Everyone loves a good movie, and they like to get them as gifts, too.
Not sure what to give the loved ones on your Christmas list? I offer these suggestions of recent releases on DVD or Blu-Ray (this list engages stereotypes — hey, Hollywood does it):
For Dad: “Expendables 2” — There’s no better way to spend the holidays than with a bunch of aging action stars who still think they’re in their, uh, 40s. Sylvester Stallone leads a team of mercenaries on a mission to blah, blah, blah. There’s probably some attempt at a plot, but who cares? Dad’ll just want them to blow stuff up already!
For Mom: “Beasts of the Southern Wild” — She’s probably never heard of it, but this film festival favorite is about to be mentioned a zillion times during movie awards season, so she’ll feel in the know. And the tale of a young girl who must fend for herself and her father deep in the Delta bayou will absolutely ignite her motherly instincts. Plus, it’s just a beautiful film.
For the older sister: “Magic Mike” — Tee-hee. Imagine sis’s embarrassment when she unwraps the DVD on Christmas only to find Matthew McConaughey and Channing Tatum shirtless on the cover of this male stripper movie. For bonus embarrassment, throw in a male thong. No, I don’t know where you would get one.
For the younger sister: “The Hunger Games” — Know a better way to teach a young girl empowerment than by hooking her up with Katniss Everdeen, the bravest teenage girl in movie history? Sure the film’s premise is grisly — about teens who have to fight to the death in a televised match — but the film doesn’t dwell on that. Instead, it focuses on Katniss’ strength in character and honorable motives. Girl power, indeed.
For the older brother: “The Avengers” — Seemingly every male on Earth loved the ultimate comic book movie that had Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Captain America, Black Widow and Hawkeye team up to save the world, so you probably can’t go wrong here. The Blu-Ray features hours of bonus features.
For the younger brother: “The Amazing Spider-Man” — Every young guy can relate to Peter Parker. He’s a high school loner-turned-hero who can scale walls and sit upside down on the ceiling — what guy doesn’t want to be able to do that?
For the aunt: “Hope Springs” — Auntie should enjoy this romantic comedy/drama starring Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones as a long-married couple who attend an intense counseling session to work on their relationship. Your uncle may not thank you for this, but she will.
For the uncle: “Ted” — This is perfect for that wild uncle, a movie with a crazy teddy bear who smokes cigars, swills beer and uses more profanity than all the Quentin Tarantino films combined. Just like your uncle, perhaps.
For Grandma: “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” — This charming comedy treats older people as loving humans and not helpless beings, as British retirees travel to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel. But when they discover that it’s less than luxurious, they make the best of it. Gumption!
For Grandpa: “Trouble With the Curve” — How can you go wrong with Clint Eastwood in a sports movie? Here he plays an aging baseball scout who takes his daughter (Amy Adams) along with him on one last recruiting trip. I smell nostalgia.