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Saints Row 2 (Xbox 360)
Saints Row 2 (Xbox 360)
Offered by Startup Media
Price: 12.70

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding game, 14 Nov 2008
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
If you, like me, felt let down by the over hyped, drastically under-delivering GTA IV then I seriously recommend this to you as a similar themed but much more fun game to get your teeth into.

Right from the start I knew that I was in for a good ride, the first mission is fun and cool, without being too hard or tricky. You also get a good feel for the game during the first mission, unlike GTA IV where your just driving a car around in the dark (what fun!)

From here on in you shouldn't be getting bored or stuck for things to do. Theres alot to buy with the money you earn and a whole world of side missions and escapades to be getting stuck into. One of the coolest things about this game is the ability to buy and customize cribs; can even choose what type of bed and TV you will have in your pad!

Cut scenes are entertaining to say the least. These are actually worth watching due to the fast paced action/gunfight scenes that frequent them. They're not just some boring string of conversations between 2 Russian mobsters *no names mentioned*.

Gangs are interesting and unique looking, and fun to mow down or blow up! The graphics are neat and a big step up from the first outing, as is the car dynamics and character movement. Flashy, eye catching HUDs and on screen commands. I could go on about how sweet this game is.

If you even semi liked Saints Row...then it would be a sin not to play this.A+

Grand Theft Auto IV (Xbox 360)
Grand Theft Auto IV (Xbox 360)
Offered by Gameline GmbH.
Price: 12.99

8 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good graphics, but at what cost?, 13 May 2008
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review comes from a hardcore GTA gamer. I have spent copious hours on GTA 3, Vice City, Liberty City Stories, and literally hundreds of hours on the amazing San Andreas. So it is with disappointment that I tell you that GTA IV, a massively anticipated game brings very little new to the table that hasn't been seen before.

It seems that the series has taken a step back from San Andreas. Many side missions, vehicles, stores and things that made previous GTA games what they were have just disappeared. Replaced by fancy menu screens, flashy graphics, snappy camera angles and an irritaing wanted level system, has GTA lost its soul? You can't fly, go underwater, ride bikes, take over hoods, buy safehouses, drive tanks or better yourself physically like CJ could do. Someone dared to describe this a game that would outdo even the wildest expectations from GTA fans. WRONG, this isn't far off GTA III just with better graphics and a more powerful engine. Play the vastly superior San Andreas instead if you want to see what GTA is all about.

In the immortal words of Chuck D....don't believe the hype.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 25, 2008 10:47 AM BST

Jarhead [DVD]
Jarhead [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jake Gyllenhaal
Offered by Champion Toys
Price: 2.19

4.0 out of 5 stars Its not about fighting, its about NOT fighting, 11 Nov 2007
This review is from: Jarhead [DVD] (DVD)
First off. Don't go into this film expecting some hard boiled, guns blazing epic about heroics in the heat of combat. This isn't told from the point of view which fans of old WW2 maybe familiar with. So please don't say "It didn't have any fighting in it" after the movie ends, as thats the point of the film.

The story follows in the steps of raw marine recruits, or Jarheads, primarily Anthony Sworford (Jake Gyllenthal) who are just starting their tour of duty in Iraq. Being in their late teens early 20's they are pumped up, full of testosterone, and ready for some action. But as the film progresses, it dawns on them they misunderstood what "war" actually is. Gone are the days of cavalry charges, battleground gunfights, valour. Man has been replaced by machine, war has become about technology, not about courage.

Hoever, they are all in the same situation, young, inexperienced, far from home, and fighting against an enemy they can't see. Comradeship plays a key part in this move, as the marines realise all they have is each other, the marine next to them. They begin to form bonds that can never be broken, as they face the unpleasant pressures of war together.

Sam Mendes does a terrific job in the directors chair, with Thomas Newman contributing to a brilliant score as always. The cinematography of the vast open landscapes, burning oil fields and sweltering hot deserts is spot on, and helps create the atmosphere for this film.

Dead Man's Shoes [DVD] [2004]
Dead Man's Shoes [DVD] [2004]
Dvd ~ Paddy Considine
Price: 5.09

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My introduction to Shane Meadows, 11 Nov 2007
I was somewhat sceptical before seeing this, I wasn't expecting much to be honest. I was not familiar with Shane Meadows or Paddy Considine, both of whom now have my attention. I was expecting another boring unremarkable British drama, of which there seem to be many. But I must admit to being blown away with what I saw.

Considine stars as Richard, an ex-soldier who has returned to his hometown after a stint in the army. He is NOT returning for a social call, but something a lot more demanding. His mentally impaired brother Anthony (Toby Kebell in a brilliant performance) was subjected to a barrage of bullying and intimidation by a bunch of local degenerates afew years back, none of whom the viewer is meant to feel any sympathy for, as they feel none themselves. Richard is guilt ridden at not being there, so takes it upon himself to take revenge-in his own way.

Whats different about this film, is that this is no "by the book" revenge movie with a shining hero and a happy ending. Richard is the monster in this movie, and the bullies who tormented Anthony soon become the tormented. They start to feel the fear Anthony did, and soon realise Richard will not stop.

Low budget, gritty and upfront, Dead Man Shoes ought to be hailed as a benchmark movie in British cinema, seriously, it is top notch stuff.

DVD extras are great, with a short film starring Toby Kebell as a "wrestler", some interesting deleted scenes, an alternate ending and more.

The Bourne Ultimatum [DVD] [2007]
The Bourne Ultimatum [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Matt Damon
Price: 2.75

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A testament, 11 Nov 2007
A testament in 2 ways. Firstly, you CAN have an action film with plenty of brains, secondly, you CAN have a 3rd in a trilogy equally as good as the first one, which is the case here. There is no cheesiness, no tired over used clichés, no silly macho heroics, just a damn good action thriller.

This film works similarly to the others in terms of plot and content, but throws new ideas in, as this film trilogy never stops doing. Matt Damon returns as the much hunted Jason Bourne (does this guy get ANY peace?) as he once again finds himself on the run from ruthless CIA agents with ultra high tech gadgets, super advanced computer systems and on call assassins! Yet this is not enough to en capture Bourne, a man who could get from New Zealand to Great Britain using only a toothbrush and a coffee mug.

This film uses shaky hand held camera techniques to help get the audience into the frantic and fast paced nature of the story, not to mention make the frequent action sequences gripping and exciting. The combat and car scenes are so realistic you almost forget your watching a movie. They have a raw, no nonsense feel to them. None of this slo-mo, souped up Matrix malarkey, it isn't needed. Here it is served upfront.

This is the kind of film where you could go to the toilet and miss crucial parts of the story, seeing as everything happens so quick. It is not a film to wind down to or watch while doing something else, as it takes concentration to keep with it. But it is worth a watch, fans of the previous 2 Bourne's will not feel let down or cheated, as what was in the previous films has not gone walkies.

Warrior King [DVD]
Warrior King [DVD]
Dvd ~ Tony Jaa
Offered by The Happy Zombie
Price: 3.20

4.0 out of 5 stars Bak in action...but only in the fighting sense, 11 Nov 2007
This review is from: Warrior King [DVD] (DVD)
After being blown away by Ong Bak, I was looking forward to see Jaa's next film, Tom-Yun-Goong. I found that the film still delivered the same amount of high flying, bone breaking combat which made Ong Bak what it was, albeit delivered in a different way.

Kham (Jaa) is a village boy leading a peaceful life in Thailand, alongside his beloved elephants, Poor Yai and Korn. However, things become less peaceful when both elephants are stolen by poachers, and transported to Australia to be used for slightly unorthodox uses. This triggers Kham into action, and he heads to Australia to track down his huge 4 legged friends. Soon after arrival, he comes across policeman Mark, played by none other than Ong Bak's Humlae, only in this he is attempting to speak English alongside Thai. From then on, the 2 confront deadly martial artists, police corruption, shady business and lots of thugs in black.

Earlier I mentioned the fight scenes being slightly different to Ong Bak, mainly because they were served in a slightly more 'Jackie Chan-esquire' way than the brutal bar room knockouts we saw in OB. There is a particularly OTT scene in a warehouse, where Kham takes on a crowd of young men on roller blades and bmx stunt bikes, not to mention real motorbikes and even a quad! It is a scene more about stunts and acrobatics than actually fighting, which is where it differed from Ong Bak in a sense. However, the lack of brutality in that scene is paid in full when Kham takes on a legion of calcium deficient men in black with amazing ease and energy.

There is also the increasingly well known single take fight scene, in which Kham ascends the staircases of a multi-storied building throwing, kicking and kneeing opponents out of the way, to reach a restaurant at the top.

Another strong fight scene is where Kham takes on 3 skilled martial artists of different styles in a temple, with a 3 or so inch layer of water on the floor to boot.

Apart from the regular fight scenes, unfortunately this film does not fair well. It does not have the code of honour that Ong Bak had, and its plot is at times just silly. Many of the characters are not at all developed, and some of the lines are straight from a comic book. It would be fair to say that the concentration of talent seems to have gone into the fight scenes, leaving the interlocking scenes weak and poorly scripted. In Ong Bak he was on a mission to get back the stolen head of a village statue, which was priceless to the village and its welfare, so you could see why he went to such lengths to get it back, but in this, the fighting is all for these elephants, so the violence is harder to justify.

I wouldn't say this a merely a showcase for Jaa's skills, but as a motion picture in cinema history, it does not deserve much praise. It is the kind of film worth a watch for its combat sequences and fight choreography, but not the kind of film that you will ponder over after the credits end.

Borat: Cultural Learnings Of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan [2006] [DVD]
Borat: Cultural Learnings Of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan [2006] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Sacha Baron Cohen
Offered by gowingsstoreltd
Price: 2.75

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It is nice...I like!, 11 Nov 2007
The lead star in this cross culture docu-comedy is Borat, an energetic yet clueless moustached Khazakstani reporter. Borat is Sacha Baron Cohen's more appealing alter-ego, and this film is much funnier and wittier than the crude, cringe worthy 'Ali G Indahouse'.

The Ali G film was a failure as it took Ali G outside of his familiar mock interviews, which were humorous, and gave him a 90 minute film in which he had to operate on a higher level amongst a league of people very different to his bewildered guests. It relied too much on childish toilet humour and basically hammered a nail into Ali G's coffin.

Anyway, enough about the past. I am glad to say that Borat is a lot more amusing and smart than the fore-mentioned. The film is done in a mockumentary style, in which the reporter travels to USA for 'cultural enrichment' as he believes it is the greatest country in the world. He is accompanied by Azabat, a short fat grouchy sidekick who only speaks in his native Khazak, and helps provide the audience with a grotesque naked fight scene with Borat in a hotel room. The strange relationship between these 2 never lets us down in terms of entertainment, as a kind of Laurel and Hardy connection seems to happen. I would say the humour arises in seeing the blatant culture difference between Borat and the mainly middle class, middle aged Americans he comes into contact with. However, it isn't only that social group he encounters, there are the young African-American "gangstas", the drunken Leary guys in a campavan and the hand waving pentecostal Christians-all encounters are amusing in their own way.

His startlingly backward attitude to taboo subjects like animal cruelty, incest, mistreatment of woman and even rape raise afew eyebrows along the way, as Borat goes about his business with his own un-westernised attitudes and beliefs never far from the surface.

The humour can be offencive, such as the constant anti-semantic references (this is probably only allowed as Cohen is Jewish himself) in the form of Khazakstani village games and Borat's sudden fear and distrust upon discovering his kindly Guest House hosts are both Jewish. Then there are his comical reactions to being told women are equal to men and should be respected. This is NOT a film for the easily offended, but if you can appreciate the humour which arises due to the vast culture difference which is at the heart of this comedy, then you should be in for a treat.

300 (2 Disc Special Edition) [2007] [DVD]
300 (2 Disc Special Edition) [2007] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Gerard Butler
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: 2.97

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing battle sequences, 2 Sep 2007
This doesn't set out to be an artistic, carefuly acted masterpiece, so don't expect one. It is based around Frank Millers graphic novel, and follows the movements of a small but extremely powerful group of Spartan soldiers, as they march out to defend Sparta and its people from a huge Persian force. CGI plays a huge part throughout this film, as vast stunning landscapes, huge armies, monsters and more come into play. Don't let that put you off however, as it adds to the nature of the film, which is a bold, brutal and bloody take on ancient warfare and Spartan spirit. The battle scenes are amongst the most breathtaking, exciting and pulse racing ever put onto the screen, and there is many of them.

Run Lola Run [DVD] [2000]
Run Lola Run [DVD] [2000]
Dvd ~ Franka Potente
Price: 4.95

4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Simple yet entertaining, 17 Sep 2006
This review is from: Run Lola Run [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
This film, at only a stones throw over an hour, isn't enough to fill an evening. However, it fills its time wisely with little time for standing around and next to no boring or lingering scenes.

Basically, Lola (Franke Potente) tells her boyfriend she'll find the 100,000 marks required to save his life, in just 20 minutes! The 20 minute frantic goose chase is told in 3 seperate stories, all with different variables and outcomes. I found myself enjoying it for what it was;easy to follow, amusing, enjoyable action.

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