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Reviews Written by
Mr. Simon G. Beauchamp "sgb_sailor"

Page: 1
by Robin McKinley
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A great idea but just too boring, 25 Dec. 2008
This review is from: Sunshine (Paperback)
I'll keep it short.
This book has such a great premise but it's written rather poorly in my opinion. As others have said, something interesting comes along but then the author chooses to spend another 6 pages explaining something completely unnecessary and dull that the moment is lost and so onto the next bit you go.
I really wanted to like this but I'm afraid the author isn't even worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as Anne Rice. A huge disappointment.
Gave it 2 stars because Con is a fascinating character but, sadly, Rae is rather whiny and forgettable.

Timeline [DVD] [2003]
Timeline [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Paul Walker
Price: £3.75

8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid, just trust me on this..., 9 May 2006
This review is from: Timeline [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
"The books are always better than the film". Ever heard that saying? Well, this rams the point home so hard that you'll wish you could transport yourself back to before you watched the film just so you didn't have to bother in the first place!

The book was genius, and the beauty of the tale was learning just HOW each of the plot points were possible in the fictional world that Crichton provided. ALL of that is glossed over here in place of action and set-pieces just to keep the (so-called) story moving. Bad idea!

Not only that but the 2 best parts of the entire book were totally omitted (the escape from the water mill and the actual fate of the bad-guy at the very end).

Read the book, it's too good to miss but please save yourself the effort of watching this film. You'll thank me for it.

Firefly - The Complete Series [DVD] [2003]
Firefly - The Complete Series [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Nathan Fillion
Price: £9.99

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very shiny experience! :), 17 Mar. 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I hardly watch TV... only to see Stargate SG-1/Atlantis and also Lost. Otherwise I concentrate on films and I saw Serenity late last year. I thought it was so good I bought Firefly a few weeks ago after some research. I didn't want to waste money on something that had to be disappointing seeing as it was cancelled.
If this sounds like you... get over it and buy Firefly. It ticks all the boxes... you want believable and lovable characters? You want gripping and interesting storylines? You want to be left wanting more when you finish an episode? You want a 'verse that shows Lucas how Star Wars should have been written? Of course you do... so buy Firefly.
Unfortunately, there is one big problem with this TV series. When you've watched the final episode you realise there are no more to watch.

Serenity [DVD] [2005]
Serenity [DVD] [2005]
Dvd ~ Nathan Fillion
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £3.25

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surpasses my fave sci-fi flick of all time..., 27 Feb. 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Serenity [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
I was lucky to see Serenity. It took me forever to go see it at the cinema and when I did, the complex was evacuated thanks to a fire alarm as soon as I stepped inside! I thought I wasn't destined to see this flick but the next night I spent more money getting to the cinema - I just hoped it was worth it... and it was!
Firstly, I don't like westerns. Hate them in fact, so I was already dubious. Also, I already knew it was based on a show that was cancelled very early on so my hopes weren't high at all. But when I left the cinema I had just witnessed the greatest sci-fi flick I'd ever seen, even surpassing my beloved Star Wars. It's THAT good!
Joss Wheddon deserves praise for bringing so many characters to life in a way that makes you care about what happens to them. At the end when River "does her thing" I was literally rubbing my hands in glee because I truly thought all hope was lost.
This is a sad film and tugs on the heart strings from time to time. People die. Worlds get crushed. Hope fades. This is very dark in places which is exactly what Episode III needed and failed to pull off, especially next to this.
I shall be ordering Firefly in great haste and if it's anything like this film, I shall be DEMANDING it be reinstated for a new season.

The Village [DVD] [2004]
The Village [DVD] [2004]
Dvd ~ Sigourney Weaver
Offered by Quality Media Supplies Ltd.
Price: £2.68

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The finest film ever seen that everyone else hated..., 24 Feb. 2005
This review is from: The Village [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
This film deserves high praise and lots of it too. But I must warn you, if you're after something brainless and forgettable then look elsewhere. This film will make you think about life and society. Watch this is you want to be mentally challenged...

The story is essentially very basic. A small community from the late 19th Century live in a Village (obviously!) that is entirely self-sufficient. The borders are patrolled by "Those we do not speak of" and a long-standing truce means that neither the villagers nor monsters breach each others borders. However, one man - Lucius Hunt (Joaquin Phoenix) - is too inquisitve to stay within the confines of the village and explores beyond the border. What follows is a swift attack on the village by the monsters. This shocks the community into obidience until someone falls gravely ill, and the only way to save him/her is to go to the towns to fetch new medicines, crossing the borders on the way.

This film is very VERY scary. Not in terms of shocks or anything mindless like that, but purely in the messages it sends out about the society we live in today. To say any more would ruin it but forget what you think you know about evil, desperation, love, and innocence.

The cast are almost as outstanding as the beauty of this picture. Making her debut is Bryce Dallas Howard as the blind Ivy Walker and I can confidently say that, without her, this film wouldn't have HALF the impact. Every second she's on screen you just want to watch and listen without interruption. William Hurt is also perfect in the role of Ivy's Father, especially during the big reveal later into the story.

Anyone who has ever questioned the validity of society and Government NEEDS to see this film. Please don't judge it on first view either; it WILL take you at least 2 showings to really get everything it has to offer. But be warned: have a clear, non-judgemental, and open mind as you sit down to watch. Let the characters, dialogue, beauty, inner-meanings, and story bathe you and help you realise the world you think you know really shouldn't exist. It made me ask "How did it ever get this far...!?"

Now, how do you make this thing do 6 stars....!?

My Immortal [CD 2]
My Immortal [CD 2]
Offered by InfinityBuys
Price: £29.07

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is THE Evanescence experience..., 2 Dec. 2003
This review is from: My Immortal [CD 2] (Audio CD)
If you say the word "Evanescence" to any music you will get one of two possible responses... (a) "WHO?", or (b) "My Immortal, wow!".
This single is slightly different from the album version that many fans are used to. Rather than playing out the song with a soft and tragic piano melody, we are instead treated to an explosion of a guitar and drum hybrid, and what a tingle it sends down your spine. If you have seen Evanescnece live then you'll appreciate the changes.
Taken from the Daredevil soundtrack, this is perhaps one of the greatest songs I have ever heard. The emotion that Amy Lee echoes from her singing cannot fail to captivate any music-lover. When I first listened to the album, My Immortal was the one track that I wanted to go back to again and again. This deserves to be in that "all-time greats" catalogue. Essential.

Enter the Matrix (PS2)
Enter the Matrix (PS2)
Offered by CDandVinyl
Price: £5.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Play the movie!, 23 May 2003
The Matrix has spawned many imitations in the movie world but nothing captures the brilliance of "bullet time" like this title. To convert the very escence of the Matrix to a video game and make it playable and entertaining is no mean feat, but Shiny have pulled it off. While watching the movie you actually want to BE Neo; running along walls and cartwheeling past SWAT teams while pumping them full of lead. Now you can! However, you play as either Ghost or Niobe, each having slightly different paths through the game-world. Ghost is a master of weaponary while Niobe can handle herself behind the wheel of any vehicle.
The majority of the game is simply a "go into room, kill guards, go to next room, kill more guards" affair. However, no other game has given the player such a diverse range of moves in which to deal out damage. Imagine cartwheeling past a concrete column firing off round after round of ammo with bullets and their trails whizzing past, landing in the middle of a few guards, jumping on to a wall then reverse kicking away from it into the face of one of the SWAT guys, sweeping the legs off another and punching him out of mid-air across the room, only to finally run along the wall at the last guard guns blazing, flipping off the wall 'Trinity-style' - job done! It's ALL possible here.
Why only 4 stars? Well, it's not the hardest game in the world, and the graphics are a little sparse and lazy. Also, the controls sometimes work against you - when going up or down stairs you'd like the right stick to look up or down to see what is there, but this only puts the camera into first person mode. Seeing as you can't move in first person it's a little pointless. The only other thing that lets it down is...well, I want to play as Neo!! Nothing major, but come on Shiny, Neo is the ONE! Special mention must go to whoever did the sound because it's spot on. All of the effects and music from the movie are here, especially in "bullet time" with the bullets whooshing past the screen and the punches/kicks lifted straight from the kung-fu scene of the movie.
What surprises me is the price of this title. Even at £50 this would sell, but at £35 then you simply MUST own this. If you liked Max Payne then this is more of the same but with fancy moves. Go on, take the red pill and see how deep this game really goes...

Hitman 2: Silent Assassin (PS2)
Hitman 2: Silent Assassin (PS2)
Offered by CDandVinyl
Price: £3.96

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not perfect, but lateral thinking needed for once!, 23 Oct. 2002
It must be tough being a hitman. Imagine working all those hours in unforgiving environments; no overtime pay, risking your life each time you step outside the door, not to mention having to lie to your other half about where you are at night (not so difficult, that one!!).
Hitman 2 is the follow up to the PC's rather shoddy original. You take control of '47' who is in search of vengeance against the kidnapping of his friend, the local priest. The intro depicting this is particularly well done, with impressive voice-overs and violent activity to make you believe that it actually happened. However, rather than going all out against the enemy, intelligence require your services on a number of missions in return for information regarding your friend. So begins a tale of mystery and intrigue, government corruption, and mafia warlords.
The first thing that struck me was how in-depth and detailed Hitman 2 really is. Aside from the usual weather effects and weapons, you also notice incredible AI, fabulous sound effects and crisp clean graphics and set-pieces from which to interact. Take the first level - enter the mansion and assassinate the mafia boss. You could walk right in guns blazing, but you'll lose most of your health and get a poor score. Instead, you could wait for one of the guards to come outside to take a leak then strangle him, or kill the postman and take his clothes, or kill the delivery boy and continue to deliver the groceries yourself. It's this open-endedness that makes Hitman 2 such a joy to play, and each mission can be beaten in a number of ways.
The only gripe is the control method, which can be fiddly, and changing weapons is a chore while trying to escape an enemy onslaught. That's the other gripe - it's a trial and error game that demands patience. You have to try different possibilities until you find something that works.
High praise from me, definitely worth a look.

The Family Man [DVD] [2000]
The Family Man [DVD] [2000]
Dvd ~ Nicolas Cage
Offered by Magic Movies Ltd
Price: £3.00

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magical love story for everyone, 4 Jan. 2002
This review is from: The Family Man [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
This is a truly wonderful film that contains love, humour, suspense, and even a hint of tragedy and despair.
Nic Cage plays an upper class, fast-moving, hard-talking, rich business man whose life is turned on it's head in the most unlikely way. Having lived his life believing he has everything a man could want he is offerred a glimpse into an alternate reality that he is forced to live out. A reality of a family, with a wonderful loving wife, 2 gorgeous children, and friends of the highest order - all the things he's never had. The plot then unravels as Cage slowly adapts to his new life without really wanting to. As the ending nears he realises something that he was neglecting his whole life.
Both Cage and Leoni put in superb performances that draw you into their cosy life and the tribulations as Cage realises what's happening to him. It even throws in a few laughs too.
Instantly one of my favourites, treat yourself!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 28, 2009 9:12 PM GMT

A Quiver Full of Arrows
A Quiver Full of Arrows
by Jeffrey Archer
Edition: Paperback

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating and enthralling from the get-go, 9 Sept. 2001
Jeffrey Archer proves with this effort that he is one of the most talented writers of fictional stories there is. I particularly enjoyed 'One Night Stand' which deals with the stoney ground of mutual attraction and delves into the mind of both parties in various situations. If you appreciate a good quality short story after the other then you will find this to be a suitable purchase.

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