As geeks, we frequently have a love of the arts, and I especially have a love for music and movies. Below we offer up a few things we enjoy or things we use to enjoy them.
Rock ‘n’ Roll High School: 40th Anniversary Steelbook
Suggested By: Z.
Mfg: Shout! Factory
Purchase: Rock ‘n’ Roll High School: 40th Anniversary Steelbook
Rocketing out of Forest Hills, Queens in 1974, The Ramones went on to define the style, sound, and attitude of American punk rock, and much like End of the Century, their corresponding album produced by the infamous Phil Spector, 1979 musical comedy Rock ‘n’ Roll High School is a love letter to their enduring cultural legacy. This year, Shout! Factory celebrated the film’s 40th anniversary with a phenomenal Blu-ray steelbook release that’s a must-have for the punk faithful. Relive the battle of Ramones super-fan Riff Randell against Vince Lombardi High’s authoritarian principal Miss Togar in this glorious new 4K scan complete with outtakes, audio commentary, interviews with director Allan Arkush, executive producer Roger Corman, and the cast, and much, much more. [Review materials provided by: Shout! Factory]
While it may have lacked the longevity of Batman: The Animated Series, 1999 follow-up Batman Beyond still managed to leverage the same creativity, quality, and overall excitement of its iconic forebear. Set in far-flung 2039, Batman Beyond tells the story of Terry McGinnis, a wayward youth who, under the reluctant tutelage of our own Bruce Wayne, revives the long-dormant Batman legacy. Boasting all 52 episodes, four episode commentary tracks, 15 featurettes, and Digital Copy, this collection comes positivity packed with content. Add to this a suite of real-world goodies like an exclusive metallic Batman Beyond Funko POP and four handsome lenticular art cards, and you’ve got an irresistible gift idea for the Batman aficionado on your holiday gift list. [Review materials provided by: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment]
If you’re looking for the perfect gift for the lover of music and literature on your Christmas list, look no further than The Dewey Decibel System. This MC Lars/Mega Ran coproduction is lit-hop at its finest, featuring musical tributes to literary luminaries, comic book titans, and multiple masterworks of the modern world. While scooping it up digitally is certainly encouraged, I can’t help but recommend the limited edition vinyl and cassette options available from Needlejuice Records for the true nerdcore aficionado.
For me, few 2019 releases were as bittersweet as Live From the Artists Den, the first posthumous album from heavy-metal-turned-alternative-rock juggernaut Soundgarden. Originally recorded in February of 2013 at the conclusion of the band’s King Animal tour, it is now presented in its full, 29-track glory in your choice of formats, some two years after the tragic and untimely death of frontman Chris Cornell. While we’ll surely never hear the likes of “Outshined,” “My Wave,” or “Flower” the same again, we can at least relive that wonderful night Seattle’s greatest took to the stage at LA’s Wiltern Theater every time we cue up this electrifying live set.
As a family we rarely go to the theater, preferring instead to stay at home and watch movies on Blu-ray or any of the streaming services we subscribe to. With the Black Friday deals running last week I snagged a TCL Roku TV on the cheap and I love it. The HDR capabilities really help out when watching darker scenes by boosting the overall brightness without messing up the colors.
This was one of my favorite movies from the 80s. Labyrinth was the first Henson film I introduced my kids to. Yes, even before the Muppet movies. We sill love to watch it on occasion, so I picked up the Blu-ray just for the extra features. Amazingly the movie still holds up well today, mostly due to the great story and practical effects.
The Dark Crystal was the second Henson movie I introduced my kids to. I don’t think it holds up as well as Labyrinth, but it’s is still a great movie and worth the look. If your kids haven’t seen the Netflix series yet, I highly recommend showing them the movie before starting season one. Season two is expected in late 2020, so you have time, but not a lot of it.
We’ve been fans of Meze headphones since they first came on the market eight years ago. This year, they came out with not only their best headphones as a brand but one of the best pairs of headphones, period (as per the forums at Head-fi.org). These headphones sound great, and look amazing, with the Meze-signature real-wood earcups, and high-quality design and construction. They fit wonderfully, even on my giant head, and wear comfortably for hours of blissful listening. These would make any music fan a very special holiday gift. Also, look for their slightly less-expensive sibling, the 99 Neo, with similar sound quality.