2016 Holiday Gift Guide: Geek Culture – Movies

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Geek Culture is a many faceted thing with the term meaning different things to most geeks. This category highlights some of the movies we feel define us as geeks. Most of these are family friendly, but a couple are targeted at the adult and near-adult geeks among us.


Kubo and the Two StringsKubo and the Two Strings
Suggested By: Will James
Mfg: Laika
Price: $19.95
Purchase: Kubo and the Two Strings

Kubo and the Two Strings is easily my favorite movie of the year, and one of my all-time favorites. I highly recommend picking up the Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD Combo Pack. Kubo is a beautiful (mostly) stop-motion animated film about the power of storytelling, music, and finding your voice. It’s also a wonderful tale about family.

To learn more, you can read about my experience at the Kubo press day where I got to ask Charlize Theron and Travis Knight some important questions or you can read my 10 Things post or my review of the extras on the Blu-ray.


You’ve got the touch!Transformers: The Movie (30th Anniversary Edition)
Suggested By: Z.
Mfg: Shout Factory
Price: $22.92
Purchase: Transformers: The Movie (30th Anniversary Edition)

I have reached a point in my life where I’ve come to realize that so many of the things I thought were “bad” simply weren’t made for me. Literally. I’m not the target audience for “Let’s Play” videos or Pierce The Veil. And that’s okay. The same goes for those Michael Bay Transformers movies. My Transformers movie premiered in 1986: an animation powerhouse with a butt-rock soundtrack that just wouldn’t quite, and it just so happens that the film in question received a positively stunning new 30th anniversary Blu-ray release earlier this year from Shout Factory. Boasting impressively restored visuals and tons of extras, this double-disc collection includes both the widescreen and full-frame versions of this seminal motion picture and somehow manages to look even better than you remember! [Review material provided by Shout Factory.]


These Friends are truly Super.DC Super Hero Girls: Hero of the Year
Suggested By: Z.
Mfg: Warner Bros.
Price: $9.99
Purchase: DC Super Hero Girls: Hero of the Year

We are, in most cases, a Marvel Comics household. One notable exception, however, is the DC Super Hero Girls franchise. While my young daughter was the first to really fall for the animated shorts, by the time the team’s first DVD, DC Super Hero Girls: Hero of the Year, arrived, my son and I were onboard as well. The movie sees series stalwarts like Wonder Woman and Bumblebee vying for Super Hero High School’s titular Hero of the Year award, but it also focuses on a number of more relatable plot points. Both Wondie and Batgirl deal with the sizable expectations of their parents, Supergirl struggles with the very concept of family after the destruction of Krypton, and Lady Shiva questions the morals and motivations of the newly reformed Big Barda. More than just your typical high school fare or just another cookie-cutter superhero adventure, it’s an amazing family-friendly feature that parents and geeklings alike can enjoy. [Review materials provided by Warner Bros.]


The Angry Birds Movie blu-rayThe Angry Birds Movie
Suggested By: Jamie Greene
Mfg: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Price: $19.99
Purchase: The Angry Birds Movie

The Angry Birds Movie was one of the most pleasant surprises I’ve had at the movies this year. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much at a kids’ movie. The movie is hilarious, has a fantastic all-star cast, and actually has a genuinely sweet message. Check out our full review from when the film was in theaters. It’s out on Blu-ray now, just in time to make the perfect gift for any Angry Birds fans in your family.


Star Trek: TOS blu-rayStar Trek: The Original Series (Complete Series)
Suggested By: Jamie Greene
Mfg: Paramount
Price: $49.99
Purchase: Star Trek: The Original Series (Complete Series)

Have a Trekkie on your list who somehow doesn’t own this yet? Now’s the time. Yeah, I know, they’re all on Netflix. But unlike the internet, Netflix isn’t forever. And grabbing all three seasons of the original series for this crazy-affordable price should be a no-brainer. The set comes with all 79 episodes on 20 discs, 1080p HD, 7.1 DTS-HD audio (along with the original 2.0 mono), and a gaggle of special features. Nearly 69 hours of classic Trek greatness. Happy holidays, indeed.


Star Trek: TNG blu-rayStar Trek: The Next Generation (Complete Series)
Suggested By: Jamie Greene
Mfg: Paramount
Price: $99.99
Purchase: Star Trek: The Next Generation (Complete Series)

Likewise, if you’re giving the gift of Trek this year, don’t forget ‘The Next Generation”! This affordable set includes all 7 seasons, 178 episodes, and 41 blu-ray discs. Like its Classic Series counterpart, the TNG set includes oodles of special features and comes with the permanence of physical media. Netflix might drop you like a bad habit in a month or two. Make sure you’ve got enough Picard and Riker (and this set has nearly 135 hours) to keep you company at the drop of a hat.


Much more entertaining and fun than any other hero vs. hero showdown from this year.Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War
Suggested By: Anthony Karcz
Mfg: Walt Disney Studios
Price: 19.99
Purchase: Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War

The best of all of Marvel’s “solo” superhero movies should be at the top of any Marvel movie fan’s list. Captain America: Civil War features an ensemble cast in a fractious story line that tests and breaks the limits of the bond formed among the Avengers in the previous movies. Not only do we get to see new heroes in action as part of the team (the debut of Black Panther here before he gets is own movie is worth watching the film on its own), we get a newly revamped Spider-Man in what is possibly the greatest team fight scene in the entire Marvel movie universe. Besides the pyrotechnics, the story is engaging as Steve Rogers wrestles with his conscience – he is a man that’s spent decades in a deep freeze and it’s taken him a while to realize that his country wants him to serve in a way that no longer reflects the moral core that drove him to service in the first place. The fact that all this moral upheaval ends in a Cap and Bucky vs. Iron Man beatdown that makes the Iron Man/Thor/Cap fight from the first Avengers Iook like a tickle fight is icing on the cake. The 3-D/Blu-Ray/Digital edition is the perfect gift – besides containing a ton of extras, the digital edition is exactly what you need to binge the movie everywhere.


Image: ParamountStar Trek 50th Anniversary TV and Movie Blu-ray Collection
Suggested By: Jenny Bristol
Mfg: Paramount Pictures
Price: About $120
Purchase: Star Trek 50th Anniversary TV and Movie Blu-ray Collection

Have you ever wanted everything to do with Star Trek TOS all in one place? The television show, all of the movies with the TOS characters, even the Animated Series? How about some posters and a pin thrown in? This year, to celebrate Star Trek‘s 50th anniversary, Paramount has put out a Blu-ray collection including all of these things. It is the ultimate ST:TOS collection. Read my full review.


Image: Universal StudiosBack to the Future 30th Anniversary Trilogy Blu-ray
Suggested By: Jenny Bristol
Mfg: Universal Studios
Price: $19.99
Purchase: Back to the Future 30th Anniversary Trilogy Blu-ray

Though the 30th anniversary was in 2015, the future from the Back to the Future movies seems to have been delayed by a year… Though we thankfully still don’t have flying cars, the Cubs did win the World Series, and those self-lacing shoes have come to fruition. Celebrate visions of the future from 31 years ago with Marty, Doc Brown, the DeLorean, and all of your favorite BTTF characters. See my full review.


Finding DoryFinding Dory
Suggested By: Will James
Mfg: Disney PIXAR
Price: $19.99
Purchase: Finding Dory

As much as our family loved Finding Nemo, we love Finding Dory even more. As always, I highly recommend picking up the Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD Combo Pack. Finding Dory is a great movie about finding and making your own family. As an adoptive family, the movie was especially close to home for us.
To learn more, you can read my review of the extras on the Blu-ray along with seeing a bunch of the hidden easter eggs from the film!


The Legend of Korra: The Complete SeriesThe Legend of Korra: The Complete Series
Suggested By: Will James
Mfg: Nickelodeon
Price: $49.99
Purchase: The Legend of Korra: The Complete Series

The Legend of Korra: The Complete Series is a great way to get the entire run of the series at a great price. This set includes all 52 episodes plus a ton of bonus features. If you’re a fan of Avatar or the new Voltron Legendary Defender but you somehow missed Korra, you’ll definitely want to check it out as a lot of the same great creators worked on all of the shows.


Screenshot from What We Do In The ShadowsWhat We Do in the Shadows [Blu-ray]
Suggested By: Anton
Mfg: Paramount
Price: $12
Purchase: What We Do in the Shadows [Blu-ray]

What We Do In The Shadows is a comedic film about four vampires living as roommates in the modern world. Shot in a documentary style this film is a hilarious tale of the dysfunctional life they lead. Co-directed by Jemaine Clement who is better known as a TV actor and Taika Waititi who will direct the upcoming Marvel film Thor Ragnarok. Both directors also play two of the lead characters, Vlad and Viago respectively.
This movie is a couple years old now, and despite a release on DVD and Blu-ray appears to be relatively unknown. I discovered it earlier this year and highly recommend it to for the adults and older teens. It is rated R, for nudity, violence, and language.
Watch the Trailer

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