Tuesday 6 November 2012

Gift Guide for Movie Lovers

   Some people just live for movies - but, while it might seem like the obvious thing to get these people would be DVDs or BluRay, chances are these people already have any movies you might consider buying them, or have already seen it and hated it. And so, instead of movies, I've tried to compile a list of gifts suggestions for movie lovers. Excuse the shortness of it. This was a difficult list.

   A home cinema. Yes, yes, I realise that this is rather extreme, but it does have to be said. No, it won't match up to the experience of going to an actual cinema (though as far as I'm concerned, watching it at home is better, the only thing you miss out on is the wide range of food available), but it will make home viewing a little more exciting. It doesn't have to be expensive, either. A home cinema doesn't have to mean a massive TV, huge surround sound stereo, soundproofed walls and blackout curtains. As far as I'm concerned, a home cinema should just be the act of watching a movie at home, but without it feeling like you're just watching a DVD on TV.
   A projector that can hook up to a computer or a laptop, suspended from the ceiling, with some nice speakers (laptop sound is awful anyway, I don't care what laptop you have, but there is a reason that the best speakers are always seperate from the main device) either behind or in front of the seating area is all you need, with a well-painted white wall, and a comfy sofa or a bucket tonne of cushions. Popcorn maker preferred but not necessary. To me, that doesn't sound half bad, and it also doesn't sound like just putting a DVD on the TV - though at the same time, I have no problem with just doing that. But I'm not a movie lover. Sure I love a good film, but these gifts wouldn't work for me.

   A movie pass. Some cinemas offer memberships of a sort that let the individual into the theatre for a reduced cost, or even for free depending on the cost of the membership. Most memberships last six months to a year, and if they allow you in for free, they usually cost what it would to visit the cinema something like six to twelve times a year - once every one or two months. This can, of course, be taken advantage of, by going twice in a month, and therefore making the membership more than worth the money. Sometimes they're even accompanied with half-price coupons at intervals through the year so that you can bring friends and family with you for a reduced cost, allowing them to further enjoy (hopefully, at least) the movie-going experience. I think these are bloody wonderful ideas. Of course they wouldn't suit me at all. I go to the cinema something like two or three times a year at best, and I can't afford to go any more frequently, and neither do I have the time. Plus there is rarely anything on at the cinema that I would even want to see.

   Movie replicas. They don't have to be official products that cost an arm and a leg, but if they're made by people who know what they're doing, then they can look and feel amazing. You can go from just prop replicas like spell books or swords all the way to suits of armour or even furniture - like thrones! For me, it would be weapons. Give me Gimli's axe, Nathan Algren’s katana, Predator's spear, and I will be happy. Or Predator's mask. I saw one once for £20 and I've regretted not buying it for years since.
   Replicas can very from £10 all the way to a few hundred - or even a few thousand if it's big enough, well made, or even official if not the real thing itself. There are a few good websites that you can get these things from - BUT, I must warn you to check your area's laws on such things before purchasing weapons. Usually the websites that sell such things will inform you on the laws in your area that revolve around such things, and I would never recommend buying them from overseas, or someone might get in trouble, be it you or the seller. It's not worth the trouble. And also, don't take them out of the house. You may be allowed to own swords, but taking them from the home may require a permit, or may just be outright illegal. But these would be wonderful gifts, especially if the recipient is a fan of fantasy or sci-fi movies. These are the genres with the most replicas available.

   A book for how to review/critique movies. It's quite likely that people who watch a lot of movies and learn a bit of film jargon think themselves the bee's knees, but there's always a fair chance that they do know what they're talking about. Some people have a knack for all kinds of things, afterall. Everyone is good at something. So why not encourage their studious eye by giving them a guide on how to properly and professionally review/critique movies. While editorial magazines and the like would probably prefer someone with qualifications of some kind, some people do get far based on pure talent and the experience they pick up along the way. Let's face it, if I can make a Google account, get a page on Blogger and start posting my nonsense for the world to see, then so can they. The difference is that they might actually have something eloquent and well-thought-out to say. They may not enjoy it - hell, they may not even read it - but they might pick it up and make themselves a career, all because you gave them the first nudge.

   Old movies. Some people call themselves film buffs even if all they watch are things made from 2005 onwards. To appreciate modern cinema you also need to be able to compare it to the beginnings of cinema in the late 1890s to 1920s. Classics are not called "Classics" for no reason. Nosferatu was the very first vampire movie ever made, for example, and it's a silent movie. While I admit that the music is horribly timed throughout the whole thing, it is still actually vaguely frightening at points. And if this film buff has never seen a silent movie, then they need to. You can't call yourself a film buff without having seen at least one. And if they refuse to watch it because of poor effects, black and white, no sound and so on, then they're not as clever as they think they are. So gather up some old movies on DVD for them and broaden their knowledge and experience.


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