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STU H. (Beverley, East Yorkshire)

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The Endless River
The Endless River
Price: £10.00

9 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Coda to Pink Floyd's career., 10 Nov 2014
This review is from: The Endless River (Audio CD)
Here we have the ‘bonus disc’ from a non-existent 2-disc special edition of THE DIVISION BELL... an edition, which if it really existed, might be worth an extra three or four quid over and above the ‘standard’ version, without making you feel as though you’d been shortchanged...

After four listens, about the best I can say about it is that it *does* at least sound a lot like Pink Floyd – but never does the quality or inspiration rise above what you’d expect from fragments that were previously rejected as not being good enough. And even the one song with vocals, LOUDER THAN WORDS, is bettered by pretty much anything you’ll find on THE DIVISION BELL.

What we’re left with, in the main, is a 50-minute suite of ambient noise, Pink Floyd style, which only ever once or twice threatens to break out into something approaching a memorable melody. Much of it is glacial and impenetrable – a bit like the music someone like, say, Sibelius might have composed - had he been a prog-rocker, of course...

It’s not terrible, just disappointing. And, as much as I try to respect other people’s opinions, it’s worth pointing out that all those reviewers awarding it five stars are (in effect) ranking it up alongside the likes of DARK SIDE OF THE MOON and WISH YOU WERE HERE.

I really wish I was listening to the same album!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 10, 2014 3:15 PM GMT

Hammer Fantasy & Sci-Fi (British Cult Cinema)
Hammer Fantasy & Sci-Fi (British Cult Cinema)
by Bruce G. Hallenbeck
Edition: Paperback

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just Quatermass..., 6 Oct 2011
Bruce Hallenbeck's follow-up to last year's excellent THE HAMMER VAMPIRE sees the author covering Hammer's science fiction and fantasy films, an interesting and varied body of work which is frequently glossed over in books that tend to concentrate more heavily on the company's iconic gothic horror output.

Those familiar with Bruce's superbly detailed lead articles for Dick Klemensen's LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS magazine will know exactly what to expect here: an extremely readable style which manages to convey a large amount of factual information, whilst also displaying plenty of original research and well-considered opinions. He examines the films individually, but also places them in their historical context by including references to non-Hammer titles that might have been an influence or inspiration.

The book is well laid out and illustrated, and includes quite a number of stills and behind-the-scenes shots that I've never encountered previously. There is also an eye-catching eight page colour section of stills and posters in the book's centre. Overall, this is an excellent overview of some of Hammer's (undeservedly) lesser known output, and may well inspire its readers to give some of these fascinating films another look. Highly recommended!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 3, 2011 10:25 AM GMT

My Friends Tigger and Pooh: Hundred Acre Wood Haunt [DVD]
My Friends Tigger and Pooh: Hundred Acre Wood Haunt [DVD]
Dvd ~ My Friends Tigger and Pooh

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Deliberately misleading title., 2 Oct 2008
I bought this DVD for my daughter, who loves watching MY FRIENDS TIGGER & POOH on the Playhouse Disney channel, and especially enjoyed last years' feature length episode THE SUPER SLEUTH CHRISTMAS MOVIE.

Given its title of HUNDRED ACRE WOOD HAUNT and spooky Halloween-themed packaging, you'd be forgiven for presuming that this is a brand new feature length story in a similar vein (clearly what Disney WANT you to think, in my opinion), but beware - this DVD simply cobbles together six random episodes of MFT&P that have already been shown MANY TIMES before on television. And if this isn't bad enough, NOT ONE of the featured episodes has anything at all to do with Halloween!

The only (rather tenuous) link to the 'spooky' theme is a bonus Halloween episode of HANDY MANNY - which is hardly the reason you'd be buying this DVD in the first place. I was sorely tempted to award this disc only one star, so blatant is Disney's attempt to mislead potential buyers into thinking that this disc offers something new, but the six episodes contained are all entertaining enough and at least they haven't been released on DVD previously.

Just don't buy this disc expecting a new Halloween special (or anything new at all, for that matter), as your child is sure to end up very disappointed. Disney could (and should) do a whole lot better.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 12, 2008 3:05 PM BST

Ronseal Cordless Paint Power Spayer
Ronseal Cordless Paint Power Spayer

66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Misleading Advertising., 19 May 2008
You've probably seen this advertised on television recently; you know the one - loads of smiling gardeners spraying away happily at their 6'x6' fence panels, not a care in the world, making the whole job look like an absolute doddle.

Er, no... in the REAL world, fence panels in REAL gardens tend to be obscured by all kinds of plants, trees and shrubbery, and getting close to them with a paint brush (let alone a Ronseal bloody Power Sprayer) can be an absolute nightmare. Also, the ad doesn't show you the bit where you've got to mask up all your brickwork (where it meets your fence) because, well, that wouldn't be a lot of fun now, would it?

And if you DO use the Power Sprayer to successfully paint your fence (without recolouring most of your flower beds), that's when the fun REALLY begins; according to the instructions you have to clean your Ronseal Power Sprayer IMMEDIATELY, as it will very quickly become inoperable if the paint is left to congeal inside. And cleaning this unit is a nightmare of gargantuan proportions; not only do you have to remove all the paint residue from inside its workings, you also have to flush an entire reservoir full of water through the sprayer attachment to clean it and prevent it from becoming blocked.

I strongly recommend that you use an outside tap for this procedure, because if you're not wearing adequate protection (say, a welders mask and a spacesuit?) you're going to end up the same lovely colour as your fence panels. And if you're using Ronseal's HARVEST GOLD coloured spray, you'll look as if you've just been tango'd. Sadly, this is one Ronseal product that DOESN'T do exactly what it says on the tin.

My advice? Buy a paint brush instead.

It's a lot less messy. And a hell of a lot cheaper.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 25, 2010 9:03 PM BST

A New Heritage of Horror: The English Gothic Cinema
A New Heritage of Horror: The English Gothic Cinema
by David Pirie
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £52.09

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK, DESPITE A FEW GLITCHES., 16 April 2008
Just finished reading A New Heritage of Horror a couple of days ago.

Overall I would say that I'm extremely impressed with it, despite the publishers best attempts to sabotage it with their incredibly slack production values. Pirie's ideas are always well thought out and persuasively argued, and he certainly adds more than enough new information to warrant double-dipping, for those who already have a copy of the earlier edition.

A Heritage of Horror remains largely a book about Hammer Films, though. Despite their pre-eminence, the amount of coverage they receive is slightly disproportionate, leaving a slightly "glossed over" feel to some of the sections on Amicus, Tigon, Corman etc. Not a problem for me (a dyed-in-the-wool Hammer fanatic!) but I can imagine it possibly irking some readers. There's a nice (but brief) section covering the horror films made between 1972-2007, but it has to be said that the last 35 years have hardly been a golden era for British horror. It's good to see that Pirie actually likes a fair amount of the more recent stuff, though, and seems to have a genuinely positive outlook for the genre's future in this country - possibly encouraged by the likes of Neil Marshall and the reemergent Hammer Films franchise.

Pirie pays a particularly inspiring tribute to Christopher Lee; an underrated actor who isn't always given quite the respect he deserves, and also continues to champion the reputation of Hammer director Terence Fisher, something he started doing long before the French critics declared Fisher as an 'auteur'.

My only real criticisms are aimed at the publisher (I B Tauris), not at David Pirie himself. Sad to say, but the book is absolutely riddled with typos and/or spelling mistakes, incorrectly attributed stills and several factual errors which tend to stick out like the proverbial sore thumb. It's as though Tauris have taken a draft manuscript and then published it long before it was really ready. I hate to say it, but last year Sinclair McKay was justly criticised for the amount of errors in his Hammer book (A Thing of Unspeakable Horror) - and Pirie's new Heritage has (if anything) even more errors than McKay's book.

Also, for such an expensive book you'd expect something a little bit more professional looking. The book has no dust jacket (despite the photo that amazon are using, which is on the paperback edition only) -, and is printed on rather flimsy paper stock. The actual print quality and stills reproduction is fine , however. I just imagine that Pirie wishes he had a publisher like Tomahawk or Reynolds & Hearn - somebody who might have treated the book with the deference it merited.

Maybe some of the 'glitches' could be ironed out if the book ever goes for a reprint, but if you can pick it up at the right price, though, I'd still highly recommend it.

Klipsch iGroove iPod Speaker System Black compatible with 3rd Gen Touch and 5th Gen Nano (discontinued by manufacturer)
Klipsch iGroove iPod Speaker System Black compatible with 3rd Gen Touch and 5th Gen Nano (discontinued by manufacturer)

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does What It Says On The Tin!, 8 April 2008
I must admit that until a week ago, I'd not even heard of Klipsch. I was browsing Amazon looking for a portable speaker system for my father-in-law's iPod, and the iGroove came up as one of the top traces - and with nigh on two-hundred 5-star reviews!

I was a little dubious at first, but checked a few more online reviews from various sources and they were all saying roughly the same thing; namely, that the Klipsch iGroove is pound-for-pound the best portable iPod speaker system that money can buy. So I decided to take a punt and order one, and it arrived earlier today. I managed to set it up in less than five minutes, docked my iPod, selected David Lindley's rockin' version of MERCURY BLUES, and then hit 'play'. What can I say except "Wow!". I couldn't believe that such a BIG sound could come out of such a compact system. I was literally blown away by the clattering drums that feature in the song's intro, and also the deep bass guitar that follows on. I then went on to try it with all different types of music, and found the Klipsch turning out fantastic, room-filling sound no matter what genre of music I was feeding it.

Having also heard the Bose Sounddock recently, I can confirm that the Klipsch is appreciably superior - and at just a fraction of the cost, as well. In fact the only compact system I've heard that can compete with it is the hard-to-find Monitor Audio I-Deck, but bear in mind that the I-Deck is a fair bit bigger and more expensive than the iGroove.

I would struggle to find any fault with the iGroove whatsoever - if I was being really picky, I would say that the remote control unit is a little bit TOO directional, ie if you're not aiming it straight at the unit it doesn't always work. But that's really only a minor quibble, and certainly not enough to affect the iGroove's 5-star rating.

For once, you can believe the hype; the iGroove is every bit as good as its reputation suggests, and is an absolute bargain at just under £100. If you're thinking of buying one, just don't hesitate. The iGroove most definitely rocks!

Then And Now
Then And Now
Offered by streetsahead
Price: £6.99

53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars WORTHWHILE UPDATE, 11 Jun 2007
This review is from: Then And Now (Audio CD)
At first glance this looks like a re-release of the 2004 compilation THE WHO: THEN AND NOW 1964-2004, but look a little closer and you will see a slightly different track listing and also a wonderfully imaginative new title:- THE WHO: THEN AND NOW 1964-2007. (!)

The main difference this time is the inclusion of BABA O'RILEY, my favourite WHO song and a baffling omission from the earlier compilation. It's as powerful as ever, featuring the most impassioned vocal that Daltrey ever committed to vinyl. A true enduring classic.

The main point of interest for diehard WHO fans last time around was the inclusion of two "new" songs, the first new WHO recordings in donkeys years. Whilst OLD RED WINE was as stale as its' title might suggest, the other track REAL GOOD LOOKING BOY was excellent, and has wisely been retained for the new compilation (whilst OLD RED WINE has quietly been poured down the sink).

Bringing the new compilation further up to date is the inclusion of IT'S NOT ENOUGH from the bands 2006 album ENDLESS WIRE. A strange choice, in my opinion, as MIKE POST THEME or (better still) WE GOT A HIT would have been far more appropriate.

Apart from these minor quibbles, though, this is an excellent CD full of wonderful, timeless rock music. And at less than a tenner it represents ludicrously good value for money. Buy it and love it!

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