Friday, December 24, 2010

Movie Thingamajigs. Put That In Your Stocking

year in review - part 4 of several

Are you ever stumped as to what to put in your loved ones Christmas stockings? Here are some ideas culled from this year's movies. Gadgets, random junk or magical objects that lingered after the credits rolled. (If you don't have time to use these ideas for Christmas, there's always birthdays.)

Let them inspire gift giving!
  • Tiny things are wonderful. How about some Tiny Furniture? You can easily slip a miniature chair, bed or bookshelf into a stocking and it's weird, funny, and could even be significant if it recalls some memory with that loved one.  
  • Remember at the beginning of 127 Hours when he reaches for his fancy swiss army knife thingie in the cupboard and can't reach it? That's important later in the movie but it's not as important as they make it out to be; even with a good pocketknife, he'd still have to cut off his arm! But everyone needs a good pocket knife, don't they? Or so you hear when you're young. I haven't really needed one yet but maybe if I fell into a cave I would.
  • If you need a practical cheap gift, everyone needs razors. But please leave them in their packaging and don't try to deliver by hand or mouth.
A Prophet
  • Speaking of sharp unpleasantries... if one of your friends is obsessed with Black Swan (it happens) slip a file sharpener or a tube of lipstick into their stocking with a note. "Sorry I stole your things!". Better yet find a broken ballerina figurine.
  • Alexa already beat me to those Inception totems but you know some movie geek is going to be thrilled to find that in the stocking.
  • Remember that hilarious dinner sequence in Please Give when the teenage daughter Abby (Sarah Steele) refuses to show her face because of a pimple? Gift certificates for facials are a luxury that some people would never buy for themselves. A pre-paid spa treatment doesn't necessarily imply that your loved one has terrible skin. But don't go for the acid peel though because ouch that red blistery face did not look good on her.
  • If all of these gifts sound too extreme, I'm sure there's a ton of "minion" merchandise from Despicable Me -- though they seem overpriced to me for something only 6" high-- or any of the new toys from Toy Story 3 that would be so cute in a stocking. My favorite new toy was Dolly. Despite Ken's protestations, there's no shame in girl toys.
  • One gift I would advise against giving is an unpublished manuscript. If you've seen You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger or The Ghost Writer or even Rabbit Hole you'll understand; they cause so much trouble.
  • But speaking of Rabbit Hole, how about a homemade comic book? That's where the movie Rabbit Hole gets its name and as Nicole Kidman turns its pages, you get the sense that she's never read one before and that it's opening up whole new world(s) to her. Homemade items are awesome to receive for Christmas, birthdays, or for no obvious reason at all...

True story: One Christmas I made my nephews and niece a comic book starring them as superheroes.  It was a crude quickly drawn thing (I made it in 2 days, racing against the clock) but it was personal, with lines of dialogue inspired by the way they talked and powers that reflected their own kid personalities and interests at the time. It was messily assembled and crazy but somehow to them it was pure magic. They read it incessantly for months.

  • If you're handy on the sewing machine or with a needle and thread you could gift your sluttiest friend their very own Easy A patch to accessorize their school uniform looks. [Emma Stone's charisma not included. Sold separately by way of movie ticket or DVD purchase.]

  • Or an eyepatch ala True Grit.
  • I was about to make a joke about Never Let Me Go but decided it was in extremely poor taste. So, let's go serious instead: The best gift you can give a complete stranger is to register as an organ donor. Trust that you won't need those vital organs when you're dead. But plenty of living suffering people sure need them.

Let's end with two less practical gifts that we gazed glassy-eyed at in the movie theaters. One of them is even small enough to be a stocking stuffer. Both are difficult to procure but their rewards are great.

  • If you were to receive the "Sands of Time", encased in a lovely ornate dagger, what would you use it for? I would probably go far back enough in time to pick a different movie to see that day. And if you gave it to Jake Gyllenhaal, wouldn't he probably steal back some of those months of hard in the gym since they only gave him like 8-10 seconds of shirtlessness in the movie? What would you use it for? It seems like a handy priceless gift and more mobile than a Hot Tub Time Machine.
  • Finally, there's the "Sword of Self Respect" from Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. But that one you have to earn; it's a gift you give yourself.
Which items from the movies did you dream of after the movies were gone?

HAPPY HOLIDAYS to all Film Experience readers
drive safe, be merry, enjoy your wee break from the daily grind.


AnthonyDC said...

"Husbands and Wives," Woody's best missing manuscript movie.

Anonymous said...

Trust me when I say that Sands of Time idea is a bust. It will only cause your friends to hate you for reminding them they aren't getting Gyllenhaal's other dagger for Christmas. ;-)

Mierzwiak said...

My is big: I want maquette from Beetle Juice : )


badmofo -- that is naughty not nice. santa is watching. you're living dangerously.

anthonydc -- amen.

Dean said...

I'd like an original work of Banksy or even Mr. Brainwash from Exit Through the Gift Shop so that I and others could debate whether it is really even art (and isn't that the point anyway?)

Great, fun article. Happy Holidays!

The Hated One said...

Well I wanna be naughty too like badmofo and ask for Gyllenhaal's boner in Love & Other Drugs to stock my stocking

James T said...

Merry Christmas to all (and all the simlilar wishes for non-Christians/athesists) and especially to the contributors of the most makes-me-happy site I've encountered yet.

Ryan said...

Hmmm, gift ideas, eh… how bout:

* Aggeliki Papoulia’s incisor from DOGTOOTH
* Michael Fassbender’s camcorder from FISH TANK
* Edoardo Gabbriellini's kitchen torch from I AM LOVE
* the shields & swords from HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON
* Natalie Portman’s weathered ballerina slippers from BLACK SWAN
* Jake Gyllenhaal’s underwear from LOVE & OTHER DRUGS

- although i'd want that last one for my own stocking

I'm so loving these countdowns, Nathaniel! Happy Holidays! :)

Yong said...

I would love to get my hands on some of Woody Allen's missing manuscripts or Scott Pilgrim's sword.


Yong -- the missing manuscripts have to be better than some of his recent screenplays.