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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2014 Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

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The type of gift you give will naturally be determined by the type of relationship you have, but in every case, it’s important to put some thought into it. Paying attention to the little things will go a long way as well. A gift that’s very personal to her will make a bigger impression than the price tag on the gift. That said, you can’t go wrong with brand-name gifts that will make her friends jealous. Here are some ideas to get you started.

The Bouqs Co. Flowers

Buying flowers can be a horrible experience, which is probably why a lot of guys don’t even bother. But what if there was a company that not only guaranteed fresher flowers at a reasonable price, but did so in style? That’s the basic concept behind The Bouqs Co., which cuts its flowers (from the side of an Ecuadorian volcano, naturally) on the day you order and delivers them within two to four days. Fed by pure volcanic snow melt and mineral-rich, pH-balanced soil, the flowers are brighter and can be enjoyed longer compared to other online floral companies. Better yet, it costs a flat $40 for a bouquet with shipping, and there are no annoying up-sells like cheap candy and stuffed teddy bears. Additionally, The Bouqs Co. farms practice sustainable, eco-friendly farming, only cutting what they sell, and offer its workers competitive living wages and services like on-site childcare and healthcare, and adult education. It’s win-win, so you no longer have a reason not to get your special lady the flowers she desperately wants.

Blendtec Designer Series Blender

A kitchen appliance may not be the most romantic gift on Valentine’s Day, but trust us when we say that your wife or girlfriend will absolutely love the Blendtec Designer Series Blender, especially because it means you can focus more on each other instead of food prep. While many people are content with filling up their kitchen cabinets with gadgets that only serve a specific purpose, the Blendtec Blender is effectively 12 appliances in one, including a coffee grinder, food processor, hand mixer, ice crusher, ice cream maker, whole juicer, meat grinder and immersion blender. Featuring a powerful 1560-watt, 3-peak horsepower motor, this thing is an absolute beast, blending just about anything you throw at it… and up to five times faster than its competitors. (Don’t believe us? Check out the company’s series of Will It Blend? videos on YouTube.) It’s also incredibly easy to operate, with six preprogrammed blending cycles and a touch control manual-speed slider. Though the Blendtec is a little bit on the pricey side, when you consider how many different machines you’d have to buy to replicate its various uses, it more than pays for itself.

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2013 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 on the image next to each item to purchase it online, and for more gift ideas, check out the other categories in our Holiday Gift Guide.

Leather Moto Jacket

Shopping can sometimes be a drag, but it’s definitely fun browsing the Victoria’s Secret site! Of course, you can always go with some sexy lingerie, but this Leather Moto Jacket caught our attention, and it’s something that she won’t expect. This jacket is edgy and stylish, particularly in black. The message with this gift is pretty clear: let’s go out and have some fun! She’ll love the gift and the attitude that comes from wearing it. The Leather Moto is also available in more women-friendly colors like red, pink and cabernet, but we’re partial to the black one, which is accented by gold buckles and zippers.

Tiffany Moderne Ring

Anything in the lovely blue box from Tiffany will get her excited, and you don’t have to break the bank to find something amazing here. This beautiful sterling silver ring jumped out as a great gift idea. Its geometric and ultra-modern design will give her something elegant and unique to show off when she goes out with her jealous girlfriends.

Coach Handbags

The holidays are not the time to question why women spend so much on shoes and handbags. If you’re going to pick a handbag, you might want to do some digging and ask her friends what she’ll like. But it’s hard to go wrong with Coach, and if your budget is flexible, you can find something she’ll cherish for years. This Borough Bag in pebbled leather jumped out as a simple, chic and sophisticated bag that most women with a sense of style will love.

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