The Turner Classic Movies Holiday Gift Guide

The following article was written by Ultimate Rabbit correspondent, Tony Farinella.

If you are like me and love classic movies, there is one channel and company which stands out: Turner Classic Movies.  In our house, this channel is on a lot!  There is always an older film that has slipped under my radar and deserves my time and attention.

With the holidays fast approaching, now is the time to take advantage of some of the great products that are provided by Turner Classic Movies for the movie lover in your life.  They will thank you time and time again for these thoughtful and exciting gifts.

The first place you need to start is by visiting shop.tcm.com/gift. While there, you will find a variety of gifts which are suited for just about anyone in your family that loves all things classic movies. Choose from a variety of movies under $10 or pick up one of the many great books filled with tons of trivia. If you are looking for the perfect holiday movie, TCM has them in stock as well. There are also TCM exclusives such as shirts, hats and even a mug. With so many amazing options, I wanted to highlight a few of them TCM sent me to share with you all.

TCM Coffee Mugs

Do you love coffee, or are you more of a tea or hot chocolate fan? If so, this TCM Coffee Mug is perfect for you! This is the same mug you see your favorite hosts use in the TCM Studio. This 11oz. drinkware comes in either a black or white design and features the Turner Classic Movies logo on it. Drinking from this ceramic mug will remind you of all the great classic movies you can get lost in after a long day of work.

Black Mug ($25.95): https://shop.tcm.com/tcm-studio-mug-black/762184841106

White Mug ($18.95): https://shop.tcm.com/tcm-studio-mug-white/762184841205

“Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir” (Revised and Expanded Edition) by Eddie Muller

One of my favorite genres of film is film noir, especially in beautiful black and white.  There are so many great film noirs out there to look through and read about in this fantastic book.  One of the films you can learn more about is “Rear Window,” the classic Hitchcock film.  Other films discussed by this talented author include “Naked Alibi,” “Laura” and “Sudden Fear” to name a few. This is a 264-page book filled with phenomenal images and tremendous writing. I couldn’t put it down once I started reading it. This is just one of many great books they have to offer on their website. Also included is a great book on the cinematic classic, “West Side Story.”

Grab your copy of Dark City here: https://shop.tcm.com/dark-city/9780762498970 ($22.95)

Sip and Watch with TCM’s Wine Club

Now, even though I’m straight edge and don’t drink, I’ve heard wonderful things about the wines produced by TCM. They pair nicely with a classic film!  You can also drink your TCM Wine while enjoying one of their many amazing books. The TCM Wine Club ships out limited-production wines from around the world. You will receive your shipment quarterly. The bottles feature artwork and images from some of your favorite films and actors.  As a special introductory offer, you can save up to $160 on your very first collection. Choose between red or white wines or even a combination of both. As a special welcome, you will also receive 3 bonus classic movie wines. This is a wine lover’s dream!

TCM provided me with the Elvis wine, which my dad is absolutely going to love, as he’s a huge fan of the King!

If you’re interested in joining the TCM Wine Club or want to purchase this for a friend, check out the wine club here: http://tcmwineclub.com/holiday ($79.99 plus $19.99 shipping & tax)

I hope this TCM Holiday Gift Guide has made your holiday shopping a little bit easier!  Act fast as the holidays are quickly approaching, and you want to make sure to get your order shipped and delivered in time.  This is a great way to show the movie fan in your life how much you care about them in a variety of ways. Happy Holidays and keep watching a lot of classic movies on TCM!

‘Reminiscence’ Movie and Blu-ray Review

The following review was written by Ultimate Rabbit correspondent, Tony Farinella.

Reminiscence” is one of the most underrated and overlooked films of 2021.  From start to finish, I was riveted by the acting, the action, and the many twists and turns throughout.  It is a film which keeps its audience on its toes and keeps them guessing.  There is a lot to like here.  It’s a bit baffling to me to read how the film did poorly at the box office and with critics.  I do have a strong feeling this is the type of film which is going to gain a cult audience with time and now that it’s out on Blu-Ray.  I really think people underestimated it.  That is the beauty of home video: A film can live on and grow with time.

Hugh Jackman stars as Nick Bannister, a lonely and troubled man after the war. He runs a business which allows people to relive some of their favorite memories and moments from their lives.  If they were happier in the past, they can go in this water tank and relive that memory.  It is very comforting for a lot of people, especially if they have lost someone close to them. His partner in business is named Watts, and she’s played by the talented actress Thandiwe Newton. She was with Nick in the war, and they have remained close friends. She has a drinking problem that has ruined her relationship with her daughter and her ex-husband. She is still very loyal to Nick and credits him with giving her a purpose.

One day, a young woman by the name of Mae (Rebecca Ferguson) comes to relive a memory of how she lost her keys.  Watts thinks something is fishy about this, but Nick is quite taken with her.  As a matter of fact, they strike up a relationship which turns out to be quite passionate.  It makes it that much harder for Nick when she disappears out of his life for seemingly no rhyme or reason.  He really thought she was the one, and he had strong feelings for her.  With his memory tank and resources, he goes on a mission to find out what happened to Mae and where she might be in an attempt to save her.

“Reminiscence” has been described as part science fiction and part film noir. Film noir has always been one of my favorite genres in Hollywood.  It’s not used as often these days, but it was quite popular back in the golden days of Hollywood with actors such as Humphrey Bogart, Orson Welles and Burt Lancaster.  The fact writer and director Lisa Joy blended this genre with science fiction is a really bold move. Off the top of my head, I can’t remember too many times this has been done recently in Hollywood.  It works perfectly here, especially with Jackman’s narration. It really adds to the film’s mysterious underbelly. As far as the science fiction, they did it just enough to make it believable without going too over-the-top with the concept.

To quote the legendary wrestler Roddy Piper, “Just when you think you know the answers, I change the questions.” That is exactly what is happening with “Reminiscence.”  I thought I had this film figured out two or three times, and the filmmakers kept surprising me with where they went with the story. Jackman is great in everything he does, but his friendship in the film with Newton is what really gives the film its heart and soul.  Ferguson is also pitch-perfect as the femme fatale, as you really don’t know what’s going on with her and if you should trust her.  Is she the woman she claims to be? Is she a seedy film noir character with bad intentions? I thought the casting in this film was spot-on in all avenues.

I really loved “Reminiscence.” It’s creative, fun, heartfelt, surprising, and different.  Hollywood is known for doing a lot of the same movies over and over again.  I haven’t seen a film even close to this one in quite some time.  It really captivated me, and most of all, I cared about the characters and their individual fates. This is a film I’m proud to champion and encourage people to see now that it’s out on Blu-Ray and DVD.  I have a strong feeling you will be surprised by it.  I know I was, and I’m a tough critic because I see so many movies.  This is a special film. I also really enjoyed the atmospheric world created by the director as well. All of the pieces were lining up with this flick.

* * * ½ out of * * * *

Blu-Ray Info: “Reminiscence” is rated PG-13 for strong violence, drug material throughout, sexual content and some strong language.  It comes on a single-disc Blu-ray from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment.  It also has a digital copy of the film as well.

Video/Audio Info: The film is released on 1080p high definition with audio in Dolby Atmos-True HD: English, Dolby Digital: English Descriptive Audio, and English, Spanish and French. Subtitles are included in English, French and Spanish as well.

Special Features:

You’re Going on a Journey

The Sunken Coast

Crafting a Memory

Reminiscence: A Family Reunion

“Save My Love” Music Video

Should You Buy It?

One of my favorite filmmakers is Richard Linklater, and while I’m not comparing Lisa Joy to him, I did enjoy the way she used time and memory as such a pivotal part of the story.  Much like in Linklater’s films, time and memory plays such a big part in what is happening here. It’s a character in the film.  As someone who often thinks about the past and is big on nostalgia, this film really struck a chord with me.  How much is thinking about the past a good thing? When does it become a bad thing? Are we stuck in the past? Did we learn from the past? There is a lot to chew on with this film. The performances are committed and powerful, especially Jackman’s.  He always brings such an intensity to all of his roles. If you are still a hardcore physical media collector like myself, you will be very pleased to add “Reminiscence” to your collection.  As I mentioned earlier, it’s one of the great surprises of 2021.

**Disclaimer** I received a Blu-ray copy of this film from Warner Brothers to review for free.  The opinions and statements in the review are mine and mine alone.