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ADAM

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Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)
Offered by EVERGAME
Price: £16.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but, 25 Oct. 2016
I'm relatively new to gaming, having not played anything since i owned a playstation 1 in the early 2000's. I enjoyed playing this, but there were some things which I found tiring or dull, firstly the monsters, maybe it's just a personal preference but I hated the monsters and the supernatural edge on this, I just don't think it fit with the rest of the game. Elsewhere you have this hyper realistic scenery in a standard adventure story, which i really enjoyed, and then it turns into a monster game, it just felt a bit tacked on. Similarly I could have done without the Broken Sword/Tomb Raider style puzzles, there weren't many of them, but when they came i just became bored, especially after such exhilarating scenes like the train journey and the destroyed city in Nepal.

Secondly, I was kinda hoping that there would be different skills depending on the environment, for instance in the snowy mountains, I imagined upon seeing screenshots that maybe you'd get to mountain climb with ropes and stuff, but it was pretty much exactly the same mechanics as in the city and the forest; just ledges and ropes, the only changes seemed to be skin deep.

Saying that, i did enjoy it, it was entertaining (and no doubt incredibly time wasting).


Giotto (Italian masters)
Giotto (Italian masters)
by A.Mueller Von Der Hagen
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 23 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There are so few books available (at an affordable price) on Giotto, and as this was so cheap I really wasn't expecting very much, but it is full of beautiful colour photos, as i've never seen the originals I have no idea how true to life they are, but I am incredibly impressed by this book.


The State of Play : Sixteen Voices on Video Games
The State of Play : Sixteen Voices on Video Games
by Daniel Goldberg
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars shiny, 8 Mar. 2016
As the reviews so far seem to be based on who wrote it rather than the actual content, i thought i would help balance things out a little by saying that I think the cover looks great, all those bright colours.. lovely.


Shaking The Habitual
Shaking The Habitual
Price: £13.69

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Requires attention, 29 July 2014
This review is from: Shaking The Habitual (Audio CD)
I'm a long time fan of The Knife, I think they're two of the most inspiring, intelligent, and talented musicians around, and i've enjoyed their side projects Fever Ray, Oni Ayhun, and the Darwin opera Tomorrow in a Year, which in many ways seems to be a precursor to this.

Shaking the Habitual can almost be split into two albums, first the more traditional Knife songs with beautiful lyrics and utterly amazing sounds, songs such as -
A Tooth for an Eye ~ surely one of the best tracks of the last few years
Full of Fire ~ where they mix gender politics with a (metaphorical) nine minute gun fight
Without You My Life Would be Boring
Wrap Your Arms Around Me
Raging Lung ~ one of a few songs which includes that scraping metal factory sound, wonderful
Ready To Lose

And secondly the more experimental and 'difficult' tracks, with few lyrics and a purer focus on sound, which would include -
A Cherry on Top
Crake
Old Dreams Waiting to be Realised
Networking
Oryx
Stay Out Here
Fracking Fluid Injection

Whilst the first list is sure to be more crowdpleasing, the second is bound to disappoint many. Whilst the second list is full of interesting music and ideas, and seems very much a follow on from the long musical tracks found in Tomorrow in a Year, it lacks that albums clear concept, and therefore sometimes feels a bit aimless and indulgent, especially on the almost 20 minute track 'Old Dreams..' With the Darwin opera those sounds were perfectly matched to Darwin and the theory of evolution and the voyage into the natural world, but with this there isn't quite such a clear connect between sound and concept.

But actually to split the album apart into those two distinct factions is quite a violent act, they belong together, feeding off each other. There is a clear aesthetic which is apparent in every song throughout the album, and which is new and much more complex than any other Knife album.

It is an essential listen. It's not ambient music as some people seem to claim, ambient says to me 'background music' and this clearly requires attention, and it will slap you round the head until you give it. This is an album about contemporary life, on a social, personal and political level, and contains the most roaring and (i have no other word but) gorgeous and jarring sounds around. And maybe it's our shortcoming if we don't like it because it doesn't contain as many seductive pop beats as Silent Shout.


Heartless
Heartless
by Nina Bunjevac
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Talent, 23 May 2014
This review is from: Heartless (Paperback)
Can't believe no-one else has written a review yet. This is one of the best graphic novels I've read in the last few years, it offers a few short stories ranging in topic and characters, the most memorable of which is 'Alone in the Crowd' which features Zorka, the cat lady on the cover, and offers a sad and comic story of loneliness and fleeting love. Other stories deal with Serbia's history (where the author is from), and all of them have the feel of autobiography. Beautifully written, impeccably drawn. Uncompromising and all the better for it.


Mouse Guard: Autumn 1152
Mouse Guard: Autumn 1152
by David Petersen
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Torn, 9 May 2014
I'm torn about this. It does look beautiful, especially in the scenes where it is raining. But as far as storytelling goes the drawings aren't really very coherent, it's often difficult to tell what is exactly happening, and to whom. The story is ok, it obviously has influences in other adventure and fantasy stories like The Three Musketeers and Lord of the Rings, and it builds up the characters quite nicely. The writing and dialogue is understandable but appears quite to the point and dry.

All in all I found it worth reading, i could see it appealing to a younger audience. But overall it gave me the impression that the author was still finding his feet in the medium, if so he has huge potential and I'll look forward to his future work.


Blancanieves - Collector's Edition [DVD]
Blancanieves - Collector's Edition [DVD]
Dvd ~ Maribel Verdú
Price: £10.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great family film, 23 Aug. 2013
The greatest adaptation of Snow White I've ever seen, and the best family film since.. Spirited Away? Babe? Muppets Christmas Carol? no, better.. When you start comparing it to other family films you realise how light most of them are. This one is silent and black and white, I was sceptical of this at first because I don't understand why modern silent films have to be B&W and set in the 20's, let's have some colour and contemporary stories in silence please? But this suits the fairy tale aura of it. And it's dark, grim even. Most of the characters we're introduced to at the start are dead half way through, love goes unfulfilled, it has bullfighting, and the most problematic part of the Snow White story - the kiss by a suitable man (who's willing to take advantage of a sleeping girl) to wake her up - is given a lovely twist.


Amelie [DVD] [2001]
Amelie [DVD] [2001]
Dvd ~ Audrey Tautou
Offered by ReNew Entertainment
Price: £4.41

4.0 out of 5 stars Dreamlike oddity which succumbs to sentimentality, 19 July 2013
This review is from: Amelie [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
Amelie is brilliant in many ways, but a great film it is not.

It has a beautiful soundtrack by Yann Tiersen, an extraordinarily good cast, and a unique (and until the end feminist) slant on a traditional love/little girl lost story. But it finally succumbs to a twee sentimentality which insists that 'everything happens for a reason' and that 'love will prevail'.

However, it is good enough to merit 4 stars, i think, because despite its childish, disney-fied nature, it is odd enough (due in no small part to the remarkable cast), and dreamlike enough (due again to the faces on show and the music) to merit repeated viewings.


Oslo, August 31st [DVD]
Oslo, August 31st [DVD]
Dvd ~ Joachim Trier
Price: £8.00

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Everything will be forgotten', 8 July 2013
This review is from: Oslo, August 31st [DVD] (DVD)
There's a scene in a cafe where the lead character sits and listens and watches all of the people around him, and they talk about their desires and their wants, what they hope to achieve, and their grievances in love and work. And an earlier scene where the lead meets up with an old friend who complains that his child has a rash and he doesn't have enough sex with his wife, and their only time of closeness is playing a violent video game. Everyone has their little problems, and everyone talks about them. The lead has one main problem, which he rarely talks about - he's looking for a reason to live, while making unnoticed steps towards his end. It's also a film bubbling with missed connections, lost opportunities, a job interview that could have gone well had he not bailed in self hatred, a sister who doesn't want to see him, a girl he has a moment with but he's waiting for someone else, a lost kiss, people he passes on the street, all of them are weighted with possibilities for a different film. It's also very beautiful.


Loneliest Planet [DVD] [2011] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Loneliest Planet [DVD] [2011] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by RAREWAVES USA
Price: £16.45

4.0 out of 5 stars things unsaid, 27 Jun. 2013
The first 50 minutes is a lesson in concentration. There are no plot points to encourage us to watch, no suggestion of an embracing story to come, we watch people walking, and take in the atmosphere of a young couple (Gael Garcia Bernal & Hani Furstenberg) enjoying each others company with a man who guides them. We frequently look for conclusions, why watch 50 minutes of a couple wandering around aimlessly (i'm sure they're going somewhere but i'm not sure where) what is the point? when will it end so i can make a judgment? So i decided early on to try and not make any judgments about whether this is a good or bad film, just watch it and let the time pass, and that way my enjoyment of it grew. We're waiting so long for something to happen, that i started to enjoy the waiting. And the plot points felt like an intrusion later on, although what an intrusion! It includes one of the most startling moments i've ever seen in a film.

The guide (Bidzina Gujabidze) is an extraordinary part. In any other film the actors presence would have been used for evil, for suspicion, and it shows us how often we are shortchanged into believing that bad people are so obvious in their badness. I was suspicious of the guide when we first meet him, but he becomes one of the warmest parts in the entire film. Until that is about ten minutes before the end of the film when something happens which reaches out for an easy resolution. I'm torn about it, it would have been expected for any other plot driven film, but it felt a little at odds with the atmosphere of this one. It happens as the girl and the guide are sitting around a fire at night, and you can feel it coming, and you're internal voice is saying "no please don't do that", but then it comes anyway.

It's a remarkable film, good direction, great performances, i look forward to the uk dvd release.


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