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Jonathan Stilts (Australia)

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Robocop - The Prime Directives (Special Edition 4 DVD Box Set)
Robocop - The Prime Directives (Special Edition 4 DVD Box Set)
Dvd ~ Robocop

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Starts off well with good ideas, but turns to pap, 2 Dec. 2003
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This three-disc set of TV movies starts off well with some nice ideas: murphy has always had an element of duality being half man, half machine, but it's more pronounced now he's organic body is hitting it's fifties while his metal body is still as bad-ass as ever. Murphy has become more consciouss, and in doing so become more disillusioned... he managde to overcome his "death" with beliefs and hopes, but they've just not been fulfilled... OCP starts stiring things up again.
While this sounds very deep and interesting - and obviously foreshadows what is to come - it lets itself down well before the end. There's a lot of repetitive action, repetitive *plotting* (how many times will robocop and cable get reprogrammed?) and obvious plot-padding... most disappointing as there was obviously room for greater character development, and that as the set gets near it's end they throw some plot-devices in to speed things up when they realise everything is *so* directionless. The acting is also pretty awful, aside from Murphy/Robocop himself, his underused elderly tech assistant and *sometimes* Cable.
OCP play a major part in the storyline again, but all the characters from the original films are gone, as pretty much are their legacies. There's a new crowd in the boardroom now, and although their schemes and backstabbing are vaguely interesting (especially considering the identity of one of them), their ultra-hammy acting, poor virtual sets and plot contradictions and absurdaties over the movies greatly lets them down. You'll be pleased to note that the trademark satirical news broadcasts are littered throughout all three movies, and are great... not too biting, but pretty funny.
There are giant plot-holes throughout these three TV movies, aimless plotting, plot padding and repetitive plotting... all when you'd expect them to be *very* tightly plotted indeed seeing as the story arcs across all three films. Terrible acting at times, characters you just can't care about and the same music ALL THE TIME - if I never hear that horn motiff again it'll be too soon.
So: lots of promise and a few nice ideas, but at the end of the day it still sucks badly. But at least it's cheap.

Intacto [DVD] [2003]
Intacto [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Max von Sydow
Offered by qualityfilmsfromuk
Price: £8.70

9 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars great film, terrible DVD, 30 Nov. 2003
This review is from: Intacto [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Although I can't recommend this film enough, I can't recommend this DVD at all. It's fine if all you want is the superb film, but this Region 2 release is incredibly dissapointing in it's extras: it has only the theatrical trailer. Other regions (at least region 1 and whatever region spain is in) have a plethora of extras including a very good directors commentary... the spanish release has so many extra's they've made it a 2-disc edition!

So again, if you just want to see the excellent film - fine. If you want more for your money either wait for a Special Edition to be released or buy from a different region if your DVD player is multi-region capable.

Lexx: Season 3 [DVD] [1999]
Lexx: Season 3 [DVD] [1999]
Dvd ~ Brian Downey

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lexx gets better and better, 9 Nov. 2003
This review is from: Lexx: Season 3 [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
Lexx season 3 is a vast improvement over season 2, so even if you were dissapointed by the series move from TV movies to serials, you may want to jump back onboard the Lexx now.
The whole of Season 3 is set on just two planets that are much more than meets the eye: fire and water, and greatly revolves around the ruler of fire: Prince. As a result this season is probably most deeply plotted and involving story of them all, even moreso than the original films. I could start to wax lyrical about the season (trust me, I could), but that would involve spoiling way too many of the sublime plot points and incredible surprises. If you have ever been fan of Lexx, buy this boxset - you shan't be disappointed. It's even good value for money - this is the *whole* of season 3 in one package.
However - there's always a however - this boxset does not come with the plethora of extras we were treated with on the season 1 and 2 releases: there's no extra features, no commentaries (criminal) and the menus - although the same look-and-feel as before - are no longer animated. This is due to poor sales of the season 2 boxsets, something that almost stopped season 3 being released on DVD at all.

Abslom Daak: Dalek Killer
Abslom Daak: Dalek Killer
by Steve Moore
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars cliched fun - but such fun!, 12 Oct. 2003
As heroes go, Absloom Daak is about as anti as they get. He's a mass-murderer, pirate, pillager, racist, sexist, violent drunk and worse - exiled to dalek-space to fight for as long as he can stay alive... the average being a little over 2 hours. Daak manages rather longer, despite his cheery death-wish.
Despite his nasty personality, he's capable of love, but as with all his other feelings it's an obsessive, irrational, cliched and self-destructive love. And it's this irrational love that drives most of the book, giving Daak just one reason to live besides from killing yet more Daleks.
Yes, it's all pretty corny stuff, but you get to see him rip open masses of Dalek's with a chainsaw on every other page, so who cares! We're in it to see some Dalek guts! Besides, in the closing chapters it does improve somewhat - especially when a mysterious stranger known only as 'The Doctor' turns up...
Sadly this isn't quite the complete Absloom Daak - more was written on Daak some time after this was published, along with Taiyin, Salander, Harma, Mercurius, the daleks and the rest - but you'd never know: the book ends perfectly and seemingly definitely. However, a sequel surely should be forthcoming soon - it's all been drawn and pblished, it just needs republishing in graphic novel format.

Bluff Your Way in Computers
Bluff Your Way in Computers
by Stan S. Spence
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars surprisingly packed with useful information, 12 Oct. 2003
Someone bought this for me as a joke when I started studying Computer Science at university a few years back. I was rather surprised to find that despite it's diminutive size and humourous nature there is rather a lot of useful information on the History of Computing, very conscisely summarised.
I don't know how it rates as a bluffers guide but it rates very well as a pocket history whether you want a crash-course, a revision aid or simply the smallest reference book known to man.

Star Wars: Bounty Hunter
Star Wars: Bounty Hunter

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exceeds expectations, 4 April 2003
Great graphics and gameplay, interesting weapons and movement, superb music. A slightly different outlook on gaming life as you're playing the bad guy: although it's your mission to collect bounties and complete tasks, there's nothing stopping you callously killing innocents by blasting them, setting them on fire or pushing them off ledges.
Anyway, enough with the generalisations: this game seriously sucks you in.
At first it's a bit odd (and off-putting) that you don't really know what the main thrust of the game is: it's not a first-person shoot-em-up as the lock-on facility utterly takes care of aiming for you. Instead it's more about moving around difficult and dangerous landscapes without getting yourself killed (such as climbing up the side of skyscrapers on coruscant with nothing but your jetpack and grip to help you), being picky about who and when you shoot - even in an unprovoked firefight (as you should scan people to see if they have bounties on their head and - whenever possible - tag them and capture them alive) and just staying alive in difficult and demanding circumstances, as the storyline often asks you to attempt some pretty tough scenarios.
The learning curve is a little high - the level after you first get the jetpack is a demanding at the first jetpacking-obstacle and thereafter, plus some weapons you pick up can be quite dangerous to your own health if you don't know what you're doing - the grenade launcher being one in particular that can turn on you if you fire it in an enclosed environment.
However, the memory card and having 5 "re-tries" (lives) cushions these difficulties, as once you've passed a level it saves it to your memory card, and so you can re-attempt the next level as often as it takes to complete it and get a game save again.
Good for players who aren't too fantastic (as you'll get there in the end) and good for more skilled and meticulous players as there's plenty of bonuses to be unlocked by capturing all your bounties and discovering all the secret areas, such as sometimes genuinely funny out-take scenes, a full-length comic book detailing the lead characters origins, interesting concept art and somewhat pointless trading cards.

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (Special Edition) [1984] [DVD]
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (Special Edition) [1984] [DVD]
Dvd ~ William Shatner
Offered by inandout-distribution
Price: £6.59

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent release of this underated gem, 29 Jan. 2003
A gem of a movie that's often discounted as it is one of Star Trek's "odd numbered" movies, popularly believed to all be poor. Star Trek 3 suffers unfairly under this: through directoral flair it succeeds as a film in it's own right while still serving as an excellent sequel to Star Trek 2, and maintains the same high standard that film set. The cast all shine in their own moments (especially Sulu), and William Shatner is at his best - performing as well as he did in Star Trek 2 but with a meatier part. Spock may have died at the end of the last film, but here Kirk is forced to risk everything, and looses much. Perhaps Leonard Nimoy observed how Nick Meyer managed to pull so convincing a performance from Shatner in the previous film, because he's certainly never as good after Star Trek 3.
This DVD is a great improvement over previous releases - two dics gives you extras that are always informative and for the most part truly interesting. The directors commentary gives Leonard Nimoy the chance to speak with his directors hat on for a change instead of as an actor, and gives good insight into what it's like for an actor to direct for the first time - it makes me want to buy "Three men and a baby" purely to see how his experiences develop.
All else that can be said is that the sound and picture quality are excellent throughout (especially considering how old this movie is), as are the discs animated menus. Oh, and hunt out for the easter egg - it contains probably the best documentary on this two-disc set.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 27, 2014 9:02 PM GMT

Digital Dream L'Espion Xtra Digital Camera [0.3MP]
Digital Dream L'Espion Xtra Digital Camera [0.3MP]

89 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best palm-size camera so far, 22 Oct. 2002
The L'Espion Xtra is an excellent next-step in miniature digital cameras. Having owned both the original L'Espion and the SiPix Blink I can say the L'Espion Xtra outshines both these cameras in every single respect. The L'Espion Xtra is easily the best of the in-your-palm under 1 megapixel camera's currently available for it's physical size, picture quality, picture resolution, ease of use and battery lifetime.

The Xtra can take a massive 800x600pixel pictures and store 170 of them at a time, beating both the SiPix and the original L'Espion for both photo size and storage. If this isn't enough, the Xtra's low-res mode can take and store 220 pictures at 352x288pixels. If you owned the orignal L'Espion you'll know that 352x288 was it's hi-res format and stored only 20 of these, so the L'Espion Xtra is an extremely well worthwhile upgrade. The images are of better quality to the original L'Espion and Blink cameras, and has the advantage that - unlike the original L'Espion and Blink - it does not suffer from rounding the picture at the edges as if it was taken through a slight fish-eye lense. Instead the L'Espion Xtra takes perfectly formed pictures with no such edge distortion.

You'll be pleased to hear that the L'espion Xtra can still create movie files by taking multiple pictures at high speed and sticking them together in AVI format with it's free software - but now at a much higher resolution than before. And just like it's predecessors, the L'Espion Xtra makes a perfectly servicable webcam, but this time it comes with a standard mini-tripod threaded hole (you can buy mini-tripods quite cheaply).

The Xtra is very similar in appearance to the original L'Espion, but more smartly engineered. Being only a few millimetres larger than the original, the Xtra is still tiny enough to hide in your closed fist and sits unnoticed in it's leather pouch when attached to your belt. Likewise attaching it to your keys via the keychain will not bulk out your pocket. The LCD screen has been moved to the back of the Xtra where it is much more useful, and enlarged in both size and information - the interface is very easy to use and no longer consists of two-digit codes - everything is presented in full-length words and obvious icons. The interface now uses two buttons on the back for easy navigation and selection, instead of using the shutter button.

The camera still beeps quietly (unlike the frighteningly loud SiPix Blink) to let you know when a picture has been taken but not alert people nearby that someone is taking pictures, but features a small green LED on the front so your subject can see that you're finished taking their picture. Less importantly, the L'espion Xtra still has it's cute pop-up viewfinder: it's usefulness and accuracy is still rather debatable, and it is much better to learn to shoot without it. Also the AAA battery access is better engineered, with a small hatch for inserting/removing instead of the whole bottom of the camera sliding off as in the original L'Espion.
For anyone buying an in-your-palm under 1 megapixel camera, the L'espion Xtra is the one to buy. For anyone who already owns the original L'Espion or the SiPix Blink, it's time to upgrade. As an added bonus for owners of the original L'Espion, the L'Espion Xtra comes with the same format of mini-USB cable - so now you have a spare!

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