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Stuart Reviews Doctor Who. Book One: The Classic Era
Stuart Reviews Doctor Who. Book One: The Classic Era
Price: £6.83

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fefreshing, exciting, and highly entertaining read, 4 Jan. 2015
There have been many books written about Doctor Who but none quite like this one. It is the raw, honest, objective opinions of a long-time fan, written with clarity and humour, and I laughed out loud on many occasions. What was most refreshing for me as a fellow fan was the reevaluation of stories that have, for whatever reason, been placed on a pedestal and made immune to criticism due to the "received wisdom" of Doctor Who fandom at large, or those that have been unfairly maligned over the years purely because others have stated (as fact) that a particuarly story is poor and that's that. Why does Doctor Who fandom think, for example, that something like Genesis of the Daleks is utterly flawless whilst Revenge of the Cybermen is a total failure and a cheap misfire? You may not entirely agree with Stuart's opinions but he makes a mighty strong case for the defence on numerous occasions.

I can heartily recommend this book to any Doctor Who fan. It is written with passion, objectivity, and humour and never fails to strike a chord. There are plenty of Doctor Who books out there written by fans who are a little too close to the show, but this is fresh and exciting; something I didn't think would be possible with a Doctor Who book, and especially one that was released over half a century since the show's inception.

Highly recommended.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 5, 2015 8:56 AM GMT


Doctor Who: Series 4 - The Specials
Doctor Who: Series 4 - The Specials
Price: £12.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Purely technically speaking, this is a poor pressing, 30 Oct. 2013
***This is a review about the technicalities of the CD pressing, and NOT the music itself.***

For reasons unbeknown to us mere mortals, the BBC have seen fit to press this CD from lossy masters. Lossy, for those not familiar with the term, basically means that the audio is compressed and data/frequencies are discarded in order to reduce the file size. MP3 is a lossy format. Compact Disc is a lossless format, meaning the audio has full bandwidth (a full frequency response to 22khz) with no loss of data, frequency or subtleties.

In other words, the master recordings for this CD have been pressed to CD from a format like MP3, instead of full quality lossless masters. You can check this by simply extracting one of the tracks from the CD to a format like WAV and examining the audio spectrum in a program like Adobe Audition CS6 (PC). Any areas of black denote the missing audio data, which cannot be recovered. The result is a compressed, slightly muddy sound that lacks depth, sheen and quality.

This is a very disappointing situation, as Mr. Gold's music deserves a lot better treatment. It would be interesting to see how this happened; indeed similar situations befell the CD releases of both G.I. Joe - The Rise Of Cobra and the Lesbian Vampire Killers OST. Whilst Silva Screen were quick to rectify the situation on the latter, the BBC seem to have taken the stance of Varese Sarabande on the former and stood by the "quality" of their aurally inferior product.


Demolition Man [Blu-ray] [1993] [Region Free]
Demolition Man [Blu-ray] [1993] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Sylvester Stallone
Price: £8.99

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The uncut version!, 22 Sept. 2011
Finally, we get the uncut version for home viewing! :)

The UK DVD is missing two hits to the head of Stallone in the final fight, along with a double ear-clap (the BBFC used to cut these routinely, even from 18 films!) for fear of imitabilty. However, they have seen the stupid and ridiculous errors of their ways and this Blu-ray edition is fully uncut :)

Enjoy - its a clever, funny, thrilling 90s actioner.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 5, 2015 8:55 AM GMT


Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Price: £11.08

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic score but a missed opportunity by Silva Screen, 4 Sept. 2010
Brad Fiedel's driving powerhouse of a score is deserving of 5-star status. Both thrilling and haunting in equal measure, the score he created for T2 is considered a classic electronic soundtrack. And whilst this edition from Silva Screen is remastered with linear notes from Fiedel himself, the soundtrack content is frustratingly exactly the same as the original Varese Sarabande release from the 1990s.

I am sure the record company have their reasons but I cannot help but think this is such a wasted opportunity to have finally had an official expanded edition of this great score. For this reason, this 2010 release of the CD gets a 4 star rating.


Nico - Above The Law [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
Nico - Above The Law [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Steven Seagal

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally uncut after 22 years, 1 Feb. 2010
Towards the end of 2009, the old Video Recordings Act (VRA) was found to have a loophole in it, meaning that it was not enforceable in UK courts as it was originally intended to be. As a result, at least for a short while, the UK censors the BBFC could not legally enforce the need for submitting film companies to have their film classified by them. Thereafter, a handful of discs released during this time were released with unofficial BBFC ratings, having never been formally classified. This is one of them.

"Above the Law" (to use its proper title) was uncut in UK cinemas in 1988 but all subsequent UK home video/DVD releases have been censored. The bar fight at the beginning of the film was missing a couple of heavy blows, along with some some drug use and the final fight was missing a nasty arm break. The UK Blu-ray restores all this footage, whilst cheekily sporting an 18 rating. The BBFC, to date, have not passed this uncut version with an 18 rating (although under their new 2009 guidelines they would). One can assume this is mastered from the US Blu-ray, as not only is it Region Free but it also features on screen it's original title, "Above the Law".

Of course, there is a chance that this is a mishap on behalf of the distributor, Warner Bros., as they have formally submitted uncut version of "Eraser" and "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" and had them passed by the BBFC. Whatever the reason, I recommend that Seagal fans wanting to see the film in it's uncut glory purchase it now, before it is pulled from the shelves and replaced with a cut version.

(On a similar note, the UK Blu-ray of "Spider-Man 2" is alleged to be uncut too, having being sourced from an international master. The good thing about the Blu-ray specs being the same worldwide is that things like accidental uncut releases will likely happen from time to time!)

As for the film, it's a solid first film for Steven Seagal. He plays the lead role with assured confidence and has a remarkable screen prescence. The story is engaging enough but the plot ends up being a little too convoluted. However the fight scenes are terrific and Andrew Davis' direction is solid. It's not as thrilling as "Under Siege" but it's a great debut feature for Seagal.

3 stars, plus an extra 1 for being uncut :)
Comment Comments (9) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 5, 2015 9:02 AM GMT


Sony BDPS350 Blu-ray Disc Player 1080p Full HD
Sony BDPS350 Blu-ray Disc Player 1080p Full HD

43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great entry-level player with superb features, 17 Dec. 2008
As my first Blu,Ray player the S350 holds up very well. The design is sleek, slender and very attractive to look at and the picture quality is terrific. Load times are minimal and the DVD upscaler is impressive.

However, the rewind and fast forward are slow to respond, and when the functions are activated they are particularly slow working. For those audiophiles who need it, there is no on-board decoding for DTS-HD Master Audio. The unit can decode all the regular and HD audio formats into LPCM inside itself, aside from this one, which can only be decoded to a regular DTS track, at 1536kb/s. However, it will stream DTS-HD Master Audio as a bitstream over a HDMI lead.

The unit plays regular DVDs and can be easily and harmlessly multiregioned to play DVDs from all regions out of the box using a 4-in-1 One4All remote. The sequence is as follows:

**BEGIN BY TURNING YOUR S350 ON WITHOUT A DISC INSIDE AND WAIT FOR 'HOME' TO BE DISPLAYED ON THE FRONT PANEL**

1. Press the DVD button on your One4All remote
2. Hold the Magic button until it flashes twice.
3. Press 0533

4. Hold the Magic button until it flashes twice.
5. Press 994
6. Press Magic Key (don't hold)
7. Press 00189 (if your One4All remote uses 4 digit or 3 digit codes, use less leading zeros)
8. Press 1 (the red LED flashes twice)

9. Hold the Magic button until it flashes twice.
10. Press 994
11. Press Magic Key (don't hold)
12. Press 00255
13. Press 2 (the red LED flashes twice)

14. Hold the Magic button until it flashes twice.
15. Press 994
16. Press Magic Key (don't hold)
17. Press 00095
18. Press 3 (the red LED flashes twice)

19. Hold the Magic button until it flashes twice.
20. Press 994
21. Press Magic Key (don't hold)
22. Press 00221
23. Press 4 (the red LED flashes twice)

24. Hold the Magic button until it flashes twice.
25. Press 994
26. Press Magic Key (don't hold)
27. Press 00079
28. Press 5 (the red LED flashes twice)

The remote is now programmed and ready to use. To make the BDP-S350 region free, put it into standby using the Blu-ray Sony remote, and continue thus:

1. Use the Blu-ray remote that came with the player to bring the player out of standby. Wait for HOME to be displayed on the front of the S350.
2. Press 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 on the oneforall remote. The 24p light on the Blu-ray player will start flashing
3. Put the player back into standby with the Sony remote
4. Next time you turn on the player it will be region free for DVD playback. Even when the power is disconnected.

All in all, a very nice player for a person wishing to join The Blu-ray Revolution. It's not perfect, but for £150 it is a darn fine unit, especially once it is multiregioned for DVD playback.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 6, 2009 4:53 PM BST


Samsung DVD-HD870 - Region 2 - DVD Player With HDMI and Upscaling to 1080i
Samsung DVD-HD870 - Region 2 - DVD Player With HDMI and Upscaling to 1080i

101 of 105 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Seems like a great package, 11 Jun. 2007
I would mostly agree with what Mr Leach said. This is simple, easy to use and the upscaling is impressive, even on a 19" TV.

I heard stories elsewhere that the 1080i mode did not work with some buyers' screens, but I myself had no problem. So I assume they were using an old HDMI lead (pre-v1.3) or they had a TV that didnt support it. I haven't had my player long, but I have tested it and it works fine for me.

There's not much difference between 1080i and 720p, at least not on my screen. I myself would settle for the latter mode for most watching, as fast-action looks better in progressive scan mode. But for some films, for instance a drama, viewers may wish to opt for the 1080i mode, especially if you have a bigger TV and there's not a lot of fast-moving action.

Another saving grace which I am most impressed with is the EZ-View function. My TV only has two picture modes, 4:3 and 16:9, i.e. there is no vertical stretch mode for watching my non-anamorphic DVDs (some of my early Criterions, for example). However, the Samsung player has a function called EZ-View that vertically stretches the image, allowing non-anamorphic widescreen films to be viewed in their true dimensions. Very, very impressive!

Finally, for those wishing to make it multiregion, which is entirely safe and does not void the warranty:

1. Switch on with no disc in and let the "No disc" sign appear

2. Press Repeat (the no disc sign disappears)

3. Press 57538 on the remote, and the current Region apears in the top left of the screen (in this case, a 2 appears)

5. Press 9 to enable all Regions (a 9 now appears where the 2 was)

6. Press Power Off on the remote, wait 10 seconds, and turn back on

7. Insert a different Region disc and away you go
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 27, 2011 6:50 AM BST


Greatest Hits
Greatest Hits
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £18.19

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A timeless collection, 28 Aug. 2004
This review is from: Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
A superb collection of songs from the 1980s and 1990s. Many treasured favourites here, including "Fake", "Criticize", "Saturday Love", "(What Can I Say) To Make You Love Me" and the 1989 remix of "Hearsay". They don't make 'em like this anymore.


Tomb Raider
Tomb Raider
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £14.95

3.0 out of 5 stars Impressive work, considering., 17 Nov. 2003
This review is from: Tomb Raider (Audio CD)
After many composers were attached and detached to scoring the film, Revell was contracted in at the last minute to write a whole score - and he was given only 10 days in which to do it.
I admit, on first hearing it, I wasn't too impressed. But the more I have listened to it, the more I have enjoyed it. Whilst some of the tracks make use of library loops (some of the tracks contain samples used in the TV series "Most Haunted", for example) it's still a pleasurable listen. There are a few standout tracks, but given that the tracklisting on the CD is totally incorrect, I won't site specific tracks to avoid confusion for people who have the correct tracklist, as I do.
In short, give it a chance and you may grow to like it. It's not wonderful, but given his painfully short timeframe, Revell has done a good job with this score. It's just a shame the CD is missing a lot of cues, as most scores are.


CSI: Crime Scene Investigation [SOUNDTRACK]
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation [SOUNDTRACK]
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £4.45

17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing., 17 Nov. 2003
Disappointing. We get only two measly tracks of John M. Keane's wonderful score for the show. This CD should be full of it, where is the rest?! It's John M. Keane who sets the scene, who underscores the drama, who highlights the emotions and tensions on screen, not a bunch of songs. And my guess is a lot of the songs on here aren't even from the show - as one reviewer states on here, some of the tracks they didn't even recognise!
Another of these so-called "soundtracks", which are not soundtracks at all. They are merely compilation albums, compiled of random songs; some of which might have even featured in the show. Can you say "money-making tie-in?"
If you're a REAL soundtrack-lover like me, do what I did and hunt down the bootleg CD that's floating around - it's full of John M. Keanes's sterling work.


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