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William Templar (England)

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Where Eagles Dare  [1968] [DVD]
Where Eagles Dare [1968] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Clint Eastwood
Price: £4.90

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They really don't make them like this anymore., 29 Mar. 2013
As old war films go, they tend to be a bit iffy.
There are a few decent ones but the majority only stand out for there cliche, wooden acting, and dodgy directing and special effects. Where Eagles Dare is something else entirely; it isn't just a good war/espionage film, its a lesson in film making.

Directorial it is one of the strongest films I've seen, whilst not being groundbreaking or even attempting to 'do things differently' it is solidly directed all the way through. I've seen very few films that do suspense like W.E.D.

The acting is also extremely consistent, which it needs to be to create this feeling of foreboding and suspense. Clint Eastwood as a younger man in this gives one of his best performances in my opinion. The characters a well defined and never break their personalities, Eastwood and Burton deliver nerves of steel on screen and make you believe it too.

The action and stunts in this are also very good for an old film (1968 remember!) even though you can tell when its special effects as opposed to real stunt men, Eastwood and Burton sell it like its real. They sell the action and for this you can forget the sometimes lack-luster special effects.

The story is engrossing and believable, men and women like the ones portrayed in W.E.D actually did the things that are acted in this film. Though not a chronicle of WW2 history its delivered in such a clean and uncluttered fashion.

What brings the suspense and feel of the film to life other than the great acting and story is the direction and use of sound-effects and music. On the soundtrack side this film is spartan, it doesn't constantly assault the ears and destroy acting with action music, it just lets the story create the action and your mind does the rest. Only a good film can do this.

If you like your old war movies this is a must for you. I'm not a big war film fanatic but I love this. If you haven't seen it and want to watch an older action/thriller then this is for you as well. It truly is a superb piece of film making.

If only they made modern films like this...
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 2, 2015 8:57 AM GMT

Stargate SG1 the Ultimate Guide
Stargate SG1 the Ultimate Guide
by Kathleen Ritter
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars chaapa'lo jaffa! Kree!, 19 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I ordered this not really knowing what to expect. The literature available for Stargate SG1 isn't as extensive as for StarTrek or Star Wars for instance, and like much in the cult world of sci-fi it can become victim to atrocious "fan" based 'ultimate guides', usually as poorly produced as they are written.

However, this one is brilliant. It covers seasons 1 to 9 with great big glossy photos and about enough hard text to give you what you want to know without being rigorous about it. So great for any new fan or seasoned Gater. Apart from the customary season synopsis sections there are well put together character profiles for all of the main characters. Details of all of the main off-world civilisations that SG1 encounter (Tok'ra, Tollan, Asgard, etc) and smaller briefs on other species and civilisations.

The book also covers the SGC, including; informs, weapons, personnel, alien tech, etc etc.

There are also reasonably extensive Goa'uld and Unas vocabularies as well, which makes things that bit more interesting for any real Gater that wants to try their hand at learning some Goa'uld.

The book spans about 140 pages, but they have sure packed a lot of info and pictures into it, what's more is that is all good, well researched, and accurate. The cherry on the cake is DVD that comes with it which includes interviews with the cast from SG1; Amanda Tapping, Michael Shanks, Chris Judge, and RDA, they are reasonable long as well and
they offer a nice insight into the actors you watch playing the characters you like.

Stargate the Ultimate Visual Guide is just what it says it is. Superb, get it, you won't regret it.

Ya duru arik kek onac. Dal shakka mel.

Jeff Dunham's - Controlled Chaos [DVD]
Jeff Dunham's - Controlled Chaos [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jeff Dunham
Price: £10.48

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Jeff's best work, 19 Mar. 2013
Having seen all of Jeff's previous work, and given the fact that my partner is a fan, to say that I enjoy Jeff's irreverent, sometimes borderline controversial humour would be a little understated.

Controlled Chaos is Jeff's most recent outing and I am sad to say that it is not his best, in fact, not even close to his previous work.

Its starts with his usual stand-up set piece which in all honesty is not his true calling. Perhaps as an English viewer I find his humour in this part a little, "American"; in that it's quite obvious and literal. On this DVD the opening charts his life as a ventriloquist, and I must say, although a little history of a person you like is usually enjoyable, this came across as a bit sad really; it made the larger than life ventriloquist seem all too real (typical suburban American middle class kid) It also didn't add anything to the act; it.didn't lead you in.

His performance then moves on at it's usual pace through the characters he uses. But for me he had lost his energy, he seemed drained of inspiration. I felt that many of the sections were strung out and didn't really offer much new material. Indeed, many of the jokes were recycled and slightly reworded. Maybe this was due to his marriage breaking down which he mentions in the beginning , maybe it was recorded on a bad night, who knows.... But it wasn't the Jeff Dunham I remember from earlier DVD releases.

All this is a great shame as Jeff still remains the best ventriloquist I have seen. And he is a true doctor of his art, and this comes out now and again as he can still wow the audience with vocal gymnastics and brilliant humour. Sadly these moments are few and far between in Controlled Chaos and it doesn't flow. In true Jeff Dunham style though, Peanut still remains the best act, that one at least was enjoyable.

If you are new to Jeff I probably wouldn't recommend this as a showcase of his talent. If you are a returning fan, it's worth a watch if nothing else.

Stargate: The Ark Of Truth [DVD]
Stargate: The Ark Of Truth [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ben Browder
Offered by MusicnMedia
Price: £3.96

4.0 out of 5 stars The team return., 1 Feb. 2013
Let's not forget how good SG1 is. It really is an awesome series that did a lot for the sci-fi genre. So when they decided to make a film on the back of the final season, this was a good thing as us "gaters" could get more of our favourite characters.

However, the Ark of Truth isn't so much a film as it is an extended episode. More like a 'special' than a feature. This isn't a bad thing, but it does show in the writing and direction. It feels like an episode, it looks like and episode, and unfortunately it plays out like an episode. You know to old SG fallback - everything is saved in the nick of time.

I was expecting something a little new, a bit different, something to keep me riveted. But sadly it didn't come. There was one twist when an old enemy appeared but that's just it; an 'old' enemy, nothing new. It was clear that the budget has suffered and perhaps they had planned to make a Hollywood epic but had to scale it back, but they could have done more with the screen time.

The main issue was the storyline, though it wasn't bad it was the same formulaic episode writing. It suffered because all of what happens could have gone into a regular episode slot, but it had to be stretched out for fill a feature slot. Thus you end up lengthening devices such as wide pan helicopter shots of Teal'c trekking across mountain ranges for about 5 minutes. Though pretty epic looking and well shot it didn't add much to the story, we already know Teal'c is a fearless and loyal warrior.
As usual some of the team are captured while the rest fight a battle against tyranny. With no hope of rescuing the others as they fight against overwhelming odds. You know the deal. Nothing was done badly, but there was also nothing new, or even particularly exiting.
The story wasn't bad in itself, they just didn't develop it that well, and it relied on the same plot devices as the episodes, and it was all solved quite conveniently.

Ark of Truth isn't bad, as a big Stargate fan I thoroughly enjoyed it. But to come at it expecting a feature film is the mistake, really it's an extended episode special. If you take it like that you should enjoy it too.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
This is very much one for the fans as well, as it doesn't explain much and just takes off from where season 10 finished. If you haven't seen at least season 10 of SG1 it may still be entertaining but it will lack the gravity and revelation that has been written in for the fans of the show. It's not a stand alone film like the original 'Stargate' with Kurt Russel and James Spader.

Max Payne 3 (Xbox 360)
Max Payne 3 (Xbox 360)
Offered by EVERGAME
Price: £5.70

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but not all that great., 23 Jan. 2013
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
To say Max Payne 3 is a bad game is a bit harsh. It's a good game with many flaws.

Cinematically and narrative wise it's excellent, the story of Max really pulls you in all it's gritty, sombre glory. Though it has to be said that it's not the first time we've seen the story of a depressive alcoholic ex-cop, who's family have been murdered and has nothing to live for. Perhaps not hugely original, but very we'll written when all said and done and you can't argue with that.

The story is well supported by a montage of wonderfully detailed scenarios, and sharp graphics. Essentially they are all just A to B glorified corridors, but they are well rendered and add to the gritty feel of the game.

Unfortunately, great stories and good graphics don't make a good game. The finishing touch is always the game-play. And.... You guessed it, that is the failing of this game.
Firstly Max handles like he is running through treacle, hit sprint and he moves no faster. There is a standard cover system, but it's got nothing on the likes of Splinter Cell Conviction, Gears, or even R6 Vegas 2.

Another oversight is the levels and cut scenes, you are pretty much railroaded through the levels with very little time to look around for ammo and health.
Many times after a gun fight it goes straight to a cut scene into the next area, so often you end up facing 6 armoured guys toting assault rifles with nothing but a pistol and 2 shots, oh yeah...with no health. This is incredibly frustrating, sometimes if you're really lucky after a cut scene transition, you will loose the guns you've picked up and be left with just a pistol and a couple of mags.

If that isn't irritating enough, as the game progresses the enemies become almost invincible, taking entire magazines of rifle ammunition to kill. So you spend most of your time struggling in shootdodge or bullet-time trying to score head shots (which don't always kill them...), but when Max lands he's not exactly quick on his feet to get up, and you get shot to hell on the floor too.

The game also suffers from a lack of variety when it comes to weapons. Ammunition, and health are always in very short supply. There's challenging, and then there's facing down 8 invincible enemies with only a rifle, twenty bullets and just enough health to remain standing. This is on medium difficulty by the way.

There is an aim assist, but that sometimes won't target the closest threat, or will aim low on an enemy behind cover. Sometimes it misses the guy standing six feet away altogether.

Basically put; many of the times you suffer an untimely death will be because of the controls and how the game handles. Or because a cut-scene dumps you in combat with no ammo or health - not because you suck.

So to sum up:
Pros: The story is really good, perhaps a little cliche in places, but you gotta love Max's gritty dry tones, and subtle humour. The levels are really detailed and the graphics are sharp. The game is involving and can be fun to play and to watch.
Cons: Controls are a little slow, level design lacks imagination in direction of play, never enough health or ammunition to keep the play smooth and flowing. Enemies become almost invincible later on.

DreamWorks Animation Collection (10 Disc Box Set) [DVD]
DreamWorks Animation Collection (10 Disc Box Set) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Rob Letterman

39 of 47 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad value for money, 30 Dec. 2012
Firstly I would like to say that I didn't make the mistake of buying this, thankfully.

But one should probably note before buying this, that every film listed as included can be bought new for less than £70 from Amazon. In fact; if you bought every film included separately you would save yourself £30.

None of the titles included are over about £5, the Shrek 1 to 4 boxset is only £16.

This boxset is a huge ripoff, it doesn't offer anything new, it's just the films as they are, as you would buy them separately. But they added £30 to the price for what? The cardboard box they are in?

Monster V Aliens £3.79
Bee Movie £3.31
Over the Hedge £3.79
King Fu Panda £4.39
Flushed Away £3.49
Madagascar 1&2 £6.49
Shrek Complete 1 to 4 £16.07

You do the math and tell me that all adds up to £70..... I think not.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 14, 2015 5:01 PM GMT

Doom 3 - BFG Edition (Xbox 360)
Doom 3 - BFG Edition (Xbox 360)

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still a BEAST, and we love it!, 3 Dec. 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
They don't make em' like this anymore.

8 years ago a game by a small development team broke cover, snarling and blood-thirsty, a monster of a game. It delivered excellent graphics, terrifying and gripping gameplay, and a solid and interesting storyline. This was no ordinary first person horror shooter, this was Doom 3.

By todays standards Doom still deliveres quite a punch. Maybe the graphics are showing their age. But even then, they're not all that terrible. Doom still doesn't feel like any other game of it's type (even now), it was and still is a pace-setter for the horror FPS. If you want to make an wicked scary game, that keeps you riveted from the get go, look no further than Doom for inspiration.

So what is it about this beast that we all love so much? Like a zombie lurching from the shadows; it's all in the delivery and presentation.
Firstly the attention to detail in Doom is what really pulls you into the twisted world of Mars City where the game is set. You arrive on Mars as a Marine assigned to a security detail at a big research lab. It's all pretty standard and normal until you are tasked to find a missing scientist. This transitional period in the beginning of the game is very smooth and well written. It draws you in nicely as things go from normal, to weird, to worse. From then on you decend into a terrifying world where every movement on the game makes you nervous, and every sound in your living room makes you jump.

If there is one thing Doom excels in, it's suspense and the creation of a foreboding environment. As you play you become more and more uneasy, every new unopened door fills you with dread at what may lie behind it. The threat of every corner and every shadow being home to some grim demon waiting to jump out on you. But its not an endless trail of destruction either, there are quiet spells, it keeps you guessing. You never know whats coming and this holds you on a knife edge for the whole ride.

What's more is that Doom doesn't rely on just blood and gore to create the horror feel like so many others. In fact, if you took the blood out it would still be as grim. It uses simple but cleverly presented devices to horrify your little gaming world, like darkness, and flickering lights which obscure things: Did I see that? Was there something there? It creates a sense of closeness and claustraphobia, like you have no escape routes, and no place to hide. It makes you choose between holding the flashlight to illuminate those dark corridors, or holding a weapon to murderize anything that might be in them. That choice alone keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Instead of just finding a keycard or codes written somewhere to move forward, you must find PDAs which belonged to people. On the PDA there can be useful information like codes to equipment lockers and door access. In addition there are often data files that contain the back story to the game. Like voice diaries from the ex-owner of the PDA explaining the 'stranges noises' or 'odd behaviour of people' they had witnessed. This adds a different dimension to the play and depth to the game which most games of this type lack. The only respite you get from the suspense is listening to PDA messages and reading journals and emails about the horror that's developing. It doesn't let you escape from the story once your in it, it keeps you riveted.

Doom 3 creates this foreboding feeling like no other has, even the Resident Evil series doesn't deliver this kind of atmosphere. F.E.A.R gets closer but no cigar. Too many horror games just rely on trying to disgust the player with as much blood and guts as they can code in, Doom doesn't do this. It plays with your senses and your feelings of aloneness and fear, which only works because the story and environment are so well delivered. Sure the monsters are scary looking, but they are only as scary as they are because of the atmosphere of the game; you never feel safe.

In this respect Doom is the complete horror game package. But it doesn't stop there, it's also wildly enjoyable to play. Especially with a friend for a wingman to watch your back while you're playing. Taking it turns to get your ass handed to you by demonic monsters as you navigate the dark and grizzly world of Doom.

The weapons kit is fun as well, ranging from pad-mashingly ineffective to blindingly awesome. From the generic FPS staple; the hand gun (which any frequent FPS player will know is a gun shaped paperweight most of the time let alone when facing zombies, or worse.) to the infamous BFG9000 which will DESTROY everything in a room, it kinda wouldn't be Doom without it. Even the humble flashlight can be used to batter the odd zombie to death, which is guaranteed to fill you with satisfaction.

All the action dynamics are smooth and responsive even as a console port. You won't get the response time of a mouse, but dial the sensitivity up to 10 and you should be able to swing round and give that demon scum some lead in the face. As in classic Doom style, a lot of stuff will attack you from behind.

It's great the Doom 3 got the HD upgrade because this game really deserves not to be forgotten, because once you've played it, you never forget it. So it's old now, so it's still essentially A to B shoot the bad guys on the way (isn't that all CoD is?) so what? You could do much worse than pick up a copy of Doom 3. It's still a BEAST, and we love it.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 6, 2015 4:16 PM GMT

Samsung Galaxy Note N7000 16GB Sim Free Mobile Phone - Dark Blue
Samsung Galaxy Note N7000 16GB Sim Free Mobile Phone - Dark Blue

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Off to explore the Galaxy!, 1 Dec. 2012
After spending years as an iPhone junkie, I finally had enough of iTunes and the AppStore and Apple branded software that won't speak to anything that isn't Apple. I still think iPhones are great, and my partner loves my old iPhone 4. But damn are you tied into everything Apple.

So, I wanted something new, that could match the iPhone in usability and blow it out of the water with connectivity that isn't an iPhone: enter the Galaxy Note. Android is awesome as an OS, it's opensource and Google (they own the internet right?) Makes life easy. If you want to move stuff between your PC and phone you just plug and play, no need to download extra software! Hooray!
The Google Play store is as easy as the AppStore just without the mandatory registration and pointless litigation found with Apple. Nearly all of the same apps are available too.

Android has a benefit over iOS in that its much more user defined. How you run your phone is up to you more. It's more like a mini PC in a lot of ways. So if you want a superb UI with great personalisation, then the Note delivers where iPhone cannot. It's UI is second to none. The Swype keyboard input is inspired and super easy to use. The 5" LCD HD screen is big and bright and makes other smartphones look tiny in comparison (this is a big handset), but you are rewarded for your tight pocket space with rich colours and a crystal clear display.

The CPU and RAM make running times smooth and short for nearly all operations, even quicker than the HTC One X (having had one). The camera is top notch and the video records in HD. Video playback is lag free and providing your coverage is good internet loading times are super short, even streaming.

This phone does everything you want, and probably more. I've had mine for 6 months and it's fantastic, hardworking, and tough (it's taken a few knocks, been dropped and shrugged it off).

Only minor note about the Note is that it's like a PC in that you have to clean caches and stop programmes in the background if you want fast running times. But hey, that's nothing new, let's face it.

This a super phone. Good bye iPhone, I'm off to explore the Galaxy.

The Incredibles (2-disc Collector's Edition) [DVD] [2004]
The Incredibles (2-disc Collector's Edition) [DVD] [2004]
Dvd ~ Craig T. Nelson
Price: £4.77

5.0 out of 5 stars Why haven't I seen this before!?, 27 Nov. 2012
I can't believe I haven't seen this film before. I mean, I heard about it, but I never saw it. Boy am I sorry I waited until now. It's fantastic. An instant hit with me.

I love the CG animated films like Finding Nemo, Megamind, the Shreks etc etc, and this ranks amongst the best if them.

The story is good, as it develops adding back story and plot to the film. The characters are memorable and well acted. The sets are brilliant, from the 1950s style suburban house, to the James Bond villain style "secret volcano lair". The action is superb and exiting, and the humour is, perhaps a little dry for younger viewers sometimes, but on the whole very funny. The film delivers everything you have come to expect from a Disney Pixar animation, and a little something different too. Particularly for us older viewers who will get some of the subtle references. And there is plenty of slapstick humour and excitement for the kids too (obviously).

The only issue I noticed (not really a flaw) is that the plot expands fairly methodically and slowly in the beginning which may leave younger more excitable viewers underwhelmed. But it does pick up brilliantly, and that plot development stage really makes it a good watch even for us adults.

On the whole its a fantastic, or should I say, 'incredible' family film. If you haven't seen it; get it.

Date Night [DVD]
Date Night [DVD]
Dvd ~ Steve Carell
Offered by HarriBella.UK.Ltd
Price: £2.69

4.0 out of 5 stars Rom-com with exitement!, 27 Nov. 2012
This review is from: Date Night [DVD] (DVD)
If you we're wondering about watching this, don't. Steve Carrel and Tina Fey are well cast leads for this, and their portrayal of a suburban couple in way over their heads is believable and funny.

As a big Steve Carrel fan I had high hopes. Steve does comedy just as fluently as he does "normal family guy", and he mixes it with his usual style of slightly dry, but brilliant timed comedy in this. Tina Fey is great as his loving wife and they really spark together on screen. The supporting roles are we'll cast and compliment the plot well.

The plot:
Well, you can read the blurb for that. My take on it was that it was perhaps a little too ambitious. It's the "mistaken identity" plot as seen in literally thousands of films. And it's a hard one to pull off, especially as a comedy. Date Night tried hard to pull it off and in places it did it well, in others it didn't quite hit the mark. This was evident as the the plot pace fluctuated throughout most of the film.

Sometimes it seemed to loose it's pace and become a little slow, bogged down in certain scenes that went on too long with not enough humour. Others flow like a well oiled machine, and are genuinely hilarious.

Although at times it's a little hit and miss, overall the humour is good and keeps up with a good story. When it comes together it comes together perfectly, and thankfully this is for at least 70% of the film.

You could do much worse than to watch Date Night. It's funny, it's witty, at times it's sharp, poignant, and touching. It's a romantic comedy with a twist.

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