Holiday Gift Guide 2020: The Snoochie Boochies Boxing Day Edition

Happy Boxing Day, friends! Like every other day of 2020, this Boxing Day is every different and I hope nobody tried lining up anywhere to get a deal on a toaster over or television.

Times sure have changed, says Old Man Burns. It wasn’t so long ago that me, along with frequent and past BBP! writers Scotty G, JP Fallavollita, and David Ward would walk down Toronto’s Yonge Street, hitting the various comic book shops, books, and record stores, in search of deals. We’d begin at Starbucks and finish up at the Golden Griddle. While the friendships remain, the tradition has morphed, especially since all the stores we had frequented have closed down. All those establishments lost, like tears in the rain.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t do you shopping from the comfort of your own home. Here are a few select film choices that you can pick up digitally or in physical format from you know where – and they all come recommended.

Perry Mason: The Complete First Season Blu-ray

I’m old enough to remember Raymond Burr played Perry Mason on television, and I do recall the theme music, but I never watched the show or the Movie of the Weeks that aired on NBC (though I know one of them beat the second season premier of Twin Peaks in the ratings back in September of 1990). There’s a new Perry Mason series on HBO now, starring Matthew Rhys as the title character. I can tell you that this was one of the best shows I’ve watched in a very long time. Set in Los Angeles in 1932, I found the key story compelling, and the actors surrounding the exceptional Rhys (including John Lithgow, Tatiana Maslany, Juliet Rylance, Chris Chalk and Shea Whigham) all do fantastic work. If you didn’t see the show when it first aired, or don’t have access to HBO or Crave in Canada, I definitely recommend picking this one up for the very reasonable price its currently listed at.

The Last Starfighter Blu-ray

If you read comic books in the 1980s, you probably remember when Marvel would do their super special movie tie-ins. They were larger, magazine-style comics that would adapt the big motion pictures in theatres, often times with different endings or scenes since the artistic teams would have to work off scripts that may get changed in the final edits. I read and reread my copy of The Last Starfighter, the story of teenager Alex Rogan (Lance Guest), who winds up becoming a space pilot after mastering an arcade game accidentally sent to the trailer park where he lives. While the special effects were revolutionary at the time in 1984, they’re definitely dated now; that doesn’t ruin the film, though, which boasts strong performances from its two lead actors, Guest and Dan O’Herlihy.

This new Arrow The Last Starfighter Blu-ray is full of great extras on the film, including:

Brand new restoration from a 4K scan of the original 35mm camera negative
High Definition Blu- ray (1080p) presentation
Uncompressed 2.0 stereo, 5.1 DTS-HD MA and 4.1 audio
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Brand new audio commentary with star Lance Guest and his son Jackson GuestBrand new audio commentary with Mike White of The Projection Booth podcast
Archival audio commentary with director Nick Castle and production designer Ron Cobb
Maggie’s Memories: Revisiting The Last Starfighter a new interview with actress Catherine Mary Stewart
Into the Starscape: Composing The Last Starfighter a new interview with composer Craig Safan
Incredible Odds: Writing The Last Starfighter a new interview with screenwriter Jonathan Betuel
Interstellar Hit-Beast: Creating the Special Effects a new interview with special effects supervisor Kevin Pike
Excalibur Test: Inside Digital Productions a new interview with sci-fi author Greg Bear on Digital Productions, the company responsible for the CGI in The Last Starfighter
Greetings Starfighter! Inside the Arcade Game an interview with arcade game collector Estil Vance on reconstructing the Starfighter game
Heroes of the Screen archival featurette
Crossing the Frontier: Making The Last Starfighter archival 4-part documentary
Image Galleries
Theatrical and Teaser Trailers
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matt Ferguson

FIRST PRESSING ONLY
Limited Edition O-Card
Limited Edition Reversible Poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork
Collector s booklet featuring new writing by Amanda Reyes and sci-fi author Greg Bear s never-before-published Omni magazine article on Digital Productions, the company responsible for the CGI in The Last Starfighter

Mallrats Blu-ray

Finally, if you were a teenager in the 1990s like me, and you read comic books, and you liked horror and geek culture you probably enjoyed the work of Kevin Smith. His first film, Clerks was a huge indie success, which led to him working in the studio system on his second film, Mallrats. That movie, starring Jason Lee and Jason London as two dumped dudes spending the day at the local mall wound up being a critical and commercial bust, even while pop culture aficionados embraced it. 25 years after its release, Arrow released an anniversary edition that’s absolutely loaded with extras that make this the as a definitive collection you could ask for:

LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS
Brand new restoration by Arrow Films of both the Theatrical and Extended cuts of the film, approved by director Kevin Smith and cinematographer David Klein.
Newly assembled TV cut of the film featuring hilarious overdubbing to cover up profanity
High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentations
Collector s booklet featuring new writing by Philip Kemp
Fold out poster featuring replica blueprints for Operation Drive-by and Operation Dark Knight

DISC ONE – THEATRICAL AND EXTENDED CUTS
Original DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround audio
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Audio commentary with director Kevin Smith, producer Scott Mosier, archivist Vincent Pereira, and actors Jason Lee, Ben Affleck, and Jason Mewes
Brand new introduction to the film by Kevin Smith
My Mallrat Memories – and all-new interview with Kevin Smith
A newly filmed tribute to producer Jim Jacks by Kevin Smith
Brand new interview with actor Jason Mewes
Brand new interview with Cinematographer David Klein
Hollywood of the North: A newly produced animated making-of documentary featuring Minnesota crew members who worked on the film
Deleted Scenes – Kevin Smith and Vincent Pereira discuss deleted scenes and sequences originally cut from the film
Outtakes and behind the scenes footage
Cast interviews from the original set
Erection of an Epic: The making of Mallrats – archival retrospective with cat and crew looking at the making and release of the film.
Q&A with Kevin Smith – archival Q&A filmed for the 10th anniversary
Build Me Up Buttercup music video
Stills galleries
Theatrical Trailer

DISC TWO – TV CUT
Newly assembled TV cut of the film featuring hilarious overdubbing to cover up profanity
Original stereo audio
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Brand new introduction to the TV cut by director Kevin Smith
Stills gallery of the comic books featured in the film s opening sequence
Easter eggs

Those are just a few sets you could spend your holiday money on, and again, they’re all reasonably priced for Boxing Day. In the case of The Last Starfighter and Mallrats, I’d jump on those right away. They’re both Arrow limited editions and man, the physical copies also just smell really good.

Don’t judge me.

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