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Lucy Swan "Creator of dreams, weaver of nightmares. Procrastinator and geek." (Telford, UK)

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A Field In England [Blu-ray]
A Field In England [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Julian Barratt
Price: £10.00

43 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pscyhedelic Occult Horror That's Not For All Tastes, 7 July 2013
Let me start by saying that this movie is not for all tastes: It meanders like one of its shroom-addled characters throughout, giving little to aid the viewer in discerning the story and its mix of entheogens and occultism will soar quite happily over the heads of most people. Kill List, this is not.

If I had to compare A Field In England to anything it would be movies like El Topo or Holy Mountain: Dense, symbolism-rich movies that reward patient and repeat viewers with deeper meaning. Unlike those movies, however, AFIE is a dark and brooding experience filled with frightening imagery and paranoia. It may not be a film to watch whilst experiencing an altered state yourself.

The acting in the movie whilst not outstanding certainly bears relation to its occult horror forebears of the 60s and 70s - Films such as The Witchfinder General and Blood on Satan's Claw - hammy but not buttock-clenchingly so. I must state that Michael Smiley was fantastic, garbed in cape and hat and wielding a flintlock pistol, he exuded menace and bad-assery throughout, a perfect counterpoint to Reese Sheersmith's performance as a sniveling, cowardly scholar.

The soundtrack is fantastic, an ominous mix of traditional folk, simple drum rhythm and dark ambient that aids in the drug-fueled paranoia motif that carries the movie from start to finish.

In conclusion then. This is not a film for everyone. It is vague, challenging and mystic, and that will no doubt alienate most. But if you have a penchant for occult horror, psychedelic cinema or movies that you can peel back layer by layer then I'd reccommend A Field In England gladly.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 6, 2014 5:48 PM GMT

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Beginner Box
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Beginner Box
by Jason Bulmahn
Edition: Toy

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Value for Money, 11 Dec. 2011
I picked this boxset up to try and introduce my 15 year old niece into the world of role-playing games after not being able to find the new D&D Red Box anywhere, and frankly after looking through and playing this set, I can finally cast aside the fears of having to suffer through 4 edition rules and Paizo Publishing has a regular customer for the foreseeable future.

The box itself is of amazing quality. Upon arrival, I was amazed at just how weighty it was and just how fantastic the cover art was. This quality of art continues through both books supplied, a Hero's Handbook and a Games Master Guide.

Upon opening the box you are presented with a glossy sheet which guides you through where to start if you would be a player or being the head honcho in charge of running the game. The language used is simple but not patronising. This aspect, too continues throughout the set.

The player's handbook is set out beautifully, with easy to read writing, great artwork, and design that makes it easy to learn the basic rules and plough through the, oft confusing for beginners, character creation process.

Character creation is aided along by specially printed character sheets with each section labelled with a letter and it's a simple process of flipping to the requisite pages noted in the book and filling the sheet in. Even when it comes time to pick feats or where to place skill points, it offers up recommendations for each if it all gets a little too overwhelming. The only thing I think has been overlooked (although it may have been user oversight) was it doesn't seem to make mention of adding constitution modifier onto the base hit points, but it really isn't the end of the world and may actually be a change from 3.5

I should also make note of the one player adventure featured at the start of the book. It's a lovely little story which is fairly well written and takes a new player through the basics before creating a character. Of course, being a beginner's set, if creating a character from scratch seems to much for a new player it come supplied with 4 pre-made characters with character sheets filling the player in with the basics of what everything does.

If playing as the games master appeals more, then the guide included here is a great place to start. Included is a large dry erase battle map with the included dungeon printed on one side and a simple grid on the other. The guide explains through everything the GM should need to know to run the included adventure and the adventure has plenty of side boxes explaining the finer details. It's not the best adventure in the world, but it's enjoyable enough and offers a decent length for a first adventure.

But this is where the best bit comes in; Whereas the beginner sets released since WotC bought out TSR tended to include enough adventure to take you through a couple of levels, the Pathfinder set gives you enough information, tools and guides to take your players through to heady heights of level 5.

And what extras too: The GM's guide is packed with well written information on how to layout dungeons, how best to place encounters, how not to end up rewarding the players with too much experience or treasure for their level and a whole host of information about the various places adventures may be placed, ranging from the standard dungeon, through swamps, forests and deserts up to urban adventuring.

Even as someone who has GMed a few times over the past 20 years, I found some of this information highly informative and would have loved to have had this information so lovingly presented to me when I first began.

To compliment the game alongside the huge battlemap are approximately 80 heavy stock card pawn for the various monsters and player characters available and a set of 7 red, polyhedral dice. A nice touch I found worthy of mention was that the player pawns have both male AND female pieces for all combinations of race and class, so no longer do female players get the short-shrift.

So in closing...

Would I recommend this set for an experienced D&D 3.5 GM looking to introduce new people into role-playing? Certainly. An experienced GM should easily be able to sort out any problems a new player may have with the rules, although I wouldn't foresee too many problems.

Would I recommend this set to someone who has never played a role-playing game? I think I would. The rules are simply laid out in easy to understand language for both player and GM alike, and I think this set would make a great gift for a teenager who has maybe shown an interest in role-playing but finds the myriad of rules and tables and book confusing.

I would also recommend this set for someone who has previously played but wishes to learn the ropes of GMing. The stuff included here is enough to give the greenest of GMs plenty to get their first successful campaign up and running.

So overall, this box is the best value role-play item I have purchased in a long time and cannot rave on about it enough. 5/5

Looking For Europe: The Neofolk Compendium
Looking For Europe: The Neofolk Compendium
Price: £17.31

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Compilation, 31 July 2009
Having only heard a handful of neofolk songs before purchasin this album,I was very much a novice of the genre. Thanks to this very comprehensive 4 disc compilation, I have found many new artists and have truly been converted to the genre.

The tracklisting contains over 50 tracks by different artists ranging from more traditional artists such as the Strawbs and Nico to harsher industrial noise by Boyd Rice and Laibach, it really does cover the genrre through it's 30 odd year lifespan.

THe album also comes with a 100 page book of of liner notes about each artists in both English and German which gives insight into each band.

Overall the music is excellent, and it is a great stepping stone for those curious about the genre as it covers every aspect of the music. It is also essential for completionists as it contains some previously unreleased material and material that has been rerecorded solely for this album.


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