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E. B. Q. Macrae (St .Martins, Guernsey, United Kingdom)
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Casino Royale (2 Disc Collector's Edition) [2006] [DVD]
Casino Royale (2 Disc Collector's Edition) [2006] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Daniel Craig
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.73

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Looked at objectively, this is undeniably a great Bond film, 6 Jun 2007
I felt obliged to write a review after some frankly outlandish comments from some other reviewers. I think I should address some of the criticisms of others and offer my opinion as to why this is such a great film anyway.

One popular criticism seems to be the lack of gadgets that are on display in this Bond. Although the gadgets made many of the previous films exciting, 'gadgets' in themselves are now largely outdated, and it was clear that a significant change was needed after the 'invisible car' in Bond's previous outing. Gadgets in Bond had become a cheap gimmick that needed to be readdressed, and you have to admire the director for finding an alternative.

That alternative just so happens to be a brilliant script, which trades in cringe worthy one liners for genuine wit and humour. One previous reviewer commented that Bond's response of 'Do I give a damn' (to the question of how he would like his Martini made) was ridiculous, but I would argue quite the opposite. Instead of ticking the boxes with the conventional Bond clichés, this script has been carefully thought through, and the sense that Bond is just starting out in his 00 role shines throughout. The very point is that Bond is only just beginning to develop traits that we have seen in earlier films. Moreover, it proves that these clichés don't need to be included every time, and personally I hope to see the back of many of them in the future. The fact that Bond responds in this way proves that Bond actors have finally begun to embrace a naturalistic style- i.e., of course Bond replies in this way- he's just lost a few million in a game of poker; do we really expect him to pull a suave smile and say 'shaken, not stirred'?

In regards to the plot itself, the film balances action with substance, and personally I thought the focus on poker was a good decision. Bond has always had a close affiliation with gambling, but we rarely get to see him seriously playing. Whereas Bond has met his physical match many times before, it is here that we see his mental match as well, which makes for a much more rounded version of Bond.

Another complaint was the lack of Moneypenny in the film, but we have to remember that the character's role has diminished over the years and she's almost become another cliché of Bond. Frankly I think the equally witty Vesper Lynd, played by Eva Green, is a suitable alternative.

I think a mention should also be given to the music in Casino Royale, so often ignored but such an important part of any bond film. A subtle reworking of the Bond theme gives this film a very contemporary feel, and the music is excellently composed to really compliment the actors, and all credit to David Arnold for that.

I personally think that this was exactly the right turn for Bond, with a script that doesn't conform to clichés throughout but is constructed carefully so that those clichés that have been left in only compliment the film. Daniel Craig makes for a tougher and more admirable Bond, no longer someone who would be better placed in a romantic comedy, as often seemed the case with Pierce Brosnan. The film has a timeless feel and doesn't conform to the steriotypes of the 21st century action movie.

Of course, there are elements of the film which aren't perfect, and it is true to say that a little more careful cutting in the poker scenes would have kept those with a shorter attention span a little more focussed, but overall the film was a good length, with no major flaws to break up the action. A few carefully placed cameos (namely Richard Branson and Allesandro Ambrosio) kept those who are in touch with popular culture happy.

Overall, I think that although the face of Bond has certainly been changed, Casino Royale continues to do exactly what a Bond film should do, and that is to undeniably make every audience member wish that they could be as cool as Bond himself.


Unforgettable Places to See Before You Die (Unforgettable... Before You Die)
Unforgettable Places to See Before You Die (Unforgettable... Before You Die)
by Steve Davey
Edition: Paperback

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational, 13 Aug 2006
We were looking for an appropriate destination for an unforgettable family holiday last year but inspiration was hard to come by. Eventually we realised that instead of trawling the internet, we would have a quick look through this book and see if anywhere really took our fancy. We found Aitutaki in the cook islands, a place we were very unfamiliar with but looked unspoilt and beautiful. We travelled to Aitutaki last summer and were not disappointed. The book perfectly described and displayed what we would see and get but left us wanting to go there too.

If all the other places mentioned in the book live up to what we found on Aitutaki, then this really is the definitive list of unforgettable places to see before you die.


Sony DAV-DZ111 Digital Amplifier 850W  DAV System
Sony DAV-DZ111 Digital Amplifier 850W DAV System

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great price for a great machine, 13 July 2006
You can always trust sony to deliver, and the DAV-DZ111 is no exception. I spent a long time trailing through possible home cinema systems to try to find a good price on a good system and the sony seemed like the best option for the price. My main use of the player is for connecting to a computer and using it to play my music collection. For this purpose the system is excellent. Unlike other players on the market, this one feels like it was designed with this use in mind. The audio in slot on the front means it can easily be connected to a computer or MP3 player, and there are specific sound settings for this configuration.

I have only used the system to connect to my computer so far, but if the quality and ease of use of this is reflected in the quality of the DVD player, then this is a fine product. It is simple to set up and very easy to use, and you can have it up and running within 10 minutes of taking it out of the box. The instruction manual is clear and gives you tips on getting the optimal sound quality for the size of your room. All in all, this is a great, easy to use player that really does the job well. I thoroughly recommend it.


King Kong [DVD]  [2005] (2 Disc Special Edition)
King Kong [DVD] [2005] (2 Disc Special Edition)
Dvd ~ Naomi Watts
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £2.49

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This certainly is an excellent film, 26 April 2006
King Kong is one of those films that could have been so easy to get wrong. Luckily, Peter Jackson has done everything right here. Before i begin, though, i must say that King Kong is certainly not going to be to everybody's taste. It is a film that requires you to suspend your disbelief from the minute they set foot on the island, and, as a fantasy film, is never suggesting that it might actually happen. Having said this, it does an excellent job of convincing an audience that there is every likelihood that it could happen. The film is excellently shot, and the soundtrack captures the mood excellently.

The film really shines in the New York scenes at the end of the film, where as an audience member you realise just how connected you have become to Kong, despite how little he has done.

The only parts of the film that made it any less than perfect were the over long insect scene and the unrealistic feeling dinosaur chase, which, though exciting to watch, didn't quite make the audience believe it to be possible.

Overall, a mammoth project which has been pulled off incredibly well by Jackson, while highlighting some not too pleasant aspects of human nature.


Trust SOUNDFORCE 1000P 2.1 SPEAKER SYSTEM
Trust SOUNDFORCE 1000P 2.1 SPEAKER SYSTEM

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Value for money, 3 Jan 2006
When i saw that these speakers came for £15 delivered, i was surprised, but being on a budget and really needing some laptop speakers, i went ahead and bought them anyway. I wasn't expecting wonders from them at this price and expected them to be marginally better than my laptop standard speakers. However when they came and i plugged them in i was blown away by the excellent clear sound and good subwoofer that came with it. The 3D sound switch is also a very nice touch, although i sometimes find myself switching it off as it tends to boost the treble which often drowns out the singing. The main reason for the 5 stars is what you get for the money you're paying, so don't expect these to be as good as if you paid more, but for listening pleasure they do the job brilliantly. They also go very loud, and i can quite happily not hear myself think with the volume on about a third! They also look very nice, and are easy to use. Overall, for this price, there is no reason why you shouldn't buy them!


Music From The Motion Picture Almost Famous
Music From The Motion Picture Almost Famous
Price: £7.75

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but a little dissapointing, 20 Jun 2005
Music taste is certainly very personal, and this soundtrack is definitely a very personal CD too. For me, stand-out tracks were certainly those by the likes of Simon & Garfunkel, The Who, The Beach Boys, Stillwater, Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrnd and Elton John, although there are tracks on here that will satisfy most fans of music from the 70's. The trouble with a soundtrack is that it must try to encompass everybody's tastes, and also, to some extent, remind the listener of the film. This means that it would be rare for the listener to necessarily enjoy every track (although that isn't rare on an album). This is where the problem lay slightly for me- although the tracks i new and loved were brilliant to have all on one CD, i felt that there was a need for more of that type. The makers of the Soundtrack are, unfortunately, unable to win, because there are not going to many people who enjoy the entire album. That said, the tracks that i did enjoy were excellent to have together, but, if you want something more- choose the standout tracks from the listing, and go and buy and entire album by that band- you'll be much more satisfied.


Deloused in the Comatorium
Deloused in the Comatorium
Price: £4.81

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible piece of work, 17 Feb 2005
I think that it is possible to tell whether an album is great or not if you can still listen to it, and get the same enjoyment out of it, over 6 months after you bought it. De-Loused in the Comatorium is one such album. This album has such drive from start to finish, it never fails to impress me. The album opens with the incredible Citriatic esp., which is an impressive opening, and good taster of what is to come later in the album. The album apparently tells the story of a Heroin addict's decline and eventual death. This certainly seems to show, with the sound of the band changing as the album progresses. It is almost impossible to describe what this album is like, and it is also very hard to liken it to anything else i have heard before, but i have not come across a person yet who does not like The Mars Volta, even if most underestimate their capabilities at first. Those who say that this album becomes boring, or it is too simple clearly do not understand the aims of this album, as this album is clearly something revolutionary.


Billy Talent [U.S. Version]
Billy Talent [U.S. Version]
Offered by Dirty Deals UK
Price: £6.00

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lighting the way for the Future, 22 Jan 2005
When a friend of mine first told me he was going to put the Billy Talent album on, i didn't really get all that excited. 'It's Emo isn't it?' I asked. 'Yea' was the reply. I became even less enthusiastic. Emo has never been what i listened to out of choice. However, as soon as the opening riff for 'this is how it goes' came through those speakers, i was inspired. A guitarist myself, i was hooked from the start. We listened to the whole album from start to finish, and then we listened to it all over again. Later that day, i bought it off this website, and anticipated its arrival.
If you have heard 'River Below', 'Ex', or 'Try honesty', which have all been released as singles, then you have barely even scraped the surface of Billy Talent. Punk Rock influences come shining through, and you can immediately see the effect that bands such as Sum 41 have had on Billy Talent. Billy Talent here have mixed a Punk Rock sound with an Emo Undertone. The Lyrics and musicality of this band are also very good, and the every track is exciting from start to finish, often with a twist in the middle. This was certainly one of the albums of 2003, and still manages to excite to this day.


Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight (PC CD)
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight (PC CD)
Offered by games-wizard
Price: £10.65

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great game if you can get through the installation time!, 10 April 2004
This game is massive. Everywhere is mapped in, right down to the little island of Herm (how many of you where that is). In fact, it is so big; I really do not know where to start. The aircraft may be a good place. This edition being a '100 years of flight' version, we start with the Wright flier have everything up to the modern 777's in the middle. Every aircraft is perfectly mapped right down to the last bump on each airolon, and, if your PC is powerful enough to run it, you can appreciate every last reflection from a beautiful morning sunrise in New York.
A new addition to the Flight simulator scene is some very nice visual effects; water splashes, tyre smoke, it's all in there. Aircraft distrails are also a necessary addition.
I have only scraped the surface of what the game holds. An amazing tutorial section plus hundreds of flight videos, missions and 1000's of cities are all still there for you to get your teeth into.
Be forewarned- You will need a powerful PC to run this well (Windows XP, Pentium 4 preferably, GeForce 4 or equivalent, and there are 4 discs to it, but if you can get through the installation times then there is an awe-inspiring game sitting right underneath your fingertips.


XIII (GameCube)
XIII (GameCube)

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A large chunk of cell shaded history in the making, 6 Jan 2004
This review is from: XIII (GameCube) (Video Game)
XIII is, without a doubt, one of the best FPS's of the year. As the game starts, you find yourself awake on a beach, with the FBI claiming that you shot the president, and they certainly have enough evidence to convict you. But you have had a sudden burst of Amnesia, and you cannot remember anything, not even your name. All you have is the number 'XIII' tattooed onto your chest. As you play the game, the plot unfolds before your eyes, and within 34 graphically impressive, challenging levels, you eventually work out your past, with a series of amazing cut scenes, that you actually look forward to seeing.
Despite being an excellent shooter, you can see the amusing side to it. The deaths of the guards are often quite funny, with pop up boxes occasionally popping up and giving you the death from a different angle if it is a particularly good one. A similar thing happens when you manage a good headshot. Three boxes appear at the top of the screen, showing three different stages of their death.
When there are noises in the game, it portrays it with large onomatopoeic words. For example, a particularly large explosion will be accompanied by the word 'KABOOM' in large letters. This can also be used to enhance the stealth element of the game; as, when you stand behind a wall, you can see the 'tap-tap' of the oncoming guards footsteps, meaning you can jump out at just the right moment, and, for example, knock him over the head with a chair, or shoot him with one of 15 weapons, or 8 interactive objects in the game. The game uses the Unreal engine, meaning that some stunning water and lighting effects can be seen in the game, nicely enhanced for the GameCube version.
To sum everything up, this is a brilliant game, which will last you a long time if you play it on 'normal' mode. It is definitely well worth your thirty quid. Buy it now.


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