Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Christmas Shopping Round-up

Christmas Purchases 2008

A bit late, but as far as I'm concerned the Christmas season isn't over until all the mince pies are gone. I'm sure there are still a few around here somewhere, so let's take a look at this lot...

Batman Begins/The Dark Knight

I've always wondered who bought these types of packs - a couple of regular DVDs in a new cardboard box. Now I understand. While everyone else was raving about The Dark Knight during the summer, I was only watching Batman Begins for the first time, rented admittedly a result of all the raving. I wasn't really expecting much, but I enjoyed it a lot and I knew I was going to have to get hold of TDK when it came out. This package was a handy way to get both for a little less, even if a single touch covers the shiny box in smudge marks. TDK was great, especially Heath Ledger's performance, but I've got to say that I still prefer Batman Begins.


When forum chatter turns to favourite cancelled shows, Firefly inevitably comes up a lot. I never saw it before, but I spotted it on sale on for about £8 on Christmas Eve. I wasn't sure I'd be into it, so I sneaked away from proceedings on Christmas Day and had a look at the pilot on the internet, which was infinitely more entertaining than listening to family members drone on and on for a few hours. (SPOILERS) When Kaylee got shot and I was thinking "You shot Kaylee, you asshole!", I knew I was going to love the series. I got the box set in the post on New Year's Eve and watched two or three episodes every night until it was over. A fun, well written show with a superb cast, wonderful characters and an interesting setting, cut tragically short.


I adore Pushing Daisies and after watching the whole first season again before Christmas, I decided to seek out one of the creator's earlier shows, Wonderfalls. It's not quite as surreal and quirky as PD but it's charming, funny dramedy with a cracking cast. Like Firefly, it was axed far too early by the boneheads at Fox. Not only that, but it didn't even get a Region 2 release. I picked the Region 1 box set from a UK seller on eBay to avoid any nasty customs charges.


I've had my eye on The Orange Box on Steam since I finally got a decent broadband connection in the Autumn and Portal was certainly the part of the package that I was most anxious to play. So I was in GameStop before Christmas, kind of in a rush and I spotted this on the PC rack for €19.99. I knew it wasn't great value but I was determined to pick up something and I went for it. Little did I know that it would be on sale for a pittance on Steam a week or so later. *grumble* *grumble*

Christmas Hits

I think it's been established that I have a thing for cheesy pop music and it doesn't get much cheesier than Christmas music. For some reason, radio stations have a habit of not playing any after about noon on Christmas Day, you know when I actually want to listen to it. I've been meaning to pick up one of these compilations for ages and I finally took the plunge this year. On the surface, this looks like the ultimate treasure trove of festive favourites (Yay alteration!). With four CD's how could it not be?

Sadly though, this compilation is rather like a tin of luxury biscuits that's been bulked up with cheapo custard creams and chocolate digestives. There's a lot of filler here, plenty of long forgotten (for good reason) songs and poor covers and the fourth CD consists entirely of carols. However, there are quite a few nice but less well known songs on here and it does have "Last Christmas" by Wham, which the clearly superior Now Xmas didn't. Obviously, the smart thing to do would be to download the songs you want instead, but it is nice to have them all together in one package.

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