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Futurama - Into The Wild Green Yonder [Blu-ray] [2008] [Region A & B]
Futurama - Into The Wild Green Yonder [Blu-ray] [2008] [Region A & B]
Dvd ~ Billy West
Offered by Discs4all
Price: 7.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great end to an amazing series, 28 Feb 2009
Where do you start when writing a review to what could possibly be the last episode in a truly classic series. Expectations were high for series 5 when the films were announced and these expectations weren't met (in my opinion).

A good place to start would be by my views on the series and the films. I've been a huge Futurama fan since 'Space Pilot 3000' in 1999 right up to the final episode 'The Devils Hands are Idle Playthings'. Every episode was a gem exploring complex themes, honouring established sci-fi while poking fun at it and delving into new realms of alternate reality. At the center of the show were the characters which gave the show heart and an emotional attachment to these 2D animated characters. More than most TV programmes (animated or not) you felt a connection to the characters.

I recieved the news of series 5 been released in the form of straight to DVD films with some trepidation but more Futurama is better than nothing. And so, my thoughts on the three previous films.

Benders Big Score: The first film was cleverly written and, due to the time travelling nature, required multiple viewings to get all the jokes. It wasn't until you know how it ends that you can appreciate some of the scenes and jokes throughout the film. The film had the usual madcap sci-fi themes and the characterisation was brilliant. Further exploring Fry's feelings for Leela (feelings that span 1000 years) almost brought a tear to my eye. There are so many in-jokes that only a futurama fan would get it's unbeliebable, but a futurama newbie would appreciate the film as a whole. Overall 8/10

The Beast with a Billion Backs: On first viewing I was dissapointed with this episode. My main concern was the lack of emotional pull that the series was renowned for. The film seemed to lack the interaction between certain characters and a divergence from established character personality traits. Upon further viewings I appreciated the film on different levels but still dont rate it highly. Overall 6/10

Benders Game: The less said the better. Ridiculous plot, no charaterisation and poorly parodies other films, namely Lord of the Rings and Star Wars. Although a redeeming feature is that you learn some important facts about beloved characters. Overall 5/10

And now for the main event, Into the wild green yonder. Like most fans of the series I'm a fan of the stories, the absurd sci-fi mumbo jumbo, the themes consistent throughout the episodes but most of all the characters. In these respects the film delivers in spades. Each scene has something a fan couldn't resist but grin out and quite often laugh-out-loud at. One instance is Hermes's derision of Labarbara's attempt at one of his famous rhyming exclamations ('Sweet something of someplace', for example).

Out of all the films, this one brings the best out of all the characters (with the possible exception of Professor Farnsworth). The film centres around Fry's inabilty to have his mind read (due to his lack of the Delta brainwave since he got 'nasty in the pasty' and he is his own granfather). Fry's ability to read the minds of others isn't fully explained or explored but his apparent opposition to Leela leads to some friction between them which finally resolves to the conclusion we have all been wainting for.

I really don't want to give much away but this film has a satisfying ending. Not everything is wrapped up suitably but trying to wrap up 4 series of stellar episodes in 4 films isn't an easy task. But this film does a decent job and hints at the possibility of more to come.

Overall 9/10

Now for the Blu Ray disc review

I have literally never seen an animation look so good. The outlines are sharp, the colours are bright and the motion is smooth. I watched it on a 1080p Panasonic 42 inch Plasma and loved every second. It's not eye poppingly brilliant but it is crystal clear and the only way to watch the finale of a cult sci-fi series. I've watched the DVD's upscaled to 720p (via PS3) and there is no comparison. This Blu Ray wins hands downn in visual clarity. Overall 9/10

The sound is presented in DTS. I have a 7.1 system and noted some sublime ambient sound in certain scenes. The majority of the film is dialogue and so comes from the front speakers but the sound is always sharp and clear with few surround sound effects. Overall 8/10

This film is a must for all Futurama and sci-fi fans. The four films didn't live up to the heights of the series but this is well worth the extra money for the blu ray. Go on, treat yourself. You know you want to.

Handheld Console Value Pack (Includes Memory Stick, Battery Pack, Headphones, Demo Disc and More) (PSP)
Handheld Console Value Pack (Includes Memory Stick, Battery Pack, Headphones, Demo Disc and More) (PSP)

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PSP - a true wonder to behold, 1 April 2005
I impoted a PSP from Japan and recieved it a few days ago. In 2 days me, my brother and his girlfriend have racked hours and hours of gameplay. The PSP looks and feels like a seriously expensive piece of kit and for all the functions it has the 190 I paid seems like a steal. I'll try and review it by considering its main points:
Game Graphics 10/10:
The Graphics are simply superb, easily as good as PS2. Risge racers is absolutely beuiful and even with 5 cars and an aeroplane on screen the frame rate is extremely high and speed never drops. The backgrounds and levels are amazingly detailed.
Game Controls 9/10:
The buttons are ultra responsive and really easy on the fingers. Lumines, for example, requires precise movements and the PSP D-pad doesn't dissopoint. The analogue stick is slightly low down and I often opt for the d-pad but it feels smooth and precise.
Load times 9/10:
I really haven't noticed any excessive load times. Lumines loads in seconds and Ridge racers takes only a little linger (about 30 seconds initially and 5-10 seconds to load a race). Vampire Chronicles takes about the same as Ridge racers which seems weird as it's a "less complex" game.
Movie Play back 10/10:
I downloaded some software from [...] which converted a 68mb avi music video to 20mb mp4 file which played on the psp amazingy well. The fast forward/rewind work great and pressing triangle displays a list of selectable commands such as stop, pause, etc. and yo can also zoom in to fill the screen or make it wide screen.
MP3 playback 8.5/10:
The sounds quality is excellent and the songs are very easy to find and play. The psp is slightly large to use a portable mp3 player but it's a great feature for Plane, train or bus trips.
Overall build quality 10/10:
The system is very well built and sturdy and the screen is HUGE. I have no problems that some other PSP owners have such as deap pixels etc but apparently less than 1% of PSP's are affected. The only preoblem is it's so gorgeous you might be too scared to take it out the house :) .
So, for all the functions of the PSP, amazing power, great controls and excellent line up of games including Wipeout, Ridge racers, Lumines and twisted Metal; there really isn't any reason not to buy a PSP whether you're a casual or hardcore gamer.

iriver H320 Lite 20GB MP3 Player with Tuner (SE)
iriver H320 Lite 20GB MP3 Player with Tuner (SE)

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best gadget I have EVER owned., 13 Jan 2005
After much reading and research I decided to but the iriver rather than ipod and don't regret my decision.
First off the sound quality of the iRiver H320 is outstanding. I have ripped my cd collection to OGG format at 500kbps and also mp3 at 320kbps and connected it to my yamaha AMP through the line out. The sound quality through my big floor standing speakers is truly awesome. The bass is powerful and tight but never over powering, the vocals are clear and the overall sound is free of hiss and distortion which is amazing from such a small mp3/ogg/wma player.
The menu system is a breeze to use. As long as you have your music organised in folders by artist, album etc and have no more than about 20-30 songs per folder you can easily find any song in seconds. You can also shuffe/repeat all your tracks, or tracks within a certain folder. Transfering files couldn't be easier as it is recognised as a drive. I drag-and-dropped 500mb in about 15 seconds.
The best thing is th 2 inch colour screen. you wont beleive how crisp and clear the screen is until you see it. It easily displays photos at high quality.
I recommend downloading the lastest (easy to install) firmware upgrade which allows you to play XVid videos. The quality of the videos really is amazing, much better than I expected. I can now watch episodes of Simpsons, Futurams & Seinfeld on the bus . I use a program called PocketDivXEncoder 0.3.51 to convert mpeg's and avi's to play on my iRiver but there are other (not so easy to use) programs which may give slightly better results.
You can create m3u playlists to use while out and about using winamp but as far as I can tell this wont make playlists with ogg files. I have found a program called dbPower AMP which can make mixed ogg and mp3 playlists which works pretty well.
I would also like to point out that if the "charge by USB" is on all you have to do is click the play button for the pc to recognise it as a drive.
The bundled accessories are also really good. The case is small and sturdy, the Sennheiser ear-phones are realy good, the line in cable is great for high quality recording of CD's, tv etc and you also get a cool littl mic.
Oh yeah, it also has a radio which can be recorded from in mp3 format.
There are so many other features that I just don't have time to mention but as far as I'm concerned it's by farthe best MP3 player and isn't much bigger than an ipod.

The Matrix Reloaded (2 Disc Edition) [2003] [DVD]
The Matrix Reloaded (2 Disc Edition) [2003] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Keanu Reeves
Offered by NetsavesUK
Price: 2.30

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not as clever as it thinks it is, 24 Sep 2003
Having missed the original matrix at the cinema (but watched it countless times on DVD) the prospect of seen Reloaded on the big screen filled me with excitement. I had seen many ads on TV showing Matrix Reloaded to be a special effects action film extravaganza which is what I expected from the ending of the Matrix (the first one). I went to see reloaded on the premier night and was utterly disopointed. The film was about 2hrs 30mins long with only about 30 mins spent inside the matrix (which is where we all wanted most the film to take place). What this means is that the majority of the film is spent in a dirty, dark, less-than-impressive future earth. There was a lot of dialogue which made little to no sense and the ending was a little confusing. I am no fool ( a student of maths at a top University ) and neither is my brother ( a law graduate from the same university ) and we both felt cheated by the constant riddles the writers called dialogue. Yes, the effects are impressive but the Pseudo-philosophy isn't. Another gripe of mine is that Neo is now indestructable so when someone is in trouble you just think "oh, Neo will save the day", and he usually does. I will be buying the DVD and hope it makes more sense than my first viewing.

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