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The weekend’s here. You’ve just been paid, and it’s burning a hole in your pocket. What’s a pop culture geek to do? In hopes of steering you in the right direction to blow some of that hard-earned cash, it’s time for the Quick Stop Weekend Shopping Guide - your spotlight on the things you didn’t even know you wanted…

A fair share of the comedy is familiar to anyone who’s seen his three UK stand-up DVDs - Animals, Politics, & Fame - but Ricky Gervais: Out Of England (HBO, Not Rated, DVD-$19.98 SRP) is a very nice, very funny entry point for a US audience largely unfamiliar with extracurricular stand-up activities. Bottom line? Get it. The sole bonus feature is an interview with Ricky. Sadly, no editors are duct-taped.

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I’m a sucker for anything with the word “magic” in the product description, and I have to admit that the Magic Spinning Globe ($99.99) certainly lives up to the title. Through a combination of fluids, plastic, magnets, light, and the Earth’s magnetic field, this globe will actually rotate as the Earth does. It’ll even do it while you’re holding it. How freakin’ cool is that? I mean, seriously, that’s some scientific “magic” I can get behind.

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Since they started coming out on Blu-Ray last year, I’ve been patiently awaiting the high definition arrival of my favorite Bond flick, and it’s finally come with the James Bond Blu-Ray Collection: Volume Three (MGM, Rated PG, Blu-Ray-$89.98 SRP). Not only do you get Goldfinger, but also Moonraker and The World Is Not Enough. As with the previous releases, the bonus materials are essentially the same as the standard special editions, with a few new bells & whistles. A must get.

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Watching Slumdog Millionaire (Fox, Rated R, DVD-$29.98 SRP), it’s clear why it’s lodged itself firmly in so many viewer’s hearts - it’s a grand, ultimately feel good celebration of the power of film to get the audience excited. The tale isn’t all sunshine and roses, but the rise of “slumdog” Jamal Malik (Dev Patel) on India’s version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and the potential that he may actually secure his true love as well is… Well, see it if you haven’t already. Bonus features include an audio commentary, featurettes, deleted scenes, a short film, and a music video. A Blu-Ray edition ($39.99 SRP) is also available, with identical bonus materials.

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The second season of The Fugitive (Paramount, Not Rated, DVD-$39.98 SRP) wraps up with the second volume of 15 episodes, fully restored, as - you guessed it - Dr. Richard Kimble is STILL on the run from the law and searching for the one-armed man.

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Although the laughs sometimes get a bit sparse, I always enjoy a comedian like Jim Gaffigan - who exists in a world all his own, and takes the audience down to his own speed. You can see what I mean in the document of his 2008 tour, Jim Gaffigan: King Baby (Paramount, Not Rated, DVD-$16.99 SRP). The disc features an extended cut of the Comedy Central special, plus 3 episodes of the online serial Pale Force (co-starring Conan O’Brien), 4 episodes of Our Massive Planet, and interviews.

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Ever since descending into a bizarre pit of arch-conservatism, it’s been difficult to remember that Dennis Miller was once quite a funny comedian. If you’re having trouble remembering, too, pick up a copy of Dennis Miller: The HBO Specials (SRO Entertainment, Not Rated, DVD-$29.99 SRP). The 3-disc set features 1988’s Mr. Miller Goes To Washington, 1990’s Black And White, 1994’s Live From Washington DC: They Shoot HBO Specials, Don’t They, 1996’s Citizen Arcane, 1999’s The Millennium Special: 1,000 Years, 100 Laughs, 10 Really Good Ones, 2003’s The Raw Feed, and 2006’s All In.

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Say what you will about the quality of the films themselves, eye candy like The Fast & The Furious Trilogy (Universal, Rated PG-13, Blu-Ray-$99.98 SRP) was made for people to show off their Blu-Ray players - and now you can do just that. The box set sports all 3 flicks, all of the bonus features available in the standard DVD releases, plus all-new featurettes exclusive to Blu-Ray. You’d never guess the 4th film was right around the corner, would ya?

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As rom coms though, Marley & Me (Fox, Rated PG, Blu-Ray-$39.99 SRP) is pretty inoffensive, often staying relatively enjoyable. I think most of that comes from leads Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson as a young couple who try to allay their fears of eventually being good parents by adopting a dog. That’s the spoiler-free short of it. The Blu-Ray edition contains a bonus standard DVD of the film, along with an audio commentary, featurettes, deleted scenes, and a gag reel.

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I don’t know if it’s all of the Scientology gobbledygook swishing around in his brain, but Will Smith has been off his game for a few movies now. A once-surefire sign of at least a good watch, Smith is now starring in middling, pretentious, often baffling fare like Seven Pounds (Sony, Rated PG-13, DVD-$28.96 SRP), about a lost man who finds he’s able to change the lives of seven people… Or something. I got bored. Bonus features include an audio commentary, deleted scenes, and featurettes. A Blu-Ray edition ($39.95 SRP) is also available, featuring identical bonus materials.

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It’s pithy and disposable, and now Hope & Faith: The Complete Season 1 (Lionsgate, Not Rated, DVD-$29.98 SRP) - starring Faith Ford and Kelly Ripa - is on DVD. The 4-disc set features all 25 episodes, plus audio commentaries, interviews, and a blooper reel.

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Disney has released a pair of new discs for kids, the first of which is School House Rock: Earth (Disney, Not Rated, DVD-$19.99 SRP) - containing 11 new songs from the original creators about the environment. Next is Handy Manny: Manny’s Green Team (Disney, Not Rated, DVD-$19.99 SRP), another environmentally themed outing. Last up - for the bigger kids - is Hannah Montana: Keeping It Real (Disney Not Rated, DVD-$19.99 SRP), which contains six episodes and a featurette.

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So there you have it… my humble suggestions for what to watch, listen to, play with, or waste money on this coming weekend. See ya next week…

-Ken Plume

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