Tis the Night Before Christmas, A Wind Up Geek’s Desire; Books and DVDs are upon Us…

James Shaw (The Wind Up Geek)
James Shaw
(The Wind Up Geek)

Dear Mr. Claus,

Enclosed is a list of just some of the presents I would love to see under my tree tomorrow. I know I’ve been the perfect boy scout and that should be a well enough reason to see at least one of these gifts with my name on it.

Ignore the pencil marks on the wish list, I crossed world peace off because, and let’s be honest, there’s enough people asking for it. Asking for that again is like when I asked you for that Furby last year. When I found out everyone had one it just doesn’t seem cool anymore. I’m hoping to avoid a “Furby” incident this year by mailing a larger list. It cost me extra postage to send it but if I get what I want, it would be worth the extra stamp.


James Robert Shaw

P.S. As a child I never did get that U.S.S. Flagg from the G.I. Joe collection darn it, I think you owe me on this one.



My Neighbour Totoro

Studio Ghibli is far better than either Pixar, Disney, Nelvana and Mainframe combined. There are so many memorable works that have left a lasting impression. Porco Rosso: The Crimson Pig, Laputa, Castle in the Sky, Nausicca In the Valley of the Wind and Pom Poko are just a few titles I adore. Each of these films have an innocence to them that I call nostalgic.

Although the number of extras provided on the disc are on the short side, I’ve heard people praise the picture quality. The 1080p resolution is very sharp to behold on the right home theatre setup. [Ed’s note: um, obviously James did not look at my Region 2 discs; the second disc often provides a complete storyboard to the movie.]


Akira: 25th Anniversary Edition

Just as I remember the day I first heard the newly released Appetite for Destruction album by Guns N’ Roses that would go on to change the entire music landscape, I remember the day I watched Akira. I was sitting in on a session of the Japanese Animation Club of Victoria when they played Akira. And again, like Guns N’ Roses, it changed my view on anime. Everything that came before somehow looked different from that point on.

Eventually I would own Akira but my first piece of Akira merchandise was the soundtrack on CD. I raced out and bought it for $20 Canadian (a lot of money in those days) and 25 years later I still have that very same CD in my music collection.


The Complete Series

This cartoon series continues the adventures of the ghost with the most, Beetlejuice, and his best friend Lydia Deetz. Although the quality isn’t top-notch, this is still a must own. I can’t remember the last time I saw Beetlejuice rerun past its second series. This’ll hold me over until the new Beetlejuice film (with Michael Keaton in the role) hits theatres.


The World’s End / Hot Fuzz /
Shaun of the Dead
(The Blood & Ice Cream Trilogy)

The boys from Britain are back in a Edgar Wright trilogy boxed set. Whether Nick Frost and Simon Pegg are taking on aliens, cultists or the living impaired, you may want to own this set if you only have one or two of the films in your collection. Each film comes on a seperate disc. The extras included in this box set are the same extras as in what’s found on the individual releases.


Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Season 5

Sadly this final volume may be the last series of Clone Wars anyone will ever see now that Disney has taken possession. But let’s hope the House of Mouse reconsiders and releases the unfinished 6th series through some form of media. While millions of TV viewers have their Coronation Street or Downtown Abbey, this is my soap opera and frankly I’m just itching to find out what’s going to happen to Asoka.


The Spirit (1986)

Warner Archives are making this obscure failed TV pilot available for the first time on DVD. Retail may be a little on the high side and the extras are zip but who cares, it’s Sam “Flash Gordon” Jones in the title role with Nana Visitor from Star Trek: Deep Space 9 as his love interest.

For those of you who have never seen the 1980 version of Gordon, shame on you. Jones has proven he can be both the sci-fi hero in Gordon and the comic actor in Seth MacFarlane’s “Ted” starring Mark Wahlberg. And while the Tick may have his own battle cry of “spoon.” I’ll stick to Jones’ laugh out loud, “Ming!”



The Three Stooges: Hollywood Filming Locations

There was a time where I would scan the Three Stooges Columbia shorts on DVD collection and read up about Moe, Larry and Curly. It was so interesting to see the passing cars, local businesses and pedestrians who were obviously not a part of the shoot. I’ve often wondered where in Hollywood some of the scenes were filmed in. Jim Pauley has answered my prayers by authoring this book.

This collection would have my dad’s name on it come Christmas morning if I didn’t already spend money on the entire Three Stooges Columbia Shorts collection for him.


Coreyography: A Memoir

I’m hearing good things about Corey Feldman as an author. People say his book serves as being his honest interpretation of the events in his life that only a former child star could tell. I can’t fathom what Corey went through all in the name of fame and I don’t want too. All I know is that Feldman was a box office draw on his own and with Corey Haim, in such films as License To Drive and Dream A Little Dream, they became heartthrobs to millions of teen girls.

But after Corey dealt with the Hollywood limelight, fell on hard times as an adult actor and his best friend Haim battled drug addiction, he has been given a unique perspective of the fame game. Perhaps this book is his way of warning those newcomers to the scene to be prepared for what may happen. Maybe that is what will make this book such a compelling read.


The Making of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

Author J.W. Rinzler was given access to the Lucas archives and what was the result? A a 372 page behind-the-scenes book that die hard Star Wars fans will consider a treat. I saw RoTJ originally in theatres eight times. I plan to read this book even more.


A Christmas Story: Behind the Scenes of a Holiday Classic

A Christmas Story isn’t my number one Christmas film but it is in the top ten. I love it for what it represents and I’ll certainly love this production book for what it represents. Keep in mind that this book is not a toy, the corners of the hard cover alone might poke your eye out.

Author: James Robert Shaw

Making a comeback.

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