2014 Holiday Gift Guide: For Her

Whatever you decide to buy, please make sure you put some thought into it. This applies to your wife or woman that you’re dating, and even that mom or other women on your gift list. They will love if you buy something that makes them feel appreciated.

Click the links to purchase each product online, and for more gift ideas, check out the other categories in our Holiday Gift Guide.

Brooks Running Gear

brooks

Marathons have become increasingly more popular over the last few years, and whether you’re a serious runner or just do it for fun, having the right gear is essential. While most people tend to stick to popular brands like Nike and Adidas, it’s better to buy from a specialty company like Brooks Running, who offers an entire catalog of products designed specifically with runners in mind. Footwear options range from the PureFlow 3, a lightweight shoe with a more rounded heel and repositioned Toe Flex to better align your stride, to the award-winning Cascadia 9, which is better suited for trickier terrain thanks to its 4-point pivot posts and a BioMoGo DNA midsole that adapts cushioning to your feet and the surface beneath. Both styles come in a variety of bold colors, and the same goes for all the apparel as well, including the water-resistant Infiniti Jacket IV, the retroreflective PureProject Jacket (which is both wind- and water-resistant) and the moisture-wicking Infiniti Tight III. After giving our wives the chance to test out some of the gear provided by Brooks Running, the verdict was unanimous: if you care about function and quality, this is one brand that every runner should add to the top of their wish lists.

eCreamery.com Custom Ice Cream Pints

We’re avid believers that ice cream is great no matter what time of year it is (especially for those whose winters actually feel like, well, winter), and the folks at eCreamery.com have created the perfect gift for the holidays: create-your-own ice cream, gelato and sorbet with customized labels on the packaging. All you need to do is select your base, main flavor and mix-ins, and then give your new creation a name. We made a custom ice cream (Cinnamon with Chocolate Covered Pretzels) and gelato (Cheesecake with Strawberry Swirls and Chocolate Chunks), and both were incredibly delicious, especially the latter, which is one of the best frozen treats we’ve ever sampled. There are over 40 flavors and 30 mix-ins to choose from, and the quality is definitely a step up from your typical store-bought ice cream, but it comes at a price, with four pints (the smallest possible order) costing a whopping $59.99, and that doesn’t even include shipping. While that may seem pretty steep for ice cream, eCreamery’s custom pints make for a really unique gift that’s worth splurging for at least once.

ecreamery

Read the rest of this entry »

  

You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook for content updates. Also, sign up for our email list for weekly updates and check us out on Google+ as well.

2014 Holiday Gift Guide: Games

The holiday season is the video game industry’s busiest time of year, with publishers saving many of their marquee titles to release on the public like an avalanche of digital goodness. It can actually be quite overwhelming with so many different options to choose from, so we’ve done our best to put together a collection of what we feel are some of the year’s best titles, and ones that the gamer on your list will love.

Click the links to purchase each product online, and for more gift ideas, check out the other categories in our Holiday Gift Guide.

Destiny

destiny

After creating one of the most successful video game franchises in history, Bungie could have done pretty much whatever they wanted for their next project and it would have undoubtedly been a massive hit. Thankfully, the team behind the “Halo” series hasn’t strayed too far from its roots with this sci-fi first-person shooter, although it’s certainly a different experience due to the incorporation of role-playing and MMO elements. But while you can do things like upgrade your character’s abilities, weapons and armor, or team up with fellow players (via Bungie’s matchmaking system) to complete missions, the game is still very much a shooter at heart – one that has the benefits of co-op multiplayer without making you feel like you can’t play and progress at your own pace. The story doesn’t dig as deep into the post-apocalyptic premise as we would’ve liked, and the gameplay can get a bit repetitive at times, but “Destiny” is a deceptively enjoyable shooter with fantastic visuals, an addictive multiplayer mode and an open-ended structure that allows Bungie to continue to provide new content for many years to come.

FIFA 15

fifa

Most video game sports franchises have gotten to the point where the truly innovative features are less about what’s on the surface than what’s underneath, and “FIFA 15” is a perfect example of how subtle changes can still make a world of difference. Though it plays very similar to last year’s edition, “FIFA 15” has gone one step further in bridging the gap between a video game and the real thing. Slide tackles and boot marks are visible on the pitch, the surface becomes more weathered as each match progresses, and crowds behave differently according to their specific club or country. Gameplay has received a few upgrades as well, including the ability to control teammates during set pieces, improved push/pull mechanics during man-to-man battles, and more accurate ball movement. There’s also a brand new intelligence system for goalkeepers that allows them to better anticipate shots and passes, while players now recognize situations (whether it’s a hard tackle or a series of bad fouls) that trigger an emotional response. And believe it or not, that’s just a taste of what “FIFA 15” has to offer, because this is arguably the most comprehensive digital soccer experience yet.

Read the rest of this entry »

  

2014 Holiday Gift Guide: Television

Television fans must love the holidays, because it’s the one time of year when studios unleash a host of massive box sets collecting their favorite dramas and comedies. This year is no different, with several critically acclaimed shows getting the complete series treatment. But while we like to devour an entire TV show just as quickly as the next person, sometimes a little self-discipline is required, which is why we’ve also included some less time-consuming (and more affordable) suggestions as well.

Click the links to purchase each product online, and for more gift ideas, check out the other categories in our Holiday Gift Guide.

The Wonder Years: The Complete Series

wonder-years

Can it really have been way back in 2006 when we put “The Wonder Years” at the top of our list of the 15 shows that we most wanted to see released on DVD? 2014 has been a damned good year for that list – now that “Batman” and “WKRP” are finally available, the only things left that we’re still waiting to see released are “Sifl & Olly” and “Ed” – but nothing’s made us as happy as the arrival of a miniature locker containing two faux Trapper Keeper notebooks filled with 26 discs worth of “The Wonder Years.” In addition to the 115 episodes, there’s also over 23 hours of bonus material, including footage from the recent cast reunion, tons of interviews with cast, creators and numerous guest stars, 10 newly-created featurettes, and outtakes from the filming of Kevin and Winnie’s first kiss…which, in case you didn’t know, was also Fred Savage and Danica McKellar’s first kiss as well! Lastly, when you pop open the locker – don’t worry, there’s no lock, so you don’t need to memorize a combination – you’ll also find a hardcover “yearbook” filled with behind-the-scenes pictures and notes from the cast. It’s so totally worth the wait.

Batman: The Complete Television Series

batman

Whether you grew up in the late 60s when it originally aired, or watched the reruns that played throughout the following decades, chances are that the “Batman” TV series was a big part of your childhood. One of the best things about the show is that it operates on multiple levels, so whereas you were attracted to the suspense, action and colorful production design as a kid, when revisiting the series as an adult, you’re able to enjoy the subtler, campier aspects. It certainly helped that it had such a game cast, from stars Adam West and Bruce Ward, to its cavalcade of villain guest stars – most notably Frank Gorshin, Cesar Romero, Burgess Meredith and Julie Newmar – all of whom understood exactly what kind of show they were making. “Batman” is one of the few classic TV series that still holds up today, which is why it’s so surprising that it took this long for it to be released on Blu-ray. The new digital restoration looks fantastic for a show that’s nearly 50 years old, with all 120 episodes presented in their original 1.33:1 aspect ratio. The Blu-ray set also comes with hours of bonus material, including a retrospective on the show’s production and its legacy, a roundtable discussion with West and other Bat-fanatics, the original “Batgirl” pilot, screen tests for West and Ward, as well second-choice Lyle Waggoner (Batman) and Peter Deyell (Robin), and much more. And as if that wasn’t enough, it also comes with a Hot Wheels replica Batmobile, while the box itself plays the “Batman” theme song. Holy Fan Service, Batman!

Read the rest of this entry »

  

2014 Holiday Gift Guide: Movies

These days, if you don’t own a Blu-ray player, you’re missing out, especially with a variety of classic movies being offered in high definition for the first time ever. But while we could easily fill several pages with suggestions of great films and cool box sets that deserve a spot on any holiday wish list, we’ve picked some of our favorites released over the past 12 months. If you can’t find anything worth buying here, then chances are that the person you’re shopping for doesn’t like movies.

Click the links to purchase each product online, and for more gift ideas, check out the other categories in our Holiday Gift Guide.

Steven Spielberg Director’s Collection

spielberg

It may come as a surprise that Steven Spielberg has only won the Oscar for Best Director twice over the course of his illustrious career, because he’s made some of the most popular and critically-acclaimed films of the past 40 years. Throughout the 1970s and 80s, Spielberg spent a majority of his time working under the Universal Pictures banner, and all of those movies have been collected in this fantastic box set, four of which (“Duel,” “Sugarland Express,” “1941” and “Always”) are making their Blu-ray debuts. The other films include perennial favorites like “Jaws,” “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,” “Jurassic Park” and “The Lost World,” though for some strange reason, 1993’s “Schindler’s List” (his last Universal picture to date) is nowhere to be found. All of the movies have received gorgeous high-def video transfers, while the included booklet provides background info like fun facts, concept art and storyboards. Though the lesser known films will undoubtedly receive individual releases in the future, this is the only way to own them on Blu-ray at the moment, and that makes the “Steven Spielberg Director’s Collection” a must-have for any self-respecting cinephile.

Stanley Kubrick: The Masterpiece Collection

kubrick

There are many stories about the difficulties of working with Stanley Kubrick. He was a perfectionist and an introvert, but he was also a cinematic genius responsible for directing some of most innovative and influential films of the past 60 years. Though it doesn’t include any of his earlier work (specifically “Paths of Glory” and “The Killing,” which you can pick up from Criterion), this new Blu-ray set is the closest thing to a definitive collection that you’re likely to find, featuring all eight movies that Kubrick directed between 1960 to 1999: “Spartacus,” “Lolita,” “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Atom Bomb,” “A Clockwork Orange,” “Barry Lyndon,” “The Shining,” “Full Metal Jacket” and “Eyes Wide Shut.” The 10-disc set also boasts a pair of discs dedicated to bonus material, including the previously released documentaries “Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures” and “O’ Lucky Malcolm” (about actor Malcolm McDowell), as well as a trio of new featurettes, “Kubrick Remembered,” “Stanley Kubrick in Focus” and “Once Upon a Time… A Clockwork Orange.” If you don’t already own these films on Blu-ray, now is the time to rectify that.

Read the rest of this entry »

  

Product Review: SAXX Underwear

No one has ever summarized a man’s relationship with his underwear as accurately as Garth Algar in “Wayne’s World”:

The relationship between a dude and his underwear is a strange thing. In the past, I’ve had roommates and friends who thought it was funny to keep a pair of underwear so long, they (the undies) gradually begin to degrade over time, until certain areas that once provided support were completely gaped open, leaving nothing to the imagination.

Put simply, guys don’t like to buy underwear; it feels weird. I have a pair of plaid boxers from 1999 on right now.

But what if I told you that chicks dig a nice pair of undies on a dude, the way we like sexy lingerie on our ladies? Let me hip you to a little game, in case you didn’t know: briefs and boxers are out. Trunks are in.

When I first became cognizant of trunks, it was like a foreign concept. Was this a legitimate term, or a clever, pachyderm-based play on words?

Regardless, trunks are boss. Even though they are a little “constrictive” at first, they make your bulge look big, like a young Bon Scott.

Don’t you want to accentuate your man hammer? Sure you do, and there’s nothing to feel bad about. But it isn’t just about that.

Read the rest of this entry »

  

Related Posts