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Northern Warrior "Northern Warrior" (Swindon, England)

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Pure
Pure
Offered by uniqueplace-uk
Price: £7.71

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mighty Prog, 5 May 2011
This review is from: Pure (Audio CD)
My header sums it up really, I can't believe that I have never come across this band before.

The Pendragon sound showcases just about everything that is good about the progressive rock sound. From the anthemic and awesome 13 minute opener "Indigo" to the uplifting and balladic closer "Band Of Brothers" the album hooks you and doesn't let go. Now at the moment I've only listened to this album and "Passion" and have yet to experience the earlier material, so it will be interesting to compare given the comments that the two newer albums are darker and heavier. Indeed Pure does contain a few sections which tread close to power/prog metal but that does no harm at all and complements the many sweet, sweet passages where your mind is swept away by the soaring keyboards and majestic melodic guitar solos.

Certainly if you like Marillion (Brave and earlier), Genesis, Floyd or more contemporary bands such as Touchstone and The Reasoning, this album will hit the sweet spot every time.

Full on 5 stars for one of the best prog rock bands out there.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (Blu-ray + DVD) [2010] [Region Free]
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (Blu-ray + DVD) [2010] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Daniel Radcliffe
Offered by HarriBella.UK.Ltd
Price: £4.87

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Aimed At Hardcore Fans, 14 April 2011
I guess you either like Harry Potter or you don't or, like me, very possibly sit on the fence but - like the famous South Park episode - think that Lord Of The Rings is the real deal.

Not having read the book the over-riding impression this movie left on me at the cinema was 2 hours and 20 minutes of not very much happening. That didn't change on watching the Blu-Ray. I'm sure fans of the series were hanging on every word but it essentially became a prolonged road trip to destroy one horcrux. When you think of the action some 2 hour plus movies pack in (Aliens, Riddick, Avatar etc.) this just seemed a waste of time. The whole section after infiltrating the ministry and the final climax was just too drawn out, jumping from one location to another and could have been covered in half the time, perhaps allowing the whole book to be got out the way with in just one movie.

Most of the supporting cast from earlier movies were relegated to cameo roles so we could endure Harry, Ron and Hermillie expound their teenage angst at each other.

I only hope the final movie has a bit more going on and is better paced than Deathly Hallows.


Nokia 1800 Vodafone Pay As You Go
Nokia 1800 Vodafone Pay As You Go

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What It Says On The Tin, 14 April 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As others have remarked this is a functional, basic mobile phone. If, like me, you carry a mobile for essential communication away from a landline and not as an entertainment gadget then it performs that job admirably. Why pay three times as much for features you never use?

Only slight criticism is it doesn't seem possible to recall stored numbers direct without using the search feature so it's actually just quicker to dial out.

I can certainly recommend if, like me, you hate mobiles but are left with no choice to carry one due to the dwindling number of BT payphones!


Outcasts [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
Outcasts [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Liam Cunningham
Price: £9.37

6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Drama, 14 April 2011
Had the old series Earth 2 continued on its path instead of being cancelled, then it might have become something like Outcasts.

Very much a mixture of sci-fi, survival and political intrigue all rolled into a fairly strong and at times quite moving and dramatic story. Shame then on the BBC for apparently deciding to cancel the show and not go forward with a second season, leaving the cliffhangar endings of the first season unresolved. Guess they want to spend our licence fee on endless soap operas, reality TV and mindless talent shows instead.

The Blu-Ray transfer is stunning and the decision to shoot the programme in South Africa lends itself to the offworld setting much better than the now somewhat cliched New Zealand or British Columbia locations seen in other shows.

We can only hope there is enough of a campaign to convince the BBC to re-think their decision and at least commission a one off special to round off the story. So 5 stars for Outcasts but 0 stars and a huge raspberry to the BBC for their poor decision regarding the future of the show.


Monsters [Blu-ray]
Monsters [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Whitney Able
Price: £5.50

4 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More Like A Road Movie, 7 April 2011
This review is from: Monsters [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
When I first heard about this I thought it was going to be something like a cross between District 9 and Evolution.

Instead the aliens/creatures taken second or even third place in the background against a tale of two not particularly likeable characters - precocious gap year girl accompanied by horny guy tasked with escorting her - trying to get back from Central America to the USA. The plot is dull and predictable, much of it filmed in Cloverfield Steadicam style, except it's not even as good as Cloverfield. Various misfortunes occur largely because the bloke is such an idiot and the female character is totally unbelievable wandering around the jungle and supposedly perilous area in not much more than a skimpy teeshirt, hot pants and sandals. To say more would spoil the movie, but there's few occasions when you feel any peril - it's almost like two seperate stories going on. The road movie/romance (if you can call crudely trying to get inside the girl's pants "romance") and the brief glimpses of the wider events.

It's a bit hard to mention the ending without posting a spoiler but it was just plain daft - the story was almost left in mid-air, not that was much of a loss but after plodding through the previous 95 minutes some closure would have been nice.

Rent it if you must, but it's straining credibility to consider it sci-fi and if you want a road movie travelling through hostile territory, Babylon AD is much better.


Crysis 2 - Limited Edition (PC DVD)
Crysis 2 - Limited Edition (PC DVD)

7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No Fun At All, 2 April 2011
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
It probably doesn't help that after the experience of playing the original Crysis and even the DRM infested Warhead this was one of the most eagerly awaited titles of the year.

Sadly, the apple has fallen far from the tree.

I'm not so much concerned with the graphics which, as others have mentioned, are not really on a par with the originals.

No - it's the gameplay. Crytek seem to have been intent on trying to model the game on COD and done a pretty awful job. The combat is one sided with enemies popping up where previously there weren't any a few seconds ago. Enemies that can see and shoot round corners, reminds me of Far Cry 2 that one. Worst of all, as you die - repeatedly - they have gone over to the stupid, stupid checkpoint system. This just about works if they are close together, but not here. Currently stuck on the level where you need to breach a checkpoint protected by a tank. I've tried all different approaches to no avail - even stealth doesn't work trying to get past. At least if it was possible to quick save you could jump straight back in but I'm not spending 10 minutes getting past enemies to get killed and have to do it again. And again. It's like going down the big snake in Snakes and Ladders every time.

Not my idea of fun, it's back to Mass Effect for me, a clever intuitive game where you can get through the combat sections.

Oh and of course zero resell value due to online registration. Unless you're an uber hard gamer or a glutton for punishment avoid this, at least until there's a quicksave patch and the unbalanced gameplay is addressed.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 26, 2011 3:45 PM BST


Bristol to Exeter Add On for Railworks and Railworks 2 (PC CD)
Bristol to Exeter Add On for Railworks and Railworks 2 (PC CD)
Price: £14.51

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Generally Good Addon, 29 Mar. 2011
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This is one of the better addons for Railworks 2. You get a decent length of run - just over 75 miles - and a route that is a tad more challenging and interesting to drive than the default UK main line routes included with Railworks. The scenery includes many custom objects, stations in particular look very close to their prototypes. Performance has been optimised by refraining from placing detailed scenery too far out from the track. This may not please those who like to drive from a helicopter view but that's what Flight Sim is for. This is a train sim and strictly speaking you should be in the cab watching the line ahead..!

Just Trains have included various items of static rolling stock as scenery items but no new driveable locomotives or units. Eight scenarios is about average for these types of addons but is an area where most developers could do better. Scenario creation is a bit of a dark art in Railworks and it would be nice to see a route come pre-supplied with than just enough to get the user started.

Just Trains addons are published independently from the Railworks "Steam" wrapper but installation from the DVD is easy enough. However choosing this method of distribution means JT addons don't get automatic updates or reinstalled if your RW crashes or messes up in some way.

Overall good value for money and a route with a fair bit of replay value...if you are confident enough to create your own scenarios using other than default rolling stock items.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 6, 2011 8:57 PM BST


Unstoppable [Blu-ray]
Unstoppable [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Denzel Washington
Price: £7.10

4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Drama Loosely Based On Real Events, 29 Mar. 2011
This review is from: Unstoppable [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Being something of a railfan (as you will see from some of my other reviews) I approached this with a bit of scepticism, having read elsewhere that considerable liberties had been taken with the technical elements. In fact - and after reading an account of the real event the story was based on - it is not so far from what actually happened. Certain elements have been spiced up for dramatic effect, of course.

Essentially it's a tale of Joe Average workers suddenly finding themselves in an extraordinary situation, similar in some respects to "Falling From The Sky", the story of the infamous incident where a 767 passenger jet became the "Gimli Glider". Some of the initial personal interaction between Denzel Washington's engineer (driver) and Chris Pine's conductor (Guard) seem a bit contrived and over fractious. There's also a fair amount of railroad tech-speak which even to someone in the UK rail industry had me scratching my head (I had to look up "rat-track").

At 94 minutes the running time is about right and full credit to Tony Scott for keeping things tight and not going for an overblown 140 minute extravaganza. Good Blu-Ray picture and plenty of sound effects add to the entertainment. Will be worth a repeat viewing in a month or two which makes the movie a candidate for 4 stars.


Wintercoast
Wintercoast
Offered by ProgRock Wales
Price: £8.75

5.0 out of 5 stars Power Metal Meets Prog Rock, 7 Feb. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Wintercoast (Audio CD)
This is a truly massive album, weighing in at over 70 minutes with several 10 minute plus tracks.

The sound is an amazing blend of styles as noted in the title you get power metal in the style of Leaves Eyes or Epica (but without the growling vocals) blended seamlessly with progressive/melodic rock sections reminiscent of Karnataka or Mostly Autumn.

My one regret is buying the MP3 album rather than the CD as this is a concept work where the sleeve notes and lyrics would be incredibly useful.

Throughly enjoyable and highly recommended.


Awakening
Awakening
Offered by thelastresortofmusic
Price: £14.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant Rock Album, 30 Jan. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Awakening (Audio CD)
Bought this based on the reviews and that I'm always on the lookout for good contemporary British "prog" rock. The fact that Dave Meegan and Steve Rothery of Marillion were involved with the project also piqued my interest.

I can report it is a nice enough album to listen to, comes across as a kind of slightly heavier "Breathing Space". The lead singer reminds me of Ray Wilson (of the one off Genesis fame). However like Breathing Space I found none of the tracks really got going, no sudden key changes or sweeping keyboard and guitar landscapes. More a collection of pleasant rock ballads. Although the band seem to be aiming at the prog market, the album itself is quite short at 45 minutes and with a total of 8 tracks none come in at over seven minutes in length. Mr Rothery's contribution seemed limited to the short final track, a few quick chords and that was it. (Maybe because for all the limitations mentioned above, he was embarrassed that it's still a better album than Marillion's last effort!).

Favourite tracks, probably 1 and 5 - I had expected 8 to be the grand masterpiece but turned into a rather low key affair.

I will probably stick with the band and try their other offerings, but if you are looking for epic prog then Mostly Autumn and Karnataka are still out in the lead.


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