Quint's 2010 Holiday Gift Guide Part 1: Books, Comics, Music and Gadgets!
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. Happy Holidays! I hope my American friends are all stuffed to the gills with bird meat (or the remains of a Tofurky, whatever the preference).
As usual, I've been going crazy trying to get the Annual Holiday Gift Guide into some sort of presentable shape. As it is I've been awake for just over 36 hours in order to complete this guide also at least make an appearance with my Thanksgiving festivities. It's been a bear of a year for some reason. It's hard to tell at this stage if there's more stuff on the guide or if I'm just getting old and my fingers are getting weak. There's a ton of good stuff, don't get me wrong, but some of the sections took quite a while to come together, much longer than usual.
If you haven't already, I urge you to check out blackfriday.info for the rundown on the doorbusters going on in stores across the country tonight and tomorrow. Also make sure to hit Amazon's Black Friday Page to see what's shaking there. I've been spending too much money on their week of Black Friday deals as things like Mad Men seasons 1-3 go for $9.99 each on Blu-Ray or each LOTR film is popping up at $7.99 apiece.
There are tons of deals going on even before Black Friday, so shop around!
I do get a small commission from some of the links, but I wouldn't link to any site I don't personally shop on, like Amazon and Entertainment Earth and Deep Discount DVD. Full disclosure and all that.
I've broken up the articles into three parts, like usual, but I've slightly altered a few things, including adding a new category: Home. Too many things seemed to fit more into appliance/kitchen/wall decoration/home stuff this year and didn't feel right to put in Toys or Collectibles. But you shouldn't notice much of a difference in formatting.
Part One covers Books, Gadgets and Music. Part Two covers Blu-Ray/DVD, Video Games and Toys. Part Three has Collectibles, Apparel, Art, Home, Food and For Super Rich Only. Here is the pricing breakdown for every category:
CHEAP - Items $24.99 and under
MODERATE - Items $25.00-$70.99
EXPENSIVE - Items $71.00-$499.99
FOR THE SUPER RICH ONLY - Items $500.00 and up
Keep your eye out for giveaways. Got some good prizes to give to you readers this year, but I won't tell you were they are. You gotta read the Guide to find 'em.
In a change of procedure I'm going to post Part 1 while I put the finishing touches on Parts 2 and 3, which will post in a few hours. It'll give you a chance to jump into the flow of things if you've got nothing better to do with your eyes this Thanksgiving night. Enjoy!
CHEAP ($24.99 and Under)
Destroy All Movies is a book on cult cinema written by the Alamo Drafthouse's Zack Carlson and Bryan Connolly that is kind of the end all be all of ridiculous B-movies involving punks in any way, shape or form. It's at once a collection of titles, a love letter and a historical document. Zack has spearheaded the Alamo's regular Terror Tuesday and is childlike in his passion for what the snooty would call "garbage cinema." As the saying goes (and I'm paraphrasing here), one douchebag's garbage is Zack's treasure. Featuring in-depth looks at everything from Repo Man to Valley Girl as well as discussions with filmmakers and punk rockers. It's a hell of an off beat and quite brilliant gift for the movie nerd or punk in your family! $23.10.
I have not seen Simon Pegg's book yet, but having been lucky enough to have spent a little time with the man going back before Shaun of the Dead, I can tell you if it reads half as funny and half as sincere as the man himself it'll be a slice of fried gold. The book seems a little difficult to obtain stateside, although there is a Kindle Edition that runs $14.17 and you can get a hard copy on the Amazon Marketplace around $21. While you're at it, why not check out his graphic novel he's publishing through an app. More info here.
Jon Stewart and his Daily Show writing team follow up their textbook-like America with another textbook called Earth. This book is to science what America is to history, in other words it's both funny and informative, much like The Daily Show itself. Written as an instruction manual to the Alien explorers that discover what's left of our planet in thousands of years, the book is a fun read... and ya' just might learn a little something about our planet (or re-learn what you've forgotten from middle school science and geography). $14.00.
Full Dark, No Stars is Stephen King's newest novella collection. Like Four Past Midnight and even The Bachman Books before it, we have King working in one of his stronger formats: stories that are longer than shorts, but shorter than novels. I'm a big King nerd, but this is an easy recommendation. Unlike last year's mostly strong Under the Dome (great until the end), this isn't a brick of a book that takes some time and dedication to get through. The four stories in this book are dark, but quick reads. Strong stuff from one of the masters! $14.51.
Transitioning from father to son, I must recommend a book that hit earlier this year called Horns, written by King's son Joe Hill. I'm quite fond of Hill's voice as a writer and loved his previous book, HEART-SHAPED BOX and his short story collection 20th CENTURY GHOSTS and can say without a shadow of a doubt that Horns is the best thing he's ever done. It's a story about a man who wakes up with devil's horns poking up out of his forehead and no memory of where they came from. Hill's work in this book is complex, but entertaining, that same delicate balance the best of his father's work can strike. $17.15.
The Art of Drew Struzan isn't just a collection of Drew Struzan's iconic movie posters but a look at his process and a blisteringly honest recounting of the back and forth with filmmakers and studios as he developed these paintings. Sure, you get nice, crisp clear looks at the finished posters for iconic movies like BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA, HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE and BACK TO THE FUTURE, but you also get a look at poster concepts that were never used. As a What If? fan, this book was one of my favorite reads of the year. $23.07.
Unlike Struzan's book, this Art of is a straight up reprinting of hundreds of Hammer movie posters, but that's not to say it's a lesser read. I'm a great admirer of movie poster art and having really dipped my toe into the Hammer pool over the last couple of years I found I was primed for this book. Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and all the regulars, all sorts of movie monsters, noir, comedy, everything is represented here. My particular favorite parts focused on the great UK Quad art and the foreign art for these films. If nothing else, this book can act as a checklist for you guys wanting to explore the best the studio has to offer. $19.77.
I haven't read Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan's follow-up to THE STRAIN yet, but I have it in my stacks. I quite enjoyed the first book, a nice antidote to the romantic vampire lore that dominates the genre at the moment and since Guillermo wrote it I will, of course, be there with bells on. The dude loves to create modern fairy tales and I love visiting these worlds. $14.84.
I had no interest in reading this book until I saw Jimmy Carter appear on Bill Maher's show and discuss, with complete frankness, his presidency and the contents of this book, which is itself a collection of Carter's thoughts from his personal diary. This is another I haven't cracked personally, but it intrigues me to sneak a peek at the day to day diary of the most powerful man in the world. $18.00.
Roger Ebert has a cook book out... specifically a way to cook all sorts of crazy shit in your rice cooker. From what I gather after having followed the man on Twitter for a couple of years and reading his blog posts more frequently, ever since his surgery he's taken a kind of romantic stance on the food he can longer eat. In fact this book originated as a blog posting and isn't just filled with Ebert's recipes, but those of his readers as well. $10.19.
The reviews on this book, the first biography on children's author Roald Dahl given full access to the Dahl estate, have been fantastic and as someone who grew up with Dahl's work it's an intriguing one. This man thought up Willy Wonka, for cryin' out loud! From his novels to his work as screenwriter (CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG) and a detailed look at Dahl: The Man, this book promises a thorough understanding of the life and art of Roald Dahl for the low, low price of $20.52.
Going from the man who thought up Willy Wonka to a man who lived his life like he was Willy Wonka, the next book up is Life, an autobiography by Keith Richards. If you don't know why you should be interested in Keith Richards' life, then you obviously aren't old enough to read and all this just looks like scrambled alphabet soup to you anyway. By all accounts this book is a fantastic and frank look at the life of one of Rock and Roll's most amazing (and talented) personalities. $16.18.
Bob Marley and the Golden Age of Reggae is composed of hundreds of rare images from photographer Kim Gottlieb-Walker, someone I've chatted with at Comic-Con for nearly a decade before realizing she was a massively influential photographer, having shot everything from the burgeoning reggae scene to set stills on classic films (like Halloween, for instance). I got a look at this book, which has a frankly fantastic introduction by Cameron Crowe talking about taking one of the trips to Jamaica with Kim and husband Jeff in the '70s as these shots of Bob Marley, his friends, family, environment and colleagues were taken. For a music nerd it's a must get. $19.77.
If you don't love Michael Caine, get the hell out of here! You disgust me! Thankfully, I didn't even really need to type that because if you're a human being you like Michael Caine, so it's a moot point. The Elephant to Hollywood is kind of a surprise to me. As I was searching for geek-worthy stuff for this column I stumbled upon this title. I had no idea Caine had a new book out. It was immediately ordered, but I don't have it yet. However, I devoured his massive biography, What's It All About, and if this book picks up where that left off I can only imagine the fascinating stories and humorous anecdotes the man has. $17.34.
Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters is a collection of rare and extremely personal tidbits from Norma Jean Mortenson, also known as Marilyn Monroe. I haven't seen this myself yet, but with a little bit of research this collection seems to fulfill the promise of the pitch, which is a deeper understanding of the woman behind the sex symbol. If so, this has to be a fascinating book and not the bottom of the barrel scrapings compiled by people just wanting to wring every last dollar out of the long dead woman's famous image. Marilyn is a tragic figure in the annals of Hollywood, so I'm sure this is a bitter-sweet read, but if it's as moving as the reviews I've read it's a must own. $18.00.
If Fragments promises a rare and candid look at the mind of Marilyn the above book promises an equally candid look at her beauty. From a series of photographs taken by LOOK photographer John Vachon, this shows Marilyn in both her guarded and unguarded moments. Only three photographs from this shoot were published and the rest are presented here for the first time. $19.80.
If you hate the holidays, especially Christmas, this is the book for you and your Scrooge friends. When Lewis Black goes on a rant it's a marvel to behold and apparently his thoughts on Christmas aren't exactly... positive. Which should make for some interesting reading! $9.27.
Oh man, do our British readers hate Russell Brand. I don't know if it's because I'm an ignorant American, but I find the dude to be funny as hell, but every time I mention that I get UK readers going nuts about how shitty he is. You know, now that I think back I remember there was a similar outcry over Ricky Gervais when The Office hit. Not to say that Brand is on Gervais' level, but it's an interesting similarity. Brand has a book, a sequel even, called Booky Wook 2: This Time It's Personal, which seems to be all about his sexual conquests, real or imagined. The original Booky Wook is out in paperback for $8.49 and this new one can be had for $15.49.
As an olive branch to our UK readers, let's now focus on something we can all get behind: pre-code horror comics! Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s is a 320 page collection of rare and forgotten horror comics from the '50s. EC is kind of the face of these kinds of books (and rightly so), but at their peak there were 50 horror comics a month appearing on newstands. These are some of the forgotten ones. A bargain at $19.79.
The Horror! The Horror!: Comic Books The Government Didn't Want You To Read... the title says it all, really. It's another collection of horror comics that were the target of congressional bannings in the early '50s. The book even comes with a DVD that has a 25 minute TV show from October 1955 warning parents of the evils of these comic books and how they lead to juvenile delinquency. $19.77.
Breaking away from horror comics being reprinted, this book focuses on the sordid history of how Eerie Comics came to be, acknowledging off the top that they set out (in the '60s) to rip off the pre-code horror comics. Providing a detailed look at the history, art and influence of Eerie comics, this book, a nice 340 pages, has everything a vintage horror comic fan could want. $21.75.
Mad Magazine was a big part of my childhood. I had back issues and new issues mixed together and never really could tell the difference outside of what generation the movie being spoofed was from. Al Jaffee's art is very nostalgic for me and his sense of humor undoubtedly shaped my own dark, sarcastic and twisted humor. My mom probably doesn't thank him for that, but I do. Now he has a Biography of his life as an immigrant and his time spent at Mad Magazine called Al Jaffee's Mad Life: A Biography, so yes... it's included on this list. $18.47.
If you buy both Al Jaffee's book and the above book, called Mad's Greatest Artists: Sergio Aragones - Five Decades of His Finest Works, then you'll have two of the most dominant personalities of one of the most important satirical publications in American history. This book isn't a biography, but a 272 page collection of Aragones' work. One of my favorite parts of picking up a Mad Magazine wasn't just the main spoofs, but Aragones' extras (he calls them "marginals"), little one gag sketches that were crammed into the corners and between panels. Those are included as well as Aragones' favorites of his regular work. $19.77. Cheap!
Finally, the world has caught on to how great Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead is thanks to the fantastic Frank Darabont-led AMC adaptation. Soon someone will realize that Invincible could be just as big of a hit... Or it is at least as good as The Walking Dead, for the same reasons. Invincible is harsh, unpredictable and character driven. Kick-Ass may have taken a little of the oomph out of idea of turning the standard teenage superhero story on its head, but Invincible still sucked me in. I took a long time to come around to it, but this year I did just that and am glad I did. These hardcover Ultimate Collections are cheaper in the long run if you want to catch up to the whole series. Each one will run you $23.09 - Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, Volume 4 and Volume 5.
I'm surprised it has taken this long for an Art of District 9 book to come out. Having experienced the brilliance of Weta's design team firsthand I can't say enough about the talent of those guys. To get a glimpse at their input to the making of District 9 in any form, let alone a full on Art Of book makes me super happy. This book will be ready in time for Christmas (barely), seeing release December 21st and it'll run you $23.09.
UPDATED WITH THE WINNERS OF THE ART OF DISTRICT 9 BOOK! The lucky three are Kurt Buttstadt of Lake Tahoe, Peter Rodrigues of Oakland and George Samilski of Vancouver. Thanks for the quick entries, everybody! I've removed the contest below to avoid confusion and to save my inbox from the burden of a ton of entries for a closed contest.
This heavy, massive brick of a book is the perfect low cost gift for an Original Series Trek fan in the family. Filled to the brim with show trivia and hundreds of photos pulled from CBS' vaults Star Trek 365 has some surprises even for a massive Trekkie. $19.77.
With Peter Jackson locked in behind the camera, New Zealand locked in for the location and the actors being announced left and right, isn't it about time to re-read JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit? And why read some cheap, ratty ol' paperback when you can get this nice, deluxe edition? Perfect for brushing up on your Middle Earth knowledge or as a gift to a young reader in the family and snazzy for only $23.10.
Unfortunately this is an out of stock item, but it was too cool not to include. There and Back Again - The Map of Tolkien's The Hobbit is a bit of a travelogue of Bilbo's adventure complete with illustrations from Tolkien expert John Howe. If you get the book from Weta's website it'll come signed by John Howe. Like I mentioned, though, it is out of stock at the moment, but it does say "temporarily," so you may get lucky! $19.95 plus shipping.
John Dies At The End was the first item on last year's Gift Guide, but now that director Don Coscarelli is near finished shooting his adaptation I figured it was only right to include it again. Get a jump on everybody when this weird, hilarious Gilliam-ish flick comes out of nowhere next year. You can say you were there at the beginning! And if you don't care about that, then just buy it because it's laugh out loud funny, smart and is full of not-sucking. $10.19.
This is probably the greatest cover-all item on this list. For Star Wars fans, filmmaking fans, behind the scenes fans, flat-out movie fans this book is a must own. It's dense, detailed and a frankly fascinating story. This is when Lucas somehow wrestled control of a massively huge franchise away from 20th Century Fox. Imagine that happening today, a filmmaker, with no real legal leeway, somehow gains control over a huge franchise AFTER the first film becomes the highest grossing film of all time. Impossible. Not only is Empire the best film of the series, it has the most interesting backstory. You can read excerpts from Leigh Brackett's fairly awful draft, see who became involved first, see jaw-dropping behind the scenes shots and hear directly from the cast and crew in exclusive interviews. All packed into one massive tome at $50.68.
Let's not forget JW Rinzler's other amazing Making of Star Wars book for the first film. The link above goes to the cheaper paperback (at $23.10, but the original hardcover is still available for $53.55 if you want that extra bit of class.
The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force. Yes, mega nerdy, but it comes in a super cool mechanical case which opens with a touch revealing a book is supposedly the last remaining fragment of the Old Republic after Darth Wrinkleface sent Darth Moodswing out to kill all the Jedi. There are notes from the Jedi who have owned it and passed it down through generations of Master/Padawan relationships, trinkets, mementos and other goodies. Geeky, sure, but it looks like a lot of value for your Galactic Credits. $59.97.
Love it or hate it, Avatar is fascinating from a filmmaking standpoint, so it's natural that I include the Making of Book which just saw release and goes in depth on Jim Cameron's process in pulling off one of the most technologically complex films of all time. $26.40.
This book represents a decade's worth of documentation, following Howard Shore each step of the way as he scored the Lord of the Rings movies, turning in one of the most iconic scores in recent memory. Not only do we get a step by step, but reprints of original manuscripts, new sketches by Alan Lee and John Howe and a CD filled with rarities, unreleased LOTR music. All that for $37.77.
Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Box set compiles all 6 of Bryan Lee O'Malley's Scott Pilgrim comics into one set, which is kind of a perfect gift for those who love the movie, but aren't familiar with the comic... even if that someone is YOU ::stares at you::. You get an exclusive Bryan Lee O'Malley poster print and all 6 volumes of his epic series of epic epicness. $45.36.
Darabont hooked you with the show, now see where it all came from. The Walking Dead Compendium is much cheaper than buying the first 8 trade paperbacks. In this one volume you get issues 1-48 and you get it for only $37.79. If you want to completely catch up with the best comic being printed at the moment (in my humble opinion) you can get the rest in trade paperback form for $10.19 an tpb: Volume 9, Volume 10, Volume 11, Volume 12 and Volume 13.
Complete Peanuts Box Set 1975-1978 (Vol. 13 & 14) is new to the market and cheap at $25.00. At nearly 700 pages this set is two whole years of Peanuts comic strips. If you want to start at the beginning, you can get 1950-1954 for $32.97, 1955-1958 for $32.97, 1959-1962 for $32.97, 1963-1966 for $32.97, 1967-1970 for $31.49 and 1971-1974 for $31.49. That's a lot of Peanuts!
Hitchcock Piece by Piece is on this list for one simple reason: Laurent Bouzereau, the author. Laurent is Spielberg's documentarian and has been behind the behind the scenes on everything from Jaws to Close Encounters. If there's something new about Hitchcock, one of the most written about filmmakers of all time, Laurent found it. Plus look at the goodies the book comes with! Reprints of letters, memos, photos, etc that you can remove from the book. There's also the promise of family photos never before printed. $29.70.
This set comes completely on second hand recommendations, but I know people that are CRAZY for these books, which sound like an Americanized Battle Royale by way of King/Bachman's The Long Walk about teenagers that are pitted against each other in a post-apocalyptic tyranny. It's Young Adult material, I know, but the passion is there. And I hear there are movies in the works, so this might be another one you can get on board before it becomes a big thing. $28.90.
I haven't seen Tron Legacy yet, but I've heard murmurings from people that have, both positive and negative... however, even the negatives seem to be in awe of the visuals of the film. Sounds like the same reaction the original got, doesn't it? I've seen a lot of this art on the walls of the Art Department during my set visit last year and it was beautiful. I'm sure this book is filled to the brim with eye-candy, so it's an easy choice for this article! $26.40.
How To Train Your Dragon could be my favorite Dreamworks animated movie. Sure, Kung Fu Panda is fun, but in my mind HTTYD was the closest Dreamworks has come to Pixar quality. This Art of book comes with 350 pieces of development art, sketches and concept paintings. $26.40.
Ah, Toy Story 3. I love you for being awesome and hate you for making me cry in public. By now any Art of from Pixar is an automatic inclusion, kinda like any Pixar movie itself is an automatic view. The consistent quality of the films is equaled in their making of and Art Of books. $25.02.
Both a scrapbook and a history of the studio, Pixar Treasures looks to be the perfect gift for the older child curious about where his or her favorite movies come from or those adult Pixar fans that want a nicely packaged collectible for themselves. I'm not sure how much overlap there is with To Infinity and Beyond, but the reviews I've seen say it's a good companion book and more up to date. $37.80.
One of the highlights of the last decade was getting to visit Disney's Animation Research Library, a nondescript building somewhere in Los Angeles that houses all of Disney's original animation cels, painted backgrounds, production paintings and sketches. It's not common for someone outside of Disney animators to be granted access, so I feel very blessed, but even spending an hour there I only saw about 1% of what that place stored. If that. So, it was to my great surprise and happiness that I saw that I stumbled upon this hardcover series called Walt Disney Animation Studios The Archive Series, which takes some of these amazing art pieces and in high resolution reproduces them for the masses. The third book, Design, was just released and is linked above. It'll run you $31.50. The first book is Story - $31.50, which archives storyboards for vintage Disney animated films through Lilo & Stitch. and the second is Animation - $31.50, which is front cover to back cover animation cel reproductions. Holy shit! Yes, these books are ordered. Any one (or all three) would be perfect for the Disneyana collector in the family.
Strange Suspense: The Steve Ditko Archives v. 1 collects the earliest works from one of comics' most iconic and brilliant storytellers. Before he created Spider-Man with Stan Lee, Ditko did some pre-code work with Charlton. This particular book hit around this time last year, but I include it because the next volume is about to hit (see below). You can get Vol. 1 for $26.39.
Hitting shelves December 17th, Unexplored Worlds: The Steve Ditko Archives v. 2 features more rare early Ditko, presented in full color. For the comic nerd in the family this will be catnip. $26.39.
I've already gushed over the talented artists at Weta up in the Art of District 9 description, but I'm gonna do it some more! White Cloud Worlds is a collection of art from New Zealand artists, not surprisingly a goodly amount of them come from Weta. You'll get tons of fantasy art from these talented individuals as well as explanations of their methods and inspirations. There's a forward by Guillermo del Toro, an introduction by the great Richard Taylor and closing words by LOTR artists John Howe and Alan Lee. $49.99 plus shipping from New Zealand or, if you want a real nice piece, you can opt for the limited slipcased edition with one of four autographed limited pieces (each limited to 75). It's down to luck which one you get, but they're all awesome. The super special edition runs you $99.00 plus shipping from New Zealand.
The Simpsons World is essentially an encyclopedia of every Simpsons episode ever, complete with every single thing Bart ever wrote on the chalkboard, every couch gag, screen shots, rundowns of every episode from Seasons 1-20, detailed character profiles, every Church marquee message and a complete rundown of every celebrity guest in the show's history. $90.00.
Remember last year when I put in that crazy expensive limited book detailing Stanley Kubrick's unmade Napoleon movie? That was $700 and now it's selling for $5000. Based on how much the other Volume of this Ray Harryhausen Master of Majicks series are going for (the previous volume is out of print and is listed at $500 on the Amazon marketplace), I'd say this is the investment book of the Guide this year. Unlike that Napoleon Kubrick book, this one isn't a house payment and is what looks to be a rather brilliant look at one of the masters of effects featuring interviews with actors from Harryhausen's films, 3600 images, reprints of score pages from Harryhausen productions and even 3D pictures of Ray's models (3D glasses included)! Guillermo del Toro writes the preface to this limited book which you can get while they last at only $84.95 a copy.
FOR THE SUPER RICH ONLY ($500.00 and Up)
Taschen has an extensive book on the making of Taxi Driver called, simply, Taxi Driver put together by Steve Schapiro, who was the onset photographer. The vast majority of the photos he shot have never been seen, until this book. I'm sure you regular followers of my Behind the Scenes Pic of the Day series are beginnin to see my interest now. This is an extremely limited book, only having a print run of 1,000 copies. It's gotta be a gold mine... because it costs about as much as one. Just north of $700. I want!
Star Wars Frames is a ritzy, limited book set that features key frames from each Star Wars film in six volumes (one for each movie), each hand-picked by George Lucas. Each set comes in a custom wooden box with inlaid sculptures of Vader and Yoda and includes an autographed bookplate by George Lucas himself. On sale for the low, low price of $4385.90.
CHEAP ($24.99 and Under)
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross' score for The Social Network is one of my favorite soundtracks of the year. If you write for a living (or for pleasure) this is some great writing music. If you just like things that sound good to your earholes, this is a great soundtrack. CD is $8.72 and only $5 digital album.
I'm quite fond of Dutch. What can I say, I love John Hughes and Ed O'Neill and I'm a huge, huge fan of Alan Silvestri's music. So, here's the soundtrack put out by LA LA Land Records! It's on sale until the 29th - $9.98.
LA LA Land Records also has a Mike Judge twofer Idiocracy/Office Space that is too good pass up. In one collection you'll get John Frizzell's music score to Office Space and Theodore Shapiro's score for the wildly accurate sci-fi comedy Idiocracy. As President Camacho would say... Shit! I know shit's bad right now! But you gotta own this, so open your motherfuckin' wallets and buy this, bitches! $19.98.
This is my personal favorite vintage score on this list. James Horner's Krull music is epic and elevates the film from mediocrity. I've got a big soft spot for this movie, but even if I didn't this is quality work from Horner. This two disc set is limited to 3000 copies and has nearly 100 minutes of Hornery goodness. $24.98.
Sure, this movie is about a disgruntled actor who takes his revenge on critics that gave him bad reviews, but I still fully support it. Vincent Price, jet black humor and Michael J. Lewis' score make Theater of Blood a worthy addition to you CD collection. Limited to 1200 units - $19.98.
Released December 7th, Daft Punk's Tron Legacy soundtrack is probably the most intriguing new release soundtrack on the list for me. Wendy Carlos' score was as crucial to the original film as the groundbreaking visuals and if Tron Legacy hopes to live up to the... well, legacy, then Daft Punk's score has to do the same. Very curious! $11.88.
Hans Zimmer's Inception score is one of the most iconic scores of the year. Much like Horner's Aliens score and Clint Mansell's Lux Aeterna from Requiem For A Dream I bet we're going to hear the main theme in trailers for years. $11.09 for the CD and $8.99 for the digital album.
Gotta include Randy Newman's score for Toy Story 3. I have no choice. If I don't John Lassetter might take it heart and start making shitty Pixar movies out of sheer depression. So, I've done my civic duty! Plus it's a good sounding batch of music to boot! Win win! $9.98 for the digital album.
Say what you want about Edgar Wright... he's short, he's got the wandering hands and the deepest, softest hazel eyes... but what you can't say is the dude doesn't know his music. Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and now Scott Pilgrim have all seen heavy rotation on my iTunes. With this new soundtrack you get The Stones, Beck, T. Rex, Sex Bob-Omb, and, of course, Metric. $11.00 for CD and $7.99 for the digital album. Oh, and while we're at it, you might as well get Nigel Godrich's score, which includes that awesome midi Universal logo theme. $7.99 for the digital album.
Black Swan is one of my favorite movies of the year. It's dark, disturbing, beautiful, haunting, sexy, revolting and classy. Just like Clint Mansell's score. $12.84 for the CD.
Nothing says Merry Christmas like Cee-Lo's horribly catchy "Fuck You." Sure, it's the flavor of the month. Sure, it'll mark 2010 for future VH1 specials, but you can't deny Cee-Lo Green is a helluva singer. $11.88 for the CD and $7.99 for the digital album.
I love the 1966 Batman Movie. Cheeseball, kinda ridiculous, but come on people... This is a Batman movie scored by a man whose name is Nelson Riddle. For fuck's sake, that's like a Star Wars movie being scored by George Skywalker. All the zaniness of the TV show can be found in this score released in a limited set by LA LA Land Records limited to 2000 units. $19.98.
In the late '80s everything Danny Elfman touched turned to gold. His Batman '89 score is iconic, second only to Williams' Superman theme when it comes to super hero scores. This is another special edition from LA LA Land Records that features, for the first time, the original film used mix of the score and bonus tracks that have never before been released. Two discs, limited to 5000 copies and a sales price of $29.98.
Alexandre Desplat's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows sees a nice special collector's set release December 21st. You not only get the CD score, but an autographed copy of a piece of sheet music, a 7" vinyl picture disc of the score, a DVD with a 5.1 mix of the score as well as video extras and even more goodies for the Potter or music nerd in the family. The above-featured Collector's Edition is $68.45 and the standard release is $9.99.
Band on the Run is one of McCartney's most fun albums post-Beatles and is the only music item on the list to feature Christopher Lee on the cover. The Deluxe Edition contains a 120 page hardcover book with rare photos taken by Linda McCartney, bonus audio tracks and an interview with Paul. It'll run you $58.06 and the standard 2-disc release without the frills (just the awesome music) is $15.88.
Now, this set has been out for a while, but when I came across it during my research I couldn't help but include it in the guide. I have very vivid memories of visiting Disneyland as a child. The place meant something special to my mother who grew up near it and one Christmas I unwrapped a box that just had a letter made out of Construction Paper with the words "When You Wish Upon A Star" on the outside. I opened it up to find a collage of Disneyland images and the date of when we were going. It's a pretty epic present for a child. While I don't have a link for that gift, here's a little bit of Disneyland. Six CDs featuring Park exclusive narration, music and audio tidbits from the opening in 1955 to present day. You also get a hardcover book with rare photos and early concept drawings of the park. The Musical History of Disneyland is one of my favorite items on the guide this year. $57.99.
Bill Hicks the Essential Collection isn't just an audio compilation of some of the best social comedy ever recorded... it is that, two CDs worth, but there's also 2 DVDs included which features rare video of Bill Hicks' early stand-up work in Houston as well as his cultish short film Ninja Bachelor Party. This is a great gift for those who aren't familiar with Bill Hicks as well as the biggest Hicks fanboy. $25.28.
I gotta be fair. If I showcased Paul McCartney's post-Beatles super special remastered music, I gotta feature the John Lennon Signature Box Set. It's a nifty repackaging of Lennon's solo and Yoko work including Plastic Ono Band, Imagine, Mind Games, Walls and Bridges and Rock and Roll. Each album comes with a booklet that details each album and song. $149.99.
FOR THE SUPER RICH ONLY ($500.00 and Up)
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Nov. 25, 2010, 10:13 p.m. CST
Nov. 25, 2010, 10:32 p.m. CST
What a list. The anticipation is deserved.
Nov. 25, 2010, 10:38 p.m. CST
The iCade was a Think Geek April Fool's Day joke. It isn't a real product.
Nov. 25, 2010, 10:45 p.m. CST
by Ronald Raygun
It gives me that same thrill of looking at the Sears wishbook when I was six. Alot of cool stuff that I'd probably buy if I were rich but would never use. Also, what's up with that Dutch soundtrack. Man, is that ever obscure.
Nov. 25, 2010, 10:46 p.m. CST
With that said..All movie scores should have a 5.1 mix DVD thrown in!!! They are MOVIE SCORES after all!
Nov. 25, 2010, 10:51 p.m. CST
Regarding the iCade, you got served!
Nov. 25, 2010, 11:56 p.m. CST
64 LEDs you won't be able to see when you're WEARING the damn thing on your HEAD ... lol.
Nov. 25, 2010, 11:59 p.m. CST
by Carl XVI Gustaf
That Delorean would look nice on my desk. But if it doesn't light up it's not worth it. The R2D2 usb hub might end up in my own stocking... The Disney books would look nice in my office. Nice list, more, more!
Nov. 26, 2010, 12:50 a.m. CST
i think there's a horrible feeling that, considering America's record for embracing the very best of British artists (Beatles, Bowie, Anthony Hopkins, Michael Caine, etc), you Americans might think that Russel Brand is in someway representative of what we are all like, which would be like us assuming all Americans are exactly like Howard Stern or Kanye West. whatever "merits" there are in Brand's so-called comedy routines and films, the man is a total cunt offstage. when he's not phoning cherished 70+ year old men on air (!) telling them how he's fucked their grandchildren, he's turning up at political & social protest meetings that he knows absolutely fuck all about, just to get his picture in the paper and show that he's "with it". i can appreciate how Americans, mostly unaware of what a right prick he is, can see just the performances he gives and judge him on that, but alas that's something us Brits cannot do. there are plenty in the UK who think he's brilliant, mind.
Nov. 26, 2010, 1:02 a.m. CST
I always look forward to this. That Simpsons 20 year book looks very inviting. Can't wait to see the rest of the columns.
Nov. 26, 2010, 1:10 a.m. CST
he wasn't that bad as Scotty in Star Trek.
Nov. 26, 2010, 2:13 a.m. CST
man you left of the 69.99 replica PKE meter from Ghostbusters from mattiecollector.com I was so sure you'd have it on. It's pretty fucking cool for anyone wanting to bust some Ghosts. It's look exactly like the model used in the film now all I need is a proton pack and a life then I'm set. Anywho Quint you gotta check this thing out. mattiecollector is doing official GB merch. and so far they are doing a great job.
Nov. 26, 2010, 3:20 a.m. CST
(Weeps at state of bank account)
Nov. 26, 2010, 3:42 a.m. CST
Is very needed when the awesomeness of this column sinks in.
Nov. 26, 2010, 4:03 a.m. CST
Yes he was, he was appalling.
Nov. 26, 2010, 4:11 a.m. CST
Would be a weird experience. And it has probably already happened.
Nov. 26, 2010, 4:13 a.m. CST
That would like be traumatizing and the universe would probably i.m.p.l.o.de.
Nov. 26, 2010, 6:14 a.m. CST
There is a recently released boxed set of every master recording that Elvis ever made. It is in the "Super Rich" category, but I feel it should have been included.
Nov. 26, 2010, 6:21 a.m. CST
..that is, if you just want to read 'em yourself. The Public Library. No shit. I was able to get all if The Walking Dead TPB's, Scott Pilgrim, the Star Wars books, and The Lost Encyclopedia.
Nov. 26, 2010, 6:57 a.m. CST
Sure he's a gob-shite but he's actually very funny and not a bad writer. Better on chat shows than in films though, not sure how good Arthur's going to be...
Nov. 26, 2010, 7:02 a.m. CST
Nov. 26, 2010, 7:03 a.m. CST
I just watched Get Him to the Greek this week and didn't laugh at one thing he said or did.
Nov. 26, 2010, 7:05 a.m. CST
i did acknowledge quite a fair few do like him, mate. each to their own. as for Arthur, all hope lies in the thought that Helen Mirren wouldn't disgrace the part played by John Geilgud.
Nov. 26, 2010, 7:22 a.m. CST
Just reacting to the article. Although while we're at it, are you really still annoyed about the Andrew Sachs message? It was a bit of a crap prank (and to be fair, you have to admit it was JR who initially pushed it too far) but the whole thing just reeked of Daily Mail BBC bashing. The resulting furore has put televised comedy/ live programming back years - I work in telly and felt the resulting fear of censure handicapping quite a lot of creative output. I try not to care too much about the personality of 'talent': to all accounts Mozart was a bit a cunt. And yes, agree that, once again, Helen Mirren is our only hope...
Nov. 26, 2010, 7:45 a.m. CST
If you buy all the Scott Pilgrim books individually it's about $10 cheaper. Unless you think a cardboard slipcase is worth the extra $10, buy them separate.
Nov. 26, 2010, 8:14 a.m. CST
..for the win.most with the exception of the ugly star trek & Iron Man keyboard are good picks.I'm a geek, but not THAT geeky to ugly up my Computer Armoire with that shit.
Nov. 26, 2010, 8:44 a.m. CST
You're ridiculous. "LOL! I can't c da LED lites on mah head! Whabah it?" Are you familiar with the concept of hats? Earrings? Any other facial or head accessories? You're correct. We can't see what's sitting out of our vision. That's very true (unless we, you know, look into a mirror). BUT OTHER PEOPLE CAN. And that's kind of the point of what we call "fashion". You buy things like this because they look cool sitting on your head. Just like hats. You dolt.
Nov. 26, 2010, 9:05 a.m. CST
Wings? They're only the band The Beatles could've been.
Nov. 26, 2010, 9:23 a.m. CST
by Stuntcock Mike
But then I'd be sleeping in the garage. <p> FUCK!
Nov. 26, 2010, 10:06 a.m. CST
Did he come up with the line "Why do Chinese girl taste different from all other girls?" It's one of the reasons I love Sixties Bond movies!
Nov. 26, 2010, 10:14 a.m. CST
by Boba Fat
I really do.
Nov. 26, 2010, 10:37 a.m. CST
Though it's not such a gift giving guide as I would just want them all for myself.
Nov. 26, 2010, 11:10 a.m. CST
Happy Holidays indeed! psi
Nov. 26, 2010, 12:08 p.m. CST
by The Funketeer
a few years ago if it were a 1.21 gb hard drive.
Nov. 26, 2010, 12:20 p.m. CST
Is worth it.
Nov. 26, 2010, 12:28 p.m. CST
by Tigger Tales
Nov. 26, 2010, 12:29 p.m. CST
Good book to have around for all kinds of reference
Nov. 26, 2010, 12:49 p.m. CST
Nov. 26, 2010, 1:02 p.m. CST
LaLa Land Records today announced the following CDs for upcoming release (go to www.filmscoremonthly.com for more info): Star Trek V Goldsmith 2-CD set remastered and expanded Batman Returns Elfman remastered and expanded Home Alone Williams expanded Jade
Nov. 26, 2010, 2:41 p.m. CST
by Bouncy X
interesting choice, i guess since everyone else uses the original or the Part 2 version it made sense for someone to finally do that one.
Nov. 26, 2010, 3:03 p.m. CST
This is seriously my favorite thing on the internet every year. I look forward to it more than the turkey on Thanksgiving. I am not the most monetarily secure person on this planet, trust me, but I still find AT LEAST five things for myself and five things to get other people, thanks to this list every year. I already ordered the "Four Color Fear" book for my friend Cindy--a perfect buy, because she goes nuts over anything abstractly zombie(got her "Pride and Prejudice with Zombies" last year). I haven't even read this entire list yet, just wanted to give a thanks to Quint and everyone on the AICN staff--this stuff is nerd gold, dudes.
Nov. 26, 2010, 3:24 p.m. CST
More freaking twilight zone episode reviews. You really gave up on that feature didn't you?
Nov. 26, 2010, 3:27 p.m. CST
by God's Brother
Keep 'em coming
Nov. 26, 2010, 4:28 p.m. CST
by Nerd Rage
where I can read and listen to all this shit for free.
Nov. 26, 2010, 5:27 p.m. CST
Darndest thing. Just a day or two ago I got nostalgic for the holiday gift list that comes out on AICN every year. I thought of all the fun and wacky stuff that's found, and I always get a kick of the really expensive stuff most people couldn't afford. Lo and behold here's this year's list and I'm enjoying it. Surprisingly there's a lot of quality books for geeks worth reading this year. I really want to read them all. Looking forward to Part 2 and 3!
Nov. 26, 2010, 5:45 p.m. CST
This kicks ass. Everything I might possibly want all in one place. I need that Simpsons book
Nov. 26, 2010, 6 p.m. CST
I got this for my birthday, and while it's a cool idea, the design sucks! It's too top heavy and falls down EVERY TIME it starts to walk. I took it to my office so everyone can laugh at how stupid it is. It's a good gag gift, but I wouldn't waste $20 on it. Just sayin...
Nov. 26, 2010, 6:01 p.m. CST
i know it's a tradition and all, but the lack of actual news on the site is glaring. sorry not going to join in on sucking your cock for this one Quint. i'm sure you will delete the post as well, the way you do any time criticism rears it head.
Nov. 26, 2010, 6:28 p.m. CST
by Rocco Curioso
that Quint confines himself to these cuddly lil' holiday gift lists and the behind the scenes pic of the day stuff, rather than attempt the Herculean task of forming some intelligent opinion about actual movies.<P>If *anyone* deserves a holiday gift, it's Quint himself. Guess what, Eric? I'm gonna have a t-shirt custom made for you, with the phrase AICN HOUSE NIGGER printed on it in big neon green letters. It will be special, just like you. Yayyyyyyyy!!
Nov. 26, 2010, 6:38 p.m. CST
you guys are idiots, every site has a gift guide this time of the year. Do you bitch on their sites as well, or just this one? So you both scrolled all the way to the bottom just to bitch about this gift guide? Fucking trolls. If you only go to one site for news, you obviously don't know what the fuck the internet is.
Nov. 26, 2010, 6:47 p.m. CST
by Rocco Curioso
There *was* a time when this website was the pinnacle of breaking movie news. Now it's devolved into a haven for retarded writers (like Quint) and retarded readers (like you). I was merely expressing my dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs all up in this mug.
Nov. 26, 2010, 7:30 p.m. CST
It helps me find cool things for my friends.
Nov. 26, 2010, 7:35 p.m. CST
Some of us Yanks hate the Russell Brand, too. For me it started with his interview in that Monty Python doc on IFC. He went on and on about how he was a big fan and misquoted the shit out of the show. He's an idiot. And he's made a career out of doing an imitation of Johnny Depp doing an imitation of Keith Richards. Why do people even like him?
Nov. 26, 2010, 7:43 p.m. CST
by Grinning White Skull
The publisher brought an advance copy into Dark Delicacies bookstore in LA last week! Twice the pages of the last volume for only ten bucks more and the quality of the images is outstanding along with the insights, coverage and interviews. A geek's nirvana of Harryhausen goodness! If you love Ray's movies THIS is THE book to have this year.
Nov. 26, 2010, 7:56 p.m. CST
This column is a holiday tradition, and a great read while I'm dusting off my Christmas music (for those who want to hear something different, check out the Christmas Lounge channel at Somafm-dot-com). Thanks for your hard work in putting this together.
Nov. 26, 2010, 7:58 p.m. CST
It's not Christmas until your geek holiday list shows up. I love it!
Nov. 26, 2010, 8 p.m. CST
Thanks for dropping a racist slur! I'll miss you!
Nov. 26, 2010, 8:05 p.m. CST
Rocco's the first ban I've done in a long, long time. People can be dicks, but he crossed a line, clearly violating our policy. It confuses me that you acknowledge this is "tradition" but then still click on the article and complain that it's not news. What did you think it was?<BR><BR>To everybody that digs it so far, thanks a lot. I've put a lot of time into it. Parts 2 and 3 are almost done. Keep an eye out for a lot of contests in those articles!
Nov. 26, 2010, 8:22 p.m. CST
It's much appreciated, I order stuff for my friends and always ends up finding one or two things for myself along the way. God speed, sir.
Nov. 26, 2010, 8:44 p.m. CST
DVD box sets! I love box sets! I wanna see what you got for the box sets!
Nov. 26, 2010, 9:14 p.m. CST
...overwhelming. In a good way. I can't imagine any factoid of that movie that I don't know. <p> "John Dies at the End" I like Wong, he's funny on Cracked, but I'm glad "Full Dark, No Stars" arrived in the mail so I had an excuse to stop reading it. I can see how some people like it(not how some love it) but it just seems like Bill and Ted took a creative writing class and threw everything into the pot, which is fine but it just comes off as well written fan fiction withought a hell of a lot to say. Worst of all, I couldn't wait to put it behind me. It was a chore. Not that FD,NS is great but "1922" and "Fair Extension" are classic King, the other two stories; good, not great. <p> Yeah, everyone's a critic but I have an opinion and you just read it.
Nov. 26, 2010, 10:17 p.m. CST
They're just not.
Nov. 26, 2010, 11:06 p.m. CST
by Nasty In The Pasty
Spending $45 for them all is totally not worth it just for a cheap cardboard box to wrap them in.
Nov. 26, 2010, 11:07 p.m. CST
by Nasty In The Pasty
Nov. 26, 2010, 11:22 p.m. CST
Nov. 26, 2010, 11:38 p.m. CST
On my wish list on Amazon.
Nov. 27, 2010, 2:20 a.m. CST
by Star Hump
They blacked out the cigarette she is holding in her right hand.
Nov. 27, 2010, 3:08 a.m. CST
posting the same trollish tired whine as always but still posting about old news. <p> As poetic as it is pathetic.
Nov. 27, 2010, 8:17 a.m. CST
Nope sorry, did that drugged up shitty stand-up moron create one of the most critically acclaimed sitcom's of recent years. Nope. Has he even attempted to act in any other way than himself. Nope. Now I'm not even really a fan of the office (I liked Extra's though) and agree Gervais is annoying, but saying Russell Brand is "smarter" and has "more depth" is just plain wrong. Sorry Ace! <p>Plus Gervais gave us Karl Pilkington, Brand gives people chlamydia, that's about it.
Nov. 27, 2010, 11:39 a.m. CST
It's about a whole different kind of geek: http://www.amazon.com/Carny-Sideshows-Tony-Gangi/dp/0806531347/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1290879522&sr=8-1
Nov. 27, 2010, 2:03 p.m. CST
by The Reluctant Austinite
I miss those oversized Marvel Treasurey Edition Christmas comics that would hit the shevles of drug and grocery stores around this time of year when I was a wee lad. Seeing my favorite Marvel heroes in a winter wonderland, like Spider-man in a Santa Claus hat or Hulk putting the star on top of the Christmas tree, used to make my little heart all warm.
Nov. 27, 2010, 2:45 p.m. CST
Yeah but generally when you're wearing headphones you're listening to music alone in your room, it's kind of rude in front of friends ... if you walk around in public with those things hooked into an iPod you will look like a total goof. lulz
Nov. 27, 2010, 3:43 p.m. CST
Theres an advertisement on this page for The Empire movie awards with a stopwatch that keeps on clicking and CANNOT be turned off or muted - its the absolute most annoying thing Ive ever seen here - PLEASE can this be reported to someone - Im seeing your AICN site from the UK. Thanks
Nov. 27, 2010, 6:59 p.m. CST
i was actually commenting about a comment of my own from months ago...being a cranky bitch. definitely grateful for what you guys do but i miss the old days.
Nov. 27, 2010, 10:22 p.m. CST
C'mon, Q. Earth, Stephen King, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards? All of these items have such promo behind them already. How about some love for the items with less of a corporate marketing budget or a household name?
Nov. 28, 2010, 4:37 a.m. CST
...no soundtrack CDs from Film Score Monthly, Intrada, Varese Sarabande, Kritzerland, Tadlow, etc.? Man, this year alone we got Back to the Future, Spartacus, Carrie, Patton, First Blood, Black Sunday, Family Plot, The Miracle Worker, Star Trek III, complete re-recordings of Lawrence of Arabia and Conan the Barbarian... the list goes on and on!! Check out the Screen Archives Entertainment website -- they've got them all, La-La Land included! And oh ... La-La Land just announced Jade, Home Alone, Batman Returns and Star Trek V. :)
Nov. 28, 2010, 12:03 p.m. CST
GOD, when is it enough?? He's not clever enough to even hatch these ridiculous ideas, who's the douchebag pitching them?
Nov. 29, 2010, 12:18 a.m. CST
Ive got 30 cds worth of disneylabd audio. Thar box set doesnt scratch the surface. This guy used to have a website with every disney album ever put out. Mission to mars. Innerspace. Every ride ever in the park.
Nov. 29, 2010, 12:32 a.m. CST
sorry for the late response mate, and no i didn't take it as personal. to be honest, i never got all that offended by the Sachs thing - the reaction was OTT to say the least. i highlight it more because what's overlooked is that what he did wasn't even close to being creative, novel or funny in the first place, which is how i find most of his act.
Nov. 29, 2010, 1:30 p.m. CST
Damning with faint praise, IMHO. Other than Williams' magnificent Superman theme, I can't think of another superhero movie with anything remotely resembling a catchy theme. Elfman's Batman score has some decent hooks, but as of right now, there's Superman and then everyone else in a way distant second at best. And personally, I thought the newest Batman score (Hans Zimmer and James Howard) had some catchy stuff in it, though it seemed very (overly?) similar to the score for Last Samurai, which in turn was overly simlar to several other scores....
Nov. 30, 2010, 10:31 a.m. CST
Geek or otherwise, that is just stupid...
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