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ratmonkey (Hardy Country)

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Aliens - Definitive Edition [DVD] [1986]
Aliens - Definitive Edition [DVD] [1986]
Dvd ~ Sigourney Weaver

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Aliens Revisted, 6 Jan. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Considering this a classic for many years after continuous viewings during University and afterwards, I decided to reacquaint myself with the entire series again. A great few years had passed between its theatrical release and now (2012 at time of writing) and sadly it has dated a little. Of course it was inevitable when the cgi of today's cinema is far superior even on a lower budget that a few cracks would appear. But also there were a few other issues with the narrative itself. Many consider this to be the pinnacle of the series. After viewing the original Alien again recently also it is clear that Ridley Scott made the better film and Cameron made a franchise.

The model work is still excellent but does pall when compared to the quality of today's film. The acting talent are all excellent and work fantastically as an ensemble piece. The story is narratively viable and also works brilliantly, especially with the sci-fi conceit of elapsed time. The one thing that didn't work particularly well (and this is mirrored in the awful Alien vs Predator flicks) was that the aliens didn't seem particularly scary anymore. The haunted house feel of the original leant the film a far more creepy and suspenseful ambience. The gung-ho, shoot anything psyche of Cameron's roller-coaster drains the beasts of there terror.

However, all in all it is a terrific film and well worth its now classic status. But in my opinion the far more thoughtfully made Alien would just pip this to the post were they to be in competition.


OPI Touring America 4 Piece Giftset
OPI Touring America 4 Piece Giftset

5.0 out of 5 stars Only in America, 6 Jan. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Great price and product from the saver of all partners/husbands/etc of picky other halves! 4 small bottles of nail paint to put in a stocking or as an additional birthday gift.


Holly in Brown Suede Trousers Holly Valance Celeb 64x90cm Poster
Holly in Brown Suede Trousers Holly Valance Celeb 64x90cm Poster

5.0 out of 5 stars Valiant, 6 Jan. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
What can one say. It's Holly Valance in some rather skimpy, tight-fitting garb looking rather comely. A no-brainer. Literally.

Not a bad photo, either...


Nirvana (Nevermind) Music Poster Print - 24" X 36"
Nirvana (Nevermind) Music Poster Print - 24" X 36"
Offered by weve got the beat
Price: £1.43

5.0 out of 5 stars Heavenly, 6 Jan. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Great, iconic poster from one of the most short-lived, recognisable and musically ageless bands to grace the planet. Whatever your view of the now defunct 3-piece, there is no denying the sheer postmodern quality of this immortal image. Whether it speaks volumes, leaves you sctatching your head or wanting clarification or just looks good, it will always be a striking image that some say aided in no small part in the marketing juggernaut that assisted Nirvana on their way to the highest peak of commercial recognition and back again.

Never again. Nevermind.


SupaHome Corn on the Cob Holders Forks - Pack Of 12
SupaHome Corn on the Cob Holders Forks - Pack Of 12
Offered by RightPrice Catering Equipment
Price: £1.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Supa!, 6 Jan. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Great product for ease of use and durability. And the fact that they look like corn sealed the deal in true homemaker style.


Killing the Dragon
Killing the Dragon

3.0 out of 5 stars Cold Feet, 4 Jan. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Killing the Dragon (Audio CD)
Not a bad album but not the best of Dio's last 3. Magica and Master of the Moon are far better, tighter albums. Dio's first 5 however are in a league of their own. But this is still miles better than anything from Strange Highways or Angry Machines.

The best track (or one of the best) is the title song. It sounds like Powerslave era Maiden and simply doesn't let up until the end. The guitars are crunchy, the beat is fast and the riff melts thy face. Job well and truly done. Unfortunately what follows is mainly quite mediocre. 'Along Comes a Spider' is an ok track, another upbeat rocker, something missing from Magica and in somewhat of an abundance here. It is no classic though. 'Scream' is slightly better for a better chorus but it still lacks the melodies of the Dio of old, where they could crush with a bar chord but also raise the roof with a tune. 'Better in the Dark' is mucho similaro (?)- good but no cigar. Yes, 'Rock and Roll' is better but for a song with a title like that you would expect something with a bit more heart and pace. What we get is a mid-paced, chunky rumbler that never sounds very rock and rolly. But it's ok.

'Push' is another passable toe-tapper. 'Guilty' is a bit better and reminds of the one great track on Angry Machine, 'Dying in America'. The one other belter, and true classic in my opinion, is 'Throw Away Children'. It takes a while to get into but it has a lovely slow-burning chorus and is possibly one of the only newer Dio tracks to sound similar to any pre-Strange Highways material. 'Before the Fall' is an ok song about fame and fortune. And 'Cold Feet' is notable for being quite an anomaly for a Dio track. It's actually rather good but can be seen as almost an experimental track. It revolves around a swaggering groove of a beat, is rather slow-paced, takes a while to enjoy but is ultimately good.

It is worth purchasing if you are a Dio fan, as 'Killing the Dragon' and 'Throw Away Children' are as good as 'Master of the Moon' or 'Lord of the Last Day', and that is reason enough. But as a Dio album it pales to a lot of the others. Awesome artwork though.


Magica
Magica
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £14.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Imagical, 29 Dec. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Magica (Audio CD)
This is more akin to Dio's earlier 5 albums than Strange Highways or Angry Machines and it is better for it. I am all for experimentation but sometimes it's better to stick with what you're good at. Saying that, Magica is not like a rehash of Holy Diver, far from it. It is an original album in its own right. To be fair the band had not really tried this amount of conceptual proggery before. And they just about pulled it off.

The best track in my opinion is 'Lord of te Last Day'. It is heavy, crushingly so and lumpenly tuneful. A sledgehammer of intent, albeit in a very slow, Dio-like way. Other excellent tunes are 'Challis' (great chorus) and 'Losing My Insanity' (very Dance-of-Death Iron Maiden, in an almost on the wrong side of parody, fiddledy-dee kind of a way) - but it seriously rocks. 'Fever Dreams' and 'Turn to Stone' are both pretty good and pretty similar. 'Feed My Head', 'Eriel' and 'Otherworld' are passable but felt like they needed to be much better.

There are only really 9 proper tracks with 2 Magica themes, a spoken word beginning and end (the Dio-narrated portion is ridiculously over the top fantasy mumbo-jumbo) and a reprise of the excellent 'Lord of the Last Day'.

Strangely beguiling, very catchy and extremely well structured. This is the strongest release since Lock up the Wolves, even betters it.


Master Of The Moon
Master Of The Moon
Price: £8.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In Dreams, 21 Dec. 2011
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This review is from: Master Of The Moon (Audio CD)
Sadly the final Dio album before the man's untimely death. While it is not the best album Dio have cut, it is by no means bad, and it feels more of a traditional Dio effort as opposed to the concept of Magica (which they had really never done before - and it worked pretty well). It is a very decent hard rock album with a handful of catchy tunes and one out and out trademark Dio mystical classic in the title track.

The title track, probably the best on here, evokes memories of the Dio of old, a cross between the Dream Evil and Sacred Heart era, without actually bettering them. A great song. The rest are all good, but have nothing to raise them to the heights of past glories. Opener 'One More for the Road' is a great rock and roll number and a good way to start. 'End of the World' sounds like AC/DC which is no bad thing at all. And 'Shivers' is a suitably chunky, mid-paced horror-styled track. All are fine and no complaints, other than it would have been nice to hear some more immediate 'new' classics. But the first half of the album does grow on you with every listen. 'The Man Who Would Be Kind' being the least absorbing.

Other stand-outs include 'The Eyes'. It is rather long and seems rather underwhelming at first but it is a grower and the chorus gets better with every listen. 'I Am' is infectious rather than catchy. It's a song I don't like all that much but the chorus is such that it cannot not be stuck in my head - it's like an advert jingle, albeit a heavy rock one! 'Death By Love' is better. It's rocky and catchy and sounds vital, and more importantly reminds of Last in Line era Dio, but ultimately it is a good song. 'In Dreams' is possibly the other best track next to the title track. It finishes it all off very well.

Not a triumph but still far better than Strange Highways and Angry Machines. It's just a shame Dio will not be able to better it now...


Black Books - The Complete Box Set [DVD]
Black Books - The Complete Box Set [DVD]
Dvd ~ Dylan Moran
Offered by joe4books
Price: £17.28

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unturnoffable, 21 Dec. 2011
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Now really should be pigeon-holed as a classic comedy sit com, as much as Only Fools and Horses, Fawlty Towers, Blackadder, Father Ted, Spaced etc. It is constantly humourous and frequently hilarious. Dylan Moran is a revelation as Bernard Black, basically just playing a drunk Irishman for the whole 3 series - but he does it soooo well. Bill Bailey manages to squeeze some of his off-the-wall comedy into the proceedings (especially good is what happens to Manny when he reaches 88 degrees). And Tamsin Grieg is the perfect askew moral (or morally askew) centre of logic, her inhibitions leading to much of the comedy surrounding Fran.

There are no real stand-out episodes really, with the possible exception of 'The Grapes of Wrath', but it's the individual scenes that stand out: Bernard offering Manny a job, although Manny is sitting on the table behind him; the 'cleaner' sliding into shot below a kneeling Bernard; Manny's genius piano 'spooning', 'Luxury Pie' and Bernard's Belly Savelas. So much to chuckle at and so much to revisit.

A bone fide black classic.


Angry Machines
Angry Machines
Offered by jim-exselecky
Price: £8.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars God Hates Heavy Metal, 21 Dec. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Angry Machines (Audio CD)
The title of this review refers to the bonus track only available with the japanese issue of this album. I can only hope that it is a great song because there would only be that and 'Dying in America' to pick from.

Again, as with Strange Highways, Dio seems to be in a period of musical ennui. It does happen to most bands at some point in their career, and luckily only lasted for 2 albums, but there is a noticeable lull in quality evident here. Some say it was Dio doing grunge but that is not true really. This is still the hard rock they have always peddled so efficiently but with a slower and angrier tilt than usual.

The first 4 tracks are sadly not very interesting and plod along somewhat. The 7 minute 'Stay Out of My Mind' is better insomuch as it reminds of Lock up The Wolves style prog tendencies. It's no classic but it does have an infectious chorus and a mad little break in the middle that at least jolts the listener a bit. 'Big Sister' is pretty good as well. It's standard rock with a catchy enough chorus but compared to older tracks like 'Rock N Roll Children' and 'Evil Eyes' etc it pales. After that the final 2 tracks make some effort to pull the quality together. 'Dying...' is arguably the best track on the album. It's heavy and has a great rhythm and sounds like Dio while being relatively original. It is one to revisit. The final track is notable only for it's heavy stadium/radio ballad production. Piano and strings and a crroning Dio is an interesting concept but the band do slow better on tracks like 'All the Fools Sail Away'.

A lot of below average hard rock with a couple of good tracks sprinkled therein. As mentioned earlier, this was the end of the Dio musical lull and was a difficult time for the band as well as metal and rock in general as grunge and britpop were infecting the nation at the time. What was to follow was Dio back to doing what they did best - songs about wizards and forgotten lands, with a bit of rock n roll thrown in for good measure, all tied up with a quality fantasy artwork cover.


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