Film. It moves us. It engages us. It inspires us to try romantic gestures that worked great on the screen but actually trigger restraining orders in real life. It also gives us options when we’re trying to find the right gift for a friend or family member come Christmas time. In this year’s Gift Guide for Movie Lovers, we strove to find ten uniquely desirable or desirably unique ideas for those you love. Whether you’re treating others or yourself, any of these items will help you be "that friend"—the one who is actually good at giving gifts.
10. Quantum Mechanix (Various prices, QMx)
While our Top 10 gift guide tends to focus on specific items or offerings, each year we like to also point out a few "flocks of birds with one stone" options. Quantum Mechanix has a variety of unique offerings for film lovers, from the ol’ standby of prints and to the ubiquitous-these-days figurines. (And of course, their offerings include plenty of television and comics.)
9. Learn from the Greats in a Classroom Setting ($90, MasterClass)
Aaron Sorkin on screenwriting. Dustin Hoffman on acting. Kevin Spacey on acting. Hans Zimmer on film scoring. Werner Frikkin’ Herzog on filmmaking. The MasterClass concept is immediately appealing—an online class with teachers who are themselves accomplished and acclaimed in the subject matter. For those friends whose love of film is a bit more interactive than sitting in the audience, MasterClass already has plenty of film-related content, and at $90 for a bucket of classes (Aaron Sorkin’s class has 35 video lessons) that you can return to/watch again as many times as you like, it may be one of bigger bangs for the buck you can give someone (or yourself).
8. A Periodic Table of Horror … for your couch ($20, Redbubble)
Is there any unscientific subject matter that the periodic table can’t help illustrate? (No.) In this instance, horror fans and the friends who love them benefit from the elastic application of Dmitri Mendeleev’s little table to the horror home furnishing niche, with a throw pillow of periodic horror. (The design is also available on a T-shirts, if you’re of the more conventional type.)
7. How Minimal Is Your Love of Movies? ($6.52, minimalmovieprints)
There are plenty of places one can go to find movie-related prints (a few on this list, in fact), but while it’s perfectly fine to have a movie poster from a film’s release on your wall, immediately telling visiting friends, family and burgling professionals that, you know, you kinda liked that film, why not take it down a notch? Why not subtly test them by going with a more minimalist expression of your enthusiasm? You might think Etsy would be a good place to find just the thing, and you’d be right. More specifically, check out the UK-based shop of Minimal Prints. (My only quibble … all the 150 or so selections should be available in a version that does not identify the movie shown.)
6. Loot Crate (Monthly price varies)
What can I say? Loot crate defines the gift that keeps on giving. It’s like Christmas or Hanukkah every month. (Yeah, you might get socks, but they’ll be really cool socks.) No matter what your particular geek passion is, there’s a crate for you. (There’s even one for you WWE nerds and geek pets.) If you’re an omnivorous sort, each loosely themed (invasion, magic, anti-heroes, etc.) regular or DX crate will yield great stuff, including items from QMx, Funko, and more but while the regular crates are pretty great, the real gold is in the universe-specific crates. The Firefly/Serenity offerings never fail to disappoint, with a recent crate featuring an Inevitable Betrayal playset and the recently launched (pictured) Wizarding World of Harry Potter crate included a plush Pigwidgeon and a random Pop! Figure (Newt Scamander, Tina Goldstein, Niffler) among other items. There’s also Halo, Anime, Sanrio and last but not least, a Marvel crate, full of geeky goodies for the Marvel fan (and honestly, if you’re reading this list, that’s probably you). —Mark Rabinowitz
5. Life-Sized Xenomorph Egg Replica with LED Lights ($499, NECA)
Okay, it’s true that if you just purchased the National Entertainment Collectibles Association’s (NECA) life-sized foam facehugger, you would save some money in the short term, but just think how much use you can get out of having the egg, too! Christmas, Easter, Halloween. National Parasite Implant Day. We challenge you to find a holiday or other festive occasion during which an at least tenuous connection to this baby cannot be established. And better yet, the egg comes with the facehugger.
4. The Walt Disney Film Archives: The Animated Movies 1921-1968 ($200, Taschen)
As much as the Digital Age has transformed (and some would say, savaged) the printed medium, there are some things no amount of "let’s check that on my phone" can replace. Having, as The Wall Street Journal calls it, a "lavishly packaged, hernia-inducing tome" covering the history of Walt Disney’s animated films? That’s one of them. (After all, outside of sculpture, what other artistic medium can be discussed in terms of its chances of triggering a hernia?) This particular Taschen tome (obtainable for quite a bit less than the publisher’s $200 price tag) will pretty much ensure your Disney-loving friend is placed under an outsized gift-gifting obligation to you for years to come. (Make sure you flip through the book’s 624 pages every time you visit, just to make sure they do not forget.)
3. Mad Max: Fury Road High Octane Collection ($79.99, Warner Brothers Home Video)
Rumors of a special black & white version of George Miller’s brilliant Mad Max: Fury Road surfaced almost as soon as the first trailers were released. Then its existence was confirmed and we all waited breathlessly for it to be released, hearing whispers that it would accompany last year’s excellent Mad Max Anthology;. But it didn’t. Fast forward a year and it’s finally here on a new, glorious eight-disc collection containing no fewer than four versions of Fury Road (BD, 4K, Digital HD/UV and Black & Chrome), as well as the previous 3 Mad Max films (all on BD) all the extras from last year’s set, plus a new doc, Road War about the making of The Road Warrior. Of course the real draw here is Black & Chrome. Putting it plainly, it’s a revelation, making Miller’s dystopian, post-apocalyptic wasteland even more vivid. Far from a gimmick, it’s an entirely new way of seeing this masterpiece and one I’ll opt for more often than not. Note: The UV code is for the original Fury Road only, and the set is also available in a $240 version with a model of Max’s Interceptor. —M.R.
2. Star Wars Battle quads ($239, Propel)
Thanks to Disney, Star Wars gift-giving is no longer just a nostalgia play. And with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story about to hit theaters, giving the gift of drone tie fighters, x-wings, speeder bikes and the Millennium Falcon itself is both a no-brainer for fans and a good time for drone hobbyists who are not Star Wars fans to pretend they are.
1. Funko POP!’s Labyrinth Line of Figures ($8.99-$10.99, Funko)
Yes, we featured Funko’s figures last year, and everything we said then is just as true now. The sheer flexibility in selection and low price (all things gift-giving considered) of Funko’s vinyls make them too ideal a resource to overlook. Besides, in this time of consumption both mass and conspicuous, who doesn’t like to keep a little totem or two that marks his or her relative position in the increasingly cluttered pop culture multiverse? With the particular items focused on in this entry, you’ve got nostalgia (Labyrinth’s 30th anniversary) and Bowie love in play. Does it remind me of the babe? ("Who do?" "You do!") Indeed it does.