Top 5: Christmas Entertainment Releases

I’ve, surprisingly, found myself to be organised this year and have got my presents already – mainly because my family are all advocates of the “tell me what you want and I’ll get it for you” scenario – but I know how difficult it can be to buy for people when they don’t know what they want themselves.

At the request of a reader I’ve compiled a selection of, what I believe to be, the best entertainment releases just in time for Christmas.

1. Dynamo: Magician Impossible Series 1 -2 – I was fortunate enough to be working in the UKTV offices during the launch week for this incredible series and all the staff were talking about how amazing Dynamo is. I knew little about him before getting the opportunity to watch the first episode on a lunch break and I have been obsessed ever since. It is often the case with magicians that you suspect how they do their tricks or put it down to impressive camera skills, but I can honestly say I have no clue how he does any of his tricks. There are numerous celebrity appearances on this show including Travis Barker, Rio Ferdinand and Ian Brown.

Dynamo Magician Impossible Series 1-2; £18.85

Dynamo Magician Impossible Series 1-2; £18.85

 

2. Jack Whitehall Live – It’s no secret that I adore Jack Whitehall. I’ve seen him live twice now and found him to be absolutely hilarious. Sometimes his middle-class persona can be perceived as self-righteous but he certainly seemed to be very grounded and humble when he agreed to do a Q & A session for me. I suspect we may have heard some of the jokes on this dvd from his panel show appearances, but that’s to be expected. I’m certainly looking forward to seeing this one myself.

Jack Whitehall Live; £13

Jack Whitehall Live; £13

 

3. Far Cry 3 – Fans are already coining this the ‘Game of the Year’ and it’s clear to see why. The game really focuses on what should be included when focusing on open-world gameplay. Set on a lawless island, the lead character, Jason, and his friends are kidnapped by pirates. Jason is able to escape but must work to rescue his friends. Outside of missions, there’s an array of activities to complete, including taking over outposts and radio towers, collecting memory cards and hunting (not for the squeemish).

Far Cry 3; £39.97

Far Cry 3; £39.97

 

4. The Dark Knight Rises – Rounding up Christopher Nolan‘s Batman Trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises was a critical and commercial success when it was released in July. The film follows Batman as he c0mes out of retirement to stop the militant  Bane from destroying Gotham City. The film also features the brilliant Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anne Hathaway.

The Dark Knight Rises; £10 DVD, £12.50 Blu-Ray

The Dark Knight Rises; £10 DVD, £12.50 Blu-Ray

 

5. Playstation Move: Sports Champions 2 – Last Christmas, my family found ourselves playing the first Sports Champions game in our down-time. It’s incredibly fun and with an array of different activities, can keep you entertained for hours. This new edition includes six new events – golf, boxing, bowling, skiing, tennis and an updated archery mode.

Sports Champions 2; £12.99

Sports Champions 2; £12.99

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My advice to the TOWIE producers…

By the looks of Twitter, I’m with the 90% of the British population who wishes they could un-see last night’s dreadful The Only Way Is Essex, better known as, live. It has been described as the ‘worst tv show ever’ by readers of The Sun and many fans have expressed how they were tempted to stop watching.

The thing that struck me though, is that it was the cast who were getting slated online. Although I’m in agreement that some are acting a little too big for their boots *cough* James ‘Arg’ Argent, I really don’t see how the failure of the live episode can fall into their hands.

The Arg Charity Show... it's all for charity!

The Arg Charity Show… it’s all for charity, apparently!

Whilst the message was clear – the ‘stars’ were putting on a charity show – there were no details anywhere with how fans could donate to their charity of choice, Breast Cancer Care, and although some may claim they raised awareness, no facts on the cancer were shared.

The show played out like a poorly executed version of The Muppet Show, except it wasn’t funny… It was plagued with poor edits and a lack of understanding of those behind the scenes that as they were shouting to the cast, the audience could hear them too. It is a credit to the post production staff of the regular shows that it is usually edited so smoothly. Last night we had to endure cutting people off mid-sentence and moving to a shot of two people looking at each other in silence – until we heard those behind the camera say “we’re rolling”.

Sam and Kirk have lots to discuss

Sam and Kirk sit in silence, until they are prompted by someone behind the camera to “talk about Lauren”

If last night’s show did anything, it made it clear just how constructed the storylines are. We heard producers prompting Sam and Kirk to “talk about Lauren” and it would appear the only people pressuring Joey to talk about marriage are those we don’t see on-screen. The poor boy was almost reduced to tears and the rumours online are saying it’s because he was being pressured to propose at the end of the show.

So, my advice to TOWIE producers – the live show clearly didn’t work, please don’t try it again, if you do, count your losses, it’s pretty clear the show last night was scripted and had been rehearsed, so don’t try to pretend it isn’t.

If you’re going to revolve it around a ‘talent’ show, don’t cut away from the acts, aren’t they what it’s all about? In fact, an even better route could be to put on a TOWIE pantomime, add an ‘Essex twist’ to a tale we all know.

The saving grace of the live show was, without a doubt, Kirk Norcross’ performance. He’s never mentioned that he could sing before so it was a shock when he said he was singing a jazz song, that’s usually Arg’s territory. In my opinion, and according to Twitter, he was the star of the night… It would be great to see a little rivalry between him and Arg over the performance.

But please, don’t try to go live again. I don’t think the nation can handle it….or Joey.

The live show appeared to upset Joey, who was seen crying to producers after the show

The live show appeared to upset Joey, who was seen crying to producers after the show

(All screenshots have been sourced from ITV Player, if you dare to watch the episode again, it’s available here for the next month.)

Christmas Number One – 1990-2010

X Factor winner Matt Cardle is the Xmas number 1 favourite

Every year there seems to be more and more controversy surrounding the highest selling record of the week that holds Christmas.  From 2005 to 2008, The X Factor winners single has come top trumps, a fact that seems to aggravate many members of the public and the music industry.

Remarkably, in 2009 a facebook campaign to get Rage Against The Machine‘s ‘Killing In The Name‘ Christmas number one was successful, beating Joe McElderry, that year’s winner of The X Factor, who charted at number two. Rage Against The Machine reached number one through downloads alone, although there was much intrigue around the campaign, with critics noting that the X Factor winner and Rage Against The Machine are signed to labels that are part of Sony BMG.

Yet again, there have been many efforts to stop this years X Factor winner, Matt Cardle, from getting to number one. These include John Cage‘s effort to get a “silent single”, ‘4’33‘, which is simply 4 minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence to number one and another facebook campaign which aims to get facebook users to buy The Trashmen’s ‘Surfin’ Bird‘ so that it reaches number one. Another contender is Ellie Goulding’s version of ‘Your Song‘.

Currently it would seem that Matt Cardle is going to get to number one when tonight’s all important chart is revealed. Here is a list of the previous Christmas number one holders from 1990.

1990 – Sir Cliff Richard – ‘Saviour’s Day’
1991 – Queen – ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’
1992 – Whitney Houston –  ‘I Will Always Love You’
1993 – Mr Blobby – ‘Mr Blobby’
1994 – East 17 – ‘Stay Another Day’
1995 – Michael Jackson – ‘Earth Song’
1996 – Spice Girls – ‘2 Become 1’
1997 – Spice Girls – ‘Too Much’
1998 – Spice Girls – ‘Goodbye’
1999 – Westlife – ‘I Have A Dream/ Seasons In The Sun’
2000 – Bob The Builder – ‘Can We Fix It’
2001 – Robbie Williams & Nicole Kidman – ‘Somethin’ Stupid’
2002 – Girls Aloud – ‘Sound Of The Underground’
2003 – Michael Andrews & Gary Jules – ‘Mad World’
2004 – Band Aid 20 – ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’
2005 – Shayne Ward – ‘That’s My Goal’
2006 – Leona Lewis – ‘A Moment Like This’
2007 – Leon Jackson – ‘When You Believe’
2008 – Alexandra Burke – ‘Hallelujah’
2009 – Rage Against The Machine – ‘Killing In The Name’

Update: Matt Cardle reached number one beating Rihanna‘s ‘What’s My Name’ featuring Drake.

Top 5: Christmas Gifts For Her

Following yesterday’s post of the top five Christmas gifts for him, I thought I would follow up with a similar list of entertainment gifts suited for women.

1. Sex And The City 2 – This years top cinema release shows the four glamorous New Yorkers travel to Abu Dhabi. It’s a must have for any previous fan of the series. It is due for release on 29 November.

2. Twilight: Eclipse – Whether she’s on Team Edward or Team Jacob, there’s no mistaking the fact that most women love the Twilight saga. With the release date of 6 December, the latest installment of the film series is available just in time for Christmas.

3. Cheryl Cole: Through My Eyes Book – A must have for any fan of Cheryl Cole. Labelled as the nation’s sweetheart, this official book includes exclusive new photos and behind the scenes moments of her solo career so far with commentaries by Cheryl herself.

4. Playstation Move: Singstar Dance – The new game that features the best of previous Singstar games and Just Dance allows players to sing and dance at the same time and features video playbacks and special effects. Note – Requires Playstation Move.

5. Cuddly Microwavable Dinosaur – A very cute microwavable toy that can be heated in the microwave in two minutes. With hints of lavender in it, it makes the perfect gift in this very cold winter.

All gifts available on play.com

Top 5: Christmas Gifts For Him

With Christmas just around the corner, I’ve decided to be organised with my Christmas shopping. I thought I would share my ideas of the Top 5 entertainment presents that any man in your life would love.

1. Gran Turismo 5 – The 5th game in this ever popular franchise features more tracks, more visual effects and more cars to race. The game will also feature an online mode for the first time in the franchise’s history.

2. Inception DVD – This years popular science-fiction film directed by Christopher Nolan is being released on December 6th, just in time for Christmas. With many interesting bonus features, it will make the perfect stocking filler.

3. Karl Pilkington: An Idiot Abroad DVD – The hilarious series in which Karl Pilkington visits the Seven Wonders of The World and provides his cynical view of different cultures. Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant also appear in the series.

4. Call Of Duty: Black Ops – Having sold more than 1.4 million copies in 24 hours in the UK, this franchise’s popularity shows no sign of slowing down. Set in the Cold War and released on many game platforms it would be a great present for any gamer.

5. Top Gear: The Stig Travel Mug – Another nice stocking filler that is a must-have for a man with early morning starts as it keeps drinks heated. Get it on play.com.

All items available on play.com with free delivery.