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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…)

Sure, the prequels showed that petulance runs deep in the Skywalker bloodline, but even Anakin never reached the levels of pure emo we saw in href=”http://affiliates.sideshowtoy.com/Tracker.aspx?aid=1303&href=http%3a%2f%2fwww.sideshowtoy.com%2fcollectibles%2fstar-wars-kylo-ren-hot-toys-902538%2f” target=”_blank”>Kylo Ren ($224.99), who has now been immortalized in 1/6th scale form by the fine folks at Hot Toys. Sadly, we don’t get an Adam Driver portrait, so the detail level comes from the way they’ve scaled down the textured fabric in the numerous layers of his deceptively simple looking outfit, as well as his weathered facemask. As with their recent release of Obi-Wan and Luke, he sports a swappable right forearm that contains an LED light feature for his unique cross-hilted lightsaber.

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If you’re lucky, life is full of pleasant surprises. The arrival of the incredible modern television classic Freaks And Geeks (Shout Factory, Not Rated, Blu-Ray-$119.00 SRP) in high definition? That, my friends, is the very epitome of a pleasant surprise. Not only do we get a fully remastered version of the original presentation, but we also get a 16×9 version, which I surprised to find out was the format (save for the pilot) that the show was actually shot in. And it looks great. All of the bonus materials from the stellar “Yearbook” DVD release have been carried over, with the addition of a brand new conversation with creator Paul Feig & producer Judd Apatow.

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It’s a bit pointless to try and offer up a review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Walt Disney, Rated PG-13, Blu-Ray-$39.99 SRP). Everyone’s seen it. Everyone has an opinion on it. So how does what is sure to be the first of many home video releases meet up with expectations? We’re going to have to wait until later in the year for a 3D release, but the bonus features this go round are marked by a singular great one, which is the extended making-of documentary which charts the creation of the film from the sale of Lucasfilm through the production. Admittedly, it feels like the first of what could be many documentaries, as there are plenty of aspects of production that are only touched upon, even in the clutch of additional featurettes the disc contains. And the deleted scenes only total less than 5 minutes, leaving tons of filmed material still unseen, including scenes with the mysterious Constable Zuvio, who got an action figure even though all trace of him was cut. So, yes, this is not the Peter Jackson-level special edition we were hoping for, but you know you’re impatient and are going to buy this first release regardless. So here it is. Now start saving your pennies for the special edition at the end of the year.

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Oh, how I love nifty multi-task devices, and the UCO Trinity LED Lantern (Thinkgeek, $49.99) certainly falls into that sweet spot. Not only is it a perfect little handheld LED flashlight, but you can extend the housing and transform it from a unidirectional light into an omnidirectional lantern. Ah, but that’s not the end of its powers, because the last bit of wow actually has to do with power, as it manages to triple as a USB power charger. How’s that for a great emergency device?

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I continue to marvel at the notion that, after this set, there are 25 episodes left until the entire run is available on home video. Thanks to the miracle workers at Shout Factory, Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XXXV (Shout Factory, Not Rated, DVD-$59.97 SRP) brings us four episodes closer to that seemingly impossible goal. Whizzes at clearing up rights red tape, this set continues the Joel/Mike episode split, with 12 To The Moon, Teenage Cave Man, Being From Another Planet (aka Time Walker), and Deathstalker And The Warriors From Hell, plus a quartet of featurettes.

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I had very little expectations one way or the other from it, but wound up enjoying Disney’s latest animated feature immensely, which made digging into The Art Of Zootopia (Chronicle Books, $40 SRP) even more of a delight. As we’ve come to expect with these lovely hardcover tomes, it’s packed with design and development artwork and insight into the creation of the film.

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The end of a cinematic series means fans can finally snap up a comprehensive collection containing all of the flicks and usually a load of extra bonus materials, and The Hunger Games: Complete 4-Film Co0llection (Lionsgate, Rated PG-13, Blu-Ray-$64.97 SRP) brings together the entire quadrilogy, including all previously-available bonus features plus an exclusive bonus disc packed with additional documentaries, deleted scenes, and more.

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There’s much to love and much to hate about Quentin Tarantino’s 8th film, The Hateful Eight (Anchor Bay, Rated, R, Blu-Ray-$39.99 SRP). For every beautifully evocative piece of dialogue, performance, or visual flourish, there’s a feeling that it’s the Olive Garden of spaghetti westerns. And much like every other Tarantino film before it, I like it for what it is, wish it lived up to its own potential, and will probably not get around to watching it again. Bonus materials include a pair of featurettes.

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Written as a gift to his young son Tenzin on the boy’s 5th birthday, Avatar: The Last Airbender - Legacy (Insight Editions, $24.95 SRP) is a combination memoir and scrapbook of Aang’s tale, written in the first person and collecting numerous pieces of ephemera from his many adventures. Where else are you going to get mementos like a Fire Nation Royal Palace postcard and a guide to waterbending?

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It’s not a film you’ll probably ever find yourself watching again, but Daddy’s Home (Paramount, Rated PG-13, Blu-Ray-$39.99 SRP) is a comedy that coasts on the amiable likability of Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg as a dad and step-dad facing off against each other for the affection of their kids. Bonus materials include deleted/extended scenes and featurettes.

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No one would consider any of these titles classics, but the latest clutch of high-def catalogue debuts to make their way out into the world via Olive Films certainly contains flicks that many would consider guilty pleasures, including the A Christmas Story sequel My Summer Story (Olive Films, Rated PG, Blu-Ray-$29.95 SRP), Peter Fonda in Jack Nicholson & Roger Corman’s The Trip (Olive Films, Not Rated, Blu-Ray-$29.95 SRP), Judd Nelson in Making The Grade (Olive Films, Rated R, Blu-Ray-$29.95 SRP), Bette Midler in Jinxed (Olive Films, Rated R, Blu-Ray-$29.95 SRP), Chuck Norris in Breaker! Breaker! (Olive Films, Rated PG, Blu-Ray-$29.95 SRP), Bruce Willis & Cate Blanchett in Bandits (Olive Films, Rated PG-13, Blu-Ray-$29.95 SRP), Val Kilmer & Michael Madsen in Kill Me Again (Olive Films, Rated R, Blu-Ray-$29.95 SRP), and James Woods & Sean Young in The Boost (Olive Films, Rated R, Blu-Ray-$29.95 SRP).

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The best I can say about the wholly unnecessary Point Break (Warner Bros., Rated PG-13, Blu-Ray-$44.95 SRP) remake is that the surfing footage looks awfully pretty. Other than that, it pretty much just exists. Is it offensive? Nah. It’s a fine watch if you run across it. With pretty waves. Bonus materials include featurettes and deleted scenes.

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They make money, so there will continue to be quickie franchise sequels like Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Road Chip (Fox, Rated PG, DVD-$29.98 SRP), which finds the titular threesome taking the title pun’s road trip to Miami. Bonus materials include a featurette and a song playlist.

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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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