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Robert Booth "Minty" (nowhere near the moon)

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Hellraiser 4 - Bloodline [DVD]
Hellraiser 4 - Bloodline [DVD]
Dvd ~ Bruce Ramsay

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not amazing., 27 Oct 2008
First off, I'll throw out an opinion of mine which some may agree with: Horror films set in the future/space just aren't scary. Oh sure, you'll get one every now and then which is shocking and horrific in its imagery (Event Horizon springs to mind), but unfortunately this film isn't one of them.
The main problem is this: We don't live in the future. We don't live in the technical dytopia in which many of these films are set, and thus the horrors inflicted upon the protagonists will never happen to us. The suspension of disbelief is non-existent.

That said, lack of contextual horror is not the only thing wrong with this film. The acting is dire, as is the CGI.
The plot is interesting, yet the actors cannot carry it off well enough to make the film engaging. The death scenes are pretty cool though (well the death of the twin police officers is great, and that's the only one I can remember), and that's all anybody really watches Hellraiser for anyway.

So yeah, this film has the coveted title of 'Worse than Hellraiser II'.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 7, 2009 8:47 AM BST

Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time (Nintendo DS)
Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time (Nintendo DS)

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Aw, where's the rest of it?, 24 Jun 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Following on from Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga, Partners in Time sees Mario and Luigi travelling through time with their baby selves (without breaking all of those time-space continuum laws or whatever) to stop an invasion from an alien race called the Shroobs from destroying the Mushroom Kingdom. Not really a big problem for the pair (or two pairs), considering they do it almost every week. Only problem is, saving the world is competely second nature to them now that the game is over in around twelve hours.

However, that time is crammed full of hilarious little gems of dialogue, the old-school RPG element of buying items/equipment (which made it a real winner for me) and a journey through some very varied landscapes.

Battling is also inspired- 'Bros items' provide an entertaining alternative to the 'jump' and 'hammer' attacks.

One gripe I had (other than the shortness) which I have with come other games in this style (the Paper Mario games in particular) is the fact that Bowser is now a complete failure as a villain. He used to be pretty badass before 2004. Oh well, here's hoping he's back to normal come Super Mario Galaxy...

But yes. It's short, but fun. I replayed it quite a few times and it didn't get boring.

Bec (The Demonata, Book 4): Screams in the Dark...
Bec (The Demonata, Book 4): Screams in the Dark...
by Darren Shan
Edition: Paperback
Price: Ł5.24

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stay away if Christian-bashing offends you., 24 Jun 2007
Set at a time before Christians reached out British shores, this book follows a group of warriors (along with the eponymous priestess and a druid) who are on a journey to seal a tunnel of sorts between our dimension and the dimension that demons live. While it's understandable that they have their pagan beliefs and see the Christians as a threat to their way of life, most of the hate is unnecessary and does make one think 'ok, we get it' after the first few mentions of them.

The journey is primarily to seal the tunnel, but is also a deadly game of cat and mouse between the protagonists and our old friend Lord Loss. The action of earlier books in the series is dropped in favour of heavy dialogue, explaining the mysterious past of Bec, the reasons for the demons' invasion and the presence of Lord Loss, who turns out to be a sort of hero, considering his actions (of lack thereof) at the end of the book. It's a move that pays off, as the book is shrouded in mystery and suspense until the final pages.

I'll not reveal much about the ending, but I will say that it is one of the most horrifying things I've ever had the pleasure of imagining. I think this, along with the death of Grubbs' family in 'Lord Loss' is one of the few instances where the 'Seriously Scary' warning of the back cover is justified.

Best in the series so far.

Slawter (The Demonata, Book 3)
Slawter (The Demonata, Book 3)
by Darren Shan
Edition: Paperback
Price: Ł5.24

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I think this book would make a good film, 24 Jun 2007
Which is apt considering where most of the action takes place.

Grubbs, Dervish and Billy are invited by horror film producer Davida Haym (I think that was her name, I can't really remember) to oversee the design of huge robotic demons which are going to be used in her upcoming film, Slawter.

The designs are brilliant, and they could be mistaken for the real thing...

Anywho, people start going missing and demons run riot, Lord Loss shows up and there is yet another showdown at the end. Simple.

In this book Grubbs finds his magical powers vastly improved- He is melting holes in walls, reattaching severed limbs and severing a few of his own, and that's the most appealing thing of this series (not just this book) for me- it is such an ambiguous medium, there is literally anything which can happen with the simple explanation of 'it's magic', and when the action is this intense that's fine by me.

A vast improvement on Demon Thief and Lord Loss. Very exciting.

Demon Thief (The Demonata, Book 2)
Demon Thief (The Demonata, Book 2)
by Darren Shan
Edition: Paperback
Price: Ł5.24

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as bad as everyone thinks, 15 Jun 2007
But not brilliant.

In my opinion this is the worst book Darren Shan has written. There's nothing wrong with the storyline, the characters or the settings, it's the writing style of the protagonist, Kernel Fleck.

It starts out very slowly, with Kernel describing life before and after an unexplained (until the closing chapters) disappearance into an alternate dimension. Any attempts to create atmosphere are mitigated by Kernel Fleck's writing style (which I can only assume is an attempt to emulate the writing style seen in Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time), which is a shame considering some events would be truly chilling if told any other way.

Eventually things take a turn for the bizarre and Kernel finds himself and his baby brother Art traveling with a group of mages under the command of the anti-social Beranabus. Thanks to Kernel's powers they begin what I can only call 'dimension-hopping', hot on the trail of a demon whom they hope will lead them to Lord Loss, the eponymous antagonist of the first book in the series.

Once they find Lord Loss there is another showdown of sorts (as is customary when facing a big scary demon) and the relevance of the title becomes apparent in a rather predictable climax.

I'd borrow a copy before buying.

Lord Loss (Book One of The Demonata)
Lord Loss (Book One of The Demonata)
by Darren Shan
Edition: Paperback
Price: Ł4.89

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shut off your brain and go with it., 15 Jun 2007
This is a book for anyone with a short attention span. It's not a great literary classic, nor is there any deep symbolism in the writing. It's just a book about a boy in a world of demons, werewolves and chess, and when it comes to providing entertainment without requiring a great deal of thought this book delivers.

It follows the tale of Grubbs Grady, orphaned after an incident involving a demon lord and his lackeys (providing one of the most gruesome scenes in all of Shan's work). Living with his uncle, the charismatic Dervish Grady, he tries to live a normal life once again.

However certain nocturnal events involving his friend Billy Spleen (yes, that's his real name) result in the summoning of the demon who's name is emblazoned on the front of the book for a climatic (if rather unorthodox) showdown.

It moves at a quick enough pace to keep you bombarded with new events and discoveries, but not too quickly so you are able to picture all that happens, a balance which is quite hard to achieve.

It's not going to astound you with the quality of writing, but if you've got an afternoon free and you feel like exciting yourself with a thrilling (if childish) read, then I wouldn't say no to picking up a copy of this.

A guilty pleasure for those of us who consider ourselves to be 'intellectual'.

Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness (GameCube)
Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness (GameCube)

23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, but still no real wild Pokemon., 4 Feb 2006
Pokemon XD is the second full-length 3D adventure for the Gamecube, and the storyline picks up where the first game left off.
You start out in a pokemon laboratory, where the scientists are building a brand new snag machine and purifying chamber, as the old syndicate Cipher are up to no good again. The first part of the story involves you running errands for the scientists, collecting machine parts and battling folk as you travel.
But as soon as you return to the lab, ipher attacks and carries off the Professor, the boss of the laboratory where you live. After that, one thing leads to another, and you end up embarking on a quest to save the professor and rid the world of Cipher altogether.
Shadow pokemon are back, and can be purified in the same way as before (on Pokemon Colloseum), but there is a new method- the Purify Chamber. This adds a vital puzzle element to the game, where you need to mix and match different types in order to purify the shadow pokemon in the quickest time possible.
Wild pokemon are also in the game, but don't get too excited: They only appear at certain points on the map, and you need to leave bait to lure them out. There is no searching-in-the-tall-grass in this game, which is disappointing... But the inclusion of the catchable Lugia, Articuno, Zapdos and Moltes make up for that.
The graphics are almost the same as pokemon colloseum, but with a few improvements and some awesome cutscenes.
Overall, a worthy purchase.

Pokémon Emerald (Game Boy Advance)
Pokémon Emerald (Game Boy Advance)

50 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, 31 Oct 2005
This version of Pokemon is what Crystal version was to Gold and Silver- it's the same game but with a few tweaks to the storyline, and many new features added.
The story has become even more epic- Both team Aqua and team Magma are trying to realise their dreams of expanding the sea and the land, by awakening the two 'super-ancient pokemon'- Kyogre and Groudon. And as before, the consequences are dire...
But there is a glimmer of hope- the third ancient pokemon- Rayquaza. As a trainer destined to become the champion, saving the world on the way is a simple task, yes?
There are some minor graphical improvements and alterations- the pokemon are now animated, you and your rival both have different costumes, and there are many new characters and different pokemon to catch in different locations, including an area in the safari zone where you can catch Johto-exclusive pokemon.
The main reason I bought this version, however, was the battle frontier. There are seven different types of arena with extremely varied battle styles, my favourite being the Battle Pike, where you must find a path to the end of the tunnel while braving many different hazards to your pokemon.
But of course, the fact that you can catch Lugia, Ho-oh, both Kyogre and Groudon, Mew and Deoxys in this version did attract me to this version too.
Overall, a fantastic addition to any pokemon collection.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 28, 2008 1:48 PM BST

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