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grrrr. "mrfran"

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A Whole New World
A Whole New World
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.45

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All is lost, 10 Jan. 2007
This review is from: A Whole New World (Audio CD)
It is one of the seven signs. The coming of a comet, the return of the Jews to Zion, the fall of a mighty empire, a bank holiday Monday when it doesn't rain, and now the break-up of Katie and Peter. This is the beginning of the end. Abandon all hope.

I am the Alpha and the Omega. As it is written (In Hello! and OK magazine), so shall it be done.

Price: £7.22

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If it ain't broke..., 1 July 2006
This review is from: IV (Audio CD)
Anyone familiar with Godsmack will know the drill by now, and despite the fact that they haven't exactly reinvented the wheel with 'IV', their latest offering (although it's more blues-influenced than 'Faceless'), it feels like a natural progression nonetheless. And it's a good album, highlights being opener 'Livin' In Sin', 'The Enemy' and 'Voodoo Too'. 'Livin' In Sin' is like 'IV's equivalent of 'Straight Out Of Line' from 'Faceless', and 'The Enemy' is like 'IV's own 'I Stand Alone'.

It's occurred to me that you listen to Godsmack for the same reason you do AC/DC - you know what you're getting, and you know you're going to like it. Talking of other bands: if you like Disturbed or Motorhead, it's a pretty safe bet you'll like Godsmack too.

So, to conclude: Godsmack in 2006 have moved on but kept the good bits, and have refused to join the nu-metal extinction. For that reason alone, this album is worth your attention. Few surprises here, but who cares? Did I mention it's a good album?...

Silent Hill 2 (Special 2 Disc)(PS2)
Silent Hill 2 (Special 2 Disc)(PS2)

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Silent Hill 2, 2 Mar. 2006
Where to begin? I bought this on an impulse a couple of months ago, and what an impulse it turned out to be. To say that it's now five years old, the graphics still stand up brilliantly to the test of time - monsters wriggle and glisten, shadows dance in front of your torch and characters speak in near-perfect lip-synching.
Important: if you like bright, cheerful games, or if you're faint-hearted, Silent Hill 2 is most certainly NOT the game for you!! Your character, James Sunderland, is drawn to the town of Silent Hill by a letter from his wife - the problem being that she's been dead for 3 years. As you venture deeper into the town, the nightmare begins to truly unfold, as you are pitched against all manner of eyeless, groping horrors with initially nothing but a two-by-four to defend yourself with. This is what ratchets up the tension to 11: the control system is barely sufficient and fighting is hard. You are, after all, just a man; no special powers or heavy weapons.
Make no mistake, this is one heavy game. In addition to your mission to find your late wife, the storyline involves intense, harrowing sequences with the other (human) characters, exploring the cheery themes of child abuse, bullying, bereavement, self-harm, insanity and murder.
To say much more would give the game away (no pun intended), so if you like very deep, extreme survival horror with puzzles, this is the game for you. Bear in mind, though, this game will stick in your mind long after you have finished playing it (playing in daylight is taxing enough, but switch on in the dead of night - I dare ya!) Seriously. Only the Prince Of Persia trilogy has ever left this kind of imprint on me.
Nonetheless, it's cheap at twice the price - if being unsettled doesn't bother you over much, and you like survival horror, where have you been all this time? Buy it!

The Poison
The Poison
Price: £8.18

38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't listen to the fools below!, 22 Feb. 2006
This review is from: The Poison (Audio CD)
It has always amused me how some metal fans like to think that by putting down bands like BFMV, they are somehow more true to the cause. Not the case. By the way, for any sneerer who doubts my metal credentials, here are 5 bands I love: Shadows Fall, Children Of Bodom, Mendeed, Chimaira and Pantera. I dislike bands like MCR, and think that most emo kids are whiny, overprivileged white-boys without any real problems.
Who knew? I also like Bullet For My Valentine. This is a solid, consistent album not afraid to mix the harder, headbanging elements of traditional metal with a melodic edge. I love metal to bits, but sometimes the constant ear-bleeding assault can get a little monotonous. Bullet, on the other hand, inject some mellowness every now and then to keep their formula fresh. And it works!
You see, what some idiots fail to grasp is, you don't need to be ultra-heavy to be metal. It isn't a cardinal sin to make songs you can hear the words to. Sometimes, I doubt if any of them own an Iron Maiden album between them. '4 Words To Choke Upon', with its distinctive intro and iconic nature, is the crowning glory IMHO. 'Her Voice Resides', 'Hit The Floor' and 'All These Things I Hate' come close, all chugging along nicely. The pace never lets up for long, and by the time closer 'The End' announces itself, you want to hear more. A confident, driven debut from a band who show the promise of greater things in the future, and are already approaching iconic status on the British metal scene. (if you like this, get the self-titled EP too - the one with 'Hand Of Blood' on)
Judge a band not on how 'commercial' they are or how closely they sound like their predecessors, but the quality of the music and how it speaks to you.
And above all, don't listen to reviews from bitter, negative people who have to slag a band off just because they don't exactly match the sound they like.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 18, 2009 2:02 AM BST

Screen Burn
Screen Burn
by Charlie Brooker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Take a bow, Charlie Brooker, 13 April 2005
This review is from: Screen Burn (Paperback)
You may not think reading several years' collected columns one after another could sustain itself for the entirety of this book, but somehow it manages to work. To buy it isn't just to read some extremely sharp and extremely amusing observations about television (I was in stitches at one description of Jim Davidson), but to be forced to take a step back and look at society, feeling Brooker's pain as he attempts to hold on to his sanity and intelligence in an insane world of bleating, porcelain drones. It's got to the stage where the piss-take show concepts he dreams up are actually SHOWN on television, and as a result no-one is safe from his venom if he thinks they deserve it, regardless of class, age, pastimes, nationality, wealth, fame, looks or intelligence. Jim Davidson, Simon Cowell, football fans, the Daily Mail, neo-conservatives and Middle England get a particular pasting. This isn't to say that Brooker's without a sense of fairness; perhaps unexpectedly, he sticks up for a few people commonly pilloried by both the media and the public, including John Leslie, Sharon Osbourne and Jamie Oliver, and even some marginalised groups like drug addicts and asylum seekers.
Profane, angry, venomous, heartfelt, intelligent - but above all, EXTREMELY funny. Especially considering the bargain cover price, this is a must buy.

Prince of Persia: Warrior Within (PS2)
Prince of Persia: Warrior Within (PS2)
Offered by united direct limited
Price: £8.99

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the most mixed game I've played, 5 Jan. 2005
After hearing good things about Sands of Time, I dutifully got Warrior Within for Christmas. What can I say? Whilst exceeding my greatest expectations, it SOMEHOW manages to simultaneously disappoint me.
Let me break things down a bit. Graphically, Warrior Within makes Sands of Time, already a beautiful-looking game, look basic. I kid you not. It's reached the point where the video sequences (accessible from the Start menu) equal those of Halo 2, with none of that game's flicker or pop-up. The in-game graphics look more like Sands of Time's video sequences did! 10/10.
The combat system has been given an overhaul to the point where there are moves to the nth degree that you can perform on enemies (interaction with environment was a particular plus - hurling enemies off the edge of extremely high cliffs, slow-motion spinning pole slices and performing an Angel Drop from vertical wall run are my favourites), and the repetition of combat which troubled Sands of Time is largely gone.
However, fights can be frustrating when surrounded by enemies, especially when they start doing unblockable combos and you have no sand left. Admittedly, there is nothing - NOTHING - as satisfying as vaulting over a cocky Sand Warrior who just did an unblockable attack, grabbing him from behind in a stranglehold, listening to the pleasant sound of his neck splintering as he struggles for air, releasing him, shoving both blades in his back, removing them, swinging them and watching his head float away in slo-mo as clouds of blood billow from his neck.
The combat is really the least troublesome area of the game. The thing that will really get you in an apocalyptic, hurling-the-joypad-through-the-screen fury is the platforming. Evidently, someone forgot to tell the level designers this; if you're going to painfully raise the difficulty level of the game, THE PLAYER'S CHARACTER NEEDS TO BE GIVEN NEW ABILITIES TOO, TO COPE PROPERLY. The new platforming features include rather snazzy rope-assisted wall-running and riding down curtains with your sword, but they sadly can't help you cope with the difficult parts of the platforming. When you start the game, you only have limited sand, with the result that if you use any to help in fights, you risk not being able to rewind when you plummet to your death yet again while platforming. It's a real shame that wretched faults like this were allowed to exist in what could have been a 99.99% title. For this reason, I give it four stars (just my opinion).
What I'm trying to say is this: buy it, buy it for its graphic beauty, full storyline, hours of playing time, savage combat, dark Eastern dungeons and heavy metal soundtrack (if you're into that sort of thing). The Prince, sadly, adopts the sinister rasp of an American trying to sound English (or an Englishman trying to sound American - I can't tell which). A shame, I preferred his slightly camp college-boy tones from SoT.
Buy it - but please for your own good, prepare yourself for screaming rage as, through no fault of your own, the blood-splattered 'GAME OVER' screen smirks malevolently at you over... and over... and over... again.

Reise, Reise
Reise, Reise
Price: £5.99

8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rrreise, Rrreise, Rrrrammstein!!!, 2 Dec. 2004
This review is from: Reise, Reise (Audio CD)
1. Reise, Reise (Arise, Arise) - excellent album opener (ABOUT HUNTING FISH) bristling with topical sea-shanty and rowing sound effects. An uplifting chorus for the sake of it too.
2. Mein Teil (My Tool/Tail) - Till's trademark growl turns into a perverted purr during the verse for this single based on the antics of the German sexual cannibal Armin Meiwes (also features on the Resident Evil: Apocalypse soundtrack). Heavy, dark, slightly disturbing. Rammstein!!
3. Dalai Lama (Dalai Lama) - the album wildcard. Nearly six minutes long, it has the good old guitar sound, but stays slow and never builds any momentum. Different, more original, but requires some patience.
4. Keine Lust (No Love) - panting, urgent no-love song with a drowsy, fevered keyboard intro by Flake. Different again, but very compelling.
5. Los (Less) - an acoustic Rammstein song that can't be compared to anything from their back-catalogue. At first, I didn't think I liked it. Now, I like it. A lot.
6. Amerika (America) - blistering satire about the world's only superpower. You'll listen to it again and again and again. That guitar work from Richard, Paul and Oliver really deserves to get heads banging in moshpits or during their excellent live sets. Top marks!
7. Moskau (Moscow) - this song blags my head. Understated industrial guitar and Christoph's usual drumwork, with a female Russian vocal going hand in hand with Till's aforementioned Teutonic growl. Good though, just try not to listen to it in an altered state of mind.
8. Morgenstern (Morning Star) - the slightly underused metal guitar comes back in. 'Morgenstern', 'Mein Teil', 'Keine Lust', 'Amerika' and 'Stein um Stein' should give this album appeal plenty of appeal to fans of Metallica and Korn.
9. Stein um Stein (Stone by Stone) - every Rammstein album must have its horror story, and 'Reise, Reise' is no exception. Yelling about being walled in stone by stone in a room with no windows or doors galore ('No one hears me... SCREAAAM!!!)
10. Ohne Dich (Without You) - the boys show their sensitive side with a gentle, keyboard-led love song ('Without you I cannot be, without you...')
11. Amour (Love) - swings from slow narrative about Love as a wild animal that rips you to pieces, to furious, terminal guitar ('Please, Please, give me poison') A fitting end to a mainstream yet alternative industrial metal album.
One gripe: the synth/techno edge that makes Rammstein special doesn't appear to have been exploited enough on 'Reise, Reise'. But for God's sake, get it anyway if you're into heavy rock!
4.5 stars.

Monkey Dust - Series 1 [DVD] [2003]
Monkey Dust - Series 1 [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Tom Hillenbrand
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £4.34

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ..., 18 Nov. 2004
Not for Friends fans or the faint-hearted, but definitely for those who like their humour dark as night, and in questionable taste to say the least.
The constant bad vibes you get from Monkey Dust are a bit much sometimes, even though there are some genuine laugh-out-loud moments. The animation is excellent, and this coupled with the Trey-and-Mattesque level of bone-dry, satirical humour should find Monkey Dust a place in the hearts of many a South Park fan.
However, if the dark tone doesn't put you off, strap yourself in for a wicked, downbeat self-deprecation of modern urban Britain.
What else can I say about it really? Monkey Dust is one of those programmes that defies most analysis.
Buy if you dare. An adult televisual cartoon equivalent of liquorice, or vindaloo curry.

Prince of Persia The Sands of Time (Platinum PS2)
Prince of Persia The Sands of Time (Platinum PS2)
Offered by united direct limited
Price: £18.99

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A jewel in the sand, 20 Oct. 2004
Being new to Amazon I've only just got round to writing this although I got the game a year ago. Whether you like battle games with chop-socky and agile swordplay, platform games with wall running, backflips and hairy jumps hanging 1000 feet in the air, cinematic games (I use that term cautiously because very few games are like playing films, but this is probably the closest thing you'll get, complete with stylish slo-mo and selectable camera angles, time-tampering, stunning visuals, humour, and its own plot and love story), you can't fail to be impressed by PoP. You'll find yourself really involved in it, as the Prince talks and moves just like a real person (apart from the wall running), and appreciating the attention that has been crammed into the whole thing - you even get to shower in the underground baths at one point! I think the sequel (meant to be quite dark and adult) will be hard pushed to improve on Sands of Time, but if the same team is behind PoP: Warrior Within I have every confidence in them to do the nearly impossible. An absolute must-have, you can't call yourself a PS2 owner if you don't own this.

Fahrenheit 9/11 [2004] double disk extra features [DVD]
Fahrenheit 9/11 [2004] double disk extra features [DVD]
Dvd ~ Michael Moore
Offered by Bridge_Records
Price: £3.48

22 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Change history?, 18 Oct. 2004
Unlike most other DVDs, the villains in this movie are actually real. It's a worrying world we live in when we have to look to a filmmaker, not the media, to give us the real facts. 'Facts' is a big word here, and for the sceptical, [...] provides line-by-line factual backup in the attempt to expose Bush for what he really is.
Despite every other possible attempt by terrified Republicans to kill this film, here we have it. The real skill of F9/11 is not to approach it from an extreme left-wing perspective, but in a way which everyone relates to. After all, no-one wants to see their children die to make rich men richer, or have their privacy and rights taken away in the name of 'fighting terrorism' when in fact there is more chance of dying from cancer or committing suicide.
Even so, Moore simply gives you the facts. He has admitted in interviews that yes, of course he is biased. However, although the bias is his, the facts are indisputable - Bush was on holiday in August 2001, having read a report that Osama bin Laden was planning to attack with planes. He and his family have had business dealings with the bin Laden family. There never were any Weapons of Mass Destruction. The 9/11 hijackers were Saudis, yet Afghanistan and Iraq were attacked. And read 'Dude, Where's My Country?' too - yes, we got rid of Saddam Hussein, but things are worse in Iraq now, and had it not been for the oil, we would have left him to oppress his own people. If we cared about removing dictators, we would be invading all the countries where we have helped set up oppressive one-party regimes (those ones we never hear about in the media).
There is no more important DVD to buy right now. Make no mistake about it, F9/11 will play a big part in deciding whether war hero John Kerry sends the corrupt, lying Bush back home, or whether we have four or forty more years of Iraqi women and children being blown up and televised beheadings and British and American soldiers sent to their deaths to make the rich richer.
The sad fact is that barely 50% of eligible Americans actually vote. If this work of proof against the evil that lives in the White House will not stir them into democratic action, I don't know what will. All we and the rest of the world can do is hope they wake up.

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