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Reviews Written by
R. Mills (London UK)
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Jump
Jump
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £25.24

5.0 out of 5 stars Makes you feel glad to be alive..., 20 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Jump (Audio CD)
Having discovering the world of Van Dyke Parks the long way round, via his recent work with Joanna Newsom and articles that cite him as an influence on The High Llamas, this collection of songs inspired by the Brer Rabbit Stories is an entirely uplifting experience. The opening three numbers are a delightful sequence; twangy, bouncy and affectionally sung with VDP's cultivated reedy voice. The middle section is more variable, but there are some great textures and arrangements that you simply don't hear these days, while the closing Hominy Grove confirms Van Dyke Parks' love of old American tunes and sensibilities. Sure, some will see this as a unfulfilled project best suited to the stage, but there is a genuine sense of passion and unswerving dedication to an oft overlooked period of music that deserves a wider audience.


Moonlighting: Live At The Ash Grove
Moonlighting: Live At The Ash Grove
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning VDP alternative 'Greatest Hits', 21 Nov. 2013
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I absolutely love this recording. It sounds great. The set-list is a real tour of Van Dyke Parks' back catalogue and his personal passions. His between-song verbal interjections are full of bitter sweet contemplations on the music business and his strange relationship with it, but you simply cannot fail to be moved by his integrity and steadfastness. Doesn't sound like there are many in the audience, but still VDP puts a full ensemble on stage with him, and he is in particularly good voice too. Self-effacing, of course, he cleverly draws you into his world and leaves you wanting to discover more about not just his own work but the composers and songwriters from which he draws inspiration. This CD would make a great sampler for those unfamiliar with his eclectic back-catalogue while also giving you a pretty clear insight into the genius himself. I have found this to be a very affecting recording and it'll make you smile and warm your heart - something of a rare gem, indeed. Guilty as charged.


Clockwork Angels [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]
Clockwork Angels [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Rush
Price: £6.96

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! Possibly their best Live blu-ray., 21 Nov. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
After the awful Time Machine Blu-ray (dire video quality etc etc - despite the excellent Moving Pictures set-list) this one really shines.
Very very good picture quality and sound - don't know what some of the other reviewers are missing here, as it sounds great on my (albeit pretty decent 2 ch set-up). I set the Blu-Ray disc to the 2 Channel Stereo setting and it sounds fast, up-beat and clear, maybe a touch bright, but to be fair, that is actually the Rush sound. If I switch to the 5.1 DTS-mega whatever setting, my amp re-codes to 2ch stereo and the sound is very different, very bassy and much more dense, which some may prefer. I suggest having a fiddle with your player/amp or disc settings. What I like about this video is the very live-show feel to it - it's been well thought out. Sometimes Rush make their videos too much like a presentation and miss out on the atmosphere. Not here. The picture quality is very clean and clear but has plenty of little cut-away shots from loads of different angles that captures bits of the audience too - and you'll identify the many types of Rush fan and find yourself in there somewhere. I really like the soundcheck at the beginning and the slightly self-conscious Geddy, Alex and Neil mingling with the stage crew. You also get to see the boys creep onto the stage during the intro film - which we see from the audience perspective, rather than cut-in to the edit.The sound too has not been taken just from the desk, as sometimes happens - where you don't get a sense of the arena. Here, you get the feeling of the sound being in the space - it sounds real to me. A few of the set-list tracks have been relegated to the DVD extras, Manhattan Project, the Pass, so the presented set-list is very much centred around the Clockwork Angels LP. Ok, maybe the set-list on the night won't go down in history as one of their best, but it had an idea behind it, and heck as if there aren't enough other Rush live vids out there. Of course, you get the extra benefit of the String Ensemble which adds a new layer to YYZ - worth seeing.

Yes the S&A live vid is perhaps a better all round disc, with the slotted in between track movies and goofs and the better set-list but I really think this Blu-Ray captures the show as it was on the Tour, has plenty of atmosphere and balances the technical polish with a sense of adrenalin.
I was going to buy it as a souvenir in any case, but now having played it a couple of times I am actually very pleasantly surprised - especially as the Live CD version has got some luke-warm reviews. Top purchase. Thank you.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 26, 2013 3:49 PM GMT


The Hangover (OST)
The Hangover (OST)
Price: £7.63

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good DVD, shame about the Soundtrack, 9 May 2010
This review is from: The Hangover (OST) (Audio CD)
Missing tracks, and the few that are here can't be downloaded separately! Everyone knows you'll be buying this for the final track, Candy Shop. Same story on i-Tunes, which is why I listen to it for nothing on Spotify. I suggest you do the same.


Le Creuset Phenolic Handle for 14 cm - 20 cm Saucepans
Le Creuset Phenolic Handle for 14 cm - 20 cm Saucepans

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a handle isn't it?, 17 Aug. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These handles replace wooden ones that have become a bit manky. With these you get the plastic grip/handle bit, with the bolt inside (which I didn't use as the exiting ones were rusted into the pan) plus the shiny hook/loop at the end, which you turn to tighten up.. (use a screwdriver or steel rod to help get it tight). The metal collar has an indent to help locate the handle against the pan and to stop it rotating. As you tighten, it bends to the shape of the pan... initially it looks like it wont line up, but it does; just get the little groove lined up. OK they are a bit pricey, but hopefully will last longer in the dishwasher. Shame the larger pan version isn't available. Got these postage free (took a while) but cheaper than elsewhere and not many shops carry them.


Guess That Pokemon Game
Guess That Pokemon Game

50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars brill idea, but flawed, 9 Nov. 2008
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This review is from: Guess That Pokemon Game (Toy)
This is a great idea. The box design and promise of the gameplay is enough to satisfy a die-hard poke-fan. In practice the flaws show up, especially compared to the MB Games original with invented people characters.

The plastic is quite flimsy, and it's tricky to flip up the panels without knocking others over. There are 2 sets of cards, with different Pokemon in each - so in reality half the Pokemon aren't in the game. You could play with 2 sets mixed, as long as you made sure you were guessing from the right set. For the most part, you'll keep one set in... as unlike the MB verison where the cards are clipped permanently in place, these are just slid in and keep dislodging themsleves (they are designed to be switched with the other set of Pokemon).

If you can get over this - as we did, the real flaw of the game is in the difficulty of getting a reliable YES/NO answer from a given question, as there aren't enough firm differences between the pokemon apart from number of legs and type of Pokemon (fire water etc) - they don't have carefully worked out discrete traits that can be easily verified like in the MB version. Also the evolutions of some pokemon, eg Pichu and Pikachu are so similar it is really hard to find anything to clearly separate them. The problem lies in the nature of pokemon themselves. Recommended for real hardcore fans of the pokemon who will obviously overlook these shortcomings without question.


LittleBigPlanet (PS3)
LittleBigPlanet (PS3)
Offered by Bridge_Records
Price: £7.85

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, but let's not carried away..., 7 Nov. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: LittleBigPlanet (PS3) (Video Game)
As a fan of most platform games since the original Mario Bros titles on the NES (1992?) and the more open-ended 'playing god' type of games like Sim City and Animal Crossing etc, this was a 'must-have' purchase.

It's definitely a highly polished and well put together game with some delightful touches and will serve Sony well in trying to appeal to a more diverse audience. As already mentioned, the Stephen Fry bit, the tutorial and the like all lead you through in a meaningful way, but with such freedom to explore come the limitations of the actual sackboy character himself; Mario he ain't, and a lot of the jumps and falls are a bit hit and miss in my view, certainly less precise than Mario and Zelda by comparison.

It reminds me quite a lot of the old N64 title, Yoshi's Story, which was also made out of patchwork and bits of old fabric remnants, (and a rather floppy control system) and the more recent Mario Galaxy (wii) with its planet theme. Obviously, there is all the on-line potential to explore and take advantage of, which will ultimately determine its success, but as a platformer it's lack of a proper 3-D environment means loses it a star. A real sense of deja-vu with the old problem-solving-platformer approach, the PS3 at last gets a univerally friendly game which might just give fans of Nintendo's interactive Animal Crossing something to think about.

I recommend it, but in story mode is not as free and open-ended as it might appear.


Snakebyte PS3 Premium RGB Cable (PS3)
Snakebyte PS3 Premium RGB Cable (PS3)

4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended for Gamers, not for movie buffs, 8 May 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As a long time hi-fi lover, I have no problem grappling with the idea of upgrading the bundled cables of my gadgets. With no Official product on the scene this is the best built one I've found - very well made - though does it really need to be 2m long? There are other scart leads around from 'toy' shops with gaming areas but not all are RGB - which gives the best signal via SCART on a standard TV.

I have a nice quality Loewe 32in CRT telly; the PS3 menus and home environment are much easier to follow - darker backgrounds and crisper text - instantly noticeable. The games are much clearer, brighter and sharper too - with nicely saturated colours. Again a big, noticeable improvement, which is even more apparent if you leave it in for a bit, and then switch back to the original PS3 composite lead - then see what you're missing.

Obviously, make sure you're using an RGB supported scart socket on the telly - only 2 of my 3 scart sockets are RGB and you have to specify this in the set-up menu of the telly. And make sure the PS3 is also synced.

PROBLEM.... Like others here, playing BluRay discs gives you the monochrome green screen - so you'll need to swap over to the old PS3 cable and go composite - not much point buying Blurays in other words... as my old DVD player is RGB scarted too.

HOWEVER, I have since managed to get the Loewe to display better colour on BluRays via this cable when setting it to YUC with a sync to YC - not exactly sure what this is but it looks better than composite - probably S-video quality, as the images are brighter and sharper than with just the old PS3 lead. Hopefully someone will post some tips to getting Blurays to work with this. Sadly, this setting wont work for the PS3 games - so you will have to switch back and forth.

As it's not much hassle switching modes on the TV set-up, I'm keeping the cable installed for Games and just switch to the other mode on the telly when i want to watch the one Blu-Ray disc I own.

For Games it's a definite best buy... very close to how the PS3 looks on my small LCD via HDMI - which is very good news for those with last generation hi-end CRT tellys.


Sony VTX-D800U Freeview Digital TV Set Top Box
Sony VTX-D800U Freeview Digital TV Set Top Box

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars style and content, 31 Dec. 2004
I am very happy with my new Sony - unless you want to go down the slippery slope of Top-up TV, this is a top Freeview decoder.
Some reviewers here speak of the hassle of having to scan through lists of stations that can't be received, including Top-up channels, saying that the unit cannot deselect them from the menu. Not so! In the Tuning menu under settings you can delete as many channels as you like - even those you can receive!
Plus - the system usefully splits the radio stations from the TV ones - making navigation a lot easier.
Best still is the remote's ability to control the volume and standby modes of most other TV sets - aswell as looking rather cool - have you seen the naff looking remotes bundled with some of the cheaper boxes? - not good, esp if you've got a decent widescreen telly.
My only wish is that Sony made the unit look right when set horizontally, as it's assymetical and looks a bit odd lying flat.
Excellent EPG and range of outputs including RGB via scart set this unit above the bargain boxes, in my view making it better value for money.


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