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J. Reynolds "jonnyboymach4" (London)
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Beauty & Crime
Beauty & Crime

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why the disappointment?, 21 Jun. 2007
This review is from: Beauty & Crime (Audio CD)
Depsite often being accused of "experimenting", and changing direction etc. Suzanne Vega in reality has actually been stylisticly consistent throughout her long career.

Her deceptively simple songs, guitar plucking and voice can seem to fit into many different kinds of landscapes and genres (folk, latino, pop/rock etc. As such, she has always been very vulnerable to the talents and imagination of her producers. Her "techno-fok" period with producer/husband Mitchell Froom in the 90s was seen as a hugs leap, when in fact Froom was just shedding an unusual light on Suzanne.

Beauty and Crime is not really a huge departure for her. The structure of her songs, her guitar playing, it's all very consistent with her early work. It's certainly better than her last offering - the mawkish "divorce" album "Songs in Red and Gray".

It's the production that occasionally lets her down. However the songs I feel are some of her best. "Aniversary" is simply beautiful.

I would recommend this album completely. It would not have the production edge of previous work, but ultimately Suzanne has always been about her, her voice and her guitar - and for me this proves she is still in the game.


MY-Link CRYSTAL USB 2 fans Cooler Pad for Laptop, Notebook, Xbox, Etc.
MY-Link CRYSTAL USB 2 fans Cooler Pad for Laptop, Notebook, Xbox, Etc.

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Looks nice, sounds awful . . .., 4 April 2007
I bought the cooler pad to stop my power guzzling Vaio from constantly sounding like it was about to explode. To be fair, its working. I think. It's hard to tell as the pad itself sounds louder than the vaio did. I have to unplug it in order to occaisionally check if its prevent my laptop's fans from turning on.

Other than sounding like you are on a plane, it looks really nice. I like that it has raised my laptop off the table and at an angle. Plus there's a really cool blue light now.

Buy it if you like the look and want to protect your laptop.Don't buy it if you are easily distracted by noise.


Buffy The Vampire Slayer Complete 1 - 7 Box Set [DVD]
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Complete 1 - 7 Box Set [DVD]

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A piece of TV history complete for your collection., 5 Sept. 2005
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Well there's not much more I can add that already hasn't been said. The show is fresh, imaginative, funny, touching and manages to go to many places none other has before or since.
Its creator, Joss Whedon, has taken what unfortunately seems to be his only great idea, and managed to create an icon out of her. The show takes a little from many other sources (a little "My So Called Life", a little "Friends", a little "Scream" - heck even a touch of "Star Trek"!) but the whole is much greater than the sum of it's parts and paved the way for many other supernatural / teen dramas that sprung up shortly afterwards, albeit of less quality ("Charmed", "Roswell" etc.)
Using this box set to watch the series from the beginning to end is a fascinating insight to how good TV is made and written. The first 3 season got progressively better and better (Faith and the Mayor were just genius), and although season 4 has been criticised for a weak story arc, it still manages to have some of the best stand-alone episodes of the show, "Hush" being the most obvious example.
Season 5 is probably the pinnacle for me (Glory was fabulous), and although I was glad Buffy continued afterwards, with retrospect could have been a very good place to stop. Especially in light of the show's "difficult" sixth season, an unnecessarily dark and dingy year for the gang.
But the final year managed to reel the show back in, and sent it off the air with a bang I dare anyone not to shed a little tear watching.
As for this package: if you can ignore for the time being the heinous cynicism that has ruled the selling of Buffy to the British public - selling VHS before being aired on terrestrial TV to make the eager fans buy the over-priced box sets, then releasing DVD making the VHS less attractive and therefore making hard-core fans by both etc. - and take this limited edition box set at face value, then you will be extremely pleased with the package.
Otherwise, anyone with partial or complete separate seasons on DVD will find little to tempt them bar a rather nice box to keep your Buffy collection in.
I've given it 4 stars because there is nothing new here. This is simply a collection put together at a more than reasonable price, considering there's 144 episodes, plus extras and commentaries from key writers / directors.
So if you have no Buffy on DVD, or are thinking of upgrading your VHS collection - this is by far the best, easiest and cheapest way to do it. But if you own more than 2 seasons on DVD already you may be a little annoyed.


Next Generation Tennis (GBA)
Next Generation Tennis (GBA)

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Never, ever again., 5 Sept. 2004
The controls are clunky, the balls are too slow. It's impossible to score an ace, and I beat all 36 matches throughout the career mode in less than 4 hours, dropping only ONE game, and starting 20 minutes after I got it. This was not through great playing on my part, but because I mastered the drop shot, ensuring hours of tedious and unloseable "tennis".
It looks kinda nice, but it's frustrating to play, does not feel intuitive - and why can't you do a cross-court shot?!?!
Avoid please.


Medulla
Medulla
Price: £5.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I'm not sure what to make of it, really . . ., 5 Sept. 2004
This review is from: Medulla (Audio CD)
Kudos for the idea (using natural human voices / beatbox and synthesising them) to create the backdrops for her new collection of songs.
You have to admire her for continuosly striving for new and fresh sounds, and her general artistic aspirations - but I'm worried this may be a step to far, entering the realm of intellectual "art" and leaving all the fans of her gutsy and inspiring back catalogue behind.
Don't get me wrong. I WANT to like this album a great deal. And hindsight has taught me to stick with her reagardless (it took several listenings of her last album "Vespertine" before I "got it" and fell in love with it) - but there are songs on this album (Show me Forgiveness, Ancestors etc.) that I will never want to listen to again.
Her lyrics are becoming ever more obscure (a personal bete noir of mine) and her tendancy to withdraw from traditional "tunes" is becoming increasingly irksome; sometimes it's nice to hum or sing along with a track.
Several tracks are standing out for me, and make the whole thing worth while: "Where is the line" - a dark and weird peice, "Oceania" - a lovely and sweeping track taking some of Vespertine's ideas to their logical conclusion and "Mouth's Cradle" - the closest thing to a hummable and tuneful song. "Triumph of a Heart" is the final track, and although the beat behind it is very pop-y, it seems strangely bland and more of a curiosity / novelty item.
But if Bjork albums have taught me anything, it's that they're worth investing a bit of time in. So who knows what I'll thing this time next month . . .


Kate Bush: The Whole Story [VHS]
Kate Bush: The Whole Story [VHS]
VHS
Offered by rdowns33
Price: £19.87

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting learning curve, 30 Dec. 2003
I must be honest, Kate Bush visually has been very hit and miss over the years, and this collection of promos perfectly illustrates this.
On the one hand you have the clever and moving mini-film for 'Cloudbusting' where she manged to rope in Donald Sutherland (what a coup!) followed shortly after by a clunking, cringeworthy and rather cheap looking video for Army Dreamers - budget and technology notwithstanding.
The dancing in 'Running Up That Hill' is as poigniant and memorable as ever, but terrbile in 'The Dreaming' (a song that deserves better visuals).
From the visual highlights of her early career (which - with the exception of the amazing 'Babooshka' - seemed to consist of her sitting under a tree wide-eyed, pouty and waving her arms around and - in my opinion - only detracted from her talents as one of the best singer/songwriters Britain has ever produced) she clearly begins to grow more confident over the years in how she presents herself on film/video, later writing / directing her promos herself.
This is proved in the final video (chronologically) for Experiment IV, which (Indiana Jones wraith rip-off asside) shows her coming into her artistic powers. It's a clever, funny and charming video - and if the song had done better in the charts would no doubt have been talked about much more than it was.
For fans of Kate this is a must. You get to reminisce, laugh, cringe, think, and almost cry at her work. For fans of the video promo format as a whole, you may be dissapointed. She never seemed to attract or be interested in big budget directors of single promos, which allows her quirkiness to come through, but severely dates everything almost immediately. Only those with a story or clear narrative last the decades (ta ta 'Sat In Your Lap' - hello 'Hounds Of Love').
And remember, she did get to do better eventually.


Swordfishtrombones
Swordfishtrombones
Price: £5.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you think that you can tell a bigger tale . . ., 18 Dec. 2003
This review is from: Swordfishtrombones (Audio CD)
The first Tom Waits album I ever heard, and one that hooked and reeled me in like a fish, and I'm still to fully work out why.
This album is a perfect showcase for the curious music of Tom. He *can't* sing, yet why does his voice move me in ways Whitney/Celine/Mariah never could? His tunes are far from complicated or original, yet why do they feel so fresh? He sings of worlds and characters so far from my own experiences - deadbeats, maniacs, war veterans - yet why do I feel so included in his storytelling?
He makes fully use of all his 'personas', Growly-shouty Tom, Whispery-Tom, Poetic Beatnik Tom, Croony Romantic Tom - but their no longer constrained by the barriers of Genre. Instead we have a mish-mash of styles, and 'quirky' (I hate that word) arrangements.
With hindsight it works in a similar way to 'The Dreaming' (Kate Bush) or '99.9F' (Suzanne Vega) as a bridge between the early and more tradiational career, and the latter more stlyistic career. It simply takes all the ellements that made his music work; unmistakeable voice, simple but affecting tunes, warm but realistic lyrics, deadbeat but loveable characters etc. but steps it up a gear, and lays it over a new and slightly less accessible canvas.
If I were to introduce anyone (and I have) to latter day Tom Waits, I would still use this Album, depsite it being 20 years old now!


Hellraiser 1, 2 and 3 Collectors Edition Pack [DVD]
Hellraiser 1, 2 and 3 Collectors Edition Pack [DVD]
Dvd ~ Andrew Robinson

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The law of diminishing returns is proved once again., 10 Dec. 2003
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Let me begin by saying that this is a decent pack, and well worth having in your collection.
However, I don't reccomend that you watch the films in chronological order. Watch them like this: 3,1 and 2 - or else by the time you have watched the amiguous beauty and horror of the first film degenerate into the hackneyed American slasher fodder of the 3rd it's long stopped being frightening, and become a mail studded cliche. In fact, there are moments in number 3 (Joey crying out to her dead father, the line from the camera-headed cenobite: "are you ready for your close-up" etc.) that make you cringe.
Pinhead gets centre stage in the final installment, which is a double edged sword in my opinion. Doug Bradley is talented and nasty enough to pull it off, but you can't help but feeling that the de-mystification of Pinhead as made him much less scary than the previous installments, where it was merely the threat of his appearance that caused your stomach to churn.
The first 2 are classics however - and feel like 2 halves of the same story. Claire Higgins is just on the good side of proper B-movie-ish, as is Ashley Lawrence. The effects are dated, and yet charming for anyone a little disappointed with the sterility of modern CGI.
And there are some truly horrible moments: the distusting re-birth of frank in film 1, or Doctor Channard being transformed into a cenobite by some barely disguised phallus shaped objects: ". . . and to think he hesitated . . ."
So watch number 3 first, laugh or cringe, and then afterwards remind yourself how great the first 2 films were.


Kate Bush: Sensual World [VHS]
Kate Bush: Sensual World [VHS]
VHS
Offered by rdowns33
Price: £19.78

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must for fans of Kate, 4 Dec. 2003
The video comes in 2 halves, the interview followed by the 3 music promos for 'The Sensual World', 'Love and Anger' and 'This Woman's Work'.
The interview is very well done (and as Kate interviews aren't that common any more, it only makes it more special). You may not learn anything especially new - but you hear from her own mouth. She's also very effective at skirting round the more 'sensitive issues pertaining to her earlier work: 'The Dreaming' e.g. You can tell she wants to say more (is she proud/embarrassed, annoyed at her critics etc.) but she holds back.
As for the 3 promos, 2 of them are the best she's ever done. 'The Sensual World' is one of the only examples of Kate's dancing that actually has a point, isn't dated or cringeworthy and actually looks fantastic!
'This Woman's Work' is an example of her film/storytelling desires when directing her own videos. It works very well, and the imaginative ideas work very well against the apparantly low budget.
Only 'Love and Anger' stops it from being perfect: a pretty dull and unusually none-descript video for a pretty dull and unusually none-descript song.
But definately worth getting your hands on, if you can . . .


Kate Bush - The Line, The Cross & The Curve [1994] [VHS]
Kate Bush - The Line, The Cross & The Curve [1994] [VHS]
VHS
Offered by rdowns33
Price: £21.99

8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hit and Miss, 3 Dec. 2003
Okay - well I'll get this off my chest. First of all: Kate Bush can't act. She looks decidedly wooden at many points in this short film - and the whole feels like an excuse to link together several music videos under the guise of a film 'narrative', despite the connections being obviously crow-barred in on several occasions ('Eat the Music' is singing for her smile? 'And so is love' a song to represent her desire to be a better dancer?)
But get over this and there's plenty of fantastic moments that ring a true note. Kate jumping through the mirror and following a demonic looking Lyndsey Kemp; spinning through a snowstorm trying to reach her friends, and Miranda Richardson's maniacal expression whilst her bandages unwind during 'The Red Shoes'.
You kind of get what Kate was trying to do . . . it just doesn't work a lot of the time. There's a truely awful moment where the camera focuses on her eyes, spinning slowly, while she recites a kind of poem about her predicament. It's cringeworthy.
But it's definately got enough to warrant buying it - especially if you're a fan of her music.


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