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Reviews Written by
Atomic Rooster "electricwizard" (Hastings, England)

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Gears of War 2 (Xbox 360)
Gears of War 2 (Xbox 360)
Offered by trguk
Price: £6.82

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bloodier, more brutal, but better?, 18 Nov. 2008
Im the first to admit that Gears of War is one of the biggest titles on the xbox 360. But it is far from perfect. Its up the top with its excessive gore and over the top violence. Its got some of the 360s favourite and, at times, colourful characters. Yet no one Ive spoken to about this game seems to feel its perfect. And I agree.
What did we like about the first Gears? Chainsawing locust in half, seeing Fenix kick major arse and the overall hardnut feel the game comes with. Thats kept in Gears 2 and is even improved upon. A few new, head-busting characters. And youll need new enemies with that. Check. New explosive weapons and this time, a wider range of gameplay. But, as with the first game, each level gets repetitive after a while. Even blowing apart Locust skulls with a shotgun can get a tad monotonous after a while. This is not a game you play for the story too. Im still deciding how I feel about that. It didnt seem to grip me like other games might and at times it felt totally outrageous. That and some really extreme cut scenes and action sequences make it, to me, the Die Hard 4.0 of gaming.
The online in the first was never up there with Call of Duty 4 or Halo 3. And this time EPIC have taken a step back. Sure, this time you can start a party which you couldnt do outside of player games in the last one. But it seems to take forever to find opponents which becomes annoying very easily. Plus the shotgun now seems ineffective at any range. Use of the Lancer assault rifle has sky rocketed and that will aggravate many players who like to shotgun duel. And, of course, with more Lancering comes more chainsawing. And I found that annoys many players in the first and second game.
Horde is quite fun. Fighting waves of Locust with 4 friends has its laughs but when you reach wave 50 it kind of wears out. A few new online gametypes have been added but nothing saves it from its backward step.
Overall Gears 2 is a very good buy. Those who own the first simply have to buy this. Violence is the same as ever. Maybe even more brutal than the first. The characters still leave the Locust horde crying for their Queen and the campaign will bring some fun. Online is average. After a while I found myself going back to number one. A fun game that will boost your Gamerscore between 400-500.

Outpost [2008] [DVD]
Outpost [2008] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ray Stevenson
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.72

4 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good cure for insomnia, 18 Sept. 2008
This review is from: Outpost [2008] [DVD] (DVD)
First off, due to the advertising, I was expecting a zombie flick. However I was sadly disappointed. Sure, just because its not zombies doesnt mean to say it will be a bad film, but it doesnt mean it will be good either. And good it wasnt. What other reviewers saw in this I have no idea. The 'tension' they speak of is a light flickering on and off, quickly revealing a dead nazi and then completely disappearing.
Its starts off as if it will be quite promising. A group of well equipped mercenaries escort a shifty scientist to a remote, rustic bunker, which we later find out was used during World War 2 for occult Nazi experiments to turn members of the SS into super soldiers. So far you have the ingredients for a pretty good film. After a 40 minute snore fest, including gun fights, in which the dogs of war fire into empty tree lines, the plot trys to unravel, but becomes one giant mess. From what I gathered, dead Nazis are trapped between life and death. This allows them to jump between the two and pick off our poorly acted, poorly trained 'heroes'. Gore is kept pretty much to a minimum, when you can actually see it. There are no scares to speak of. The plot is all over the place, and it is a complete rip off of Event Horizon, apart from the fact that Event Horizon has some genuine scares and is a good film.
Other reviewers were right about one thing. This is for fans of Deathwatch, the Bunker and the Keep, simply because theyll be used to poor quality films that call themselves horror but arent actually scary.
For people with sleeping disorders I recommend a double dose of Outpost when all other measures fail. You wont be disappointed.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 5, 2010 2:12 AM GMT

Madden NFL 09 (Xbox 360)
Madden NFL 09 (Xbox 360)
Offered by FUN-N-MORE
Price: £6.50

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Installment to Date, 5 Sept. 2008
Over the years, I feel that where new Madden games have gone wrong is a lack of something new year after year. Sure, we've been given Superstar mode in which you create a player and use him individually on every single down, we've been given create-a-fan which was quite original and we've been given fantasy mode in which you select a team, using points and the better you do the better players you can get. These aside, there have been editions that didnt really include any changes.
This year we are treated to one of the best new features I personally have ever seen; The Madden IQ test. This tests your skill in run offense and defense and pass offence and defense. Depending on how well you partake these challenges will adjust CPU AI in each aspect of your game and will change accordingly to how you play each week. So you wont get thrashed and you wont crush your opponent each week.
Graphics feel smoother this year and John Madden has bowed down from the commentary box and handed over to two new guys, which gives this a whole new feel. Madden is a legend without question, but his monotonous voice can do your head in after a while. So the change is quite nice. But John is still in the game. He welcomes you to the 20th edition of the game at the start, and it is he who takes you through the Madden IQ Test.
This is pretty much the perfect way to celebrate 20 years of NFL videogames. And judging by this, the 30 year anniversery game will certainly be something special.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 11, 2008 1:43 PM BST

Rambo [DVD] [2007]
Rambo [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Sylvester Stallone
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.89

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You just cant not like it, 15 July 2008
This review is from: Rambo [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
First off, I have only seen Rambo: First Blood. So I will not be comparing this to parts 2 & 3, like other reviews might have done.
After being disappointed and almost bored to death by Die Hard 4.0, I assumed this would be another crappy comeback film. But I was pleasantly suprised.
As well as starring in it, Stallone also directs. And hes goes back to basics. No pointless in-depth story or bad twists. Just relentless, heart-stopping action. The first 30-40 minutes are a little slow. But the remainder of the film makes up for it.
The Burma soldiers are portrayed as complete rape, pilage and plunder scumbags. So you feel no remorse for the gory death that awaits them. And believe me, there are plently. Heads blowing up, limbs being blown off and a hell of a load of explosions. Basically the film is filled with lots and lots of dead people. Good news for the people who love over the top violence, this film has the highest body count of the Rambo films, averaging 3 a minute.
As well as constant action, Rambo 4 ends at a good time. No dragged out plot with 3 false endings. Just as you fear the blood bath may get boring, the film finishes. And when you think it finishes it does actually finish. Unlike the endless Die Hard 4.0.
Rambo 4 is the perfect film to unwind and put your brain away for 80 minutes. Enough dead people to fill a morge 3 times over and comic book stlye violence, similar to 300. Its so ridiculous you cant not love it.

Diary Of The Dead - Single Disc Edition [DVD]
Diary Of The Dead - Single Disc Edition [DVD]
Dvd ~ Joshua Close
Price: £2.50

9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A joke, right?, 1 July 2008
I first heard about Romeros new handheld zombie flick after watching the British version, The Zombie Diaries. After quite a lot of hype and some good looking trailers I rented it. I can easily say Im a big Romero fan, but Land of the Dead wasnt that good and I didnt think Romero could make any worse.
How wrong I was
Everything thats wrong with zombie, and, in fact, all horror flicks are included here. Slow shuffling zombies and people standing around yelling, some pretty awful acting, and just all over the place. The fact that it is handheld doesnt make it worse. Cloverfield was a very good film because you related with the natural feel to the characters. But here, well here is another story. There is too much acting for a handheld, and what acting there is is simply pathetic. In particular the drunk, english war vet.
Some of the worst moments are when there are zombie attacks and the people are just standing there filming it. Not trying to help at all. Every character has their priorities in the wrong place. Jason, the main cameraman, passes up a chance to go with everyone else and stays to charge his camera, by himself, in a creepy hospital lobby.
Gore and action are ok. Zombies pretty freaky. The tension is built up well and there are a few jump out of the seat moments. However the use of music and voice overs make it worse because its a handheld. Clearly Romero has lost the plot. The way it was made was wrong for a handheld, but that aside, it wouldve been awful anyway.
Anyone, Romero fan or not, should avoid this. Every bad stereotype is here and its simply a laughing stock. Romeros prime has been and gone.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 26, 2013 3:01 AM GMT

Saw 4 - Extreme Edition [2007] [DVD]
Saw 4 - Extreme Edition [2007] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Tobin Bell
Offered by Champion Toys
Price: £2.49

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Weird, 16 Mar. 2008
In my opinion, as the series has progressed, the Saw films have gone down hill in quality. The first Saw was a great film packed with gore, tension, drama, suspence and a good story. Saw 2, I feel, was let down by the fact that it was a group of captives. The first was very good because there was a sense of gritty and dark isolation. A large group of people playing Jigsaws games just didnt work. But the film did have the best ending out of all the installments. Three is where you could tell that the writers were having a tough time keeping the series going. It replaced the essence of story that made the first two good, and replaced it with over the top gore. Still a good film, but anyone could see how they were getting worse.
Onto Saw 4. After a very promising start, things took a turn for the worst. Again, like 3, this one is very gory and quite sickening, but three still holds pole position as the most gruesome. Four has some of the best games of the quadrilogy. Two and three have some very creative ones, but four is back up with the first film in the sense of some very interesting challenges.
The story follows the path of SWAT Commander Rigg, who you would recognise from two and three. Rigg is obsessing over the fact that all detectives, who have been on the path of Jigsaw, keep getting caught up in his sick and twisted games. Riggs challenge is very similar to number three. Thats all Im going to write, because I dont want to be a plot spoiler.
The film starts to go rotten about 30 minutes in. There is a lot of jumping between tenses. It is hard to tell when the film is in the present and the past, except when Kramers story is being told. I found myself quite lost at the constant changing of time.
All films, except this one, have all ended very well. However this leaves you very puzzled. The first three all closed, leaving you understanding and awaiting a sequel. But four leaves you very confused. Perhaps Im being stupid or missed something, but for me the questions of the film werent answered. And if they were, they were answered very poorly.
If youve seen all the other Saw films, then you must watch this. It is enjoyable and definitely has its strong moments. The writers tried to bring back the strong story, but this is the first installment that is actually confusing.
Good not great.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 23, 2008 11:18 PM GMT

The Roundhouse Tapes: Opeth Live
The Roundhouse Tapes: Opeth Live
Offered by jim-exselecky
Price: £8.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great show that I was at!!!!!, 10 Mar. 2008
The fact that I was actually at this show will be probably make my opinion very bias. Readers should take this into consideration.
Arguably, Ghost Reveries was the album that help put Opeth on the map and in the media. With the intention of releasing a dvd of this show, the band dug deep into their past and pulled out a list of songs, so it would not be like releasing Lamentations with a few new songs. Fans of the later albums (from Blackwater Park onwards) would not enjoy this as much as the hardcore Opeth fans, and at the time I didnt. But I listened to a lot of the older stuff after the gig and when this was released I loved it.
Typical of the band, this show has a set list consisting of the quiet and heavy stuff that makes Opeth unique. From the first song you really need to know their discography well. They open with a great performance of When, followed by an equally good Ghost of Perdition. Most of the set is off the first couple of albums the band released, with the exception of Ghost of Perdition, Bleak and Windowpane. Although quite a lot of their best songs, in my opinion (April Ethereal, the Baying of the Hounds and Deliverance), were left out, this is still an enjoyable kick ass show.
Everything you expect from Opeth is in this gig. Good mix of songs heavy and mellow, and the typical dry wit of frontman, Mikael Akerfeldt, in between songs. Some of the things Akerfeldt comes out with, will leave you laughing out loud.
Great show that any Opeth fan should listen to

Oasis: Live By The Sea [DVD]
Oasis: Live By The Sea [DVD]
Dvd ~ Oasis
Price: £8.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Show, 6 Mar. 2008
This review is from: Oasis: Live By The Sea [DVD] (DVD)
Considering that at the time Oasis only had one album (Definitely Maybe) and a bunch of single b-sides, Live By The Sea is a show where they strum out hit after hit.
Rock 'N' Roll Star is the first tune blasted out and that sets the path for 80 minutes of vintage Oasis.
Following one hell of an opener are 10 more punches in the face, including Acquiesce, Some Might Say, Cigarettes & Alcohol, Live Forever and Up in the Sky. Throughout the set is classic after classic that doesnt let up at any point. Unfortunately Up in the Sky, and later Slide Away, are spoilt by Liams inability to hit the higher notes in the songs. But luckily there are 15 other songs that make up for these, slightly disappoiting performances.
About an hour in and the set changes direction. All members depart the stage and leave Noel, his acoustic and a hungry crowd. This is where the other side of Noels song writing abilities are shown. Earlier on in the set the band are strumming out the fast paced riffs of Rock 'N' Roll Star, Columbia and Headshrinker. But now Noel is left playing the classics ballards Sad Song, Talk Tonight and part of D'Yer Wanna be a Spaceman?
Then the band re-enter and close with Slide Away, Supersonic and the most rocked up version of I am the Walrus you will ever hear.
Any fan of Oasis will love this!

American History X [DVD] [1999]
American History X [DVD] [1999]
Dvd ~ Edward Norton
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £3.45

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerhouse performance by Ed Norton, 4 Mar. 2008
American History X is a story based on extremist, racial violence in modern day America.
Norton plays buffed up, neo-nazi skinhead, Derek Vinyard. After his father is gunned down while tackling a fire in a black neighbourhood, Vinyard turns into a black hearted, agressive foot soldier, fighting for white supremacy, and starts seeing his country as plagued by illegal immigrants.

This film has one of the best casts in cinema history. Although youll see films with star after star, such as Pulp Fiction, Sin City and The Departed, the acting ranks among the best performances you will ever see. Besides Ed Norton, the next biggest name in this is Edward Furlong. In this film you will see how he has evolved and matured from Terminator 2's John Connor. Aside these is a great supporting cast consisting of Beverly D'Angelo, Ethan Suplee and Avery Brooks. Standing out is Ethan Suplee, who plays Dereks overweight, brute of a friend, Seth. The reason this performance sticks out is because of the performance he puts on in Remember the Titans. Although American History X was released first, those fortunate enough to have seen both films will appreciate what an under-rated, versitile actor Suplee is. Every actor is this film puts on a performance so unique, that the film could revolve around any of them actually being the main character.

Although this film is very violent, and at one point will leave you cringing and maybe even looking away, it is not glorified with over the top gore, like so many films these days are. It doesnt need gore to shock people into the brutality that is being shown. The acting takes care of that. The thing that shocked me most about this film was the scene in the car park, in which an enraged Vinyard is giving a talk that hits you in the face, leaving you with two black eyes and a broken nose. The talk is primarily about illegal immigrants "ruining" the country. Although I am not a racist, everything Norton says in that scene gave me chills. Anybody, not racist, but observant, should see why he is saying what he is saying, and how it can sway the minds of people who are looking for someone to blame for their bad luck.

Although this film is mainly about violence and racial intolerance, its story of family can be applied to anything. The importance of setting a good example to younger siblings and the strong ties of family bonds, strengthen this films impact. Although extreme, dedicated family men can relate to Vinyards character. It shows how easily good people can be influenced by monsters of the world. This picture portrays it as a vicious, never-ending circle, until the inevitable, tragic ending.

Watching this film will make a vast majority of people reflect on their prospective of tolerance to other races. One of the best films you will ever see. A must watch. The only negative of this film is that Ed Norton was only nominated for the oscar. Unfortunately he didnt win it.

Jacob's Ladder [DVD] [1991]
Jacob's Ladder [DVD] [1991]
Dvd ~ Tim Robbins
Price: £3.98

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece, 3 Mar. 2008
This review is from: Jacob's Ladder [DVD] [1991] (DVD)
Unfortunately one can not go into depth about Jacobs Ladder. Its a film where you cant really outline the plot without saying exactly what it is about. Saying what it is about will spoil it for those who have yet to see it. And when you watch it you will understand why.
Tim Robbins plays troubled man, Jacob Singer. Without giving anything away about why he is troubled, Jacob serves in Vietnam after a tragedy that will change his life forever. On the surface this film is about the horror of the war and Jacobs past coming back and haunting him when he returns home. Throughout the film Jacob has hallucinations and visions. Hunted by demons, he becomes convinced that there are people who want him dead. With his growing paranoia and fear of insanity, Jacob confronts the fears of his past and seeks out the truth of his involvements in Vietnam.

The purpose of this film is not to scare the viewer with its cast of demons and subliminal images. It has a deep story that evolves as Jacob explores and unravels the depths of his mind. Luckily it is not a bad ghost story with a poor ending. You sympathise with Jacob and the suffering he goes through. I, personally, was touched by this story. Although it is dark and gritty in story and the way it is portrayed, Jacobs Ladder is a truly beautiful film.

This is not a film that you can switch off to. You have to have your wits about you and need concentrate and remember what you see and what is said by the characters. You may feel confused about what is going on. The film is constantly switching between fantasy and reality and it is easy to get lost. But when the ending hits you in the face, you will look back on the film and everything will make sense. It is after the film that you think about and appreciate exactly what it is that this film does. However, most films that have good twists at the end wont have the same effect on you the second time you watch them. But this is where Jacobs Ladder differs from other films like that. In fact, watching it a second time will benefit you. You will spot things you didnt see the first time around and knowing the ending from the first time you watch it will make you understand the film a lot more the second time around.

Jacobs Ladder is more than just a psychological thriller. It is a film that will make you think and will have a great impact on everyone who watches it. Fathers with sons, in particular, will shed tears at this film at more than just the ending. Powerful performance by Tim Robbins makes this a great film that is a must watch for anyone.

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