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Doctor Who - The Complete BBC Series 1 Box Set [2005] [DVD]
Doctor Who - The Complete BBC Series 1 Box Set [2005] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Billie Piper
Offered by Quality Media Supplies Ltd.
Price: £23.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 14 Nov. 2010
The BBC, coupled with head-writer Russell T Davies had quite a task on their hands when they decided to revamp this classic sci-fi series back in 2005. With a history dating back to the early 60's, a massive dedicated fan-base and a legacy that rivaled practically any other science fiction show in history, it was always going to be a tough job. Would it meet the lofty standards many of the old fans had built up over their years of waiting? Would it have a mainstream appeal that would mean it would succeed where previous series had failed? And most importantly, would it actually be any good?

Here's my guide to each of the the series' 13 episodes;

ROSE: 8/10
While by no means a brilliant standalone story, this episode works very well on many levels as an introduction to the show. One very intelligent choice on Davies part, I though, was starting the series from the perspective of the companion. It not only immediately gives us a human window into the Doctor's world, but also allows the development of the companion's character in a way that I don't think ever happened with the classic series. Rose comes across as a very likeable character and her choice to travel with the Doctor feels entirely justified. The monsters of the episode, the Autons, are a bit of a mixed bag really. The shop dummy aspect works well, but the Auton version of Mickey, and the heavily CGI Nestine consciousness doesn't quite pull it off. Overall though Rose is an intriguing introductions that whets one's appetite for more, and more there is...

THE END OF THE WORLD: 7.5/10
Again, this episode works better in terms of character development than actual standalone narrative. We find out more about the Doctor's past, and what has become of his people, the Timelords, which is deeply intriguing. The disaster movie storyline works pretty well, but it is not a stand out choice.

THE UNQUIET DEAD: 7.5/10
Set in Victorian Cardiff, this ghost story is another fun adventure, with a great supporting character in Charles Dickens.

ALIENS OF LONDON / WORLD WAR III: 8/10
As we return to modern day earth we find Rose has been missing for a year and that a spaceship has crash landed into the Thames. The Slitheen are not the series' best monsters, but seeing the Doctor in downing street is a good laugh.

DALEK: 8.5
The Doctor and Rose find themselves in an underground vault, where an American collector keeps a collection of Alien findings. He has a new piece; a tin robot called a Dalek. While the characterization of some of the supporting cast in this episode borders on being offensively stereotypical, and the American accents aren't quite pulled off, it's all irrelevant, as the treatment of the Dalek itself is brilliant, and the moment where it's first revealed is genuinely chilling.

THE LONG GAME: 7/10
Possibly the weakest episode of the series, a commentary on media-control and scaremongering, that doesn't quite live up to it's big ambitions. Simon Pegg is on fine form as a sinister banker, but the supporting characters are a bit weak and ultimately it is quite forgettable.

FATHER'S DAY: 8.5/10
A very strong episode that deals with the consequences of altering time when Rose makes the Doctor take her back to her father's death so she can save him. Aside from the fact that it flat out contradicts most of the rules concerning time we've come to know from watching Doctor Who over the years, it is a very strong character-based episode, with both Eccleston and Piper on fine form.

THE EMPTY CHILD / THE DOCTOR DANCES: 8.5/10
Set in World War Two, and dealing with a child who has been given the powers of a God, this is definitely one of the series strongest points. The script, written by the immensely talented Steven Moffat, is brilliant, as is the introduction of 'time-agent' Captain Jack Harkness. Also wins the award for 'Most surprisingly sinister catchphrase with 'Are You My Mummy?'

BOOM TOWN: 8/10
A breather before the finale, this episode is more of a low-budget character piece. With supporting characters Jack and Mickey along for the ride, is works well.

BAD WOLF / THE PARTING OF THE WAYS: 9/10
A spectacular conclusion, that really raises the bar for what Doctor Who can achieve. With an interesting set-up, more good use of the Daleks and series best performances from Eccleston and Piper, this is just fantastic. And, as Eccleston bids us goodbye and The Doctor's face changes to a new man once more, we are left with a very strange series ending. But undoubtedly a very good one nonetheless.

Assessing the series as a whole is tricky, but here's a few comments on what i think it got right and what it got wrong:

THE GOOD
- Piper is really quite brilliant as Rose, and her development over the series is handled perfectly. While her relationship with the Doctor would go to further heights in the following series, she as a character is never quite as convincing as she is here.

- The story ark worse quite nicely here. For the seasons that follow we get more of a 'Doctor meets companion at start of series, they have adventures, and then she leaves' type structure, but here, we get additional companions coming and going, and more of a feeling of progression rather than just a collection of adventures.

- All the legend of The Doctor stuff is great. In the classic series The Doctor is more of a random stranger travelling to places, which he is here too, but the idea of his legacy throughout the universe was something i though worked very well.

THE BAD
- The CGI, and some of the monster designs in general, are not brilliant (particularly the Slitheen).

- Although this is perhaps the most overall consistent of Russell T Davies series, there aren't as many stand out episodes as his later work.

- As good as Eccleston is in the role (and he is very good), i think history will find him overshadowed by replacements Tennat and Smith.

OVERALL
To sum up, this is as good a revamp of the series as anyone could possible hope for. Hardcore Sci-Fi this may not be, but was Doctor Who ever that? Putting emotions and characters first in these great grand adventures has it's own charm, and leads to some of the best moments of recent television history. Doctor Who would go on to bigger and occasionally better things, but as a starting point this series must be applauded. It established a formula which has worked for the last 6 years, and dare i say it, will continue to work for many many more.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 5, 2011 3:25 PM BST


Black Holes And Revelations
Black Holes And Revelations
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.95

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once Upon A Time In The West, 14 Dec. 2009
Muse in 2006, were in a position of great power. They were 3 albums into their career and though by now they were certainly a mainstream concern, they hadn't quite become truly massive yet. Impressive reviews and a spectacular headlining slot at Glastonbury had made them a band to watch in Britain, as well as most of the rest of Europe, but a messed-up album release by their American record label had meant they had still not quite made it stateside. So, as the world awaited their 4th album, Muse stood on the edge of an abyss. They needed only to jump to become the most important British rock band since Radiohead...

...and jump they did. The result was 'Black Holes and Revelations':

The album starts with the the sound of synth-y strings escalating further and further upwards. This is 'Take A Bow'. Bellamy sings lyrics of a totalitarian leader who will 'Burn in hell for your sins'. The song is classic Muse rock-opera, but with a slight dance feel to it too. It keeps building and building upwards, sounding bigger and bigger until it finally ends. An epic start. After this comes 'Starlight', which sounds like 80's pop, but in a good way. It is among the catchiest songs Muse have written, but still feels rather heartfelt and well-written. This is followed by another very catchy song in the form of the disco-bonanza 'Supermassive Black Hole'. Sounding like a cross between Prince, Britney Spears and Marilyn Manson, it is one of Muse strangest songs, but it works. The disco-sound continues with the epic 'Map Of The Problematique'. Combining a mix synth, guitar and piano, it is easily one of the best songs on the album, and one that still stands among their best ever. The disco influence ends here, but moves onto something just as experimental and unique with 'Soldier's Poem'. Sounding like a barbershop quartet singing about the war in Iraq, it's short but extremely sweet, showing that Muse can seemingly apply themselves to any genre with excellent results.

The 2nd half of the album starts with the pounding power-to-the-people anthem 'Invincible'. Now, while i can fully admit that there is something extremely cheesy and clichéd about a band singing 'together we're invincible', Muse manage to do so in such a heartfelt and musically-accomplished way that it somehow manages to work. A more classic sounding Muse song follows in the form of 'Assassin', a heavy-rock number from the perspective of a terrorist. The lyrics, with their cries of 'Shoot your leaders down!' and 'Destroy Demonocracy' are great, as is the thundering bass-line from the fantastically talented Chris Wolstenholme. Next comes 'Exo-politics', another more classic Muse sounding song, with lyrics of an impending alien invasion. Although it is probably one of the album's weaker tracks, it is still alot of fun.

The final three tracks on the album, leave aside the disco, leave aside the heavy rock and move onto yet another influence of Muse; the fantastic Ennio Morricone, an Italian composer most famous for his scores for the Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns. The first of these three tracks: 'City Of Delusion', seems to tell the story of a bandit who is chased whilst fleeing a city. It almost sounds like a Mexican version of Absolution's 'Butterflies And Hurricanes', and while it doesn't quite reach the heights of that song, it is still great, with a powerful chorus, a thumping bassline, and best of all a trumpet solo at the end. It is followed by one of Muse most underrated songs; the beautiful 'Hoodoo'. It starts with a simple spanish guitar sound before moving onto a beautiful verse where Bellamy comes as close as he's ever come to the tenderness of Jeff Buckley. Suddenly with the swirl of a piano the song builds into a rock-opera climax, before quiet-ing down once again for a beautiful ending. Last of all comes perhaps the most well-known song on the album, the epic 'Knights Of Cydonia'. It starts with the sound of horses galloping, lasers firing and an alarm ringing, before BAM! the intro guitar riff hits and the song begins. It sounds like a mix of Morricone and Led Zeppelin, and has the song of a future classic rock-songs of the 00's. The verse goes on till suddenly we come to the Queen-like outro, where Bellamy screams the lyrics: 'No ones gonna take me alive. The time has come to make things right'. It builds and builds until finally the outro riff hits, and the song climaxes the album in the best possible way.

Overall Black Holes And Revelations is a fantastic achievement. It keeps the fine catchy production of Absolution, but experiments all over the place with it, going from Disco to Barbershop Quartet to Heavy Rock and Western. Every song is a finally crafted gem, and the album flows brilliantly. It will of course, all be too much for alot of people out there, but approached with an open mind, Black Holes And Revelations is the best album of 2006 and one which will surely stand among the decade's best also.

OVERALL SCORE: 10/10


Absolution
Absolution
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £5.20

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Apocalypse Now, 10 Dec. 2009
This review is from: Absolution (Audio CD)
Muse had impressed with their debut 'Showbiz', had built up a devoted fan base with their fantastic follow-up 'Origin Of Symmetry' and had earned a fierce reputation as a live band with their 'Hullabaloo' live CD/DVD set, so it was with much interest that the world awaited their third album. However as Muse were little over half-way through recording it, an event occurred that would not only change the feel of their album, but change the very world we lived in. The Invasion of Iraq. There was quickly a feeling around the world that this war was not a good thing at all, and in fact was leading to something very bad. This atmosphere had a huge effect on Muse recording sessions. The result was Absolution. The end of the world was coming, but these 3 men from Devon were not going down without a fight:

The album starts with the sound of a military marching drum, which after a few seconds gives way to the album opener 'Apocalypse Please.' Dark piano chords clink away under grand lyrics, Bellamy no longer sprouting cryptic angst, but delivering clear messages as he screams: 'This is the end of the world'. The song doesn't feel like the sort of track you can have a quick listen to on your iPod, or the sort of thing that will set the singles charts alight, but what it certainly does feel like is an album opener, and a rather fantastic one at that. This if followed by 'Time Is Running Out', probably Muse catchiest song up to that point. A groovy bassline thumps away under catchy lyrics, which leads to a cracking chorus. A certain future rock anthem. This good streak is continued with the spacey 'Sing For Absolution', where Bellamy again shows a lyrical depth much greater then in previous albums, and the powerful 'Stockholm Syndrome' a heavy rock number about the relationship between a kidnapper and a victim, which manages to mix a metal-riff verse with a synthy-arpeggio driven chorus.

We are then treated to a simple acoustic number, something not really seen on Muse last album. 'Falling Away With You' may be one of the least memorable tracks on 'Absolution', but it is still rather touching and heartfelt. After a brief Interlude we come to one of the album's catchiest tracks, the rip-roaring bolt of pure energy that is 'Hysteria'. Starting with one of the greatest bass lines in recent memory, we are then treated to some fantastic screeching guitar work, before this finally gives way to Bellamy's lyrics of guilt and obsession. This song is still one of Muse's most famous, and for good reason; there's something instantly distinctive and classic about it. This is followed by one of the albums strongest moments, the beautiful 'Blackout', where for the first, but not the last time, Muse let their pure classical tendencies loose. The result is simply stunning, as an 18-piece orchestra plays under some of Bellamy's most heartfelt and beautiful lyrics to date. They even manage to outdo this though on the following track, the magnificent 'Butterflies And Hurricanes'. Sounding like a true rock-opera, with lyrics of 'changing the world' and 'using this chance to be heard', they truly sound like no other band out there. The song finally starts to come to a close when suddenly, BAM! With a strikingly complicated piano solo, the song fuzzes back in, and grows even larger and more epic then before. Sure, it's a little cheesy and over the top, but if that's the price paid for a song of its majesty and beauty, then it's an absolute bargain.

Of course, when such a high watermark is reached, it's tricky to follow it, and it's a testament to Muse song writing abilities that if the album stumbles at this point, it only does so ever so slightly. 'The Small Print' is a great rock song by any means, but after what it has followed it does sound a little basic. 'Endlessly' is also rather basic, despite its nice lyrics and interesting production. 'Thoughts Of A Dying Atheist' sets the album back on track. Although it does perhaps nothing that Muse haven't done before, it had great lyrics, a great melody and possibly the best guitar solo on the album. The album finally concludes with the dark 'Ruled By Secrecy'. The lyrics are conspiracy-theory aplenty, but the simple piano melody grounds them and gives them a certain dignity. As Bellamy sings "no one knows who's in control", the song climaxes with a grad piano riff slightly reminiscent of 'Apocalypse Please', and we come full circle.

Overall Absolution represents the point at which Muse became a mainstream concern. The song writing and production is very tight, and depending on your opinion, that is a good or bad thing. It is probably still the album they are most famous for in the public's mind and is also quite possibly the album (aside from their debut) upon which they sound the least unique, as it lacks some of the experimentation of their other 3 post-showbiz albums. Above all though, it is a very strong album with several of Muse best songs written to date. It is to my mind not quite their best album, but is still an incredible piece of work, at once sounding both more expansive and more approachable then anything they had done up to this point, apocalypse themes and all. The End Of The World had not come about just yet, but one thing was for sure, after this album it was Muse's for the taking.

OVERALL SCORE: 9/10


Origin of Symmetry
Origin of Symmetry
Price: £5.95

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2001: A Space Odyssey, 9 Dec. 2009
This review is from: Origin of Symmetry (Audio CD)
Anyone else feel slightly disappointed by the year 2001? Stanley Kubrick's sci-fi masterpiece '2001: A Space Odyssey' had given the impression that by this point mankind would have been an expert at space travel; that we'd fly in elegant ships while classical music played in the background, that we'd have frequent expeditions to the moon, to Jupiter and beyond. In reality we didn't get quite so far; I think NASA's proudest achievement of the year was sending a new satellite to Mars. Fair enough, we had other things to worry about. But while mankind may not have quite conquered outer-space in 2001, there were 3 young men from Devon who got pretty damn close...

...they went by the name of Muse, and their 2nd album 'Origin Of Symmetry' came as close to echoing the classic-space-opera spirit of Kubrick's film as anything else that year or since.

Muse debut album, 1999's 'Showbiz, had been something of a success both commercially and critically, so good things were expected of its follow up. However, I don't think anyone quite expected 'Origin Of Symmetry'. While Showbiz had been a good album, with some really great rock songs and interesting arrangements, Origin Of Symmetry is in a different league entirely:

Like its predecessor, 'Origin Of Symmetry' opens with the sound of a simple piano riff with 'New Born'. However, something feels a little darker and more sinister. Bellamy sings lyrics of 'Stretching like a birth squeeze' and 'soulless is everywhere'. Suddenly, as we are barely a minute in, the piano dies away and with a fantastic metal sounding riff, the song switches tracks completely. Chris Wolstenholme's booming bass and Dominic Howard's powerhouse drums kick in and the song becomes something bigger and better then anything on their debut. The guitar work is fantastic, and the song just bristles with so much anger and anarchy, its fantastic! As a final riff echoes, we move on to the next song; another excellent track titled 'Bliss'. It's a love song with synthy piano which is still a live favourite today. The lyrics would be cheesy, but Bellamy delivers them with such sincerity and passion that they become almost moving.

After this comes 'Space Dementia', probably the track on the album that most echoes Kubrick's film, as, like 2001, it manages to feel both classical and futuristic at the same time. It starts with a classical piano riff incredibly reminiscent of Rachmaninov, which moves onto very dark lyrics that with lines like 'you make me wanna die. I cut your name in my heart', give the impression of a demented lover. The song concludes with another epic guitar riff, which is still a staple of Muse' live sets. This is followed by 'Hyper Music', which seems like a more standard rock-affair after the 3 tracks that have preceded it. It's still a great tune though, with great lyrics and a rocking chorus. Another great rock song follows in the form of 'Plug In Baby'. This is probably the catchiest song on the album, and it's absolutely brilliant, with one of the catchiest riffs in recent times and a rocking chorus. On this song in particular you can really feel the evolution from their debut. It has similar themes, and a similar guitar style, but everything about it is just better. As it comes to its epic conclusion we move on to what is still considered by many to be the greatest song in Muse' catalogue, the epic over-7 minute long 'Citizen Erased'. It's a hard song to describe. Its one part metal, one part wild west and one part ballad. Whatever it is, it's a monumental achievement.

As we come to the 2nd half of the album, we get a number of songs which, although perhaps not as memorable as some of the numbers that have preceded them, are still fantastically original and inventive tunes in their own right. First up is 'Micro Cuts', still one of the most extreme numbers in Muse catalogue with a stunning high-pitched vocal and a rocking RATM-like end guitar riff. This is followed by 'Screenager', a dark acoustic song with a beautiful chorus, and 'Dark Shines', another wild-west sounding number with some great guitar-work. We then come to Muse' cover of the Nina Simone classic 'Feeling Good'. It feels slightly out of place with the rest of the album, but it's a great version of the song, and offers a nice light moment in the middle of the rest of the album's darkness. The album concludes with 'Megalomaniac', one of the biggest-sounding tracks on the album, which has a feel reminiscent of Gorillaz' 'Clint Eastwood'. Lyrical themes of existentialism build with a thumping church organ into a feeling of an impending apocalypse. As Bellamy screams, seemingly seeking the meaning of life, "What were we built for?" while the futuristic sounds of space swirl around him, one is reminded again of an image from '2001: A Space Odyssey', this time the iconic shot of a baby looking down on earth from space. Like Kubrick's iconic ending, it is almost impossible to decipher exactly what Muse are on about here, but my God is it grand.

Overall Origin Of Symmetry is a true masterpiece, with as much musical inventiveness and ambition as any album of the last decade. While following albums may have tighter production and broader appeal, Muse have still yet to produce anything that sounds quite as unique, as inventive and as out of this world as Origin Of Symmetry. To Jupiter and beyond indeed.

OVERALL SCORE: 10/10


Showbiz
Showbiz
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.20

4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Start, 9 Dec. 2009
This review is from: Showbiz (Audio CD)
The late 90's were a dark time for music. Kurt Cobain had killed himself, Jeff Buckley was dead. Even Britpop, the anthemic music full of optimism and joy, had tired itself out. This was not to say that artists were not still making fresh and interesting music. One had to only look at the trip-hop of Massive Attack's Mezzanie, the experimentation of Blur's 13, or most influential and fantastic of all, the brilliance of Radiohead's Ok Computer, to see that good music was still being made. But, my god, it did all seem a little dark....

....it was into this world that Muse were born.

Formed in Devon, this 3-piece emerged in the late 90's to a storm of praise, interest, and most of all; Radiohead comparisons. Many lazy journalists simply wrote Muse off as a poor-man's Radiohead. Now, listening to Muse's early work, one can perhaps see how this comparison came about: Singer Matthew Bellamy's voice does bare a strong resemblance to Radiohead's Thom Yorke's, but as does it bare a resemblance to many other singers: most prominently Jeff Buckley. And yes, Muse's style of music here does have many similarities to Radiohead's The Bends, but, it also has much in common with Nirvana or Rage Against The Machine. All in all, Muse were their own band. But what of their debut album? Did they have the songs to match the hype?....

With the swirl of a simple piano riff, Muse's debut kicks off with 'Sunburn'. With lyrics of a girl who "Burns like the sun", and "secretly cries", it is clear this isn't going to be the happiest of albums. However, it is undeniably rather beautiful, and the chorus and the outro really rock out. A strong start. It's followed by 'Muscle Museum', perhaps the strongest track on the album, which starts with a sort of cheesy sounding 80's Tv riff(?), before moving on to lyrics of wanting to escape one's environment. When the chorus kicks in its incredibly powerful stuff, and by the climax, where Bellamy literally sings a guitar solo, you want to listen to it all over again. This is followed by the less sucessful standard pop-rock of Fillip, but after that comes the rather subtle but beautiful bluesy acoustic number 'Falling Down'.

Muse are, of course, a rock band at heart, and the influence of Rage Against The Machine and other heavier bands shines through on 'Cave'. It's a pretty basic song, but with a catchy chorus and a nice solo, it's the sort of song that still gets applauded in Muse's live sets today. After this comes the album's title track; 'Showbiz' a slow-building number that goes from a gentle whisper to Bellamy literally screaming lyrics of 'pushing us into self-destruction'. It's a little hard-to-listen to in places, but is powerful stuff, reminiscent of early Nirvana. This extremity is then contrasted by the simplest song on the album, the beautiful 'Unintended'. A surprising number of people have heard this song and have no idea it's Muse. It's a fair mistake, as 'Unintended' is one of Muse' weirdest songs ever in the sense that it's quite a normal song, the sort of thing that would perhaps be a well-known classic now, if someone like McCartney or Davies had written it.

The tail-end of the album is opened by the fun rock number 'Uno'. This is followed by probably the 3 most forgettable songs on the album. 'Sober' is actually quite a lot of fun, with a great chorus, but neither 'Escape' or 'Overdue' have much worth remembering. The album closes with the promising-but-not-quite-fantastic 'Hate This And I'll Love You'. The lyrics are fairly nice, but the music doesn't quite live up to the epic feeling of them. Still, it's a good closer.

Overall Showbiz is a good start; it's a collection of great rock songs by a great rock band. It doesn't contain many of the more musically extreme and eccentric ellements that Muse would becomes famous for later on, but it's still definitely worth buying if you're a fan of the band and it's failures only seem particuliarly bad in comparison to the fantastic wide variety of music that Muse have made since. Definitely recommended.

OVERALL SCORE: 7/10


Harry Potter Boxed Set  (Adult Edition) (Contains all 7 books in the series)
Harry Potter Boxed Set (Adult Edition) (Contains all 7 books in the series)
by J.K. Rowling
Edition: Hardcover

11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Defining Book Series Of This Generation, 8 Feb. 2008
What is there to say about the Harry Potter book series that hasn't been said before? The story is genius, the characters are brilliant and the overall world is simply one of the greatest fictional creations in the history of literature. If you haven't read these books then i heartily recommend picking them up instantly. They will delight children and adults alike, as every single page of every book in this series is simply a delight to read.

Here's my assessment of each book individually:

Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone: 8/10
Though the simplest book in the series narratively, and the shortest in length, The Philosopher's Stone is a stunning debut filled with a great sense of humour, a clever narrative with many twists and an overall magnificent introduction to Harry's World

Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets: 9/10
The narrative and humour is a step up from the previous book, the confrontations and mysteries feel more epic and better developed. The book has a slightly darker tone then the 1st, but the great characters and broad sense of humour still shines through.

Harry Potter And The Prizoner Of Azkaban: 9/10
Probably the most together book of the entire series, Prisoner is short but sweet. It contains many great memorable sequences, as well as possibly the best twist of the entire series.

Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire: 10/10
One of the best books of the entire series, Goblet is longer then it's predeccesors, which gives more time for character and plot development. Though this also means the books has a bit of filler, overall the longer length enriches the story, giving a more ambitious structure then previous books, action sequences that rival anything in the previous books, and a finale which is simply one the greatest sequences of the entire series.

Harry Potter And The Order Of The Pheonix: 9/10
A difficult book in the overall flow things, Order Of The Phoenix is the first of the real darker books in the Potter Series. It is also the longest book, which means that it does suffer quite often from filler. However the main story of the book, which seems to be an angry outcry from Rowling on today's exam-obsessed school system, is clever and original. It also has some real great sequences; one of them being probably the best duel in the whole series.

Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince: 9/10
Like the previous book in the series, Half Blood Prince is a mixture of the good and the bad. On one hand: the story has many boring sequences that don't really go anywhere, the lessons aren't as interesting as they were in previous books and the twists aren't as clever as the first 4 books. However on the other hand: no previous book in the series does more to flesh out the back-story of the characters, the sequences that are good are excellent and the climax is incredibly moving. Overall the book, while not perfect on it's own two feet, is still a great yarn and a fantastic set up for the finale of the series.

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: 10/10
Okay, first thing first: yes, the structure isn't as solid as any of the previous books, yes, some of the sequences do seem to lead to nowhere and yes, certain elements of the ending are slightly dissapointing. However, that aside, the final book in the series pretty much turns everything in the Potter series up to 11. This is a radically different tale to the 1st book in the series. The 1st story was basically a book about a boy's year at school, this story is about a young man struggling for survival in a war. The plot doesn't flow quite as smoothly as previous books, and the first 400 pages, while excellent do make you think: 'where is this leading?'. However, the last 200 pages are probably the best of the entire series. They are simply epic, moving and altogether brillaint, as really, is the entire book.

Overall through the Harry Potter series J.K Rowling has created characters, storylines and an overall world which will surely be at the centre of popular literature for decades to come. They are simply magical books.


Nintendo Wii Controller (Wii)
Nintendo Wii Controller (Wii)

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best controller ever!, 4 Aug. 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This really is a great controller. It gives you a sense of freedom and accuracy pretty much unmatched elsewhere. I would heartily recommend it, though i do have two pieces of advice first: 1) It uses alot of batteries, so you'll save a heck of a lot of money in the long run by buying a charger for it. 2) If you don't own 'Wii play', i'd advise buying that, as you get a controller free with it, which makes it quite a bargain.


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