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Billy Budd (England)

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Grand Theft Auto V (PS3)
Grand Theft Auto V (PS3)
Price: £23.99

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Potentially great game let down by odious politics, 4 Oct. 2014
This game is a huge disappointment. The GTA games have always had a slightly annoying undercurrent of puerility about them and this game misses the opportunity to develop past that and instead seems to have regressed into 'Saints Row' territory.

The game was guaranteed to sell based on the previous installments so it would have been a good opportunity to get a new writing team involved. A more noirish storyline, something cinematic. Instead the writing seems to be aimed squarely at the lowest common denominator - the cliched imagined male adolescent gamer.

Many who do not fit that cliche, young and old, male and female, will be repulsed by the story's frequent violence, misogyny and glorification of inhumanity. One playable character is introduced in a cut scene where he murders a man by stamping on his head and this then transitions directly into the player taking control. Why no control over how that incident played out? (something GTA IV for instance included with options to kill or save key characters). To make the player complicit in the sick fantasy of the game creator is moving away from traditional game play and into something far more sinister. This same character is later involved in a torture sequence where the player, again, has no choice other than to guide him through an increasingly depraved series of acts of violence and degradation.

I'm writing this as someone who loved all the previous GTA games since they managed to keep the sort of elements described above largely in the background, if you chose to do so. I doubt I'll finish the story mode on GTAV as it's just not much fun to feel stuck in someone else's sick fantasy world with no real control over some of the characters' actions.

The Mike Leigh Film Collection [DVD]
The Mike Leigh Film Collection [DVD]
Dvd ~ Estelle Harris

53 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mike Leigh heaven., 11 April 2008
If you know and love Mike Leigh and live in the UK you may be slightly surprised at the way his output has been presented. Naked has never been made available officially (on DVD) until now, while other key films have drifted in and out of print. His TV work is particular hard to get hold of and bizarrely almost never repeated on the medium that originally hosted it.

This collection is particularly welcome then, presenting as it does, all his cinema work (And Meantime which I believe was made for TV just before Channel 4 branched out into Film 4).

It's packaged in a nice compact box set with a disc for each film, one for bonus material and completed with a 44 page "companion booklet" - Not a full book but far more thorough and useful than most DVD's shabby or non existent inserts. The booklet has Mike in conversation with Amy Raphael, a brief filmography and production credits for each film.

As for the films themselves, Mike Leigh is here in all his shades, from the poignant pastel comedy of 'Life Is Sweet' to the jet black rage of 'Naked'. In between you'll find a surprisingly varied mix from the period piece 'Topsy Turvy' to the bang on working class spirit depicted in 'Meantime' and 'High Hopes'. 10 films in all, each one unique and clearly a labour of love for the director and his cast.

Mike Leigh's films almost defy description but anyone who's seen and loved one of them knows that his art transcends the usual confines of drama or comedy and becomes something quite special. I eagerly await Leigh's new film, 'Happy-Go-Lucky' but until then this box set will more than suffice.
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