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All reviews - Movies (44) - TV Shows (21) - DVDs (1) - Books (6) - Music (16) - Games (15)

Streets of Rage 3 review

Posted : 13 years ago on 22 April 2008 11:34 (A review of Streets of Rage 3)

I recently purchased this game on the Wii and am happy with it. It cost 800 points but was worth the spend. Fight your way through streets full of bad guys, sword wielding she-killers and henchman galore.

Half the fun is discovering the specific special moves of your character; you have a choice of 4 characters, but anyone whose anyone will choose Axel or Blaze (the characters with the best all-round stats). Pick up weapons and health along the way for that extra little something. After a few kills your power bar will max, allowing you to perform a more damaging move.

This game provided a well needed nostalgic trip to megadrive heaven and amazingly has somehow improved with time. Nothing to complex about it; just kill everyone who gets in your way.

If you do find yourself with some spare wii points; this is a good purchase. Although Street Fighter is definately a better choice for an old school fighter game.

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Tony Hawk's Proving Ground review

Posted : 13 years ago on 22 April 2008 11:16 (A review of Tony Hawk's Proving Ground)

I was a fan of the Tony Hawk's series until this came along.

The tricks are far too complicated to orchestrate on the Wii wand; and the game is too complicated in general.

There is no real tutorial level; and I found the game very difficult to get a grip on.

Proving ground is too complex for its own good. The map is reminiscent of a poor man’s GTA, while the tricks themselves are no more spectacular than the earlier PS versions. This is not a patch on the earlier Tony Hawk's games such as Pro Skater 2; it’s not worth the £30 ($60) price tag.

Very dissapointing.

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Highlights From The Phantom Of The Opera: The Original London Cast Recording (1986 London Cast) review

Posted : 13 years ago on 15 April 2008 10:00 (A review of Highlights From The Phantom Of The Opera: The Original London Cast Recording (1986 London Cast))

I'm not a fan of the 'sound track' genre; I'm usually the first to criticise it, as music for those who aren't music fans. However; when the score is such a fundamental part of the production, its a different matter.

Phantom of the Opera has one of the most famous scores of all musicals. It is the second longest running West End production of all time; to Les Mis. Sung by the amazingly talented Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman; this is a beautiful album from beginning to end, what's more, the tracks run together seamlessly.

This is an absolute must have for any Phantom fan. I picked it up for £15 when I was 11; it was 3 weeks worth of pocket money, but I never regretted the spend.

Don't tell me you're a phantom fan if you don't own this album.

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Touching the Void review

Posted : 13 years, 1 month ago on 5 April 2008 12:45 (A review of Touching the Void)

A facinating and gut wrenching true story.

After climbing the snow covered Siula Grande in Peru. Simon and Joe begin descent. After breaking his leg, Joe is lowered down the moutain by a rope attatched to Simon. However Joe falls over a cliff and is left dangling, too heavy for Simon to lift..to far from the floor or mountain side to get grounded. After hours, Simon decides to cut the rope and continue descent alone.

After an amazing fall, onto a cavern ledge. Joe must make is back alone and seriously injured. This is a documentary of those events.

The bravery and endurance shown by Joe is beyond astounding. Left crawling for days on his belly over snow and fragile ice sheets. The reconstruction is done well, epic scenes and sweeping camera work makes the whole thing feel like an adventure movie. Now and then these scenes are punctuated with the recollections of real life Joe and Simon; and you are pulled back to the shocking realisation that it is all real.

It is an amazing story of survival, which encaptivated me; although I will say, its a one view only kind of film. I tried to watch it again and was utterly bored, this is the problem with films that rely on shock...view it once and its lost its pull.

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Our Independence Day.

Posted : 13 years, 1 month ago on 4 April 2008 07:12 (A review of Independence Day)

Everything you could want from an action/disaster films, and one of my favourite films of all time.

Aliens have launched a unrelenting and unprovoked attack on the world, wiping out most of our major national monuments. Now they have settled over every major city in the world; with the intent of annihilating the entire human race.

In step a team of rugged Americans; who won’t take this lying down. The clichés are rife, brave American soldier, honourable President and the dark, sullen yet caring genius. Oh and a wise cracking Jew thrown in for good measure.

It is corny, and it is formulaic, but by God it's still great. I've yet to find a set of more likable characters, brave yet flawed, you so desperatly want them to survive this.

Another great point is the abhorrence of the bad guy. The scenes depicting the destruction of monuments were worldwide. It wasn’t just America under threat, a cut to Big Ben made me scoot to the edge of my seat! That was my country; and now this was personal.

When we finally see the Aliens; they make it clear that they have no morals or feelings and won’t negotiate, they just want us to die. Travelling through the universe, destroying everything in their path. Never before have I felt such vehement hatred for a character (that wasn’t Nic Cage). As a consequence, I genuinely felt elated at their defeat. Very few films offer such a clear cut and total opposition between the good and bad. You have no doubt whose side you're on, you're emotionally involved from the start.

For the time, (1996) the special effects were amazing. In the cinema, a real wave of vulnerability and fear ran through you, as a giant spaceship engulfed the screen, coupled with an ominous groan which shook the cinema. I was 11 at the time, and really felt like the future was here.

On a personal noted; this film, with its band of rugged Americans was a highlight for a young, impressionable girl. I fell in love with Smith and Goldblum, and to this day melt at the sight of them walking out of the horizon, cigar in mouth.

Just great sci-fi.

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He discovered an alien planet.

Posted : 13 years, 1 month ago on 31 March 2008 03:26 (A review of The Blue Planet)

In ‘Life of Birds’, to film the mating call of a Lyrebird; a member of Attenborough's team sat, alone in a hot and humid jungle, under a tarpaulin, for 8 hour filming stints, for 2 weeks..All for 5 minutes of footage. Now transfer these difficulties to the filming of 'The Blue Planet', shooting a creature that’s never been filmed before, 4,000 metres below sea level!.

People forget the effort that goes into film documentaries; and Attenborough's undertaking of this series took the most effort yet. The series took five years to make, and filmed in nearly 200 different locations. Much of the footage gathered, depicted behaviours never seen before; further still, a good deal of the animals filmed; hadn't even been discovered. When you considered the amount of painstaking work that went into the series; you can’t help but be impressed.

This series is, in my opinion the pinnacle of its genre. Attenborough filmed never seen before creatures; in the bottom of ocean caverns; deeper than anyone had filmed before. He showed that even the most off the wall and creative act of fiction; could not conjure creatures more unimaginable and wonderful than those who we already share the planet with.

I cannot understand how anyone wouldn’t be impressed by 'Blue Planet', all fact, and as detailed and epic as the Bayeux Tapestry.

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Love the bomb.

Posted : 13 years, 1 month ago on 31 March 2008 03:01 (A review of Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb)

There is no doubt in my mind that Peter Sellers made this movie. And what a movie!

Sellers plays several characters in this film, Group Captain Lionel Mandrake, President Merkin Muffley and of course Dr. Strangelove. Each not only showed an amazing command of various accents, English, American and German in that order; but highlighted just exactly why Seller's was one of the greatest character actors of all time. His gestures and traits change so much between characters; you often forget it's the same man.

Strangelove is played so over the top, crazed hair style, wide eyed stares, a precise german accent and alien hand syndrome, that occassionally makes a nazi salute. This is perfectly juxtaposed by the subtle and understated way, Sellers plays the President. A quiet man, unassured and stammering; who addresses the President of Russia; as if it were his wife. Even with a looming nuclear disater, he is played down. The whole film is a master of satire; hysterically funny in places and very fun in the rest.

Kubrick, the master of controversy; makes a really unsettling case and point in this film; about our fragile position on this earth with advancements in nuclear weapons and wartime frictions. I cannot imagine how much more unsettling it would have seemed at the time; as it arrived right in the centre of the cold war.

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The Colour of Magic Review.

Posted : 13 years, 1 month ago on 31 March 2008 02:10 (A review of The Color of Magic)

This TV-film incorporates Pratchett's first two books, 'The Colour of Magic' and 'The Light Fantastic'. Let me start by saying; I thought it was wonderful.

It kept to the books very well and had a shocking array of famous faces; anything with Tim Curry, Jeremy Irons and David Jason has to be great. I've not seen any new material from Tim Curry in a while, and was pleased to see, he hasn’t lost his touch. His trademark smirks and villainous nature; made my day.

After having one of the 8 great spells jump into his mind, failed Wizard Rincewind (Jason) begins a trek across the disc with it's first ever tourist. Meanwhile, the disc is unexplainably hurtling towards a star.

The whole thing felt quaint and British; and I love things that feel like this. Like a tea house, or a chivalrous man. You can tell however that the whole thing was bankrolled by our good friends across the pond; the special effects were great and the costumes and sets were detailed and professional (see image below). In particular the scene where the disc finally meets the star; is visually stunning.

As with many adaptations, the story itself is the hook. The whole thing has a professional feel about it, that English television rarely sees. A plot written by a professional author and acted by some of the most talented and genius actors in the business. The star acts as a constant looming threat of total annihilation; despite this ‘The Colour of Magic’ is light hearted, tongue-in-cheek and feel-good throughout. This ‘mini movie’ breaks many of the conventions of fantasy cinema. If you want a usual fantasy epic, with a roller coaster ride of emotions; this isn’t what you want. Some of you may find the convention break unsettling, others will find it refreshing. I know some people wont like this, I cannot recommend it across the board. In my humble opinion though, its so very good.

I've uploaded some trailers, [Link removed - login to see] have a look....you decide.

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So much better that 1!

Posted : 13 years, 1 month ago on 28 March 2008 05:10 (A review of Zoo Tycoon 2)

I played Zoo Tycoon 2, before the original. When I got round to seeing the original game; it seemed prehistoric compared to its sequel.

The game hasn't changed in fundementals, build a zoo, more expensive animals generate more visitors and money. There has been an astounding leap in graphics though. Each animal has to be built a personalised enclosure, with its correct biome and fencing...a wire fence wont keep in a tiger; as my visitors learned the hard way.

The detail of each specfic biome is impressive, tundra, temperate, rainforest; all have specfic trees; plants and even rock formations. The most notable change from 1 to 2, is the 'keeper mode'. This mode allows you to walk around the zoo and interact with visitors and animals like a keeper, feeding, bathing and sometimes healing them..the animals that is, not the visitors; that another game entirely.

A wide range of themed kiosks and amenities are available for purchase or to download. Safari like jeep rides and sky trams are also incorporated and can be ridden from the perspective of the visitor. I particularly enjoy taking the safari rides around large savanha enclosures.

Each of the expansion packs add a new type of animal, I most recommend the 'Africa' and 'Endangered Species' packs.

Be wary though, the larger the land you choose, and the more you build up your zoo, the slower the game becomes. You really do need quite an impressive computer to run this game with its expansions for any length of time.

Impressively detailed and by far the best of the 'Tycoon' series.

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Wii Sports review

Posted : 13 years, 1 month ago on 27 March 2008 10:43 (A review of Wii Sports)

Wii Sports is not a game to go out and buy, luckily it comes free with all new Wii Systems.

Once you've got over the initial excitment of the Wii wand/sports bat movement, it soon grows tedious. What makes most games good is the ability to do something you wouldn't or couldn't ordinarily do; scale cliff walls, drive a Forumala 1 car, be in World War II.

Wii sports is fun for about five minutes, and is in no way a contender in the current game race. However it does provide an oppertunity to get used to gaming with the wand and nunchuck.

More of a training level than a game.

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