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Level-head "Nick Snow" (Derbyshire)

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Mr Nobody [DVD]
Mr Nobody [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jared Leto
Price: £8.59

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars There's a reason why you've not heard of this film before., 3 Mar. 2014
This review is from: Mr Nobody [DVD] (DVD)
What can I say about Mr Nobody? I guess that, quite simply, this film was wasted on me.

I always enjoy watching little-known films like this and I love a good science-fiction / alternative-reality plot. 2 great examples of this for me are the films 'Another Earth' or 'Moon', each with touching and engaging stories, delicately balanced by their unique sense of style and substance. 'Mr Nobody' however just did not appeal to me in the same way. One of the other reviewers used the cliched criticism 'style over substance', but they were absolutely right. It seemed as though the film-makers focused way too much time and energy trying to make the film mind-boggling than they did trying to make it interesting.

I was originally drawn to the movie because of the radical plot and the idea of multiple strings of reality running side by side throughout a person's life, but I was concerned about the way that these elements could be woven into a story. It turns out that I was right to be suspicious about how the ideas would translate into film because this movie is a jumbled-up mess of twisted memories, messed up realities and contradictory plots which absolutely failed to peak my interest.

I noticed that some other reviewers gave this film 5 stars, but I just can't imagine why. Sure, the film has plenty of plus points; the cast perform well (particularly Rhys Ifans), the visual effects are decent, some of the cinematography is fantastic and there are some very sweet moments in the first half of the film. Unfortunately, these individual elements have been woven into a tapestry of juxtaposed sub-plots and inexplicable twists which make it very difficult for the story to flow. Towards the end, a kind of over-riding plot starts to emerge, but by that point I had lost interest. In fact, I really started to lose interest after Anna and her father moved away from Nemo and his mother. I had really enjoyed the forbidden brother/sister love plot up until that point and I couldn't help but think that it would have been a lot better to just pick the most interesting plot and make it into a full-feature. For me, this film is too ambitious, tries to do too much and crams in way too much philosophy and existentialism.

In conclusion, Mr Nobody is not an awful film, but the things about it which attracted me to go and watch it turned out to fall rather flat in my opinion.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 15, 2014 6:20 PM GMT

The Crystal Method [Explicit]
The Crystal Method [Explicit]
Price: £5.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Seriously weak and soulless music., 2 Mar. 2014
As a long-running Crystal Method fan, I was severely disappointed with their latest offering. Having really enjoyed their collaboration with Martha Reeves last year as well as the non-album songs 'Make Some Noise' from the "Real Steel" soundtrack and 'Lucian', my hopes were high for their 5th album. I also thought that 'Divided by Night' was brilliant, so I figured that a mere repeat in form would have sufficed. Unfortunately, this album is a massive let down for me. The band seem to have taken the collaboration approach from their last album and let it lead them in a much more commercial and tacky direction. Awesome tracks like 'Dirty Thirty', 'Smile' and 'Blunts and Robots' which featured the usual blend of powerhouse techno and experimental synths have vanished, only to be replaced by poppy, production heavy, cut-to-shreds dance tracks that sound more like Skrillex and The Glitch Mob than The Crystal Method or The Prodigy.

I, for one, severely resent the influence of Dubstep on modern music and I hate it when bands that I love like TCM or Papa Roach succumb and implement elements of this dreadful genre in their music. The result? An album that is simply way to jumpy in places, almost so that it just becomes annoying. It's a shame too because some of the vocal contributions aren't bad, they're just surrounded by tacky music. Basically, this album sounds nothing like their classic work like "Vegas" or "Tweekend" and, although I support musical progression, I resent the way that the band has let modern the modern EDM scene brush off on them.

Hardcore fans may still enjoy this album, if only for the tracks 'Jupiter Shift' and 'After Hours' which I did enjoy. However, I don't recommend many of the other tracks. My suggestion is to watch the video for 'Over It' on Youtube and, if you find that you're not overly impressed, just buy the two tracks that I have recommended. Or go back and listen to "Tweekend" again for old time's sake.

+++ (Crosses)
+++ (Crosses)
Price: £12.02

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant album blending rock with texture-heavy electronica., 21 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: +++ (Crosses) (Audio CD)
I expect that most people who stumble upon this album already know who Chino Moreno is, therefore I will avoid writing at length about the Deftones singer or the way that this side project is another example of the depth of his ability. Instead, I would just like to point out that this is a fantastic album, brimming with quality and resonating on a level that is both dark and melancholic as well as energetic and lively. The tone of the album is clearly morose (as you can tell from the artwork), but the production and the lyrics meander between gloomy and jubilant with a necessary ease. The result? 15 songs with a huge range of sounds including some of the most catchy vocals of Chino's career and plenty of quality for people with both rock and electronic biases.

Some fans might have been disappointed to find that 10 of the 15 tracks were ones that had already been released on the band's first 2 EPs. However, I was excited to see the result of throwing all of these tracks, as well as a few new ones, onto a single album. The result is a full-length debut to be proud of, with high points from both the band's back catalogue (Telepathy, Frontiers, Prurient) and a few new favourites (Bitches Brew, The Epilogue, Blk Station). Chino's lyrics sound clearer and better tuned than ever, accompanying a selection of expertly produced tracks that range from ambient trip-hop to upbeat dance music. 'Telepathy', for me, is a massive highlight; an upbeat dance track with a dark pulse and catchy lyrics. 'Prurient' is another highlight, soft and delicate, yet with a strong energy during the chorus. 'The Epilogue' and 'Blk Station' are two of the more poppy and upbeat rock tracks, both excellent while tracks like 'Trophy' offer mellow respite amidst the rest. My overall favourite track is still 'Frontiers' and my one criticism of the album is that this really should have been the opening track! It builds gently and echoes around in the low keys for the start and the first verse before exploding into life and delivering a powerful chorus, complimented perfectly by lyric and sound.

15 is a lot of tracks and there are a few that I was not so keen on, but this is not enough to dissuade me of my high opinion for this album. 'This Is a Trick' and 'Death Bell' are two such track, unfortunately marking the start and the end of the CD; fortunately the majority of the songs making up the bulk of the album are truly excellent. In conclusion, I expect that I will be looking back on this album in 11 months time as one of the best of 2014 and, yes, one of Chino's best so far too. It is a big improvement from the Team Sleep project and a lot more accessible and enjoyable than the Palms LP. If anyone wants to preview before they buy, I recommend going onto Youtube and listening to 'The Epilogue', 'Frontiers' and 'Telepathy'. Enjoy!

Only God Forgives [DVD] [2013]
Only God Forgives [DVD] [2013]
Dvd ~ Ryan Gosling
Price: £2.99

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A genuinely abysmal film., 3 Nov. 2013
What can I say? I expect that, like most people, I approached `Only God Forgives' with a certain level of expectation stemming from my appreciation of `Drive'. That may have been a mistake. It's always important to remain objective when reviewing a film; I think that you shouldn't base your review on a comparison to another and that each film should be judged independently. However, Nicholas Winding Refn seems to have gone out of his way to make OGF very similar to Drive, so comparing the two films is inevitable I'm afraid. The violence, the lead character, the music, the cinematography and the tone of the film are all very similar to its predecessor, the difference is the quality of the story and the characters involved.

The plot is a basic one, Ryan Gosling's brother is executed by a ruthless Thai police officer and his family plot their vengeance against him. Ok, sounds exciting right? Wrong! The plot sets itself up quickly but then fizzles out and wanders around aimlessly for the best part of the film. I expect that some people would say that the film gave a lot of time to exploring the depth of the characters and the richness of the moral circumstances. These were certainly elements of Drive, but not here. Cue 45 minutes of Ryan Gosling looking brooding and complex; Vithaya Pansringarm looking menacing and callously celebrating his kills with a round of Karaoke; disturbingly depraved sexual references; random, disjointed symbolic dream sequences and about 10 lines of script. Eventually it all boils down to fisticuffs (as suggested by the "Wanna fight?" segment of the trailer) in a fight scene that is brilliantly choreographed but marred by the distance of the shot from the action. The ending is dull and fruitless, save for one remarkable, graphic scene that draws heavily on the oedipal complex.

The film does have some merits which is why I have given two stars instead of one. The cinematography is fantastic; the use of colour, tone and shade in the seedy cityscape is reminiscent of films like Black Rain and Blade Runner. Cliff Martinez does his part well with the score; although I didn't care for the style of the film, the music is extremely well-constructed and fitting. The kill scenes are brutal and mesmerizing and are, without a doubt, the highlights of the films. And finally, Kristin Scott-Thomas is extremely impressive in her role as the deranged mother of Julian; the lady does more acting in her first scene alone than Ryan Gosling or Vithaya Pansringarm have to do in the entire film. Sadly, these few elements do not amount to much.

In my opinion, this is the worst film set in Asia since `I Come With the Rain'. Why-oh-why films like this win awards like the Palme D'Or, I will never know. Perhaps if they had marketed OGF to make it look less like an exciting, gritty thriller and more like an art-house study of family and loyalty, then less people would have watched it expecting it to be like `Drive'. It's just a thought...

Offered by mrtopseller
Price: £5.99

13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why do you all lay so much expectation on this poor band? This is a great album!, 29 Oct. 2013
This review is from: Reflektor (Audio CD)
Seriously, why are people so damn keen to label poor old Arcade Fire as 'the best band in the world'? All this does is heap a load of unnecessary pressure and expectation on a band who are clearly looking to explore their potential and create new and exciting albums.

Nearly every review starts by going on and on about how good 'Funeral', 'Neon Bible' and 'The Suburbs' are, before descending into criticizing Reflektor. This seems massively unfair to me. Is it possible that Arcade Fire are not quite the band that the Indie crowd were all so keen to label them as when they adopted them into their narrow-minded guild? I think that Arcade Fire are a very talented and unique band with an enormous arsenal of tricks up their sleeve; of which this album is another product. I think that all the hype and expectation does is turn many people away from this exciting band as they perceive them to be pretentious and inaccessible. This is a shame. I think that this band will continue to record superb albums for many years and that this is another important step along that path.

Reflektor is certainly more electronic in places, particularly the title track and 'Porno', although this works for me. There are certainly moments of over-embellishment too, particularly the bridge in 'Here Comes The Night Time'. There are a few straight forward rock tracks like 'Flashbulb Eyes' and 'Normal Person' and then there is the beautifully mellow closing track 'Supersymmetry' which really leaves a tantalizing taste in the listener. Basically, this is a very eclectic album full of depth and diversity. I admit that there are sections of filler that are totally unnecessary (particularly the hidden track!) and that this album lacks the stand out tracks that may have been present on previous Arcade Fire albums, but I honestly think that it is too soon to pass judgement on the album as a whole. I predict that in 10 years time people will be writing retrospective reviews of 'Reflektor' stating that it was an underrated classic or one of the band's hidden gems in a long and illustrious career. My only criticism really is that you could easily fit the tracks on one disc, especially if you got rid of the latter half of 'Supersymmetry'. I think that this would have helped a great deal with the marketing and the reception of this album, since I feel that 'double albums' are always treated differently.

All in all then, I think that Reflektor is an album of ups and downs. I agree with most of the praise and criticism from other reviewers, but my main gripe is that they judge Arcade Fire too harshly for making a 4/5 album. Granted it's not their best album to date (I personally prefer The Suburbs) but it is a dynamic and interesting album packed with experimentation and catchy music. My top tracks would have to be 'We Exist', 'Reflektor', 'Porno' and 'Supersymmetry'.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 10, 2013 3:09 PM GMT

Cupid's Head
Cupid's Head
Price: £6.60

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like The Field, then this is a no brainer., 30 Sept. 2013
This review is from: Cupid's Head (Audio CD)
I will keep this review quite short and sweet.

If you are already a fan of The Field's unique combination of minimal house and experimental electronica and you enjoyed their previous albums (particularly 'Looping State of Mind') then you will certainly not be disappointed with this follow up. I only got hold of it yesterday and I have already listened to most of the album 3 times. The usual level of subtlety, detail and sophistication is as noticeable as ever and is particularly apparent on tracks like 'They Won't See', 'Guided Tour' and 'Black Sea'; which may be my favourite track ever recorded by The Field. As always there are a couple of not-so-amazing tracks, notably the title track which is actually pretty annoying. However, overall this is another fantastic album by a group that continue to fly the flag for interesting electronic music through the hazy fogginess of today's modern electronic scene.

For those of you that have never listened to The Field, I recommend listening to the track 'This Is Power' (from a previous album) on Youtube. If you find yourself hooked by the group's repetitive, looping approach to music, then the chances are you will enjoy this album as much as anyone else. However, if you simply find the song to be boring, dull and flat then you will probably find that this album is not tuned to your musical taste. I, on the other hand, loved it!!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 15, 2013 12:15 AM BST

Sasha Involver 3
Sasha Involver 3
Price: £20.40

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average - The problem is the song selection., 30 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sasha Involver 3 (Audio CD)
The chances are that the only people who would bother to read a review of a compilation mix are doing so because they know how special Sasha's Involver mixes are. The man painstakingly breaks down a bunch of carefully selected songs and literally rebuilds them before expertly mixing them into a fine progressive tapestry. The previous 2 installments of the Involver series were showcases in seemless mixing, which always garnered compliments like 'sonic journey' or 'epic stereo experience'. So, here we are at number 3 and as you can see, people are a little bit disappointed; here's why.

The hallmarks of Sasha's work are still here: he has still broken down and remixed each track, most of the mixing is faultless in my opinion (with maybe a couple of exceptions) and the diversity of artists is still extremely varied. However, the problem is the selection of tracks, without a shadow of a doubt. When I think back to the first Involver mix (probably my favourite compilation mix ever) every track was rich with character, diversity and texture. You had the laid back indie track from Grand National, the experimental psychedelic Sphongle track, strong vocal tracks from Unkle, a rocking, pounding Felix the Housecat track, some awesome breakbeat tracks from Lostep and Ulrich Schnauss and that absolutely amazing track 'Belong' by Spooky (Charlie May and Duncan Forbes). In short every track was amazing, even before Sasha got his fingers on them, all he had to do was weave them into an incredible mix. Involver 2, although not as good as the first one, still featured some very strong tracks from excellent musicians including Thom York, Charlie May, Sasha (himself), Apparat, Ladytron and M83. It also had what I consider to be the best closing track of all time in the remix of 'Sometimes I Realise' by The Engineers.

The inlay card for Involver 3 describes the way that Sasha kept delaying the project because he wasn't happy with the selection of songs. I honestly think that he should have just started again using some of the excellent material currently emerging on his new label like 'Cut Me Down', 'Smoke Cone' or 'Flutes'. I don't think Sasha ever managed to find the right mix of tracks, I think he was clutching at straws a bit here. Even his remix of the Foals track is pretty average, perhaps the biggest let down for me as I was hoping for another epic album closer. I might be a bit of a dinosaur but there is no way that you can hold up The XX, Little Dragon and ThermalBear to musicians like Spooky, Unkle, Ladytron and M83. I think that this mix might just be a sign that house music just isn't as good as it was 10 years ago, so it's a shame that Sasha didn't try to bring in different sounds like he did on the first Involver album.

It's not a total waste of money; it's still a pretty decent mix and it works well as background music. But from a DJ who is known for his prominence in the foreground, this is a bit of a disappointment.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 4, 2013 1:04 PM BST

Killzone Trilogy Collection (PS3)
Killzone Trilogy Collection (PS3)
Offered by AllGoodDealz
Price: £27.16

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Killzone 1 graces the Playstation 3!!!, 16 Dec. 2012
Oh! It's so good to play the original Killzone again. Thank you to PlayStation for re-releasing it. I must admit though, I can't see the point of this box set. Surely anyone who's a big enough fan of the Killzone series to want to get hold of the first game will already have the the 2nd and 3rd titles. It would have been better if Sony had just re-released Killzone 1 on its own. Luckily, you can buy the first game on its own, online for £12, download it and install it to the hard drive. It takes about 2 hours on a decent connection and works perfectly as soon as it installs.

The graphics are obviously a bit dated now, but they are still extremely clear. The gameplay too is slightly different to the subsequent titles, but it all comes rushing back. I just spent 2 hours playing the Battlefield skirmishes against bots and loved every minute. The Park Terminal, Beach Head, the swamp and the other 5 levels are all as fun as I remember. In fact, in terms of the multiplayer, this was always my favourite title in the Killzone series. You can pick up devastating combinations of weaponry that aren't available in later games, each weapon has a secondary fire feature, you can set up anything from straight death matches to capture the flag and, the thing that was always missing from 2 and 3, you can play split screen with a friend. Why do games just not have this simple facility anymore?!

In conclusion, if you were a massive fan of the original Killzone title, go and buy it now at the PlayStation store and download it. It's worth every penny. However, if you are new to the series and don't have any of the games, just buy the whole package because the second and third titles are both excellent too, especially in the single payer campaigns. In my opinion, a 5 star trilogy!

Koi No Yokan
Koi No Yokan
Price: £5.99

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing album from the Deftones, but not quite their best ever., 13 Nov. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Koi No Yokan (Audio CD)
The Deftones continue their sonic journey through the soundscapes of alternate metal with their seventh album 'Koi No Yokan' and it won't surprise fans to hear that it's another fantastic album, perhaps their most coherent and accessible to date.

The opening track 'Swerve City' kicks off the album in fine style, instantly landing familiar blows than any fan could recognise from three rooms away. The relentless thrum of Stephen Carpenter's riffing tears through the speakers as Abe Cunningham smashes through the cymbals and Chino Moreno arrives with a melodic vocal that sounds totally new and yet comfortably familiar at the same time. The song is quite literally the perfect introduction and the best opening track I think I've heard from the band, a strong indication of things to come.

The second track 'Romantic Dreams' is a little more traditional in its approach; implying that, despite a few changes, it is still very much business as usual. And from then on in, the album flows with a consistency that was severely lacking in some of their earlier albums, each song flowing perfectly from one to another. The album is not so much a contrast of heavy and mellow as 'Diamond Eyes' or the classic 'White Pony', and more a combination of the two. Almost every song is heavy in nature, yet with delicate subtleties, beauty and texture that you simply won't find on any other metal album. The intimate opening of 'Rosemary', the beautiful serenity of 'What Happened To You?' and the slow patient build-ups on 'Tempest', 'Leathers' and 'Goon Squad' offer some much appreciated moments of respite and reflection amongst the usual onslaught.

The guitars shred and chug as always and the drums roll and thunder along as Chino swings between singing, screaming, crooning and wailing in his usual style. The ambiance provided by Delgado is as crucial as ever and the bass from new lad Sergio Vega proves as effective as it did on the previous album. Most importantly however is the coherence. Ever since the band started to experiment in the early 2000s each album suffered in places due to the odd inclusion of disjointed experimental tracks like 'Lucky You' and 'Pink Cellphone' that probably should have just ended up on Chino's Team Sleep side project. However, since 'Diamond Eyes', the band seem to have gotten this out of their system, and their two most recent albums have really benefited as a result. 'Koi No Yokan' is pure Deftones from tracks 1-10 with only the final track showing elements of experimentation. However, it also acts as a perfect finish to the album leaving the listener with a sweet taste in their mouth.

I almost gave the album 4 stars as there are a couple of tracks that I was less keen on, but I had to bump it up to 5 because the album just works perfectly as a whole and I have a feeling that it is just going to get better and better the more times I listen to it (Which is definitely what happened with 'Diamond Eyes').

In conclusion, I would recommend this to anyone who loves the band or anyone who just knows a good hard rock album when they hear one. Top tracks for me are: 'Swerve City', 'Leathers', 'Entombed', 'Tempest' and 'What Happened to You?'.

Total Recall [DVD] [2012]
Total Recall [DVD] [2012]
Dvd ~ Colin Farrell
Offered by HarriBella.UK.Ltd
Price: £1.50

22 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor!, 7 Oct. 2012
This review is from: Total Recall [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
Total Recall was incredibly disappointing. When I saw that this film was being made, I was taken in by the grandeur of the magnificent visuals in the trailer, the idea of the incredibly sexy Kate Beckinsale playing the part of Lori and the premise that Colin Farrell might bring an emotional intensity to the Quaid character that Arnie (as much as I like him) could never deliver. Unfortunately the film only delivered on the first of those three promises, and the rest was pure fluff.


The respective worlds look incredible and there are plenty of environments, set-pieces and special effects to please the eye, but the world itself is ridiculous. The story is set on Earth in a time when, because of the after effects of nuclear war, people can only live in two pockets on the globe: London and Australia. London is a rich vibrant metropolis full of all the rich people and the Australian town is a squalled cesspit full of poverty and crime. The people who live in the Australian territory have to travel through an enormous tunnel, through the core of the planet to reach London where they work. Please?! It's one of the most ridiculous Sci-Fi plots in history. The original film's concept of people terra-forming Mars was so much better.

So onto the cast. Kate Beckinsale looks amazing and kicks ass, which is exciting and gripping for about 5 minutes but then it just becomes repetitive and boring. In the original, Lori fought Quaid twice in a two hour film. In this version, she is after him for the whole two hours. And the worst part about it is that this meant there was no Richter character, previously played by Michael Ironside, whose sinister edginess and violent temper made for some of the best scenes in the original. Safe to say, Beckinsale was not enough of a presence to carry the whole film as the villain.

As for Farrell? I have always like Farrell but I was really disappointed with him in this movie, mostly for agreeing to be in it. Given the script and the lackluster production, I'm not sure that he could have done a lot more with the role, but it certainly wasn't the gritty, charismatic and powerful Colin from such films like 'Pride and Glory' or 'Tigerland'.

In short, Total Recall (2012) was watchable and exciting in certain places, but really a complete waste of time and nothing whatsoever compared to the original.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 20, 2013 10:06 PM GMT

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