How to Pretend You're a Cinematic Snob

The ShiningIt's pure laziness which prevents me from finding good gifts for friends and loved ones. But recently -- just as I was sitting here, in fact -- it hit me like a swift roundhouse kick to the frontal lobe: "Movies which I have watched and enjoyed may also be watched and enjoyed by others!" This revelation was so unexpected and out-of-the-blue that I had to get up and get a Dr. Pepper just to put things in perspective.


Now I have a plan, and you may now benefit from this divine piece of wisdom sent to me by the gods of Mount Cinema. Your family and friends will be so impressed by your movie-selecting prowess that you'll be dubbed the new family Cinema Snob! It's a fool-proof plan. If you just follow these four simple steps, you too can achieve gift-giving greatness for the upcoming holiday gauntlet that waits just beyond Halloween!


  1. 1. Identify your target's -- I mean "loved one's" -- genre preference. You'll be using this to determine which one of your favorite classics will fit them perfectly. lists movies by genre, so it should be easy to browse through if you can't remember enough favorites. (Be careful here because your sweet Aunt Maude may not enjoy The Shining as much as you did.)
  2. 2. Select a few of your favorite movies in that genre.
  3. 3. Pick one movie out of your selection that you think they would like. Then toss it. Your first instinct is almost always wrong, as I learned from the incident involving my wife and my misguided Lord of the Rings Trilogy Sunday marathon. Choose your second favorite film classic.
  4. 4. Toss that one out, too. Just buy them How the Grinch Stole Christmas. This was a terrible idea! I don't know what I was thinking. Movie taste is such a subjective thing.


I now realize that perhaps my stunning revelation was more like the desperate gasp of a few overexcited neurons coming down from my caffeine high. I wholeheartedly apologize to everyone involved. Honestly, though, I still think movies are a great gift for any occasion. The chances are if you liked a film -- and it's not too obscure -- somebody else is going to like it, too. Just make sure it's age appropriate and be sensitive about controversial topics or subject matter.


Do you have any movie recommendations that would make good gift suggestions? Keep in mind that I have absolutely no standards. It can be scary, cheesy or just plain weird, and I'll probably still like it.



Posted by Paul Sanders

Paul Sanders



Nov. 3, 2010 at 3:54 PM

Movies! I love movies! I'm the worst possible one to offer suggestions since my tastes include everything from Bring It On (obviously a CLASSIC) to Charade (also a classic, but in a different way). If I had to pick a favorite holiday movie, though, it would probably be Love Actually.

Nov. 3, 2010 at 3:55 PM

Two movies I really like in the early 90's that may or may not have aged well: "The Rocketeer" and "Dick Tracy." I used to watch those all the time when I was a kid, but I haven't watched either of them for a least a decade. Yeah, I too have discovered that not everyone enjoys Lord of the Rings marathons. Who would have thought?

Nov. 3, 2010 at 4:01 PM

I often give movies for gifts, but I think the key is finding out which movie they always seem to watch when it comes on TV or listening to a friend talk about a favorite TV show they watched when they were younger. I've bought my mom a few seasons of one of her favorite '70s sitcoms, and she loves them because she remembers watching them with her family.

Nov. 3, 2010 at 4:16 PM

If you really want to be a cinema snob, I think you just have to be prepared to have your gift not received well.

Nov. 4, 2010 at 11:47 AM

These definitely aren't gift suggestions, but speaking of Peter Jackson, having no standards, and weird, have you seen his early works, such as "Meet the Feebles" or "Dead Alive"? It's hard to believe the director of "LOTR" & "The Lovely Bones" created such disgusting, degenerate (not to mention HILARIOUS!) pieces of cult pulp in his younger years. But it speaks volumes to his artistic range. Read the synopsis of "Feebles" here:

Nov. 4, 2010 at 3:20 PM

Movies are awesome gifts--especially for new moms. Here's what you do: Step 1: Buy awesome movie (from Overstock of course) that she'll love Awesome movies include: A.) Nearly anything with Bill Murray B.) Nearly anything directed by John Hughes C.) And because she's a new mom, includes nothing bad happening to little children or baby animals Step 2: Buy popcorn maker--or if you're on a budget, at least a box of microwave popcorn. Step 3: Wrap both in any way you please (I always prefer a gift basket because you can add milk duds to a gift basket, and who doesn't want to watch a movie while having milk duds?) Step 4: Gift present to new mom and say, "I know you may be staying during these next weeks..." Any crying that recipient displays will usually be attributed to combination of extreme joy and lack of sleep--either way, she'll love you forever.

Nov. 14, 2010 at 1:51 PM

I have given movies to my kids for years--fast and easy and the gift that keeps on givings. Also, if I miss the boat, they can always exchange for something they would rather have.

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