The Dork Shelf Guide to Holiday Shopping: Day 8

Dorks be shoppin’! Amiright? It’s that time of the year for all of us, so we plow ahead with more suggestions for the geek, nerd, dork, or just everyday best friend or favourite family member in your life.

Still not caught up or looking for more ideas? Check out our directory for what you might have missed!

New Movie:

Film Title: Despicable Me 2

Despicable Me 2

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Now garnering a ton of attention thanks to awards season outlets and year end listers often citing this as one of the year’s best animated efforts, Despicable Me 2 holds the distinction of being the highest profile animated release that people can buy for their families over the holidays. It’s a solid purchase even though it’s a slight notch below its predecessor. It still offers plenty of excitement for the kids, and adults won’t feel hungover after repeat Holiday break viewings. (Available from most major retailers on December 10th) (Andrew Parker)

Old Movie:

Akira

Akira – 25th Anniversary Edition

Neo Tokyo is about to explode and fans of Japanese anime have never been happier as the classic Akira is now available in a special edition Blu-Ray for the very first time.  Katsuhiro Otomo’s landmark cyberpunk classic obliterated the boundaries and limits of feature length animation and gave audiences a unique look into the future.  The film features three audio tracks (the remastered Japanese from 2009, the original English from 1988 and the remastered English from 2001).  Special features include original trailers, storyboards, an interview with the director, and a look at the restoration of Akira. It’s a seminal piece of filmmaking that deserves to be in any self respecting film fan’s collection. (Available on Blu-Ray from all major retailers) (Dave Voigt)

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TV Box Set:

Justified Season 4

Justified: The Complete Fourth Season

I might be in the small-but-vocal minority on this one, but I think Justified is the best show on television right now and probably the only thing since Friday Night Lights that I pretty much force everyone I know into giving it a try. So with the fifth season on the horizon and the fourth season hitting Blu-Ray this week, I am positively psyched to get a chance to keep sharing the exploits of U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens (a wonderful Timothy Olyphant) and his work/personal life problems in his hometown of Harlan County. Based somewhat on the work of the late Elmore Leonard and from talented creator Graham Yost, it’s a snappily written southern fried cop drama that focuses more on character development than trying to be another CSI clone. This, and every other season of the show, is a worthy purchase. (Available on Blu-Ray from major retailers on December 17th) (Andrew Parker)

Movie Box Set:

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Argo

Argo: The Declassified Extended Edition

After similar success in crafting a pretty awesome extended edition box set for his underrated heist thriller The Town last holiday season, Ben Affleck is given the same courtesy by Warner Brothers to do the same with his Best Picture winning historical espionage thriller. Argo returns to Blu-Ray in this box set with an extra ten minutes of footage added to the film (although it doesn’t add a ton to it, and the theatrical version is still included) and about an hour’s worth of new bonus material that wasn’t on the original disc (but all the original special features carry over there, as well). It also comes in a set that includes a behind-the-scenes book, a mini poster for the titular fake movie being used as a CIA cover, an annotated map of major events in the film, and a replica Tony Mendez’s ID badge. If you held off purchasing the still solid original disc in hopes of a bigger package, there’s no excuse to not grab this one. (Available from most major retailers) (Andrew Parker)

Video Games:

Gran Turismo 6

Gran Turismo 6 – PS3

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I don’t know why I keep playing these games because they always make me wary that I would never be able to drive a high performance vehicle. But this long running and popular racing game recently dropped another edition for the PS3, and while the learning curve on these games is decidedly higher than most, it’s also the most rewarding. It’s one of the few sporting games made for people who love to think, strategize, and budget, and unlike those games that have options of being a GM or creating your own league, being familiar with the cars and products isn’t something players can gloss over. It’s made to be immersive, and this one follows in line with its predecessors in terms of addictive gameplay. (Available from most major retailers) (Andrew Parker)

Graphic Novels:

Bad Houses

Bad Houses – Sara Ryan

A pair of estate sale scavengers are forced to look at their own lives by hoarding the scraps left over from former homeowners in small town Oregon in Sara Ryan’s touching, funny, and occasionally heartbreaking look at growing up and never letting go. Beautifully drawn and full of asides that delve into the past of a community that’s crumbling around its protagonists, it’s a love story that will feel painfully real even for outsiders looking in. Ryan has a way with words and emotion, and the storytelling here is some of the year’s best in any medium. (Available from most places where graphic novels are sold) (Andrew Parker)

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Books:

Five Days at Memorial

Five Days at Memorial – Sheri Fink

For the nonfiction lover in your life, there might not be a more powerful book you could give them than this inside look at a hospital struggling without basic necessities in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Pulitzer Prize winner Fink takes a look at the macrocosm of disaster mismanagement through one incredibly gut wrenching look at people who have sworn to do no harm being put in harm’s way themselves. It’s harrowing, touching, and an important read. (Available wherever books are sold) (Andrew Parker)

Beer:

Fire in the Rye

Fire in the Rye – Double Trouble Brewing

After coming from seemingly out of nowhere to drop the tasty and increasingly popular Hops and Robbers (the best tasting Canadian IPA going at the moment) and Prison Break Pilsner, the folks at Ontario based Double Trouble have dropped the first roasted rye pale ale in a tallboy can, Fire in the Rye. Smooth, slightly nutty, and just a touch stronger than Hops and Robbers is, this is the perfect brew to stock up on for holiday parties and get-togethers. Like the name suggests, it goes great in front of an open fire, and it’s the strongest rye beer to debut this year. (Available at most LCBOs) (Andrew Parker)

Food:

Office Party Gift Basket

Office Party Gift Basket from Pacific Basket Company

If you’re looking to have an office party (where simply buying a cake and some booze are not an option), this basket from Vancouver based Pacific Basket has something for everyone from the gourmand to the caffeine junkie to the picky eater. It’s a great one-stop shopping item that will be devoured and admired by any and all. (Available from Pacific Basket Company for shipping) (Andrew Parker)

Men’s Apparel:

Boba Fett Varsity Jacket

Boba Fett Varsity Jacket

While most hate to admit it, the holidays also mark the first appearance of everyone’s favourite bounty hunter, Boba Fett (first appearing in animated form in the universally maligned Star Wars Christmas Special). Celebrate one of the best debuts of the season (see what I did there?) with this stylish Varsity style jacket that looks good enough for everyday wear, but is still nerdy enough to spark a conversation. (Available from ThinkGeek) (Andrew Parker)

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