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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Classic Christmas Gifts: DVDs

    With the holidays quickly approaching and shopping time rapidly narrowing down, it might be helpful to step away from what is currently happening on the big screen, and take a look at the newest releases on DVD. Buying someone their favorite movie is both a personal and thoughtful present to show that special someone that you do, in fact, pay attention. Better yet, even recent releases will not burn a hole in your pocket.

    Starting with that younger sibling or cousin, Disney’s Cars made its debut in a widescreen edition on November 7. This Pixar classic, featuring the voice talents of Owen Wilson, Bonnie Hunt, Paul Newman and comedian Larry the Cable Guy, is assured to put a smile on any child’s face. With a little something for everyone, Cars tells the story of a up-and-coming young racecar who must learn, with the help of a crazy cast of automobile characters, that there is more to life than winning races to really be considered a winner.

    Also for younger audiences is Barnyard: The Original Party Animals, a computer-animated Nickelodeon comedy that will appear on DVD December 12. With a cast that includes comedians Kevin James and Wanda Sykes, as well as veteran actor Danny Glover, this movie offers a unique twist on what really goes on at the farm after the unsuspecting humans are asleep. A simple but humorous plot puts Otis the cow (Kevin James), who was only ever thought of as the life of the party, in charge of the farm. Suddenly, it is his responsibility to keep the human tendencies of the animals a well-kept secret and find the courage to become a leader.

    Bridging the gap between children and adults, and suitable for the literature buffs on your list is The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, a magical tale based on the best-selling novel series by C. S. Lewis. This film is perfect as a winterland fantasy, telling the story of a sibling band traveling through the mythical land they discover at the back of a wardrobe kept in the house of a mysterious professor. Together and along with talking beasts, dwarfs and centaurs, they help free the peaceful nation from the grips of an evil ice queen.

    Also appropriate for all ages is the sequel Pirates of the Caribbean: Deadman’s Chest, coming to DVD December 5, to launch another Johnny Depp frenzy. This movie is exciting, filled with laughs and thrills, but take heed when making this purchase as a gift – the person you are buying this film for should be a fan of the original movie, and in favor of the making of a second and third film. The ending is very open ended – making room for a third installment – and may make viewers who are unfamiliar with Disney’s ultimate goal to create an adventurous trilogy annoyed at such an inconclusive plot.

    Also for the adventurous is Superman Returns, already available for purchase as a two-disc Special Edition and the Ultimate Collector’s Edition. Fans of the earlier movies with Christopher Reeves will be pleased with the performance of Brandon Routh, who is almost a spitting image with a similar acting style. Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane, however, is slightly less satisfactory, but does not subtract from the movie’s overall excitement and romance.

    For some holiday silliness, look for Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, available December 12. This latest Will Ferrell flick, also featuring Academy Award-winning John C. Riley, and Borat star Sasha Baron Cohen, does not disappoint as amusing and quotable, though still not up to the comedic caliber of Ferrell’s Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. Despite this, it seems the ideal choice for a fellow college student.

    With these suggestions in mind, shopping for the people in your life should be made slightly easier with some movie magic. Still don’t like what you see here? Know that the cinema experience, or maybe just the popcorn, is worth more to a certain someone than owning a DVD. Lowes and United Artist Theaters offer gift cards for tickets and snacks.

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