Another year, another chance to find something “just right” for that film lover in your life. (And while you’re at it, why not get something for their birthday, too—it pays to plan ahead for the hard-to-please.) This year’s list features some video collections of classic franchises and famous directors, a surefire source for pleasing a film fan (no matter the films they love best) and the next big thing in droid.
Some people like to express their love of movies subtly. For such a person, it doesn’t get much more subtle than a reference to a fictional hotel on that disappearing artifact of the pre-Internet Age—stationary! Herb Lester Associates has just the thing, notepads from two famous films (The Shining, The Graduate), two lesser so (The Wicker Man, National Lampoon’s European Vacation) and two, well—Twin Peaks had a movie and as for At Bertram’s Hotel, this is a English store, after all.
There have been a lot of bat-iterations for DC’s second-favorite son since Tim Burton and company brought Batman back to the big screen in 1989. But for all the good work Christopher Nolan, Rockteady Studios and others have done to advance the Dark Knight’s legend and design, let’s take a moment to appreciate the Anton Furst-designed bat-plane from Batman. Better yet, let’s buy one and put it on a desk or shelf.
Sometimes finding just the right item for a film buff can be a challenge. Fans can lodge themselves and their enthusiasms in the strangest corners of the film catalogue. (Good luck tracking down a Jacques Tati bobblehead.) But luckily, there are some films we all can appreciate, like the one featuring Det. John McClane and his thorough de-lousing of Nakatomi Plaza in 1988’s Die Hard. This set provides all five films in the franchise, which is all well and good—one might as well be thorough, I suppose, and someone out there probably also likes the fourth and fifth films in the franchise? But this set is all about the only Die Hard that matters, and in that film, young, up-and-coming skyscraper Nakatomi Plaza figures prominently. (The building was cheated out of an Academy Award for “Best Building People Run Around and Get Killed In” that year by the fact there is no such award.) For the Die Hard fan on your list—and frankly, everyone on your list should be—give them more than a Blu-ray; give them an entire building!
Trying to find the right gift related to a movie your friend or family member loves is one way to approach the season, but what if, instead of focusing on a movie, we focused on an actor?! Like the subject of Robert Schnakenberg’s exhaustive tome, it’s so crazy, it might just work! Virtually every film in Murray’s filmography has likely yielded at least a few fans, and of course, there’s no shortage of movies that have millions. So whether it’s Groundhog’s Day or Ghostbusters, Rushmore or Razor’s Edge (that’s possible, right?), this book provides a wonderful look at Murray’s career, method and signature madness.
“Sourced directly from LV-426, these eggs are from cage-free Xenomorphs, allowed to roam Hadley’s Hope at will and raised on all-organic life forms as well as the odd Weyland-Yutani representative or Colonial Marine. Gentle and affectionate creatures (they will even hug your face immediately after hatching!) juvenile Xenomorphs adapt well to their surroundings, eating virtually any (and all) living material they come across. Warning: In rare cases, face-hugging may result in eggs being laid in the abdominal cavity of specially chosen humanoids. Not suitable for children under 6 or really any living being, honestly.”
If you’ve noticed an ’80s theme to this list, you’re not mistaken. But what can we say, the decade was a mighty good one for movie lovers, with even the lesser offerings proving themselves robust nostalgia generators. Not that Back to the Future falls into the “lesser” category—Paste has considered the impact of both the movie and the decade during which it arrived on the contemporary pop culture landscape. How best to salute a friend’s or your own love for the series? Perhaps a time-themed artifact? ThinkGeek has just the thing—your very own Flux Capacitor watch. Telling time has been simpler, we’ll admit, but having this sly tribute to a beloved film? Worth it.
Hayao Miyazaki is, arguably, the greatest animated filmmaker in history and some (myself included) would say the same, even regardless of format. His imagination and sense of wonder are unparalleled and he moves effortlessly between genres, including magical realism, fantasy and historical drama, never sacrificing story for the visuals which are, needless to say, always spectacular. He is a master at making films that appeal to both children and adults without talking down to children and while still engaging adults, a difficult balance that many filmmakers seem unable to achieve. Perhaps the greatest praise is that his films are eminently re-watchable. Over and over again, boredom never sets in and there’s always more to discover. This set includes all 11 feature-length films from the master, plus a disc of extras. What it doesn’t contain, however, are most of the extras that were on the previously issued individual Disney releases. For non-completists, that’s unlikely to be an issue. —M.R.
3. BB-8 ($149, Sphero)
Just because most every gift guide for movie lovers and sci-fi enthusiasts this year includes this wonderfully designed droid from the upcoming The Force Awakens doesn’t mean it shouldn’t make this list. After all, I mean, look at this guy. This is probably the safest home run of a gift you could get for a Star Wars fan—the only question would be whether said fan has already gotten it. If so, you just will have to keep it yourself, I guess. That’s okay, because as the promotional material assures us, this is the droid you are looking for.
Available from Funko — $8.99-$10.99
Here’s a surefire way to find the perfect gift for a friend who loves a film. Ask, “Hey, what’s your favorite film?” Note answer, go online to funko.com, type the name into the search window, and bingo, you’ve likely got a gift said friend will love. One of the great things about the toy company’s lines is their almost gleeful celebration of secondary (and even tertiary) characters from a film. Anyone can love Jack Burton. (Let’s face, there’s a lot to love about Kurt Russell’s blundering sidekick who thinks he’s the hero.) But real fans of the movie are likely to be even more pumped to get the Lo Pan figure, or even Thunder. That’s one of the sweet things about the curation of the folks over at Funko—they understand every character is potentially the favorite character for a fan.
How many years in a row are we going to put Mondo on this list? Until they go out of business. But this year, instead of touting their great alternative takes on movie posters, let’s look to them for that staple of Christmas and winter wear—the knit sweater. Current movie-themed offerings include just the thing for fans of The Iron Giant, Gremlins, Fargo and that beloved holiday favorite, Friday the 13th. (Just imagine that Jason got that hockey mask as a Christmas gift during happier times, right?) Mondo still has the posters, too—current selections include The Boxtrolls, Creepshow and The Fly—so it’s a good idea to check on them whenever you want to hit a movie-lover right in the sweet spot with a gift.