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Mr. S. J. Cardwell "jcthefirst" (NI)

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Completely Folk'd: The Final Instalment of the Brilliant Folk'd Trilogy (The Folk'd Trilogy)
Completely Folk'd: The Final Instalment of the Brilliant Folk'd Trilogy (The Folk'd Trilogy)
by Laurence Donaghy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Folk Yeah, 8 April 2015
Imagine if Gandalf came to Frodo at the start of Lord of the Rings, telling him he must go on a quest to destroy the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom deep in the heart of Mordor, except instead of Frodo embarking on said adventure, he told Gandalf to ‘do one’ with his ‘ring ballix.’ And you’d have something closer to Laurence Donaghy’s Folk’d series, of which this is the third and final installment.

All of Ireland has magically disappeared from the map and been plunged into the nightmarish otherworld and overrun with all sort of beasties. Danny Morrigan, descendant of the ancient Irish goddess of War, has completed his vision quest undertaken in Folk’d Up, and now must (begrudgingly) accept his fate as the saviour of Ireland, and perhaps mankind, and reclaim his taken son from the clutches of the evil witch-goddess Carman.

Finishing a trilogy is, one assumes, not an easy task. You have to tie up all the loose ends, reach a satisfying climax, and if it’s not too much trouble have an almighty good versus evil scrap in there as well. I’m very happy to report that Completely Folk’d ticks all those boxes, avoids all the potential pitfalls and provides a stunning conclusion to the finest trilogy of fantasy novels I’ve read in a long time.

As per the previous two books Completely Folk’d wastes no time in throwing you into the story at full speed and expecting you to keep up. It is relentlessly paced, bouncing between cities and dimensions, often in different time periods, with gleeful abandon. Dealing with death (so much death), rebirth, betrayal, double crosses, triple crosses, quadruple crosses, redemption, damnation, gods and monsters, ancient myths and legends, Lovecraftian nightmares, badass wolves, familial strife (both human and…not human) and destiny, you could be forgiven for thinking that the story of Danny trying to reclaim his kidnapped baby boy would get lost in the mix. Yet Donaghy never loses sight of the true reason for all the madness, creating a truly affecting throughline of a father’s love for his son that drives the plot forward.

And though Danny is the de facto protagonist throughout the whole trilogy, Completely Folk’d turns into the story of (at least) three different characters, Danny, Ellie and Steve. A Belfast tri-fecta around which the plot revolves, each with their own arcs that take them, quite literally in some cases, to Hell and back. It’s refreshing too to have the women characters be just as strong and as prominent as the men, moreso in the majority of cases, and Donaghy writes both the human women and the goddesses with aplomb. And if there’s a more entertaining and transformative arc than that of Steve’s, a character who could have so easily been the ‘comic relief best friend,’ I’ll eat my hat; his story contains several ‘punch the air’ moments, in a book full of them.

Also, Completely Folk’d is just as riotously funny as its predecessors, puncturing the grandiose settings and creatures with just the right amount of Belfastian swagger, yet never feels glib or at the expense of the seriousness of the situation. That’s just how these incredibly well drawn characters would react to the outlandish circumstances they find themselves in, even if they are in the familiar environment of Castlecourt Shopping Centre.

An engrossing read from start to finish, Completely Folk’d ends in an unexpected but similarly inevitable way (if you’ve been paying attention thus far anyway) that will leave you feeling satisfied and with a massive smile on your face. Completely Folk’d made me laugh, cry and cheer.

A Good Day to Die Hard [DVD]
A Good Day to Die Hard [DVD]
Dvd ~ Bruce Willis
Price: £2.99

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Easily one of the worst films I've ever seen., 13 Jun. 2013
This review is from: A Good Day to Die Hard [DVD] (DVD)
The original Die Hard is one of my favourite movies of all time, if not the movie in the number one spot. As the franchise has gone on the movies have varied in quality from the identikit (but still good) Die Hard 2, the sprawling (but still good) With A Vengeance and the daft but fun (but still good) Die Hard 4.0, and now we have this latest installment.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

A Good a shambling ham-fisted bull-headed mess. And it really pains me to say that. Whereas 4.0 was big loud dumb fun, this is just big, loud and very dumb. A lot of people (myself included) bemoaned the fact that the 12A rating would neuter the film. Turns out, the certificate is the least of the films problems, as it actually is surprisingly violent and sweary. It just doesn't feel like a Die Hard film at all.

The script is atrocious; no real explanation is given to what John McClane plans to do once he gets to Russia to see his son (Jai Courtney), other than to get caught up in the mayhem that inevitably ensues; there are at least three awful conversations about why John is such a bad father or what it means to be a good father and how John isn't one, one of which his son Jack just happens to overhear; the attempts are father/son banter fall woefully flat; and the villain is flat out awful.

The action is incoherent, each set piece louder and dumber than the last; for example, the opening car chase seems to last forever without one iota of excitement or innovation; a later fight with a helicopter is deemed so good that it's repeated again come the climax. The rest of the action is as bland as it comes, despite the director trying to make it exciting by shaking the camera like his life depended on it. In fact, there's only one scene that seems like something John McClane would actually do, such is the ridiculousness of it. And it's the best bit of the film.

And that's my main gripe with the film; Bruce Willis seems to have forgotten how to play the character that made him famous. He's barely acting for the most part. He's McClane in name only, and has none of the cheeky charm that made the character so loved. In fact, due to the script and Willis under-acting, the character comes off as wholly unlikeable.

And the ending features one of the most unintentionally hilarious but simultaneously soul crushing (to a Die Hard fan) moments ever. Freeze Frame!

I really really hated A Good Day to Die Hard, and the more I think about it the more I dislike it. I don't think it has any redeeming features, and should be the final nail in the coffin for the franchise.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 25, 2014 4:30 PM GMT

High Fidelity [DVD] [2000]
High Fidelity [DVD] [2000]
Dvd ~ John Cusack
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.76

2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Frankly, dull, 2 Nov. 2009
This review is from: High Fidelity [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
I'd heard great things about High Fidelity from a variety of sources so decided to give it a go.

However, I was painfully bored through the entire running time. I've heard it described as a guy's break up movie. And in some ways it is, but I couldn't sympathise with John Cusack's self loathing but at the same time self righteous character. For a comedy (or at least a dramedy) I don't think I laughed once, or found myself rooting for John Cusack's character. Nothing kept my interest either as all the actors have an air of 'couldn't care less' to them. Perhaps that was the intention but after too many meandering, introspective scenes into not very interesting characters, I got bored.

Nowhere near a top 5 list for me.

Chuck - Season 2 [DVD]
Chuck - Season 2 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Zachary Levi
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £4.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feel good TV, 20 Oct. 2009
This review is from: Chuck - Season 2 [DVD] (DVD)
I can't think of enough superlatives for this series.

It just keeps getting better and better. It's own internal mythology is interesting enough to keep me watching; the relationships between the characters is believable; the action is great; the comedy is well integrated and it's also the only show I watch in which I have a big stupid grin on my face that lasts the whole episode.

The Buy More scenes which could get repetitive never outstay their welcome as they're a nice little aside from the sometimes heavy spy stuff, but still treated with the same level of respect as the main arc of the show. They're not just a lame B-side, to a great A-side single.

I love Zachary levi as Chuck, such a fun normal person, at least within the premise of the show. And a great actor, who can do the serious emotional aspects of the series as well as broad comedy.

It's fun, it's funny, it's sad, it's exciting, it's...Awesome.

Yes, with a capital A.

Heroes Over Europe (Xbox 360)
Heroes Over Europe (Xbox 360)
Offered by Kunoyo
Price: £18.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pretty poor, 1 Oct. 2009
So, I had the original game this is the sequel to on the original xbox, and it was a fun shooter, playing with your mates.

But this one is basically the same game, with no improvements whatsoever, and it gets tedious quickly. SAme types of mission ad finitum, and the multiplayer isn't great due to a lack of bots to play against, and also there's not many people online playing it either. Hence the need for bots WHICH IT DOESN'T HAVE!!!!

Taken (Extended Harder Cut) [DVD] [2008]
Taken (Extended Harder Cut) [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Liam Neeson
Price: £1.50

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, but still pretty rubbish, 24 Sept. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Basically, you've got Liam Neeson beating people up to get his daughter back. That alone was entertaining enough for me.

The film wasn't great, although the subject matter was rather disturbing, but you get to see Liam Neeson beat people up for 90 minutes.

What more do you want? What more are you expecting? It's a throwaway post pub actioner. And as that, it does it's job amiably.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 30, 2009 4:05 PM BST

Smallville - The Complete Eighth Season [DVD]
Smallville - The Complete Eighth Season [DVD]
Dvd ~ Tom Welling
Offered by HarriBella.UK.Ltd
Price: £17.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, not great., 17 Jun. 2009
I've been watching Smallville from the start, and while the show rarely reaches the amazing standards of other shows, it still entertains me enough to keep watching.

Season 8 of the show suffers from the law of diminishing returns, that Smallville has been experiencing since it began. I can't really pinpoint any oustanding episodes in this season, as I could with previous ones, but overall the arc of the season was good, discounting the awful 5 episode return of Lana and "Lex" as well as the disappointing finale.

New characters are always welcome when a show has gone on for as long as Smallville has, and Tess was a great addition in my opinion. DAvis was also very interesting, at least at the beginning of the season.

Despite the law of diminishing returns thing I mentioned earlier, this season is actually an improvement on season 7. It's more focused and has a slow burning story arc, but come the finale, nowhere near the excitment levels of previous finales.

No Title Available

0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Prison break? There's no prison..., 2 April 2009
As much as I loved Prison Break for the first 3 series (yes, even series 3) this series is just really dragging it out. I know there's the whole Company storyline, but frankly it just bores me to tears, and I'm only watching to see how it ends.

Which it will with this season. So obviously the suits have realised there's not much more they can do with the series, after all the stories have been told and retold. I mean, Sara came back from the dead for goodness sakes.

Bill Bailey - Tinselworm [DVD] [2008]
Bill Bailey - Tinselworm [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Bill Bailey
Price: £2.82

40 of 46 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but disappointing, 28 Nov. 2008
So, as a big fan of Bill Bailey in whatever he chooses to do (Buzzcocks, Black Books and his previous stand up gigs) I found this to be extremely hollow, and crucially not very funny.

Example, I'm all for a musical number in a Bill Bailey gig, as long as it's a funny musical number (and no, wheeling out a song from another gig does not count).

Too much time spent on the video screens behind Bill rather than Bill himself. And the viedo screen stuff wasn't even that funny either. From the extras on this DVD it seems like the smaller gigs from the same tour were better, but for me the main Wembley gig is frankly, boring.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 6, 2009 4:18 PM GMT

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