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…)
While I’ve become quite a fan of him during his tenure as a Daily Show correspondent over the past few years, it wasn’t until Wyatt Cenac: Comedy Person (Comedy Central, Not Rated, DVD-$14.95 SRP) - his first special - that I discovered what a brilliant stand-up he is, too. Go. Discover it for yourself.
Although I loathe JJ Abrams Trek refute, I’m a sucker for a prop replica such as the screen-accurate Phaser Replica ($39.99), which is a metal-plated reproduction of the weapon found in the film. The styling is influenced by the TOS phasers, with cluttery geegaws added.
We’re over halfway done, and have moved into the last 20 years of the strip with the release of The Complete Peanuts: 1981 to 1982 (Fantagraphics, $28.99 SRP). Can you believe how fast time is flying? Kudos to Fantagraphics for maintaining the incredibly high standard of quality and presentation they established at the outset, with this entry featuring an introduction from cartoonist Lynn Johnston. More!
I’ve been waiting for ages - okay, to be honest, only about a year - for my absolute favorite episode of The Twilight Zone (Image, Not Rated, Blu-Ray-$99.98 SRP) to make its high definition debut, and with the release of the complete 5th season, I finally have it. The episode? William Shatner as the gremlin-spotting passenger in “Nightmare At 20,000 Feet”. Yeah, I’m a sucker for a carpet monster. As we’ve come to expect from these brilliant upgrades, the already massive amount of bonus features have been substantially bolstered by new commentaries, interviews, and much more.
One of the loveliest cinematic experience I’ve ever had was during a trip to LA during which I partook of the recent 3D conversion of Tim Burton & Henry Selick’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (Walt Disney, Rated PG, 3D Blu-Ray- $49.99 SRP) at the impressive El Capitan theater. While the home 3D experience isn’t quite as impressive, seeing the added dimensions combined with Selick’s magical stop motion animation in the comfort of your own home is well worth it. All of the bonus features carry over from the previous Blu-Ray release - in fact, the bonus Blu-Ray disc in this set is that previous special edition - so you get all of the featurettes, short subjects, and other ephemera you expect.
If anyone is set to inherit the legacy of Carl Sagan when it comes to making the Wonders of the Universe (BBC, Not Rated, Blu-Ray-$24.99 SRP) as fascinating as they rightly should be to the general public, it’s Brian Cox. In his new series, he asks the big philosophical questions and presents the hard scientific answers of where we - and the universe around us - came from.
Lionsgate recently made a distribution deal with Miramax, which means that many titles not yet available on Blu-Ray are soon going to be coming fast and furious. The highlight of the first clutch of titles is John Favreau’s Swingers (Lionsgate, Rated R, Blu-Ray-$14.99 SRP), which sports an audio commentary, a documentary, featurettes, and the “Swingblade” short film. Also available from the catalogue are Matt Damon & Edward Norton in the poker flick Rounders (Lionsgate, Rated R, Blu-Ray-$14.99 SRP) and Bruce Willis in Hostage (Lionsgate, Rated R, Blu-Ray-$14.99 SRP).
The bargain-friendly folks at Mill Creek are unleashing a massive clutch of multi-disc classic TV sets, including Bonanza: Adventures Of The Cartwrights (Mill Creek, Not Rated, DVD-$9.98 SRP), Lucy: A Legacy Of Laughter (Mill Creek, Not Rated, DVD-$9.98 SRP), Heroes Of The Old West (Mill Creek, Not Rated, DVD-$9.98 SRP), The Legend Of Rin-Tin-Tin (Mill Creek, Not Rated, DVD-$9.98 SRP), The Beverly Hillbillies: Meet The Clampetts (Mill Creek, Not Rated, DVD-$9.98 SRP), and Family TV Classics (Mill Creek, Not Rated, DVD-$9.98 SRP).
It was inevitable they’d get their shot at the big time, which brings us Phineas & Ferb The Movie: Across The 2nd Dimension (Walt Disney, Not Rated, DVD-$26.99 SRP), which finds our hapless heroes transported to another dimension ruled over by an evil Dr. Doof. Bonus materials include deleted scenes, Perry-oke, a bonus episode, and more.
How about another much-requested Nickelodeon animated title courtesy of the fine folks at Shout Factory? This time, it’s the complete first and second season of The Angry Beavers (Shout Factory, Not Rated, DVD-$29.93 SRP). The 4-disc set contains all 26 episodes.
Despite a stellar cast and a workable premise - a pair of average means parents desperate to get their pre-K daughter into an exclusive NYC private school - The Best And The Brightest (Flatiron, Rated R, DVD-$26.95 SRP) never manages to give that stellar cast terribly strong material to work with. A shame. Bonus materials include an audio commentary, interviews, audition footage, and a Q&A.
I know all of those involved in the production of the traditionally animated feature are quite proud of the word they’ve done, but there’s no getting around that Bambi II (Walt Disney, Rated G, Blu-Ray-$39.99 SRP) is a wholly unnecessary sequel. I really don’t need to see Bambi reunite with his father for adventures and learning. Nope nope nope. Bonus materials include featurettes and a deleted song.
After months of quickie single disc releases, fans will finally be able to pick up iCarly: The Complete 3rd Season (Nickelodeon, Not Rated, DVD-$19.99 SRP), which features 10 episodes, including the movie iParty with Victorious plus a trio of featurettes.
More Miramax catalogue titles are making their way to high definition via the Lionsgate deal, the newest being the Academy Award-winning Good Will Hunting (Lionsgate, Rated R, Blu-Ray-$19.99 SRP). Re-watching it after all these years, I do find it to be even more cloying that I remembered, but there’s a genuine earnestness to the story, and nascent Matt Damon remains a treat. Bonus materials include an audio commentary, featurettes, deleted scenes, and more.
I suppose the tween audience that still view it as a magically romantic event still in their future as opposed to an anticlimactic night of drama and angst probably love the goofy, rose-colored sweetness of Disney’s Prom (Walt Disney, Not Rated, Blu-Ray-$39.99 SRP). I hope they enjoy it while they can. Bonus materials include a short, featurettes, deleted scenes, music videos, bloopers, and more.
Oh, A&E. Now you’ve got people digging into repossessed storage units and calling it a reality series? Have we sunk so low as a culture that we’ll actually sit through a whole season of Storage Wars (A&E, Not Rated, DVD-$19.95 SRP)? As if that weren’t enough, The History Channel continues to be intent to prove their name a farce by putting on Only In America With Larry The Cable Guy (History Channel, Not Rated, DVD-$19.95 SRP), which finds the comic touring the country and nattering on about something they try desperately to spin as informative.
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…
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