Things I like that should become Christmas presents. For me, or your friend. MOVIES

The Dark Knight Trilogy

My most anticipated movie of the year was probably Dark Knight Rises. I still haven’t decided how I feel about Nolan’s final chapter in his Batman movies. I enjoyed pretty well while I was watching it. I’m a little unsure about the solution…
Still. Batman Begins and Dark Knight remain truly excellent films. They will probably stand as the great superhero films.

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Batman:

The Dark Knight Returns

These look fantastic! I really enjoyed last year’s Batman Year One. I expect the same level of attention was paid in the production of this two-part adaptation of Frank Miller’s comic.

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Justice League: Doom

Superman vs The Elite

Here are DC’s other two animated features from 2012. Both look pretty well made. That Justice League one looks like a ton of fun!

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Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase One

So you already have The Avengers. And Iron Man. Maybe you skipped Iron Man 2 and The Incredible Hulk. Well, here are all the feature films of Marvel’s Phase One cinematic initiative in one place. Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, and The Avengers.

So that’s the good news. The bad news: the release date has been pushed back to Spring 2013.

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Lord of the Rings Extended Editions

Don’t drool now.
Five discs for each film. Extended cuts.

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Planet of the Apes series and Rise of the Planet of the Apes

The classic films and the modern prequel-ish thing have some beautiful sets to lust after.

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Alien Anthology and Prometheus

Check out the first two excellent films! And remind yourself that the crappy prequel wasn’t as bad as the third and fourth movies!

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Agatha Christie’s Poirot

Blu Ray Collection

What better way to lead in to next year’s grand finale.

David Suchet has expertly played the finicky detective since 1989. 1989!! The first six series (a total of thirteen will be completed next year) are now available on Blu-Ray.

Parfait!

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Star Trek: The Next Generation, season two on blu ray

Who could forget this beauty? The Next Generation continues to be released on high quality blu ray format box sets. This one has a boatload of extras. But most fans are eager for the top notch digital upgrade applied to every episode.

This is one of my favorite periods in Star Trek. I just love Dr Pulaski. She was a bit of life added to a show with a cast of characters that easily bored me. As much as I love the Enterprise D, I found the interpersonal success enjoyed by her crew insipid. Dr Pulaski was a real person – maybe the only believable person on the show. She had great skill and knowledge, like the other crew members, but she was also prideful. While I normally wouldn’t encourage prideful behavior, I find hers to be honest and refreshingly presented. Here was a character that sometimes failed. She had doubts. She had prejudices. And, most interesting for the narrative, she was a character that could change/grow.

This season marks the only appearances of Dr Pulaski in all of filmed Star Trek.

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Bond 50

I love Bond. I’ve seen them all (well, all except Skyfall and I haven’t seen that yet because I’m an idiot). Connery’s my favorite. There’s no contest. Daniel Craig is great and his movies are good. But he’s no Connery.

Skip Roger Moore. I couldn’t stand his Bond movies when I was a kid. I tolerated them when I was older, my hand at diplomacy. I’ve returned to be annoyed at them.

Dalton is fine. Brosnan was in one good one and three increasingly stupid other ones.

How many great flicks are on this set? Dr No, From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, Goldeneye, Casino Royale.

How many good ones? Most of the others are good.

How many total stinkers? Live and Let Die, The Man With the Golden Gun, Moonraker, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World is Not Enough, Die Another Day are all pretty hard to get through.

27% Great
27% Stink
45% Okay

That’s about right for Bond.

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Road to Avonlea

and

Anne of Green Gables

My wife and I don’t watch a ton of TV…well, we do but we don’t watch anything broadcast. So we watch our DVD sets. I usually let her pick. (It’s an easy way to die to myself!) Her TV choices range more to the girly and kiddie than mine would, but I tend to enjoy whatever it is anyway! She recently watched through the entire Road to Avonlea series, which is a spin-off from the excellent first two Anne of Green Gables TV-films.

The entire seven seasons have received the digital restoration treatment.

Road to Avonlea: The Complete First Season
Road to Avonlea: The Complete Second Season
Road to Avonlea Season 3
Road to Avonlea: Season 4
Road to Avonlea Season 5

And the movie that started it all:

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Once Upon a Time

Here’s one that my lady loves to watch and I can only tolerate. It has a lot going for it, but I feel like I’m watching TV when I’m watching this TV show. And that’s a bad thing. Maybe I’m asking for too much.

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For the kid




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Doctor Who : Tooth and Claw. Guide for Parental Units of Geeks

Content:

There are comments about Rose being ‘naked.’ This is less descriptive (she’s wearing overalls with a T-shirt underneath) and more a satirical poke at Victorian England’s supposedly outlandish moral standards.

Conversation starters:

Let’s imagine this story is a metaphor for spirituality. There is good spirituality, bad spirituality, and those that deny there is any spirituality.

  • The Doctor and Rose are good.
  • The werewolves are bad.
  • Queen Victoria denies.

Now, going from this point, mention that simply being spiritual is not necessarily good. The demons are spiritual and they are evil. The demons even believe that God is Lord of everything and they are still evil.

The werewolves acknowledge that Rose is part of some larger spiritual world. They mention that she has something of the wolf in her. They are referencing a time when she made contact with the time vortex. They assume that since she has had this alien contact, she is broadly alien. She is not. She is with the Doctor, the good guy. In the same way, when we assume that anyone who is speaking about spiritual things they are on the same side as Jesus. This is not true. Jesus is the one good spiritual guy, with whom we should ally ourselves. Anything that is spiritual that is not of Him should be rejected.

Mention the Queen’s hesitancy to believe. She appears foolish for denying the obvious presence of aliens – both good and bad aliens. That is what atheism is. A foolish insistence on a lifestyle and belief that cannot be reconciled with the facts of the universe. And, just like the Queen, this blatant refusal to believe in something so obvious is typically just an excuse to hold onto power.

Doctor Who : New Earth. Guide for Parental Units of Geeks

Content:

The sick people look a little icky – but that’s the point! They look scary at first, but they are not monsters. They are people who need to be cared for!

Rose has her body taken over by a woman with looser morals than she has. So she unbuttons her top button, revealing a bit of cleavage. This lasts for about half the episode.

Conversation starters:

Who is the hero? A visitor from another world. And, like Christ, the Doctor has a bizarre and inexplicable interest in the welfare of the humans of earth.

What is the problem he has to solve? People are sick and dying and their masters cover that fact up. The cat nurses are a type of devil in this story, convincing their slaves that everything is the way it should be. 

How does he solve the problem? He cures them. The transmission of this cure is by touching, so each sick person much touch another to spread healing. Kinda like Christianity! It spreads by lives touching.

What is the product of the hero’s work? A New Earth.

Doctor Who : The Empty Child / The Doctor Dances. Guide for Parental Units of Geeks

If you are a parent and have not watched any Doctor Who, I would recommend watching this one with your kids. Not only is it the first to be sexually suggestive, it is also the best story to this point. So if you ever hope to enjoy the show, this is a good chance.

Content:

This episode marks the first appearance of Captain Jack Harkness, who is a very sleazy character. Jack is an old-fashioned adventurer, like Robin Hood or Captain Kirk. He is also sex-starved and so he flirts and makes suggestive comments to everyone he meets. And I mean everyone.

The dialogue between Rose and Jack is mostly suggestive. Little kids might not get it. Big kids probably will.

Captain Jack squeezes the butt of a male soldier, flirting (the actual contact is off-screen).

There is some scary stuff. There are little children with gas masks and they are provide a quite unsettling mood.

A doctor turns morphs into an alien and a gas mask extends from out of his mouth.

Conversation starters:

What made the alien boy finally stop? (He acknowledged who his true parent was.)

How is that reflected in people becoming Christians?

Once the glowing yellow stuff was able to see what the true image of a human was, it was able to heal people. Compare that to the way Jesus was able to restore the true image of humanity.

Doctor Who : The Long Game. Guide for Parental Units of Geeks

Content:

Nothing too sexy or violent here.

There is a gross-looking monster. The humans who are hooked up to the computer have a little door that opens on their foreheads. That’s a little icky.

Conversation starters:

Everybody wants to be promoted to work on Floor 500. As it turns out, Floor 500 is really a horrible place where people are just used by an evil alien. How is this similar to normal life? Can you compare the desire to be promoted to Floor 500 with the desire to smoke cigarettes, have sex, or some other damaging behavior?

The Editor asks, “Is a slave a slave if he doesn’t know he’s enslaved?” To which the Doctor simply says, “Yes.” How are humans in this day and age enslaved without knowing they are enslaved?

What is the one thing that can free people from this enslaving?

How does the Doctor act like Christ in this story? He reveals the lies people were being told and breaks the enemy’s hold over them.