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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…)

How great is Inside Amy Schumer (Comedy Central, Not Rated, DVD-$26.98 SRP)? Great. Really great. Really, pretty great. Okay, it’s pretty damn great. Don’t believe me? Mainline the complete first and second seasons and see for yourself just how great it is. Bonus materials include unaired sketches, featurettes, and stand-up segments.

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Up to this point, anyone wanting to round out their 1/4-scale Star Wars displays with their favorite Droids from a galaxy far, far away would have had to content themselves with the not-quite 1/4-scale versions released ages ago by Medicom. Well, now scale purists and fans alike can rejoice, because Sideshow has delivered one-half of the long-awaited duo in absolutely exquisite form with their R2-D2 ($149.99). Not only is the scale correct, but it’s ridiculously feature and accessory laden to encompass every little thing we saw the plucky little Astromech doing across the 6 extant films, from rocket jets to jettisoning Luke’s lightsaber, from cutting to interfacing, and even a full-on set to serve cocktails on Jabba’s sail barge. I mean it - it has EVERYTHING. And it even lights up! I mean, come on! And if you snag the Sideshow Exclusive edition, you get a table featuring a light-up Princess Leia hologram figure. Now we just have to be patient for the arrival of his protocol partner in a few months.

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Preston Sturges’s still-cutting satire Sullivan’s Travels (Criterion, Not Rated, Blu-Ray-$39.95 SRP) gets a brilliant high-definition upgrade courtesy of Criterion, and it couldn’t have happened to a more must-see film. In fact, if you haven’t seen it, what it wrong with you? It’s got hobos. Bonus materials include an audio commentary, a documentary on Sturges, a video essay, and interviews.

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Kick it back to the 90s with a trio of much-requested catalogue releases from Warner Bros. sure to make plenty of fans happy - Cameron Crowe’s Singles (Warner Bros., Rated PG-13, Blu-Ray-$19.98 SRP), Detroit Rock City (Warner Bros., Rated R, Blu-Ray-$19.98 SRP), and the zeitgeist favorite Empire Records (Warner Bros., Rated PG-13, Blu-Ray-$19.98 SRP). Singles gets deleted/extended scenes, live performances, a gag reel, and trailer. Detroit Rock City sports a trio of audio commentaries, music videos, deleted scenes, and the theatrical trailer. Empire Records scores deleted scenes, a trio of music videos, and a trailer.

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I’m a sucker for retro tchotchkes that tug on my nostalgia, and that’s exactly the sweet spot hit by Thinkgeek’s nifty Mega Man Enamel Pin Set (Thinkgeek, $19.99). Available in either modern or old school 8-bit, naturally I had to go with classic NES, featuring large (almost 2″!) high quality pins of the Blue Bomber, Dr. Light, Dr. Wiley, Rush, Proto Man, Roll, Bass, and Auto. Awesome.

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As flawed an adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s classic musical as it is - and it most definitely is, eliminating much of the darker tone - Into The Woods (Walt Disney, Rated PG, Blu-Ray-$39.99 SRP) is worth a watch just for the strength of its cast, particularly James Corden’s Baker and Anna Kendrick’s Cinderella… although the less said about Johnny Depp’s Big Bad Wolf, the better. Bonus materials include a deleted song, featurettes, and an audio commentary.

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It’s taken years and years and now the very good graces of the folks at Olive Films, but with the release of King Of The Hill: Season 9 and King Of The Hill: Season 10 (Olive Films, Not Rated, DVD-$34.95 SRP each), we’re now oh-so-close to finally wrapping up the DVD release 13-season run of Mike Jude’s modern classic.

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In recent years, Diamond Select has released some incredible vinyl banks featuring incredible sculpts that put other companies to shame, from Ninja Turtles and the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man to mighty Godzilla. So what do they do now? They hit it out of the park with their MechaGodzilla Vinyl Bank (Diamond Select Toys, $29.99). Standing over a foot tall, it’s just incredible. And fun. It’s funcredible.

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Hot on the heels of the debut disc comes the second volume of Cartoon Network’s quirky series with a giant realistic flying tiger, Uncle Grandpa: Good Mornin’ (Cartoon Network, Not Rated, DVD-$14.97 SRP). It sports a dozen episodes, but sadly no bonus features.

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I’m just as shocked as you are to have enjoyed the onscreen team-up of Nicolas Cage and Hayden Christensen in the medieval action flick Outcast (Phase 4, Not Rated, Blu-Ray-$29.99 SRP), about a prince (Christensen) under threat of assassination whose only hope of survival is a war-weary Crusader (Cage).

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Produced a year before Twilight Zone but largely forgotten today, One Step Beyond (Film Chest, Not Rated, DVD-$19.98 SRP) is a fascinating curio that set its weekly premise as a weekly adaptation of “real” supernatural events presented to the audience in anthology fashion. Running only two seasons, this 6-disc set collects 70 extant episodes in the most comprehensive packaging to date, and is well worth a look see.

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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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