With the holidays fast approaching, your thoughts have surely turned to gifts -- whether for that special someone or for yourself. Hey, why not? You've been good this year, right? And, as you happen to be reading this at a site whose focus is movies, it stands to reason you may want to watch a few of them once in awhile. I'm sure many of you remember the good old days when you went to a theater to watch a movie in all of its wide-screen, THX enhanced splendor. These days, with ticket prices, parking, waiting in line and those jerks on cell phones, actually going to the theater is something people do less and less.

Instead, people are staying home, curling up on the couch and watching their favorite movie on DVD in the comfort of their homes. I have to admit that its getting harder and harder for me to go to the theater too. Even though I can go to screenings and all that, its still, in many cases, much more of an ordeal than it needs to be -- or that it seems to be worth. Consequently, I spend more and more time watching movies at home. And that, friends, is why we're here today.

If you watch movies at home and want to maximize the "cinematic experience" of those movies, following are some essential tools that will help you get there. As its not possible for me to have owned every different kind of equipment out there, this list will focus primarily on the items that make up my personal home theater setup -- which was put together over the last few months after exhaustive research. Plus, these items make great gifts too. So, on with the show!