If you have some serious movie lovers on your shopping list for Christmas, here are some great gifts you can give in a range of budgets and tastes for everyone. For those of you with deep pockets and a whole lot of guilt about not spending more time with family, I recommend you go with a big TV, and not just any TV — go for the 3D. They can run over $2,000, but there are some choices as low as the $600 range if you shop around. C’mon, isn’t that a small price to pay for the ones who love you no matter what? Don’t argue with me.
Now if you really can’t afford the TV, the next best thing is a really good Blu-ray disc player if they don’t already have one. You should be able to find one pretty easily in the $70-$120 range, or less if you shop around for good deals. If they already have a Blu-ray, consider another fancy gadget that’s slightly cheaper right now: the Roku devices that work with Netflix to play movies right on your TV.
All of you whining about Netflix raising prices, get over it already. That’s what businesses do. Netflix is still the best game in town for streaming movies, and with this handy little device — which works with your Internet connection — you can also stream a lot of other things, like Amazon instant video or your Pandora music station.
A more creative idea would be either buying a pre-made movie lovers’ basket, or making your own. Fill it with things like movie passes or gift certificates, gourmet popcorn, theater-style candy and snacks, a DVD or two, a movie soundtrack CD, a couple of those cute little plastic popcorn holders, and maybe even some old-fashioned glass bottle sodas.
And if you’re just poor or your family has been procreating like a bunch of wild rabbits and your list is longer than the line at a Black Friday opening, go with some DVDs. Cheap, easy, and you can buy them all online without ever going near the mall. Here are a few suggestions:
“The Hangover Part II” has to be the top choice for laughs this year. “Friends With Benefits” has to be the rom-com of the season, with its super-patriotic stars escorting two members of our fine troops to their military balls. Give it up for them.
As for “Our Idiot Brother,” if you actually give it to your brother, you get the smug satisfaction of sort of insulting him without him even knowing it. What’s the fun in that, you ask? In knowing you are not only the favorite child, but intellectually superior, of course.
The Adrenaline Junkie
Ladies, “Cowboys & Aliens” is a gift that gives back. Your other half thinks you got him a great action flick, but you get to snuggle up and have a Daniel Craig testosterone-fest. Just don’t call the hubby Daniel later, if you know what I mean. Or Bond … James Bond.
Or, if you’re buying for someone who won’t make you watch it, “Fast Five.” Another “Fast and Furious” film? Really? But if they already have the first four, I suppose you can’t go wrong.
The SciFiGuy (or Gal)
“Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Episodes I-VI)” boxed set on Blu-ray. D’oh.
“Harry Potter: The Complete 8 Film Collection.” I had to list it here as I didn’t have a nerd category. Well, except the above, but do you know what would happen to me if I put Luke Skywalker and Harry Potter together? A lynch mob would ensue.
For some characters old enough to buy their own beer, try “The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy” (“The Fellowship of the Ring,” “The Two Towers,” “The Return of the King” Extended Editions). Jeez, the title is even longer than the movies.
The Somewhat Disturbed
Do not, I repeat, do not give the hardcore horror lover on your list any remakes of classic horror films, lest you possibly trigger a homicidal meltdown ala “Silent Night, Bloody Night.” So put that copy of the new “Fright Night” down right now — slowly, very slowly, before anyone else in the horror section notices you’re holding it.
We horror buffs are a little sensitive about these crappy remakes being spit out, but you can go with special edition releases of older cult classics like “Evil Dead 2″ (25th Anniversary Edition) or Lucio Fulci’s “Zombie,” but just remember zombies may be all the rage these days, but Fulci was zombie before zombie was cool. And you’ll earn serious cool points with your family’s horror maniac if you drop these in their stocking. If he or she does go postal down the road, you’ll be at the end of his/her list of people to hack to pieces.
Drama? Forget it — you have enough drama with the family coming together. Do you really want to throw more into the mix? You know these things are going to get played all day. And I know you’re about to yell at me “But what about the children?” Kids don’t need any more DVDs. They already spend enough time planted on their Pampers and underoos in front of the video games and TV shows — get ‘em something that gets ‘em up and moving already to burn all those holiday calories. Sheesh!
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