) with Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen Page. not only are the special effects cutting-edge, but the plot is very complex. the BluRay/DVD combo pack contains three discs, boasting extras galore, including a documentary on the latest research about dreams. Available Dec. 7.“the Town”: After years of forgettable flops, Ben Affleck proves his mettle as a director with “the Town,” a thriller about a group of Boston-based bank robbers — including Affleck and Jeremy Renner — who pull off that “one last heist.” However, Affleck’s character falls in love with the girl he took hostage at the beginning of the film, which throws a monkey wrench into his plans. Arguably as good as director Martin Scorcese’s “Departed” from 2006, starring DiCaprio and Matt Damon. Available Dec. 17.“the Expendables”: An unapologetic, testosterone-driven tribute to mindless action movies of the 1980s has Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, and other action stars blowing lots of stuff up. it also features the first time definitive action stars Stallone, Bruce Willis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger appear on-screen together.“Lost: the Complete Series”: the series that revolutionized the television medium with its intricate serialized plot and Web extras may have bid adieu this year, but it’s no surprise that the chronicles about the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 are being released en masse. definitely a show that needs to be seen from start to finish and you can’t be multi-tasking when watching it.“Toy Story: the Ultimate Toy Box Collection”: this package contains the entire “Toy Story” saga (including this year’s “Toy Story 3”) about toys coming to life when their owners aren’t around and many behind-the-scenes documentaries and concept art over 10 discs. the writing is brilliant and the animation – 1995’s “Toy Story” is the first film to be done entirely in CGI – is phenomenal.“Clint Eastwood: 35 Films 35 Years”: Hard to believe the flint-eyed king of tough guys is 80 this year. nonetheless, he’s still going strong as this collection boasts some of his iconic films: “Dirty Harry,” “Unforgiven,” “Pale Rider,” “Gran Torino,” among many others. the big mystery is why 1993’s “In the Line of Fire” isn’t included but 1990’s “the Rookie” — a forgettable film — is. “Go ahead, punk. Make my day” — Eastwood’s famous line never gets old. for the book lovers:“Caught” by Harlan Coben: No one can write the domestic thriller the way Coben can. In his latest standalone thriller, journalist Wendy Tynes investigates the disappearance of teenager Haley McWaid, the quintessential all-American good girl. the case, however, is connected to Dan Mercer, a social worker Wendy exposed for wrongdoing. Coben hooks you from the first page and won’t let you go until the finale, putting in many twists and turns along the way.“the Left-Handed Dollar” by Loren D. Estleman: Hard-boiled, Detroit-based PI Amos Walker turns 30 this year. In the 20th novel, Walker is hired to clear the man who crippled his old friend Barry Stackpole many years ago, straining their relationship. Estleman tells so much with so little prose, and his dialogue just crackles.“Autobiography of Mark Twain” by Mark Twain: the legendary author who created Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer — fixtures in American lit classes across the nation — didn’t want his autobiography published until 100 years after his death. Well, a century has passed and the first of three volumes about Twain written by Twain has just been released.“Simpsons World: the Ultimate Episode Guide”: this copious compendium contains episode guides from the first 20 seasons of “the Simpsons,” the longest-running scripted series in American television history. more than 400 characters are profiled. There’s a complete list of celebrities who guest-starred over the years. every couch gag and every sentence Bart wrote on the chalkboard is documented. There’s also plenty of trivia to boot.“the Peanuts Collection: Treasures from the World’s most Beloved Comic Strip”: Hard to believe, but Charlie Brown and Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang are 60 this year. Although creator/artist Charles M. Schulz has been dead for 10 years, “Peanuts” is still published in newspapers all over the United States. this tome comes in a sturdy slipcase and features original sketches, comics, photos, as well as removable film cels, stickers, mini-booklets and reproduction prints of “Peanuts” artwork ready for framing.“Harry Dresden” novels by Jim Butcher: Cross Harry Potter with Sam Spade and you get Harry Dresden, a hard-boiled wizard who investigates supernatural crimes in Chicago.the latest addition in this series is “side Jobs,” an anthology of Dresden short stories. Butcher has a very rich imagination and his writing style would do Raymond Chandler proud.
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