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 we’re all still eagerly awaiting the “any day” arrival of Rocket & Groot and the launch of the pre-orders for Drax, fans of those loveable intergalactic rogues the Guardians Of The Galaxy can snag a trio of fantastic figures to make the wait for a full set bearable. Not only can you get the team’s erstwhile leader, Star-Lord (Sideshow, $234, but you can pick up the green-skinned assassin Gamora (Sideshow, $199.99) and the Hot Toys take on the dancing fan-favorite Little Groot (Sideshow, $44.99). Star-Lord is the most feature-laden, coming with a light feature in his visored head, his trusty walkman and headphones, the infinity gem storage balls, and a swappable Chris Pratt head for all of your Parks And Recreation posing needs. Gamora has her long and short knives (for cutting!), and Groot features a trio of swappable heads and poseable arms. As we’ve come to expect from Hot Toys, the tailoring on the costuming is ridiculously exquisite, bordering on magical in their ability to pull off screen-accurate scaled reproductions. Just look at Star-Lord’s coat and Gamora’s leather togs.
The fine folks at Fantagraphics continue to do a stellar job presenting the works of the legendary Carl Barks for a brand new generation keen to discover the finest Disney Ducks comics ever created with the release of Donald Duck: The Pixilated Parrot (Fantagraphics, $29.99 SRP). Not only does this volume contain the titular tale, but its 200 pages are packed with long and short classics, plus the usual scholarly essays and context that makes these positively ducky. Yeah, I went there.
If they have to revisit Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas (Warner Bros., Rated R, Blu-Ray-$34.99 SRP) on blu-ray, at least they did it the right way, by presenting it via a brand new 4k restoration that looks absolutely stunning, plus a brand-new star-studded documentary about what it’s like acting the criminal for Scorsese. The set also includes ad8itional featurettes and materials from previous releases, plus a 36-page photo book.
It should come as little surprise that the brilliant Timothy Spall is brilliant in Mike Leigh’s biopic about Britain’s revered, emotionally complicated painter J.M.W. Turner in Mr. Turner (Sony, Rated R, Blu-Ray-$34.99 SRP). Bonus materials include an audio commentary, featurettes, and a deleted scene.
They’re not the best films ever made, but there’s a Technicolor delight to be found in the 5 flicks which comprise Warners’ new Frank Sinatra Collection (Warner Bros., Not Rated, Blu-Ray-$69.95 SRP). Presented in brilliantly restored high definition, the set includes Anchors Aweigh, On The Town, Guys And Dolls, Ocean’s 11, and Robin And The 7 Hoods. Bonus materials include audio commentaries, vintage cartoons, vintage featurettes (fans of Warners’ wonderful old school movie night DVDs will remember them), a Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson excerpt, trailers, and more.
I’ve been a big fan of MiniMates going back to their original larger-scale debut, so I was happy to hear that they’d picked up the license to produce Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles MiniMates (Diamond Select Toys, $5.99 SRP each) based on the hit Nickelodeon series. The first wave of blind-bagged figures includes all four turtles, Shredder, two foot soldiers, and a chase translucent Michaelangelo.
It’s quite a challenge to follow up such a powerful first season, but the second season of Broadchurch (E1, Not Rated, DVD-$39.98 SRP) is a solid sophomore effort, and that rests wholly on the shoulders of David Tennant and Olivia Colman and a compelling mystery. Bonus materials include featurettes, interviews, and deleted scenes.
No longer do we have to content ourselves with the lackluster standard definition piecemeal releases of the gloriously vibrant pop-pop animated Teen Titans Go (Warner Bros., Not Rated, Blu-Ray-$29.99 SRP), as the Warner Archive gifts fans a high definition release of the complete first season. Sadly, there’s not a single bonus feature, but at least it all looks great and I in one package.
I love diving into books where you spend every page thinking, “Finally! Someone put together an awesome book that I never knew I wanted until it existed!” Such is the case with Meet Mr. Product: Volume 1 and its companion Mr. Product: Volume 2 (Insight Editions, $17.99 SRP each), which combined are a visual encyclopedia of advertising characters spanning the bulk of the 20th century up until 1985, on everything from cereals to auto parts and from the Michelin Man to Charlie Tuna.
No one in their right mind would consider the latter-day Curly Joe features made by the Three Stooges to be the boys at their finest, but there is a charm and novelty to be found in The Three Stooges Triple Feature: Time Out For Rhythm/Rockin’ In The Rockies/Have Rocket Will Travel & The Three Stooges Triple Feature: The Three Stooges Around The World In A Daze/The Three Stooges Meet Hercules/The Outlaws Is Coming (Mill Creek, Not Rated, Blu-Ray-$14.98 SRP each). It’s nice to see them all get the high def treatment, and also nice that Rhythm and Rockies are both Curly Howard-era features.
S.H. Figuarts are known for their ridiculously poseable action figures with a level of near-miraculous articulation. Combine that with two Nintendo superstars and you’ve got must-have, shelf-ready figures of Mario (Thinkgeek, $18.74) and Link ($54.99). While Mario comes with a Super Mushroom, a block, and a gold coin, Link has his sword (with optional energy effect), shield, a swappable face, and a nifty stand allowing for even more dynamic posing. Woo-hoo!
Ryan Gosling’s writing & directing debut, Lost River (Warner Bros., Rated R, Blu-Ray-$29.98 SRP) really is a mess of a film. Equal parts pretentious and baffling in its attempt to be a deep character piece about a mother’s attempt to hold her family and town together, but instead is a must-see-to-believe misfire with a great cast, including Christina Hendricks, Matt Smith, and Iain De Castecker.
As a longtime Marvel comics nerd who owned every issue of the original Official Handbook Of The Marvel Universe, I mightily enjoyed the tech and geeky trivia packed into the official Haynes’ Marvel Vehicles: Owner’s Workshop Manual (Insight Editions, $29.95 SRP). Guided by S.H.I.E.L.D. head Nick Fury himself, it’s a peek inside everything from the helicarrier to the Green Goblin’s Goblin Glider. And yes, you even get the dune buggy Spider-Mobile.
Because they’re wonderful maniacs, Olive Films have dropped another clutch of catalogue titles new to high-def, including Abbott & Costello’s final film, Dance With Me, Henry (Olive Films, Not Rated, Blu-Ray-$29.95 SRP), Jodi Foster’s directorial debut Little Man Tate (Olive Films, Rated PG, Blu-Ray-$29.95 SRP), the 1990 version of Lord Of The Flies (Olive Films, Rated R, Blu-Ray-$29.95 SRP), Robert Townsend’s Hollywood Shuffle (Olive Films, Rated R, Blu-Ray-$29.95 SRP), Paul Newman & Robby Benson in Harry & Son (Olive Films, Rated PG, Blu-Ray-$29.95 SRP), Nick Nolte & Judd Hirsch in Teachers (Olive Films, Rated R, Blu-Ray-$29.95 SRP), Pauley Shore’s opus Bio-Dome (Olive Films, Rated PG-13, Blu-Ray-$29.95 SRP), Cooley High (Olive Films, Rated PG, Blu-Ray-$29.95 SRP), Jessica Lange & Tommy Lee Jones in Blue Sky (Olive Films, Rated PG-13, Blu-Ray-$29.95 SRP), and Chuck Norris & Lou Gossett in Firewalker (Olive Films, Rated PG, Blu-Ray-$29.95 SRP).
Twomorrows has taken their long out-of-print stellar biography of a comics legend and expanded it into a must-have deluxe edition with Will Eisner: A Spirited Life (Twomorrows, $39.95 SRP). The hardcover tome is not only a detailed overview of Eisner’s life, but is also packed with rare artwork and photographs.
This week’s toddler time titles from the folks at Nickelodeon include Wallykazam! (Nickelodeon, Not Rated, DVD-$14.98 SRP), sporting four enchanted adventures, and Let’s Learn S.T.E.M. (Nickelodeon, Not Rated, DVD-$14.98 SRP), featuring 6 educational playdates with Dora, Bubble Guppies, Team Umizoomi, and more.
For the Hal Lublins of the world, who would kindly be characterized as rabid wrestling fans, the WWE Ultimate Superstar Guide (DK, $16.99 SRP) is a fully illustrated handbook of wrestlers past and present, with full bios, trivia, stats, and more.
Sometimes, you’re just hankering for a mindless action flick, and that’s exactly the sort of popcorn cleanser you’ll get from The Marine 4: Moving Target (Fox, Rated R, Blu-Ray-$29.99 SRP), starring WWE superstar Mike “The Miz” Mizanin as the titular Marine, Jake Carter, whose private sector gig is to protect a high-value whistleblower against a team of mercs. Bonus materials include a trio of featurettes.
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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