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Captain EO "No. 7" (Cardiff, Wales, UK)

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Guitar Hero: Aerosmith - Guitar Bundle (Wii)
Guitar Hero: Aerosmith - Guitar Bundle (Wii)

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Has it's limitations but still great fun ..., 29 Aug. 2008
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Prior to playing this Aerosmith version I had never played any of the Guitar Hero games & must admit, until this release it hadn't really appealed to me all that much. Once I saw that my all time favourite rock band had licensed a game however I decided to shell out on the Limited Edition package & have to say I'm more than pleased with the purchase.

The graphics aren't particularly great & the actual concept of the game isn't as innovative as I'd expected but you can't escape the fact that Guitar Hero is a bundle of fun. I understand there's less tracks to rock out to with this version but there's still around 25 Aerosmith tracks plus maybe another dozen or so by other artists. I have to say however that one of the dissapointments is the selection of chosen Aerosmith tracks although the band themselves apparently did pick the songs themselves. There's no "Dude Looks Like a Lady" (which admittedly isn't all that guitar-heavy) but there's a lack of tracks from the 80's albums in particular, also there's far too much Joe Perry stuff on here but again, I guess this is Guitar hero after all & he's the man !

The motion-capture of the band members and progression of your band through the game is cool & although I find I can only play the game for maybe half hour at a time as it's important that you focus your full attention on the game, it's a blast to rock out to some great tunes.

The guitar & customised Aerosmith faceplate that comes with the bundle is exteremely cool and they've also thrown in two sheets of stickers and a small book showing all the songs and stuff which are nice little additions.

All in all I wouldn't say Guitar Hero is amazing but it's damn good fun & if you're a fan of Aerosmith I'd highly recommend picking this up. Walk this way ....

The Ruins
The Ruins
by Scott Smith
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Nightmares don't come more brutal or claustrophobic than this, 26 Aug. 2008
This review is from: The Ruins (Paperback)
The Ruins by Scott Smith is an out-and-out tale of horror which solely focuses on the fatal journey that a group of young friends take into the jungles of the Yucatan.

It's a direct, simple tale that rushes along at a lightning-fast-pace and left me turning each page hoping to find some good news for the group of friends only to find an already horrible situation worsen progressively. There's nothing original about the group of holiday-makers featured in the book but it didnt lessen my enjoyment of what I found to be a highly enjoyable & genuinely disturbing horror novel.

It should come as no surprise that if you're not a fan of the horror genre, the chances are you'll find more at fault with The Ruins than you will find good. If you are a fan however, I'd recommend picking a copy up as it's refreshingly simple & although the "horror" itself is very far-fetched, I found the realism of how a group of friends would react to events a joy to read. Not once did I find myself thinking "Bad move, why did you do that" as I do most horror novels and more so movies.

On the negative side, I did find the actual idea of what's causing so much terror quite hard to buy-into and the fact that the vast majority of the book takes place in exactly the same location a little tedious toward the latter half of the 509 pages. The characters were hard to empathise with but this is a horror story after all and I expected no different.

Overall this is an enjoyable, doom-filled tale taking a group of friends totally out of their comfort zone and placing them smack-bang in the middle of a nightmare. It's rare that I really find it hard to put a book down but I can honestly say that The Ruins had me hooked from it's first to it's very last page. Gripping stuff

Star Wars: Splinter of the Mind's Eye
Star Wars: Splinter of the Mind's Eye
by Terry Austin
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Expanded Star Wars Universe Begins Here ..., 13 Aug. 2008
Before I begin I should state that I'm a massive fan of the original trilogy, however my enhthusiasm of all things Star wars has dampened somewhat with not only the slightly dissapointing later films but also the overkill of Star Wars products in general. I consider Alan Dean Foster's novel "Splinter of the Mind's Eye" to be my favourite tie-in novel, largely in part that at the time, that's more or less all that us original Star Wars fans had to live-on (pre Timothy Zahn). The book was a fast-paced, tight read featuring only a handful of our heroes on a planet and in an adventure not too far removed from Episodes IV to VI.

With this is mind I really enjoyed the comic book adaptation. The graphics may look slightly dated (consider this was released PRE-Phantom Menace) & it's not a particularly hefty story but it's true to George Lucas's original saga & features characters that we all love and hasn't been set hundreds of years before or after Luke & Leia's prime.

Set this graphic novel (and indeed original novel) aside hundreds of other Star Wars stories now available and it may not be classed as well-written or drawn & inked as a number of the others. Maybe it's this that appeals to me however as it's easily one of my favourite Star Wars tie-ins out there.

The Complete Making of "Indiana Jones": The Definitive Story Behind All Four Films
The Complete Making of "Indiana Jones": The Definitive Story Behind All Four Films
by J. W. Rinzler
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Films, Brilliant book, 6 Aug. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It's a shame it's taken a fourth installment of the Indy series to get a book of this magnitude made but it's definitely worth the wait.

As a huge fan of this type of book and an even bigger fan of Indy, this publication is my idea of my heaven and each time I picked it up to read I never failed to be impressed. It's not absolutely perfect, there's a level of information provided that at times wanders into the realms of being pointless (minor crew injuries being the most noteworthy) but I'd much prefer a book with too MUCH information than one which leaves me wanting so much more, like many "Making-Of" efforts tend to.

Any book or documentary with Laurent Bouzerau's involvement is guaranteed to be extremely well-researched & highly professional & this Indy book is testament to this. It's beautiful to hold in your hands and if it was any larger it would take more than one person to turn it's pages as it's a heavy product as it is ! As you'd expect with any book licensed by Lucasfilm with Spielberg's involvement it also contains amazing images, many I've never seen before. The text is definitive and although there's a lot of stuff I already knew of, there's lots of new things that even the most knowledgable of Indy fans will learn.

If there was one thing I learnt from this book that I'd already suspected was the difference in opinion between Spielberg, Lucas & Ford on the latest installment. George Lucas insisted that it be a 1950's Alien B-Movie whilst Spielberg was reluctant to tread this path (especially some years back considering his involvement with ET, Close Encounters, etc). Harrison Ford makes no secret of the fact that the only part of the Indy series that he's not fond of is the supernatural, far-fetched stuff, in particular what he calls "little green men". As a big Star Wars fan I'll always hold George Lucas in high esteem but I firmly believe that where Spielberg still understands what an audience wants, Lucas has lost touch and reading of their difference of opinion here cements that opinion. I really enjoyed Crystal Skull but it would have been far more enjoyable without not just the idea but the scope and scale of the alien element of the story. I know Indy is a collaborative effort but it appears to me that eventually Spielberg & Ford wanted to make another installment so much that they almost "gave-in" to Lucas and went down along with his preferred idea.

To summarise, this book is totally absorbing. It's possibly the best book I've read of it's kind & each page was a joy to read. Awesome.

Howling At The Moon: The True Story of the Mad Genius of the Music World
Howling At The Moon: The True Story of the Mad Genius of the Music World
by Walter Yetnikoff
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Not QUITE as "juicy" as the cover states but still a damn good read, 4 Aug. 2008
As a big fan of Michael Jackson (in particular during the late 80's & early 90's) I knew of MJ's business relationship with Walter Yetnikoff so would have read this book with interest even if it didn't appear such a fascinating read as the back cover would suggest. I also managed to pick up a bargain copy but would have paid the RRP anyway more than likely.

This autobiography traces the rise (and fall) of arguably the most high-profile of all record company bosses of the 70's & 80's, a time when major (and dare I say genuinely gifted) superstars sold lorry-loads of albums as opposed to the more recent trends of "too-cool-for-school" acts of this Millenium. First up, Yetknikoff is not a particularly likeable guy, although I did find myself totally understanding many of his actions & indeed viewpoints whilst chuckling to myself at his directness.

The book isn's a particularly long read which is both good and bad. Good because the publishers are obviously aware that many readers will buy this to read about the stars that Walter worked with as opposed to wanting to read about the guy who actually wrote it. Bad because I'm sure the guy could have easily shared so many more interesting stories about the likes of Jackson & Jagger. I was a little dissapointed in fact that there wasn't more written about the superstars who were signed to the label. Michael Jackson undoubtedly gets the most coverage & Yetnikoff is un-wavering in his belief that the guy is up there with Elvis & the Beatles despite obviously being of a different breed ! Aside from a few anecdotes relating to Streisand & the Stones and some snippets about Paul Simon & Billy Joel there's not a whole lot of fascinating insight into the artists.

My enjoyment of the book did tail off toward the end when the focus was mainly on Walter's split from Sony and in particular his rehab. He does treat it all with a massive amount of honesty which is refreshing in a day and age of waffle & political correctness.

Overall this is a funny, fascinating & honest read. As I've already stated, I would have loved further thoughts and comments on CBS's artists & I'd hoped the book would have been better than it was but it's still a highly enjoyable read written by a big personality with a big story to tell. Well worth picking up

Scouting For Girls
Scouting For Girls
Offered by I-Deal Media
Price: £3.25

4 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Consistently enjoyable Collection of Tracks, 31 July 2008
This review is from: Scouting For Girls (Audio CD)
Unless you've been wandering around lost in a Third World Country for the last year you'll have no doubt heard Scouting for Girls. Tune into Radio 1, 2 or almost any Commercial Radio Station for longer than an hour and you'll come across one of the singles. If you like what you hear, you'll like this album.

It's a superbly put-together collection of instantly likable British pop tracks (pop-indie-rock ? you choose, I'm sure many "indie" fans would turn up their noses at the mere suggestion though). The lyrics are sometimes clever, sometimes stupid but it's the melodies that hook you in.

In a British music-scene such as now, it's rare to come across an album that truly reflects the quality of the already-released singles. How many times have you heard several tracks only to buy an album and realise the majority of other songs are far weaker & often totally dis-similar in style to the songs you've enjoyed ? Praise must be given to Scouting for Girls for releasing an album of exactly what you probably want to hear if you like what you hear on the radio. Ok, it may not be diverse but when you're this good at something - why not go with it, especially when it's your debut release.

If you don't like what you've already heared from this group, you won't like this album. If you like the singles, I'd bet you'd enjoy almost every track on this album.

Liverpool Fc: 3 Great Managers [DVD]
Liverpool Fc: 3 Great Managers [DVD]
Dvd ~ Liverpool Fc

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb coverage of an unmatched period of dominance in football, 28 July 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'd long been considering buying this DVD set & after receiving it as a present earlier this year I quickly sat down to watch it and have to say it's a great few hours worth of enjoyment.

Each of the three Managers have approximately an hour of main programming dedicated to each of them & what I was particularly impressed with was the fact that I hadn't previously seen much of the footage presented & I do own a large number of Liverpool FC related DVD's & videos. Additional to the main programmes there's also a number of extra features although I did find some of these a little random !

The coverage of Dalglish's shock departure strongly brought the feelings back when I was an 18 year old and discovered my all-time hero was leaving us. Similar to this was the superb footage when Shankly resigned and a tv crew ventured out onto the streets of Liverpool to break the news to an unsuspecting public.

The production of the programmes themselves could be more professional & if this was a BBC product as opposed to being ITV produced then I would have probably awarded this 5* instead of just 4. It's still a great purchase for any Liverpool fan who either wants to remember what it was like when they were the most successful club in the land or any younger fans that wish to learn of the illustrious, but still recent history of the club.

The Worldwide Guide to Movie Locations (New Updated Edition)
The Worldwide Guide to Movie Locations (New Updated Edition)
by Tony Reeves
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly-well researched Guide, 28 July 2008
I'd been considering purchasing this book for a couple of years and had frequently thumbed through it's contents when finding it in any bookstore. When I realised there was no better book of this type available I got my own copy and it's truly fascinating.

Firstly, it's nicely laid-out. Ok, the pictures are mainly small and black and white but if the book contained larger, colour photo's the size & price would have no doubt increased so what we get is a happy medium.

The book is simply an alphabetical list of movies listing major locations from each film. If you're looking for most major releases of the last 20 or 30 years then you'll find it here. You'll also find all the classics along with critically-acclaimed, less popular films. I'm sure, like me, there will be a number of films that you look for that won't be included within the book but to be honest, there's more than enough to make this a comprehensive volume.

A book of this type needs to satisfy two things ... firstly, maybe you want to actually visit a movie's location and this book will definitely help you find what you're looking for. Secondly, it should also act as an accurate research tool and again it hits the spot. I often find myself looking for a favourite film and just reading where key scenes were filmed.

The only negative with this book is that the order of entries is A-Z of film titles with an index at the back listing area's around the world with which films were made there. The trouble with this is that the area's are grouped too generally, therefore if you look at USA, California, you obviously get a ridiculous number of entries due to the fact that the majority of US made films get scenes shot in or around LA. I think the only way to have improved this would be to expand the area's of higher density. This would no doubt increase the page count of this book but would be far more easy-to-use for example if you were visting a particular city and wanted to see if any of your favourite films were shot there.

Overall, an amazing piece of work. This book must have taken a huge amount of effort to put together & if you have a love of both travel & movies (as I do) this book is a great buy. Awesome

Darren Hayes-Time Machine Tour [DVD]
Darren Hayes-Time Machine Tour [DVD]

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Proof that current music trends ignore genuine talent, 24 July 2008
Before I wax lyrical about this DVD I should state that I'm a "fan" of Darren Hayes although I do think a number of his own choices have attributed to the big drop in his Sales along with the fact that the likes of Radio 1 appear to have turned a vast number of 15 to 35 year old's into music "snobs" who feel a need to follow-the-crowd ... Anyway ...

I saw The Time Machine Tour last year at the Royal Albert Hall and left the Hall that night happy that I'd seen a truly talented artist putting on a show bigger and better than I'd possibly expected. I "confess" to being desperate to hear more songs pre-Tension & the Spark & although I was very keen to hear fresh stuff from the latest double album, a few more "classics" would have sent the audience home even happier.

In terms of the DVD Darren's performance is, as always, faultless. His voice is genuinely stunning & I've seen so many live-acts at their peak but in terms of vocal ability to reproduce a song as well as the original, he's as good as anyone I've seen. He may not move QUITE as skillfully as Michael Jackson but you can't have it all !!!

The staging of the show featuring on the DVD is extremely classy & hopefully Darren Hayes looks back proudly as he pumped a lot of his own money into it. It's a lovely show to look at although I do think some people have gone overboard in terms of quite how spectacular it really was. Cool projections, a large movable ramp, lasers & a large metal frame origami bird on castors is certainly more impressive than a lot of shows out there but I wouldn't QUITE say it's a "visual treat" as such.

Two other negatives in terms of the DVD (not the show) are the fact that the amazing version of Popular that he did toward the end of the show is missing as Prince wouldn't grant permission of the small soundbyte of one his songs that Darren used. Also, the lighting & camera-work of the show is noticeably minimal & DH has stated that this was due to the fact that over-use of film-lighting & too many cameras would have detracted from the Brisbane audience's enjoyment of the show. You can't fault the guy although when watching back the DVD it's definitely a little less well-produced than most major concert DVD's.

Ok, I kind of feel I've only highlighted negatives here so let me re-cap. The DVD isn't perfect but if you want to see a supremely talented artist of our generation belting out some re-workings of classics along with some superb new music in a show that really stands out from most, this DVD is well worth the money. Affirmative

"24": Behind the Scenes
"24": Behind the Scenes
by Jon Cassar
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.92

4.0 out of 5 stars A book as classy as the show itself, 24 July 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
"24" Behind the Scenes is a large format, "Making Of" book featuring a host of high-quality photographs accompanied by text from the cast and crew of the show (Seasons 1 to 5)

It's beautifully put-together and if you're a big fan of the show, or alternatively enjoy this type of "Behind-the-Scenes" Product, I'd recommend purchasing this. The photograph's are superb & all beautifully shot and the notes accompanying each picture are fascinating. I think what makes this book particularly enjoyable is the fact that the show is so incredibly tense that it's a joy to read about the actors who portray such "serious" roles & often get to hear about the more light-hearted side of things.

The only thing from preventing me from awarding this 5 Stars is the fact that whilst the photographs are incredible & often large-format, it doesn't leave a whole load of space for the text. Whilst each photo is accompanied by text I would have enjoyed deeper insight into the show as is more traditional for a book of this type. This is a relatively minor "gripe" however as overall it's a great product for any fan.

The coolest of books for the coolest of shows !

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