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Reviews Written by
C. B. Softley "Badger" (Wolverhampton, Staffordshire United Kingdom)

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The Lord of the Rings (Animated Version) [DVD] [1978]
The Lord of the Rings (Animated Version) [DVD] [1978]
Dvd ~ Christopher Guard
Offered by Springwood Media
Price: £14.99

15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Aruman, or Saruman?, 21 Jun. 2002
I first saw this animated version as a child on television. I didn't know anything about it but it left me totally bewildered. Several years later I met a new friend who had recorder it off TV and we'd watch it and quote it endlessly with never a thought or an idea about where it had came from or indeed, where the second part was. Well time grows and so do you, I am fully grown up, and fully versed in most things Tolkien these days. When I heard Peter Jackson was making a live action film of one of the greatest books ever I got very excited; not to mention confused - Peter Jackson of Bad Taste and Braindead fame? However my initial excitement was due to the fact that I KNEW this magical animated version would eventually be re released - Yipppee!
So, is it any good? Yes. Yes it is. Although it does take many liberties with the book, and misses out some of the less important scenes it does a very good job of translating half of Tolkien's classic to an animated adventure. The animation is, in my opinion terrific, the mixture of proper animation, real action, and painted over real action works well in setting up such a good atmosphere. Perfect voice acting, which includes Anthony Daniels as Legolas. (C3P0 from Star Wars no less!)
It's a real shame that Bakshi wasn't able to finish his version, which does give the ending an abrupt feel. Other than this I only have 2 other gripes; the first is that Sam Wise (Probably the best character in the book.) is played off as a little too simple for my liking, I much prefer Sean Astin's version. And is it Saruman or Aruman? Apparently Saruman was too alike Sauron for Bakshi so he changed it to Aruman, fine by me, but sometimes he's still referred to as Saruman?!?! But these are only small points which don't detract too much from the overall feel of the movie. Great character build up, quality animation, truly excellent music (I cannot state that enough, it's even catchy!) and half of one of the greatest stories ever told. But maybe not suitable for children.

Offered by wilfsiddle
Price: £11.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arthur we know and we sympathize., 19 Jun. 2002
This review is from: Arthur (Audio CD)
This is one of the best albums of the 60's and no doubt about it.
Originally intended as a soundtrack to a BBC series, the deal fell through but Ray Davies wrote the album anyway. The concept of the album is the history Britain from the early 1900's to present day (ie the 60's) as seen through the eyes of everyday man Arthur. This is, however not an important aspect as to how enjoyable all the music is. Some of the Kinks best songs ever are right here on this album, mixing tail end phycedelia and Davies rock, with heart rendering generic lyrics. I've never been in a war, but 'Some Mother's Son' strikes me right in the heart with it's image of a dead soldier on a battlefield, always looking the same in his mother's eyes. The music is perfect, with Dave Davies' guitar work riffing about everywhere, and some of the best horn arrangements I've so far heardon a rock album.
Buy this even just for 'Shangri-La', the best Kinks song ever.

One Door Away from Heaven
One Door Away from Heaven
by Dean Koontz
Edition: Hardcover

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm not a gump!, 19 Jun. 2002
I wasn't going to give this book 5 stars as it wasn't quite as good as Koontz' previous 3 novels (Corner of his Eye, False Memory, and Seize the night. Get them and you can thank me later.) But it stands alone as too great a story NOT to give full marks to.
Koontz' ability to tell 3 completely seperate stories and all of a sudden meld them into one great ending is a genius the like only Tad Williams is equal to. And believe me, it is right at the end that all the characters eventually interact. And what great characters!
He raises so many questions throughout this book, and this makes it a real page turner. Why, if Preston Maddoc is a bio-ethicist did he marry a drug addict with 2 crippled children, what will happen to Leilani on her tenth birthday, why does Curtis Hammond act so strangely, and what on earth (or beyond) does it all have to do with PI Noah?
This book is gripping from the very start, with great characters throughout and the slow build up to explaining the boy Curtis is absolutely perfect. A truly excellent novel which barely gets bogged down in what I can only described as Koontz sentmentality. (Koontz fans will know what I mean by this.)
Buy it now!

Offered by konsolenkost
Price: £20.99

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cool and creepy!, 14 Mar. 2002
This review is from: Necronomicon (Video Game)
Anybody who's slightly interested in horror reading will have heard of Mr H.P. Lovecraft and his Cuthulhu and Necronomicon writings. I can say without a doubt in my mind that he is the finest horror writer I have ever read, and I was quite surprised to see this game based on his legacy. It's a first person RPG with great style, with a storyline very remeniscent of one of Lovecraft's stories. The graphics are excellent, and despite not actually having music has some of the best and eeriest sound ever heard on the PS1. As for the game, well me and my wife lost an entire weekend (that's 3 days folks) lost in it's layers, scratching our heads and feeling extremely jumpy. Still haven't finished it, (despite being well into the second disc) and it still has the ability to draw me in. My only gripe is the difficulty level, which stays pretty standard until part of the way into the second disc then all of a sudden you have to work out everything that has come before, and resurrect a dead body. Very frustrating as despite checking everywhere at least three times an upstairs door totally eluded us until we fell prey to checking an online cheat site to see what was next. This aside however, it is my favourite PS1 game yet. Can you say ATMOSPHERE?? Bwa ha ha haaaaaa!

Yelo 800DVD Multi-region DVD player
Yelo 800DVD Multi-region DVD player

29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars !!HELLO YELO!!, 23 Oct. 2001
It IS everything it says it is. A straight out of the box multi-region, all singing all dancing DVD player. The first thing I did was try out the special features code, there was no need as it was already set on multi-region. I've had 3 weeks of pleasure from this gizmo and I have honestly not needed to look at the instruction manual once.
The menus are clear and pretty obvious to work out, and everything so far has player as smoothly as I expected. At this price you can't go wrong.
(If your title screen doesn't come up in a yellow colour straight away, simply press the P/N button to get it right.)

Junior Bonner
Junior Bonner

17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A mostly laid back affair., 17 May 2001
This review is from: Junior Bonner (VHS Tape)
The pairing of Peckinpah and Mcqueen always provided the right kind of screen chemistry. This is a story of a man past his prime, a man once on top of his game but due to injury coasts along through a sport of which he was a king. Rodeo riding is the name of the game, and JR Bonner is the man with aspirations to win a bull riding contest, on the very same bull which caused his downfall.
The whole film has a very laid back feel to it, but when the rodeo action happens it's worth the wait. Although the whole sport seems to be merely a back drop for the placing of the estranged Bonner family. The rich over grasping brother with the love/hate relationship, the boyish charm of the over the hill drunk father, with whom JR has incredible difficulty communicating with - even though they have somewhat identicle personalities. And the tired mother, who lets most events simply pass her by without considering the future. I wont go into in depth story detail, but I will say that this is an almost perfect family drama with lots of interesting supporting characters, marred only by the silly female interest which just doesn't amount to anything. (See also Tom Horn also starring Mcqueen.)
The rodeo scenes are excelently filmed, particularly the flash back bull riding scene. Brilliant performances all round, a nice film to relax to after your Sunday dinner.

A Quick One (Happy Jack)
A Quick One (Happy Jack)
Offered by SFISHER
Price: £19.99

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best version I've heard!, 10 Dec. 1999
OK, every serious 'The Who' fan knows that the re-mastered version of this album isn't really that much cop. So much so, that the casual fan could very easily over look this classic. A classic it is however! These limited edition imports of The Who collection are not easy to come by, by if you are able to obtain copies then you must see it on a par with witnessing the second coming. This is the best version of this album that I've ever heard. (And that includes the original vinyl version.) I've no idea what they've done to it, and technical mumbo jumbo is really not my thing, but it sounds so much better than the normal re-master that the high price tag is forgivable. From the opening track to Boris the Spider and all the way through to the title track it's a joy, but then again you could even say that about the 'other' version! I'm very pleased, any 'The Who' fan should be pleased, and the casual fan? Well if you've gotten this far then why stop? Get them all!!!
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