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"dangee_hotshot" (Fife, Scotland)

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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars will be the 4th best film this year, and thats a compliment, 1 May 2003
Behind the much anticipated third instalment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy in December, and the long-awaited Matrix sequels, it was up to director Bryan Singer to make sure that the second X-Men film, 'X2' would be up there challenging as one of the best films this year.
It surely is going to be the 4th best film this year, and certainly now it is currently the best film of 2003.
Never before have I experienced a situation in films (apart from in trilogies), where the first and second films have been so tied and relatable together, as 'X-Men' and 'X-Men 2' are.
It almost feels like one big film split in half, and that this films plot was previously planned when doing the first X-Men film.
The first movie, put you in with the characters, where you got to know them and their skills, and you got to know certain plots details like the fact that Wolverine had surgical enhancements to his body but wasn't sure how he got them, and that story was never followed up until this film.
The story ended with the powerful mutant 'Magneto' whose power is the ability to manipulate and control metal locked up in a tight security prison made of plastic.
With Magneto having a discussion over chess with X-Men leader, Charles Xavier, saying "does it worry you in the night, that they will pass that foolish law, and come for you and your children?", Xavier replying "it does indeed old friend".
This movie is all about that discussion, and so eventually a clear anti-mutant military commander, named William Stryker leads a military troop into Xavier's "school for the gifted".
The invasion of the school is exciting, especially when Wolverine and the aptly named 'Ice Man' respond to what’s going on, when the army come in to capture the mutants.
The start to this movie takes you straight into the thick of the action, with new mutant 'Nightcrawler' played by Scottish actor Alan Cumming who sports blue skin, a tail and a very amusing German accent, fighting his way through the white house.
His special power, is the ability to teleport, and this is used very well in this opening scene, where Nightcrawler can attack a group of security men, by hitting over a few at a time, disappearing, then reappearing to knock over a few more, and so on.
A certain scene is done in slow motion, and so allows you to see how amazing the fighting really is.
Nightcrawler isn't the only new mutant to appear in this movie, there is the inclusion of Deathstrike (Kelly Hu) who is Stryker's right-hand mutant, who fights under Strykers orders against the X-Men and namely Wolverine, whom they share a final showdown together.
One of the most exciting things about X-Men 2, is the fact that there are mutants that appear to show off there skills even half way into the movie, namely with the children at the school, with small kids coming out of nowhere to show their skills, like a kid that can change TV channels with his mind, one that screams so loud it makes everyone in the building pause in pain, a kid that turns into a human metal shield, and like in the first one, a kid that can walk through walls.
But more impressively is the expansion of the roles of Pyro (who has the power to manipulate and control fire) and Iceman (who has a contrasting ability to Pyro, as he manipulates and controls ice instead of fire), who both run away from the school after the invasion, with Wolverine and Rogue, who fight there way past police who tell Wolverine to "drop the knives", to go on and find Storm and Jean Grey who are out tracking Nightcrawler in Boston, in the very impressive X-Jet.
Overall this is a very good film, and is certainly recommended to anyone who is into good action films, and although its not mandatory but I would advise seeing the first movie before going to see this, as you might get lost in the many characters and stories that lead on from the first film into this.
The special effects are also fairly impressive, and don't out do the story, showing Pyro’s powerful use of fire when he takes on a whole police patrol with his fire bolts that destroy police cars, and also other good effects are used when Storm creates multiple tornadoes to put off air force planes that are chasing after them in the X-Jet.
As Ian McKellen touched on in an interview about the differences between this and other comic book adaptations like 'Spider-Man', is that 'X-Men 2', instead of producing a movie about a normal high school student who becomes a superhero, gives a very good action-packed movie that is political, thought provoking, relatable and above all it is an intelligent movie, that is in the expert hands of Bryan Singer’s direction, who has had more time and money to build impressive sets and enhance the story a lot more, than the limited time he had on the first movie, and it shows.
Best film I’ve seen this year, and best comic book adaptation yet.


Meteora (Enhanced UK Version)
Meteora (Enhanced UK Version)

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good, but not as good as Hybrid Theory, 24 Mar. 2003
Linkin Park have become, almost over night, not just one of the biggest bands in rock, but are now one of the biggest music bands on the planet.
With their debut 'Hybrid Theory', Linkin Park gradually and cleverly made their debut release a big hit, with the band not that well known, they toured in the U.S. with leading nu-metal (yes that was a time when the term "nu-metal" was a popular term to use among new rock bands) outfit Papa Roach.
This brought their music to a huge crowd across the length of America.
Then releasing the albums most rock infested tune 'One Step Closer' to hold a mainly hard rock fan base, before moving onto more mainstream songs from the album, to gain a much wider audience, hence the sale of over 7 million albums across the globe.
So with all that under their belts, Linkin Park would like to say they have grown in the past two years in the making of this new, and hotly anticipated new album.
In the middle of the wait they released a passable remix album with only a few decent songs on it, but now its down to business, and the new album has been deemed nu-metal's last hope, following the demise in success of Linkin Park's former rock rivals in Korn, Limp Bizkit and Papa Roach.
The pressure is mounting on this band to make this a success, and really when it gets down to it, is this a good album?
Yes it is, but its power isn't as strong and original as its predecessor, but this new album can pull a punch out of nowhere and produce some pretty good songs.
If you didn't like 'Somewhere I Belong', then you're not going to like this, as really that single is probably the strongest song on here, mixing hip-hop and rock to full effect, with strong vocals by front man Chester Bennington played with loud guitars and again flawless rapping from Mike Shinoda, providing a pretty good song.
Standout tracks on here include the opener 'Don't Stay', providing a hard-hitting guitar riff, with Bennington shouting along to a melodic and catchy chorus.
Others are the haunting 'Easier To Run', which is again another a strong track, much like 'Somewhere I Belong', which will probably end up as a future single.
The song contains deep lyrics like in the chorus with Bennington singing "its easier to run, replacing all the pain inside with something numb, its so much easier to go, than face all this pain here all alone".
Album closer "Numb" is probably my favourite track on here, with its meaningful sound, lyrically and musically, reminiscent of an older track by the band called 'My December', proving that although they can hit the heights of loud and aggressive rock songs, they can also slow things down and still mix it with a powerful rock and anthem like sound by the end, to make a great song.
On the downside this album does have some songs that could send you to sleep, with the far to slow and irritating 'Nobody's Listening' and the purely DJ music made by DJ Hahn in 'Session', which makes me wonder why on this rock album (and before on Hybrid Theory with 'Cure For The Itch') is there a purely dance/hip-hop track, that just sounds out of place and stupid?
But overall, its a good album, but does have a few low points.
A major disappointment, is that it doesn't collaborate hip-hop and rock as successfully as the band have done before on their first album, and what it results in, is a mix of rock songs with weak hip-hop influence, and hip-hop songs that seem out of place on a rock album.
This band were seen as the last hope of Nu-Metal, I don't think they've done enough to save the failing genre, and so would urge fans to look into Crazy Town's 'Darkhorse' or Papa Roach's 'LoveHateTragedy' for a more serious rock sound, from bands that have matured from their Nu-Metal tagged debut albums.


The Shyamalan Collection: Signs, Unbreakable and The Sixth Sense [5 Disc Collector's Edition] [DVD] [2002]
The Shyamalan Collection: Signs, Unbreakable and The Sixth Sense [5 Disc Collector's Edition] [DVD] [2002]
Dvd ~ Bruce Willis

21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best director of the last ten years, 1 Mar. 2003
M. Night Shyamalan is one of the most important people in films nowadays.
He directs excellently with the cold atmosphere he creates in his films to make them as scary and as interesting as possible, while also being probably today's best scriptwriter.
Shyamalan, in the three films in this collection, shows outstanding story-telling skills, where he leads you down the main part of the story while giving you clues that you don't pick up on until the end, and then at the climax it all fits and makes sense.
The best part about endings like these, where there's always a twist, is because thw twist is there all along in the film but you just don't know it, and when Shyamalan reveals it your shocked, and you take a completely different view from the film your watching, and makes it better film for it.
Shyamalan just pulls these stories out from his head, and is a promising hope now in the world of cinema, with films around his being mostly sequels (Final Destination 2, Terminator 3, and soon to be Spider-Man 2 and Die Hard 4), modern day versions of old films (The Time Machine, 13 Ghosts, Gone In 60 Seconds, Vanilla Sky), or adaptions from comics or books (Spider-Man, Lord of the Rings, Daredevil, Harry Potter).
The other side of Shyamalans class in his ability to write well, and in playing small but relevant roles as an actor in his films, is his ability to direct superbly.
He creates dark and cold atmospheres in The Sixth Sense, the way he films 'Unbreakable' with such a dark atmosphere to show you the turmoil and hurt of Samuel L. Jackson's character, while contrasting it with Bruce Willis's character who leads a dark life but with hope.
He also makes not so usually scary scenes in 'Signs' quite scary with his excellent use of shadows, lighting and music.
There is a particular scene when there is a news broadcast saying an alien had been accidentally filmed at a kids birthday party in Mexico-and its just the way the director uses the music, the shadows and the kids screams to make it a really haunting atmosphere, building up to where an alien is seen.
Another good scene is when the main characters are in the basement and its dark and the aliens are trying to get in while the family of four people are trying to keep them out, and there is only two torches and when things happen the torches are dropped and all you see is darkness, but the music and the screams and the noises leave it to the imagination of what kind of thing is taking place.
A top line of Hollywood's finest actors also join forces for these amazing films, in top names like Bruce Willis, Mel Gibson, Samuel L. Jackson and Jacques Pheonix making leading appearances.
Just to quickly say what the particular films are about; the first film (The Sixth Sense) is a dark thriller/horror about a boy who can "see dead people" as his sixth sense, and the only person to who listens to him is his physiatrist who tries to help him confront, and solve why the dead people can communicate with him; the second film (Unbreakable) is about a man who survived a train crash where he came out unscratched while everyone else died, provoking an obsessed comic book collector to believe he has superhuman powers, just like the people he reads about his comics; and finally the third film (Signs), which is also my favourite film of the three, is about an ex-Priest who after losing his faith in God after the death of his wife in a car crash six months earlier, notices strange crop circles in his fields, and later as UFO's are spotted across hundreds of cities across the world ready for an invasion, it all builds up to a mesmerising ending.
'The Usual Suspects' was a pretty good film overall, and has a pretty good and thoughtful climax, but these films just blow it away.
From the five discs in this set, there are two discs of extras for 'The Sixth Sense' and 'Unbreakable', with the other three discs being the actual films.
For great storytelling, originality, excellent direction, great acting and mind-blowing endings, you'll need to add these three films to your collection.


Cry Me a River [CD 1]
Cry Me a River [CD 1]
Offered by usnap
Price: £2.98

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pop music gets a revamp, 12 Feb. 2003
This review is from: Cry Me a River [CD 1] (Audio CD)
Along with the sludge that has come out of American and British pop music, Justin Timberlake has switched things round and pulled something off quite special here.
With pop music crossing over into the R'n'B scene, it seems to be paying off with good acts coming through like the resurgance of the Sugababes.
But here Justin has put out the best song yet, and possibly the best song of 2003 so far.
Here in 'Cry Me A River', the clear stand-out track from his otherwise self obsessed debut album 'Justified', Timberlake sings about being in a relationship where his girlfriend cheats on him, and he then wants to get some payback.
Timberlake sings fairly well, and with the mix of top producer Timbaland on the helm, it proves for a winning combination.
Elsewhere on the single, there are two poor and passable b-side remixes (could they not have had a normal b-side songs instead of these gap fillers?), and a pretty good and funny video for the song.
Overall, I would definately recommend this song, as it is fantastic, and from someone who wouldn't normally touch a pop single with a 10 foot poll, i do really think this song is worth a listen and one of the best of the year so far.
Certainly a nice change to the rubbish currently at the top of the charts these days.


Bat Thumb [DVD]
Bat Thumb [DVD]
Dvd ~ Steve Oedekerk

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars another fine comedy from the Thumbs, 2 Feb. 2003
This review is from: Bat Thumb [DVD] (DVD)
After seeing the very funny Thumb Wars, I just had to see this other film parody.
If you're unaware of what "Thumb" films are about, then its basically about thumbs that are dressed up and have computer added eyes and mouths.
And the creators base stories with these thumbs around popular films, like Star Wars, Titanic, Frankenstein, The Godfather and now in this case...Batman.
From the very good opening of a computer generated fly through Gaaathumb City (like Gotham City, get it?), the camera then goes to two thumb muggers who take money from a tourist in the city.
But when they run away to count the money or "loot", Bat Thumb makes an appearance.
Like the opening of the original Batman movie, the character Bat Thumb appears and confronts the villains with "I'm Bat Thumb!", before letting them go to tell their friends that a new Bat is in town.
The story is about Bat Thumb and his sidekick Bluejay, fighting evil villain "No Face", and rescuing the girl (Vicky Nail).
Overall, this is another excellent Thumb movie, and is a must for any Batman fans.


The Young And The Hopeless
The Young And The Hopeless
Price: £5.49

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the missing link between The Offspring and Blink?, 18 Jan. 2003
Mixing fast rock, with pop-punk anthems, Good Charlotte produce the first great album of 2003.
Little known to me until about two weks ago, I saw the video for 'Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous' and thought it was funny, but more importantly the song sounded great.
The song takes a dig at celebrities who complain about life, although they have mansions and have lots of money.
The song shas a good bass beat, and catchy chorus.
But before that song (the first single from the album), Good Charlotte start things off with an intro track called 'A New Beginning' that opens with a piano played, which is followed by almost operatic voices echoing in the background, then it hits hard with a fast rock beat with the guitar, bass and drums making an appearance to get things into motion.
The first track is an instrumental track but is good way to open an album.
The second track 'The Anthem', is another good mix of fast paced track with pop melodies.
The lyrics are about going through life and not wanting to be like how everyone expects you to be, like going to college then university, then getting a job, with the chorus: 'I don't wanna be just like you, don't wanna be you, this is an anthem, throw all your hands up, don't wanna be like you'
Stand-out tracks on here are the slow paced 'Wondering', the perky 'Girls & Boys', the sad 'Bloody Valentine' and one of my favourites 'Riot Girl'.
'Riot Girl' is sparks off straight into a pop-punk riff, is a full-on rock anthem.
The chorus contains the lyrics 'Christina, wouldn't want a meet her, she hates you Britney, so you better run for cover', 'Emergency, call nine-one-one, she's p***ed off at everyone, police rescue, F.B.I., she wants a riot, she wants a riot', which pull off the type of catchy and amusing lyrics that have made bands like Blink 182 and Green Day so big over here.
But my favourite track is the real anthem on here, with the title track 'The Young & The Hopeless' pulling off the best and most relatable lyrics on the album.
With some lyrics as 'and if i make it through today, will tomorrow be the same, and if i tumble and i fall, will i get up and carry on, or will it all just be the same?'.
Also on the track the singer take a swipe at his critics with 'and no one in this industry understands the life i lead when i sing about my past, its not a gimic not an act, these critics and these trustfund kids try to tell me what punk is, but when i see them on the street they got nothing to say'.
Overall the album is top quality and stretches its punk-pop-perks over all the tracks.
The band show promise to the modern punk-rock scene, as Good Charlotte add the ability to sound heavy while maintaining their pop-punk sound that makes them sound so good.
So this band are for people who like bands from the diffenent sides of the punk spectrum, from The Offspring and Green Day, to New Found Glory, Blink to Sum 41 and NOFX.
What a bright start to 2003, lets hope there's more like this to follow.


The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (XBox)
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (XBox)
Offered by sellatronic
Price: £13.95

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a superb game...pitty it wasn't based on the film though, 12 Jan. 2003
I find it weird how a games manufacturer didn't base this game on the actual film, where it would have made much more money on.
But it is based on the book instead.
Although it does give the game a slight advantage with more indepth character interactions, and more to do stories about.
The game starts off with Frodo in The Shire as a Hobbit, and searches around the town help people with problems they have, to give the game a problem solving task for the player.
Then after finding The Ring at his home, night falls and things begin to get more interesting.
So the dark hooded men on black horses show up in search of The Ring, and you have to guide Frodo quietly through The Shire, past the men who are looking for him on horse-back, to find Sam, Merry and Pippin, and to leave the Shire to help destroy The Ring.
After making your way through many adventures across the dark woodlands, you make your way to the 'Prancing Pony' Inn, that may be familiar to some players from the film.
This is where the Hobbits meet up with Aragorn, who makes for some interesting gameplay as the player then switches to control him, instead of Frodo.
This is where the game gets more exciting, as you play now as a warrior, who fights his way through the conquests that lie before him using an array of weapons, from his sword, arrows (normal, metal and ones that are on fire) and a burning torch to defeat the Black Riders that search for The Ring, and guide the young Hobbits to Rivendell.
Then for a final part of the game you become the Wizard as Gandalf The Grey.
This again makes for entertaining gameplay, where you once again lead now The Fellowship through the Mines of Moria to safety.
Playing as Gandalf makes the player use a combination of problem solving and fighting, which is put into effect with the use of his magic, and his magic staff that you have to use to get through certain problems.
So overall, the graphics are pretty good, and the game gives you a combination of problem-solving, fighting and both, and so I really enjoyed this game and would recommend it to people who have read the book and also to those who have seen the film.


Half Hour Of Power
Half Hour Of Power
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £3.74

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars debut from punk-rock's Canadian connection, 4 Jan. 2003
This review is from: Half Hour Of Power (Audio CD)
Sum 41 now have written one of the best punk-rock albums in years ('Does This Look Infected?'), and in 2001 had 'All Killer No Filler' as their breakthrough and major label debut selling millions, as the punk-rock scene (with such bands as Blink 182 and New Found Glory) starting to grow.
So before the successes of those two albums, Sum 41 released this EP to start the grow in their popularity from the underground.
Half Hour Of Power lasts funnily enough 30 minutes, and as an EP, it contains some muck about songs such as 'T.H.T' and '32 Ways To Die', which features the drummer Steve Jocz drumming non-stop for one and a half minutes.
But this song features some very good punk-pop songs in 'Machine Gun' and the album's best song in the melodic and catchy 'Makes No Differance', and the original versions of 'All Killer No Filler's' 'Summer', and single 'What We're All About'.
This album is an EP (which is also half produced from Deryck Whibley) and makes for some good listening when played, and shows the beginning of the history of Canadian punk-rockers Sum 41 so far successful career.


Theory of a Deadman
Theory of a Deadman
Price: £7.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars another success from the growing Canadian rock scene, 4 Jan. 2003
This review is from: Theory of a Deadman (Audio CD)
this are a band that stand on their own two feet, and are influenced in many ways by their Canadian rock conterparts Nickelback, but thats to be expected with Chad Kroeger being one of the two producers, and co-writing 6 of the 10 songs on here with frontman Tyler Connolly.
But I suppose for the better it is Tyler Connolly who writes the albums lead off single 'Nothing Could Come Between Us' on his own.
The song is a fine grunge rock anthem, and shows the power of the bands loud and raw sound with Connollys ruff but strong voice.
But before we get to 'Nothing Could Come Between Us' on the album, we first listen to opening track 'Invisible Man', which appears as a b-side on the 'Hero' single (where Connolly plays guitar on 'Hero'), and also on the Spider-Man soundtrack.
'Invisible Man' is a hard sounding song, and is a good indication of the other songs on the album.
Third track 'Make Up Your Mind' is one of my favourite songs on the record, with its sound at the start where it sounds mellowed and the lyrics reflect this with Connolly singing over an acoustic, before breaking into a full-on rock sound with the chorus, and inclusion of electric guitars.
Along the way there are some great heart wrenching rock songs like the superb 'The Last Song', the closing track 'Confession' of a failed relationship where Connolly sings "Well It's Like...Life After Death, Is Like Life After You" and 'What You Deserve' that has a guitar riff at the start that suspicously sounds like Nickelback's guitar riff on 'Silver Side Up's' 'Hangnail'.
But overall this album is very good, and even if it is influenced by Nickelback (who's name seems like a swear word in rock magazines nowadays), is it not a good thing?
Nickelback are huge, and have a great album thats made them Canadian rock legends, so I feel its only good for rock music, to have promising bands like Theory of a Deadman to be helped along by their Canadian rock brothers.


Does This Look Infected?
Does This Look Infected?
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £5.75

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sum 41's best album so far, 1 Jan. 2003
Sum 41 last year were in with the punk-pop mix of bands out at the time with others such as New Found Glory, Blink 182 and Fenix TX.
And basically with songs such as 'Fat Lip' and 'In Too Deep', they were a pop-punk band.
Until now...
Sum 41 have pulled up their sleeves and made one of the most catchiest and infectious punk-rock albums of the year.
It starts off with the sad 'The Hell Song', due to be their next single, that is a great starter for the album, leading you straight into the catchy chorus and infectious riffs of the album.
Another very good song in 'Over My Head (Better Off Dead)' with an unknown new "heavy" sound to the band, and again with a very catchy chorus included("now i'm in over my head, with something i said, completely misread, i'm better off dead, but now i can't see, i think you can't be, this hypocrisy is beginning to get to me").
'Still Waiting', there first single from the album, is another fine song, with another catchy melody.
The song refers to the ongoing problems in the world with the line "so am i still waiting for this world, to stop hating?", showing how the band can move on from the past songs about girls and skateboarding, to songs about world affairs and songs about losing a friend in the album opener 'The Hell Song'.
Like the song on 'All Killer, No Filler' called 'Never Wake Up' which is a fun 30-second song, the new album follows in the same fashion with 'A.N.I.C.' which is a fun, foul mouth, shout-out song aimed at someone they call an a**h***.
'No Brains' despite the weird title, is a strong song about giving up on a relationship with a good chorus in: "Goodbye, I've had enough frustration, I won't get stuck, This dead end situation, It's just not worth my time, But waiting so frustrating".
'Thanks For Nothing' is my favourite song on the album, with its crunching sound, great sound and again another amazingly catchy chorus.
Its also another dark song, with sad lyrics, which near the end of the song Deryck Whibley (frontman) just simply sings "Thanks For Nothing..." and really reflects the mood of the song.
The pecuilar named 'Hyper-Insomnia-Para-Condroid' is suprisingly very good, despite its title.
Its very catchy with its "and it goes on and on..." chorus, that breaks into another chorus during the song where Whibley sings "I'm wearing thin, I just guess these walls they keep caving in, I've gone too far, Where's my mind?, Why can't I stop fear this paranoia?".
Other songs I haven't mentioned are still very good, but i just wanted to highlight the best ones in my review, so don't get worried and think the other one's are rubbish or something, because they're all very good.
So overall, if you like any type of rock music, especially punk-rock/pop-punk you'll love this, it really is a class ahead of most of the bands in their genre at the moment.


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