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Audiosurf (PC)
Audiosurf (PC)

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An addictive racing game and cool way to play your music., 28 Oct 2008
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Audiosurf (PC) (CD-ROM)
This is such a wonderful little gem of a racing game and even at full retail price, for such a pure gaming experience, it is worth every single penny.

Tracks are created from your music collection and produce a WipeOut style course to pilot your anti-grav craft through. Fast intense, beat heavy songs produce adrenaline pumping downhill thrill rides. Slower more reflective songs create gently rolling uphill tracks. Mix the two and you can have something wild and wonderful. The variety is limited only by your music collection and although there are varying difficulty levels the only real limit to the difficulty is in your choice of music. So the game is open to young and old, experienced and amateur gamer alike. (With no guns or violence included at all, i should add!)

The challenge in AudioSurf is very old school. You cannot lose; the victory is in chasing the high score and perfect race. As you travel along the track you have to collect the coloured blocks. The faster you go and the more you collect the higher your score. It gets fast, furious and frustratingly annoying but like all the very best high score chasing games there is only ever yourself to blame and AudioSurf rides the line between addiction and frustration brilliantly. You will find yourself saying 'Just one more go' long into the night! It's a very moorish pick up and play thing is AudioSurf.

On some modes there are varying colours, the rarer, warmer colours like red and yellow give you higher scores but you have to navigate through the cooler more prolific blocks of blues, greens and purples. There's a two player option, too, for team work and big scores. Another mode has you dodging a plethora of grey blocks and collecting the coloured ones. Add some power-ups and special moves and you have a simple yet utterly compelling game.

The only downside to AudioSurf is the lack of a play list option. You can only race one song at a time. Adding a play list option would allow you to create a tournament, Formula One style, that could be shared endlessly with friends. And I would also like to have seen some more loop-the-loops and migraine inducing spins, but, really, this is nit-picking.

AudioSurf is addictive, frustrating, exhilarating and fun and at 10.00 it's incredible value for a game that conceivably has no limit to its playability.

The Mist [DVD]
The Mist [DVD]
Dvd ~ Thomas Jane
Price: 3.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spoiler Alert!, 27 Oct 2008
This review is from: The Mist [DVD] (DVD)
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It's chucklesome special effects and one dimensional characterisation never get in the way of a good monster flick. The original short story is one of the most gripping Stephen King has done and no director could really go wrong with the source material, however, I'm not as totally convinced as others who seem to want to rate this as a modern day 'Birds'. It isn't. There are too many 'Wait a minute...' moments. And that ending! I love to be surprised and I'm as much for a downbeat end to a horror film as anyone but, forgive me, this was laughable. Talk about twisting the knife one to many times!

Spoiler alert, the ending is nigh... Skip to the last paragraph now to avoid disappointment...

... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

The first thing that jars for me is the tentacles. Our hero hacks one off the monster and when he subsequently explains, to the whole store only a couple of people go back to see the limb. Excuse me? Flying tentacled monster stole the bag-boy? I wanna look!! Then the thing conveniently goes and dissolves. Why? Cause it's a dumb movie...

Then is the rapid conversion of some three quarters of the store to 'fire and brimstone' Christianity. I'm not above turning to religion in a crisis but this happens within 24 hours! The sacrifice of a soldier is thus, unrealistic. Considering we find out, in a cool bug skirmish, that 'the army done it' it would have been far easier and more dramatic for the crowd to turn on the soldier as some means of releasing their frustration at the scientists and the military and then turn to religion as absolution for their murder. It would have been very easy to script that into the movie, making the religious nut a more rounded, sympathetic character in the process. It would also have provided ample evidence of the fraying of these peoples lives and significantly increased the tension. But no...

Third is when the monsters break in. The smaller ones are attracted to the light. The bigger ones swoop to feast on them and then come through the glass. Does anyone turn the lights down, even a little? Even after the attack? No. They revert back to candlelight for sure, but, even though I'm no entomologist, in my experience moths are as equally drawn to a glowing candle as to an arc light. Not these beasties. The store dwellers sleep happily and soundly all night.

The fourth is the ending. Look away now folks cause I'm a-revealing all...

It's just too hilarious. The hero escapes with his son, possible love interest and an elderly couple. They drive away unpursued by anything. Anything. Across State lines... Nothing. Passed pile ups and carnage... Nothing (The War Of The Worlds is another victim of the 'miraculously clear highways' scenario after a super, mega disaster...) Ridiculous!

And then the petrol runs out. The car stalls. The film could end here and it would be fine; an awesome creature feature. But no... The hero counts the bullets: five people, four bullets. It could end here and be viewed as compelling, with a cliff-hanger of 'Italian Job' proportions. But no... Despite neither of the four adults having shown any signs of fatalism or depression they opt to end it. He makes the choice and shoots the others including his son (Utterly out of character! And, hey, no complaining, I warned you about the spoilers!) He screams his rage, leaves the car and heads out into the mist challenging the monsters 'Come on! Come on!' The film could end here and it would have been wonderfully downbeat. Certainly close to the classic status some have given it.

But no...

The mist clears and the Army come trundling along in their tanks and then, SECONDS later, refugee wagons roll passed full of survivors. Barely meters from the outskirts of a deadly, other-world disaster? Nonsense. So, the Monsters are defeated. Oh, if only our hero had waited 60 seconds... His tears flow. His rage and desperation! Oh no!! It's the egg that over eggs the pudding, the extra cook that spoils the broth, the straw that breaks the camels back. It turns the whole movie into a joke. Something you won't want to watch to the end ever again. Darabont blows it.

... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

So, final advice: The Mist is a great, scary, tense movie with convincing CGI (if a little rubber in the prosthetics), frightening set-ups and just a little wrenching on the heart-strings and if you skip the last minute or even the last 30 seconds you'll love it for a long, long time. Just try not to smirk, laugh, guffaw, chortle or split your sides if you stay to the end because this is one movie that doesn't need a directors cut it needs a studio cut!
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 22, 2008 12:01 AM GMT

Take Me To The Sea
Take Me To The Sea
Offered by mrtopseller
Price: 2.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well... Surprise! Surprise!, 13 Oct 2008
This review is from: Take Me To The Sea (Audio CD)
So, Jaguar Love has come up with one of the albums of the year (2008). Not bad for a semi-supergroup involving former members of Blood Brothers and Pretty Girls Make Graves. As fans of those bands may know this means 'Take Me To The Sea' is not going to be easy punk listening nor easy glam listening. Jaguar Love is a project you have to invest some time in to get the benefits from.

On first listen Jonny Whitneys' voice comes over almost like that of a petulant 6 year old girl; high pitched, strung-out to breaking point and ear splitting. It's not as unintelligible or as manic as much of Blood Brothers' screamo was but it is still sure to turn off many unsuspecting prospective fans.

That said, it compliments the screeching, staccato guitars that occasionally sound tortured beyond endurance. Cody Votolato hits his instrument with a primal, punk joy; the enthusiasm bleeds from the speakers helped no end by a loud, sharp, cacophonous production. It's not one dimensional by any means and there is plenty of respite amongst the barrage (although you should not equate respite with quiet!)

These two are backed by Jay Clark on drums and keyboards. The keyboards weave like early Faith No More (Chuck Moseley era) in, out and around the punk squall like sinuous tendrils supporting and softening Whitney & Votolato's screech and giving the songs depth and colour. His drumming, as in all the best punk bands, is complex but tight; driving, subtle and never boring.

After a few listens the songs reveal themselves and nothing is straightforward new wave/punk. 'Highways Of Gold' bounds along with a joyous joie de vivre, it's glam stomp upped to 11 in second track 'Bats...'. 'Georgia' is an alt-punk show tune, all soaring vocals and grand gestures. 'Antoine And Birdskull' is apocalyptic; approaching Coheed and Cambria-esque heaviness and reach. 'Bone Trees...' slows things down and could almost be dressed in a big feather boa such is its glam campness.

Yes, 'Take Me To The Sea' takes time but it's definitely worth it. It's lively, loud and original. Jaguar Love approaches on CD the manic-ness of an Arcade Fire live show. It may not be as multi-orchestrated but it is certainly as inventive and exciting.

One to scare the neighbours with and love with a passion!

Murakami Diary
Murakami Diary
by Haruki Murakami
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.52

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Murakami cool, in diary form!, 18 Sep 2008
This review is from: Murakami Diary (Paperback)
This is a sweet little diary full of quotes, book covers and associated Murakami paraphernalia; liberally sprinkled with book histories, publishing dates and Japanese holidays.

It's very beautiful, and even comes in a dust jacket, and despite all there is to be enjoyed it still feels quite minimalist; the black and white and red styling complimenting the character of Murakami's novels perfectly.

From a bibliophile's point of view, it is certainly a valued item to keep alongside Murakami's wonderful novels. The only problem i can see is exactly why you would want to write in it at all!

Death Magnetic Limited Edition
Death Magnetic Limited Edition
Offered by MEGA Media FBA
Price: 8.05

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They're back! And then some :o), 5 Sep 2008
To be blunt, if Death Magnetic had been released after "...And Justice For All" we would all be talking about the 5 albums of classic Metallica before the Black album.

Yes, Death Magnetic is that good.

It's not a Master of Puppets, or a Ride the Lightning and there is no stand out track, no 'One' or 'Creeping Death' but as a whole it does feel like a logical progression from those first four classics.

I've listened to Death Magnetic a dozen times now; first with a big wide grin on my face and goosebumps; as a long time Metallica fan from the Ride era the weight on my shoulders has been lifted: Metallica are fun again!

Subsequent listens and the hooks are revealling themselves. The "Show your scars/We die hard" refrain in "Broken, Beat & Scarred", the euphoric building of tension in "The Unforgiven III" and the layered guitar frenzy of the instrumental "Suicide & Redemption" are masterful pieces of vintage Metallica. The riff heavy opener and classic bludgeoning closer "My Apocalypse" recalls "Damage Inc" and "The Frayed Ends of Sanity". The slow and brooding "The Day that Never Comes" rolling and rolling until it erupts into a classic Metallica chug "Love is a four letter word, Never spoken here..." and then the thrash descends... It's awesome, it really is and anyone with the vaguest fondness for the Metallithrash is going to be head over heels.

Yes, the album is far from perfect. Lars really needs a new drum kit (i can only imagine how good this would be with Gene Hoglan on the sticks! WOW!) The lyrics are schoolbook stuff and there's none of the gang style sing-a-longs a la "Master, Master..." And whether this is a cynical ploy to recapture their youth or the beginnings of a new era, we'll just have to wait and see.

For now, Death Magnetic buys them the benefit of the doubt. Because it works. Metallica are on fire. James can still growl menacingly and Hammett sure hasn't forgotten how to piece a solo together. The songs strech 7, 8, and 9 minutes long but nothing here ever outstay's it's welcome. And if they do sound like the best bits of "St. Anger", "...Justice" and (a little bit of) "Metallica/Load", then i'm not complaining. We can all play 'spot the riff' but while you are, i guarantee your foot will be tapping and your head nodding and a smile will be spreading across your face no matter how hard you try to deny it!

Come on... Sing... "and we'll hunt you down without mercy, hunt you down all nightmare long..."

Death Magnetic
Death Magnetic
Offered by inandout-distribution
Price: 7.69

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never in my wildest dreams did i think Metallica could pull this off!!!, 4 Sep 2008
This review is from: Death Magnetic (Audio CD)
How succinctly could one surmise Metallica's career thus far? Let's quote from the Awesome 'Broken, Beat & Scarred': "You rise, you fall, you're down then you rise again. What don't kill you make you more strong!" That, and the "Show your scars/We die hard" refrain, tell you all you need to know. Metallica know where they have been but: Metallica are back!

If Death Magnetic had been released after ...And Justice For All we would all be talking about a 5 album golden era before the decline. True, it's no Master of Puppets but then Master... was as different to Ride the Lightning as Ride... was to Kill 'em All; Death Magnetic is different, it's a progression, but perfectly in tune with Metallica's golden age: Heavy, fast, technical and tuneful.

Death Magnetic is the crunch of St. Anger focused with the riffs of ...Justice and sprinkled with the tiniest bit of Metallica gold dust (that 'The Unforgiven III' is this albums weakest track, and stands out like a sore thumb, should tell all old school fans how good Death Magnetic is!)

Sure, it has it's weak points. Lars, can't drum and that production will have you very quickly reaching for the bass boost. And it is very obvious at times, as Lars fills yet again, that Metallica are looking for a way out of a song, but unlike on St Anger, on Death Magnetic they find a great riff to escape on and 7, 8 and 9 minutes never seems too long. The lyrics are bludgeoning and school-book stuff and James still sings too much; but the growl is back, too. Hammett is blistering. And for the first time since "...Justice" the positives out-weigh the negatives.

The second half of 'The day that never comes' is some of the best work Metallica has EVER produced. 'Broke, beat & scarred' is a pure bred call-to-arms anthem. 'All nightmare long' "...And we hunt you down without mercy..." is Metallica laying to waste whole swathes of their recent history.

In fact the first 5 songs stand shoulder to shoulder with anything in Metallica's back catalogue. If it does occasionally sound like they are trying too hard, or revisiting old ground, i'd still rather have this, their 3rd, 4th or 5th best album than another Black, S&M, Load/Re-Load or St. Anger anytime. Even the 9 minute instrumental bears repeated listening!

If they can produce another album of similar quality within 12 months then the resurrection will truly be complete. If they disappear off on another 18 month world tour then i'll knock my 5-stars down to 3 because it will mean that Death Magnetic is just another go around on the wheel for Metallica and not an album made by a band hungry with something to prove.

For now, if this is Metallica trying to recapture their fire, then they've succeeded. It's 'Metal up yer a*s' time again. I'll be buying tickets and i'll see all you true metalheads in the pit showing these Bob Rock era 'tallica fans how we rock old school style ("Show your scars/We die hard..." indeed! lol! )

(Sucky album title tho, it should've been Death Metallic!)

Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: 26.15

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your favourite new band!, 4 Sep 2008
This review is from: Buiikikaesu (Audio CD)
Absolute proof that language barriers can be overcome by truly awesome music!

Maximum the Hormone is the smouldering wreckage of a Death Race pile-up between the screamingly mental System of a Down thrash mobile, The Ramones monster pick-up truck of hooks and the R.H.C.Peppers funked-up, psychedelic VW Camper all ploughing head first into Motorhead's Harley of riffs, the cold, corpse carrying hearse of Napalm Death and The Ronettes sugar truck.

It's fast, funky, catchy, noisy, snotty, loud, infectious and brilliant. & Maximum the Hormone are guaranteed 2b your new favourite band if you like any of the above mentioned bands :o)

Don't have reservations, try it!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 5, 2012 3:11 PM BST

Mamma Mia! The Movie [DVD] [2008]
Mamma Mia! The Movie [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Meryl Streep
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: 3.83

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pure escapism!, 3 Sep 2008
A genuine feel good, sunshine movie.

Great fun, great cast and yeah, it has it's flaws and it could be better but if you sneer you have no love in your heart and no life in your soul.

Just smile and go with the flow :o)
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 2, 2009 11:58 PM GMT

Gambling With The Devil (Limited Edition) (2CD)
Gambling With The Devil (Limited Edition) (2CD)
Price: 9.29

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant return to form, 27 Aug 2008
This is easily the best album Helloween have put their name to for over a decade.

There have been glimmers on previous releases; The Dark Ride, Rabbit and Keeper (Legacy) were not without their high points, though they certainly lacked consistancy. Finally, with "Gambling..." we have a Helloween album that works from start to finish again.

The very best thing i can say is that there is no filler whatsoever and every track is different enough, within the confines of the power metal genre, to be interesting and worth repeated listening (and that Biff Byford spoken word intro is short enough not to worry about!)

Initial favourite, the very heavy "Kill It" has been replaced by the soaring chorus of "Paint a New World" (That one's going to slay the arenas!) But there are chorus's and kick drum breaks, lead's and riffing, speed metal and heaviness plentiful enough to satisfy even the 'stick in the mud' Hansen and Keeper (pt.I) era Helloween fans. True, it's not another "Keeper..." and thank God for that! It's different and it's so much the better for it.

I'd recommend this, without reservation, to any doubters or old school metal heads with fond memories of those Noise Record days.

Yes, it's that good!

Absolutely - Absolutely Everything [DVD]
Absolutely - Absolutely Everything [DVD]
Dvd ~ Peter Baikie
Offered by rsdvd
Price: 9.65

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely the 2nd best comedy show ever!, 18 Jun 2008
I'm so pleased this has made it to DVD.

Absolutely is, without any reservations, the best comedy show of the 80's & 90's. And is 2nd only to Monty Python in the gamut of British ensemble comedies.

And it's a fantastic box set, full of belly laughs and pinpoint character sketches. To be blunt, if you like comedy and any of the programmes mentioned, then you'll love this. My advice tho, for newcomers, is to limit yourself to perhaps an episode a day. The anticipation you'll have by the time you're halfway through season two will be the most exquisite agony... (Hehehe... Sorry Vincent!)

Think the Fast Show was original? Pah! And Big Train, the spiritual successor to Absolutely, pales by comparison. And God knows how Catherine Tate and Little Britain can garner such a following when there is this to be enjoyed!

Absolutely is of course Scottish, like Little Britain, but don't let that put you off. After all, it's Scottish like your PC. And your clothes. And your house. And the North Sea. All Scottish. That credit card you're going to buy this box set with? Scottish. Your kettle? Och aye! Yr Mum? As Scottish as a haggis on Hogmany!

Just buy it!
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 31, 2008 1:35 PM GMT

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