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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 [DVD] [2011]
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 [DVD] [2011]
Dvd ~ Daniel Radcliffe
Offered by Jasuli
Price: £7.39

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful conclusion, 27 July 2012
Any of you who have seen my reviews will know my feelings about the Harry Potter series. Needless to say, I prefer the installments which are more about magic, awe and wonder than dark and gritty action. What makes Harry Potter unique is its ability to create the most unbelievable scenarios and have the audience think "It's Harry Potter, I totally get it". The first three films did this superbly, but I feel some of this magic was lost between 4 and 7- sorry, 7 Part 1.

Fortunately, Part 2 of this thrilling conclusion is as good as any film in the series, and a darn good film in its own right.

The film does a wonderful job at sending the viewer through a wave of emotions: anger, determination, sadness, defiance, joy. It's all here, and at times you almost feel like you're IN this adventure. Now THAT is good storytelling.

I love the throwbacks to previous films; The Chamber of Secrets, Gringotts, The Sword of Griffyndor. They all create the feeling that we're truly in a Harry Potter film, not just an action film that happens to star Harry and his friends. The acting is top notch too, with all the stars giving their all for the final installment. Alan Rickman in particular gives a wonderful farewell as Professor Snape, a character I never really cared about until he got behind the camera.

Any negatives? It's hard to say really. The ridiculousness of Neville fending off hoards of murderers is a little farfetched, and the scene where Harry witnesses many of his friends dead is a little rushed. Where's the emotion? Where's the heart wrenching uncertainty?

They're just nitpicks though, and probably things only I picked up. Regardless, Deathly Hallows Part 2 is a fantastic conclusion to an epic series, and more importantly, gives the series the payoff it deserves. It's a wonderful finale, and one I can watch again and again.

The Dark Knight Rises (DVD) [2012]
The Dark Knight Rises (DVD) [2012]
Dvd ~ Christian Bale
Offered by Bridge_Records
Price: £4.48

2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let The Games Begin!, 26 July 2012
The Dark Knight Rises Review

As the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy comes to a close, it's hard to believe how far the character has come in those three films. After the abysmal Batman and Robin, the Dark Knight was little more than a laughing stock. Fortunately, eight years later, Nolan entered the scene and gave Batman the intelligence and respect that he, and his fans deserve.

Batman Begins was a highly enjoyable film that touched upon themes that few Batman outings have ever thought of approaching. It was dark and edgy, but also sophisticated and smart, and fans were delighted at seeing the first Batman film done right in a long, long time. It's sequel, The Dark Knight, is, quite simply, one of my favourite films of all time. It was menacing, it was chaotic, and it was in your face. You all know why it was good, so I won't dwell on it. Needless to say, expectations were high for The Dark Knight Rises.

Fortunately, most of these expectations are met. Most of them.

The story takes place eight years after The Dark Knight, and Batman has gone into hiding. Oddly enough however, so too has his alter ego, Bruce Wayne, completely unaware that his money is running dry. That's the least of his problems however, as there's a new villain in town, the masked menace known as Bane. Bane is a former member of the League of Shadows, the extremist group from the first film led by Ra's Al Ghul, and aims to finish off what Ghul started in destroying Gotham. More on that in a bit.

Also joining the party is the feline femme fatale known as Catwoman, who is...actually what were her motivations again? Never mind, she likes to steal, big shock. Both Bane and Catwoman are great additions to the film. Bane is a much more intelligent foe than you might expect, especially if you're fans of the two Arkham games by Rocksteady. Here, Bane is cool, calm and collected. He's no Joker, but then again how could he be? The Joker was Batman's greatest mental challenge, but Bane is undoubtedly his greatest physical challenge, and everytime he's on screen you know you know what is about to go down.

As for Catwoman, she's pretty great too, although I do feel she was a little underdeveloped in terms of her motivations and backstory. Then again, I'll forgive them, it's not like they had a whole lot of...oh yeah, the film is nearly three hours long.

Now I've never had a problem with long films as long as the time is used wisely. Here, for the most part, it's done well. The first hour drags a bit but you always know it's leading to something big, and the climax at the end makes it all worth it. I just think there were some things that could be removed to make it drag less. The whole romance between Bruce and Miranda Tate, where did that come from? One minute they're bickering over a project funded by Bruce, the next they're in bed together, and this was at a time when he didn't even have any money!

Anyway, back to the positives. The scale of the film is typically brilliant, even more than I was expecting, and the effects are fantastic. Nolan has done a terrific job at capturing what it would be like to live in Gotham City, and the cinematography and design is all top notch. The acting is also stellar, but am I the only one glad we'll never have to put up with that ridiculous Batman voice ever again? I swear it's worse than ever in this film, and the cynic in me thinks Bale does it on purpose just to annoy. Git.

So, onto what I didn't like. Well, there's only a couple of things really. One of them was the general plot, the whole concept of Bane finishing the work of the League of Shadows. What this means is we tread a little bit of the same ground and the film sometimes repeats elements from the first film. What I loved about TDK is it took Batman Begins and escalated the stakes and storytelling to another level. With this film, it sort of feels like it's telling the story of the first film again, only with a different villain. In fact, if you took out the whole "Batman takes the blame for Dent's crimes" subplot, which goes NOWHERE by the way, you could easily make this a sequel to Batman Begins. So, what was the point of the second film then? What did The Joker really accomplish if the plot of this film is just a continuation of the first film? There was the whole Harvey Dent situation, but all that leads to is people telling Bruce what a stupid decision it was and he needs to get back out there, which is exactly what he does. After the first hour or so, the whole situation with Dent is pretty much dropped.

Another problem I had was Bane's true motive. In Begins, Ghul's motive was to destroy Gotham because it was a sick, corrupted, dangerous place that he felt was unworthy of existing. That's fine, a little extreme, but you can see where he's coming from. But in this film Gotham is at PEACE. Crime is down and people can enjoy living in Gotham again. So, why would you want to destroy it now? Maybe I missed something there, I probably did, but I found it a little confusing. The ending felt a little rushed too. Bruce gets together with Selina? Did we miss a scene or something? When was that romance ever touched upon?

Despite these problems I had with the film, I still highly enjoyed it, and would definitely watch it again. The sense of terror, dread and hopelessness is masterfully portrayed, and by the end you're really rooting for the good guys. The section where Bruce is trying to escape the pit is really well done, and the climax is as good as anything I've seen in years. In terms of sheer fun, it doesn't match The Avengers, but it's more sophisticated than that film, and has some epic storytelling, even if some of it is a little confusing.

Overall, I loved The Dark Knight Rises. Yes it did have some problems, but all films do, and they shouldn't detract from what a well crafted flick it is. I've only seen the film once, so my opinion may change after repeated viewings (and trust me, the DVD will be a day one purchase), but for now it's a truly fitting way for this stellar trilogy to end. I liked it more than Batman Begins, but I still feel The Dark Knight is the best of the three.

In case you care about star ratings:
Batman Begins: ****
The Dark Knight: ****3/4
The Dark Knight Rises: ****1/4
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 5, 2012 9:09 PM BST

WWE WrestleMania XX [DVD] [2004]
WWE WrestleMania XX [DVD] [2004]
Dvd ~ Eddie Guerrerro
Offered by aardvark-games
Price: £33.95

5.0 out of 5 stars "Only those bold enough to chase dreams, are the ones who catch them", 26 Jun. 2011
WrestleMania 20, where it all begins again. I would go into how that makes no sense but I'm far too tired.

On with the show.

The Harlem Boys Choir open with America the Beautiful. If Russo was booking they'd feud with Lilian Garcia for rights to open WrestleMania.

United States Championship: The Big Show vs John Cena

Bret/Owen this ain't. Big Show had defended the title...oh, maybe twice? This being the second mind you. Cena gets a nice rap pre match, emphasising how bland he's become today. Big Show just dominates the whole match with Cena getting the occasional false comeback. Cena somehow hits the FU, but Show kicks out! Cena gets the chain in desperation, and uses it to distract the ref before hitting Show with a brass knuckle. The FU follows and we're done on about 10 minutes. It was well booked at the end, but the plodding offense before that doesn't exactly make it worthwhile. *1/2

Jonathon Coachman meets up with Eric Bischoff, who asks him to go find The Undertaker. If Russo was booking, there's your WrestleMania main event.

Meanwhile, Evolution recap all the nasty things they've done to Mick Foley. Orton has sure come a long way since then.

World Tag Team Titles, Fatal Fourway Match: Booker T and Rob Van Dam vs. La Resistance vs. Mark Jindrak and Garrison Cade vs. The Dudley Boyz.

One fall to a finish, which sucks. Booker and RVD were a pretty good team though. This match has four guys too many, as no one really gets a chance to show off. They just got to do their usual stuff then go home. They should've just gone with Booker and RVD vs The Dudleys, who were most over with the crowd being from New York and all. The Five Star finishes at about 8 minutes. Not bad, but nothing special. **

Coach searches for The Undertaker, but instead finds Gene Okerlund and Bobby Heenan disheveled. Turns out Mae Young and Moolah were with them and drag them back for some more fun. Wow, good thing I've just eaten. If Russo was booking, there's a mixed tag match with Coach as referee.

Christian vs Chris Jericho

From one love story to another. This one is actually good though, as these two used to be the best of friends, but Christian got annoyed when Jericho grew affection for Trish Stratus. Oh come on, who wouldn't? Usual very good match between these two, though not quite as good as Jericho's match with Shawn Michaels the year before. Trish runs down, shenanigans ensue, and Trish "accidentally" nails Jericho (not in that way) and Christian wins with a rollup. Turns out it was all a ruse though, as Trish slaps Jericho post match and makes out with Christian in a SHOCKING SWERVE. Actually it kind of was at the time. ***3/4

Why was this angle silly in retrospect? Because Trish explained her heel turn by saying she was offended by Jericho's wager that he could bed her. So she leaves him for the other guy who made the bet with him! I know what you're thinking -- Trish was just lying about her reasoning. Okay, then why did she really turn heel?

Backstage, Mick Foley talks about what a big night this is. Good thing Mick was here to let us know that. The Rock interrupts and gets everyone excited as per usual.

Handicap Match: The Rock and Mick Foley vs Evolution

I love this match. It's one of those matches where you can just forget about nonsensical booking, silly storylines and bad matches, and just kick back and have fun. The focus of the match is Orton's ongoing rivalry with Mick Foley, but the real stars of the show are The Rock and Ric Flair. That would have been some match (and promos!). Flair is just awesome here, and Rock and Foley do a good job of making Orton and Batista look good. The match breaks down and ends up with Foley and Orton. Foley hits the Kobashi Driver and readies Socko, but Orton gives him the RKO out of the blue for the win at 17 minutes. Highly entertaining, mainly thanks to the antics of Flair and The Rock, and it set up an incredible No Holds Barred match between Orton and Foley at Backlash. ****

Recap of the Hall of Fame ceremony. Bobby Heenan's speech still gives me goosebumps.

Evening Gown Match: Sable and Torrie Wilson vs Stacy Kiebler and Miss Jackie

And we had a nice run going as well. Sable decides they should wrestle with their gowns off. PSYCHOLOGY! If Russo is booking, Evening Gown on a pole match. They "wrestle" for a bit, the crowd doesn't care and neither do I. Torrie spears Jackie and rolls her up for three after about two and a half minutes. Woohoo. 1/2*

Eddie Guerrero meets up with people backstage. Hey look it's JBL's Chief of Staff! Eddie finds himself in Chris Benoit's locker room, and they have a back and forth about how important this night is. Pretty good stuff, and it highlights how big WrestleMania is to them, rather than just in general.

Cruiserweight Open: Chavo Guerrero vs. Shannon Moore vs. Billy Kidman vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Nunzio vs. Tajiri vs. Funaki vs. the Ultimo Dragon vs. Jamie Noble.

Talk about a missed opportunity. You know how the tag match earlier had four guys too many? This has about seven too many. Just because it's WrestleMania doesn't mean you have to get EVERYONE on the show. UEFA doesn't try to get every team in the Champions League Final. Just have the champion and the best challenger. Less is more. The match is okay, but the rapid falls are just too unbelievable and there's absolutely no flow. It boils down to Chavo and Rey (which is what it should have been anyway). Rey hits a sunset flip, but Chavo sits down on him and grabs his father's hands for the three after ten minutes. Ten minutes and eight falls...nuh uh. **1/4

Brock Lesnar vs Goldberg

Oy. Last appearance for both men. Stone Cold Steve Austin is the special referee. Have pity on him, it's one thing to watch this match, but to be forced to do it standing up? That's just too much. The fans boo both guys, perhaps because they take about three minutes to lock up. Lots of staredowns and tie ups follow. FEEL THE WORKRATE. We finally get a bit of offense but it's incredibly slow. Say what you want about these two, but they're usually good at having some snap to their moves. Not so much here. Goldberg gets the spear and jackhammer on 14 minutes. Kind of entertaining if you don't take it seriously, but like Austin/Hall at WrestleMania 18 this was a serious feud at the time. Disappointing considering how much I was looking forward to this. I'll give it *1/2 for entertainment value.

Post match, Austin stuns both men out of the WWE, though if I'm not mistaken this would be his last appearance for a while too.

Vince McMahon comes out to thank the fans for the last twenty years. There were probably some old WCW fans in the crowd going "er...sure, don't mention it".

WWE Tag Team Titles, Scotty II Hottie and Rikishi vs. The World's Greatest Tag Team vs. The APA vs. The Bashams.

Okay if you're going to have two tag matches on the same show, do they have to be the exact same match? Can't one of them have a different stipulation? If Russo is booking, you have to pin them once, then make them submit, and then throw a table through them. Well it would've been more exciting than this, which was just as run of the mill as the Raw match. **

Jesse Ventura interviews Donald Trump. He asks him if he has The Donald's support in 2008 if he decides to run for the White House. Yeah this sure aged well.

WWE Women's Championship, Hair vs. Title: Victoria vs. Molly Holly.

If Molly loses she gets her head shaved. There's a barber chair waiting on the ramp. Yeah the winner of this is up in the air. The match is pretty good though, as these two were always decent wrestlers. Victoria wins with a backslide after 5 minutes. Short, but nicely paced. **1/2

After the match, Molly tries to run, but Victoria tracks her down, straps her in an armchair and shaves her head. How many barbers have you been to where they have straps on the chair?? No, seriously, let me know. So I can avoid going there.

WWE Championship: Eddie Guerrero vs Kurt Angle

This show is crying out for a great match. Fortunately these two are more than willing to provide it. The story of the match is Kurt doesn't think Eddie is a worthy champion because he's a former drug addict. Eddie is out to prove him wrong. They start with some great mat wrestling and counters. Eddie then misses a dive off the top rope and Angle dominates. The match gets a little one sided, but the last few minutes kicks it into high gear. Fantastic finish to the match as Eddie unties his boot, making Angle think his foot is hurt. This causes Angle to go for the ankle lock, and Eddie's boot flies off. The distraction allows Eddie to roll Kurt up for the win on 21 minutes. Great booking at the end, with Eddie playing on Angle's over reliance on the ankle lock. The match was great too, if a little one sided at times. ****1/4

The Undertaker vs Kane

Kane buried Taker alive because he became "one of us". A cynical smark? Undertaker returns in his deadman, kind of. He has the theme and entrance, but his attire is still biker like. Anyway the match sucks and was only here to showcase the returning Undertaker, who was still mighty over with the crowd but wouldn't be much good in the ring again for a couple of years. *1/4

World Heavyweight Title, Triple Threat: Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Benoit.

I would question why Shawn is in this match, but this is probably a rare example of where having an extra man probably helps the match rather than hinders it. When I first saw this match in full after hearing all the praise it got, I thought it was the most overrated thing ever. Watching it again though, I can see why it was so lauded. Incredible match that had everyone on the edge of their seats. The winner was obvious, but sometimes that can be a good thing. The story of a match sometimes isn't if someone will win, but how much adversity they have to go through before they win. All three men were on top of their game here, and while I don't think it quite deserves the full boat, it's probably the best triple threat match you're ever likely to see. ****3/4

After the match, in a sad moment in retrospect, Eddie Guerrero comes out to congratulate Chris and they hug in the ring and celebrate. That was difficult to watch considering what would happen later, which I won't go into here, but a great moment at the time.

People call this the best WrestleMania of all time. I won't go that far, but it's still an incredible event. The show had some ups and downs, but the ups were VERY er...up. The event started slow, hit a bright spot, then went slow for a while, but finished strongly. In that sense, it's similar to WrestleMania 19 and the opposite of WrestleMania 21, which started with a bang and ended with a whimper. You can argue if 19 is better than this show, but this show has much more historical importance and the matches had a much bigger long term effect. With the exception of the tag matches, every match had at least one element where you could say, "You should see this match because ________." There aren't many PPVs where you can say that.

Very high recommendation.

The Essential Michael Jackson
The Essential Michael Jackson
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £5.53

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compilation fit for a King., 21 Jun. 2011
Michael Jackson was, and still is, one of the most talked about personalities in the history of popular culture. From the moment he burst onto the scene with the Jackson 5, to his tragic death, he always had the ability to remain in the spotlight.

Whatever personal opinions of Michael Jackson are, one thing is hard to dispute; the man made some incredible music. If The Beatles pioneered popular music, Jackson reinvented it, and did so with a style and suave that many have imitated, but none have even come close to matching.

This double CD is an appreciation of his work, with his most famous and well received tracks included. I figured I'd give a quick summary of each song complete with a rating (hey I review wrestling shows, it's in my nature)

CD 1

1. I Want You Back - The first big breakout song for Michael, and one of the Jackson 5's best. ****

2. ABC - Perhaps the Jackson 5's most iconic song. Simplistic but lots of fun. ***1/2

3. The Love You Save - A pretty underrated track. Not as good as the previous two, but still good. ***

4. Got To Be There - A nice little song, but not one of my favourites, and not particularly memorable. **1/2

5. Rockin Robin - Another classic that's been covered many times. The Jackson cover is probably my favourite though. ***1/2

6. Ben - One of young MJ's most acclaimed songs, but personally I've never thought it was that great. **3/4

7. Blame it on the Boogie - Probably THE Jackson 5 song, a great song with a great tempo. ****

8. Shake Your Body - Another underrated gem. ***3/4

9. Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough - The signature track from Off The Wall, and one of Jackson's most iconic songs. ****

10. Off The Wall - Was never a big fan of this, but it has grown on me somewhat recently. Not one of the best though. ***1/2

11. Rock With You - One of my favourite Jackson songs. I love the tempo to the song and it works incredibly well. ****1/4

12. She's Out Of My Life - And from the awesome to the...not. It's not a bad song, just a little bland for my taste. **1/2

13. Can You Feel It - Probably my favourite Jackson 5 song, and one of the most well known songs of all time. ****

14. The Girl Is Mine - You wouldn't think Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney teaming up would be so uninspiring, but it kind of is. Say Say Say was much better. **1/4

15. Billie Jean - One of the absolute greatest songs of all time, and the song that made Jackson a worldwide star. *****

16. Beat It - Probably my second favourite MJ song. Not as good as Billie Jean technically, but I personally prefer it. ****3/4

17. Wanna Be Starting Something - Another classic from Thriller. Somewhat overlooked sometimes, but still great. ****

18. Human Nature - Nothing particularly special, but another fine song. Decent change of pace after the previous three songs. ***1/2

19. PYT - Never cared much for this one. Good song no doubt, but nothing about it makes me admire it. ***

20. I Just Can't Stop Loving You - I used to love this when I first heard it, now I'm not as keen. Still good though ***

21. Thriller - THE Michael Jackson song. Probably also the biggest song of all time. Not MJ's best ever, but damn incredible. ****1/2

CD 2

1. Bad - This song would probably suck if someone other than Michael was singing it, but he somehow makes it work. ****

2. The Way You Make Me Feel - A pop love song done right. Modern day boy bands should take note here. ****

3. Man In The Mirror - Probably Michael's best slow song, full of emotion and plenty of meaning. ****1/4

4. Dirty Diana - Another great song from Bad, my personal favourite MJ album. ***3/4

5. Another Part Of Me - Doesn't match the heights of previous songs, but still holds its own quite well. ***1/2

6. Smooth Criminal - My absolute favourite Michael Jackson song. Something about it just makes me want to get up and dance everytime I hear it. Timeless. *****

7. Leave Me Alone - This one is okay. I thought the idea was kind of silly, but the song is pretty good. ***1/4

8. Black Or White - One of Michael's more famous songs. I do think it's a little overrated, but still very good. ***3/4

9. Remember The Time - This one gets overlooked somewhat, but it doesn't do much to stand out from the crowd. ***1/4

10. In The Closest - Never cared for this much either. Run of the mill. ***

11. Who Is It - Almost the same as above. ***

12. Heal The World - Another good slow song with a nice message. Not as good as MITM, but still good. ***1/2

13. Will You Be There - Probably more famous for being in Free Willy than anything. Nothing particularly special. **3/4

14. You Are Not Alone - Probably my least favourite song on the entire collection. Yes really. I know people like this song, but it does nothing for me. I like the message, but never cared for the song. **

15. Earth Song - A lot of people aren't keen on this song, but I think it's alright. Not a fan of the length though. ***

16. They Don't Care About Us - Meh, not bad. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of passion in the lyrics though. **3/4

17. You Rock My World - Well at least we go out on a high. Pretty darn good, if not up to the quality of other signature songs. ***3/4

Phew! So there we go. I know it may seem odd doing star ratings for songs, because songs are totally subjective, but these are just an indication of how much I like each song. My ratings are totally my opinion, and I'm sure people will disagree. As for the track listing, on the whole it's pretty good. I could have done without The Girl Is Mine and In The Closet, and it's disappointing that Jam wasn't included, but overall it's a perfect portrayal of Michael's career.

Michael was certainly one of a kind in music. After starting out in the business moderately, he exploded with great song after great song, before losing some of his spark later on and almost going into autopilot by the end. Make no mistake though, he's responsible for some of the most well known and beloved songs of all time, and whether you like him or not, his legacy will certainly live on.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 17, 2012 11:13 AM GMT

Sonic Colours (Nintendo Wii)
Sonic Colours (Nintendo Wii)
Offered by APE-GAMES
Price: £17.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good to have you back, Sonic, 1 Jun. 2011
We all know the story of Sonic the Hedgehog. Introduced by Sega in the early 90's as a counter to Nintendo's Mario, the blue blur wowed audiences young and old with his exhilarating speed, great gameplay and inventive level design.

I know it's custom for people to think the old Sonic games were great and the new ones suck, and whilst I do find enjoyment in some of the newer games, they DO have some problems. Unleashed suffered from too much Werehog. Heroes was often too buggy and the team gimmick just felt forced. Sonic 06...well the less said the better. Even Sonic Adventure 2, a game most fans love, was bogged down by too much emphasis on other characters and appalling treasure hunt levels.

So after over ten years and several attempts, have Sega finally created a game truly worthy of the Sonic name? Why yes, yes they have.

In my opinion, this is the best Sonic game since the original Sonic Adventure on the Dreamcast. Even then, this game fixes some problems that game had (though there are problems in this game not present in Adventure). The first of these is the fact this is a Sonic game, and so you PLAY AS SONIC. No Knuckles, no Shadow, no Amy, no...Big the Cat. Tails makes an appearance, but only as part of the story and not a playable character. This is a huge improvement, as the emphasis is on Sonic blitzing through levels at top speed, and not worrying about finding Emerald shards, blowing up robots or using psychic powers (shudder).

This isn't the first Sonic game recently to only have Sonic as a playable character though. That was also the case in Secret Rings and Unleashed (kind of). He was also the main focus in Black Knight with the other characters playing mainly the same just with minor roles. Those games however suffered from other problems, be it a poor gimmick, awkward gameplay or unfair traps and difficulty. Sonic Colours, on the whole, provides no such problems. There are a couple of instances where you may get frustrated, but that will mostly come down to you sucking, as the difficulty is fair yet poses a challenge, whilst the gameplay is tight and lots of fun.

The special gimmick for this game is the Wisps. These basically give Sonic super powers such as a laser, drill, rocket, and FRENZYYYYYYYYY, among others. These are a great addition to the game because they add an extra dimension to the experience, but not to the extent where it ruins the experience. The Wisps are used sporadically and only to add to the gameplay, not change it. Think of them as the equivalent to the fire flower or cloud suit in Mario games. They're not an integral, major part of the game like the Werehog or the sword from Black Knight, and the focus is still on Sonic and the speed.

The plot is simplistic and basic, which is all it needs to be really. After the ridiculousness of 06 it's nice to see Sonic games reverting back to a more light hearted, fun tone. The dialogue is beyond cheesy, sometimes unbearably so, but give me that over Shadow worrying about his penis size any day of the week.

Overall, Sonic Colours is the Sonic game that fans have been waiting for, and the game the Sega mascot deserves. It isn't perfect; double jumping can be awkward at times and it still suffers from some occasional fiendish traps, but it's as good as anyone could expect. I don't think a lot of Sonic games are as bad as people make them out to be, but there's no doubt surely we can all agree, this is the best Sonic game for quite a while.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 17, 2012 11:10 AM GMT

Harry Potter And The  Deathly Hallows Part 1 [DVD]
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Daniel Radcliffe
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £9.48

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars YAWN!, 1 Jun. 2011
My feelings on the Harry Potter films should be pretty clear by now. I really like 1, love 2 and 3, can't stand 4 and think 5 and 6 are just okay. So naturally, I just HAD to watch the final film. Sorry, final TWO films because they apparently couldn't fit the events of the book, which isn't even the longest in the series, into one movie.

This is where the first problem arrives. With them splitting into two films, there's simply just TOO MUCH filler. It's amazing how the characters in this film do so much yet at the same time manage to do so little. If you want to spend half an hour watching Harry, Ron and Hermionie walking through fields, this is the film for you. If you want to see a stupid dance scene take up a good five minutes of your time, voila! This film is perfect for you. It's a shame because what exciting scenes there are, they're actually done quite well for the most part. The chase scene at the start is pretty well done, but the fact it was preceeded by the "comedy" of there being multiple Harrys and everyone getting confused makes it hard for me to appreciate it.

The film is just boring, to put it bluntly. Even in the weaker films there was stuff happening and in the end it all led to a logical conclusion. Here it's just a mixture of plodding, awkward dialogue that goes nowhere and the occasional action scene. The scene in Gringotts where they attempt to retrieve the locket from Umbridge could have easily taken about 5 minutes, instead it seems to go on for about 15.

The entire film is basically a mousehunt, where the heroes spend the entire film looking for items or clues and usually never getting anywhere. Sure they went looking for items and clues in other films, but not for the ENTIRE FILM. Plus in the other films, Harry would usually find a problem or situation through sheer chance, or said problem working their way towards him. Here, they set off to find one thing, and it either only leads them to another item or they end up finding nothing at all.

As with some of the later films, my main problem with the film is it never feels like a Harry Potter film. Those other points I complained about I wouldn't mind so much if it was a true action film or cat and mouse chase ala Die Hard with a Vengeance, but this is a HARRY POTTER film for crying out loud. Where's the sense of wonder and charm? Where's the bleak but beautiful atmosphere? All the magic has totally been sucked out of the film and replaced with generic tones and tropes. What I loved about Harry Potter was it was unique. Where else would you find someone fighting a Basilisk or riding a Hippogriff? That was really cool, but here it just feels like your everyday suspense film with wands instead of guns.

It's not all bad though of course. As I said some action scenes work pretty well, and the special effects are amazing. The acting is passable too, despite the hokey dialogue. The chemistry between the three protagonists is improved on previous films, probably due to them spending more screen time together, but doesn't match up to the earlier films. I do like how the focus is on the main three characters though, and the pointless side characters are kept to a minimum.

These factors though just can't redeem the negative aspects of the film, and as such it just feels like a typical Hollywood product rather than an ambitious film in its own right. I'm still not sure if it's the worst in the series, but even the worst parts of the other films still have some appeal due to how laughably bad they are. This installment, sadly, was the first in the series that nearly put me to sleep, and with a bad script, boring characters and forgettable scenes, it's not hard to see why.

By the way, when did Dobby become like the nation's hero? He was in like two films! And I know he was in the books a lot, but it's not like he contributed much.

WWE - WrestleMania XIX - March 30, 2003 [DVD]
WWE - WrestleMania XIX - March 30, 2003 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Wwe

5.0 out of 5 stars An underrated classic, 1 Jun. 2011
When you discuss or debate all the best WrestleManias, the usual suspects usually crop up. WrestleMania 3, WrestleMania 17, WrestleMania 20 (*cough*). A lot of the time however, WrestleMania 19 seems to get overlooked; which is a shame, as it stands right up there with some of the very best.

But don't just take my word for it, let's take a look at this baby.

Seattle Washington is the venue this year, and that entrance ramp is damn long. Good thing The Undertaker is in his biker gimmick here or his entrance would take all night.

Cruiserweight Title: Matt Hardy vs Rey Mysterio
Your Matt facts for tonight are: Matt is appearing at his 4th WrestleMania, and Matt often wonders how they did WrestleMania without him. I'm sure they just got lucky. Rey is in his Daredevil outfit tonight...I think. Disappointingly short match here and they just went through the motions before the finish. Rey goes for a victory roll but Matt reverses into a pin and grabs the bottom rope for leverage. Matt retains about 5 minutes in. This could have been given 5 more minutes and at least another *, but there was absolutely nothing on the show they could have cut out to give them that time (sarcasm). *1/2

Speaking of which, the Miller Lite catfight girls arrive. Oh you just know they're gonna steal the show.

Handicap Match: The Undertaker vs The Big Show and A Train
Nathan Jones (remember him? No me neither) was supposed to be Taker's partner, but he got assaulted on Heat and is injured. Apparently injured is code for "sucking too much", and if that's the case this match will be on the shelf for years. Limp Bizkit play Taker down with "Rollin", which was nice to hear again even if it stopped being cool about 2 years prior. This goes pretty much how you'd expect: the big guys beat up Taker, Taker gets a few crowd popping moves, rinse and repeat. The finish comes when Nathan Jones comes out (apparently not injured anymore) and lays out Big Show with a spinning kick and A Train with a big boot. Tombstone by Taker and we're out at about 9:40. So THIS got nearly ten minutes but the previous match didn't. Go figure. 1/2*

The catfight girls meet up with Stacy Keibler (drool) and Torrie Wilson (also drool).

Women's Title: Victoria vs Trish Stratus (also also drool) vs Jazz
Victoria has that Tatu song as her music, which actually suits her pretty well. I also remember hating that song but really liking the music video, reason. Hey look, three women who can actually WRESTLE! Compare that with the WWE today...actually don't, it's too depressing. Much better match than last year's triple threat due to the position on the card, as well as having Victoria in there instead of Lita. Trish had improved a lot in a year too, and she gets the win with the Chick Kick on 7 minutes. No complaints here. **

Jonathon Coachman is with The Rock, who says he couldn't care less about the people, and will fulfil his destiny by finally beating Steve Austin at WrestleMania (or at all really). Typically great interview by The Rock, proving he can do serious storytelling as well as comedy.

Tag Team Titles: Team Angle vs Los Guerreros vs Chris Benoit and Rhyno
With Edge being injured, Mysterio being partnerless and Angle being plain awesome, the Smackdown Six had long deteriorated at this point. This is another match that suffers from not enough time, as with six guys in there and only about 9 minutes to work with, there's little opportunity to make much happen. All six guys basically run through their usual stuff on each other before the inevitable "all hell breaks loose" finish. Rhyno hits Chavo with the gore, allowing Shelton to cover him whilst Rhyno is brawling with Eddie on the outside. The match was fine considering what they had to work with, but these guys aren't the Smackdown Six (well three of them are, but you get my point). **1/2

More catfight girls shenanigans. This time, they argue over who made WrestleMania; Vince McMahon or Hulk Hogan. Mr T should've walked in and said "THEY ONLY WATCHED COZ OF ME, FOO'S!"

...Or maybe that's just me?

Chris Jericho vs Shawn Michaels
Now we're talking. Going back and watching this one after their excellent 2008 feud, I was skeptical as to whether it would hold up. As it turns out, as great as their 08 matches were, this is still probably their best WRESTLING match. It was a simple premise going in; Jericho wanted to prove he was better than "the next Shawn Michaels" and Michaels wanted to prove he could still go on the big stage. It's a terrific match, but it was missing an intensity and drama that one off matches always lack. This was highlighted in their 2008 feud as they were actually given several months (and matches) to develop their characters and build a believable, hate filled rivalry. That kind of storytelling is what was missing in this match, and as such it's just a great match but nothing more. **** Afterwards, Jericho kicks Shawn right in the nuts.

We get a promo for Goldberg. Boy, that can't miss!

Official attendance: 54,097. To celebrate we get another song from Limp Bizkit, this time performing Crack Addict (the official theme song of the show). I can just imagine all the kids watching and wondering what crack is. I should know, I was one of them at the time.

And just because that last match we had was so good we need to have MORE filler crap to compensate. Now it's time for the catfight. A bunch of stuff happens, Stacy and Torrie get involved, Coach...gets stripped. Yeah, didn't need to see that. 1/4*

World Heavyweight Title: Triple H vs Booker T
Ah yes, this old favourite. Basically going into this match, Hunter stated that Booker's "type of people" aren't good enough to be World Champion, essentially bringing racism into a match that didn't need it. There's nothing wrong with the match, it's actually pretty damn good with some great psychology and effort, but if you bring racism into a match, then Booker T simply HAS to win. Otherwise it just makes it seem like Triple H was right in what he said. Maybe Booker wasn't the man to carry the company, but losing in the way he did (getting pinned by the Pedigree about 30 seconds after Triple H hit it) and in the context of the storyline, this just left a bitter taste in everyone's mouth. It's a good match, with some absolutely hilarious back and forth commentary between J.R and Jerry Lawler, but it's hard for me to go above ***

Recap of the McMahon/Hogan rivalry. I never cared for this at the time, but that was because I had no idea of the real life problems the two had. Looking back, Vince actually had good reasoning for his actions in the storyline, making the kayfabe feud that much better.

Street Fight: Hulk Hogan vs Vince McMahon
Vince has vowed to kill Hulkamania, and if Hogan loses he must retire. Sure, like Mick Foley did at NWO 2000. The basic story of the match is Vince is convinced he created Hulkamania and Hogan was an ungrateful so and so and jumped to WCW and almost put Vince out of business, so Vince wants his revenge. Just who is the heel here again? I was expecting a car wreck of a match, and it kind of is, but in a good way. Neither of these guys are the best wrestlers, but they both damn sure know how to tell a story and evoke a crowd reaction. Say what you want about Vince McMahon as a promoter and booker or whatever, but as a performer many of his employees could learn a lot from him. That shot of him peering into the ring with a satanic look with his face covered in blood is so over the top it's hilarious. Hogan gets the win with three leg drops about 18 minutes in. Sure it's a bad match, but apart from the beginning part it's never boring and the crowd is totally immersed in the match. Much like at 17 with Shane, Vince leads by example on the biggest show of the year. It's probably about ** content wise, but the drama and entertainment brings it up to ***

The Rock vs Stone Cold Steve Austin
I love how the rivalry of these two at WrestleMania has practically come full circle. At WM15, Austin was the top star and Rock wasn't yet on his level. Then, at WM 17 they were pretty much neck and neck and Austin needed Vince's help to win. Now, at WM19 Austin is broken down and Rock is the one more likely to win. You could argue this match tells as good a story as their WM17 match...but probably not.

Austin was in hospital the night before, so no way in hell can he go all out, allowing Rock to carry the match before they hit the finishers. Austin hits the Rock Bottom, Rock hits the Stunner, Austin hits the Stunner, Rock hits the People's Elbow. The match is essentially a series of finishers, but that makes sense in the story as Austin is incapable of hitting anything risky or high impact so just tries to finish The Rock off with his tried and true, and Rock is desperate to beat Austin that he'll use the best moves he has. Austin finally goes down after three Rock Bottoms on about 18 minutes. Afterwards, Rock tells Austin he loves him as Austin makes the long walk for the very last time.

As someone who loves both guys, and their rivalry, this was the ultimate closure. Rock finally got the big one over his nemesis Austin, and Austin went out fighting, before finishing his last match the way everyone should: flat on his back looking up at the lights. Considering I watched both these guys growing up, this truly felt like the end of an era, and it was a fitting end. Not as good as their 17 match, but probably better than their 15 match. ***3/4

I'd recommend watching The Mania of WrestleMania short film for the full story behind the match. You can find it on the extras of the WrestleMania 20 DVD, and it's pretty awesome stuff.

WWE Title: Kurt Angle vs Brock Lesnar
If anyone interferes or if Angle is DQ'd, he loses the title. As far as I'm concerned ALL Mania main events should have that stipulation, especially if the heel is the champion. At WrestleMania 17 it was fine because it led to a logical finish and because McMahon wasn't associated with either guy prior to the show. Anywho you know this match is gonna kick ass, and it does. The problem I have with it is I never bought the idea of Lesnar being an underdog. I know he had bad ribs, but this is the guy who spent a year destroying people left right and centre, is Kurt Angle really too much of a mountain to climb? I know Team Angle helped him out, but he practically destroyed the Hardy Boys by just breathing on them.

They should've had Brock totally dominate Angle for the beginning period, only for him to make a rookie mistake and have Angle pick his spots and target Brock whilst still allowing him to hit his power moves. The powerful but inexperienced rookie vs the overmatched but wily veteran would have been a better story than "oh he's strong, but his ribs hurt a bit so Angle should dominate", but that's just my view. This is the infamous match where Brock nearly kills himself by going for a shooting star press and landing on his neck. I understand going for an epic WrestleMania moment, but my God that was hard to watch. Also; injured ribs?

I know it sounds like I'm ripping on the match, but I do think it's a really good match. I just think portraying Lesnar as an underdog because of an injury, rather than lack of experience, is a mistake. People will probably disagree and that's fine, but I did personally prefer their matches where the face/heel roles were reversed and Angle was the underdog but would outsmart the dominating Lesnar with his veteran instincts. As it is, just like Michaels and Jericho, it's just a really good match. ****

Final Thoughts: So two matches reached four stars, with another three clocking three stars or higher. That sounds like a damn fine night's work to me. I think the main problem with this show is it was during a stagnant time for the WWE, where things weren't particularly good for them before this show and would only get worse afterwards. Therefore, it's not regarded as highly. Another problem is sometimes the matches, even the good ones, don't feel like they carry much weight or meaning. The Shawn/Jericho rivalry never really went anywhere after this, Austin wouldn't wrestle again after this and Rock would leave entirely soon after.

The only feud that really went further was Hogan and McMahon and even that was done in a way that didn't link to this show. The Brock/Angle feud was unfortunate as Angle got hurt, and when he came back the momentum of their rivalry was gone, so it didn't make their Mania match seem as important. Many of these matches just seem like "one off" matches where none of them linked to anything long term, and I think that's a main reason why the show isn't revered as much as others. Despite that, judging the show on its own merit, and not as part of a bigger picture, it's definitely in my top 5 WrestleManias of all time.

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (GameCube)
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (GameCube)

5.0 out of 5 stars Magical, 27 Feb. 2011
Remember when Wind Waker was first shown to the public? That caused quite a bit of a stir didn't it? Not that I'm here to condemn those people or anything, because I was one of them. Not only was I shocked and alarmed, but for the first time in my life I began to doubt the great Nintendo.

Never have I been so glad to have been proved wrong.

There's far more to Wind Waker than meets the eye, which is ironic really, because I could just look at this game all day. It's one of the most, if not the most beautiful games I've ever seen. Sure, games have looked better, but few, if any have managed to capture such a breathtaking art style and create such an unforgettable world.

As I said though, Wind Waker is much more than just a pretty face. Yes, it starts fairly slow, and at first the plot seems wafer thin (saving my sister? U srs bro?) but as the story develops, it's impossible to look away. You want to finish the game as soon as possible, yet at the same time you can't help but marvel at the world around you. There's plenty to do on the vast, VAST ocean. The sidequests aren't up to the level of Majora's Mask, but that doesn't make them any less fun and rewarding.

Truth be told, this would be my favourite Zelda game. It isn't though, for two reasons. One; its difficulty. The game is far too simple, even for a Zelda game, and rarely if ever do you feel challenged or on the edge of your seat (gameplay wise). Second, and most important; the infamous Triforce shard collecting. It's been discussed many times, but it's impossible to ignore. It's incredibly tedious, and the inclusion of one or two more temples would have been a far better alternative.

That aside, the game is a technical marvel, and looks and plays as such. It's a fitting entry into the Zelda sequel, and proof that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover.

Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire [DVD] [2005]
Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire [DVD] [2005]
Dvd ~ Eric Sykes
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.49

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A little irrational, but not without my reasons, 27 Feb. 2011
I dislike this film, immensely. There are many reasons why, some of them people will disagree with, and some probably won't even make sense, but I'll try my best to explain. After the Prisoner of Azkaban gave us a stellar film with a dark, edgy plot combined with what made Harry Potter so great, I expected good things from Goblet of Fire.

Well...the effects are nice at least.

I don't even know where to begin. I dislike the overblown plot that is likely to confuse most (I've read the book and it still confuses me). I dislike the focus on epic action scenes and trying to be "cool" rather than maintaining what made the series unique. I dislike the attempts of "humour", especially during the Yule Ball scenes (honestly, if you can fight a fire breathing dragon, you can ask a girl on a date...not that I would know or anything). Speaking of the Yule Ball, when it turned into a RUDDY MOSH PIT I almost walked out of the cinema. A mosh pit??? SERIOUSLY??? Moving on, I dislike the unpleasant, dreary tone EVERYWHERE. Seriously, it was in Azkaban, but only when neccessary, as many other scenes looked quite beautiful. Here though, it's as if the colour has been entirely sucked out of the movie, and it would only get worse.

Most of all though, the acting. Good lord is it bad. NOBODY really shines here. Even the usually dependable Emma Watson, who stole the show in Azkaban (forget to mention the acting in that review sorry) just falls flat. Watch the scene where Ron asks Hermione to deliver a message to Harry. The awkwardness is there for all to see. Remember when those three HAD chemistry? When they cared more about being actors than movie stars? Worst of all though, is when Harry finds out Ron didn't tell him about the dragons he must face. If your so called best friend stabbed you in the back, you'd be pretty angry right? Harry's response: "You're a right foul git you know that!". My. God. Both the writing and the delivery are hilariously bad.

That's the best way I can describe this movie. I detest it, but I do get a kind of pleasure watching it, if in a perverse way. It's one of those "so bad it's good" kind of way, where others in the series are just plain boring. This would make it somewhat entertaining, if not for the fact it sucks the life out of what made the series so enjoyable, fun and unique, and instead is just an average fantasy/action film with Robert Pattinson (and the less said about HIM the better).
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 27, 2012 12:04 AM BST

Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban [DVD] [2004]
Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban [DVD] [2004]
Dvd ~ Daniel Radcliffe
Offered by Todays Great Deal
Price: £2.24

5.0 out of 5 stars Harry Potter grows up, 27 Feb. 2011
After the success of the first two films, it seemed inevitable that the third wouldn't be far behind. After all, the Harry Potter craze was EVERYWHERE at the time. Fortunately though, the guys behind the third film, Prisoner of Azkaban, did something very clever; they made us wait. They didn't rush the film out to be released for the Winter season. They took their time, polished it and made it into a better product. Needless to say, it was worth the wait.

Objectively, Prisoner of Azkaban is probably the best film in the series. It's hard for me to explain why, I just think everything works. The moody tone, the dense atmosphere and tension in the air makes it seem very different to the previous two films. Ironically, they didn't stop making it different to the first two films, to the point where they stopped being enjoyable. Here though, it just works. Maybe because they never go too over the top, maybe because they still realize it's still a Harry Potter film at heart, maybe this was as dark as it could get before it stopped feeling like that world we came to know and love.

As I say, it's difficult for me to put into words why I love this film so much yet don't have the same love for the others after it. I guess at the end of the day it comes down to one thing: opinion. In my opinion, the dreary tone and atmosphere here works far better than 4-6 (haven't seen 7 yet, but I hear it's more of the same). I think the plot was still interesting and gripping enough here than in what followed to give it that edge. People may disagree, but I believe this is the last film to truly be a genuine unique Harry Potter experience, rather than your everyday Hollywood Blockbuster. The first two films feature lots of charm and are relatively light on plot, whereas 4-6 has lots of plot but barely any charm. Prisoner of Azkaban gives you the best of both worlds. It's probably the highlight of the series film wise, though not my favorite (I prefer Chamber of Secrets' mixture of grittiness and charm) and strikes the perfect balance between a stylish atmosphere and plot, with the wonder and magic that made us fall in love with the films in the first place.

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