As we move into the final month of the year, it’s time to finalize those letters to Santa and get them in the mail. What movies, gadgets, or home theater goodies do you hope to find under your tree this Christmas?
M. Enois Duarte
I’ve been an especially good boy this year, and all I want for Christmas is a new projector. I know, I know, I only just recently upgraded, so why would I want another projector? But you see, the one I want is the JVC DLA-RS2000, which is a native 4k display with 100% DCI-P3 color gamut. I promise not to shoot my eye out. And maybe, if you’re feeling as though as I deserve an added bonus, you can throw in the new Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD player. Please let me find these presents under my tree Christmas morning. Otherwise, I will have to ask your distant relative, the Lottery, for my holiday gifts.
If there’s one thing I like just about as much as watching movies, it’s reading about movies. I’ve recently wrapped up a nice long streak of reading true crime books, and I miss reading about my first true love: cinema. Of all of the books out there right now, I’ve got my eye on a quadruple-punch on the history of film and the creation of celebrity – Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman by Anne Helen Petersen, Seduction: Sex, Lies, and Stardom in Howard Hughes’s Hollywood by Karina Longworth, Suspiria by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, and The 1990s Teen Horror Cycle: Final Girls and a New Hollywood Formula by Alexandra West. I’ve read all four of these authors in the past and listened to them on podcasts, and I really hope to be able to do a deep dive into their books soon. I’ve got plenty of sweaters and socks, so my hopes are high for books and knowledge under the tree this year.
It’s nothing tangible, but it’s a gift that would keep on giving all year long… and maybe forever! What I’d like is a charter subscription to Criterion’s new streaming service, set to launch in the spring of 2019. With the sad death of FilmStruck, Criterion and classic film fans who had been enjoying their dream streaming service for a couple of years are left in the lurch. But the future just got brighter, as Criterion announced its own streaming service that will not only include the entire Criterion library, but also “a full spectrum of Hollywood classics and carefully selected films from independent distributors around the world.” Discounted lifetime fees for charter members, as well as other goodies, are available for those who sign up now. And best of all, no payment is required until after the service is up and running. Go to Criterion.com for details.
Top of my list this year is a new phone, most likely an LG V40. My old phone is, well, old and does some funky things, but I’ve been holding off for the past year. Must-haves for the new phone are a good camera and an SD card slot, so that limits my options somewhat.
I’m very happy with my home theater set-up at the moment. Last year at this time, I was still trying to get my Atmos right (fitting a big center speaker in can be tough), but I solved it not once but twice. First, I got new center speaker (which is in use in the office home theater now) and second, I was able to get a shelf under the display built specifically for fitting in a big center (or sound bar), which let me use the center speaker that I wanted in the first place. After that, I picked up an OPPO UDP-203 while they were still readily available, but I haven’t picked up very many 4k Ultra HD Blu-rays since then. Most of the Marvel/Star Wars releases I ended up seeing twice in theaters, which cooled my desire to watch them at home (for a time). Some of those and maybe, 2001: A Space Odyssey, which I haven’t owned since I sold my HD-DVD collection about 6 years ago, would be nice.
Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)
To the great surprise of no one, my Christmas list is heavily weighted towards home video.
I asked for the first season of The Outer Limits and the complete run of Community on Blu-ray. Despite the second season of Westworld not seeming to be all that well-received, its Ultra HD Blu-ray release made my list anyway.
As far as movies on plain ol’ Blu-ray go, I asked for Mandy and The Black Scorpion. The Thing from Another World was on my Amazon wish list but vanished mysteriously. I guess I have to wait until Christmas to see if any of my relatives managed to order it before it disappeared. There are others I would’ve asked for, but I’m not sure how many members of my family would pony up for, say, The Satanic Rites of Dracula.
On the 2160p side of the world, my rambling list includes The Incredibles and its sequel, the pandering nostalgia of Ready Player One, the five movie Jurassic Park collection, The Big Lebowski, Evil Dead 2, Superman: The Movie, and, because I’m a masochist, The Predator.
I’m hoping for a few video games as well. I’m more excited about Just Cause 4 than practically anything else coming out this year, although I know I’m squarely in the minority on that one. I’m looking forward to catching up with Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice on the Xbox One X now that it’s getting an overdue physical release. I’d be more giddy about the prospect of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate if I’d ever managed to get into the franchise, but it’s on my list anyway. (I’ve only ever played its predecessor on the Wii U, and I still have no idea how to do a Final Smash.)
The only music I asked for is Superchunk’s “What a Time to Be Alive,” which I somehow made it through most of the year without buying.
Not everything on my list is a five-inch disc, however! I asked for a couple of Vision and Squirrel Girl comic book collections, Go Team Venture! The Art and Making of The Venture Bros., and The Kids in the Hall: One Dumb Guy.
I’m still in need of a new projector. Ever since both of my home theater projectors died earlier this year, I’ve been getting by with an even older model that I dug out of storage. That’s been fine, even pretty good all things considered, but it’s time to move on. I was able to play with a sample of the new Epson HC 4010 LCD projector for a few weeks, but I had to send it back after that review was finished.
I’ve had my eye on the new JVC DLA-NX7 native 4k projector (which is the same as the RS2000 that E. wants), but the entire new JVC line has been delayed due to some technical issue and it’s unclear whether they’ll be available before year-end. The price on that is also more than I really want to spend. This has left me considering buying one of last year’s E-Shift models, the DLA-RS540U, but the NX7 has some new features that are very appealing to me.
I don’t know what to do, except hope that Santa comes through and leaves a great big box for me this year. I’ve been a good boy, I promise!
More realistically, I also need a new Blu-ray drive for my laptop. The one I have now has been been acting up and won’t read about half the discs I try to play in it. This has left me unable to take screenshots for some titles I’d like to review.
Have you all been good boys and girls? Tell Santa what you’d like for Christmas this year?