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The Bone Hunter
The Bone Hunter
by Tom Holland
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Bone Hunter is bone-achingly boring, 28 April 2006
This review is from: The Bone Hunter (Paperback)
I'm a fan of the West, and paleontology. This book fails to capture the imagination on either. To be blunt - it's too wordy, a bit convoluted, and the characters predictable and undynamic. The hero, a stereotypically perfectly polite Englishman, is probably the most likeable character. He made the book a bit more tolerable. Some things the characters experience are a waste of time, and quite frankly, very unrealistic.

I had hoped for a good read but instead found myself going through the motions just because I dislike giving up on a book. Instead of giving decent clues for you to really wonder who is pulling the strings, he throws a bunch of characters into the mix with half baked plots and finally the explanation at the end... another reviewer wrote that by the end you don't even care about the romance - which is true!


Star Trek Away Team - Xplosiv
Star Trek Away Team - Xplosiv
Offered by NextDayEntertainment
Price: £1.94

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Star Trek Away Team whisked away several great hours!, 26 Feb 2005
I got this not too long ago as I have been picking up several games I missed years ago. When I saw the box and realized this was a multi-character team based game (not a first/third person shooter) I was not that excited, until I installed it...
What resulted was a great adventure. You are in charge of the Away Team as you undertake unconventional missions under the Starfleet radar (and of course, try to save the universe). You have a bunch of well-balanced characters to choose from on your missions. You can operate up to 5-6 characters, clicking on their face and activating their special objects. The interface was very easy to handle and you get the bonus of Data and Worf.
I had never played this kind of game before, so perhaps that's why I think it's so cool. If you're a Star Trek fan you might like this more than the average player as they might find it a bit weak... but I didn't. You soon learn what tactics work (and which ones don't). Hint: Save often and come up with a numbering scheme or something to keep track of your saves as you'll very quickly come up with a long list if you save often like I do!
This is not very cinematic-heavy, so if you're into that sort of thing this might seem a bit low on that. Many missions offer different ways to complete them, they get progressively harder, and your game can be completely different depending on what team you pick (I'm replaying it with different team members). Each character has their own set of dialogue which can be rather amusing. Hint: If you think you've picked the wrong team restart the mission, you'll save yourself a headache!
The difficulty levels come in 'Easy' or 'Normal'. I think it should have another harder difficulty level (especially for replay value) but the Normal level allows you to play and strategize but still have fun. (For example, I'm trying Commandos right now, very similar, but much harder and has ME swearing like a trooper...not always the best form of relaxation!). However, if you like super intricate difficult games you probably won't find this so interesting.
The low-down is: If you want an older game that will run smoothly, not take up too much space, help ease the ST game cravings, and be fun to boot you'll probably like this (and it's dead cheap! I got mine to run on XP with no problems!) If you're new to this sort of game genre and want a kind introduction this is a good start...if you're a hardened veteran you might want to find something a bit more tough and trying...


Love Comes Softly [DVD] [2007] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Love Comes Softly [DVD] [2007] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Katherine Heigl
Offered by RAREWAVES USA
Price: £4.48

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love comes softly and steals into your heart, like this film, 26 Feb 2005
Love Comes Softly is a delightful made-for-tv movie. Based off the popular books by Janette Oke, it revolves around the issues of loss and healing.
Marty's husband dies (this is not a real spoiler) and on the day of her funeral she is asked by a stranger, Clark, to enter into a marriage of convenience - she needs a place to stay and he'd like someone to care for his daughter. What begins as a means for survival soon becomes a vessel for hope.
The three leads are terrific - Katherine Heigl plays the grieving Marty, Dale Midkiff as the quiet, steady Clark, and Skye McCole Bartusiak plays his firey and engaging young daughter Missie. (Note: there is very little painful child acting here, she's really good).
Other reviews have dismissed Christian elements to this film - Janette Oke wrote Christian fiction and chances are, if you're reading this you're looking for a good and wholesome story. Yes, Dale Midkiff's character sings a hymn in the wilderness to God but it's authentic and touching.
To summarize:
- The only reason I gave it 4/5 and not 5/5 is that at times it feels a bit rushed and it's obvious where they built in the breaks for commercials - this leaves it feeling slightly episodic. The film could have benefited from a bit more fleshing out of the character's histories (but there is also a sequel).
- The West feels a little too clean. I wish we felt a little more that Marty entered the marriage really because she had to survive the winter.
- There are only really two supporting characters (the Grahams), and one, the wife, seems a bit too ready with all the answers (and on a humorous note her eyebrows look a bit anachronistic - they seem painted on).
+ The acting is convincing and consistent. The character interactions seem genuine and heartfelt. Dale Midkiff is great with the girl playing his daughter, you can feel the fatherly vibe.
+ This is a good family film with a subtle, unforced (though at times conventional) romantic subtones. Christian elements are prevalent but not overbearing for those not actively interested in this aspect.
+ There are some cute shots in this film (look for the Christmas segue) and some lines are particularly memorable.
+ I'd recommend this for people looking for a family film, or a nice easy-to-digest romance.


The Last Ride
The Last Ride
by Tom Eidson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Last Ride is a good, fulfilling journey, 7 Feb 2005
This review is from: The Last Ride (Paperback)
Eidson's the last ride forms a sort of trilogy with his previous books All God's Children and St Agnes' Stand. The Last Ride, made over into The Missing, is a solid example of how the book is better than the film. Though a decent film, the Last Ride is a much better character study (books have that advantage). However, the richness of the character interaction makes this a delightful read. The conversations are well thought out, the plot keeps a good pace, and you do immerse yourself in the dust of the desert. Characters and conversations stay with you after you're done, I even went back to re-read parts between Maggie and her father.
Summed up:
If you have seen the film, and want to read how it should have been, read this. If you like Western-type novels with good, original characters, try it. A good, solid, representation of its genre, you're likely to enjoy The Last Ride.


No Title Available

3.0 out of 5 stars Once you get it, you got it..., 5 Feb 2005
The 3 stars is due to the plot and to the technical aspects...
BOOK/PLOT
I've been reading the whole New Earth series and have generally been please, it's an intriguing concept and adds a bunch of characters and sticks with them more or less throughout (I'm finishing book 6 now).
BUT, in my opinion, it's the weakest of the books so far. The first four books broke down the main Enterprise 1701 crew into different books and fleshed them out (Chekov's story line is good). Book 5, Thin Air feels a little sophmoric, rushed, and, well, thin. Certain dramatic moments felt a little flat and some characters are too easily treated as superfluous (ie, if you're not part of the Enterprise crew previous character depth established is tossed aside).
The thing is, for those of us reading on this far, is that we know Kirk and co will make it. Thus the authors almost have a duty to flesh out supporting characters so we care more about there fate, and I feel book 5 is the weakest in this manner.
And the main gripe I have is the 'let's resort to getting everyone evacuated off-planet in a hurry' device is getting waaayyy too old by book five.
Book five is not completely void of characterization/plot, but I did find myself using it as a mindless read as I looked forward to book 6.
Regarding the electronic aspect: Wait a few days for dispatch. I don't know why, but it takes amazon about 3 days to get it dispatched, despite it being electronic. This also brought down my rating as I expected it a bit sooner and had to contact customer support to sort it out.
The LOW-DOWN:
HOWEVER, all that said, the e-book price is a GREAT price for a fair-to-middling book and reading off the screen isn't too bad as you can adjust many Adobe settings. Save the P&P and buy it this way.


Spaced Out - The Very Best of William Shatner & Leonard Nimoy
Spaced Out - The Very Best of William Shatner & Leonard Nimoy
Price: £4.93

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spaced Out - Spacey and out there but NOT a waste of Space, 5 Feb 2005
Why the 5 star rating? Well, read all about it...
Shatner is quoted on the insert as saying, "I've been entranced with music for the longest time...and the bane of my life is that I really can't sing...I'm kind of feeling my way into an area that I'm discovering." This is exactly what many people miss - this isn't just a compilation of songs, this stuff was done as conceptual art. Conceptual art is not always made to popular tastes.
Thus, when I listened to this (my dad has the vinyls) I alternatively howled with laughter, tapped my toes, and sang along. The excellent selection does cover the unforgettable favorites, such as Shatner's Mr Tambourine Man and Nimoy's Ballad of Bilbo Baggins. These are truly unique.
These famous songs should not typecast the album, though - for instance, Shatner's renditions of Shakespeare are arguably quite good. The pieces are dramatic and interpretive (back to the art thing) and Shatner dares to be different - how much fun would it be to hear only one version of Hamlet? He's aware he can't sing so adapts (incidentally, Rex Harrison spoke his way through most of My Fair Lady - a musical!!)
Nimoy, on the other hand, provides spoken word and singing. One of the best songs is Where is Love - a touching, simple and well sung rendition. YES Nimoy CAN SING. I really liked the spoken piece, A Visit to A Sad Planet, as I hadn't heard before and found the ending intriguing (no spoilers here!). You really notice the difference between the 'Spock voice' and his 'Nimoy voice.'
With the variety on the CD you're bound to find something you love - whether because it's a funny laugh and you think it's dated or simply because you appreciate something a bit different from two cultural icons.
Bottom line: A really well-selected, quality produced, compilation of Shatner and Nimoy's art/interpretive records of yesteryear. You don't need to go buy six CDs, just this one. It's an eclectic, unusual CD you'll probably find you like a lot more than you expected (and it's a HECK of a conversation piece).


Tim Russ
Tim Russ

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars May Tim Russ live long and prosper..., 3 Feb 2005
This review is from: Tim Russ (Audio CD)
Admittedly, I bought this CD out sheer curiosity just to hear how well Tim Russ can sing. I was very pleasantly surprised - he sings with feeling and has a nice, clear voice. Yeah, ok, so he was a Vulcan, moving on....
Like the CD cover, the music is very straightforward - no overly complicated orchestrations and lots of enthusiasm. I think at times it sounds a little dated (right at the cusp of the 80s to 90s with a strange synthesized keyboard or something in some of the songs). Overall, it's endearing if skirting the edge of cheesy. It's a CD by a guy who just wants to sing a few songs he's written or wanted to cover, as opposed to some artists that just churn out CD's for the cash.
Favorites: Can't Do It Like That (Busted Rainbow), Crossroads, Where Do the Children Play, Louisian 1927
Just plain fun: Crazy, Great Divide (you either love or hate the back-up singers), Love the One You're With (see note about back-up)
Least favorite: I Would Stop the World (sounds a bit like a song you'd hear on a cruise by a middle aged over the hill crooner)
Synopsis: Overall a good effort, the kind that makes you consider getting the next CD. If you have doubts, find it on sale. A soft rock/rock/jazzy kind of mix you'll be surprised to hear yourself humming.


Le Divorce [2003] [DVD]
Le Divorce [2003] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Kate Hudson
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £2.73

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good acting, some promise, much boredom, 27 April 2004
This review is from: Le Divorce [2003] [DVD] (DVD)
This is an (slightly below) average quality film - it's like Hollywood andEurope on a blind date - no one really knows what to say, or how toact.
Why do I say that? Well, actually, the acting is the best part, however,this does not adequately make up for the flat humor, the rambling,conventional plot. My favorite character was the crazed ex played byMatthew Modine (who is a much better actor than given credit for in thisfilm). At least his character kept you guessing as to what he'd do, unlikeall the other formulaic bits.
The drama is forced, characters are not believable, and the few laughsthose of us watching us had are not worth the hours spent watching thisfilm.
Only watch it if you're an avid fan of many of the good actors popped intothis work. For such an impressive array of actors, many of which are nothuge names but are of good quality, it's a shame the script writerscouldn't do better by them. Pick something else to rent!


The Missing
The Missing
by Thomas Eldson
Edition: Paperback

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book better than the film!, 25 Mar 2004
This review is from: The Missing (Paperback)
This book is a masterful tale, rich in the flavor of the 'old west' and full of brilliant characterisations.
If you've seen the film, and liked it to any degree, READ THE BOOK. If you haven't seen the film, READ THE BOOK (and they see it if you'd still like to, it's not bad). The book, however, is much better than the film. I don't know why Ron Howard, such a wonderful director, didn't want to direct a closer version. (Tommy Lee Jones and Cate Blanchett deliver great performances tho)

After seeing the movie you'll think you know how it ends, but it's sufficiently different to keep you reading.
The relationship between Samuel and Maggie is explored in all its dimension, and you really empathise with them. None of the characters are cliched; Eidson instills them each with a unique personality.
Running throughout the book are other areas of thought and conflict, ie the meaning of faith, of God, and how to hold on to one's belief.
If you like adventure, Westerns, and characters that linger with you after reading it (I still think of Samuel from time to time) then I recommend this book.


Chocolat (Film Tie-in)
Chocolat (Film Tie-in)
by Joanne Harris
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Chocolat is sweet, but the aftertaste soon fades, 5 Mar 2004
This review is from: Chocolat (Film Tie-in) (Paperback)
I will refrain from a plot summary as it is adequately described above and on the cover.
Chocolat is a decently written modern novel. The author excels at description - do not read this book on an empty stomach. I have seen most of the film, and for once think the film might be better than the book. The minor characters are to me, far more entertaining that the main characters.
My heaviest criticism is that the book has rather sterotypical characters and virtually no character development. Much of the story can be readily and accurately anticipated by anyone familiar with standard plot devices. The characters are too resolute and unbending, so much so that they seem like stiff cardboard cutouts instead of actual, changeable people. I simply don't believe the characterizations.
And I don't know how she managed to open a chocolate shop with such nice things in about 3 days, it would take an entire team of people!
The book is also generally hedonistic, the main character saying she believes in 'what makes you happy'. It pits hedonism against an extreme form of self-control. Let's face it, you need a mix of both, and this book fails to engage in any sort of real debate or examination of what makes a good society tick, leaving it feeling rather unsophisticated.
Chocolat is aimed at a general audience who just want a mildly entertaining fast read. I do not recommend it to anyone who wants anything different. It will make you smile in places, but it won't linger with you for any great amount of time. It does contain entertaining secondary characters and descriptions, but seems to lack in every other department. Thus I'd rate it 2/5.


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