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Was Santa good to you?

Well, another Christmas has been and gone. I’ve decided to put my PhD work to one side until the New Year, but I’m back to work at the library tomorrow, so it doesn’t really feel like I’ve had much in the way of a festive break this year. Alas, I can’t really complain, as it’s simply the luck of the draw: I work Wednesdays and Saturdays, and, with Christmas falling on a Thursday this year, I’ve missed out on any additional days off. Next year, with Christmas on a Friday, I’ll end up with a more generous stretch of time to put my feet up.

Logitech Z-5500 Digital

Anyway, presents! In something of a change in tradition, I didn’t get any movies this year. (As it happens, I’m still waiting on the US Blu-ray releases of Planet Terror, Death Proof and the Canadian Sin City, but, seasonal postal delays being what they are, I’m not entirely surprised that they didn’t show.) Instead, I contented myself with two packets of sour flavour Jelly Bellies, as well as Tomb Raider: Underworld for PC and the 3-disc Legendary Edition of Echoes of War, a symphonic recording of compositions from Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo series of games. Oh, and a copy of the From Dusk to Dawn trilogy on DVD from my work colleagues. My final gift, which I’ve actually had up and running since the middle of November (hence it not really feeling like a Christmas present as such, although technically it was), is my very nice speaker setup, which remains something of a rarity for me in that it’s one of the few pieces of computer equipment I’ve bought and had not one single complaint about.

In that past, we’ve generally had the grandparents from both sides of the family over for Christmas dinner, but this year, with all but one of them being six feet under, things were a little different. As a result, myself, my parents and my brother did something we’ve never done before and actually went out for our evening meal, to the Kama Sutra on Sauchiehall St.

A Matter of Loaf and Death

Afterwards, we trooped back home to watch the premiere of the new Wallace & Gromit film, A Matter of Loaf and Death, which aired last night on BBC1. I personally enjoyed it a lot, even if it did feel a bit, well, slight in comparison with the previous shorts. It did feel like something of a return to form after the feature-length The Curse of the Were-rabbit, however, which for all its strengths felt like it was lacking the special something which made the shorts so memorable. In any event, Nick Park’s masterpiece remains, for me, The Wrong Trousers, which is just about as perfect as storytelling can get.

 
Posted: Friday, December 26, 2008 at 2:07 PM | Comments: 2
Categories: Animation | Blu-ray | Cinema | DVD | General | TV | Technology

 
Comments

1.

Merry Christmas! I agree on the Wallace and Gromit short - perhaps not as action packed as the previous shorts (though still better than most half hour shows!), but better paced than the Curse of the Were-Rabbit film. As with Chicken Run, I still feel that the material is a little stretched out for an 80 minute feature. I'd much rather have the feeling, as I did with A Matter of Loaf and Death, that they were going to have trouble packing everything into the show!

I also got Tomb Raider: Underworld for the PS3. I'm still getting used to the controller (I've played all the previous Tomb Raiders on the PC with mouse and keyboard), but am enjoying it so far and happy that the game is continuing where Legend left off!

Posted by: colinr, December 26, 2008 8:35 PM

2.

Yeah, I know what you mean about the material feeling stretched out in the films. I think another problem was the extent to which they upped the scale, populating Wallace and Gromit’s world with a vast array of characters, whereas I tend to prefer it with a smaller cast, focusing mainly on the interaction between the two leads. I actually thought A Matter of Loaf and Death was pretty intense on the action side of things - every bit as much as the previous shorts - but I suppose my criticism would stem mainly from feeling that the plot really wasn’t much more than a rejigged version of A Close Shave.

Re. Tomb Raider: Underworld, yeah, very nice to see a direct continuation of Legend, and with the remake of the original Tomb Raider seeming to constitute part of the Crystal Dynamics series’ official canon. That said,

** SPOILER! **

it’s a bit predictable that they’ve gone down the “evil twin” route, isn’t it?

** END SPOILER **

Otherwise, I’m really enjoying it - currently in the Southern Mexico section and absolutely stumped as to what to do next. It certainly seems a more complex game than Legend, which I know many criticised for its straightforwardness.

Posted by: Michael Mackenzie, December 26, 2008 10:42 PM

Comments on this entry and all entries up to and including June 31st 2009 have been closed. The discussion continues on the new Land of Whimsy blog:

http://www.landofwhimsy.com

 

 
 
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