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Reviews Written by
Gavin Bell "Gavin Bell" (Glasgow)

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The Man in the High Castle Season 1
The Man in the High Castle Season 1

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 8 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Great pilot, this needs to be picked up!

Slice and Dice: The Slasher Film Forever [DVD] [2012]
Slice and Dice: The Slasher Film Forever [DVD] [2012]
Dvd ~ Calum Waddell
Price: £16.79

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great documentary - especially for Corey Feldman fans!, 16 July 2013
I caught this at a screening in Glasgow and, as a fan of 80s slashers and horror flicks in general, really enjoyed it.

The documentary focuses on some of the more unsung heroes of the genre, so although some of the talking heads may be unfamiliar to the less than hardcore horror fan, rest assured you'll probably have seen and appreciated their work. The documentary functions as a great overview of what makes a great slasher movie, along with some Scream-esque rules for surviving a slasher.

The standout for me was the contribution from Mr Corey Feldman - star of The Goonies, Gremlins and The Lost Boys, and one of the few people to get the better of Jason Vorhees. Hey, even Kevin Bacon couldn't manage it. Feldman is sharp, funny and informative, and it's a tribute to the filmmakers that they coached such great material from him. The other contributors are well chosen and each has at least one great observation about a genre that's loved and maligned in equal measure.

The Addiction Line
The Addiction Line

5.0 out of 5 stars addictive reading..., 16 Oct. 2012
The Addiction Line is a great read, functioning equally well as crime thriller and as something more literary. All of the requisite thriller tropes are in place - guns, drugs, murders and mystery, but the book is about more than that. The characterisation of the protagonist as an outwardly successful businessman with a host of secret regrets works well against the backdrop of a tale of international drug smuggling. The denouement is great, with the mystery and the human element tied up nicely.

Dead Men's Harvest: Joe Hunter: Book Six
Dead Men's Harvest: Joe Hunter: Book Six
Price: £4.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best one so far, 17 July 2012
The fourth Joe Hunter book I've read, and definitely the best so far. Dead Men's Harvest is a sequel to the first book in the series and features the return of that book's big bad.

There's plenty of the standard action man sequences you'd expect, but Hilton really steps it up a gear for the big finish aboard a storm-lashed Russian cargo ship. Unusually for book 6 in a thriller series, there's a genuine sense of peril about the climax. Looking forward to checking out No Going Back next.

The Birthing House
The Birthing House
by Christopher Ransom
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars pretty good... the level of criticism is odd, 28 Mar. 2009
This review is from: The Birthing House (Paperback)
TWENTY FIVE one-star reviews of this book on amazon at the time of writing?

That seems like a hell of a lot for a book that, although not without its flaws, is an efficient page-turner at the very least. Reading through the negative reviews, they all seem to over-criticise the same elements of the book in similar language, almost as if the reviewers know each other. I'm left to wonder if Christopher Ransom gatecrashed a book group and pissed on their hobnobs, because that's the only explanation I can come up with for this level of hostility.

It's not up there with The Shining, not by a long shot, but then what is? It's a well-written, moderately creepy haunted house story that will keep you entertained for a few hours. I can see why some people were left nonplussed by the ending, but I thought it worked okay. It would (and probably will) make a good movie.

But if this is really the worst book these people have read, they haven't been doing much reading.

Destination: Morgue
Destination: Morgue
by James Ellroy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth a glom, 12 Sept. 2008
This review is from: Destination: Morgue (Paperback)
This reviewer is an Ellroy fan. This reviewer dug The Big Nowhere. This reviewer dug LA Confidential. This reviewer dug American Tabloid tres righteous.

I heard there was a new Ellroy tome out. I checked Google. Shagged a number for the library. 28 Bank Street. I hit the library. I braced the librarian. Aisle six. Non-fic. I found the book. I withdrew the book. I read the book.

I glommed the GQ articles. Three novellas. Ellroy's style is mucho terse. Ellroy's style is tres irritating. Ellroy's style is mysteriously readable.

The book is okay. The book is not classic Ellroy. Ellroy is not as cool as he thinks.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 26, 2015 3:14 PM BST

In the Night Garden - Who's Here? [DVD]
In the Night Garden - Who's Here? [DVD]
Dvd ~ Derek Jacobi
Offered by Assai-uk
Price: £4.86

26 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrifying, 31 July 2007
This gets five stars because my 17 month old daughter loves it and sits rapt in front of the television for the duration of the show.

But it's scary as hell for adults.

Iggle Piggle reminds me of the spooky ghost-baby things from the movie Silent Hill, and I had a nightmare the other night where I was in a room full of candles in an old house and Upsy Daisy's voice was calling to me from all around, but I could never see where she was...


Anyway, great buy for kids.

Batman: Arkham Asylum Anniversary Edition
Batman: Arkham Asylum Anniversary Edition
by Grant Morrison
Edition: Paperback

27 of 44 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars very 1980s... and not necessarily in a good way, 5 Oct. 2006
At the risk of being mauled by several hundred angry Arkham Asylum fans, I have to say that this isn't a terrible graphic novel, but it is an incredibly over-rated one.

The main problem is Dave McKean's art. While he's a fantastic cover artist (just check out the gorgeous work he did on the complete run of Sandman and its associated collections), his ultra-impressionistic style just isn't suited to the demands of a linear comic book narrative. The inclusion of Grant Morrison's obsessively-detailed script only highlights this deficiency; so much of a reasonably interesting story has been sacrificed on the alter of admitedly awe-inspiring visuals. The nadir has to be when McKean translates a one-line description of Batman pricking his hand with a shard of glass into a double page orgy of gore as he rams the shard all the way through his palm. Why the hell would Batman do this? Your guess is as good as mine. The only answer I can come up with is 'because the artist thought it would look cool'. That sums up this book for me.

Grant Morrison's script isn't perfect either, although it would certainly have been better served by a Brian Bolland or a Dave Gibbons. The basic 'Batman is as crazy as his enemies' premise is almost as hackneyed as the 'Batman and Robin are gay lovers' one - a shallow take on the character that isn't even investigated very well here .

In his highly readable notes on the script, Morrison claims the story was a comment on the dark as hell, style over substance caricature that the Dark Knight had turned into in the post-Miller 80s. If that really was his intent, he was unsuccessful in bringing it across. Instead, the book seems to display all of the flaws of that period with few of the strengths. Morrison is very capable of writing classic Batman stories, but his 'Gothic' arc in Legends of the Dark Knight with artist Klaus Janson is superior on every level to his debut effort here.

Writer, artist and character have all produced excellent work in the field of comic books, but this just isn't a great example of it. The inclusion of the script makes this a value-for-money packaging of a curio of a bygone age, but the graphic novel itself leaves a lot to be desired.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 4, 2011 3:52 PM BST

Batman: In Darkest Knight
Batman: In Darkest Knight
by Mike W. Barr
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars What if Batman had Green Lantern's powers?, 22 Nov. 2005
The tendency of comic mainstays to be reinvented or re-examined through alternative reality 'what if' scenarios has spawned an entire sub-genre of slipstream lines such as the DC 'Elseworlds' series. The various titles in the series provide a platform for examining characters through different lenses, and exploring possibilities that could never make it into the prime reality' storyline.
One of the more interesting 'what if' stories in that series is "Batman: In Darkest Knight", wherein Bruce Wayne, instead of Hal Jordan, becomes the Green Lantern for the space sector including Earth.
What makes the comic fascinating, is the premise of Green Lantern's power ring being only limited by the will power of the wielder. Batman has no 'super' hero powers, and is sustained and made mighty through the exercise of his will power. What do you get if you put those two ideas together? The Green Lantern creed is "In brightest day, in darkest night"... they didn't name the book "Batman: In Brightest Day".
An elseworlds classic.

Love is Hell Part 2
Love is Hell Part 2
Offered by Direct Entertainment UK
Price: £2.51

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Record companies can be so mean, 11 Dec. 2003
This review is from: Love is Hell Part 2 (Audio CD)
"They say that love is hell, but I've been laughing ever since I fell".
So sings Adams on the track Gonna Make Me Love You from his outstanding 2001 record Gold. It's a sentiment likely to be echoed by those who listen to this new effort.
Love Is Hell pt 2 is the second of two EPs of material from Adams's third album proper, which was inexplicably rejected by Lost Highway as being 'not his best work'.
Sure, it's a good deal more downbeat than the FM rock party that is Rock and Roll, but songwriting this accomplished could never be described as uncommercial. It's more varied, too, with My Blue Manhattan evoking images of a late-night jazz bar, Please Do Not Let Me Go harking back to this alt. country roots, and standout tracks like Hotel Chelsea Nights and English Girls Approximately that would be at home on any of his albums.
Put together with the equally superb part 1, Love is Hell is probably the most accomplished work Adams has done to date (no small praise). Rock and Roll, the simultaneous label-approved release, is a hell of a lot of fun, but this is Ryan Adams at his best.
Highly recommended.

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