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The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers: Volume 1
The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers: Volume 1
by S.M.G Szczepaniak
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.58

4.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for anyone interested in Japanese games or retro games, 7 Nov 2014
You rarely hear the stories behind the development of these early and influential game titles, this hefty book gives you a fascinating insight into what went into the making of these, and a look into the life and feelings of the creators themselves. There are hours and hours of content in here, the interviews discussing titles from the present day all the way back to the early 1980s.

The only real downside to this book is the lack of photos of some of the games mentioned, especially the more obscure titles. Othen than that, a real treat for retro game fans.


Assassins
Assassins
Dvd
Offered by Lovefilm UK Limited
Price: £0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Number one with a bullet - an underrated action movie gem, 14 April 2014
This review is from: Assassins (DVD)
Hitman-with-a-heart Robert Rath (Stallone) just wants to complete one more job before he retires; Miguel Bain (Banderas), a simultaneously crazy and charming killer, wants the kudos from beating Rath at the assassination game and taking Rath's place as the world's number one hitman; conflict erupts when the two top assassins vie for the same target, ditzy-but-brilliant hacker Electra (Julianne Moore).

The movie never seems to be high up on many film buffs' hit list (hovering around the 6.2 rating on IMDB), but I think it's one of the forgotten gems of the action genre. Stallone and Banderas are an epic hero and villain combo, with Banderas often stealing the show with his grinning, wild badassness.

All the elements are in place, car chases, gun battles, suspense - all top-notch. The chemistry between Moore and Stallone is a little flat, but the love-hate bromance between Sly and Antonio easily makes up for this deficit. The plot is adequate, and swerves from being predictable to being ridiculous, but this doesn't detract much from the overall action movie awesomeness.

Considering the vast array of inferior action movies that seem to get more attention than this one, it's a shame Assassins doesn't get more love. It doesn't have completely over-the-top stunts and wire-fu, but that isn't where this movie was aiming.

For straight-up action thrills, you can't do much better than this.


The Towering Inferno
The Towering Inferno
Dvd
Offered by Lovefilm UK Limited
Price: £0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, star-studded disaster epic, 14 April 2014
This review is from: The Towering Inferno (DVD)
Hours before the grand opening of the world's tallest skyscraper, it's architect (played by Paul Newman) discovers that numerous shortcuts have been taken with the building's specifications, turning the tower into a disaster waiting to happen. With Newman's obstreperous boss refusing to delay the high-profile opening, a small fire on the 81st floor rages out of control, throwing the tower and it's varied inhabitants into one life-or-death situation after another.

The star-studded cast is one of the first things you notice about this movie, although the fire chief played by Steve McQueen takes his time to make a first appearance. The slow build-up to the disaster creates an atmosphere of impending doom, and allows you to time to grow familiar to the main characters, creating a view-port into their lives and work in the tower. This adds much to the film's credit, even in the face of the sometimes mundane direction and a few under-dramatic performances.

The disaster story plays out with a few twists, but also far too much obvious Deus Ex Machina, excluding this from being a truly great film. The special effects don't look so special nowadays, but the action scenes retain a tension and unpredictability, and some of the death scenes are still quite shocking to watch.

Not without its flaws, but overall a very entertaining film, and definitely one of the better disaster movies.


The Black Lotus: Night Flower Book 1
The Black Lotus: Night Flower Book 1
Price: £1.92

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 18th Century romance with a touch of the supernatural, 30 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Young, idealistic debutante Melissa risks her reputation when she starts falling for the enigmatic and licentious Justin Lestrade. Melissa seeks an escape from the suffocating restrictions placed on her by a patriarchal upper-class culture; Justin's dark secret is known only to a tiny clique, the members of which have their own less-than-pure motivations. It's only a matter of time before Melissa gets caught up in them.

Although the first few chapters feel slightly stilted, from then on it is immersive and compelling reading. The story flows along nicely, providing well-paced drama and suspense. The troubled romance between Melissa and Justin is complemented by each other's personal development, as they try to make their own paths against those who would impose their will on them.

A very easy-to-read novel, with the depth to draw you in and fire the imagination. The cliffhanger ending will leave you eager for a sequel.


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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cards are a little too lightweight and glossy to write on, 20 Oct 2010
These cards are ok, but a little too lightweight and flimsy, plus the finish is quite glossy, which isn't so good for writing on. Still, they are cheap.


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