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sam hrt (Lancs, England, Uk)

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I Am Legend [DVD] [2007]
I Am Legend [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Will Smith
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £1.69

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another gem from Will Smith, 19 Mar. 2008
This review is from: I Am Legend [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
Will Smith plays Robert Neville a scientist and it seems the last man on Earth. Even he with all his abilities could not stop the deadly virus that was meant to cure all diseases on Earth. Instead, it wiped out most of the population on Earth turning the dead into vampire cannibals that hunt at night. Aware of the danger, Neville sticks to a strict routine element to his survival with only his dog for company for 3 years. He scavenges food supplies in the city of New York where wild animals roam free too. But the danger mostly he faces is probably from himself, evidently his mental state deteriorating when he addresses mannequins in shops as real individuals and asks his dog not to throw him a surprise birthday party. Watching all this in the shadows are his mortal enemy - "the Infected" the vampire cannibals excited by the prospect of fresh meat and enraged that Neville kidnaps them to cure them. Yet, Neville keeps his hopes up by sending out radio messages faithfully, in desperation to find other survivors; knowing his immunity is becoming increasingly tempting to the "infected".

This movie for me was never disappointing even with the lack of booms and bangs in terms of action. In fact, was refreshing. Maybe, it was the fault of the critics or even the company that mislead many to believe this movie would be as action-packed as `I-Robot' but for me it was a pleasant surprise (that's not saying that there weren't any heart-stopping moments). As a fan of Will Smith I just love the way he tackles such diverse characters and then goes and does a movie that not only shows his acting abilities but flexes those muscles. I can tell you that is great viewing. What people fail to understand or see in this movie is the raw power of emotions Will Smith portrays, when he teases his dog like a child to eat his vegetables, when he politely makes conversation with a mannequin in a store. He showcases a lonely man, a Robin Crusoe, desperate for the taste of civilisation that once was. It's a nightmarish situation that Will Smith portrays incredibly, believably through his determined movements around his house and the city. Nonetheless, he can't cut his self completely off from his past as through his flashbacks we realise the sacrifice he makes to make sure his loved ones survive but that's not just what tears at him. His morals are called into question the day he lets his family go as he watches a mother in the early stages of the virus begging him to save her baby whilst crying tears of blood.

His morals and ethics are continuously tested though, throughout his 3 years of solitude when he has to kidnap the night creatures to cure them. Each time he fails the pain is just more than visible on his face, an internal battle rages. His failure means their `death' and no cure but Will Smith shows that Neville doesn't for one moment believe that it is a mercy killing. Instead, as the anguish shows on his face it becomes clear that he believes that he is murdering them; so he lays the only tribute he can, by recording their deaths in profiles and gives them a number. The failure dampens his determination at times as he rages but as he steps outside the door of his house you can see the fire lighting up Will Smith's eyes again but only just.

His tantrums frighten and shock, his depression deepens which to another man this sense of `freedom' may have been liberating or shattering but ultimately we understand through Will Smith's incredibly acting that the wrong man was chosen. This man lives in his past to break the silence and looks after his dog because his daughter handed it to him. Putting it to bed, giving it a bath, its meals are his concerns when not in his lab. His dog is his baby which is shown when he sleeps curled up with it in the bath. The simple quiet action is so intimate and superb that you can actually see Will Smith clinging on to it as though he is his only lifeline. All boundaries of society are forgotten and Will Smith penetrates the viewers' defences into thinking that Robert Neville is not mad but starved of affection and human company. If that doesn't give you the chills then I don't what will. Admittedly, though the graphics were a bit of a disappointment but the convincing acting and the hair-raising shrieks are enough to frighten you and you soon realise that not only are they vicious but intelligent as Robert Neville... Nonetheless, I wasn't too broken up about it them; after all, the legend that inspired terror was Robert Neville not "the Infected." I could keep going but I think I'll stop now. So, now it's just a case of watching out for Will Smith's next movie!


Shadowfall: The Godslayer Series: Book One
Shadowfall: The Godslayer Series: Book One
by James Clemens
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, broody, bloody and well written..., 5 Mar. 2008
I picked up this book and had just the faintest idea that I had heard of James Clemens before but I wasn't sure where. I was pretty sure that I had never read any of his books before but after some prying I found out that he was the author of the `WIT`CH' series (not that meant anything to me either). I read this book with an open mind just after having read Fiona McIntosh's `Odalisque' and found this to be by far the superior book. The atmosphere, writing, twists were spot on whereas 'Odalisque' sounded drawn out and not exactly original. What drew me to this book more was probably the fact that the hero/main character was imperfect in more than one way. His scarred past tormented him as did his disabilities and quite suddenly he was thrust back into the society that had ejected him. This man's name was Tylar de Noche, a man disgraced by the order he served - the Shadowknights, the skilled peace warriors of the land for a crime he didn't commit. His sword hand looking like a mere memory, Tylar wanders the street from day to night, begging for survival hoping that he isn't recognised or bullied. But the streets are rough and as he is recognised by a man whom he trained and it is hinted that not all is right in the land. The night doesn't end there though, as he continues his wanderings he comes across a battle that transfixes him, a battle between 2 of the greatest forces in the land, a god and a being of equal ferocity. To his horror and amazement the unexpected happens, the god is slain. It is never thought to have happened before and as Tylar rushes over to somehow help Meeryn (goddess) she gives a gift that is going to prove both a blessing and a curse - her Graces, i.e. makes him a `god' it seems. Covered in her blood and healed he catches her last word - "Rivenscryr" before he his found and dubbed a "godslayer." Tylar quickly realises that no one he knows will believe him and he has to put his faith in strangers (Rogger a thief, Delia - Meeryn's hand maiden), to clear his name whilst trying to get his head around his new powers.

This book was great but I think that its main flaw was that James Clemens tried to tell two stories of two individuals. A feisty and powerful girl named Dart (who is somehow linked to all this and has a mysterious past) and Tylar. Personally, I would have preferred it if he focused solely on Tylar as his adventure is more hot-blooded and addictive than Dart's oddball antics and comparatively dull journey. I just think that Clemens wanted the reader to take a break from Tylar but his story is the one that kept me reading until the end. That is not to say, that Dart did not contribute to the story or that she is not entertaining. She does play a part, the engaging incidents that occur; add very much to the suffocating darkness to the novel and near the end you wish that she really is alright. Unfortunately though, in the adjacent chapters switch frequently from Tylar to Dart and it takes quite a while to get over it. Though admittedly, at the end you feel and understand the significance of why Clemens chose to write the way he does - all is revealed at the climax!

Issues such as rape, murder, sexuality, miscarriages (of justice & children), slavery, bullying, lust, external martial affairs, piracy, sexual and love relationships are explored openly in the novel but not in depth and it is not preachy (which I loved). These topics were present in both societies (of Tylar and Dart) and Clemens used them to determine or influence the actions of all of his characters. Each of them reacted differently to them, sometimes vigorously sometimes calmly. The topics explains many things in the way they are presented for e.g. the topic of murder is used to explain the nature of the gods, the evil, war and from here Clemens would discuss Graces quite well. It is evidently a well imagined, though out piece of literature.
Don't be put off the thought of a difficult read as the book is simple plot-wise and it also contains great humour in the definite form of Rogger the thief and sometimes Dart in desperation. Truly, a job well done but it is just unfortunate that this book is not appreciated more!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 16, 2008 9:40 PM BST


Someday
Someday
Offered by Mattpuss
Price: £4.24

4.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourites, 5 Mar. 2008
This review is from: Someday (Audio CD)
The first song I heard of Nickelback's was 'far away' which I thought was brilliant and they don't let down here either. The vocals of Chad Kroeger work perfectly for this song, it has so much pain, love and the fast rhythm (trademark guitar etc) kinda works for it. Before you know it the song has ended. I gave it four stars though because in my head I can't stop comparing it with 'Far Away' and I know how stupid I'm sounding. I just prefer 'Far Away' because of its message appears more hopeful whereas this one talks about difficulties in relationships and barriers two people can face in love. Definitely one to listen to though along with their other songs especially 'Hero' and 'Far Away!'


Mercy
Mercy
Offered by Mattpuss
Price: £3.73

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly fresh...., 28 Feb. 2008
This review is from: Mercy (Audio CD)
I first heard of Duffy when on the internet as one of the few musicians to look out for in 2008. I can say they got that right! This song showcases Duffy's immense talent she has a singer. Her powerful voice is enough to blast anyone off their seat. But don't be fooled into thinking that she just screeches on the top of her lungs. Oh my God no! She stays with the beat of the song perfectly, continuously surprising. The beat in itself is 60s sounding and as a 19-year-old I never thought I'd say this but its pretty catchy! Of course it has some 'modern' elements such as the quiet rap in the background. Absolutely great! Didn't want the song to end but I am content with the fact Duffy will be back with even better beats and like everybody else I'll be keeping an eye out for her.


Sun Goes Down
Sun Goes Down

5.0 out of 5 stars Something all together different, 26 Feb. 2008
This review is from: Sun Goes Down (Audio CD)
This is the first time I had heard of David Jordan and I think personally he's really good. This track, quirky, jumpy and rhythmically quite catchy. The background beats are I have to say amazing and if I can find it on its own then I'll buy it. Admittedly though, this track is not for everyone as the track has more life than a sugar-in dosed nine-year old but the vocals of David Jordan are more than likely to win you over.


The Hollow (Poirot)
The Hollow (Poirot)
by Agatha Christie
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Psychological Christie...., 25 Jan. 2008
This review is from: The Hollow (Poirot) (Paperback)
A typical Agatha Christie novel - murder, suspects, hardly/no witnesses and of course genius in the form of Poirot. Murder of an adulterous husband whose both mistress and wife are part of the key suspects and a large group of party. Yep you've guessed it. It's much more complicated than that this being an Agatha Christie novel. As Poirot starts to unravel the mystery and characters we see a side to Christie's novels rarely seen before. Here, she sets out not just analysing motives of a murder but looking at the nature of victims and how they lead to such mistakes. It is therefore I think I great book to read that Christie doesn't justify anything but lays down possibilities more rigorously than ever. Recommended if you want a psychological mystery.


Evil under the Sun (Poirot)
Evil under the Sun (Poirot)
by Agatha Christie
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, 18 Jan. 2008
Agatha Christie never fails to disappoint in any of her Poirot mysteries and this one is no exception. Set against Poirot's prescribed holiday on a lovely island we meet a range of characters as usual who are shades darker than they let on. The murder most 'unexpected' is not shocking in nature but the identity of the victim is unbalances you a bit - maybe because its the trademark 'obvious' character who gets murdered. As usual Christie draws a tight net around the murder reeling each person on the island as a possible murder/murderess. This book has the usual Poirot humorous comments, Poirot's smugness & Christie's twitchy characters. It's not to be missed.


Israeli Palestinian Conflict: Anatomy of Tragedy (Reuters Prentice Hall Series on World Issues)
Israeli Palestinian Conflict: Anatomy of Tragedy (Reuters Prentice Hall Series on World Issues)
by Journalists of Reuters
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A picture for a thousand words, 5 Jan. 2008
I used this book for my History coursework. I expected it to be like any other book on the Arab-Israeli war : long, tedious, biased and out of touch with the people who matter the most - the civilians. It was instead a compiling of the real face of the war & the journalists weren't afraid of its gaze. The book may consist mainly of pictures but these speak more than words ever will. How can you describe an Arab woman's relief sitting thousands of miles away, when a Jewish paramedic comes to treat her? You can't. This something you have to see for yourself to be able to portray. These very talented people have done just that, and I felt what the other forms of media haven't managed to make me feel - despair. When I looked down at each photo, I blamed no one but I saw individuals - humans, dying, crying, laughing, smiling, playing & trying to carry on with their daily lives. Whoever it may be Jew or Arab one has to admire their courage & determination to survive. That I think was the message of the book - each tries to survive but feel threatened by the mere presence of physical, psychological scars. After reading this book, I asked myself the question is it possible? Well, according to the 'Reuters journalists' , yes. Each party is the same, we aim for the same things as one picture clearly shows : a jewish paramedic smiling as he treats an old arab woman who is talking, smiling clearly relieved. That 'small' incident made me cry. Two nationalities brought together because of her pain ans his expertise, nothing sinister/aggressive/fanatic there. Each leader in the world particularly those who stir up the peace process should be given a copy of this book, and when they look at a frightened child, at the bottom of some white stairs covered in dried, maroon blood maybe they'll understand that it's not a game. This book is just like looking into the hearts & minds of those caught up in the conflict and you can't say much more than that.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7) [Children's Edition]
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7) [Children's Edition]
by J.K. Rowling
Edition: Hardcover

15 of 34 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag, 3 Aug. 2007
Let's be fair to Jk she had more than her share of work cut out for her in this book:

1. Harry's to find all the Hocruxes and destroy them
2. Somehow beat THE most Dark wizard of all time without finishing school
3. JK has to answer the question whether Snape really is a an evil toad and why he did he have to go and murder old twinkle eyes AKA Dumbledore
4. She has to play 'happy couples' ( mostly RON/Hermione *retches*)
5. Write Malfoy's fate (and his mother's too)
6. Give us more background info on Dumbledore (is he a half-blood?)
7. Tell us exactly who is gonna die.
8. & in the midst of all that prepare Bill/Fleur's wedding. *PHEW*

Like most of the Harry Potter fans I was eagerly awaiting this book. One word. DISAPPOINTING. I know that Jk is not the best writer in the world but I feel she took too much on. Her desire to tie all the loose ends meant an inconsistency in style. I mean there was hardly any character development. Ron & Hermione are sucking each others faces off (forgive the graphic phrase) and the Malfoy family are just sulking around. Voldermot himself never gets to show just how evil he is directly, another indication of a rushed book. The death of some (OK most) of the charcaters doesn't seem to have much impact unless they have been known to us for the last 6 years. As a reader you feel emotional detached from them. Not good. Jk herself is far too busy with writing out an encyclopedia article on Dumbledore's past for at least a good third of the book which means it gets pretty dull & you start to wish that both Voldermot & Harry both drop dead. However, on the plus side I think she explains Snape beautifully even though his *cough* end was one of the worst stuff I've ever read. The title is extremely misleading after you read the book as there is very little about 'Deathly Hallows' in this book. Plus, I think it shouldn't be called 'Harry potter and T.D.H' but 'the life & mistakes of Dumbledore.' Aside from all that, you feel that history is repeating itself in the form of Lupin and Tonks. War does that of course but you can't help feel for most of the book that Jk is being convenient for herself. She should have realised that some things are best left unexplained. Harry himself does not exactly mature & JK seems adamant to make him the unconventional hero which means Hermione has to do most of the work of course.
After reading this book I can't help but feel she should have wrote TWO books. Nonetheless, my heart warmed towards Harry as I realised as it meant that he couldn't be with Ginny in case she gets killed. They are meant to be! The little epilogue Jk did after the main action was nice break. But hell did come as a shock! All the sulky teenagers we as readers were used all grown up. Shock, horror!


Death on the Nile (Poirot)
Death on the Nile (Poirot)
by Agatha Christie
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exotic location can only mean murder in A.C's novels..., 12 Jun. 2007
I read this book in one sitting, it was incredibly exciting as a reader to watch the events unfold and see only half the picture. This book runs along what the usual themes of murder. betrayal, money, beauty and glamour. There is little the characters do except drink, dance and eat on the boat on the River Nile. However, as Poirot and the reader notices the passengers are keen not to draw attention to themselves. A fundamental flaw of this book however, is that Christie has introduced simply TOO many characters. By the time you get your head around the characters names & motives Poirot is well on his way to solving the mystery. Although he manages to get on the wrong side of more than one character... Whilst reading this novel I felt that Agatha Christie tried to provoke a scandalous reaction(s) from her readers through Mrs Outterbourne (spelling?), who only seems to drink and discuss sex at the most inappropriate times. All in all I can see why this book so admired, it is shamelessly fantastical.


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