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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…)

After the first Guardians Of The Galaxy, Hot Toys released stellar 1/6-scale figures of Star-Lord, Gamora, Groot, and Rocket. Heck, they even released a separate potted Groot figure. But, whither Drax? Heck, they took the orders for him ages ago, but he remained a no-show for years - so long that even the film’s sequel was able to debut before he did. But the wait is over, as the 1/6-scale Drax The Destroyer (Hot Toys/Sideshow, $219.99) is here, and he looks great. Granted, he’s not a terribly complex character, but this is clearly Dave Bautista, and the paint work on the skin tone and tattoos is pretty darn impressive. As far as accessories, he comes with his knives, a big ol’ gun, hands, and a pair of red pants.

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First Spock, then Kirk, and now we’ve got the third component of the Trek triumvirate, Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy (Quantum Mechanix, $179.99). The bar had already been set pretty high with the first two, but this is an excellent representation of DeForest Kelly, and it’s kitted out with a ridiculous amount of accessories, including a phaser, communicator, medical tricorder, and full medical kit (with hypo-spray and vials). This release just makes me all the more excited for QMx to finish the rest of the classic bridge crew.
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The bar has certainly been lowered over the years, but The Lego Batman Movie (Warner Bros., Rated PG, 3D Blu-Ray-$34.99 SRP) really is one of the best representations of Gotham’s defender to ever hit the big screen, because it decided to focus on a part of the mythos that much of the grimdark takes ignore - the family aspect of the bat universe. It’s just a bonus that it’s also a pretty darn funny flick. Bonus materials include a quartet of new animated shorts, featurettes, and deleted scenes.

Disney’s high definition restorations of their classic animated films tend to be spectacular, and their digital clean-up for their Signature Collection Anniversary Edition of Bambi (Walt Disney, Rated G, Blu-Ray-$29.89 SRP) is no exception - it’s stunning. Bonus materials on this new edition contain a recently discovered Oswald the Lucky Rabbit short, vintage Walt Disney recordings, deleted scenes, featurettes, and more. Is it worth another dip to pick up the new edition? Certainly.

I mean, even Matt Stone & Trey Parker have copped that the 20th season of South Park (Comedy Central, Not Rated, Blu-Ray-$24.94 SRP) got away from them, as the absurdity of the real world far eclipsed their satirical continuity, winding up at a finale that seemed more of a white flag than a season capper. Bonus materials include commentary from Matt & Trey, deleted scenes, the Comic-Con 2016 panel, and #SocialCommentary.

I love that Carson Entertainment has opened up the vaults and continues to release more shows from Johnny’s 30-year run. The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson: Johnny And Friends (Time Life, Not Rated, DVD-$24.99 SRP) is a 3-disc set containing 9 episodes spotlighting guests Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, and Robin Williams - 3 episodes apiece.

I know Disney is really keen to milk their seemingly bottomless well of IP, but their recent focus on producing live action versions of the r classic animated films feels as wrong-headed as Gus Van Sant’s Psycho. So, while the cast and visuals are often quite good, and the songs a re a proven delight, Beauty & The Beast (Walt Disney, Rated PG, Blu-Ray-$24.96 SRP) just feels perpetually wrong-footed, like a cover song that can’t hold a candelabra to the original. Bonus materials include featurettes, deleted songs, an extended scene, and more.

A 3 disc collection spanning decades, Bob Hope Salutes The Troops (Time Life, Not Rated, DVD-$12.95 SRP) collects the highlights of five globetrotting decades, as Hope carted himself and guests to entertain servicemen at home and abroad, through peacetime and conflict.

While The Brady Bunch movie proved that you could do a post-modern spin on a television show and have the result not be cringe-worthy, it’s a landing that Chips (Warner Bros., Rated R, Blu-Ray-$24.99 SRP) simply can not stick. Starring Michael Pena and Dax Shepard as California Highway Patrol officers Jon Baker and Frank “Ponch” Pncherello, it’s a surprisingly listless film considering how loud and desperate it is for laughs. Bonus materials include featurettes and deleted scenes.

Really, regardless of whether it wound up being good or not, I was going to watch Fist Fight (Warner Bros., Rated R, Blu-Ray-$35.99 SRP) just for its cast, featuring Ice Cube, Charlie Day, Tracy Morgan, and Jillian Bell. The film itself, about a mild-mannered teacher (Day) who runs afoul of a colleague (Cube) on the last day of school and is challenged to the titular brawl after the school day wraps, is an enjoyable comedy that promises an R-rated romp and delivers accordingly. Bonus materials include a clutch of deleted scenes.

I had never before considered just how revolutionary the rise of music recording was in opening up an unimaginable future for many American across economic boundaries until watching the documentary American Epic (PBS, Not Rated, Blu-Ray-$17.29 SRP), a 4-part series that chronicles just that.

The summer television drought is upon us, which means it’s the perfect time to catch up on all of the shows you may have overlooked - including a pair of UK imports. First up is the prequel series Prime Suspect: Tennison (PBS, Not Rated, Blu-Ray-$49.99 SRP), taking viewers back to the 1970s and the beginning of DCI Jane Tennison’s career. Also worth a catch-up is The Tunnel: Sabotage (PBS, Not Rated, Blu-Ray-$49.99 SRP), the second season of the geopolitical thriller starring Clemence Poesy and Stephen Dillane, as they investigate an abduction fraught with international tension.

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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