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BobOxford (UK)

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Release The Stars [CD + DVD]
Release The Stars [CD + DVD]

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great album - DVD probably just for fans, 26 Jun. 2007
I can't really add much to the very fair review by Ben below. I would probably differ from him on two counts: first, the DVD doesn't provide enough to warrant paying much over the basic album price. Although Rufus does provide a brief comment on each track, he did this much better (and for free) on his website for 'Want Two', and in in Rufusly absurd detail to boot.

As for where this album stands in relation to his previous work... I think many long-standing fans may not be blown away, but I do think this is a more assured, consistent and enjoyable album than anything he's done before. It's certainly a great album.


Release the Stars
Release the Stars
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £4.60

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mature but accessible, 20 May 2007
This review is from: Release the Stars (Audio CD)
I can understand why Release The Stars has disappointed *some* of Rufus Wainwright's fans. But I suspect they may be resentful that he has tried to produce a more popular style of music. With admittedly only a week's acquaitance, I have enjoyed this album more than any of the first four.

His last studio album, 'Want Two', was a niche record for a loyal audience. But I think Rufus had reached a limit for that particular type of music. It was difficult to tap into as a new listener, and wasn't a record for all occasions (Rufus himself said that it should never be played at dinner parties: "I think it would make everybody regurgitate blood and then turn into werewolves."). Release The Stars feels like it enjoyed an easier birth, and the music is more enjoyable for it. My personal favourites are 'Do I Disappoint You', 'Going To A Town', 'Tiergarten', 'Rules and Regulations', and 'Sanssouci'. 'Slideshow' and 'Tulsa' have wonderful back stories and lyrics to match. In fact, it is a very consistent album.

In years to come, I think this will be regarded as a more complete piece of work than his previous efforts. It feels imbued with a stronger sense of melody, restraint and care. It is therefore more advanced, but also more accessible to fans and newcomers. For that, it should be highly applauded. Start or continue your Rufus fan-ship here!


No Title Available

47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great product for its intended audience, 10 Feb. 2007
Several people are missing the point here, including some people who have berated other reviewers for missing the point. Here's the deal:

Apple TV is most like having a video iPod installed permanently in your living room, with some important additions. When you open up iTunes on your computer, it will appear like an iPod does in your 'devices' list. You can then sync or drop videos, music, photos and podcasts onto it. Like an iPod. These will sit on its hard drive, and allow you to access them without your computer being switched on. Like an iPod. You can then watch/listen to/look at these things on your telly (at 720p for video, which is the minimum standard for HDTVs at the moment).

Unlike an iPod, however, it will also stream content over your network dynamically, from up to 5 different computers. So, if your main computer is 'sync'd', you can view stuff on your friends' Macs, or that other PC you have at home (provided these are switched on to allow the streaming to take place). There's also a menu option to view trailers for current cinema releases, also in HD, streamed over the net.

There are *rumoured* features apparently planned with the release of Mac OS X 'Leopard', that will allows Mac users to broadcast their screen wirelessly via their Apple TV onto their HDTV.

Yes, it's quite pricey, but it's also really cool. That's Apple all over, so nobody needs to be surprised. The major catch is that, at present, iTunes Music Store buyers based outside the USA can't buy much in the way of movies, TV shows etc. This turns a 5* product into a 2* fancy paperweight for UK users. If, however, you have found a way to buy US ITMS content, or have other plans to use it to show your own films, then this product's potential is awesome, and for that I still give it full marks.


X Files: Season 8 [DVD]
X Files: Season 8 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Gillian Anderson
Offered by HarriBella.UK.Ltd
Price: £9.50

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive, 31 Oct. 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: X Files: Season 8 [DVD] (DVD)
I think this season is grossly underrated. It renews the main characters, gives us plenty of new ones to explore, and resurrects the ailing mythology with a vengeance (there's what's basically a four-parter mid-season). Doggett and Reyes work extremely well as new additions, and the mythology episodes are actually exciting again. Petulance drove many fans to reject the show without Mulder, but I think they made a mistake.

Stand-alones have a fresh feel with Doggett involved, though Mulder's eventual return reminds us how profound his absence is. I would rate this season above some earlier ones, if I had to compare them.

Favourites:

Medusa, Invocation, Per Manum/This is Not Happening/Deadalive/Three Words, Vienen, Alone, Essence/Existence

Episodes I remember not liking, but enjoyed this time round:

Roadrunners, Badlaa (yes, I was surprised), Empedocles

Weak points:

Within/Without - introduces Doggett well, but spins out quite a lot of nothing over two episodes.


X Files: Season 7 [DVD]
X Files: Season 7 [DVD]
Dvd ~ David Duchovny
Offered by HarriBella.UK.Ltd
Price: £8.29

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated, 31 Oct. 2006
This review is from: X Files: Season 7 [DVD] (DVD)
This season is much better than many people make out. I think this is because, at the time it aired, fans were beginning to grow tired. I remember not liking it very much, but now I've watched it again, I really do rate it highly.

The writers earnestly tried to prepare for the end of the show, an event which would turn out to be three years away as it happened, but which looked likely even as 'Requiem' aired. As a result, some loose ends are tied up, and not many new questions are raised until the last episode. Still reeling from Two Fathers/One Son in series 6, there is possibly less mythology than any other season. This vacancy gave the show room to play with some new ideas: a story from the monster's perspective in Hungry, a Cops-style fly-on-the-wall documentary in X-Cops, a con-trick caper in The Amazing Maleeni, a genie with three wishes in Je Souhaite. The stand-alone episodes vary in quality a little more than in previous years, but there's some good stuff here.

Favourites:

Rush, Hungry, Sein Und Zeit/Closure, En Ami, all things, Requiem

Episodes I remember not liking, but enjoyed this time round:

Millennium, The Amazing Maleeni, Orison, X-Cops, First Person Shooter, Je Souhaite

Weak points:

Signs & Wonders - you'll see it coming

Fight Club - I can't believe Chris Carter wrote this one thinking it would be one of the last episodes of the show!


The X Files: Season 4 [DVD] [1994]
The X Files: Season 4 [DVD] [1994]
Dvd ~ David Duchovny
Price: £10.00

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Firing on all cylinders, 31 Oct. 2006
This is my favourite year of The X-Files. The average episodes are great, and the best are simply outstanding. There is serious drama, particularly for Scully's character. Episodes like Home and Sanguinarium are particularly creepy, whilst others develop the Smoking Man's character, or the possibilities surrounding Samantha Mulder's disappearance.

This season won several Emmy awards, and deservedly so. Although it remained a great show, I don't believe it was ever again quite so consistently good as this season.

Favourites:

Memento Mori, Paper Hearts, Never Again, Demons, Home, Tunguska/Terma, Tempus Fugit/Max

Episodes I remember not liking, but enjoyed this time round:

Never Again, Kaddish

Weak points:

El Mundo Gira - goatsuckers, indeed.


The X Files: Season 3 [DVD] [1994]
The X Files: Season 3 [DVD] [1994]
Dvd ~ David Duchovny
Price: £10.00

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A workmanlike season, 31 Oct. 2006
By now, the pattern of almost all X-Files seasons is established: mythology episodes at the beginning and end of each year, with a couple of double-episode mytharcs mid-season. In between, the monster-of-the-week eps, and some lighter fare, are spread around.

The show's third year is consistently strong, and high-quality. It seems odd now to look back, having watched all 9 seasons- at the time this series seemed mature even though it was barely a third of the way through its run. The season finale, Talitha Cumi, even when viewed with the season 4 opener Herrenvolk, isn't top flight, but the rest of the season makes up for it.

Favourites:

Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose, Nisei/731, Piper Maru/Apocrypha, D.P.O., Pusher

Episodes I remember not liking, but enjoyed this time round:

Oubliette, Avatar

Weak points:

Teso Dos Bichos - famously disliked by cast and crew. Not as bad as I remember, but not good.


The X Files: Season 2 [DVD] [1994]
The X Files: Season 2 [DVD] [1994]
Dvd ~ David Duchovny
Price: £10.00

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great show gets going, 31 Oct. 2006
The X-Files gets properly underway with season 2, with a good mix of stand-alone episodes and some solid contributions to the emerging `mythology'. The closure of the X-Files section at the end of season 1 lasts some way into the season, and makes for some interesting changes in the way the agents get to work together. We meet Mulder's new informant `X', and the duplicitous Alex Krycek. A.D. Skinner and The Cigarette-Smoking Man get bigger roles.

The show feels more confident - we have stories spread over more than one episode for the first time, and signs of a lighter, self-referential mood from writer Darin Morgan in `Humbug'. Although I don't rate this season as highly as some subsequent ones, it's still very good indeed.

Favourites:

Duane Barry, Ascension, One Breath, Red Museum, The Calusari, Anasazi

Episodes I remember not liking, but enjoyed this time round:

Soft Light, `3'

Weak points:

Little Green Men - worth seeing for the scenes between Mulder & Scully, but actually quite disappointing.


The X Files: Season 1 [DVD] [1994]
The X Files: Season 1 [DVD] [1994]
Dvd ~ David Duchovny
Price: £9.75

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The start of something great, 31 Oct. 2006
I was a huge fan of The X-Files when it was on air, and it has been extremely enjoyable going back through them all from start to finish. With Season 1, you see how it all started. Old fans might even be surprised how well-developed the characters were at this early stage. It is also quite moving, in retrospect, to see Mulder and Scully learning to work with each other.

The show does feel quite low-budget in its first year, and partly because the `mythology' was not yet properly underway, it also feels quite inchoate. Perhaps it just hadn't quite hit its stride... nonetheless, this was the start of something really great, and you shouldn't miss it.

Favourites:

The Erlenmeyer Flask, E.B.E, Fallen Angel, Beyond The Sea, Deep Throat, Ice, Pilot

Episodes I remember not liking, but enjoyed this time round:

Miracle Man, Lazarus

Weak points:

Ghost In The Machine - now looks very dated

Shapes - just not that enjoyable


Daxter (PSP)
Daxter (PSP)
Offered by Real Satisfaction
Price: £13.90

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of PSP to date, 22 April 2006
This review is from: Daxter (PSP) (Video Game)
This game feels like it was really made with the PSP in mind. You can play for a short or long while, you don't feel like you're fighting the controls because there isn't a second analogue stick, and it looks fabulous. I don't really consider myself a major platform fan - so far my favourite PSP games have been GTA:LCS and Lumines - but this tops both of them for just getting it right.

Like some other PSP games, it takes a small part of the wider universe of PlayStation gaming and makes a new game out of it: the story itself takes place chronologically at the start of Jak 2. In terms of gameplay, it's a real platformer, rather than action adventure, though the levels are all accessible via parts of Haven city so it feels a bit like both at times.

This has everything: gameplay, control, visuals. It's light and fun, but engaging. Above all what I really appreciated was its balance and fairness - it never feels like you can't progress simply because the computer is cheating you. You have to be good enough, for sure, but the learning curve is right, and small weapons upgrades keep things interesting. You never get held up just because of poor controls (though, in the final boss fight, the camera can cause problems - I think that is my only complaint in an entire game).

If anything, it's a little short, but it's certainly the finest game on the PSP so far. I strongly recommend it.


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