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 can state unequivocally and without doubt that Stan Lee is an icon. Whether it be guiding the birth of the Marvel Comics universe or by being that selfsame universe’s biggest booster, he truly is “The Man”. And considering how many cameos he’s had in Marvel films over the years, it is any wonder your toy shelf can now have its very own special guest appearance from the 1/6-scale Stan Lee ($199.99). Dressed in Stan casual, it features a sculpt that perfectly captures the genial quality of ol’ Stan, right down to the tinted (and alternate clear) glasses perched above his grin. In addition to an number of hands (some of which are in Spidey web shooter position), his chief accessory is a folding director’s chair, very similar to the one packed with Hot Toys’ Bruce Lee figure ages ago. So, bottom line, this figure is great. ‘Nuff said.
There is absolutely no denying its iconic status, so it was inevitable that Criterion would eventually get around to delving a definitive high definition presentation of Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb (Criterion, Not Rated, Blu-Ray-$39.95 SRP). Featuring a newly restored 4K transfer and a remarkable bounty of rare and rarely seen extras, it’s the ultimate edition of a classic.
Another new Pixar film means another wonderful new book to devour, and so it goes with The Art Of Finding Dory (Chronicle Books, $40.00 SRP), which does the usual bang-up job of packing its pages with development artwork and interviews chronicling the creation of the much-anticipated sequel.
Patrick Stewart as a monstrous neo-Nazi club owner who holds a young band hostage after they inadvertently witness a crime? That powerful performance and white knuckle tension makes Green Room (Lionsgate, Rated R, Blu-Ray-$24.99 SRP) make it a thriller worth checking out. Bonus materials include an audio commentary and a featurette.
The kids today. What do they love? We know they love the Minecraft. Oh, how they love the Minecraft. What else do they love? Getting the bejeezus scared out of them while playing the game Five Nights At Freddy’s, whose sole purpose seems to be making kids periodically scream in the dark while playing on for another 17 consecutive hours. Now, those kids can bring the trauma right into their homes with Five Nights At Freddy’s Plush (Thinkgeek, $29.99 each). You can snag either Freddy or Foxy, and each stand a pretty massive 20″ tall.
Two thespianic titans as an aging actor and his dresser in a tale of friendship and loyalty? Who would not want to watch Anthony Hopkins and Ian McKellen share the screen for two hours in The Dresser (Anchor Bay, Not Rated, DVD-$24.98 SRP).
With Everybody Wants Some!! (Paramount, Rated R, Blu-Ray-$39.99 SRP), writer/director Richard Linklater moves his Dazed and Confused coming-of-age nostalgia from high school in the 1970s to college in the 1980s, as a group of friends navigate their way through girls, parties, and problems in the summer of 1980. Bonus materials include deleted scenes and featurettes.
While there are showier examples of his filmmaking style, like Conan and Red Dawn, the high-def debut of his John Milius’s first directorial effort, Dillinger (Arrow Films, Rated PG, Blu-Ray-$27.99 SRP) is a great way to discover this oft-overlooked little gem about the legendary outlaw.
There was always a crazy quality to the Shakespearean machinations at the core of House Of Cards (Sony, Not Rated, Blu-Ray-$65.99 SRP), but the fourth season takes the scheming and backstabbing to a frontstabbing new level as it pits the team of Frank and Claire Underwood squarely against each other in a bloody winner-take-all battle.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (Paramount, Rated R, Blu-Ray-$39.99 SRP). I mean, a film starring Tina Fey as a journalist who trades her desk job in New York for an assignment in Afghanistan? Co-starring Martin Freeman, Margot Robbie, and Billy Bob Thornton? You’d think it’d be a slam dunk, and while it’s certainly amiable, it never quite clicks. Bonus materials include featurettes and deleted/extended scenes.
The adult coloring book market is awash with dozens upon dozens of options, including a fair number based on licensed properties. Two of my favorites, though, are decidedly offbeat. To The Ocean Deep (Chronicle Books, $14.95 SRP), which touts itself as the longest coloring book in the world, unfolds to 15 feet packed with intricate sub-aquatic imagery. The other is The Bicycle Coloring Book: Journey To The Edge Of The World (Chronicle Books, $16.95 SRP) which, as you can well surmise, features fantastical illustrations of bicycles around the world.
Slowly but surely, we’re getting affordable Star Trek prop replicas that are well-constructed, screen-accurate, and affordable. They’re perfect as either a fun collectible or the final bit of your cosplay. The latest addition is the Star Trek III: The Search For Spock Phaser (Thinkgeek/Diamond Select, $39.99). Featuring authentic lights and sounds, it’s a must-have before you head down to the Genesis planet to face the Klingons.
Like Star Trek before it, syndication success helped the castaways of the S.S. Minnow find their way back onto television via a cartoon. In the case of our 7 stranded seafarers, it was The New Adventures Of Gilligan (Warner Bros., Not Rated, DVD-$29.99 SRP), which featured the return of all of the original cast members except Dawn Wells and Tina Louise. The 3-disc set contains all 24 episodes, plus the original bumpers.
It’s still a very ugly film, but in watching the new anniversary edition of Shrek (Dreamworks, Rated PG, Blu-Ray-$19.99 SRP), there’s no denying that its success is because it was a very funny film that still managed a decent amount of heart. Bonus materials include an audio commentary, featurettes, and deleted scenes.
There’s no denying that Ice Pirates (Warner Bros., Rated PG, Blu-Ray-$21.99 SRP) is an awful, awful film. But it’s awful in that great, pure cheese cult fashion that makes watching it an enjoyable journey into ersatz mediocrity. I mean, this is a film that actually cast Bruce Vilanch in an onscreen role. Ridiculous.
Diamond Select has put out a lot of great figures over the years, mainly through their Marvel license, but they’ve recently picked up the license to produce 6″-scale figures from the original Ghostbusters (Diamond Select, $24.99 SRP each). And boy, have they been going to town. With at least 15 figures planned in the line, we’ve already seen the release of Peter, Egon, Ray, and Winston, as well Keymaster Louis and Gatekeeper Dana. What’s even more impressive about their plans is that each figure comes with a piece of what can eventually be constructed into a massive set piece of the rooftop temple from the film’s finale. Add to that copious amounts of accessories and attention to detail, including the sculpts, and you’ve got a line that begs to be completed.
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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