2014 Father’s Day Gift Guide: Entertainment

Everyone loves watching a great movie or TV series, so we’ve compiled some of our favorite releases from the past year that just about guy will enjoy. And for more gift ideas, be sure to check out the other categories in our Father’s Day gift guide.

The Wolf of Wall Street

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It’s been a while since Martin Scorsese’s last truly great film, but the director has rebounded in style with “The Wolf of Wall Street,” highlighted by Terrence Winter’s hilarious script and Leonard DiCaprio’s brilliant turn as Jordan Belfort. You’ve never seen the actor quite like this before, and he’s in top form as the notorious stockbroker, delivering what is arguably his best performance with Scorsese yet. The rest of the cast is great as well, especially Jonah Hill in another award-worthy turn, up-and-comer Margot Robbie and Matthew McConaughey in a short but memorable cameo. Loud, flashy and totally obscene, the movie is like a private tour through Belfort’s excessive, hard-partying lifestyle, including easily one of the greatest sequences of the year. (Hint: it involves a highly potent strain of Quaaludes.) Though it’s a little too long for its own good, the characters are so magnetic and the dialogue so fast and funny that “The Wolf of Wall Street” is hard not to enjoy. It’s Scorsese’s best film in years, and one that will only get better with time.

Gravity

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It’s been six years since Alfonso Cuarón’s last feature film – the criminally underrated “Children of Men” – but his outer space survival thriller was well worth the wait. “Gravity” is the kind of movie that will likely change the way films are made in the future. From the stunning, single-take opening sequence that lasts more than 12 minutes, to the numerous set pieces throughout, “Gravity” is such a technical marvel that it looks like Cuarón shot the whole damn thing in space. Though the story is ridiculously simple, not a single second of its 91-minute runtime is wasted, extracting so much suspense from the film’s terrifying setup that the brief injections of comedy (courtesy of George Clooney’s easygoing astronaut) are a welcome reprieve from the almost unrelenting intensity. Sandra Bullock delivers one of the best performances of her career as the rookie astronaut caught up in a seemingly impossible situation, but the real star of “Gravity” is Cuarón himself, and he deserves every bit of praise for creating what can only be described as pure movie magic.

Game of Thrones: The Complete Third Season

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Creators David Benioff and D.B Weiss have stated numerous times that they set Season Three as the unofficial benchmark as to whether or not the show would be a success, and it’s easy to see why, because it showcases the full complexity and richness of the universe that they inherited from George R.R. Martin. The third season expands its scope even further than the previous year, with several new characters quickly making their mark, and old ones (like Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s Jamie Lannister, one of the season’s MVPs) continuing to evolve within that moral gray area where “Game of Thrones” thrives. It also featured some of the most shocking story developments to date, perhaps none more so than Episode 9’s infamous Red Wedding, which made Ned Stark’s beheading look like child’s play in comparison and was without a doubt one of the biggest television events of last year. The audience reaction to that episode is very telling of the show’s pop cultural footprint, and when the writing and acting is this good, it’s no surprise why its popularity continues to grow.

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2014 Father’s Day Gift Guide: Gadgets

Gadgets dominate our lives, and you can always start these days with dad’s phone. If he has the latest and greatest, don’t even bother. But if he’s still tied to his lame flip phone, then of course you can go with an iPhone or a new Android phone to get him into the 21st century.

If you’re looking for something a little different, however, we’ve put together some ideas for you. And for more great suggestions, be sure to check out the other categories in our Father’s Day gift guide.

Winegard FlatWave Amped Indoor Antenna

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With cord-cutting at an all-time high, products like the Winegard FlatWave Amped are going to change the way that people consume television. This indoor HDTV antenna can pick up HD-quality channels up to 50 miles away, features dual-band reception so you won’t miss out on channels that other UHF-only antennas do, and prevents pixelation and dropouts using an ultra-low noise (1dB) amplifier. It’s lightweight and razor-thin (about the width of a plastic placemat) and can lay flat on a surface or hang on the wall or window for the best reception. Better yet, since the antenna is powered through the USB port on your TV, it only consumes power when the television is turned on. It sounds too good to be true, but within minutes of connecting the FlatWave Amped, we had 25 channels to choose from, including all of the major networks. This thing really works, and at a fraction of the cost of your annual cable bill.

Phosphor Touch Time Watch

Smartwatches are all the rage these days, but don’t let the Phosphor Touch Time digital watch fool you, because its lack of interconnectivity prevents it from competing with the more advanced models. Nevertheless, the Touch Time is still a major step up from your typical wristwatch thanks to some cool features, including a touch interface that’s incredibly easy to use, five different time displays, and custom language settings for English, French, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish and German. Some of the included apps feel a bit useless on such a small screen – particularly the calendar mode – but the time zone display is incredibly useful, astronomy geeks will love the lunar moon function, and the old-school calculator is a nice touch. One of the best things about the Touch Time is that you never have to sync or charge it because it’s powered by a replaceable battery (with up to a one-year life span), while the ability to upgrade from a silicone band to a stainless steel bracelet means that you can wear the same watch to work and the gym without anyone being the wiser.

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Cobra AirWave 360

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There are a lot of portable speakers to choose from these days, but many of them are impossible to use in the car due to their shape or size. The Cobra AirWave 360, on the other hand, is practically built for that purpose – a portable, 8-inch speaker that’s been smartly designed to look like a coffee tumbler and will fit into just about any vehicle or bicycle cup holder. You could even argue that it deters potential thieves, since no one is going to steal your mug, unless they’re really big jerks. For as functional as its design may be, however, the AirWave 360 also delivers 360-degree surround sound and features an integrated, noise-cancelling microphone that works with Siri and S Voice. There’s even a cool Gesture Control feature that enables you to pause music and answer incoming calls by simply waving your hand over the top of the speaker, and although that may not technically be considered hands-free, it’s a lot safer than the alternative.

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2014 Father’s Day Gift Guide: Gear

Here’s a grab bag of Father’s Day gift ideas geared towards looking good, from belts and sunglasses, to accessories for your favorite gadgets. And for more great suggestions, be sure to check out the other categories in our annual gift guide.

Mission Belt Co.

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We’re always searching for the latest fashion accessories, and we love the way that Mission Belt Co. has completely revolutionized how a belt should be worn. Instead of the classic design – comprised of a belt buckle and hole-punched strap – Mission belts don’t have any holes at all. They use a ratchet system that makes putting the belt on and taking it off much faster and easier, all while providing a more perfect fit. And because you’re not constantly pulling the belt tongue in and out of holes, or rubbing the metal buckle against the band, you don’t have to worry about the wear and tear that occurs on a typical leather belt. Each Mission belt is also made of high-quality leather and can easily be trimmed down should you need to shorten it after losing some weight. In fact, they’re so durable that the only reason you’ll need to buy more than one is because you want a different look, and with over 50 belt and buckle color combinations available, every guy is going to want at least a few of these in their closet. Heck, Mission Belt Co. knows that better than anyone, which is why they’ve created variety three-packs specifically designed for Father’s Day gift giving.

Element Case Ducati Line

It’s really hard to find great accessories for mobile devices – ones that are practical, durable and stylish enough that you’re not embarrassed to carry it around in public – but Element Case has teamed up with the makers of Ducati motorcycles to create a line of cases and covers that any guy would love. In addition to the popular Rogue and ION 5 models, which feature backplates made of carbon fiber, iPhone 5/5s users can pick up the sleek and chic Solace, the slimmest in the Ducati line with CNC-machined, aircraft-grade aluminum end-caps and a shock-absorbing polycarbonate chassis with a soft-touch finish. It’s hands-down the best iPhone case we’ve ever used – solid without being bulky. And for those that need to protect their iPad on the go, look no further than the Soft-Tec Folio. The outer Tech-Grip material has a non-slip synthetic coating to ensure a firm grip and enhanced ergonomics, while the inside is lined with plush synthetic suede that protects the screen. Though it doesn’t look quite as high-end as the Solace, the Soft-Tec Folio features the same excellent craftsmanship and stylish design of the entire Element/Ducati line. It’s just a shame that more cross-brand partnerships aren’t this awesome.

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Shwood Louisville Slugger Sunglasses

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Wooden eyeglass frames have been slowly coming back into fashion over the last few years, but the guys at Shwood have taken the fad to the next level by teaming up with Louisville Slugger to produce sunglasses using the reclaimed ash wood from Slugger Ashwood baseball bats. Available in two different styles – the Canby and the Haystack – the frames are made in the United States (Portland, Oregon to be exact), with wood manipulation kept to a minimum in order to showcase the medium’s natural and unique splendor. These sunglasses positively ooze the spirit of America’s favorite pastime, from the two-tone, black and white tips reminiscent of Slugger’s iconic paint-dipped bats, to the leather carrying case that smells like your childhood baseball mitt. Both frames are offered as part of the Shwood Original and Select collections, with Original models packaged with a branded wool pouch and custom trading card, while the Select kit includes a matching, limited edition bat, leather travel case and more. Can you think of a better gift for the sport-loving father in your life than this?

Altitude Pro Boot from Hi-Tec

This waterproof boot is very comfortable and has a rugged yet modern style that most guys will like in a hiking boot. It features an abrasion resistant heel and toecap that protects against rough terrains, and it also has a Vibram rubber outsole that delivers great traction. We were impressed with the comfort and traction, so they make the perfect gift for the active person, or for someone looking for an excuse to become more active! Give the boots and also schedule a hiking trip with dad – now that’s a cool gift.

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Alara Shirts and Ties

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You’ll find tons of great gift ideas at AlaraShirt.com from their selection of shirts and ties. They offer a wide variety of shirt styles in slim fits and standard cuts as well. Keep that in mind when ordering for dad. We tried two slim-fit shirts that looked great on the website – the lavender grid slim fit shirt and the navy/white pencil stripe slim fit shirt and were very happy with both. The colors are very vibrant and the shirts were very well constructed and fit perfectly. The shirts are made with two-ply Egyptian cotton with meticulous craftsmanship, including 18 fine stitches per inch ensuring durability, adjustable mittered barrel cuffs, ultra flexible removable collar stays, side gussets for style and strength and Alara’s exclusive unbreakable mother of pearl blend buttons. The tie selection is also impressive, and the prices are very reasonable for the quality. With each item, you also get Alara’s 15-day, no hassle free return policy. So check them out and you’ll probably want some for yourself as well.

Duke Cannon Supply Co. Gift Sets

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Looking for something that meets the high standards of hard working men who want to get clean without drowning their manhood in shower gels? Duke Cannon Supply Co. makes shopping for dad easy with the launch of four pre-packaged men’s grooming gift sets inspired by famous TV fathers like Walter White, Cliff Huxtable, Phillip Drummond and Ned Stark (yes, it includes “Big Ass” bricks of soap and a hatchet). Available at four different price tiers, each set contains a selection of Duke Cannon’s best-selling grooming products along with a free gift. And if you’re not interested in the famous TV dad sets, they have plenty more available, including a limited edition U.S. military field box set that includes Big Ass bricks of soap that smell like “Victory,” “Accomplishment,” “Productivity” and “Naval Supremacy.”

The Wallet Shoppe

If dad can use a new wallet, check out the wide selection at The Wallet Shoppe. The selection is huge and you can find everything from classic wallets for dad to trendy wallets for that brother who still wants to feel young even though he’s juggling three kids. Some may like the idea of a wallet that more like a money clip, and we tried out the 6-card wallet by Dosh pictured below. This wallet is is great for the person on the go and it’s unlike most traditional wallets. Dosh offers a unique designs that is moulded in TPU – a durable, water-resistant polymer material that feels rich and soft. The money clip is crafted from high grade stainless steel and is located on the spine to ensure easy access and organization.
 Browse the site and you’ll find more great options.

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2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Booze

Walk into any liquor store and you’ll see hundreds of options. You can zero in on someone’s favorite drink when picking a gift, or you can get creative and choose something they wouldn’t buy for themselves. Also, remember that you don’t want to come to a party empty-handed, so get in the habit of at least bringing a bottle.

And for more gift ideas, check out the other categories in our Holiday Gift Guide.

Craft Beer Club

If you have a beer lover on your list, you can give him or her the gift that keeps on giving. The Craft Beer Club discovers exceptional craft brews from around the country and delivers them each month direct to you or your gift recipient. Every selection is produced by small-production, independent brewers who use only traditional brewing ingredients and time-honored brewing methods. In addition to traditional bottled beers, they also embrace the hundreds of small craft brewers around the country that offer their hand-crafted beers in cans. It’s a great way to enjoy craft beers and it’s ideal for the holiday season.

Laphroaig 10 Year Old Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky

If dad, your buddy, your tomboyish gal pal or anyone else on your holiday list loves a very good bottle of Scotch, then consider this rather dandy, unusually enjoyable single malt. Outstanding on the rocks, with a splash of water or soda, or neat for you purists, the Laphroaig 10 Year Old is also more mixable than you might assume; on the other hand, it’s good enough that many will consider even the finest cocktail made with it a crime against nature. The website tells us that it’s got traces of salt and seaweed along with the usual peat and smoke flavors, but we don’t completely agree. It’s definitely got smoke – indeed, you might get hungry for barbecue after you take a good whiff and, yeah, that’s some salt in there, but that’s not all. Every good Scotch has its share of several indescribable tastes and smells of nature. We haven’t been to Scotland, but we wouldn’t be one bit surprised to find ourselves tasting the essence of this concoction in the clear cool air of the highlands. Cheaper than super-duper premium single malts but nearly double what you’ll likely pay for Chivas Regal, this is an outstanding gift for a true blue Scotch enthusiast.

Brugal 1888 Dominican Rum

If you’re in search of a bottle for the man or woman who’s drunk everything, Brugal 1888 is something genuinely new under the sun and it’s completely remarkable. An aged Dominican rum that thinks it’s a premium Scotch or Bourbon, it has the tantalizing, woody and astringent flavor you might get in very a high-end single malt, plus a hint of something that somehow reminds us of our dad’s old fake-leather chair. (That’s a good thing, believe it or not.) At the exact same time, it has a boldly sugary undertone that goes well beyond what you’re likely to find in the sweetest bourbon. We tasted more than a hint of maple syrup or maybe turbinado. Regardless, it’s delicious and probably not like anything you’ve had before. You can drink this on the rocks, with a bit of water, or neat. You can also put on your mixologist hat and go to town as this is a flexible beverage that won’t be out of place in an Old Fashioned, especially if you use real maple syrup in place of the usual sugar or simple syrup. High priced for rum but worth every gosh darn penny, this is one boozy gift that won’t be forgotten.

Cabo Diablo

This is the best new spirit we’ve tried in a long time. Cabo Wabo is known now just as much for its excellent tequilas as it is for its founder Sammy Hagar, and this new Cabo Diablo should attract many more fans. Cabo Diablo features a delicious coffee flavor and tastes amazing when you drink it straight. It’s sweet, but not too sweet, and it’s not think and syrupy like some liqueurs. So it’s a fantastic sipping drink that men and women should both enjoy. But better yet, it’s a tequila, so it’s also a great way to get a party going, as tequila makes everyone a little nuts at times. It is made with 100% blue agave Cabo Wabo Silver tequila, then kicks in notes of fresh roasted coffee, vanilla and chocolate for a striking combination. It’s excellent served chilled or on the rocks. With the holidays around the corner, this makes for a great gift for men and women, and it’s a great bottle to bring to a gathering to get the party started!

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Adidas unveils “BIG Logo” uniforms

If you’re looking for cool NBA-themed gifts for the holidays or some new gear for yourself, check out these new “BIG Logo” uniforms unveiled by adidas and the NBA that will be worn by all 10 teams playing on the Christmas Day games. The “BIG Logo” Holiday Collection incorporates short-sleeve jerseys featuring oversized team logos in a reflective chrome color scheme on the chest as well as holiday-inspired warm-up jackets and shooting shirts and are available for purchase NBAStore.com. I suspect plenty of NBA fans would love to get this as a gift and then see players wearing them on Christmas day so this looks like a great promotional idea.

Check out the slideshow above as Derrick Rose, Dwight Howard, Harrison Barnes and Iman Shumpert show off the new jerseys. Also, keep an eye out for the new TV spot below showcasing the new uniforms.

Here’s the NBA game schedule on ESPN and ABC channels:

12 p.m. – Chicago Bulls at Brooklyn Nets
2:30 p.m. – Oklahoma City Thunder at New York Knicks
5 p.m. – Miami Heat at Los Angeles Lakers
8 p.m. – Houston Rockets at San Antonio Spurs
10:30 p.m. – L.A. Clippers at Golden State Warriors

  

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