Ah yes, time now for our favorite tradition here at RROY REPORT HQ, a tradition that dates back to the dawn of holidays. You may not be aware, but it was my ancestor, Rhameses Roy, who suggested gold, frankincense and myrrh in the very first RROY REPORT Holiday Gift Guide.
Let’s see what’s hot for 2014.
I haven’t owned a video-game system since the Sega Genesis (ask your grandparents) and I don’t really want the Disney Infinity system. But I really do like the little action figures that you use to play the game with. A set of Avengers figures would look really nice on someone’s fireplace mantle. Or more likely in the basement office.
This year’s must-have movie releases would be “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past” (I suppose if you’re a completist you’d also want “The Amazing Spider-Man 2″). Cap and X-Men are currently available, “Guardians” goes on sale Dec. 9.
But of course the big-ticket item in home video this year is the long-awaited, finally-released “Batman” television series from the 1960s. It’s taken almost a half-decade to get all the legal rights entanglements (long story, look it up elsewhere) cleared up.
It’s also taken that long for nerd culture to finally come around to accepting that comedy Batman was actually pretty cool. Nerds long hated the Adam West version for making Batman look silly when we all know that a guy who dresses like a bat to fight crime is something that should be taken very, very seriously. Fortunately, Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan cleared that up so now we can enjoy the campy fun of “Batman ’66,” as it’s now called.
And seriously, there’s never been a better rogues gallery on film than Frank Gorshin, Burgess Meredith, Julie Newmar and Cesar Romero. I coulda done without Louie the Lilac.
There were three seasons which you could buy individually but why would you do that when you can get the whole thing in one deluxe package with cool extras? Different stores have different packages, so shop around.
2014 turned out to be a pretty good year for music by artists I like. If you didn’t grab U2’s “Songs of Innocence” when they were offering it for free online then have someone give it to you. Either way you’re not paying for it. I’d pretty much given up on U2 in recent years, especially after the lackluster “No Line On The Horizon,” but “Songs of Innocence” is a real return to form. It’s their best album since “Pop,” and that was back in 1997. Highlights include “Song for Someone” and “Every Breaking Wave” but there’s really not a clunker on this disc.
Report favorite John Hiatt released “Terms of My Surrender” back in July and I only found out about it recently. Hiatt needs a better publicist. Anyway, while not one of his strongest albums it’s still Hiatt, so it’s pretty good. More bluesy than the typical Hiatt release. Worth owning for “Baby’s Gonna Kick” if nothing else.
“Brill Bruisers” is the latest by The New Pornographers. I haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet but it’s the NP, so I’m confident it will be good. Bruce Springsteen’s “High Hopes” came out in January and would probably be appreciated by any fan of The Boss — assuming they don’t already have it. It’s an eclectic mix of covers and remakes and out-takes. I’m not that crazy about it but it has its moments.
Don’t you hate it when you get up in the morning and you want your coffee and you reach into the cabinet and there’s your Spider-Man mug and your HULK mug and your Billy Joel mug and your Who mug but what you really want to drink your coffee out of is a Hawkeye mug — but there are no Hawkeye mugs.
And don’t you hate it when your friend is getting married and you’d like to get them a nice set of Hawkeye glassware, but there is none? And heaven forbid if you’d like a Hawkeye cap or messenger bag or luggage tag or iPod case or lamp.
Go to marvel.com and click ‘shop’ then click ‘personalize.’ From there you can pick from any of a number of characters — including Hawkeye — and then you can pick from a number of images and stick them on a number of items ranging from T-shirts to dart boards to playing cards to pillows. It’s pretty awesome.
Or you can head over to cafepress.com and pick up the Hawkeye mug pictured up top, as well as numerous other items like a Hawkeye wallet or shower curtain (Don’t send me a Hawkeye shower curtain. It would never make it into our bathroom). And don’t forget welovefine.com which has a nifty selection of Clint Barton and Avengers merchandise, including the Hawkeye polo shirt and this neat Avengers holiday sweater which would be really awesome if it were actually available as a sweater and not as a t-shirt or hoodie.
I just discovered this in my research. The Hawkeye Christmas Tie (also available in other Avengers). The perfect apparel for your holiday Christmas party. They also offer Avengers Christmas mugs and t-shirts. All available from the good people at cafepress.com