Christmastime is here ... again?
Three months before holiday, items hitting the stores
By Todd Leopold
Major October releases include "Dressing a Galaxy" ...
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(CNN) -- This Saturday, Abrams is releasing a gorgeous coffee-table book, "Dressing a Galaxy: The Costumes of 'Star Wars.' "
The same day, the publisher is putting out a brick of a book, complete with CD-ROM, called "Creating the Worlds of 'Star Wars': 365 Days."
Keep in mind that these are the types of books that are usually bought for gifts (the first is $50; the second $29.95) and that "Revenge of the Sith" isn't due on DVD until November 1.
It can mean only one thing: Get ready for the holiday shopping and awards season.
Don't believe me? A slew of elaborate box sets, creamy coffee-table books and notable releases of many stripes are either already out or due in the next month, well before the traditional November/December window.
Indeed, even Oscar talk is starting early. There's already talk of Academy Award nominations for Philip Seymour Hoffman ("Capote," opening Friday in limited release) and George Clooney ("Good Night, and Good Luck," opening October 7 in limited release). Usually the studios roll out their Oscar candidates, with accompanying publicity, in mid-late December.
All this probably explains why the local Target is one step away from ditching the autumnal oranges and browns for holiday green and red.
Eye on Entertainment makes his list and checks it twice.
Abrams, best known for its photography and art books, gave "Star Wars'' the same elaborate presentation in "Dressing a Galaxy" and "Creating the Worlds" as its other books receive.
The former, in particular, includes hundreds of luxurious photographs of Natalie Portman in Amidala's finery, not to mention sketchbook representations and close-ups so close you can practically feel the swatches.
Rhino Records went to similar lengths for "Pure Genius: The Complete Atlantic Recordings," an 8-CD Ray Charles box set in a package shaped like an old portable record player; and "One Kiss Can Lead to Another: Girl Group Sounds Lost and Found," a four-CD collection packaged like a hatbox. The former already is in stores; the latter is due October 4.
Then there's Alfred Hitchcock, whose "Masterpiece Collection" (Universal Home Entertainment) includes 14 of the master's films, from 1942's "Saboteur" to 1975's "Family Plot" and many of his 1950s greats, such as "Vertigo" and "Rear Window." It's also out October 4.
Meanwhile, a number of performers are trying on new clothes.
Besides the aforementioned Hoffman and Clooney (the latter directed and stars in "Good Night, and Good Luck"), Charlize Theron is starring in "North Country" (October 14), a sort-of "Norma Rae" set in the iron mines of Minnesota; Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth are a '50s comedy duo in the controversial "Where the Truth Lies" (October 14); and Steve Martin and Claire Danes star in "Shopgirl" (October 21), based on Martin's novella.
And new albums? Before October is out, Franz Ferdinand will have released "You Could Have It So Much Better ..." (October 4), Liz Phair will have put out "Somebody's Miracle" (October 4), Depeche Mode will be out with "Playing the Angel" (October 18) and Alicia Keys will be "Unplugged" (October 11).
And to think, 2006 is only three months away.
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