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To help you find perfect gifts for the entire family, here's a must-have collection of Entertainment, Toys and merch that should be on everyone's Christmas lists this year! For more gift ideas, see our Beauty and Fashion Gift Guide!
HOME AND PARTIES:
Star Wars Talking Pizza Cutter
Pizza is pretty fantastic, but having to cut it into slices first usually isn't as much fun as eating it... until now. Disney has released a series of officially-licensed, Star Wars pizza cutters! Styled after a Lightsaber, Darth Vader, Boba Fett and R2D2, they even make classic sounds as they cut. Slicing through a Pizza The Hutt with a Lightsaber will liven up any party or social gathering. The force is strong with this one, available from Prezzybox.com now.
An Elf For Christmas
Want to give someone an extra special Christmas this year? With An Elf for Christmas, you get a cute little boy or girl Elf, which can get up to all sorts of mischief at night. Limited only by your imagination, this festive friend is a great way to get your kid to be good and have fun together. With the Magical Reward Kit, you get an Elf, as well as stickers, an arrival letter, mini report cards, nice list certificates, a reward chart, and more to entertain up to 2 children. Refill kits for larger families are also available to order. Ideas that I am planning include leaving some cake mix beside the Elf for baking fun, wrapping the tree in toilet paper, leaving little ‘snow’ footprints with flour, freezing the Elf in a block of ice and make it look like they’ve been watching the movie Frozen, and making paper snowflakes. There are lots of ideas and activities on the website too, including colouring sheets, Christmas cards and certificates. You can also purchase a beautifully illustrated and heart-warming book called Elf’s First Adventure. A perfect bedtime treat or parting gift on Christmas day from the Elf, it also has a lovely message. An Elf for Christmas really is a fantastic idea and a perfect way to encourage creative (and well-behaved) fun!
BeArty Wall Prints
BeArty works with a global network of artists to provide affordable wall art in a variety of themes. From abstract art, to animals, celebrities, Film & TV, maps, pop art, travel and more, there's something for every taste and decor. Featured to the left is a piece by Alessandro Pautasso; a colourful tribute to the Jedi master. Available from £14 for a 20 x 30 cm print, all the way up to £38 for 60 x 90 cm. As an added bonus, you even get 10% off your first order when you sign up to their newsletter.
Mulled wine and Baileys are two popular drinks during the festive season (or Eggnog in the United States and Canada!). But another beverage that’s absolutely perfect for Christmas celebrations or gifting is Tia Maria. With coffee beans, Jamaican rum and a hint of vanilla, this liqueur is great for drinking by itself, or serving over ice, in a cocktail, or even to liven up desserts. Particular favourite recipes include Tia Maria and Chocolate Creams and Tia Maria Cheesecake - delicious! and At 20% vol, it’s also sure to warm you up on those cold winter nights. Tia Maria is available in generous 70Cl and 1L bottles from all good licensed stockists.
Tim Burton: The Iconic Filmmaker and his Work
For over 30 years, director Tim Burton has captured the imaginations of audiences with his deliciously dark and visually-distinctive movies. In this hardcover book published by Aurum Press, Ian Nathan explores his career in detail, from the man, the movies, the methods and inspirations. Featured highlights include Batman, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Mars Attacks. It even covers his latest release; Mrs Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and future projects such as Beetlejuice 2. There’s also a fold-out filmography charting his involvement on every project as a Disney animator, actor, concept artist, writer, producer, design consultant and director. Having previously written about Aliens, the Coen Brothers and Terminator movies, Ian Nathan's study of Tim Burton is just as essential reading.
BLU-RAYS AND DVDS:
Me Before You (DVD)
Based on a bestselling book by Jojo Moyes, Game of Thrones' Emelia Clarke is hired to look after Sam Clafin (The Hunger Games), who was paralysed in an accident. While they don't get on to start with, sparks start to fly in this wonderfully romantic movie. If you also loved The Fault in Our Stars, then this is definitely for you. Me Before You was one of my favourite films of 2016. You'll laugh, cry and fall in love. Just be sure to have plenty of tissues on stand by!
Christmas With The Coopers (DVD)
Christmas with the Coopers is a bittersweet comedy drama with an all-star cast including Alan Arkin, Diane Keaton, John Goodman, Anthony Mackie, Amanda Seyfried, Ed Helms and the voice of Steve Martin. When four generations of family come together, there of course are ups and downs, in this ultimately uplifting festive film. Special features include 3 featurettes; Making the Coopers, Rags the Dog and Fun On Set, along with "The Light of the Day" music video by Alison Krauss and Robert Plant.
Suicide Squad: Extended Cut (Blu-ray)
Suicide Squad is about a group of super villains who are forced to try and save the world against their will. Set after Batman v Superman, it stars Will Smith, Margot Robbie as the scene-stealing Harley Quinn, Will Smith as Deadshot, and Jared Leto as the Joker. There's also a lot of cameos, including Ben Affleck (who's seen in the trailer), but I won't spoil the rest. While Suicide Squad does feature a few laughably bad scenes, it actually shows potential and is easily better than other recent Warner Bros DC efforts. Rated 15, Suicide Squad isn't one for the kids and is all the more fun for it. The Blu-ray is packed with extras, including an extended version of the film, featurettes, a gag reel and more. All of which will add to your appreciation of the film.
The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Case (Blu-ray)
The Conjouring 2 is a supernatural sequel about real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga), who travel to London where another family house is haunted. Based on the Enfield Case, it briefly covers the world-famous Amityville incident too. What makes The Conjouring 2 so enjoyable is that it perfectly balances humour between the scares. It also features characters that you'll actually care about, making the events the follow even more nail-biting! The Blu-ray includes a number of spooktacular extras, with behind-the-scenes featurettes and deleted scenes.
The Legend of Tarzan (Blu-ray)
Reinventing a classic, The Legend of Tarzan is set years after his jungle adventures. Played by Alexander Skarsgård, the real king of the swingers is now known as John Clayton and is married to Jane (Margot Robbie). Lured back to the Congo by the dastardly Leon Rom (the ever brilliant Christoph Waltz), it’s not long before Tarzan has to survive on his instincts again. The film also stars Samuel L. Jackson and Djimon Hounsou and is directed by David Yates (Harry Potter). Extras include Tarzan Reborn, Creating the virtual jungle, Battles and bare-knuckle brawls and more. Curiously, while it has a higher rating (12) than Disney's live-action re-imagining of The Jungle Book, it actually has less jumpy scenes, so one to consider for family movie time (for over 12s, obvs!).
Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders (Blu-ray)
Holy amazing idea Batman! The beloved 1966 series starring Adam West and Burt Ward has been resurrected in an all-new animated adventure from Warner Bros. The dynamic duo find themselves up against the combined cunning of The Joker, Catwoman, Penguin and The Ridder. However, the real battle may come from within as Dick Grayson notices that Bruce Wayne has started to behave more aggressively. Could treachery be afoot? Featuring not only the original voices of Batman and Robin, Julie Newmar also reprises her role as Catwoman. Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders is a lot of fun, full of nostalgia and laugh-out-loud moments. Extras include two featurettes.
Supergirl: Season 1 (Blu-ray)
After the success of DC Comics Arrow and The Flash, Warner Bros. Television’s next super show features some much needed girl power. Melissa Benoist plays Kara Danvers, a survivor from the planet Krypton. With the powers of flight, super speed, super strength, and, well... super pretty much everything, she's a natural born hero. When Kara saves a falling plane from the sky, the National City news quickly picks up on the mysterious new heroine. Soon adopting a trademark red and blue costume, Supergirl is born. During the day, Kara works for CatCo Worldwide Media as an assistant for Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart), who has a delightfully devious Devil Wears Prada vibe about her. Like most superhero shows, it follows the freak of the week formula, giving Supergirl a different adversary or challenge to overcome. There’s an overall arc to the series too, which builds upon the mythology and sets up lots of potential storylines to explore in the future. Supergirl: Season 1 is action-packed, rewatchable and a lot of fun.
Scooby-Doo! & WWE: Curse of the Speed Demon (DVD)
In their latest adventure, Scooby and the gang have gone to an off-road racing event called Muscle Moto X. During the race, an unknown demonic driver runs two WWE Superstars off the road. Mr McMahon recruits Mystery Incorporated to help investigate. With a legendary curse and lots of clues to follow, they cross paths with the likes of The Undertaker, Triple H, The Miz, Paige, and Goldust. There's plenty of humour and references to make it an enjoyable trip, and it'll even keep you guessing who the mystery villain is. Extras include two additional episodes and a monster truck featurette. Buy it for only £5.99 from Amazon.co.uk
I hope you've enjoyed my festive Gift Guide. Thanks for your continued support this year and be sure to join me in 2017 for another blockbuster year of entertainment, beauty, fashion, interviews and fun. Until then, have a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
Lots of love,
Sarah O'Connell xxx
By Sarah O'Connell