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G. Thomas (Canterbury UK)

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Transformers (2007) [DVD]
Transformers (2007) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Shia LaBeouf
Price: £2.72

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really great fun, 28 Jan 2008
This review is from: Transformers (2007) [DVD] (DVD)
What a shock ^^
I was really expecting a right load of old rubbish, when I was forcibly subjected to this film, but bizarrely I don't think I've ever enjoyed a film of this type quite so much.

I read so many snotty reviews that poured derision on the whole project and had 90% believed them. My expectations were pretty low although there was still a tiny spark inside me that wanted to see it.

I was glued to the screen and wavered between awe and excitement for the full running time. I sometimes couldn't figure out which robot was which but that didn't matter.....BIG ROBOTS FIGHTING was all I needed. There was just enough backstory and plot to hold it all together. I did groan slightly at the teen relationship cliches but, ignoring that and pushing on, I loved the....BIG ROBOTS FIGHTING!!....and it looked so real. Best CGI work I've ever seen.

If you're as po-faced as I was then you really need to give this film a may, as with me, eventually surprise you.

by John Wyndham
Edition: Paperback

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Left me hanging by a thread...., 22 Jan 2008
This review is from: Web (Paperback)
I remember trying to read this aged 13 and never making it past the recruitment of the settlers and the history of the island. I even skipped ahead looking for the "action" but eventually gave up.
It's over 25 years later and I've finally read this book. Good embarrassing was the shallowness of my youth?
What a fantastic story. Almost horrifically clinical in it's detachment incredibly well conceived and thought-through to it's ultimate inevitability.
It's like the excitement of discovering and reading a secret file that somebody didn't want you to see.

The Slide (Classic Radio Sci-Fi)
The Slide (Classic Radio Sci-Fi)
by Victor Pemberton
Edition: Audio CD

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back to the old school, 21 Jan 2008
This 3CD set exemplifies everything that used to be right with British science fiction. As much as I appreciate the current crop of BBCTV Sci-fi I do find that, these days, the stories all seem a bit rushed.
"The Slide", in a manner reminiscent of serials like "Quatermass And The Pit", takes its time to build the story. Characters have ample opportunity to develop and the air of menace grows palpably as all the plot elements are drawn together.
This is also a superb example of how to create a story where your own piecing together of the evidence runs just ahead of the discoveries made by the characters. True, there are similarities with "X: The Unknown"(see other reviews) but that certainly doesn't devalue this story in any way at all.

The acting is nearly always above par, the sound effects are as pioneering as you would expect from the BBC Radiophonic workshop at this time (not to mention the nostalgia element of old style telephones, police sirens and fire engines) and the plot progression whilst being slightly formulaic is still a joy. I particularly enjoyed all the classic "B-movie" elements of the story; the farmer looking for his missing dog, the strange death of local wildlife, the missing hospital patients, the old couple who won't leave their home in the face of imminent destruction, people developing a strange dislike of daylight, the slightly disgruntled soldiers on guard duty at night who unwisely investigate strange noises and the scientists racing to find a solution against all the odds before it's too late......and there's so much more.

Thank goodness this wasn't lost along with so many other gems during the BBC's horrendously ill-advised purge of its own back-catalogue.

Absolutely smashing.

Torchwood: Complete BBC Series 1 Box Set [2006] [DVD]
Torchwood: Complete BBC Series 1 Box Set [2006] [DVD]
Dvd ~ John Barrowman
Price: £15.50

33 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Slightly patchy but superb entertainment nonetheless., 8 Oct 2007
By the time I reached the last episode of Torchwood, the series had developed far beyond my expectations into something rather wonderful.

You could accuse it of slightly over-egging the "adult" tag, at first, but it eventually matured into something a whole lot better than TV Sci-Fi has ever offered us before.

Torchwood joyfully pinched ideas from several well known films and mythologies but added it's own twist to each episode and created something altogether different. It was rarely predictable and quite often genuinely spooky (the fairies, anyone?)

We explored each of the characters and their human frailties but the series never lost it's sense of fun and continually delivered quality science fiction/horror week after week.

I really hope they bring back Bilis in series two, he was a wonderfully creepy character with so much potential.

The continuity between Torchwood and Dr Who should also be applauded. It's nice to see separate dramas that inhabit the exact same universe.

(very late edit!)
It's odd but I seem to be one of only a few people who thought Season 2 was awful. I just rewatched the season 1 boxset and it is truly astounding with only a couple of weak episodes (Cyberwoman & Combat). Episodes like "They keep killing Suzy, Random Shoes and Out of Time are, quite frankly, some of the best TV drama I've seen for years. Beautifully and intelligently scripted with mostly excellent performances.....why does season 1 get such bad press. Even the (oft-trotted-out-complaint about) sex and swearing is nowhere near as overt as you possibly remember.
Give it another look. It's exceptional.

Made of Bricks
Made of Bricks
Offered by Leisurezone
Price: £3.00

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seemingly naive and incredibly charming, 5 Oct 2007
This review is from: Made of Bricks (Audio CD)
What are all these overly vitriolic, invective-filled reviews doing here?
What strange agenda must certain people have to express such major issues with what is basically the musings of a really quite talented young woman writing unassuming tunes about her perception and experience of life.

The joy of Kate Nash, for me, is the total lack of self-importance within her lyrics and the willingness to expose her own idiosyncracies and vulnerabilities to such scrutiny. With Kate Nash there is a totally believable simplicity and honesty in every track. At times it truly sounds like her deepest, most hidden, inner thoughts as she plots her path through the mundanity of everyday life.
It shows that Ms Nash actually has a very rich "inner-life" rather than following the more popular, pedestrian and intellectually impoverished direction favoured by lesser talents.

Most of all; this album makes me smile and even laugh at times. It's not cynical, world-weary or negative but still has a knowing twinkle in it's eye which saves it from becoming mawkish or too sugary.

That's a refreshing treat these days.

(To the tiresome "she's copying Lily Allen" brigade)
This album has none of that dreadful faux-attitude that sadly ruined my enjoyment of Lily Allen's offering. Initially loved her songs but after a couple of listens I began to notice that she actively supported, even aggressively championed, too many of life's unpleasantries and hypocracies to be digestable any longer.

I agree with the where's "Caroline's a victim" comment. Superb track. (downloadable free from the official website if you're interested)
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 13, 2007 1:00 PM GMT

White Chalk
White Chalk
Price: £8.39

37 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will the real P.J. Harvey please stand up..........again, 25 Sep 2007
This review is from: White Chalk (Audio CD)
Finally, four albums later, I'm enthralled by the wonderous P.J. Harvey once more.
I thought her special brand of genius had been dulled but White Chalk is a return to total form and an utter joy.
Dry, Rid Of Me and Four-Track demos were three of my all time favourites but I haven't truly connected with anything of PJ's since then.
I'm not suggesting the last 4 albums were bad but, for me, they had lost the "edge" I really loved in her music. is White Chalk. I first heard "When Under Ether" and "The Piano" on the radio without knowing who it was and fell in love with them almost immediately. Totally different and very much "out-there", this is quite a departure and all the better for it.
My joy is rekindled.

This album is exceptional.

I'm so very pleased :)

28 Weeks Later [DVD] [2007]
28 Weeks Later [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Robert Carlyle
Price: £2.65

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I loved most of it but....., 24 Sep 2007
This review is from: 28 Weeks Later [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
This was a real mixed bag for me. I liked "28 days later" with some reservations and unfortunately found myself having reservations about this one too.

The opening scene was terrific. In fact I would go as far as to say the opening of this film wipes the floor with that of it's prequel.
The repopulation of London and the US "occupation" were brilliantly handled.
Sadly this is where I started lose faith. The inevitable re-emergence of the Rage virus was, indeed, strikingly inevitable and it's start point was well handled, if a little unbelievable.
I felt the ensuing chaos put the film majorly back on track and the leading characters "flight" from the Isle of Dogs was exceptionally gripping.


....all this was absolutely ruined for me by the idea of an infected with an apparent agenda and an uncanny knack for tracking, surviving and lurking mysteriously. Maybe I'm a bit simple but I thought the virus turned you into a rampaging bloodthirsty creature with no sense of anything apart from the urge to attack and thus spread the contagion. I'll say no more about it for reasons of "spoilage" but it really destroyed the whole premise of the movie for me.

A real shame it was so close to being excellent.

(Four stars because the good bits are so very, very good)

Dancing With Petty Booka
Dancing With Petty Booka
Price: £18.15

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insane pleasures, 14 Sep 2007
This is a real treat and totally insane at the same time. Samba, Rhumba, Mambo, Cha Cha Cha, Psychedelic Rock, 70s Pop and even a bit of "World Music" thrown in for good measure. This Japanese, singing and ukelele-playing, duo have always excelled at taking any style and making it their own.

Here, the ukeleles have been mothballed and Petty Booka return with their most ecclectic album yet. As far as I know this is not the original band line-up but the wit, warmth and good-natured fun are all still there.

I was first introduced to this band through their country and western/bluegrass ukelele album "Fujiyama Mama" and have been seriously addicted ever since; hunting down their many elusive releases wherever and whenever possible.

Whatever style they choose the Petty Booka treatment never fails to impress. Their most contemporary track yet "Petty Booka-Loo" is an absolute triumph of hazy psychedic pop and may herald a new direction for future releases.

Invest some time in a really unique phenomenon. Only the most truly po-faced could fail to smile.

Follow Me Down (mini - album)
Follow Me Down (mini - album)
Offered by mrtopseller
Price: £2.50

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something wonderful that I struggle to define, 13 Sep 2007
This is the best debut, if not the best music I've heard all year. It didn't immediately grab me but kind of slowly insinuated itself into my conciousness and now refuses to budge at all.

It's so different to anything that I was (mistakenly) expecting and reminds me of the times when I first heard the Velvet Underground. Excitingly fresh, naive and raw, yet almost blessed with a knowledge, understanding and musical depth that's been lost by many more experienced bands.

As I still work my through the tracks, each one becomes a new favourite until I listen to the next one. This shows no sign of stopping as I discover new angles to every song. "Gracelin" tops the list at the moment but all songs are equally worthy.

I really hope they continue to produce music of this quality and avoid the twin horrors of commercialisation and overproduction as they reap the success they so obviously deserve.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 4, 2007 3:42 PM GMT

Sunshine [DVD] [2007]
Sunshine [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Cillian Murphy
Offered by FREETIME
Price: £2.70

9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moody, wonderous and Illuminating, 11 Sep 2007
This review is from: Sunshine [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
I think this is the closest anyone has come to recreating that sense of strange otherworldliness first captured so brilliantly in 2001:A Space Odyssey. There are, unless I'm very much mistaken, several knowing winks towards that landmark picture and "Sunshine" even, cheekily, borrows and updates an idea or two.

I was totally enthralled by this film from first frames to the end credits. So much about it works so very well that the obvious scientific niggles are less of an issue than they may otherwise have been.
"Sunshine" drips with a doom-laden, claustraphobic tension which so many whizz-bang throwaway sci-fi "epics" with massively overindulged budgets sadly ignore in favour of bigger audiences.
I suggest that most negative reviews (here) are from people who have trouble doing two things at once. Many of them seem to not get the point at all.

It's a thoughtful, eerie and surprisingly beautiful addition to the roster of serious "grown-up" science fiction.
If you love 2001 and Solaris I heartliy recommend this as a worthy companion.

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