Profile for Mark J. L. Mariassy > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Mark J. L. Mar...
Top Reviewer Ranking: 369,280
Helpful Votes: 74

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Mark J. L. Mariassy "BFG" (Bristol, England)
(REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3
pixel
Samsung UE32EH5000 32-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p LED TV with Freeview HD  (discontinued by manufacturer)
Samsung UE32EH5000 32-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p LED TV with Freeview HD (discontinued by manufacturer)
Offered by Let's GO digital
Price: 279.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for the money - but you have to work for it!, 2 April 2013
Equipment: Used with 5 year old DVD player and similarly aged V+ Virgin Media cable TV box

Context: First HD/LCD/Flat screen TV (replacing CRT TV).

Summary: In a perfect world I would have gone for a bigger size and had more money to spend :), but in the absence of a perfect world I wanted to get the best I could with what I had and this set fits that bill.

Why I chose this TV

The above statement is based on my happiness and assessment of what this set does compared to what my expectations were, it's not based on a side by side comparison of all budget 32 inch sets currently on the market. Having said that, my (internet) research was pretty exhaustive and the number of reviews stating that this it is amazing what this set accomplishes for the money are numerous. Trusted Reviews, HDTV Test, AV Forum, CNet, all saying pretty much the same thing. The only exception I could find was a review by WhatHiFi who thought that a Finlux 32 inch TV was better. I went with the majority view for 2 reasons; 1 - I'd heard of Samsung, not Finlux. 2 - the other reviews seemed to back up their opinions with output from some pretty technical testing.

Potential Issues to be aware of

Connections: Only 2 HDMI ports. Fine for me, but for those needing/wanting to connect their games console or anything else via HDMI, it will be an issue.

Depth of set: 9.5 cm deep (apparently big by flat screen standards). Not an issue for me, coming from a CRT which have rear ends measured in feet not cm! :). The way the connections are positioned makes wall mounting potentially a challenge, but I use it on its stand so again, no issues.

Viewing Angle: To see this screen at its best, you really do need to be sitting directly in front of it, with the screen more or less at eye level. For example, when looking down at the TV from a standing position, the picture will not look quite as good.

Settings: Default settings are not going to show this TV at its best. Far from it. Don't ask me why this is. This is my first LCD/Flat screen, but it seems to be the general case. I find this a complete mystery! Surely it's in their best interest to make sure people get the best picture so they can rave about it?

How to get the best from this TV

TV Adjustment: Set Picture Mode to `Movie'. This will appear too dark because the setting it's been moved from will have been overblown in all sorts of ways, but it'll give you a much better picture and a good starting point to get an even better one. Look on the internet for other recommended adjustments to improve the picture (like here: [...]) and then finish it off by using some sort of calibration self-help like the one they have on THX certified discs.

Connections: Use HDMI connections if at all possible. I haven't even got to Blueray yet, but even my DVD player produces a stunning picture connected via HDMI.

Sound: Sound, like picture is actually much better than you would think, given what it sounds like initially. How you change it is a matter of taste, but personally, rather than set it to a particular `mode' I have kept it on `Standard' and just used the Equaliser option to adjust the various frequencies.


Spider-Man 3 (2-Disc Edition) [DVD] [2007]
Spider-Man 3 (2-Disc Edition) [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Tobey Maguire
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: 2.70

3.0 out of 5 stars We know it's a bit of a missfire, but will we ever know why?, 11 Nov 2012
With his accomplishments so far, especially with the triumph that was 2, Sam Raimi showed that he GOT Spiderman, he GOT Peter Parker and he GOT what was required for a superhero movie to work. It is odd therefore how things just don't work for this instalment. Others have referred to the fact that too much was going on and it is true, but it's more than that.
For one, Peter Parker is really not that likeable for a large part of this movie. Significantly, pretty much from the very beginning he is obnoxious and self absorbed (way before he comes into contact with the black costume), meaning we're not really that on-board to care enough about the trials he then goes through.
The effect of the alien costume on Peter is not well handled. It's rushed and does not really come off. It should have been more subtle and subversive and a battle not only between Peter and the addiction to the power the suit gave him but between Peter's wishes and the growing wishes of the alien. What comes off in the film a lot of the time is that it turns Peter into more of a Jerk, but with a shorter temper.
The sandman's presence too is misjudged. In some respects he's well realised (certainly as a special effect) but overall his impact/contribution is questionable. Apart one battle in the subway, he spends most of his time as a huge roaring monster and becomes an `it' rather than a character, making him less interesting. When he IS a character he's revealed from the very beginning to actually be a somewhat sympathetic remorseful guy, which makes his use as a `villain' all the more problematic. If his presence was going to work at all it would have been better if the reveal of his motivations and ultimately sympathetic character would have come towards the end, i.e. we learn at the same time as Peter does.
Venom had the potential to be a great antagonist, but it needed to be developed over time. He is not only a physical threat to Spiderman, but has the ability and inclination to play with/torture Peter Parker psychologically and as a result be quite scary in a way few others can. Shoe-horning him into the final act turns him into a chronically under-used add-on.
The bits that work? The things that are not `new' to this third instalment, namely the dynamics between Harry, MJ and Peter (when he's not being a jerk) and Aunt May acting as Peter's moral centre.
If it were me, I would have had Spiderman 3 as a movie where Peter encounters the alien and adopts it as his costume and we see the effects it has on him (and his world) over the course of the movie, while at the same time trying to deal with/contain the whole `Harry' problem and the rise of Eddy Brock. I would have had the end of 3 being the removal of the alien from Peter and it's seeming death, only to bond with Eddy Brock and become for Venom to become the protagonist in a 4th movie.
So there you have it. That's the `what' (IMHO of course). What I (or anyone) don't know is the `why'....


Amazing Spider-Man by JMS Ultimate Collection Vol. 5 (Amazing Spider-Man Collection (Marvel))
Amazing Spider-Man by JMS Ultimate Collection Vol. 5 (Amazing Spider-Man Collection (Marvel))
by J. Michael Straczynski
Edition: Paperback
Price: 25.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Disaster of their own making...., 31 Dec 2011
Many strong things have been said about this volume and sxpecifically, it's ending, so here's my take...
While the end result is an unbelievable let down and slap in the face, the writing itself is not as bad as it seems. Now let me qualify that. I hate what Joe Quesada made happen, but JMS did all he could with it and there are some beautiful emotional touches. Had the ending changed and Aunt May had died, believe me, you would be reading some totally different reviews.
Even before that doomed segment of the story, the rest of the volume is not bad. No it does not reach the heights of volumes 1 and 2, but it's better than volume 4 in that it's much less of a mess.
My final thoughts? I have two.
1. We can only imagine what the end result would have been like if JMS was left completely alone to do with what he willed with no interferance.
2. The irony of ironies is this. Joe Quesada's main argument for the whole 'Brand New Day' thing was to take Spiderman back to the essence of what he was, because he had 'drifted away' from what made him a great character. BUT the thing is, 99.9% of that 'drifting' had actually happened under Joe Quesada's watch in the first place; Becoming an avenger, the metamorphosis etc. It was a crass solution to something that HE had created!


Amazing Spider-Man By JMS Ultimate Collection Book 4 TPB (Graphic Novel Pb)
Amazing Spider-Man By JMS Ultimate Collection Book 4 TPB (Graphic Novel Pb)
by J. Michael Straczynski
Edition: Paperback
Price: 25.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Too many cooks...., 31 Dec 2011
This feels like it's all over the place and a glance at the first page (listing the contributors) tells you why. It's a hotchpotch of lots of different people and in comics that is never a good thing.
As well as that, you definately get the feeling that JMS is having to comply to and work with 'Editatorial Decisions' which dilutes things further.
The general principal of Spiderman as an Avenger never really worked for me. Rather than a cohesive narative, things just feel like they're happening to get Spiderman (as a character) from where he is to a particular point by a particular time. Not just rushed, but actually sloppy; Morlun reappears (aparently back from the dead) with no explanation, We're never told what's wrong with Peter or even why there's anything wrong at all and while Peter's transformation could have arguably been seen as a naturally progressive evolution of the character given time and no interference, here the whole thing feels almost redundant. Post transformations the storey aludes to some big showdown, but this never actually happens.
Basically, you get to the end and you wonder what it was all for and what it was meant to accomplish. In fact, plot holes, lose ends and a lack of explanations abound so much that in the next volume there is a very obvious and knowing in-joke which directly references to one of them. In the entirety of the Spiderman cannon, there are undoubtedly entries that are worse than this one, but in the context of the whole JMS run on Spiderman this is the low point. I know what you're thinking, but for me volume 5 is actually slightly better than this one.


The Complete Calvin and Hobbes: v. 1, 2, 3 (Calvin & Hobbes)
The Complete Calvin and Hobbes: v. 1, 2, 3 (Calvin & Hobbes)
by Bill Watterson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 78.00

5.0 out of 5 stars If you're a fan, there is NOTHING finer, 2 Aug 2010
I got this for my birthday. Okay so at the time of writing this is priced at 50 and it may seem like a hefty price tag, but believe me it's worth it. This is EVERYTHING, every single cartoon, and if you're like me then that's an awful lot more of Calvin and Hobbs than I thought existed.
We are talking 3 huge, very heavy hardback bound volumes setting out all the cartoons in chronological order. It'll take a good long while to read (my birthday was a month ago and I've only just started volume 2) and is a gift that will be savoured as a result.
No regrets


Soulful House Experience
Soulful House Experience
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 29.95

3.0 out of 5 stars Good, if not great, 1 Aug 2010
At it's very best gospel/soulful house music transports me to the throneroom of God. It may sound preposterous, but it's that profound, and also that simple.

For whatever reason, this disc did not do that for me. Playing it through there were only a couple of tracks that, once they came to the end, I flipped the button to play them again. The rest just went by. Not terrible (in that none were so boring or plodding that I had to flip to the next track) but also not amazing.


Amazing Spider-Man Volume 2: Revelations TPB
Amazing Spider-Man Volume 2: Revelations TPB
by J. Michael Straczynski
Edition: Paperback

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The 9/11 bit does not work, but the rst of it is pure gold., 1 Aug 2010
There are 2 sections to this book, a reponse to the 9/11 tragedy and the continuation of the storey begun in the previous volume.

The 9/11 storey is not and never was part of the overall storey and arguabley should not really be included here as such, but on the other hand this is also a collection of the monthly spiderman comics and as such it appears where it does.

For me, the main reason why the 9/11 storey does not work is because of the depiction of well known super-villians being affected in the same way as the heroes and everyone else. Regardless of your fealings on the depiction itself, as a piece of writing it's flawed because it is entirely inconsistant with the characters of the villians themselves, as documented by volume apon volume of tales of them attempting and doing numerous despicable things. Had the villains not been included then I may have felt different about it, certainly Spidey's though processes on approaching the scene and reaction to it felt in keeping with character.

The bit of the book that is part of the original overall storey arc is fabulous and it does not matter how bad you may think the first section is, it cannot be bad enough to cancel out the quality of the second half.


Incredible Hulk Volume 2: Boiling Point TPB: Boiling Point v. 2 (Hulk (Paperback Marvel))
Incredible Hulk Volume 2: Boiling Point TPB: Boiling Point v. 2 (Hulk (Paperback Marvel))
by Bruce Jones
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Different, but good., 1 Aug 2010
I personally liked this, despite the fact that not a lot happens. The end is a bit of a let down, somehow I just don't really buy the whole super agent pratt thing, but as a book it holds up better than the next installment, for me.


Incredible Hulk Volume 4: Abominable TPB: Abominable v. 4 (Hulk (Paperback Marvel))
Incredible Hulk Volume 4: Abominable TPB: Abominable v. 4 (Hulk (Paperback Marvel))
by Bruce Jones
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars High point of Jones' run so far, 1 Aug 2010
After the last volume, this is an altogether better affair. Art and story are excellent, characters are believable and the whole thing just feels more satisfying. The Abomination is written well as a character and drawn superbly here. Very goopd and well worth a read.


Incredible Hulk Volume 3: Transfer Of Power TPB: Transfer of Power v. 3 (Hulk (Paperback Marvel))
Incredible Hulk Volume 3: Transfer Of Power TPB: Transfer of Power v. 3 (Hulk (Paperback Marvel))
by Bruce Jones
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Yes Darker, but not necessarily BETTER, 1 Aug 2010
Whether or not you enjoy this book depends entirely on your viewpoint on what you expect/want from picking it up.

In my mind, a character like the incredible hulk will always have an element of darkness to it, purely because of the nature of the character. However, I personally found that this story suffered from 2 things;
1. No other well known characters from the hulk's world appart from Doc Sampson (for example the appearance of the Abomination in the next volume helps no end)
2. When you get to the end, you realise that not a lot happens really to advance the storey that much.

As a result, the overall darkness just feels a bit too much.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3