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Father’s Day Gift Guide 2012: Last-Minute Pop Culture for Your Pop

Breaking Bad: The Complete Fourth Season Blu-ray (Sony)
It is the best TV drama of all time, and this is the best season of it. Need more reason to gift it (and snag another copy for yourself)? It’s packed with great bonus materials like uncensored episodes, deleted and extended scenes, commentary from the cast and crew on all 13 episodes, a gag reel (levity is a big thing with the serious subject matter of Breaking Bad), “Better Call Saul” commercials with the scene-stealing Bob Odenkirk, karaoke with Gale (ah, Gale …) and, on the blu-ray set, 13 video podcasts. And with the show’s fifth, and final, season set to premiere July 15, now is the perfect time to finally catch up with BB.

Over Time: My Life as a Sportswriter by Frank Deford (Grove/Atlantic)
Every sports fan has a list of favorite sportswriters, but if yours doesn’t include Frank Deford, it’s clearly because you haven’t read him yet. In this memoir, Sports Illustrated/NPR/The National (sigh … The National) legend Deford recalls his early, post-Princeton days at SI (which operated in a Mad Men-ish atmosphere), his friendships with athletes (like the late Arthur Ashe), covering the NBA in its early years, how sportswriting and the relationships between sportswriters and athletes have changed and how he juggled his career and his personal life. Deford’s writing transcends mere sports coverage, of course, and opening the book to any random section might leave you teary, as it did when I read the chapter on his long friendship with tennis great Ashe.

The Big Bang Theory T-Shirt (Entertainment Earth)
This cool shirt features a graphic of the entire cast … bazinga! It’s not the characters, but a graphic of their trademark outfits. Still a very cool tee.

Father’s Day: A Journey into the Mind and Heart of My Extraordinary Son by Buzz Bissinger (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
All great sportswriters are great writers no matter what their topic — think Mitch Albom, the aforementioned Frank Deford and Bissinger, who’s covered topics as diverse as Texas high school football (Friday Night Lights, of course), the Stephen Glass saga (in an article that was adapted into one of my favorite journalism-themed movies, Shattered Glass) and the Jerry Sandusky case. In this memoir, Bissinger writes about a road trip with one of his twin sons, 24-year-old Zach, a “savant, challenged by serious intellectual deficits but also blessed with rare talents: an astonishing memory, a dazzling knack for navigation, and a reflexive honesty that can make him both socially awkward and surprisingly wise.” Bissinger and Zach travel from their Philly hometown to Los Angeles, visiting places they’ve lived throughout the years as the Pulitzer-winning writer pursued his career. It’s a bonding trip, to put it simply, as Bissinger comes away with a newfound understanding of his son, their relationship and how his career pursuits have affected the rest of his life. Warning: It’s tough to get through the book jacket description without tearing up, so the story itself is an emotional one.

The Billy Bob Tapes: A Cave Full of Ghosts by Billy Bob Thornton and Kinky Friedman (HarperCollins)
Yup, he’s just as strange as you’ve heard he is, which he details himself in this colorful memoir (which includes a forward written by his blood vial-wearing ex-wife Angelina Jolie). He does have the weird phobias — real silverware skeeves him; he only likes plastic utensils, for example, and he refuses to say the phrase “tater tots”). But the book also showcases what a fantastic storyteller he is (something fans of Sling Blade already knew) and sheds light on some of his more interesting philosophies, like how too much liquor, Ding Dongs and sex being bad for you proves the existence of some sort of higher being.

Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Eighth Season (HBO)
Larry David at his Larry-est, with hilarious guest appearances by Michael J. Fox and Ricky Gervais, the instant classic “Palestinian Chicken” episode and bonus features including a roundtable discussion with David and the cast and a “Leon’s Guide to NYC” feature with J.B. Smoove.

Marvel Superheroes Spatulas (Williams-Sonoma)
In Spider-Man, The Hulk, Iron Man and Captain America versions, they’re perfecting for the grill or flipping Sunday morning pancakes.

The Truck Food Cookbook: 150 Recipes and Ramblings from America’s Best Restaurants on Wheels (Workman)
Food trucks are all the rage, from NYC to SF, and this photo-packed book collects recipes from some of the best, including such delights as Grilled Cheese Mac and Cheese Sandwich from The Grilled Cheese Truck in Venice, the Grilled Cheese Cheeseburger from Brunch Box in Portland, Oregon, Oatmeal Jammy Cookies from The Treats Truck in New York and Soft Serve Ice Cream with toasted coconut and wasabi pea dust from The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck in NYC. One you have to try: Elotes, the Mexican grilled corn on the cob with Cotija anejo, chili powder and mayonnaise.

Teen Wolf: The Complete Season One (MGM)
Yes, it’s a teen show on MTV, but it’s also a funny, suspenseful drama that’s better than several (most?) network dramas, and certainly worthy of primetime viewing by those of us post-MTV demographic. Season two just started, making this the perfect time to check out season one of the remake of the ’80s M.J. Fox flick and find a new summer TV pleasure.

The Last Great Game: Duke Vs. Kentucky and the 2.1 Seconds That Changed Basketball by Gene Wojciechowski (Penguin)
The story of — and the aftermath and everything leading up to — the shot, the 1992 NCAA tournament shot that Christian Laettner hit, with 2.1 seconds left in overtime, to give he and his Duke teammates a 104-103 win against Kentucky in the East Regional. The Blue Devils went on to win the national title, and, while the book is a must-read, watching Laettner make that shot after an inbounds pass from teammate Grant Hill again is a must-see, so click here.

Making a Difference: Stories of Vision and Courage From America’s Leaders by Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (HarperCollins)
From one great leader to some others: Capt. Sully interviews a lineup of people he considers great American leaders, to get the scoop on what has inspired them to such success. Among those he interviews: retired Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, Costco CEO Jim Sinegal, former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, NYPD and LAPD chief Bill Bratton and first female governor of Michigan, Jennifer Granholm.

Seinfeld 50 References T-Shirt (NBC)
Puddy’s 8-ball jacket, the puffy shirt, the urban sombrero, Kramer’s Assman license plate, Jerry’s computer, muffin tops, toilet paper squares, the Kramer painting and George’s naughty photo are but a few of the Seinfeld references on this awesome tee, which includes the graphics and a key to their place in the series (as if anyone could forget how envelopes became a deadly weapon in season seven).

Sherlock: Season One and Two (BBC)
Forget the Robert Downey Jr./Jude Law movies (as they are quite forgettable) … this is the best Sherlock story being told. The British series stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Doctor John Watson, and is written by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, who conceived the series while working together on Doctor Who. To go into much detail would be to risk big spoilers, so suffice it to say that the show’s first two seasons have won BAFTAs and been nominated for Emmys and that a third season is scheduled to begin filming early next year.

Falling Skies: The Complete First Season Blu-ray (Warner Home Video)
Season two just began, making it the perfect time to catch up with ER alum Noah Wyle, who stars  as Tom, a history professor who’s become the leader of the human resistance after aliens invade Earth. Tom’s got an extra incentive to find out what the aliens’ real agenda is: among the people they’ve captured and are holding hostage is Tom’s teenage son.

Shut Up and Give Me the Mic by Dee Snider (Gallery)
5 quick facts about the “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “I Wanna Rock” singer: 1. His trademark look — with the wild fashions and hair — is courtesy of his wife, Suzette, to whom he has been married for 30 years; 2. Twisted Sister made him rich and famous, but by the ’90s, he’d lost all his money; 3. He wrote most of the songs on Stay Hungry, Twisted Sister’s breakout album, in less than an hour while his wife went to grocery store; 4. Animal House star Mark Metcalf‘s appearance in the “We’re Not Gonna Take It” video — one of the most memorable videos of all time — cost $1,000 and a round-trip plane ticket; 5. Snider’s wife helped their friend, Howard Stern, cultivate his rock star image (wearing sunglasses all the time, for instance), and Snider credits Stern with helping him realize he had talents outside music, which has led to his multi-hyphenate radio/TV/book/Broadway career (and comeback).

Game of Thrones Xbox 360 Game (Atlus)
The books, the HBO series and now, Game of Thrones is a 30-hour-plus RPG, where gamers play as one of two original characters who join the action in Westeros during the struggle for power of the Seven Kingdoms. The game’s story is unique to the world of Game of Thrones, as the two original characters — both former soldiers of Robert’s Rebellion — are enemies who must now work together against another common enemy. Should be a nice way to tide over the GoT fan ’til the third season of the HBO hit premieres next April.

Baseball’s Greatest Games: Collector’s Edition (A&E Home Video)
The collection of 10 classic baseball games comes with a bonus disc featuring additional footage, interviews from the games and an audio play-by-play track. As for the games, they include the 1960 World Series, game 7, with Bill Mazeroski’s game-winning home run; 1975 World Series Game 6, which was ranked number one on MLB Network’s 20 Greatest Games list; 1986 World Series Game 6 (Bill Buckner … ohhhh); and the 2004 American League Championship Series Game 4, with the Red Sox comeback after a 19-8 loss in Game 3 (and beginning their run to their first World Series win since 1918).

Doctor Who TARDIS Hooded Robe (Entertainment Earth)
Doctor Who fans will never get the chance to travel inside the TARDIS, but now they can lounge about in the soft, terry cloth comfort of this TARDIS-design robe.

Maverick: The Complete First Season (Warner Home Video)
For a fan of classic TV westerns, it doesn’t get better than Maverick, with James Garner playing the titular, wise-cracking cardsharp who, despite his high-stakes poker habits, often found the desire for a big payday taking a backseat to doing the right thing in a moral dilemma.

Episodes: The First Season (Lionsgate)
Matt LeBlanc plays Matt LeBlanc, or rather a version of himself, in this hilarious, underrated Showtime comedy. LeBlanc (the TV version of him) is itching to make a post-Friends and Joey career comeback, so he hooks up with a British duo (who are a personal and professional team) to make a new TV show. Various fun ensues, especially from LeBlanc’s complete willingness to poke fun at himself, and a season one cliffhanger adds a nifty little dramatic twist that will leave you anticipating season two, which premieres on July 1.

Sons of Anarchy Chucky’s Chili T-Shirt (FX)
Chucky’s Chili is “a head above the rest” the t-shirt says. HA! SOA fans will get the joke … everyone else should be busy watching the series DVDs so 1) they’ll eventually understand why it’s funny and 2) because it’s one of the best dramas on TV.

The Sarah Silverman Program: The Complete Series (Shout! Factory)
Whether annoying her sister (played by her real-life sister Laura) and her sibling’s boyfriend Officer Jay (Jay Johnston), hanging with her geeky gay neighbors Brian and Steve (Brian Posehn and Steve Agee) or plotting to marry Doug (her dog), Sarah Silverman has never been funnier than in this, her short-lived Comedy Central series. The DVD set collects all 32 episodes from the show’s three seasons, as well as animated shorts, behind-the-scenes videos, audio commentary, audition videos and the show’s 2007 Comic-Con panel.

History of the World in Two Hours Blu-ray (A&E Home Video)
Of course you are not going to learn in great detail everything you need to know about the Big Bang and the billions of years that have passed since, but this two-hour (actually, less than two hours minus the commercials that accompanied the network airing) History Channel special is still a novel and fun way to get an overview of, as the title promises, the history of the world, in 3D.

Titanic: The Complete Story (A&E Home Video)
The 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s journey has come and gone, but our fascination with the ship and its tragic ending lives on, and this collection of History Channel specials unfolds the ship’s complete story. Death of a Dream focuses on the ship’s storied unsinkable structure and the unheeded iceberg warnings that did it in; The Legend Lives On tells the story of the overpacked lifeboats and the passengers that were stranded and doomed to death, as well as the sea expedition to delve into the tragedy’s unanswered questions; and Titanic’s Achilles Heel, in which elite divers use CGI and other modern technologies to investigate the possibility that the Titanic had a fatal design flaw that caused it to sink.

Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2012: Pop Culture for Your Mama

Mother’s Day is but a few days away. Has the gift panic set in? Read on all the solutions to all your Mama’s Day gift-giving needs (plus a bunch of stuff you’re probably gonna want for your own summer reading/watching wish list):

As the World Turns: 20 Classic Episodes DVD (SoapClassics.com)
With Soapland dwindled down to just four daytime shows still on the air, and no regular access to episodes from defunct series, this set from Soap Classics is a gem that would make a great gift for any mom who ever spent her afternoons in front of the tube or who scheduled her college classes around her favorite soap. The 20 eps in the set are broken up into “Great Weddings,” “Secrets and Scandals,” “Oakdale Through the Years” and “Villains and Vixens,” and include classic ATWT moments like the weddings of Tom and Margo, Kim and Bob and Steve and Betsy (when Betsy was played by Meg Ryan, before her big-screen stardom), Luke Snyder’s coming out, a Snyder farm Christmas from 2009 and the (first) return of dastardly James Stenbeck.

Guiding Light: 20 Classic Episodes DVD (SoapClassics.com)
Sigh. This set makes me remember how much I loved GL and how much I miss it still. This set is broken into the same categories as the ATWT collection, except that “Springfield Through the Years” subs for Oakdale. And among the memorable GL moments included in the 20 episodes: the weddings of supercouple Kelly and Morgan, Quinton and Nola, Reva and Josh and Billy and Vanessa; the truth about who Phillip Spaulding’s parents are; the show’s 50th anniversary episode from 1987; the death of the evil Roger Thorpe; and, my favorite soap moment ever, Kim Zimmer‘s classic performance as Reva Shayne, stripping in a fountain and declaring, “I baptize myself the slut of Springfield!” PS — SoapClassics.com also offers GL collections of The Bauer Family Story, The Reva Shayne Collection and The Phillips Spaulding Story.

Girl Walks into a Bar . . .: Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle by Rachel Dratch (Gotham)
Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock alum Dratch penned this sweet and funny tome to answer those questions she’s asked again and again, namely, 1) what really happened with 30 Rock and 2) what’s the deal with you and your baby’s dad? As for 30 Rock, it was an awkward situation when she was replaced with Jane Krakowski, but Dratch explains that the casting switcheroo made perfect sense and that she has no bitter feelings about it given that. She also shares major details about taking a chance in her dating life, which led to meeting her boyfriend in a bar, which led to a very surprising fortysomething pregnancy. She addresses it all with humor and honesty, and you’ll be won over by both.

Chuck: The Complete Fifth Season on Blu-ray (Warner Home Video)
Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi) remains one of TV land’s all-time greatest geeks, and the NBC series had a good five-season run, even if fans had to eat a lot of Subway sammiches to help keep it on the air. In this final season, Chuck and his beloved Sara launched their own private spy biz, even though Chuck was no longer Intersect-loaded. His BFF Morgan Guillermo Grimes, through an unlikely, but still fan-pleasing scenario, became the new Intersect, Chuck and Sara went through some major romantic trials and lovable, patriotic grump John Casey found love with an equally intense partner, making it a short, but satisfying way to wrap the series.
Bonus features: The Blu-ray is filled with them including 2 full-length audio commentaries, deleted scenes, a gag reel, an extended version of the series finale, full versions of the Big Mike and Captain Awesome Buy More commercials and six featurettes, including “Sandwiches and Superfans: The Saving of a Show.”

Rizzoli & Isles: The Complete First and Second Seasons DVD (Warner Home Video)
Laverne and Shirley, Lucy and Ethel, Cagney and Lacey, Mary and Rhoda,  … Rizzoli and Isles. Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander have fantastic chemistry as BFFs — one’s a street-smart detective (Harmon), the other’s a somewhat naïve medical examiner — who also happen to be complete opposites.

Most Talkative: Stories From the Front Lines of Pop Culture by Andy Cohen (Henry Holt)
The face of Bravo shares some dishy info on the Real Housewives and pop culture in general in this memoir, written by a man who, the publisher stated in a press release, knew two things from a young age: “He was gay, and he loved television.” The book is indeed packed with juicy little tidbits, as well as his hilarious letters from camp and a few photos, including one of a much younger Cohen looking like he’s doing his best impression of Bon Jovi, circa 1987 (long, curly hair, vest with no short, jean cutoffs … oh yeah, you have to see it to believe it). Examples: his ponytailed days as a CBS News intern in NYC, where his fellow intern was Julie Chen; his interview with Tammy Faye Baker, who gave him homemade candy that he kept for decades; and the time Cybill Shepherd pitched him a reality series while taking her shirt off and goading him into getting topless, too.

Mildred Pierce: The Collector’s Edition Blu-ray & DVD (HBO)
Audio commentary from director Todd Haynes and behind-the-scenes featurettes make this Blu-ray edition worth buying, even if you’ve already seen the HBO miniseries. Kate Winslet, as tough mama Mildred, earned Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG awards for her portrayal, though Evan Rachel Wood as Mildred’s daughter-from-Hell Veda nearly steals the show in a performance that was every bit as awards-worthy.

Cinema Verite DVD (HBO)
Diane Lane, Tim Robbins, James Gandolfini and Thomas Dekker star in this HBO movie, a fictional account of An American Family, the 1973 PBS documentary series that’s considered one of the first reality TV shows. The most fascinating thing about the movie: that, after all the outrageous reality TV we’ve all seen in the last decade or so, Cinema Verite still manages to convey how shocking it was at the time to see the Loud family self-destruct in front of the TV audience. The DVD also features a making-of special and audio commentary, as well as updates on the Loud clan, including the surprising status of Pat and Bill Loud today.

Cupcakes, Cookies & Pie, Oh, My! by Alan Richardson and Karen Tack (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Because what girl doesn’t want to know how to make a cupcake that looks like a high heel? This book is full of cute and genius ideas for fashioning adorable cupcakes, no matter what your skill level with baking or cake decorating.

Boardwalk Empire: The Complete First Season on Blu-ray (HBO)
This souped-up release of the HBO Prohibition-era drama includes a making-of feature, a featurette on the history of Atlantic City as “the original Sin City,” six audio commentaries with cast and crew, a character guide and a feature on how the whole Boardwalk Empire world was created for the series.

Sansa Clip Zip MP3 Player (SanDisk)
Perfect for the gym, a long walk or your own personal soundtrack to accompany reading time, the Sansa Clip Zip is a nifty little MP3 player (it’s less than 2.5 inches tall) with a large color screen, stopwatch, backlight, FM radio, voice recorder and expandable memory card, capability to hold 60 hours of music, and it clips right onto your clothing (and weighs next to nothing — 16 grams). Bonus: it comes in a variety of colors, including red, orange, blue, purple, black and white.

Guts: The Endless Follies and Tiny Triumphs of a Giant Disaster by Kristen Johnston (Gallery Books)
The 3rd Rock From the Sun star has written a very funny book — she is as talented a writer as she is a performer — but there’s much more to this tale, as Johnston shares the surprising story of her addictions. The title refers to her excruciatingly painful, long and lonely stay in a London hospital when she was working in London and her guts literally burst open after years of abusing pills and booze. There’s much redemption in her story, and even more bravery in her decision to spill her guts — the good, the bad and the ugly — about her life.

Top of the Rock: Inside the Rise and Fall of Must See TV by Warren Littlefield (Doubleday)
Littlefield was the president of NBC during the ’90s, when the network truly was Must See TV, and he’s sharing hundreds of little tidbits that any true TV fan will love, from the complete backstory on how Seinfeld became a classic TV comedy (but only after nearly failing before and right after it made it on air) and the casting decisions that almost were (Craig Bierko was the first choice to play Chandler on Friends) to off-camera drama like how John Ratzenberger almost beat up Kelsey Grammer on Cheers and how George Costanza’s fiancé, Susan, was killed off partly because the actress who played her was, well, difficult. For the fan of ’90s TV, this is the must-read book of the spring/summer.

The Kissing Sailor: The Mystery Behind the Photo That Ended World War II by Lawrence Verria and George Galdorisi (Naval Institute Press)
You know the photo … the photo, the one of the sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square, minutes after Japan surrendered to the United States. After being published in LIFE magazine a couple of weeks later, the pic became one of the most iconic images of World War II — and history — but the true identities of the nurse and sailor have been an ongoing mystery and controversy since. Authors Verria and Galdorisi propose that they’ve finally got the scoop on the identities of the duo in the photo, and this engrossing read unfolds their detective work.

Jeneration X: One Reluctant Adult’s Attempt to Unarrest Her Arrested Development; Or, Why It’s Never Too Late for Her Dumb Ass to Learn Why Froot Loops Are Not for Dinner by Jen Lancaster (NAL Hardcover)
One of my all-time favorite authors, Lancaster is irreverent about things other people take way too seriously and takes things others poo-poo way too seriously herself. And that’s only one of her charms, and one of the things that, as a reader, makes you laugh out loud and want to recruit her as your new BFF. A new Lancaster release is always a treat, and Jeneration X is no exception, as the author makes the painful decision to make grown-up decisions about buying a house, engaging in financial planning and having kids. Hilarity, as it always does in Jennsylvania, ensues.

Harper’s Bazaar: Greatest Hits by Glenda Bailey (Abrams)
This gorgeous (and heavy: it weighs almost five pounds) collection of the best of the magazine’s past decade is the perfect coffee table book, one that will look pretty and interesting sitting on your coffee table or bookcase and which will provide endless hours of beautiful and inspiring fashion pics. Fashion names like Sarah Jessica Parker, Tom Ford, Alexander McQueen, Patrick Demarchelier, Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell and Agyness Deyn (who pays homage to Michael Jackson) pepper the full color book, but my fave: the magazine’s January 2006 cover, which proves that no one can rock kelly green like Julianne Moore.

The BBC Natural History Collection featuring Planet Earth (with Planet Earth, The Blue Planet: Seas of Life Special Edition, Life of Mammals and Life of Birds) (BBC Worldwide)
Hands down, the most spectacular, fascinating, visually mind-blowing nature documentaries ever filmed, and one of the few sets that will truly entertain the whole family.

Vogue: The Covers by Dodie Kazanjian (Abrams)
The book doesn’t include every cover since the magazine’s premiere on December 17, 1892, but there are more than 300 of them represented in this impressive tome, which is more than enough to paint a picture of how both the magazine and the fashion world have evolved (and make you and your mom very happy that we no longer have to wear what looks like 50 pounds of clothing every day). The book is full of fashion icons of every decade — and even includes last year’s Lady Gaga “Born This Way” cover — and includes in a special vellum envelope in the back a set of five frame-worthy cover reproductions. A highlight: page 73’s reprint of the Dec. 1, 1939 Christmas gifts issue, in which the Vogue logo is spelled out in jewelry.

Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season on Blu-ray (HBO)
Oh, c’mon, everybody’s watching it, even those of us who aren’t usually into the whole fantasy saga genre, because at its heart, it’s a really good (and graphically violent, admittedly) soap opera with fantastic performances (Peter Dinklage … really, it doesn’t get better). The Blu-ray set comes with a slew of bonus materials, including audio commentaries, a complete guide to Westeros, character profiles and a feature on adapting the books for TV.

Inspiration: Profiles of Black Women Changing Our World by Crystal McCrary/photographs by Lauri Lyons (Stewart, Tabori & Chang)
Released during Women’s History Month earlier this year, Inspiration features short, but sweet biographies and beautiful photographs of 30 black women who’ve influenced every part of the world from the White House (yes, Michelle Obama) and Wimbledon (Venus Williams) to Hollywood (Raven-Symone) and the music industry (Mary J. Blige). Among the other famous names who share their inspiring stories: Ruby Dee, Patty LaBelle, Whoopi Goldberg, Iman, Shonda Rhimes, Soledad O’Brien, Laila Ali and Oprah‘s BFF Gayle King (though Oprah herself is MIA … is there anything we don’t already know about her anyway?).

The Big C: The Complete Second Season (Sony)
The first season (also available on Sony DVD) earned Laura Linney a Golden Globe, as her Cathy dealt with the possibility of leaving her husband, son and brother behind when she was diagnosed with cancer. Season two found Cathy deciding to fight her stage four cancer head on, with the help of a new doctor (played by Alan Alda) and the companionship of a fellow stage four patient (Hugh Dancy), who was much more conflicted about how much longer he wanted to continue battling the disease. Fantastically written and performed, The Big C may not be quite the comedy it’s often billed as, but there are welcome moments of levity amongst all the drama.

I Brake for Yard Sales by Lara Spencer (Stewart, Tabori & Chang)
Yep, the Good Morning America co-host is also quite the garage sale/flea market/auction expert, and she uses her cheap finds and some DIY magic to decorate her home with some pretty fantastic wares. In this fun, photo-packed how-to book, Spencer shares her tips for finding and making over (often for as little as $5) such goodies as dilapidated chairs that become pink faux leather-covered treasures (page 37), cool, retro-chic re-done mirrors and lighting fixtures and endless end tables and footstools that have been transformed with a little bit of paint (and a lot of Spencer’s TLC and DIY know-how). Spencer even shares a list of some of her favorite bargaining haunts from across the country (Housing Works in New York City and the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena are, of course, among them), along with photos of the makeover she performed on Kathy Griffin‘s house and tips like how to use great fabric to make any cheap find look luxurious and how not to be afraid to make that occasional Dumpster dive for a find with lots of potential.

Pie it Forward: Pies, Tarts, Tortes, Galettes and Other Pastries Reinvented by Gesine Bullock-Prado (Stewart, Tabori & Chang)
Yes, the author and bakery owner is the sister of Sandra Bullock, but there’s only one reason to buy this cookbook: the yummy, yummy recipes and pie pics. A chapter on basic dough and cream recipes leads right into the sweet treats themselves, including the New England Berry Galette, Strawberry Rhubard Lattice Crumble Pie, “hand pies” (turnover-like mini pies), Gesine Confectionary Cherry Pie, pie pops (mini pies on a stick!), Buttermilk Peach Pie (seriously), Velvet Elvis Pie (yep, bananas and peanut butter) and Fleur de Del Caramel Almond Brownie Pie.

Route 66: The Complete Series (Shout! Factory)
The ’60s series with the iconic theme song, cool Corvette and impressive list of future stars as guests gets the full box set treatment. Among the guests Tod, Linc and Buz met in their travels: Robert Redford, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Walter Matthau, Martin Sheen, Buster Keaton, Julie Newmar, Ed Asner, Lee Marvin, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff, William Shatner, Burt Reynolds, Gene Hackman and Alan Alda.

Total Memory Makeover: Uncover Your Past, Take Charge of Your Future by Marilu Henner (Gallery Books)
You know the show Unforgettable on CBS, about the cop who can remember every detail of every day of her life? She has Highly Superior Auto-biographical Memory (HSAM), and so does Taxi and Evening Shade alum Henner, who writes about it in this book. First of all, it is an amazing, and amazingly rare, ability; only 12 people, ever, have been confirmed to have it. Henner writes about HSAM, but the real point of the book is to show people how they can boost their own total recall, and then “turn your newfound memories into a treasure map to a successful future.”  She includes exercises throughout the book, as well as thoughtful, practical ways strengthening your memories — even, and sometimes especially, the bad ones — can be a really good thing.

Downton Abbey seasons 1 and 2 DVDs (PBS)
It’s the PBS drama that even people who usually only watch reality TV like. What more do you need to know?

You’re Not Doing It Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death and Other Humiliations by Michael Ian Black (Gallery Books)
The Ed and The State actor is at his funniest in this new book of musings about, as the subtitle says, marriage, sex and other humiliations, like how he may not love his colicky baby and how it never occurred to him that he was to blame for his parents’ divorce until they continued to assure him that he wasn’t. And this gem, which is his takeaway from the joint therapy sessions he and his wife shared: “What I learn, and this is a tough pill to swallow, is that other people have their own stories in which I am not the star. From their point of view, whenever I do upsetting things, I am less like Harrison Ford as Han Solo and more like Mel Gibson as Mel Gibson.” PS: This particular book is probably, as that last quote illustrates, a good choice as a Father’s Day gift, too.

Never Say Never: Finding a Life That Fits by Ricki Lake (Atria Books)
Who doesn’t love Ricki Lake for at least one of her many Hollywood projects, be it her early John Waters movie career, her daytime talk show, her documentary The Business of Being Born or her recent stint on Dancing With the Stars? Lake will be hosting a new talk show in September, and in the meantime, she’s sharing some surprising and very personal stories in this memoir, in which she discusses her painful childhood — including sexual abuse and a relationship with her mother that led to estrangement as an adult — how she landed her career-launching role in Hairspray, her lifelong struggle with her weight, her talk show, her first marriage and its painful demise, the birth of her sons and her funny attempts at online dating as a celebrity.

Confessions of a Scary Mommy: An Honest and Irreverent Look at Motherhood — The Good, the Bad and the Scary by Jill Smokler (Gallery Books)
ScaryMommy.com blogger Smokler shares some of her blog missives, and adds plenty of fresh ones, as she shares the real spin on mommyhood, including her well-intentioned, but unsuccessful, attempt to breastfeed, how she curses at her kids (in her head) and how she once threw a birthday party for her three-year-old … and forgot to invite her husband! Smokler also shares confessions from anonymous mommies, like the mom who — rather cleverly — joined her gym only so she could read while her kids were in the gym’s free day care and the mom whose 18-month-old couldn’t say “mommy,” but could say the word “shit” and use it correctly.

Born to Be Brad: My Life and Style, So Far by Brad Goreski (It Books)
I used to find him annoying when he was Rachel Zoe‘s assistant, but the It’s a Brad, Brad World version of Brad Goreski revealed him to be a much savvier, talented, charming guy than he’d been portrayed as on The Rachel Zoe Project. And with a much more inspiring backstory, as he unfolds in greater detail in this memoir. Raised in a small Canadian town that was the opposite of a fashion hotbed, Goreski was always interested in all things fashion, something that alienated him from his schoolmates and sometimes even his parents. Angsty years led to drug problems later, and he was by no means an overnight success as a stylist, and that, along with his persistence, talent, clear love of what he does and his relationship with boyfriend Gary have made him nothing short of endearing. And yes, there are plenty of photos and style advice, like 9 Things Every Woman Should Have in Her Wardrobe, How to Buy Vintage Clothes, the most inspirational movies (fashion-wise) and a list of Goreski’s favorite style icons (Molly Ringwald is among them).

The Everygirl’s Guide to Life by Maria Menounos (It Books)
The TV hostess’s book is a complete lifestyle guide, and if you know nothing, or very little about her, this should clue you in on why the book is worth reading: “Growing up, I worked as a janitor cleaning nightclubs alongside my parents, and my last job before working in Hollywood was selling sausages on the streets of Boston,” she writes. “These days, I eat at places like Chili’s, shop at Target … watch bad reality TV, go to bargain matinee movies and even know my way around Home Depot.” Sounds like a down-to-earth girl you could hang with, right? So it’s a bonus that she’s written a book that’s full of practical, clever tips on everything from home and office organization and makeup tips to finances and home décor, as well as advice on dating, surrounding yourself with a “sunshine committee” of positive people, fitness, healthy eating and career moves.

The French Dog by Rachael McKenna (Stewart, Tabori & Chang)
Gorgeously designed coffee table book, chock full of photos of cute doggies in various locales around France … what’s not to love?

Hazan Family Favorites: Beloved Italian Recipes by Giuliano Hazan (Stewart, Tabori & Chang)
The frequent Today show guest shares the favorite recipes of his family (his mom was famous Italian cookbook writer Marcella Hazan), so they are tried and true dishes through multiple generations. The accompanying photos are nothing short of mouthwatering, including Maccheroni Soup with Sausage and Porcini, Bolognese Lasagne, Al Cantunzein’s Papparadelle with Sausage and Peppers, Uccellini Scappati and a perfectly pink homemade Strawberry Gelato.

Father’s Day Gift Guide 2011: Pop Culture for Your Pop

Father’s Day is this Sunday, meaning precious few shopping days left to make sure you get something worthy for your dad, grandpa, godfather, uncle and all those other special dudes who deserve recognition this Father’s Day. Dads always seem so much tougher to shop for than moms, so, in the interest of making your last-minute shopping a bit easier, a few recommendations for great gifts from among the pop culture goodies that have crossed the TVScreener.com desk so far this year …

DVDs
The Ernie Kovacs Collection (Shout! Factory)
Details:
For those who already know TV pioneer Kovacs’ work, this collection is a must-own. For those who don’t, the set is a must-get, as Kovacs was to early TV what the Marx Brothers were to early movie comedy, which is to say that many of today’s best comedians have drawn from what the Marxes were doing decades ago, and the same can be said of today’s best talk show hosts and Kovacs. Shout! Factory’s six-DVD set includes selections from Kovacs’ local Philadelphia TV shows and his national NBC primetime efforts, plus his delightful specials (including the classic silent special Eugene), his Dutch Masters cigars commercials, home movies, rare photos and a 44-page booklet with the full scoop on the TV comedy legend.

Human Planet on Blu-ray (BBC Warner)
Details:
It’s the follow-up to Planet Earth, with a focus this time on how humans interact with our surroundings. From the awesome lenticular cover to the amazing imagery of the Blu-ray footage, the 3-disc set collects all eight installments of the BBC documentary, including “Oceans,” “Arctic,”  “Jungles,” “Mountains,” “Grasslands,” “Rivers” and “Cities.”

 

 

Weeds: Season Six (Lionsgate)
Details:
Drug-dealin’ Nancy Botwin and her family kick up the wackiness a notch or 10 this season, as they hit the road to avoid Nancy’s estranged husband and babydaddy Esteban after her older son Shane killed Esteban’s pal. Along the way, Silas tries to become a regular college student, Shane befriends some soccer moms and Uncle Andy continues to fight his feelings for Nancy, who has a fling with a bartender (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) and reveals a big family secret when the family heads to her Michigan hometown.
Bonus Features: A gag reel, commentary with cast and crew and a behind-the-scenes featurette with stars Justin Kirk and Kevin Nealon.

Nurse Jackie: Season Two (Lionsgate)
Details:
Just as her Sopranos co-star James Gandolfini managed to endear mobster Tony to viewers, Edie Falco manages to do the same with Jackie Peyton, a drug-addicted, lying, adulterous nurse. That the show manages to wring dark humor out of such dramatic topics as drug addiction, lying, cheating and some very unfunny emergency room situations is all the more reason to catch up with the Emmy-winning series.
Bonus Features: Audio commentaries with cast and crew and featurettes on stars Peter Facinelli and Eve Best.

Childrens Hospital: Complete First and Second Seasons (Warner Home Video)
Details:
Created by funny guy Rob Corddry (who plays clown-faced doctor Blake) and featuring an all-star cast that includes Henry Winkler, Megan Mullally, Rob Huebel, Lake Bell, Malin Akerman and Ken Marino (with guest stars like Jon Hamm, Nick Offerman, Nick Kroll and Michael Cera), the over-the-top Web-to-TV Adult Swim comedy revolves around a cast of wacky medical personnel who spoof the uber-serious dramas and randy romances of TV medical shows like House, ER and Grey’s Anatomy.
Bonus Features: A gag reel, outtakes and deleted scenes, Adult Swim wraparounds and the “I Killed Cancer” music video.

Royal Pains: Season Two (Universal)
Details:
The show got even better in season two, in no small part thanks to cast additions like Marcia Gay Harden and Henry Winkler as Hank and Evan’s papa, Eddie, who they discovered was living in the Hamptons, as well as guest stars like Tom Cavanagh, Mary Lynn Rajskub, John Legend and Jim Gaffigan.
Bonus Features: Deleted scenes, commentary tracks, Q+As with the cast, a gag reel and featurettes on the show’s guest stars and gorgeous filming locations.

Psych: The Complete Fifth Season (Universal)
Details:
The show lives up to its fun and quirkiness vibe in season five, with episodes that saw Gus teaching Lassiter how to tap dance, a spoof/homages to Twin Peaks and Bad Santa, a Boyz II Men makeover of the show’s infectious theme song and some serious movement on the Shawn/Juliet romance. And, of course, there was a fantastic string of guest stars, including Freddie Prinze Jr., John Michael Higgins, Carl Weathers, William Devane, Chi McBride, Kevin Alejandro, Nestor Carbonell, Franka Potente, Sherilyn Fenn, Sheryl Lee, Ray Wise, Peter Weller, Tony Cox, Jimmi Simpson, Cybill Shepherd and Ralph Macchio.
Bonus Features: Deleted scenes, audio commentary, cast and crew interviews, a gag reel, a featurette on the making of the “Dual Spires” episode and, in true Psych spirit, a funny behind the scenes feature on the making of a behind the scenes feature.

Friday Night Lights: The Fifth Season (Universal)
Details:
It’s still unfolding on NBC, but the devoted fans who’ve loved the show for its entirely too short five-season run will want to complete their set with this collection, which finds Coach Eric and wife Tammy, one of the best TV couples ever, riding off into the sunset, along with the players, family, friends and various other football-lovin’ townsfolk who made this one of the great underappreciated TV dramas ever.
Bonus Features: Deleted scenes, audio commentaries, a yearbook-style gallery of photos and a featurette on the show’s five seasons.

Breaking Bad: The Complete Third Season on Blu-ray (Sony)
Details:
Mad Men gets more attention, but this AMC series is one of the best dramas on TV, and with season three, it only got better. Walter White’s cancer is in remission, but he’s still knee deep in trouble, as wife Skyler files for divorce, a Mexican drug cartel wants him dead, Jesse’s in rehab and DEA agent bro-in-law Hank is about to bust him. Walt’s solution: to cook up one game-changing drug deal, one that, of course, goes much differently than he had planned.
Bonus Features: Audio commentary, featurettes, a visit to the show’s writers room, a family photo album, a gag reel, a feature on the show’s music, an interview with the cast and stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul answer fan questions.

The Kids in the Hall: Complete Series Megaset (A&E Home Video)
Details:
A perfect marathon: 22 discs include all five seasons of Kids in the Hall fun, plus the original pilot episode and the recent eight-episode Death Comes to Town miniseries.
Bonus Features: An hour-long oral history of the Kids, audio commentary, 10 best-of compilations, original performances footage, cast bios and never-before-seen footage.

 

Pawn Stars: Season Two (A&E Home Video)
Details:
Spring for the set from the History Channel Shop, which includes a Pawn Stars t-shirt. Old Man, Chumlee, Rick and Big Hoss bobbleheads sold separately.

 

 

 

Best of the Dean Martin Variety Show (Time Life Entertainment)
Details:
The title says it all: It’s the best of Dean Martin’s variety show, in which the coolest member of the Rat Pack (IMHO) entered the stage down a fireman’s pole and sang, danced and joked along with pals like Bob Hope, Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne, Orson Welles, Don Rickles, Dom DeLuise, George Burns, Jack Benny, Nipsey Russell, Rodney Dangerfield, Dinah Shore, Jonathan Winters, Sammy Davis Jr., Paul Lynde, Andy Griffith, Bob Newhart, Tony Bennett, Phyllis Diller, Duke Ellington, Tim Conway, Debbie Reynolds, Gene Kelly, Charles Nelson Reilly, Ethel Merman, Robert Mitchum, Phil Silvers, and Lena Horne, all who appear on this six-disc, digitally remastered and restored collector’s set.
Bonus Features: Interviews with stars like Bob Hope.

Ice Road Truckers: The Complete Season Four on Blu-ray (A&E Home Video)
Details:
No spoilers about who won this season, but veterans and fan faves Alex Debogorski and Hugh Rowland were neck and neck for much of the season.

 

 

IRT: Deadliest Roads: Season 1 on Blu-ray (A&E Home Video)
Details:
The ice roads are scary enough, but there were times when I had to look away while watching this spin-off series. Ice road drivers Lisa Kelly, Rick Yemm, David Redmon and, very briefly, Alex Debogorski drove treacherous roads in India, roads that didn’t look like they were safe to walk on, let alone sturdy enough to support heavy loads in rickety trucks. And then there were those steep mountain drops …

 

61* (HBO Home Video)
Details:
Lifelong New York Yankees fan Billy Crystal directed this HBO film, about the 1961 battle between teammates Roger Maris (Barry Pepper) and Mickey Mantle (Thomas Jane) to break Babe Ruth’s record for most home runs hit in a season. It’s a must-own for the baseball devoted, and looks fantastic on Blu-ray.
Bonus Features: Audio commentary by Crystal.

 

When It Was a Game: The Complete Collection on Blu-ray (HBO Home Video)
Details:
All three parts of HBO’s wonderful documentary on baseball are collected for this Blu-ray set, which uses video footage taken by fans at games in the ’30s, ’40s, ’50s and ’60s to shed light on the game’s biggest names from the fans’ point of view. Distinctive voices like James Earl Jones and Liev Schreiber are among those who narrate and provide voiceovers for the specials, which include rare footage of baseball legends like Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Joe DiMaggio, Ty Cobb and Cy Young.

Burn Notice: Season Four (Fox Home Entertainment)
Details:
Well-written, well-acted … Burn Notice is easily one of the most fun spy shows on TV, and season four was another fine effort, as burned agent Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) continued to unravel the mystery of who manipulated him and his career. Coby Bell joined the cast as Jesse, the spy Michael burned while investigating his own case, and, as usual, a list of great guest stars popped up throughout the season, including Garret Dillahunt, Robert Patrick, Richard Kind, Jay Karnes, Tim Matheson, Dylan Baker, Alan Dale and Burt Reynolds.
Bonus Features: Deleted scenes, audio commentary and featurettes on the rivalry between the writers of Burn Notice and USA cohort White Collar.

The Glades: The Complete First Season (Fox Home Entertainment)
Details:
Star Matt Passmore is the main reason to check out this A&E original series, in which Passmore stars as wisecrackin’ Chicago police detective Jim Longworth, who relocated to Florida in the name of lots of sun, golf and easy living, but finds that murder follows him to paradise.
Bonus Features: Deleted scenes, gag reel, audio commentary and making-of featurettes.

 

BOOKS
Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Memoir by Steven Tyler (Ecco)
Details:
You know that rather colorful style of speaking Tyler revealed on American Idol during season 10? It wasn’t just for show. It’s also the style he uses in this colorful, quick read autobiography. It’s not a quick read because it’s particularly short; it’s that the mega rock star shares his stories – drugs, sex, band fights, rock ‘n’ roll and rehab – in a breezy, straightforward manner. Sample: Tyler on meeting model Bebe Buell, who had a reputation for dating a lot of rock stars, “The thought that I could make her Top 10 made my Dick Clark.”

 

 

Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN by Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller (Little, Brown)
Details:
It’s more than 700 pages long, so you’ve got to really be into ESPN to read this fascinating oral history of the network. But it comes from the bestselling authors of Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live, another classic TV tome, and it’s rife with anecdotes about the wild goings-on at the network, so it should keep the SportsCenter-obsessed happy for most of those 700 pages. Interviewees in the book include Mitch Albom, Erin Andrews, Lance Armstrong, Peyton Manning, Chris Berman, Bob Costas, Bryant Gumbel, Craig Kilborn, Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick, Robin Roberts, Bill Simmons, Hannah Storm, Scott Van Pelt and Rush Limbaugh.

 

Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography by Rob Lowe (Henry Holt)
Details:
Lowe sheds light on his career path and how he has weathered various ups and downs and scandals throughout his years in Hollywood, and drops lots of juicy anecdotes involving his famous friends and co-stars, including the full story behind how the Brat Pack came to be called the Brat Pack; his teen actor years, which included a lot of time spent at the Sheen household, where his future West Wing co-star Martin was a source of much fatherly advice and where the young Charlie is described as a sweet kid who wanted to be a baseball player; and about his stint in rehab and stories about working on everything from The Outsiders to The West Wing.

 

Thank You Notes by Jimmy Fallon and the Writers of Late Night (Grand Central Publishing)
Details:
Fallon’s funny Late Night bit is expanded into a gift book that includes notes of gratitude to stuffing, “for always being delicious, even though you’re cooked inside a turkey’s butt”; haters, for “giving rappers so much to talk about”; and sweater vests: “You’re a great way to keep warm while telling your arms to go screw themselves.”

 

Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV by Ben Shapiro (Broadside Books)
Details:
No matter what their political viewpoints, any TV fan who enjoys delving behind the scenes of the industry and their favorite shows will find this book provocative. The sheer amount of reporting Shapiro did is incredible, as he talked to more than 100 top players in TV land, but the fact that so many of them admitted, on camera, that they do indeed inject their political stances into the shows they make is pretty surprising. As are the allegations by actors like Michael Moriarty, who says NBC and Law & Order creator Dick Wolf turned on him when he spoke out against Janet Reno, and The A-Team star Dwight Schultz, who says being a Reagan supporter led to an unpleasant experience with Bruce Paltrow (yes, Gwyneth’s dad), a producer who was then casting for St. Elsewhere.

 

Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops?: The Lost Toys, Tastes & Trends of the 70s and 80s by Gael Fashingbauer Cooper and Brian Bellmont (Perigee Trade)
Details:
I know I’m not the only one who will pick up any book that recalls all the pop culture goodness of childhood in the ’70s and ’80s, so like-minded devotees will particularly enjoy this walk down memory lane, as it comes from Pop Culture Junk Mail blogger Fashingbauer. The A to Z rundown includes everything from air hockey and Battle of the Network Stars to Encyclopedia Brown and Fruit Brute cereal to Shrinky Dinks, Trapper Keepers, Underoos, V.C Andrews books, Wacky Packages and Zoom.

 

Cereal: Snap, Crackle, Pop Culture by Ed Daly (Mark Batty Publisher)
Details:
It’s the perfect read to accompany your own bowl of sugary breakfast (or lunch. Or dinner. Or late-night snack …): author Daly lost his Wall Street job and became Mr. Mom (or, as he puts it, “In a day, I went from Wall Street to Sesame Street“), which allowed him time to sample, photograph and analyze many different breakfast cereals, which he reviews in this fun tome. Each cereal gets a letter grade, along with a bit of pithy commentary. Among his favorites are Rice Chex, which he gives an “A” and calls “the champagne of cereals,” while at the other end of the scale, Fiber One gets an “F” and Daly’s comment that “General Mills tells me to rethink fiber. After eating this, I’m starting to rethink my will to live.”

 

Nerd Do Well: A Small Boy’s Journey to Become a Big Kid by Simon Pegg (Gotham)
Details:
The Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz comedian is a self-proclaimed supergeek, and he proves it in this endearing autobio in which the zealous Star Wars fan recalls telling Carrie Fisher he used to kiss her photos every night before going to bed, and also talks about getting to work with some of his own movie heroes (Steven Spielberg, for instance) and his famous friendship with fellow funny guy Nick Frost.

 

 

 

King of the Road: True Tales From a Legendary Ice Road Trucker by Alex Debogorski (Wiley)
Details:
He’s the world’s most famous truck driver, and, as you would expect from someone who has driven the most dangerous roads for decades and who’s also a devout Christian with 11 children, he’s got a lot of stories to tell, including several about how he’s cheated death many times. Along with his colorful personal history, Debogorski also includes scoop on the famous ice roads, a fun bonus for fans of Ice Road Truckers.

 

 

 

The Old Man and the Swamp: A True Story About My Weird Dad, a Bunch of Snakes and One Ridiculous Road Trip by John Sellers (Simon & Schuster)
Details:
I’m a longtime fan of my fellow scribe Sellers’ writing, and his latest book is the perfect Father’s Day gift. He writes of a road trip with his father, a quirky, snake-obsessed guy, the kind of guy who gave his son a baseball card (and not a particularly valuable one) as a wedding gift and who once gifted his (now ex) wife a wrapped Snickers bar. The father-son memoir is laugh-out-loud funny, but also sweet, as the titular road trip gives the writer a chance to really get to know and understand his dad a little better, an act that should inspire other sons to do the same with their papas.

 

The Ride of a Lifetime: Doing Business the Orange County Choppers Way by Paul Teutul with Mark Yost (Wiley)
Details:
It’s not an autobiography, but the details of Teutul’s early life, tough childhood and struggles with drugs and alcohol make the story of his hard-earned business success – he essentially turned $120,000 and a hobby of building motorcycles into a multi-million business – all the more impressive.

 

 

 

 

101 Mojitos and Other Muddled Drinks by Kim Haasarud (Wiley)
Details:
The Blood Orange Mojito … the Pomegranate Mandarin Mojito … the Watermelon Basil Lemonade … all tasty dad drinks included in this beautifully photographed book. Besides, if mojitos are good enough for Burn Notice‘s Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell) …

 

 

 

 

 

 

OTHER GOODIES
MIMOBOTS USB Flash Drives
Details: Transfer files in style, thanks to these clever little USB drives that come in the shape of great movie and comic book characters, including Batman and The Joker, Darth Vader and Yoda and, for this weekend’s big superhero movie, the Green Lantern and Kilowog. MIMOBOT also has several other Star Wars characters as USB drives, along with mini hoodies to keep them protected.

 

Wipeout in the Zone for Kinect (Xbox 360) (Activision)
Details:
If you sorta want to try the Sucker Punch and the Big Red Balls, here’s a chance to try them without the certain pain of actually doing them. Based on the TV show, Wipeout in the Zone allows players to try all the wacky stunts contestants play on TV, with snarky commentary provided by Wipeout hosts John Henson, John Anderson and Jill Wagner and cool features like instant replay and paintball action for players not running the course.

 

 

 

Nintendo 3DS
Details:
Real 3D graphics, no glasses needed” is Nintendo’s motto for the 3DS, and it’s true. The 3D graphics are so bold, in fact, that it takes a minute or two to adjust to just how in your face they are at first (though a 3D depth slider allows you to adjust the effect). The 3DS also includes a 3D camera, motion and gyro sensor and dual screens, and built-in software that allows you to browse the Internet. And among the fun 3D game titles available for the 3DS: Steel Diver (a submarine battles game), Lego Stars Wars III, Madden NFL Football, Ridge Racer 3D, SpongeBob SquigglePants, Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D and Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition.

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