Before I start on the DVDs I want to recommend something that should be obvious, but I'll tell you why I'm just now getting to this this...
I took my sweet time on Netflix. I loved the idea of it, but I haven't rented in years. I usually buy what I want on DVD, either used or new depending on pricing and title. I had hundreds of DVDs that I hadn't watched, so why pay a monthly charge to rent by mail? What turned me is the growing library on their Watch Instantly titles, many in HD. So for $8.99 a month I can set up my Xbox to watch anything in their Instant database with the click of the mouse, including whole TV seasons. I'm on the $12.99 a month plan so I can rent physical Blu-Rays as well.
Anyway, if you haven't jumped on the bandwagon yet I think this may be the time, especially if you have an Xbox Live Subscription already.
Also, for my nonBlu-Ray owning friends... I apologize in advance for the dominance of high def on the DVD list, but as you'll see below the price difference has shrunk to the point where new release Blu-Rays are only a dollar or two more than their SD brothers. Sometimes they're cheaper. Go figure.
Without further ado, let's hit the DVDs!
CHEAP ($24.99 and Under)
"This is bullshit! I did nah hit her! I did nah! Oh, hey Mark." If you have not experienced The Room then you must click the above link, buy the very inexpensive DVD, grab your favorite intoxicant and a half-dozen friends and watch this movie. So bad it's good doesn't even apply to this movie. It's so bad it swings around to full on accidental comic brilliance. Don't believe that "black comedy" line on the DVD cover. Tommy Wiseau thought he was making art, starring himself and his flexing butt cheeks. Now he's in on the joke and I fear anything else from him will be impure because the reason The Room is brilliant is that it's so earnest in what it's trying to do. Wiseau earns the comparison with Ed Wood (Dr. Boll you do not. Good day sir!). "As far as I'm concerned you can drop off the Earth. That's a promise." Oh, my... Only $8.99.
Even funnier than The Room (and intentionally so, no less) is the legendary British sitcom Fawlty Towers. This year I finally got off my lazy Yank ass and watched this series via Instant Netflix on the Xbox... well, I guess I got on my Yank ass and watched it, but you know what I mean. I love Instant Netflix, but there's no comparison in video quality with this remastered DVD set, plus there's commentary by John Cleese as well as two director's commentaries and interviews with Cleese, Connie Booth, Andrew Sachs and Prunella Scales. The first episode is funny, the last episode is I-can't-breath hilarious. What a great show. $24.49.
Monty Python: Almost the Truth is the big 40th Anniversary reunion celebration, told in a 6 part mini-series that aired on IFC. Tons of interviews from the boys as well as the people they've inspired (ie everybody). $18.97.
The General is an amazing movie in many ways, but the reason I love it so much is that it's not a silent film you have to put yourself in the mood for. There's no conditioning yourself... "Okay, this is a silent film, better take that into consideration..." Buster Keaton is just as funny today as he was in the '20s and this film is just so immensely watchable and rewatchable. And the stunts Keaton pulls off on a moving train still take my breath away. Seriously, this man is a legend and this movie is required viewing for anybody who thinks they like comedy. $20.99
North By Northwest is not only one of Hitchcock's best films, but this Blu-Ray transfer is amazing. I'd love to see all of Hitch's Vistavision and Technicolor movies be treated with such care. This is one of the showcase titles for how much better Blu-Ray can look over Standard Def. $19.99.
Disney's Blu-Rays have been outstanding, bringing the finest presentation of vintage animation yet on the format. Plus they don't want to exclude Standard Def people, so each Blu includes the Standard Def DVD and the pricing is only a few dollars more, so really there's no reason to buy the SD only. Snow White isn't my favorite of the classic Disney films, but this Blu-Ray is breathtaking, displaying the amazing artistry at work on that first animated feature. $19.99 on Blu-Ray. There's also an amazing limited edition set for this title down in the Expensive category.
If I'm going to recommend Snow White you better believe I'm following that up with Pinocchio, my absolute favorite classic Disney movie. The quality of the transfer is just as mind-blowing as the Snow White disc, but in a movie that really tugs at my heartstrings. Not as bad as Dumbo, of course, but I'll be damned if I don't get really sad when Pinocchio is locked away by Stromboli and kinda freaked out when all the little cigar smoking bastards start turning into donkeys. $18.99.
For some reason Monsters, Inc is thought of as lesser Pixar by a whole lot of people. I don't get it, myself. There's never been a bad Pixar movie, I get that, but still... Monster's, Inc is one of my favorite concepts Pixar has worked with and the technological jump made in this film is the most impressive in Pixar's history. Sully's fur feels soft and I can't touch the blue bastard. That's impressive. As usual, the Disney animated standard is upheld with 4 packed discs worth of Monster's, Inc. $21.49.
There's a strong lobby for UP to receive not just a Best Animated Film nomination, but a Best Picture nom as well and I fully support that. Wall-E is perhaps my favorite recent Pixar film, but I can't deny that I cry each and every goddamn time I watch the opening to UP. Every. Time. And I love Kevin so much. And Dug. Just an all around fantastic, thrilling, touching, funny movie. $19.99 and $18.99 for Standard Def. The difference is a dollar... why not future-proof yourself? The Pixar films in high def are the reason God invented 1080p.
What more is there to say about JJ Abrams' successful relaunch of the Star Trek franchise? He injected some vintage Star Wars energy into a stale series and produced an incredibly fun, thrilling rollercoaster ride. $19.99 for either Blu-Ray & Standard-Def.
December 8th sees the release of the most recent Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. I'm pretty fond of this installment of the series and the Blu-Ray is the focus of a lot of Holiday discounts, coming in at significantly less than the Standard Def SE of this title. Plus a first look at footage from The Deathly Hallows, final story (split into 2 movies). $15.99 Blu and four bucks more ($19.99) Standard Def.
For some reason Amazon pulled their Trick 'R Treat Blu-Ray page, so I'm linking to Deep Discount's page... everywhere else was significantly more expensive than Amazon, sometimes as much as $10 more expensive, but Deep Discount came through. This title kick-starts the "about goddamn time" section of the Guide's DVD section. I still don't know what idiot decided to shelve this movie for what? Three years? Why didn't this see release this Halloween or the Halloween before it? It could have done very well, especially with Anna Paquin's jump in popularity. Whatever the reason at least we have it now and it's finding its audience. Great film. $19.89 for Blu and $14.99 for Standard Def.
In the next installment of "it's about damn time" we have Night of the Creeps which not only exploded onto the DVD scene, but it also hit in high-def. Great, great horror comedy. $14.49 for Blu and fifty cents more for the Standard Def - $14.99.
Monster Squad came out at the end of last year after much demand and now they've ponied up for the full high def treatment. Get this great kid's movie, one of my all time favorites, in 1080p for only $12.99.
Phantasm 2 has not hit US DVD before this year due to a rights issue. This is my personal favorite of the Phantasm films and the one that makes met he saddest that Don Coscarelli isn't directing $200 million blockbusters. The inventive filmmaking style on display in this movie is up to the same level as Sam Raimi's at this time period. Creepy, funny and just plain ol' badass. $14.99.
This is the thing I'm probably most looking forward to diving into this Holiday season. I've acquired Seasons 1 and 2 of Mad Men and will just power through them whenever I awaken from my post-Guide coma. They better live up to the hype! For a show this successful and beloved the pricing on these season sets are really reasonable. Season 1 is $23.99 Blu-Ray and $18.99 for Standard Def.
Mad Men Season 2 is slightly more expensive and should technically be in the next category since it's a couple bucks over the $24.99 cut-off, but who am I to break up this happy family? And the standard def set is still under the cut-off, so eat that. Season 2 of Mad Men is $27.99 Blu and $18.99 Standard Def.
Robot Chicken as a show is aimed right at my generation. I've recommended previous seasons, but their big Holiday release is their latest all Star Wars spectacular. Their first was damn funny and this DVD has everything that aired on Adult Swim as well as 15 minutes worth of material that didn't make the cut. $13.99.
Robot Chicken isn't the only show to take on Star Wars... again... Family Guy has a second Star Wars run that street 12/22/09 for $14.99.
From this title down to Moon I'm focusing on Blu-Ray imports. Every one of these titles I've either personally run on my non-region cracked Samsung Blu-Ray player or have sourced multiple confirmations that they are indeed region-free. Zulu is a great film, but an even great Blu-Ray experience. I swear the transfer is so clean, bright and crisp that certain shots in this film feel like 3-D. One of the best Blu-Rays I've ever put into my player. And this is the film that gave Michael Caine a career, so bonus points.US$16.58-ish from Amazon.uk.
Iprcress File is another early Michael Caine movie and the first of his series of Harry Palmer spy films. If you haven't seen this flick it's an instant buy. This is the anti-James Bond, a real world spy film that paved the way for stuff like 3 DAYS OF THE CONDOR in the '70s. And the transfer is brilliant. Nothing like '60s photography displayed in 1080p. $19.90ish from Amazon.uk.
I swear this is the last early Michael Caine imported UK Blu-Ray! Italian Job is such a fun movie. With a great performance by Benny Hill of all people. And what an ending! Great flick, the transfer is outstanding and it's an inexpensive import. Totally worth it. $16.58-ish from Amazon.uk or you could fork over the $40+ US resellers want to charge you.
Son of Rambow is a great indie coming of age story all about the love of film. It's available in standard def here in the states, but why settle for 480 upconverted when you can get the import for just over ten bucks? $12.26-ish from Amazon.uk. Warning, PS3's apparently have trouble with this disc, but most stand-alone players should run it no problem.
Now this transfer isn't as crazy-awesome as the Michael Caine flicks, but it is a noticeable step up from the US Standard Def release and it's Snake Plissken for Chrissakes! One of the three greatest Kurt Russell/John Carpenter collaborations and Russell's performance here is second only to Jack Burton in my book. A nerd necessity. $11.60-ish from Amazon.uk.
This is the last import title on the list. You're paying the Veruca Salt premium to have this NOOOOWWW. The US Blu hits mid-January, but the UK release is out now and priced almost exactly the same as the US Blu. Director Duncan Jones assures the masses via Twitter that this is indeed a region free Blu-Ray, so if you want to give a gift to the serious sci-fi fan in you life that he or she will definitely not get from anybody else this is it. Great film and I'd love to examine the brilliant model work in high def. $26.55-ish from Amazon.uk.
Don't be fooled by the imports leading up to this title. Yes, The Mighty Boosh is a popular BBC comedy show, but this is their big US release of all three seasons of the show. I have many friends who swear by this show. In advance of this column I have only watched the first disc of the set, but I already see a lot of promise. It hasn't quite blown my socks off yet, but everyone says it's a show you have let grow a bit. The random humor is definitely up my alley, so I will definitely stick with it. $60.49.
Black Adder on the other hand grabbed me from the first episode. It's been a long time coming seeing this series and I was inspired to finally take a crack at it after enjoying Fawlty Towers as much as I did. I love Richard Curtis, I love Rowan Atkinson and Brian Blessed KILLS it in the first series, which is commonly referred to as the weakest. Sarcastic and zany... David Brent (and subsequently Michael Scott) owe a lot to Black Adder. $41.99.
Gone with the Wind isn't my favorite classic film. It's a movie I respect more than I actually like, but I'm not ignorant to the love this film inspires. I think this set will also help bring the older generation into the high def world. Tons of new documentaries as well as collector's packaging that includes a red velvet box, lithos and reprints of David O. Selznick's personal casting notes. $45.49 Blu and $1.50 more at $46.99 Standard Def.
This is more my speed. Who doesn't love The Wizard of Oz? In my opinion this is the best value for you dollar in the entire DVD/Blu-Ray section of the Guide. For $42.99 you get the 5-disc Special Edition Blu-Ray with 10 hours of bonus features, a transfer to bright and lush that you might start feeling you can walk the Yellow Brick Road yourself, great packaging in a limited, numbered case, a hardbound book, physical stills and a damn watch. Yes, a watch. A nice watch. This one felt like a real gift when I opened it up. A gift to myself, of course, since I ordered it, but a gift nonetheless.
Finally a show I'm current on! I'm a LOST fanatic and was glued to the TV every Wednesday night as this past season unfolded. I'm both excited and nervous for the final season to gear up next year. Excited for new LOST and to see it all wrap up, but nervous that it's all been building to a climax that it can't possibly live up to. I guess that's part of the excitement if I'm going to be honest, but no matter what... This past season was aces. Jeremy Davies' Daniel Faraday ruled, the "time" aspect really well thought out and the twisteroos coming fast and furious. Great television. Season Five streets 12/08/09. $49.99 Blu and $36.99 Standard Def.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Ultimate Edition - This is another highly recommended title and as a fan of this series I'd love to see all the bonus features touted by this release, even if I'm a little miffed we weren't given them with the first round of "Special Editions." Plus I know in a couple of years there's going to be a Mega-For-Reals-Y'all-Ultimate Edition box set with all 8 films in high def, but what can ya' do? The fan base needs it's extras! And this one looks packed to the gills, promising to give an unprecedented look behind the scenes of the movie that brought the Harry Potter phenomenon home. The release is 12/08/09 and can be pre-ordered for $34.99 Blu and $25.99 Standard Def.
Chamber of Secrets also hits on December 8th in this Ultimate Edition package, which continues the documentary that spans the entire film franchise. This is my least favorite of the films, but I'm curious to see how this multifaceted documentary plays across the different movies. $31.99 Blu and $25.99 Standard Def.
I purposefully didn't buy the Director's Cut of Watchmen, even though I'm a big fan of the ballsy (literally) movie Zack Snyder pulled off, because I knew this edition was coming. Weaving together the Director's Cut with the entire Tales of the Black Freighter animated story this is how the movie was meant to be seen, according to Snyder. I'm a little disappointed that in the four discs of this set we don't have the option of watching the Director's or Theatrical cuts by themselves, but I didn't buy either the motion comic or the Tales of the Black Freighter when they were released separately, so it's still a bargain that. Adding it to this reminded me that I needed to add it to the collection. Order placed. $30.99 Blu and $26.99 Standard Def.
John Lasseter's Cars hits Blu-Ray in this Gift Set this holiday season. Not my favorite of Pixar's work, but that said it's still heads and tails above 98% of the other animated output. It's a good gift for the geeky kid in the family. $26.99 Blu.
For a slightly older age-range there's a great introductory Adult Swim In A Box that repackages a lot of their season sets including Season 2 of Sealab, Season 1 of Metalocalypse, Season 2 of Robot Chicken, Season 3 of Space Ghost, Season One of Morel Orel, Volume 2 of Aqua Teen and a ton of pilots. It's a sampling platter if you have a friend on the fence about diving into Adult Swim's greatness. That's a lot of entertainment. The price is right at $47.99.
This compilation of the complete run of The State was yet another major recommend from you guys. If you lived in the '90s this series more than likely whopped you upside the head and now, after years of screaming, the whole enchilada is available for the low, low price of $31.99.
The Prisoner is another classic series I missed out on. I recently purchased this Blu-Ray, again a blind buy based on reputation alone. The entire run for $50.49 Blu and almost ten bucks more for Standard Def, $59.99.
Thanks to my time spent on A Movie A Day and A Movie A Week I've fallen in love with Film Noir, so naturally this collection, Film Noir Classics Vol I, is on my personal Christmas wishlist. It contains 5 noirs I have not seen: The Big Heat, 5 Against The House, The Lineup, Murder By Contract and The Sniper with director's like Don Siegel and actors like the great Eli Wallach playing in the dirty, filthy, awesome world of noir. $44.99.
I included this title in last year's guide and I hope you guys bought it because The Third Man is officially the first Criterion Blu-Ray to go out of print. And those bastards picked one of their best titles to pull. Over the last two weeks I've seen the price double as news spread of this title going out of print. The only place I've even found it availabe is on the Amazon marketplace. Carol Reed's movie is one of the best films ever made and my personal favorite Orson Welles performance. I was an early bird and have my copy sitting comfortably on the shelf... but will this be one of those titles that film aficianados chase after for years or will Criterion do another release later? Can't tell, but I do know right now you can still get a copy starting at $42.90 on the Amazon marketplace. Which considering the transfer, extras and just plain greatness of the movie is still a fair price.
The Terminator 2 Blu-Ray is great in an of itself, featuring the director's and theatrical cuts with all the extras from previous standard defs packed into it. I think even the import HD-DVD extras transfer over. And if you're going to go for a "wow" gift there's no better "wow" enduser than a glowy-eyed shiny endoskeleton head, right? $104.99.
This is the super sharp, overflowing with lush extras, version of the great Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Blu-Ray... just look above... that red velvet box is gorgeous, I don't know what the hell that little hi-ho dwarfs in a line thing is, but it looks expensive, you got lithos, a hardcover book and all the pomp surrounding a limited Disney gift set. $119.99.
George Carlin: All My Stuff compiles all of Carlin's brilliant HBO specials, from his Hippie Dippy Weather Man to his frankly genius deconstruction of airtravel. Also included are two bonus discs (giving you 14 total discs) that feature interviews with Carlin and an exclusive XM taped hour and a half bit for Artists Confidential. My hats off to the man's run. There'll never be another like him. $153.99.
I figured this set would be a good follow-up to Carlin's set considering the dude worked with Kevin Smith a few times... even on one movie included here. You get high def Blu-Rays of Clerks, Chasing Amy and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. I personally dig all three of the movies, including the Loony Tunes feeling J&SBSB. Chasing Amy is probably still Smith's high water mark, that just perfect blend of comedy and drama. Plus how adorable is '90s Joey Lauren Adams? $53.99.
To keep the theme of filmmaker Blu-Ray collections going here's the Mel Brooks Blu Collection. This collection features titles previous unreleased on Blu-Ray like Robin Hood: Men In Tights, High Anxiety, Twelve Chairs, To Be or Not To Be, Silent Movie and History of the World Part 1 as well as Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs and Young Frankenstein, already out on Blu. That's 9 movies and at $87.99 for the set you're spending less than $10 a title. On preorder now, released 12/15/09.
Transformers The Matrix Of Leadership Complete Series is the entire Generation 1 Transformers cartoon series packaged together. You get 98 episodes, retrospective docs, archival toy commercials, PSAs and tons more all packed in a multi-panel box. I call this nerdnip. $109.99.
This is nerdnip for a different kind of nerd. Criterion should have subtitled this set Film Education In A Box, but instead they're calling it 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa . I've seen Kurosawa's biggies, but the majority of the films featured in this box set are brand new to me, many of them having not appeared on DVD period. Here's a list of the movies: Sanshiro Sugata (1943), The Most Beautiful (1944), Sanshiro Sugata Part Two (1945), The Men Who Tread on the Tiger's Tail (1945), No Regretes for Our Youth (1946), One Wonderful Sunday (1947), Drunken Angel (1948), Stray Dog (1949), Scandal (1950), Roshomon (1950), The Idiot (1951), Ikiru (1952), Seven Samurai (1954), I Live in Fear (1955), Throne of Blood (1957), The Lower Depths (1957), The Hidden Fortress (1958), The Bad Sleep Well (1960), Yojimbo (1961), Sanjuro (1962), High and Low (1963), Red Beard (1965), Dodes'ka-den (1970), Kagemusha (1980) and Madadayo (1993). That's just over $11 a title at $284.99.
TOYS & GAMES
CHEAP ($24.99 and Under)
Young Brandon Bird is responsible for many art pieces that made last year's guide, including the immortal "No One Wants To Play Sega With Harrison Ford" piece. This year he's outdone himself, creating the Nic Cage Adventure Set. For only $10 plus shipping you can get the above piece of awesomeness. Best value for the money by far. And unique. And guaranteed unique. Nobody's gonna get two Nic Cage Playsets... unless they're awesome.
Up is great and a 7 piece figurine set that includes the dogs and Kevin? Priceless... Or worth about $24.99. Either or.
"My name is Dug. I just met you and I love you." Who doesn't want a talking Dug? Especially one that's a big ol' cuddly plush talking Dug? This is a great gift for the girlfriend or Harry Knowles in your life. They'll melt like butter on a hot plate, I'm tellin' ya'. $16.50 plus shipping.
Coraline was one of the many great kid's movies released this year. Henry Selick knows his shit and took Neil Gaiman's already twisted story and twisted it even further, making a truly creepy kids movies. Now you can have your own Coraline, put out by Neca, for $17.04. You can also get her in a Casual Outfit or the high-in-demand and super jacked up price Rain Coat version.
One of the best things about Michael Dougherty's Trick 'R Treat was the introduction of the Sam character, a wonderfully designed movie monster that just instantly feels like Halloween. Neca has a figure out that is in high demand, but you can find it at at Amazon for $21.72 plus shipping.
Hrrrmmmmmm? Chamberlain figure from Neca! Dark Crystal FTW! $17.66 (shipping included).
Now, I'm not a big Bobblehead fan... I don't really get the appeal personally... I've always been more drawn to the extremely detailed life-like sculpts... That said there's a few Bobbleheads from old Twilight Zone episodes I'm featuring here. This one is the Talky Tina and yes it does talk... God help you, it does talk. $17.99.
Mystic Seer Bobblehead comes from the great episode Nick of Time starring William Shatner. Everybody always points to the Gremlin on the Wing ep that Shatner did, but this is my personal favorite episode of his and I love the ability to own the Mystic Seer even in bobblehead form. $12.99 at Entertainment Earth.
Brilliant. What a great, fucked up idea for a Bobblehead two-pack. I can change, I can change! $22.99.
Dexter: The Toy! With your own serial killer blood slide! That's kinda creepy, but Dexter Morgan in your house is a good thing... unless you're a serial killer yourself, then I advise against buying this toy. Tempting fate and all that. $16.99.
Wow, this brings back memories. Back in my day we only had one Lite Bright surface... Kids these days don't know how lucky they are to have 4 to work on at once! If I had a kid this would be an instant buy. Great gift and something you can do with the little one that won't make you want to jam pencils in your eardrums. $17.99 plus shipping.
Donky Kong Jenga? How cool is that?!? $18.16.
This is kind of funny considering a couple episodes back the entire office played a clue-ish dinner murder game (I do declayare). How is the answer not always Dwight in the break room with his deadly fists? $29.72.
Big Daddy! Bioshock is an amazing game and next year brings the follow-up game. In the meantime you can own a Big Daddy all your own for $26.98.
The Scorpion Gunship feels like vintage James Cameron war sci-fi vehicle design. Avatar is probably gonna be cool, but whether it is or not it lives up to the hype this ship is still badass. $26.99.
A Super Mario Chess Set? Nerdy two times over! $39.26.
Check out this Entertainment Earth Exclusive Diamond Select DeLorean, with glowing tubes and fold down tires (the best part). The perfect toy for the little growing geek in your family. $44.99 plus shipping.
Yes, you're looking at a Dagobah Frog Habitat. Geeky? Fuckin' A. But inventive. If I had a frog his name would be Toady McFlippers and he'd live in Dagobah with Yoda. Probably a good thing I don't own a frog. $29.99.
Star Wars Force Trainer uses your mind to make the little training ball from A New Hope move. Real life Force shit! If someone had given this to me as a kid I would have lost my mind. $77.81.
I don't get it... I mean, I love the idea of building up Lego sets... kinda like a giant puzzle... but they are always so expensive. The Lego Death Star was one of the most recommended items from the readers so here it is. Super expensive at $387.94.
CHEAP ($24.99 and Under)
Yes, I know I'm filling this section with links where you can buy video games, but as someone who started subscribing to GameFly this year I have to say it's a huge money saver. It's Netflix for Video Games. I still buy the games I know I want to own, but this is a perfect for the "not sure" titles. Instead of dropping $60 per title you can rent them two at a time with no late fees. I am on the 2 game plan at $22 and change a month. If I'm not mistaken at the beginning of your trial you will only be charged $8.95 for the first month. It's a helluva deal even for the casual gamers out there. Click here to visit GameFly's site.
Warning! Do not buy this game if you're not willing to lose 3 weeks of your life to it. Yes, Fallout 3 came out last year... I played it a little bit then, but rediscovered it a couple months ago and was completely sucked in. This is a great deal as the Game of the Year Edition not only comes with the game, but with all the Downloadable Content (more levels, more weapons, more awesomeness) including Operation: Anchorage, The Pitt, Broken Steel, Point Lookout and Mothership Zeta. Each of thos runs over $10 each on XBL, so at $39.99 you're already up $10 before counting the actual game. Also available for the PS3 at the same price.
Borderlands has been recommended to me by friends who saw my obsession with Fallout reach almost scary levels. Apparently its one of those "if you liked this game you'll looooveee this game" titles. It's on my GameFly queue, so I haven't played it yet, but based on reviews and word of mouth I feel comfortable throwing this on the recommend list. $44.00.
Valve's sequel to last year's fantastic Left 4 Dead zombie team shoot-em-up game seems to be getting buried by a horribly chosen release date (who in their right mind would willingly go up against Call of Duty?). That's a shame. It's a really fun game. More super infected and a really well-designed Louisiana location... plus there's nothing like running around with a chainsaw hacking up the horde as they come in. On sale for $44.00.
Uncharted 2 is a PS3 exclusive title that I have not had the pleasure of playing. My PS3 insists on fucking up my local system, knocking every other computer off the network every time I turn it on. Since I have a stand-alone BR player I have just unplugged the PS3 and haven't gone back to it. But some day I will find out what's wrong and I will finally be able to play this game, which came very highly recommended by PS3 owning readers, Twitter followers and friends. $49.96.
From the creators of Mass Effect and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic comes Dragon Age. Fallout 3 notwithstanding I'm not a huge fan of RPGs, but I've heard way too much good stuff about this game to ignore it. It's another one on my GameFly queue, but the price is right due to Holiday sales. It's $44.00 on both XBox and PS3.
Brutal Legend is Jack Black and Tim Schafer's tribute to the metal gods as a roadie is seemingly killed in a freak stage accident and awakens in a Metal realm where he dual wields a lightning summoning guitar and a battle ax, fighting all sorts of creatures straight off of heavy metal album covers. Super fun and you get the voices of Ozzy and Tim motherfucking Curry. Win. $44.00 for both Xbox and PS3.
The hardcore gamers collectively turned their noses down at Ghostbusters game, but they can go take a squat! Sure, it might be too short, but the game accurately captures the tone of the movies and is incredibly nostalgic. All the key players (save for Rick Moranis, but Lewis's absence is referred to in the game) return and Bill Murray hasn't sounded this alive (in voice acting work) in years. Written by Aykroyd and Ramis this game cleverly gives us excuses to visit our favorite moments from the first film. I had a blast with the game. The Amazon Exclusive Slimer Edition is only $29.75 for Xbox, PS3 and Wii. That comes with that above Slimer sculpt and an Ecto 1 keychain and is priced cheaper than buying the game by itself.
Beatles Rock Band is the only game of its type guaranteed to be 100% great music. You know in the other Rock Band or Guitar Hero games there's always those few songs that are a chore to get through because they suck so hard, but not here. No sir. While maybe not the most challenging of the group music games it's one of the most fun times you'll have with a group of people who like the good stuff and not that noise those damn kids listen to today.... This is the game only. The bundle packs with instruments are below in the Expensive section. The game is $49.96 for XBox, PS3 and Wii.
It always makes me laugh watching the secrecy surrounding these giant movies... years of security and carefully released images and then 2 1/2 weeks before release we get the book adaptation and the video game. If you want to spoil yourself the video game version of James Cameron's AVATAR hits December 1st and you can pre-order it for $56.99 on Xbox and PS3 and $49.99 for the Wii version. And wasn't there talk of the game being in 3-D as well? Did that ever pan out?
Batman: Arkham Asylum isn't a new holiday game, but it's one of the coolest games rel