Damn, I meant to get this out by Black Friday
only I was, well, shopping. It’s that shoppy time of year, kids. Why get your dad a tie or your mom a bottle of Target brand perfume when you can get them something that’ll light up their eyes and look at you with new found respect for actually taking a little time out to get them a thoughtful gift. The ultimate gift. The gift of Extra-Super-Special-Edition-Movie-Box-Sets. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anybody it wasn’t your idea…
Unless you’re old enough to go the liquor store and get him a bottle of 25 year old Single Malt Scotch
(and if you are...that’s the way to go) than perhaps may Cyrus
offer two selections that might appeal to the old buzzard?
Us movie dorks like to fight about Oliver Stone
and whether he’s a hack or hero, but Dad, who surely has better things to do than care like pay for that high speed internet service you take for granted, almost certainly enjoyed the 206 minute director’s cut of this (somewhat) historical based film. Sure, it’s not exactly truth, but then again, the Warren Commission
’s findings wasn’t either. As Stone
put it, JFK
is his “counter-myth”
. The 8 Academy award nominations don’t back up it’s accuracy but they do recommend it as an enjoyable film.
I’m not a particularly big fan of Stone
’s or of Kevin Costner
, who played the lead role of New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison
who leads the investigation into Kennedy
’s assassination, but this was an enjoyable ‘what if’
for those who question the magic bullet
. A fantastic cast doesn’t hurt either, with Gary Oldman
playing the patsy
, and also Sissy Spacek
, Tommy Lee Jones
(with a downright disturbing wig), Joe Pesci
(with an even more bizarre hair piece with the fake eyebrows to go with it), Bryan Doyle Murray
, Kevin Bacon
, Donald Sutherland
, Jack Lemmon
, Walter Matthau
, Ed Asner
and John Candy
. A movie with this varied a cast of actors would demand viewing even if it was about the birth of crocheting.
The DVD is the two-disc special edition that came out in 2003 with the documentary “Beyond JFK: The Question of Conspiracy”
, commentary on both the movie and for the Deleted/Extended Scenes by Stone
, Production notes, Multimedia Essays and of course, the trailer. What you get with this fancy new repackaged set is a 2 hour documentary called “The Kennedys: America’s Emerald Kings”
all about the storied history of the family (complete with a authentic-looking Kennedy
political pin). Much nicer is the 44 page book of glossy production photos and information about the film that would fit a coffee table nicely if it was about 4 times the size. There’s also a bunch of reproductions of letters written by or to Kennedy
, his inauguration address, a ton of photos and postcards...this sucker is a miniature museum exhibit.
I’m going to go with the assumption that your Mom is kind of cool. At least, she was cool when I did her. (rimshot) It’s either that or write up a promotion for “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2”
and I’d really rather not do that. So, since no one knows better than me that your Mom is a lusty Milf, I can tell you what she’d like for Christmas…
300 Limited Collector’s Edition
Hey, it’s a beautiful looking movie. I always said so. Not much else going on, but it sure is shiny. While Mom might not be the sort to automatically gravitate towards violent films, she certainly doesn’t mind 2 hours of sweaty Spartans running around like Chippendale’s dancers on Caligula Thursdays (½ price drinks before 6...that’s what I hear anyways). This story based on Frank Miller
’s comic book is about the valiant death of the 300 Spartans against unbeatable odds, but I’m sure your gay cousin can find something to beat while watching it.
"Into the Hot Gates, we march. Into that narrow corridor, we march.”
Yeah. No comment. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Why buy this rather than the regular version? There’s an all-new third disc with a digital copy of the movie and a documentary “To The Hot Gates: A Legend Retold - The 300 Legend Filtered Through History, Graphic Novel, and Film”
that is as complete a look as possible at every aspect of creating the film. You also get all the extras that came with the two disc version, a 52 page art and photo book with images from both the comic and the movie, some photo cards of the theatrical posters, and a neat little Lucite display of an image from the movie that you can put in your...special private room. If you’ve got a fan of this movie in your house, the Limited Collector’s Edition
is a reasonably priced way to go for gift giving.
This one is always the hardest. A brother needs a gift to show that you care about him as least as much as you do about your parents because you CAN’T say it in words. He’d be horrified and embarrassed. So here’s a good one that should inaudibly say the magical words, “I spent some real money on you so stop it with the wedgies already.”
“I am Legend” Ultimate Collector’s Edition
There’s no way more familiar to us as Americans to celebrate a holiday than Will Smith
. He’s the hero of heroes, so iconic and identifiable as a good guy that we even elected a black president. That’s right, you sheep. I give at least some of the credit to Will. I don't care why you voted for him, as long as you did.
This adaptation (the third one) of Richard Matheson
’s classic novel may not have lived up to my expectations, I’ve certainly heard enough from all you Spilldoes to get the idea that a helluvalot of ya unreservedly dug it. What you should do is check out up-and-coming new LEOG
reviewer Derek's post
on the film itself. Maybe it's just me that thought the ending sucked and the monsters were fake looking. I think I still gave it a matinee. For those full pricers out there...
So what do you get with this set? We’ve got three discs of content this time, which is good because the previously released two-disc edition had the second version of the film (with a whopping 4 MINUTES of extra footage and an alternate ending just as dissatisfying as the original...to Cyrus
anyways) and a bunch of animated shorts that were pretty neat, but that was about it. Now we’ve got a brand new commentary track with the director and writer, deleted scenes with commentary, two documentaries (a ‘making of’
and a look at the science of the film), a series of featurettes, the digital copy of the movie, a 44-page concept sketch book, 6 art cards showing what some other cities looked like post-bad-CG-zombie-people-apocalypse, and a film ‘lenticular’
. Tell me your brother wouldn’t go gaga over this. All in a nice box. That should shut him up at least until his birthday. Maybe there’ll be a sale on Playboy subscriptions by then.
Let’s face it. She’s smarter than you. She’s always going to be. Science and all that. There's no fighting it. She may even be younger than you but the odds are she already likes better movies. So you gotta go a little more high-brow and appeal to her romantic side. Now, FSM
knows you don’t want to buy “Gone with the Wind”
for her...who the hell wants to sit through that umpteen billion times...but let me offer something a lot more palatable to everyone…
“Casablanca” The Ultimate Collector’s Edition
They’re not kidding. This thing has been re-released at least as many times as The Evil Dead
and there’s never really been a definitive must-own edition of it until now. Maybe you’re too young to know, but Casablanca
is one of the greatest movies ever made. End of story. It’s enjoyable for everyone but it’s complex love story and Humphrey Bogart
’s great sacrifice at the end is surely in the top five of most moving moments in cinema and your sister will require Kleenex. Maybe you too.
“If that plane leaves the ground and you're not with him, you'll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.”
Brr. Gives me the chills just reading it. Casablanca
is one of those sorts of films that will stick with you until you die. So what’s so special about this new ‘ultimate’
edition? Well, you’ve got the same stuff on the 2003 set which is pretty awesome...
-A Roger Ebert
commentary and one by film historian/author Rudy Behlmer
-An introduction by Lauren Bacall
-”You Must Remember This: A Tribute to Casablanca”
, “As Time Goes By: The Children Remember”
(the kids of Bogart
and Ingrid Bergman
remember their parents) and “Bacall on Bogart”
(a TCM special where Lauren Bacall
talks about her husband) documentaries
-A production research gallery, with a ton of memos, script pages, and production stills
-2 deleted scenes (but unfortunately without sound, just subtitles)
-Outtakes (same sound dealio)
-An abridged radio broadcast of “Casablanca”
-The first episode of the 1955 “Casablanca”
tv show starring Charles McGraw
-Musical scoring sessions and outtakes
-"Carrotblanca" Bugs Bunny
In this new edition, is a full length documentary “Jack L. Warner: The Last Mogul”
, which isn’t really about Casablanca
per say, but is an interesting portrait of the man behind the period in film for Warner Brothers
. There’s not anything else digitally new but it’s got a metric ass-ton of stuff packaged with it that should make fans of the film get squishy…
-A 48 page photo book
-10 postcards with color reproductions of the poster art and more
-3 reproductions of letters from within Warner Brothers
about the film.
’s letter of transit
-A passport holder with the Casablanca
-A luggage tag with the Casablanca
-A mail in offer for the full size movie poster
Okay, I won’t bullshit you. Unless you’re a GIGANTIC GEEK for this movie, the two-disc edition probably will suit you just fine, but they did package this nicely in it’s Moroccan-style laser cut front cover. It looks cool on display. You could frame that bad boy. Testify.
That’s it for now. We’ve covered the basic familial units. Unless you have a mentally challenged cousin you need to shop for (there’s always the “UFC Classics Collection Gift Set Volume 2”
that they sent me for some reason). I’m sure I’ll get some other promising Xmas sets between then and now to peruse and give you the 411 on. Like what are you supposed to get the little red haired girl in school to make her notice you? Or your Grandfather who just figured out how to work the damn movie machine. Or your favorite animated movie critic who is desperately insecure and needs more stuff to believe in your love or he’ll die. Seriously I’ll...I mean the hypothetical HE...will die. Do you want that on your conscience?
Click Here to Buy "JFK (Ultimate Collector's Edition)"
Click Here to Buy "300 (Limited Collectors Edition + Digital Copy)"
Click Here to Buy "I Am Legend Ultimate Collector's Edition"
Click Here to Buy "Casablanca (Ultimate Collector's Edition)"