We here at ScreenCrave have compiled a list of gift ideas that will satisfy any movie fan, gawky geek, savvy cineaste, or casual viewer (totally botched my alliterative streak there). Take a gander and if you’ve got any of your own suggestions leave a comment below.
9. Movie-Themed T-Shirts
The staple of movie fans everywhere the “themed T-Shirt”. Keep your wardrobe updated with the latest movie inspired tees. Check out some of these highlights–I Am McLovin, The Audacity of Joke, Wolverine Evolution, Artoo’s Premium Beer, and Tarantino Babies. Your girlfriend may not share your love for them, but we here at ScreenCrave think you’d look pretty spiffy in these shirts.
- Prices Vary Depending on Store and Shirt: Starting at $18.00 and up – Nerdy Shirts | 80stees.com | Red Bubble | Dutch Southern
8. Sony HVR-HD1000U Digital High Definition Camcorder
Know any aspiring filmmakers? The digital revolution has made movie-making infinitely more accessible than it once was, and if you’re looking for professional-quality video equipment at a (relatively) modest budget, Sony’s powerful HD Camera is a great place to start. Or, if you can afford to hand out a rain check, GearCrave points out that RED is unleashing their two new lines of Scarlet and Epic HD cameras starting in Spring 2009.
Immensely customizable and built for the future, these babies can shoot at resolutions from 2K to a whopping 28K (why you would need to shoot at 28 times the resolution of 1080p is beyond me).
Kick start that career in Hollywood, or make some kick-ass looking home videos of the dog sniffing itself.
7. Philips Prestigio Universal Remotes
Ever since we saw the Philips’ Prestigio SRT9320 touchscreen remote, we’ve been itching to play with it. The sleek design is beautiful and with the ability to control up to 20 devices you’ll never need another remote again. The combination of a hard keypad and a 2.8-inch touch screen grants you full command of even the most unwieldy home theater systems. The caveat though is that this pretty little thing won’t be available until the first quarter of 2009, and carries a hefty price tag of $250. Philips’ Prestigio line does have some currently available and cheaper alternatives, though, including the SRU 8008 and the SRU8015.
- Price: $250.00
6. Movie Collectibles
Nothing warms the movie geek heart like movie collectibles. Take this Reservoir Dogs action figure pack, or these Dark Knight and Joker bobbleheads as examples. Useless? Maybe. But geektastically cool? Oh yeah. High end shoppers can also peruse the finely-crafted merchandise at Sideshow Collectibles. More price-constrained shoppers can check out WickedCoolStuff.com’s wicked cool collection.
- Prices Vary Depending on Site and Product: $13.99 and up
5. Movie Related Books
Just because we love watching movies doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate a good book, (as long as its about movies). The more scholarly types can check out books on movie history, like “You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story” or “The Stanley Kubrick Archives.” There’s something enthralling about learning how Hollywood came to be the wacky place that it is, and studying the people who helped shape the face of cinema today.
Those into film criticism ought to check out any of Roger Ebert’s books, such as “Awake in the Dark” or the aptly-titled “Your Movie Sucks.” Another option is looking into the literary origins of popular movies. “Forrest Gump” started off as a book, and people curious about the inspirations behind Christopher Nolan‘s relaunch of the Batman franchise can pick up “Batman: The Long Halloween” or “Batman: Year One.” My personal recommendation is Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road,” the hauntingly beautiful post-apocalyptic tale that won the Pulitzer Prize and got adapted into a film opening next year starring Viggo Mortensen and Charlize Theron.
- Price: $7.99 and up | Available on Amazon
4. Blu-Ray Player
If they haven’t upgraded to Blu Ray yet, it’s time. The price of Blu Ray players are dropping and Blu Ray movies themselves are becoming more and more ubiquitous. Unbeatable sound and picture quality aside, Blu Ray is the future, so there really is no reason to keep putting this off. I don’t have a brand preference for Blu Ray players, but the Sony BDP-S350 is a well-reviewed and affordably-priced one that does everything you could ask a BD Player to do: DVD Upscaling, update-able firmware, Internet connectivity for access to online features, and of course it spits out a gorgeous 1080p image with Dolby TrueHD Sound. It’s time to make the jump.
- Price: $249.99
3. DVD Box Sets
For those who aren’t yet sold on making the switch to Blu Ray, one indisputable advantage that DVD still has over Blu Ray is a great collection of box sets. Here are three that we love. The Columbia Best Picture Collection comes with 11 Best Picture Oscar winners, including It Happened One Night, From Here to Eternity, On the Waterfront, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Lawrence of Arabia, Kramer vs. Kramer, and Gandhi, all for $99.99. Another option is The Nightmare Before Christmas Ultiimate Collector’s Edition.
Not only is it packed with goodies and special features, but it comes in a beautifully-crafted Jack Skellington bust (ScreenCrave actually gave one of these out earlier this year, and it was a hit). TV cartoon fans will also be ecstatic to see that Warner Bros. has released Batman – The Complete Animated Series. Get every episode of the seminal cartoon series across 17 discs, all for $75.99!
Price: Varies; highlighted items range from $75.99 to $159.99
2. Blu Ray Movies
Okay, but really, SWITCH TO BLU RAY (subtle, I know)! And why not, with a growing collection of outstanding movies now available in lush high definition. Not to seem like a Sony fanboy or anything (I’m more of a Samsung guy, personally), but non-believers should visit a Sony store to get the side-by-side comparisons; the difference really is amazing. For newcomers and the long-converted alike, check out classics like Casablanca, or the biggest movie of this year, The Dark Knight.
For more holiday-appropriate fare, why not revisit A Christmas Story to get your fill of yuletide cheer? TV shows like “Lost” can also be found on Blu Ray at a great price. But my favorite reason to shop Blu Ray this season is the Criterion Collection’s latest offerings on the format of the future. Cult classics like The Third Man and The Man Who Fell to Earth, as well as more modern films that set the arthouse crowd abuzz like Chungking Express and Bottle Rocket can now be found on Blu Ray, put together with top-notch special features and packaging by the cinema-savvy and impassioned folks over at Criterion.
Price: Varies; highlighted items range from $23.99 to $49.99 | Available on Amazon
1. Pioneer Kuro Elite PRO-111FD Flat-Panel TV
Being the first flat-panel TV to score a perfect “10″ for Performance on CNET is freaking awesome. There are many HDTVs to choose from these days, and this is just one of many, albeit an especially impressive one. The fact is that HDTV is the point these days; it’s the best way to enjoy movies and television, it’s why there’s such an emphasis on upgrading to Blu Ray in this article (though I do understand consumers who aren’t ready to make the switch yet), and for movie fans, it’s the only way to bring the cinema home.
At the top of our gift list is perhaps the best flat-panel TV you can buy today, Pioneer’s PRO-111FD, which roughly translates to 50 inches of brain-melting eye candy. Slick design, expansive picture control, a bevy of connector hookups, and unrivaled picture quality make this the holy grail of flat panel TVs. The only catch? It’s prohibitively expensive. If you’ve got something like $4,000 sitting around this could be the new centerpiece of your home theater setup. If not, well…you’re just going to have to sit here and sigh wistfully like the rest of us.
Price: $4,500 MSRP; ~$4,000 from other online retailers