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Puzzle (Limited Edition CD + DVD)
Puzzle (Limited Edition CD + DVD)

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm puzzled how I have never heard of them before - what an amazing album!, 23 July 2007
I must confess to being new to the band, having never heard of Biffy Clyro before. I can't believe this is their fourth album! And I only chanced upon Puzzle, buying it on the back of one song I saw performed live on tv (Folding Stars) which I liked. So I took a real gamble in buying this album but the risk paid off becuase it's a fantastic album.

Puzzle is interesting and has many layers to it with plenty of variety between the songs. The lyrics are quite abstract but the songs are accessible. I really like every track on Puzzle but the best are Living Is A Problem Because Everything Dies (although the intro is too long - would have been better having the opening 90 seconds as a separate track), Saturday Superhouse, Whole Child Ago, Conversation Is and Folding Stars. I love the closing acoustic track, Machines - it's a tender and emotive track, and excellent way to end the album. Well it would be if you bought the standard version but if you buy this limited edtion version you also get a bonus track called Drop It. This track is a very folksy song but it's incredibly relaxing - it may be under 3 minutes long but it's worth the extra few pennies I think.

Plus you get a bonus DVD which contains 3 music videos - Semi Mental, Saturday Superhouse and Living Is A Problem Because Everything Dies. The DVD also includes a 45 minute documentary on the making of the album, which mostly comprises of interviews with the band and some behind-the-scenes clips. It is quite in depth because it covers every track individually but the one criticsm I have is that although there is footage from inside the sudio there isn't really much footage which actually shows the band at work. Also, it would have been nice to have some live footage of the band but on the whole it's a very good DVD.

The final extra on this limited edtion version of Puzzle is the improved packaging - with a nice fold-out cardboard case housing the CDs and booklet. It's also worth mentioning the intriguing artwork - some thought has definitely gone into the presentation of the album.

Overall I'm very impressed with Puzzle and since buying it I haven't been able to stop listening to it. It's angsty and tender in equal measures but always accessible; I suppose you could call their sound "grunge-esque" but it's not a messy or bland as that - the songs are more melodic and progressive-sounding than the now-dated grunge sound could ever manage. Biffy Clyro provide very nicely structured songs with shed loads of variety between tracks. There's no doubt this band have talent and are very accomplished at what they do. The vocals are excellent, the lyrics are thought-provoking (in an abstract way) and although there are no solos whatsoever the music is exciting and accomplished. I've heard this album is up for 4 Kerrang awards including Best British Band and Best Album and deservedly so in my opinion. Puzzle is an excellent album and will almost certainly prove to be one of the very best rock albums of 2007 if not the best. 5/5


No Title Available

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Die Hard 4 - is it time McLane retired?, 20 July 2007
This is such a difficult review to write. As an action film this is good disposable fun but add the Die Hard name to it and expectations increase tenfold. It also guarantees that it's going to be perhaps the biggest film of the year - so a blessing and a curse if you like. I love the Die Hard franchise - I think McLane is a brilliant character, extremely well played by Bruce Willis. But Willis is in his 50s now so does he really have it in him any more to do these sorts of films? Well actually yes, I think he does. This is an older, more cynical McLane for sure, but still a character who will do whatever it takes to defeat the terrorists.

This time he is up against a group of terrorists, led by Thomas Gabriel (played by Timothy Olyphant), who plan to hold America to ransom on July 4th by hijacking the country's main computer mainframes and causing as much disruption as possible. McLane enlists the help of a young computer hacker (Justin Long) to put a stop to things. But things become personal when Gabriel takes McLane's now adult (and may I say incredibly hot) daughter, Lucy, hostage. McLane must stop the terrorists, rescue his daughter and generally just kick some arse! This certainly brings Die Hard into the noughties but it didn't really feel like a Die Hard film in places. Some of the classic humour is present with witty one-liners from Willis but it doesn't have that old-school feeling of the other three films. Clearly the franchise had to move forward with the times but as a result it feels different to the previous films.

The action in Die Hard 4 is very impressive with huge explosions and stunts but the film too often strays into an almost comic book territory with some scenes being far too over-the-top. A prime example is near the end, a chase involving McLane in a truck whilst being under siege from a fighter jet. Yes it looks impressive but it is in no way believable. I'm not suggesting Die Hard has always stuck to the realms of reality but I just felt the director (Kate Beckingsale's hubby, Len Wiseman, whose previous work includes the very average Underworld films) pushed things too far just to try and get a response from the audience. My response was to cringe a little bit I'm afraid. For want of a better description, the film felt a bit forced in places - Wiseman wasn't relying on a well-scripted action film (like the others) but instead on bigger and bolder stunts to carry the film.

To sum up, as a generic action film this is good with some decent action and clearly a very large budget to play around with. However, the Die Hard franchise is often considered to have classic status, particularly the amazing first film, yet Die Hard 4 never lends itself to that tag. I could never refer to this as a classic. The nearest comparison I can make is that it feels the same as Terminator 3 did - certainly a good popcorn movie with spectacular action and considerably bigger budget than ever before, but yet can't quite find the magic of its predecessors.

So to answer my question in the title of this review - I think there is still time for Willis to make a film almost as good as the original but Die Hard 4 isn't it. If they made one more I, like millions, would go and see it (Die Hard 5 has been hinted at by the way - Bruce Willis has openly said he thinks he has one more in him but only if Len Wiseman returns to the helm). I think McLane should be put into retirement for good then.


Casino Royale (2 Disc Collector's Edition) [2006] [DVD]
Casino Royale (2 Disc Collector's Edition) [2006] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Daniel Craig
Offered by Qoolist
Price: £2.43

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally a Bond film without the cheese, 16 July 2007
Finally a decent Bond film. The previous Bond film, Die Another Day, was 100% cheese and far too over-the-top. Thankfully Casino Royale is back to basics with a gritty new Bond played by Daniel Craig. After all the talk that he was the wrong man to play James Bond I think he has proved all doubters wrong. The action in Casino Royale is very impressive (particularly the chase near the start of the film) but doesn't stray into the comic book style of action that plagued previous Bond films. I must admit I did expect a bit more action but the mid-section (the high-stakes poker game) slows the pace down quite a bit. Plus it's almost two and a half hours long but despite all this it doesn't become boring. Casino Royale is still a very good film and definitely the best Bond film in many years.


X
X
Offered by Media Vortex
Price: £24.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars X Marks The Spot, 16 July 2007
This review is from: X (Audio CD)
I'm too young to appreciate what Def Leppard used to be like but I'm old enough to know what constitutes a good album. The only other Def Leppard albums I own are Vault and Best Of, which are effectively the same album. With this in mind, X is the only proper studio album I own by Def Leppard so I can't compare it to their previous albums. But I can compare it to the hundreds of other albums in my collection and I will simply say that this album is excellent.

It's very inoffensive radio-friendly rock which might not be very edgy but prevails with some truly fantastic sing-along choruses. The vocals are particularly strong and having heard some of Def Leppard's older tracks on my compilations I think his voice has improved. My favourite track on the album has to be "Long Long Way To Go", a beautifully crafted ballad with emomotive lyrics that really hit the spot. Other highlights include "Everyday" (love the chorus) and "Now" (great opening track) but I love every track on this CD. I've owned this album since it's release in 2002 and after five years I still haven't grown bored of it.

One word: X-ellent!


Rocky: The Heavyweight Collection (Rocky / Rocky 2 / Rocky 3 / Rocky 4 / Rocky 5 / Rocky Balboa) [DVD]
Rocky: The Heavyweight Collection (Rocky / Rocky 2 / Rocky 3 / Rocky 4 / Rocky 5 / Rocky Balboa) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Cheech Marin

19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lightweight collection for some???, 27 Jun. 2007
This is the complete collection of Rocky films, spanning all six films across 30 years. If you already own the Anthology box set there is little incentive to buy this new collection, simply because it differs very little from the previous box set. The most obvious addition is the latest film, Rocky Balboa. This film is a definite finale for the franchise, so rest assured you won't buy this box set only to find out Rocky 7 is on the way. The only other difference is with the original Rocky film, as this collection includes the "Definitive Edition" - a 2 disc set packed full of extras, that can also be bought separately.

Rocky 2 right through to Rocky 5 remain untouched from previous versions, which means they include nothing in the way of extras. This is what has disappointed many fans - a lot of people feel this is a missed opportunity and that extras should have been added. I'm somewhat inclined to agree with them becuase surely there must be some extra material on the cutting room floor that could have been included - promotional material, interviews, commentary, etc? Nope, nothing it seems. Despite this disappointment this is still worth getting for anyone who does not already own all the Rocky films.

It's also worth noting that this collection is a limited edition box set that is indivdually numbered. I'm proud to say I came across number 00051. How limited it actually proves to be is anyone's guess - I suppose technically it could go up to 99,999. Almost 100 thousand people owning a copy suddenly doesn't make it feel quite so limited.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 3, 2015 5:09 AM BST


Hot Fuzz (2 Disc Special Edition) [2007] [DVD]
Hot Fuzz (2 Disc Special Edition) [2007] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Simon Pegg
Offered by Qoolist
Price: £2.61

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hot Fuzz, 15 Jun. 2007
I wasn't a fan of Shaun Of The Dead - I thought it was very over-hyped, a bit tedious and not particularly funny. So when I heard that Hot Fuzz was by the same team I didn't really hold out too much hope. But I'm pleased to say I found this very enjoyable. There are several laugh-out-loud moments and plenty of homages to action films. The plot may be wafer-thin but Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are on top form. They are supported by a stellar cast including Jim Broadbent, Timothy Dalton and two Bill Baileys (yes two, which made me laugh), plus small roles from Bill Nighy and Steve Cougan. Hot Fuzz is also a lot gorier than I expected with some over-the-top death scenes. The film has good characters, a funny script and is very well edited (it looks very stylish in places). It's not all just played for laughs; there are some chase scenes in the film which work well, and there is an action-packed (but somewhat predictable) finale. If you can ignore the far-fetched plot and cliched ending then this film is definitely worth watching. This is good, simple, light-hearted entertainment - it would be criminal not to give it go.


Lost Highway
Lost Highway
Offered by MediaMerchants
Price: £3.94

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Where are the anthems?, 12 Jun. 2007
This review is from: Lost Highway (Audio CD)
The tenth album from New Jersey rockers Bon Jovi is finally here but is it any good? It starts off well enough with the excellent title track, Lost Highway, to kick things off and it's probably the most anthemic track on here. Summertime is also a very good track with a particularly strong chorus. However, after the promise of the first two tracks, the rest of the album fails to live up to expectations. There is a strong country feel to the album which may surprise some but it's the lack of anthems that bothers me. I like a ballad every so often but I particularly like the side of Bon Jovi who can blast out these huge sing-along anthems that rouse the audience time and again. The beauty of past Bon Jovi albums was that there was always a good mix of both anthems and ballads but this album is just too subdued for my liking. I don't think the band will ever release an album as good as These Days, which in my mind is the perfect Bon Jovi album. I think the quality of their albums has slowly declined since 1995 and unfortunately this is the closest they have come to making a poor album.


Collision Course
Collision Course
Offered by Japan-Select
Price: £44.41

4.0 out of 5 stars Quality over quantity, 6 Jun. 2007
This review is from: Collision Course (Audio CD)
Collision Course is a 2 disc set that seamlessly melds the music of Jay-Z with Linkin Park. An interesting combination...... but it works.

CD: The first thing you will notice is just how brief it is at only 21 minutes. However, this really is quality over quantity because the tracks blend seamlessly into one another whilst being notably varied.

1. Dirt Off Your Shoulder/Lying From You

The first 30 seconds are crap but then the guitar and beats kick in and suddenly we have a good song (and album) on our hands.

2. Big Pimpin'/Papercut

A lot more hip-hop than rock - no guitars for the Linkin Park fans out there. This is the weakest track on the CD but still good. Jay-Z really picks this track up in the second verse when his rapping kicks in.

3. Jigga What/Faint

A brilliant track that builds up into an all-out rock monster by the end. I love the way this song develops from a strong hip-hop vibe at the start to the all-out rock at the end. This is almost as good as Numb/Encore and a definite highlight of the CD.

4. Numb/Encore

The best track on the album? Well, this probably just edges it over Jigga What/Faint but it's a very close call. Some of you might recognise this from the Miami Vice film. I think this is the most emotive song on the CD and is great from start to finish.

5. IZZO/In The End

Back to the hip-hop feel of track 2 with no hint of rock on this one. A nice little track that has the most upbeat sound on the CD.

6. Points Of Authority/99 Problems/One Step Closer

The heaviest track on the CD - Jay-Z rapping (mostly 99 Problems) to Linkin Park's heavy riffs and with Chester Bennington finishing the song off with a classic Linkin Park chorus.

DVD: A 45 minute documentary that contains the entire live performance of the 6 songs. It's quite enjoyable and interesting to watch how the album came together. Well worth watching but not as long as I thought it would be.

Overall: This is a surprisingly good album. I didn't expect it to be so good and I like every track. The only real downside is that it is so short, hence only 4 stars instead of 5. Definitely worth getting but make sure you don't pay too much for it, simply because it is so short.


Collision Course
Collision Course
Price: £17.34

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quality over quantity, 6 Jun. 2007
This review is from: Collision Course (Audio CD)
Collision Course is a 2 disc set that seamlessly melds the music of Jay-Z with Linkin Park. An interesting combination...... but it works.

CD: The first thing you will notice is just how brief it is at only 21 minutes. However, this really is quality over quantity because the tracks blend seamlessly into one another whilst being notably varied.

1. Dirt Off Your Shoulder/Lying From You

The first 30 seconds are crap but then the guitar and beats kick in and suddenly we have a good song (and album) on our hands.

2. Big Pimpin'/Papercut

A lot more hip-hop than rock - no guitars for the Linkin Park fans out there. This is the weakest track on the CD but still good. Jay-Z really picks this track up in the second verse when his rapping kicks in.

3. Jigga What/Faint

A brilliant track that builds up into an all-out rock monster by the end. I love the way this song develops from a strong hip-hop vibe at the start to the all-out rock at the end. This is almost as good as Numb/Encore and a definite highlight of the CD.

4. Numb/Encore

The best track on the album? Well, this probably just edges it over Jigga What/Faint but it's a very close call. Some of you might recognise this from the Miami Vice film. I think this is the most emotive song on the CD and is great from start to finish.

5. IZZO/In The End

Back to the hip-hop feel of track 2 with no hint of rock on this one. A nice little track that has the most upbeat sound on the CD.

6. Points Of Authority/99 Problems/One Step Closer

The heaviest track on the CD - Jay-Z rapping (mostly 99 Problems) to Linkin Park's heavy riffs and with Chester Bennington finishing the song off with a classic Linkin Park chorus.

DVD: A 45 minute documentary that contains the entire live performance of the 6 songs. It's quite enjoyable and interesting to watch how the album came together. Well worth watching but not as long as I thought it would be.

Overall: This is a surprisingly good album. I didn't expect it to be so good and I like every track. The only real downside is that it is so short, hence only 4 stars instead of 5. Definitely worth getting but make sure you don't pay too much for it, simply because it is so short.


Collision Course [Digipak] [CD + DVD]
Collision Course [Digipak] [CD + DVD]
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £19.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Quality over quantity, 6 Jun. 2007
Collision Course is a 2 disc set that seamlessly melds the music of Jay-Z with Linkin Park. An interesting combination...... but it works.

CD: The first thing you will notice is just how brief it is at only 21 minutes. However, this really is quality over quantity because the tracks blend seamlessly into one another whilst being notably varied.

1. Dirt Off Your Shoulder/Lying From You

The first 30 seconds are crap but then the guitar and beats kick in and suddenly we have a good song (and album) on our hands.

2. Big Pimpin'/Papercut

A lot more hip-hop than rock - no guitars for the Linkin Park fans out there. This is the weakest track on the CD but still good. Jay-Z really picks this track up in the second verse when his rapping kicks in.

3. Jigga What/Faint

A brilliant track that builds up into an all-out rock monster by the end. I love the way this song develops from a strong hip-hop vibe at the start to the all-out rock at the end. This is almost as good as Numb/Encore and a definite highlight of the CD.

4. Numb/Encore

The best track on the album? Well, this probably just edges it over Jigga What/Faint but it's a very close call. Some of you might recognise this from the Miami Vice film. I think this is the most emotive song on the CD and is great from start to finish.

5. IZZO/In The End

Back to the hip-hop feel of track 2 with no hint of rock on this one. A nice little track that has the most upbeat sound on the CD.

6. Points Of Authority/99 Problems/One Step Closer

The heaviest track on the CD - Jay-Z rapping (mostly 99 Problems) to Linkin Park's heavy riffs and with Chester Bennington finishing the song off with a classic Linkin Park chorus.

DVD: A 45 minute documentary that contains the entire live performance of the 6 songs. It's quite enjoyable and interesting to watch how the album came together. Well worth watching but not as long as I thought it would be.

Overall: This is a surprisingly good album. I didn't expect it to be so good and I like every track. The only real downside is that it is so short, hence only 4 stars instead of 5. Definitely worth getting but make sure you don't pay too much for it, simply because it is so short.


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