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the great amphibian (Hampshire, UK)

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Robin Of Sherwood: Series 1 - Episodes 1-3 [VHS] [1984]
Robin Of Sherwood: Series 1 - Episodes 1-3 [VHS] [1984]
VHS
Offered by shannon-raven
Price: 12.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than I remebered., 6 Sep 2002
I used to watch this particular video a long time ago, and seeing it on Amazon, I couldn't resist buying it again for old time's sake. The atmosphere is uniqe, possibly due to the optical effects of the early 80s BBC cameras in Epping Forest, (I believe that was the location). It seems all of the cliches that haunt Robin Hood interpretations in any format, (screen, stage, or literature), are not present; instead, meaningful original approaches are made. Really, the originality is what sets this series, (at least these few episodes I know), apart.
I would say that there are no characters or loopholes in the story that detract from the overall quality of the show. As I said, this is much better than I remeber it being.


Interview With The Vampire: Number 1 in series (Vampire Chronicles)
Interview With The Vampire: Number 1 in series (Vampire Chronicles)
by Anne Rice
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tragic vampire life story., 5 Sep 2002
Several of my recent fiction purchases have been vampire related, such as Brian Lumley's Necroscope series, Richard Matheson's "I Am Legend", and of course, Anne Rice's vampire chronicles. Although the vampire concept works well in SF, as Matherson definitively demonstrated, it is refreshing to read vampires in a traditional setting. Anne Rice epitomises the classic style of vampires in her writing, with familiar idiosyncrasies, physical characteristics, and surroundings.
Rice maintains credibility throughout the novel in terms of the direction of the narrative, and seldom if ever are concepts introduced that seem 'unlikely' in the credible setting built up. Without speculating too specifically, I understand that Rice underwent some family tragedies not long before this novel was written, (in 5 weeks!), and her extreme sentimental openness in the novel is surely justified, and the novel actually benefits from this emotional release. It would be a comfort to be able to express your feelings as cogently as Rice if one was overcoming a tragedy.
There is only one possible loophole in the story, (although my identification of this is very questionable as it is subjective, and I could probably be proven wrong and convinced of the proof). This is when Louis seems to have only just met Armand, and although Louis has been searching for another civilised vampire, (civilised apart from the fact that he kills countless innocent mortals), for years, I felt that he would need to know Armand for longer to warrant exchanging words of love. It seemed as Louis virtually walked up to Armand and said, 'ah, hello.. I love you!'. As I said, that is a purely subjective observation; (please note that the previous dialogue is not a quote). The other interesting factor about this novel, in my opinion, is that Anne describes predominantly male thoughts, (the narrator is male: Louis), when she is female, so for any male readers it is intriguing to see her perspective.
To conclude, IwtV is a wonderful tragic vampire biography, and is not too immensly melancholy to be unbearable to read.


The Running Man/Total Recall/Terminator 2 - Judgement Day [VHS] [1990]
The Running Man/Total Recall/Terminator 2 - Judgement Day [VHS] [1990]
VHS

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb set of late 80's/early 90's Arnie movies., 12 Aug 2002
The Running Man is was one of my favourite movies a few years ago, (as I haven't seen it for some time), and has a unique style. The sleezy game show host brings the dark futuristic style of the film together; a style which is very similar to the computer game that no doubt coppied the film, called Smash TV. The original story by Stephen King under the pseudonym of Richard Bachman introduced the concept of future 'quiz-shows' which are hazardous for the unfortunate contestants. This horrible vision of the future is encapsulated nicely in the 1987 Arnie film.
Total Recall isn't the best of the three, (actually it's the worst), and this is no surprise since it was produced after the 1988 barrier into the unimaginative era of the brink of, and bulk of, the 1990s. The movie lacks atmosphere some of the time, but generally it is a superb Arnie action movie. Some notable characteristics of the film are, firstly, the entire movie bar the opening 10 minutes or so is simply a chase scene with Arnie being pursued by a typical team villains led by a trench coat wearing boss. Sharron Stone plays a very good role in this film as an evil seductress. I don't know why Arnie's acting is criticised because he has a convincing melodramatic style all of his own, not to mention the ample classic idiosyncrasies of his.
I always found the special effects in Terminator 2 in a class of their own, and the way they are implemented, (ie, most notably with T2000), have yet to be copied well surprisingly. The latest graphics in films like The Fellowship Of The Ring, (CGI or something), are still a fledgling style of graphics, and will take a few years before movies utilising it are up to the height reached by the methods used in T2, especially with the use of stunt men in many of the schenes in T2 giving it a superbly realistic style. T2 is a classic action sci-fi, (as all three in this box set are).


Time Odyssey
Time Odyssey
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 7.18

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very skillful guitar work and well structured songs., 11 July 2002
This review is from: Time Odyssey (Audio CD)
I don't have much time at present to elaborate on this album nearly as much as it's greatness warrants, so let me start right away. Vinnie Moore has improved his skill and smoothness since Mind's Eye, despite the latter being a masterful showcase of guitar wizardry, and he has adopted a more sentimental and sensitive approach. The production is one of the best that I have encountered from as early a date as 1988, giving Moore his chance to prove to the world his flawless guitar technique. All of the songs are well structured, with quite a number of slow/sentimental addition to the album, but also many higher paced neo-classical pieces. This album is better than I expected and if you are a guitarist, regardless of your favourite genres of guitar, this album is for you. This is Vinnie Moore at his best, (just like any of his other albums).


Mind's Eye
Mind's Eye
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 11.92

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpieces of 80s instrumental speed-guitar!, 7 July 2002
This review is from: Mind's Eye (Audio CD)
Vinnie Moore was one of few guitarists that were truly sensationally skilled during the 80s, and he has since proven to be among the best handful of players in the world in wide ranging genres of guitar playing. Mind's Eye is a superb example of the 80s ultra-guitar vision, comprising of instrumental songs driven by the drums, bass, and of course by guitar wizardry. Moore was only about 22 when this was recorded despite this being a tour-de-force of speed technique and a fantastic selection of unique 80s speed guitar songs. This album was followed by Time Odyssey, which is a long and excellent instrumental album based on life, with Moore's unique vision, and is highly recommended aswell.
Moore remains one of very few technically established guitar wizards around today and has always treated his music very sensitively, which is eminent in his structured guitar pieces.
As if this album couldn't be praised more there is another bonus: Tony Macalpine is on the keys. There are some cool solos by Macalpine on the keyboard and he adds to the stylishness of the album; Mind's Eye is not disimilar in many respects to Maximum Security, as they share a superb sense of late 80s style. Mind's Eye is, along with Maximum Security, surely the greatest guitar album of the 80s.


Ancient Greek (TYL)
Ancient Greek (TYL)
by Gavin Betts
Edition: Paperback

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal., 20 Jun 2002
This review is from: Ancient Greek (TYL) (Paperback)
I have the TY book for Ancient Greek and Beginner's Greek Script. I worked through the latter within a couple of weeks and it was a very good introduction to pronunciation, alphabet, and basic vocabulary for contemporary Greek. The former, (the subject of this review), is a much more comprehensive and infinately more advanced text, being very clear about the difficulty of learning Ancient Greek from this book alone. I have conquered the first couple of chapters, and I am very pleased with the direct way that concepts are introduced, leaving the general language jargon up to the reader to learn seperately, (eg, vocative, genitive, nominative... ), but explaining the conditions specifically applicable to the Greek language. I compiled a glossary of approaching 100 terms when working through the first 20 pages or so, as all appropriate key words are used without introduction, (a good thing).
The explanations are excellent and the book seems to achieve it's aim at giving direct explanations in the best possible format to a person prepared to put in a lot of hard work. The frequent interludes of Greek History give the book excellent balance, and the exercises are consistent with the optimal standard of this book, giving lots of opportunity to practice skills such as translating; (for example, the exercise for chapter 2, (of 24 or 25), gives 15 example sentences which each take 20 minutes or so to complete). Overall, this book is very pleasing value for money and is exactly what I hoped for; and is consistent with my opinion that if a subject is hard, it can't be made easier by dressing it up in gimmicks and metaphor, it should be direct and honest like this book.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 25, 2010 6:07 PM GMT


Perpetual Burn
Perpetual Burn

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and EXTREMELY skillful playing., 20 Mar 2002
This review is from: Perpetual Burn (Audio CD)
Anyone rating this album a 4 is seriously tight at marking. You could take any two seconds of material on this ablum and study the complex arpeggios packed in for hours. The number of notes played must average 30 per second.
If you want to hear a guitarist who had an esoteric skill to play brilliantly, get this.
--JASON BECKER IS A GUITAR GOD--(although he would never admit to it of course).


Firewall
Firewall
by Andy McNab
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Firewall is a really cool book, and I loved it., 3 Feb 2002
This review is from: Firewall (Paperback)
I was drawn in immediately by the intelligence of the author, not nescessarily in terms of writing, (although the writing is of a high standard), but in terms of his common sense which he clearly gives his character, Nick Stone. Firewall is compulsory reading for anyone who loves first person narrative, (like any Lovecraft story). As other people have said, Firewall is not just about the plot, (although the plot has enough attention drawn to itself to perfectly suit me), but there is great emphasis on how it feels to be Nick Stone, having to do such difficult tasks, ranging from shady campaigns to blagging the finance office in the private hospital to give him more time to pay back his depts. I think that having read this book, I feel more equiped for the real world, having learnt a lot from the character Nick Stone, (meaning a lot from the author, Andy McNab)...
This is an intriguing read that will inspire you for several days. I SAY YOU CANNOT IGNORE FIREWALL!!


It
It
by Stephen King
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Took me a long time to read, however..., 21 Oct 2001
This review is from: It (Paperback)
...this book is very creepy, and I was quite freaked out with it. I was really chuffed with some of the really creative evils, and some little details make the story creepy as hell.
The bit I like best about the book, is the individual things that happen to the kids, where they all experience their own little horror storys. Secondly, their are some sick bonus chapters, such as the one about a kid who keeps dead animals in a fridge in the woods, and lives being convinced that nobody else exists, and that he is the only real person on earth, (chilling).
There is an underdiscussed side to this book, which has left me baffled, and seems to never be addressed by anyone. This is the giant turtle that floats in the uniniverse, and IT being nearly as powerful. Also the edge of the universe in the dead lights, and stuff; somebody tell me whether this is a metaphore or real or what?
There is a tremendous section where the kids have a den in the ground with a smokey fire inside, and they get in a trance and see millions of years before, when IT first came to the area later to be Derry. IT is described as a Satyr or something, and this is not elaborated enough to be justified, and there is loads of description of time and space and stuff, which makes little sense. I like the way that it is weird like this, however, and I would love to see a new book called "IT, the future" or "universe, the future", or "IT, this is what IT damn well is:" because IT remains a mystery, even when IT's forms are described.
As you can tell, the book is way weirder and deeper than the film, addressing the universe and the coming of IT being millions of years before humans evolved, weird stuff!!!
Did I mention, this book is a serious committment, and dont go in with high expectations. Just see what you think, and let it tell itself. You may just dig it.


Odyssey
Odyssey
Price: 7.99

2 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars TERRIBLE SINGING THROUGHOUT but amazing guitar playing, 21 Sep 2001
This review is from: Odyssey (Audio CD)
Yngwie does more of his absolutely beutiful and groundbreaking guitar solos, displaying unparalleled skill and expertise. If this album had no singing, and they just took the vocals track out in the recording, i would give it 6 out of 5. Don't be fooled, however, because this is not as good as Rising Force or Marching Out, and the singing makes it a million times worse, but most CD players have a SEARCH button, so i recommend you buy this cd and search for the solos. Get it for the guitar solos, but ONLY if you already have Rising Force or Marching Out.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 30, 2012 2:42 PM BST


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