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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 FRED Weekend Shopping Guide - your spotlight on the things you didn’t even know you wanted…

(Please support FRED by using the links below to make any impulse purchases - it helps to keep us going…)

I didn’t think I would like the new TRON film. The original was a childhood favorite, even though it’s not a terribly good flick, and everything I’d seen and heard about the sequel gave me a massive feeling of “meh”. Well, the sequel, while flawed, is entirely watchable, at times even good, even if it suffers the same kind of story malaise that affected its predecessor. You can get both films via the 5-disc TRON: Legacy/Original TRON set (Walt Disney, Rated PG, Blu-Ray-$79.99 SRP), which features not only high definition editions of both films, but also the 3-D version of Legacy, which does look rather spiffy on a 3-D TV. The set is loaded with featurettes and other behind-the-scenes materials, and the original TRON also ports over all of the special features from the original 2-disc DVD special edition.


We’re entering into the rainy season as spring begins to dawn, and what better way to pass the time than constructing a pair of Harry Potter LEGO sets - the wonderful Hogwarts Express ($79.99) and the far simpler to construct Quidditch Match ($19.99). Get building!


You know what doesn’t hold up? The original Arthur (Warner Bros., Rated PG, Blu-Ray-$19.98 SRP), which makes its high definition debut paired with the mediocre sequel Arthur 2: On The Rocks. While there are flashes of brilliance to Dudley Moore’s portrayal of the filthy rich drunken manchild forced to become an adult, and Sir John Gielgud remains a revelation as his manservant, the story is only intermittently engaging or funny, and the whole production seems cheap. Such a shame.


While it’s not the complete season sets fans have been hoping for, at least iCarly: Season 2 Volume 3 (Nickelodeon, Not Rated, DVD-$19.99 SRP) bumps the disc count up to 3 and comes with a whopping 17 episodes (one of which is an extended cut), plus shorts and the pilot episode of T.U.F.F. Puppy.


While I still prefer its more oddball sequel, there’s still much charm in the original Babe (Universal, Rated G, Blu-Ray-$26.98 SRP), which finds its way to high definition with an audio commentary and a pair of featurettes. All in all, that’ll do.


If you’re still breaking in your 3-D TV or computer and desperate for content with which to do so, a pair of films made for 3-D IMAX theaters are available for your exhibition pleasure - Ultimate G’s: Zac’s Flying Dream & Mummies: Secrets Of The Pharaohs (Image, Not Rated, Blu-Ray-$24.98 SRP each). As you can probably guess, one deals with flying and the other takes you to Egypt. In 3D!


Another of those “must-have” classic musicals has made its way into the high definition realm with the arrival of the 40th anniversary edition of Fiddler On The Roof (MGM/UA, Rated G, Blu-Ray-$29.99 SRP), starring Topol in the title role, turning in a memorable performance that would only be topped by his turn in Flash Gordon. This new edition features an audio commentary, featurettes, a deleted song, TV spots, trailers, and more.


The massive Roger Corman collection coming out of Shout Factory gets a pair of new releases that amount to 5 more films, the first of which is the triple feature Georgia Peaches/The Great Texas Dynamite Chase/Smokey Bites The Dust (Shout Factory, Rated R, DVD-$13.99 SRP) and the double feature Dirty Mary Crazy Larry/Race With The Devil (Shout Factory, Rated PG, DVD-$14.93 SRP). Bonus features include audio commentaries, interviews, TV spots, trailers, and more.


If you thought you had the complete run of Abbott & Costello’s theatrical flicks after getting that big Universal set a few years back, best think again, as the Warner Archive Collection has released a clutch of films the boys made for them, including Abbott & Costello Meet Captain Kidd (Warner Bros., Not Rated, DVD-$19.95), which stars Charles Laughton as the titular captain.


The most I can say about Little Fockers (Universal, Rated PG-13, Blu-Ray-$39.98 SRP) is that the latest in the Parents/Fockers series is not nearly as grating as, say, Look Who’s Talking, Too, but the whole affair is wearing a bit thin. Bonus materials include deleted scenes, featurettes, outtakes, and more.


Time to add another figure to the growing 12″ Star Wars line from the fine folks at Sideshow Collectibles, as the revered Jedi Mentor Yoda ($69.99). The fully-articulated figure sports 2 sets of switch-out hands & feet, his walking stick, and even a log to sit on. The head-sculpt and costuming improves upon the Medicom RAH Yoda that was released a few years back, making this a must-have addition.



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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