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Reviews Written by
Mr. N. J. W. Turnbull "St. Nick" (Canterbury, UK)

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Thor By J. Michael Straczynski Volume 1 TPB
Thor By J. Michael Straczynski Volume 1 TPB
by J. Michael Straczynski
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Mighty!, 27 Dec. 2011
The best JMS work for Marvel, as Thor is re-positioned in his role as Earth's mightiest protector and most noble of warriors. His deconstruction of Tony Stark's motives for his actions in Mark Millar's Civil War event is as good on the 20th read as the first... Coipel's pencils are second only to Stuart Immonen and Dustin Weaver (SHIELD) in Marvel's current crop. Worth every penny.

Someone To Drive You Home
Someone To Drive You Home
Offered by TwoRedSevens
Price: £2.49

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure pop brilliance from 2006, eventually..., 14 Jan. 2007
"Edie Sedgwick! Anna Karenina! Arlene Dahl!" If that's not a great chorus, then I don't know what is. STDYH is full of lovely little quips, kitchen-sink drama, all seen from behind the desk on the shop floor. Wonder where people are going when they pass you on the street? Kate Jackson does too. Comparisons to Pulp and Arctic Monkeys are inevitable, but, to be honest, The Long Blondes owe more to late night DIY clubbing and their bizarre range of influences (they don't like The Beatles! Or Dylan!) than anything else. `Cause of that, they've written the pop album of 2006. It's infectious, it's dancey, its a riot. All the singles are there, either re-mixed, produced or otherwise. It doesn't quite have the grubby feel of the demos, but they're far too pretty to stay that dirty. It lifts them above the chasing pack; less of a shambles, more of a discotheque. Fantastic.

Star Wars Episode III : Revenge of the Sith (2 Disc Edition) [DVD] [2005]
Star Wars Episode III : Revenge of the Sith (2 Disc Edition) [DVD] [2005]
Dvd ~ Ewan McGregor
Price: £3.76

50 of 63 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The circle is complete..., 23 Aug. 2005
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
From the opening onslaught of the now over-familiar theme to the poignancy of the film's emotionally silent finish, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is a guiltlessly enjoyable sci-fi romp, encompassing the now familiar Lucas themes of Love, Regret, Responsibility and Greed.
From the iconic use of original dialogue ("This is where the fun begins!") in the oddly calm opening battle, to the poetic justice of Obi-Wan's tainted victory over the corrupted Anakin, ROTS is unique, the end of a dynasty, a film saga that is truely timeless, despite all the criticisms of the new prequels ("Too many SFX", "Pathetic dialogue", "irritating characters").
Fortunately, ROTS manages to address many of these problems (except the FX, still billions of those). Yes, the dialogue is still occasionally cringe-worthy, but who cares when it looks this good? The film that Star Wars fans have always wanted to see, with all the things we wanted to see. Clone Wars. Check. How the Jedi got wiped out (and SO cunningly!). Check. How Palpatine ended up like a prune. Check. Obi-Wan V Anakin/'Vader'. Check. Yoda V Emperor Palpatine. Check. Kids being born. Check. What happened to Mum. Check. How Anakin became the asthmatic poster boy of the Empire. Check, check and check mate.
ROTS is everything you could possibly want, minor quibbles aside: 'What? He had 28 YEARS to write the opening crawl, and he came up with "War!"? Oh, Bra-VO!', 'Why are the Clone Troopers all random colours like Red, Yellow and Green when they all look the same in the future?', 'That's our lot for Kashyyyk? After waiting for that for 28 years too? Utapau is better!', 'What? He turned to the Dark Side just like THAT? Jeez...', and the best one, 'DARTH VADER DOESN'T TALK LIKE THAT!!!'
But it dies away. While the opening space battle isn't quite as billed, it is intriguingly shot, showing the calm serenity that the Jedi can exude in the most turbulent atmosphere, further exemplifying the cruel sadness of their unbeknown fate. Also, Lucas moves the action along at a cracking pace, with some terrificly boys-own set-pieces, as well as freneticly gruesome lightsaber duels, the standout obviously being the duel between the two Jedi on the delectably designed Mustafar, with a quite ghastly coup de gras, fully deserving of the 12A certificate bestowed upon the film (the common Star Wars mythos still doesn't quite prepare you for Anakin's horrifying destruction).
To further complement it, Ian McDiarmid is outstanding, compensating somewhat for the slightly wooden Ewan McGregor (who almosts seems disbelieving in some of his deliveries) and the woeful Natalie Portman, whose transformation from strong individual to pathetic floozy is startling over three films. The scenes between McDiarmid and Hayden Christensen (a real star turn this time), especially in the the Opera sequence, are among the best in all six (!) Star Wars films, although, as noted, Anakin's final capitulation to his dark inklings is woefully underplayed, but that should be contributed to Lucas, not his cast.
All without mentioning John Williams' masterful score, fully embellished in the tragic segment following the murders of the Jedi Order across a far-flung array of war-torn planets. To call it a minor triumph is like saying how relieved fans were to see that Jar Jar Binks only managed a single line, "Excuse me", which is, incidentally, unnoticeable.
Tying up loose ends, being loud, and proud with it, ROTS is popcorn fun all the way, just as Star Wars always has been, even in the much-maligned prequels (I saw The Phantom Menace no less than 3 times at the cinema and enjoyed it every time. Hell, I even liked Jar Jar.)
And I challenge you not to get AT LEAST a lump in your throat when Yoda chokes on his words: "Failed, I have".
Only when I stop watching. Only then.

Rearview Mirror: The Best of Pearl Jam
Rearview Mirror: The Best of Pearl Jam
Price: £8.64

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On reflection, they're going to stay alive for a long time, 6 Dec. 2004
In the last year, Pearl Jam have fast become my favourite band. A journey that began somewhat out of sequence, seeing as how my first album by the band was 2002's 'Riot Act', loosely followed by the Live LP, 'New York, New York' (9th July 2003). With a combination of songs from all of the albums (including 'Lost Dogs') in my mind, I took steps to accumulate the rest of their work.
Thankfully, Rearview Mirror is far more ordered than I ever was, making it the easiest way for any new fans to get into Pearl Jam. Regular packaging gripes aside (I love them, although others don't. This one though, is special, very reflective, in more ways than one). The first CD begins in a similarly breathless way to 'Ten', not just by shuffling 'EvenFlow' and 'Alive', but by offering new remixes which make the sound a lot fresher. I was taken aback by the different recording of EvenFlow though, which sounded a lot more clear-cut, with a lot of the 'dirt' of the original recording taken out. Not to say that EvenFlow sounded washed out, I just didn't expect it, so it's nice to be able to say that, despite having most of the tracks already, there are still a few surprises to be had.
The inclusion of State of Love and Trust, Not For You, Save You and Spin the Black Circle lends something to the album that provides a lot more edge to the 'rockier' opening CD. Vedder's maudlin drawl, combined with the screeching roar of McCready and Gossard really show in this selection, with a lot of variation, all the while pumped up by Ament and Cameron's pounding bass and percussion.
But to say Pearl Jam have typecast themselves would be wrong. The extreme difference in their progression over a 12 year career is evident in the differences between say, Animal and Hail Hail, two of my favourite songs by the band. You really do get that sense of contrast in this album when compared to just playing the seven studio albums one after the next.
With the second CD, the change of tone is evident but more subliminal. Starting with Black, possibly the finest and most poignant song they ever wrote and leading into Breath and Daughter (the 'sister' track to Jeremy), the melancholic, almost regretting, sound that Pearl Jam always nailed so much better than their contemporaries is honed to a pitch-perfect note. Further on, Elderly Woman and Immortality, two of the most musically adept tunes the band wrote (the second being an ode to the recently deceased Kurt Cobain), provide more change in the sound, with Better Man and Nothingman further exemplifying this. However, the second CD just doesn't quite hit the dizzy oral heights of the first, despite the inclusion of the majestic Off He Goes, Given to Fly and I Am Mine. The closing tracks, Man of the Hour and Yellow Ledbetter, are pure belters, and 'Ledbetter, having been Pearl Jam's preferred way to finish sets over the last few years, is the perfect way to close.
So, complaints. A mere few. Where is Love Boat Captain? To be fair, the inclusiuon of six tracks from both Vs. and Vitalogy makes up over a third of the set and despite how good these tracks are, it doesn't give a fair showing to the rest of their work. Binaural and Yield don't stand up so well here, and the inclusion of the 'major' tracks from Ten makes little sense when you consider that they forgot Porch and Deep. Personally, I would have preferred to see Red Mosquito to Dissident, considering they're similar in sound. The inclusion of Who You Are is strange also.
But at the end of the day, if you've had as many hits as Pearl Jam, they're all great to an extent, and it's down to someone to compile it. This is, no doubt, an awesome selection of their work, I simply felt, as doubtless all the fans will, that there is one particular track or two missing.
So, buy this, and if you like it, graduate to Ten and Live albums. I recommend the acoustic gig at Benaroya Hall. Unbelievable. Sums up Pearl Jam then, guess we're off, around the bend...

Wolverine/Deadpool: Weapon X
Wolverine/Deadpool: Weapon X
by Frank Tieri
Edition: Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The War is about to begin..., 16 Aug. 2003
Firstly, this is astonishing. The team work hard to add more depth to Logan's cliched character and probe his self-doubt since his servitude under Apocalypse. Some welcome guest-stars in Beast, Nick Fury and Sabretooth and a few shocks in the story as well...let's just say Wolvie meets some old 'friends' and makes a new, un-earthly aqauintance...The Deadpool section is a welcome addition, as it helps to flesh out the story behing the resumption of the Weapon X program, as well as showing that good ol' Wade isn't a completely unfeeling, sarcastic sociopath. Superb. Kudos to Marvel on this one, as the Human-Mutant War finally seems to be happening after years of talk and masked threats. Exciting times are ahead from 'The Home of Great Ideas'

There Is Nothing Left To Lose
There Is Nothing Left To Lose
Price: £3.11

4.0 out of 5 stars Foo's are top of the Stacked Actors, 6 Mar. 2003
After two massively accomplished albums, how do you better them? You write one of the best opening tracks ever and follow it up with ten more perfectly balanced songs. People will tell you that 'Learn To Fly' is the best Foo's song ever and it is certainly a beautifully orchestrated piece, with a belter of a chorus and a great video (download it now!), yet it is almost eclipsed by some perfect pop-rock songs, such as the delectable 'Breakout', 'Generator' and 'Stacked Actors'. The harmonic ballads of 'Next Year' and 'Ain't It The Life' complement the other, heavier songs brilliantly, with some peachy lyrics and legendary choruses.
All in all this is a superb album, just shaded by the slightly better 'The Colour And The Shape', and is a major triumph for Dave Grohl against those who think he was just the "drummer from Nirvana". Taylor Hawkins and Nate Mendel provide excellent accompaniment and really drive the music thorugh with some deelightful riffs which will knock around your head for days.

One By One
One By One
Offered by Bridge Media UK
Price: £4.34

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dead on the inside, Grohl's got nothin to prove, 13 Feb. 2003
This review is from: One By One (Audio CD)
This album took so long to come around that we all wanted to hear it. We did. It came and went and came back again and its always different and always the same. Confused? I am. It starts brilliantly with the superbly crafted blastings of All My Life, but then descends into mediocrity with the average Low and Have It All. Times Like These is good but still doesn't hit you like the Foo's do with classic's like Breakout and The One. Disenchanted Lullaby and Tired Of You are frankly uninspired and boring, with Halo, Lonely As You and Overdrive all following. Add Burn Away to the mix and you get tired lyrics and dull music, yet Come Back almost saves it with a superb finish and chorus. The whole album lacks that unique Foo's feeling, the one where they say "Screw you, we're doing this OUR way" and proceed to rock your socks off. The Bonus DVD is nice though, with a purely classic scene where drummer Taylor Hawkins wears a pair of "Def Leppard" shorts. Good, but could have been SO much more. A lot more thought and preparation for the next album I hope, but Dave Grohl is still the coolest and nicest man in Rock Music today. Take a holiday guys.

Is This It?
Is This It?
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.98

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Strokes caress the correct chords, 5 Feb. 2003
This review is from: Is This It? (Audio CD)
The Strokes are an oddity. The subject of intense media hype, as all new bands are nowadays (think The Vines, The Coral or The Datsuns), many sceptics thought that The Strokes would fall flat on their face, or be a new dawn for rock music. They've done neither, yet this album still feels like a superb accomplishment.
Like a play, this is split into acts, the slow introduction of 'Is This It' leads into the progressive, melodic thrashings of 'The Modern Age','Soma' and 'Barely Legal'. Yet these opening four songs only set the scene, as 'Someday','Alone, Together', 'Last Nite' and the awesome 'Hard To Explain' all roar into life and give the album a different look. The beautifully written 'New York City Cops' leaves you dazed as to the complexity of their skill, yet 'Trying Your Luck' and 'Take It Or Leave It' finish the act perfectly and give you a real feeling of wonderment at how five American men have achieved that superbly retro, yet modern feel. This most certainly is a superb first step, and I hope that the Strokes keep walking until their 'Last Nite'.

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