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Gareth Hall "Lord Rockingham" (Birmingham, United Kingdom)

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Condensed Books (The Visitor / The Rescue / Faith / Eddie's Bastard)
Condensed Books (The Visitor / The Rescue / Faith / Eddie's Bastard)

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A slapdash sequel, 13 Mar 2011
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
There were 3 Street Fighter games released on the SNES in the early 90's - Street Fighter II: The World Warrior, Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers, and this game, Street Fighter II: Turbo. (Street Fighter I - known simply as "Street Fighter" - was never released on the SNES)

This game was the second of the three, released as the follow-up to the hugely successful Street Fighter II: The World Warrior. SFII: Turbo is the game most often singled out as the best of the series - this was largely based on the faster gameplay, and the ability to play as the four bosses (M. Bison, Sagat, Vega, Balrog) for the first time.

However, contrary to popular belief, this game was NOT an improvement on SFII: The World Warrior, for a number of reasons. Firstly, several of the characters were given far more cautious fighting styles - in 1 player mode, your opponent will often wait, and wait, and wait for you to attack. For any player who enjoys using a counterattacking style themselves, this makes for some pretty dull matches. Playing against Ryu is particularly frustrating - in this game, he will sit back and spam you with fireball after fireball.

Then there are the playable bosses - none of them have been given a full range of kicks and punches, with the same attack typically copied on two or even three different buttons. Their limited arsenal of moves simply takes all the fun out of playing with them, which defeats the purpose of making them playable in the first place. To make matters even worse, Sagat's Tiger Knee is unnecessarily awkward to execute, and Vega's Swan Dive has been rendered next to useless (the move will miss the opponent so often it is hardly worth using).

This game gives you the opportunity to choose between "Turbo" mode and "Normal" mode. "Turbo" mode gives you a choice of speeds. Personally, I thought World Warrior's speed was absolutely fine, but if you want a faster pace, you have the option here. Unfortunately, on "Turbo" the alternate character colour schemes are defaulted...and several of them look pretty damn ugly. On "Normal" mode the original colours are defaulted...but, for some inexplicable reason, the gameplay is really, really SLOW...slower even than World Warrior. OK, if you choose "normal" you don't expect "turbo" speed, but playing this mode is like wading through quicksand. So if you liked the pace of World Warrior, you'll find this game either too fast or too slow, depending on which mode you choose. Not the best choice, eh?

Also new are the background colour schemes - compared to World Warrior, they are garish and harsh on the eyes (why on earth Sagat's statue was turned bright orange in this game is anyone's guess). The characters themselves have had a make-under, too - in their winning poses, E. Honda's face is now a blurry mess, and Balrog's vicious scowl has been replaced with a silly, child-like grin. Poor attention to detail like this strongly indicates that Capcom did not take their time to get this game just right...almost certainly, they rushed it out to capitalise on World Warrior's popularity.

In a nutshell, SFII: Turbo is a slapdash sequel to a great game. It is inferior to SFII: World Warrior in many ways, but still resembles it closely enough to be entertaining in its own right. Given the choice between the two, though, there is no SFII: World Warrior instead.

Gary Glitter's Gangshow
Gary Glitter's Gangshow
Offered by Cragmonster
Price: £8.99

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Yes! We all want to be in Gary's gang", 15 Aug 2010
This review is from: Gary Glitter's Gangshow (Audio CD)
"Gary Glitter's Gangshow - The Gang, The Band, The Leader" is a live album recorded on Christmas Eve 1988, at the SECC Glasgow. The album title (named after that year's tour) was Gary's personal tribute to The Gang, his fans. Far from passive spectators, he saw them as part of the show, and rewarded them with top billing on the marquee.

It was no empty gesture. This Glasgow crowd not only contributes with great gusto to the call and response sections of Gary's hits ("Did you miss me?" "YEAH!!!"), they unite as one to sing whole sections by themselves, while erupting into chants of "Leader! Leader!" between songs. During one brief interlude, Gary asks the audience: "How about you singing us a song while we're standing here?" and with no further prompting required, The Gang launches into a spontaneous chant of: "Come on, come on! Come on, come on!". Such irrepressible enthusiasm creates a wonderful party atmosphere, and that atmosphere remains perfectly preserved on the album.

Another tangible quality on "Gangshow" is the deep affection between artist and audience. Gary loved his fans, and they loved him right back, and this warmth of feeling, mutual and undeniable, makes the album all the more special.

The music? From the opening bars of "Rock 'n' Roll Part II", Gary sets a ferocious pace and dares the audience to keep up with him. The first 6 songs comprise a stunning selection of his early hits, plus the superb 1980 single "When I'm On, I'm On". The momentum dips slightly halfway through the set, as Gary elects to sing a couple of his weaker 80's efforts (from this period, "Dance Me Up", "Shout Shout Shout" or "Dedicated Man" would all have been better choices), before a clutch of stripped down 50's covers sets up the grandstanding finish of "I Love You Love Me Love" and "I'm The Leader Of The Gang (I Am)".

Gary's live album from 1974, "Remember Me This Way", is excellent - "Gary Glitter's Gangshow" is even better. This record brings you twice the songs, a better vocal performance from Gary, and although the Glitter Band are no longer present, his new backing musicians are bang on the money, even surpassing the originals with their hard-hitting sound.

Finally, the album is nicely finished with extensive liner notes, and a picturesque collage of newspaper clippings showing rave reviews of the Scottish leg of Gary's tour. "Yes! We all want to be in Gary's gang" reads one this album, and you'll know why.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 3, 2013 10:06 AM GMT

Remember Me This Way (24bt) (Mlps)
Remember Me This Way (24bt) (Mlps)
Price: £53.04

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Glitter at The Rainbow, 22 July 2010
"Remember Me This Way" is Gary Glitter's first live album, released in 1974 to coincide with a feature film (starring Glitter) of the same name. This album was recorded during Glitter's 1973 Christmas concert at The Rainbow in London, and for that reason it is perfectly timed to capture The Leader at the absolute peak of his popularity.

It begins with the slow beat of a solitary bass drum - a simple but brilliantly effective method for gradually building the anticipation before the show. Then, a sudden blast of horns, guitars and a revving motorcycle signals the intro to "I'm The Leader of The Gang (I Am)", and the venue erupts with the kind of ear-splitting, high pitched scream that can only be produced by a capacity crowd of 3,000+ hysterical teenage girls. Every song in the set, and every playful aside from Gary is met with the same ecstatic approval. You will hear very few live albums with fans as excitable as these, and their enjoyment of the music is powerfully infectious - it's easy to imagine yourself right there in the front row, screaming your loudest along with the rest.

As for the music itself, the hits come thick and fast, offering a satisfying selection of Gary's early favourites. The studio versions of these songs offer cleaner vocals and harder-hitting melodies, but the energy and showmanship that Gary brings to his live performance make this recording well worth hearing, and a refreshing alternative for anyone over-familiar with the original studio cuts. The only gripes worth making are that "Sidewalk Sinner" IS the original studio cut (which was already available on Glitter's previous record "Touch Me"), and the title track, also a studio recording, is only a brief snippet of the song (this was intended as a teaser for the upcoming single release). This leaves 8 live tracks in total, which falls some way short of a full-length concert experience.

Short on quantity perhaps, but high on quality: "Remember Me This Way" is one of the finest live albums of the 70's, from one of the greatest live entertainers Britain ever produced.

True Blood Season 1 (HBO) [DVD] [2009]
True Blood Season 1 (HBO) [DVD] [2009]
Dvd ~ Anna Paquin
Price: £12.34

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blood and Spice, 10 Jan 2010
"True Blood" has vampires on the menu, southern-fried and Cajun-spiced.

The sticky Louisiana backwater setting feels authentic, and this is helped enormously by an intoxicating mix of blues, country and rock 'n' roll on the soundtrack - Jace Everett's "Bad Things", to cite just one example, might well be one of the best theme songs in TV history.

The horror scenes are a little gorier than you'd expect, and the sex scenes are a lot more graphic and frequent than you'd expect. Almost all of the main characters are well-written, with colourful personalities and plenty of depth. Anna Paquin's Sookie has more sass and backbone than most female leads, and Ryan Kwanten and Nelsan Ellis both have great supporting roles as Sookie's dangerously impulsive brother Jason, and the outrageous cook/rent boy/drug dealer Lafayette.

The show's main premise is an attempted co-existence between vampires and humans, and the parallels it draws with America's history of racial integration. The material is ripe for asking all sorts of compelling moral questions - unfortunately, the writers seem to steadily lose faith in it as the season progresses. Too many key characters are bumped off for cheap shocks, and too many supernatural subplots (psychic powers, demonic possession, shapeshifting) are thrown in as though vampires aren't enough to hold our attention. This splattergun approach eventually robs the story arc of much of its momentum, but the strength of the early episodes - and the enduring appeal of the surviving characters - leaves you enough intrigue to ponder the potential of Season 2.

Glitter and Doom Live
Glitter and Doom Live
Price: £13.66

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tom's Tales: A Labyrinth To Lose Yourself In, 23 Nov 2009
This review is from: Glitter and Doom Live (Audio CD)
"Glitter and Doom Live" is the third live album of Tom Waits' career, and his first since 1988's "Big Time". It gathers recordings from various performances on Tom Waits' 2008 summer tour, with a bonus disc compiling spoken word riffs and anecdotes that served as interludes during the shows. The album's title references an art exhibition, by various painters, which portrayed the decadence and destitution of German society in the aftermath of World War I - an exhibition which most likely appealed to Waits' trademark fascination with the broken and the grotesque.

As opening track "Lucinda" staggers to its feet, Waits' incomparable vocal tone shocks the listener into immediate attention - a sound fired and hardened in the kiln of Wait's basement bar belly, cracked and ground to coarse dust in the throat, and finally expelled in plumes of sonic smoke through the mouth. As he nears his 60th year, Waits continues to grow into his voice at an age when nature typically arrives to steal it away - hearing him sing today is a more compellingly visceral experience than ever.

In a live medium, Waits' extraordinary growl can and does occasionally obscure the handiwork of one of the 20th century's greatest lyricists - the studio versions of these songs, for the most part, are kinder to the exquisite detail of Waits' words. In exchange, Waits is not afraid to be too rough when he plays with his toys, and this loose approach reveals wonderful new colours in old material - listen to the mournful bell toll in "Dirt in the Ground", or the delightful homage to James Brown's "Soul Power" in "Such A Scream"'s funky guitar.

The setlist takes you through each of Waits' favourite guises - the wistful balladeer ("I'll Shoot The Moon"), the bizarre storyteller ("Live Circus"), and the crazed, barking bluesman ("Goin' Out West"). However, some fans may lament the apparently random song choices - several classic tracks from "Mule Variations" are overlooked in favour of the relatively pedestrian "Get Behind The Mule", while "Blood Money" would have been far better represented by "Starving In The Belly of a Whale" than "This Is The Part You Throw Away".

Then there's "Tom Tales": a bonus disc of Waits' musings on everything from the Nazis' answer to alphabet soup ("Pastikas") to the law against eating in a burning building in Oklahoma, and how male spiders strum their webs to make "spider music" for their prospective mates. Although each nugget would probably be better enjoyed in its natural habitat, nestling in between Waits' songs, his comic timing is so sharp, and his subject matter so uniquely fascinating, that this disc could easily sell itself as one of the best stand-up routines you've ever heard. Is it really that good? When Waits asks the audience: "What do you want to hear, songs or stories?", there are equal shouts for both.

Whether "Glitter and Doom Live" is a good choice for a newcomer's first purchase is debatable, but this question is almost beside the point. Rather like pondering which entrance to use to enter a labyrinth, you will get lost regardless - and in Tom Wait's labyrinth, you will be very glad you did.

For Your Entertainment
For Your Entertainment
Offered by Giant Entertainment
Price: £8.99

5 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "For Your Entertainment": Album review in full, 20 Nov 2009
This review is from: For Your Entertainment (Audio CD)
Much like The X Factor (and the original Pop Idol), American Idol typically offers nothing more than glorified karaoke, sung by wannabes with no future in the music industry - but, on Season 8, Adam Lambert proved to be exactly the kind of contestant the show had so often failed to find. From the intense yearning of "A Change Is Gonna Come" to the pomp and swagger of "Whole Lotta Love", Adam dominated the competition with his ability to personalise and re-interpret classic songs, and perform them in a high vocal range which drew favourable comparisons to the legendary Freddie Mercury.

When the wholesome, likeable (ie. crushingly dull) Kris Allen pipped Adam to first place in the season finale, many speculated that the American public's homophobia had cost Adam victory (yes, he's gay *shrug*), but the subsequent outrage was tempered by the hope that, as a consequence of finishing second, he could go on to record his debut album under less pressure, and with more creative control.

On "For Your Entertainment", it is frustratingly apparent that this has not been the case. The songwriting credits are crowded with "big names" contributing material that, while fairly good for the most part, is inescapably more identifiable with the authors than with Adam. Justin Hawkins' "Music Again" sounds like The Darkness, Matt Bellamy's "Soaked" sounds like Muse, and Lady GaGa's "Fever" sounds like Lady GaGa. Max Martin, who made his name writing for Backstreet Boys and N' Sync, offers the predictably sugary "If I Had You". Then there's the wretchedly mediocre title track (and lead single) by Claude Kelly and Dr. Luke - a piece of plastic pop better suited to weaker singers and blander personalities than Adam. "Time For Miracles" is every bit as trite and overblown as the American Idol finale song "No Boundaries", and yet another example of Adam being stuck with material which leaves him little room for self-expression.

Time for the good news. Adam has three co-writing credits of his own (a fourth, "Down The Rabbit Hole", is available as an iTunes bonus track), and when given the chance to put his stamp on the record, the benefit to the music is undeniable. "Strut" combines a thumping synth beat with a rollicking rhythm guitar to excellent effect, "Aftermath" is a solid slice of emo-rock, and on the serene "Broken Open" Adam's vocal is masterful in it's depth, subtlety and restraint. Another highlight is the pop-rock hook on "Whataya Want From Me", courtesy of Pink.

The sound of the album veers back and forth from polished emo to processed pop, of which there is a little too much of the latter. Adam's vocals are superb throughout, although the commercial sheen on the production occasionally takes the edge off his voice, which suggests he is being slightly held back by a lack of grittier material to explore.

The overriding impression of "For Your Entertainment" is one of too much compromise - I suspect Adam's "people" preferred finishing before Christmas to allowing him to do more writing, and exert greater influence on the record. Like so many young artists, Adam needs time to develop, and the chance to forge his own identity. If he is given these opportunities, the best songs of this album - which are his own - hold the potential for a very exciting future.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 26, 2009 10:14 PM GMT

Sonic Boom
Sonic Boom
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £15.02

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Vintage sound, but not vintage songs, 5 Oct 2009
This review is from: Sonic Boom (Audio CD)
KISS, the self-proclaimed "Hottest Band In The World", have spent most of the last decade under fire - and a lot of the criticism has come from their own fans.

Back in 1998, when recording began for "Psycho Circus", the KISS Army was still buzzing from the band's spectacular '96-'97 reunion tour. However, when they found out that Paul and Gene had kicked Ace and Peter out of the studio, and completed most of the new album with stand-ins, many fans felt cheated. When Ace and Peter were thrown out of the band completely a couple of years later, and replaced with doppelgangers (Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer, wearing Ace and Peter's make-up), the discontent grew even stronger. A phoney "farewell" tour proved to be yet another deception, and 11 years spent releasing mountains of merchandise (including the infamous KISS Kondoms and KISS Koffins) but, crucially, no new music has even led some to question if KISS are a real band anymore. "They never were a real band," sneer long-time critics. "Just an over-the-top novelty act."

To that, I say: KISS have done damage to their legacy in recent years, but if they were never a great band to begin with, they wouldn't have a legacy at all, to harm or to enhance - and their legacy is built as much on musicianship as it is on showmanship, as any of their classic studio records (which require no added visual theatrics) will attest. It's been far too long since KISS reminded fans and critics alike that they are not only a real band, but arguably the GREATEST rock band of the 20th century...and what better way to do that than by surprising us all with a brilliant comeback album?

In the build-up to "Sonic Boom", Paul and Gene have talked up the "classic KISS sound" of the new record...and in this respect, the hype is on the money. The production, the guitars and even the vocal arrangements take you straight back to the band's 70's era, which is likely to please a lot of older fans.

Lead single "Modern Day Delilah" opens the record with a chugging riff, and Paul's perennially crisp and commanding vocal tone, but when it fails to break out of it's mid-tempo canter, the song feels a little too comfortable for comfort. "Never Enough" is more energetic, and Paul punctuates the finish with a full-blooded shout of: "Give it to me!" For a brief moment, "Sonic Boom" seems poised to live up to it's title. Instead, the album falls back into mid-tempo purgatory, with a collection of songs too complacent to demand your full attention. Gene's vocals are particularly listless, even bored, bringing back memories of the mid 80's when (by his own admission) he was more interested in his acting career than contributing to the band. He wakes from his slumber just once, on the down n' dirty "I'm An Animal", which is reminiscent of "Watchin' You", but let down somewhat by a throwaway lyric.

To his credit, Tommy Thayer takes up much of the slack with lead guitar work that is consistently impressive, and in places, truly magnificent. His singing is mediocre (and ironically not dissimilar to Ace's), but Eric Singer shows he is more than capable of carrying a tune. Unfortunately, both their solo spots ("When Lightning Strikes" and "All For The Glory", respectively) are no better than fillers. Also, Thayer has only 3 co-writing credits (Singer has none), which reinforces their "hired hands" status.

"Danger Us" offers up one of the band's worst-ever lyrical puns: "Danger you, danger me, danger-us!", while "Stand" and "Say Yeah" aim for anthemic without coming close to emulating "Shout It Out Loud" or "Rock and Roll All Nite". The 15 re-recordings offered as bonus tracks are barely worth mentioning - we were all happy with the originals, so why bother?

"Sonic Boom" achieves a vintage sound, but contains nothing that could be described as a vintage KISS song. There are a couple of good tracks, but far too many fillers to qualify this as proof of any persisting vitality in the band. When judged against their illustrious back catalogue, this ranks alongside albums like "Animalize" or "Asylum". Not a triumphant return, then - but at least KISS have finally remembered that being in a band is about more than merchandise margins and nostalgia.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 19, 2009 4:45 PM GMT

Offered by orbitingbooks
Price: £1.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the mother you were expecting..., 3 Sep 2009
This review is from: Thrall-Demonsweatlive (Audio CD)
"Thrall - Demonsweatlive" was a 7 song EP released in 1993, comprising three new Danzig studio tracks, and four live recordings of songs taken from the band's previous three studio albums.

1993 would be Danzig's peak year of popularity, due mainly to a music video entitled "Mother '93" which achieved significant rotation on MTV at the time. The video, showing Danzig performing their signature classic "Mother" live in concert, was conceived to promote "Thrall - Demonsweatlive"...although, very misleadingly, the version of the song used in the video cannot be found on this EP. The video version dubs crowd noise over a studio re-recording of "Mother", which is almost identical to the original from 1988's "Danzig". The version of "Mother" which appears on the EP is a genuine live version, which unfortunately captures Danzig in poor vocal form, cutting words off the end of lines, and shouting rather than singing. There is a second version which appears as a "hidden" bonus track at the end of the EP, which is the studio re-recording, but without the crowd noise dubbed over it. So, for anyone who has seen the "Mother '93" video and wants to buy the song, "Thrall - Demonsweatlive" does NOT deliver it as advertised.

The other live tracks on the record are also rather poor examples of Danzig's singing, although the classic ballad "Sistinas" fares a little better than the faster, heavier material. The highlights of the album are without a doubt the three new studio cuts (especially the bluesy "Trouble"), which are all good enough to have merited a place on Danzig's earlier records.

The false advertising of "Mother '93" and the subpar live recordings certainly diminish the appeal of this EP - any of Danzig's first three albums would be a better first purchase for new fans - but for those who already own "Danzig", "Lucifuge" and "How The Gods Kill", it's a reasonable choice for your next buy.

Price: £7.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Third Legacy, 3 Sep 2009
This review is from: Danzig (Audio CD)
Glenn Danzig has never received much attention from the rock media, which is rather strange, considering that he has fathered 3 bands in his lifetime that maintain a strong cult following to this day. Like most people, I first became aware of his existence through the phenomenal amount of merchandise produced for his first band, The Misfits. They were the original horror punks, hiding great pop hooks in chaotic 1-2 minute blasts of noise, with lyrics populated by brain-eating zombies and aliens from another dimension. When The Misfits disbanded in 1983, Glenn went on to found Samhain, during which time he began a transition from full throttle punk to slower, more gothic material.

By 1988, and the release of his third band's eponymous debut album, the transition was complete. Danzig embraced grinding blues-boogie metal grooves, and supernatural themes of damnation, transmogrification, and sins of the flesh. Perhaps the biggest revelation was Glenn's smouldering baritone vocals, for the first time given time and space to showcase a dynamic, deeply distinctive singing style. When the album peaks, on 'Am I Demon' and 'She Rides', both band and singer are on excellent form. However, as only a couple of the 10 tracks can be considered uptempo, and every song is 4-5 minutes long, the album can be monotonous when played from start to finish. Also, Rick Rubin's thin, hollow production has not dated well. On the plus side, Danzig's signature tune 'Mother' is also present here (although it is not quite as exciting as the "live" version captured in a 1993 Danzig promo).

'Danzig (Volume I)' certainly has its flaws, but crucially, it is compelling enough to leave you wanting more - Glenn is a fantastically charismatic frontman, instinctively provoking fascination with every performance. Danzig's next album, 1990's 'Lucifuge', would be a richer, more diverse body of work, cementing the band's status as worthy inheritors of Glenn's influential legacy.

Twilight [DVD]
Twilight [DVD]
Dvd ~ Kristen Stewart
Price: £2.68

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars They're vampires...but don't worry, they're harmless, 21 Aug 2009
This review is from: Twilight [DVD] (DVD)
When Twilight was first pitched to Summit Entertainment, someone in the meeting most likely said: "It's Harry Potter, but with vampires instead of wizards!" At which point, Summit most likely saw the dollar signs flash before their eyes, and gave it the green light.

The similarities between Twilight and Harry Potter are manifold: both hugely popular book series, both written by previously unknown authors, both adapted into equally successful movie franchises, both purportedly exploring "dark" themes but sanitising them of sex, violence, gore, bad language and anything else remotely disturbing...which, finally and most importantly, has allowed both to attract legions of teen and "tween" fans, while simultaneously re-assuring their parents that it's just harmless entertainment.

For Twilight, however, this prompts the question: Why should anyone care about harmless vampires? It's a question that the movie struggles to provide a convincing answer for, although in it's defence, it isn't really about vampires at all - rather, it's the story of a romance between two people, one of whom happens to be a vampire.

Those two people are Bella Swan and Edward Cullen, played by Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, respectively. Stewart and Pattinson are both suitably beautiful romantic leads, and they generate a fair amount of onscreen chemistry. The cinematography is also quite beautiful, with a pale blue tint casting an appropriately sallow pall over the clouded forests that encircle the small town of Forks. Twilight is certainly a picturesque piece of cinema.

However, once your fangs pierce the visually appealing surface, the superficial nature of the movie is exposed. In terms of character authenticity, dramatic tension and believable plot progression, Twilight disappoints on all counts. Firstly, Edward: he's a 107 year old vampire, so why on earth would he be attracted to a girl of 17? The gap in maturity and life experience is so vast, the concept veers dangerously close to paedophilia! Then there's the fact that neither the screenplay nor Pattinson's performance convey Edward's advanced years - far from exhibiting "ancient wisdom" or "coming from another time", he talks and acts exactly like a modern day, awkward, impulsive teenager. His romance with Bella, which begins with the eternal Hollywood cliché "at first, they don't get along", then proceeds to skip over any substantial scenes in which they are simply allowed to get to know one another, let alone tackle the many complex and unusual obstacles they must overcome as lovers. As a result, the final third of the movie - without giving anything away - feels dreadfully rushed, and by the end Edward and Bella's relationship has progressed beyond all bounds of believability.

Of course, Edward isn't the only vampire in town - Twilight serves up a few more to up the horror ante. But, since everything has to be "tween-friendly", there's no blood, no biting, no fangs, and no vampire make-up beyond making everyone look really pale. So, is there a single scary moment in the whole film? No. The conflict between the "good" and "evil" vampires is so dull, their main confrontation occurs over a game of baseball. BASEBALL? Yes, you read it right.

So, as a horror movie, Twilight is a dismal failure. As a romance, it is superficial and unrealistic, but everything and everyone is beautiful enough to just about hold your attention. Yes, it's harmless entertainment - whether that is faint praise or harsh criticism really depends on how old you are.

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