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John Picard

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Star Trek Voyager  - Season 2 (Slimline Edition) [DVD]
Star Trek Voyager - Season 2 (Slimline Edition) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Kate Mulgrew
Price: £11.70

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Getting better, 3 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Season 2 of Star Trek Voyager is a definite improvement over the first season. It turned out to be a really strong season (I really wanted to give it five stars but couldn't because of 1 absolutely dreadful episode.) Season 2 has some of the best episodes in the entire series, and a viewer can tell that the Producers know where they were going.

There are several brilliant sub-plots in season 2 that go throughout several stories. There is a mini plot regarding Neelix's jealousy, and another revolving around Tom Paris's unusual behavior. A great sub-plot was the traitor on board Voyager which keeps the audience interested as to how that theme would unfold. All these plots come to a head in certain episodes. What I always loved about Voyager was the character development and that factor carries on in style in season 2, it's really engaging getting to know more about their personalities and interactions between each other.

My favourite episodes in season 2 are: "Projections" (where the Doctor feels he is going mad), "Persistence of Vision" (in which the crew experience hallucinations), "Cold Fire" (where Kes learns new dangerous powers), "Prototype" (a unique story where Torres helps robots who have a sinister hidden agenda), "Alliances" (in which Janeway wishes to negotiate with the Kazon secs), "Meld" (where Tuvok's darker side is released), "Lifesigns" (where the Doctor experiences love), "Investigations" (where Neelix becomes an investigator and tries to expose the traitor) , "Deadlock" (where the crew are duplicated) and "The Thaw" (where a malevolent clown rules a nightmare world, reminded me of TOS a lot.) I also found some episodes in season 2 scary and powerful, some were really great stories.

This is an excellent season overall. The episode "Threshold" is the worst episode of Star Trek Voyager and is unfortunately featured in this season, preventing it from getting five stars. It is quite possibly the worst episode to carry the "Star Trek" name. The techno-babble can get annoying and tedious at times, but the brilliant story content more than makes up for it. Season 2 delivered superbly and I can't wait for season 3!

The Walking Dead - Season 4 [Blu-ray] [2014]
The Walking Dead - Season 4 [Blu-ray] [2014]
Dvd ~ Andrew Lincoln
Price: £17.95

14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 22 April 2014
I love "The Walking Dead" and this series carries on the excellence. Rick and his team are still struggling with many varying conflicts arising: The Walkers, The Governor, Rick's own people etc. The episode "Days Gone By" is amazing and one of the best stories we've ever had. The writers are still doing great work even if they didn't fully explore all the characters they should have at Woodbury in season 3. Personally, season 2 is still my favourite as I loved Dale's morals and the conflict surrounding Shane (I feel Walking Dead has lost some of it's atmosphere it had originally) but Season 4 is still great. Any fan of Walking Dead needs this set, the show is still going strong!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 23, 2014 10:38 PM BST

The Blue Planet - Complete BBC Series [DVD]
The Blue Planet - Complete BBC Series [DVD]
Dvd ~ David Attenborough
Price: £7.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 20 April 2014
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This is a highly informative nature documentary by the great David Attenborough. I just love all his series and "The Blue Planet" is juts as good as the rest, the crew delves into the creatures of the deep this time. Under the ocean we witness all kinds of things, from shark attacks to fascinating underwater formations and how species adapt and interrelate with each other in their environments. Some people may find the water series more uninteresting as people may prefer mammals, but it I love this series. It's absolutely wonderful, really great series.

Star Trek Voyager  - Season 1 (Slimline Edition) [DVD]
Star Trek Voyager - Season 1 (Slimline Edition) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Kate Mulgrew
Price: £17.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Not Excellent, But Very Good, 20 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Star Trek: Voyager is different to the other series in that the crew are trapped in the delta quadrant after being sent across the galaxy against their will by a powerful being called the "Caretaker." I have always loved Voyager and while season one doesn't quite reach the height of later years, I still like it.

The opening episode "The Caretaker" is a very strong introduction to the series, probably the best New Trek episode ever. It does well at bringing in the new characters, setting the tone and theme that would be present throughout the whole series. Other notable stories include "Eye of the needle" when the crew manage to contact a suspicious Romulan on the other side of a wormhole that leads back to their part of the galaxy, the Alpha Quadrant. "Ex Post Facto" is a very gripping story, about a murder mystery and is a highlight of the first season. "Prime Factors" and "State of flux" are really good as well, exploring other themes: morals and ethics and betrayal on board Voyager, the crew attempt to find out who is working for the Kazon (an enemy that will appear frequently on Voyager and this leads onto season 2.) "Cathexis" is a brilliant story in my view even if some don't like it, I found the creepiness involved in the episode very effective. "Faces" is a very good story, one of the best of the first season. "Learning Curve" is another fine story, a fitting end to the first series which deals with training the officers to the best possible standards.

Of course with season one, the Producers are still trying to decide which path to take the series. A lot of the time seasons 1 and 2 is experimental work, it is still establishing certain themes and directions as well still developing the characters and relationships between them. It's interesting to see how early on the Marquis officers are finding it hard to adjust to the Starfleet way of doing things, also Janeway tries to comply with the Prime Directive (not interference), maintaining her principles away from home and representing Starfleet and it's responsibilities. Overall, Voyager season one is good. There are some poor episodes as with any season but the strong entries overpower them. Any fan of Star Trek or intelligent Science-Fiction should buy this set, you won't regret it.

The Walking Dead - Season 1-3 [Blu-ray] [2010]
The Walking Dead - Season 1-3 [Blu-ray] [2010]
Dvd ~ Andrew Lincoln
Price: £41.88

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing TV show, 19 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I absolutely love "The Walking Dead." In fact, I would go so far as to say it's one of my favourite TV shows of all-time. I simply had to buy this set after hearing the praise given and what an amazing purchase it was!

This epic TV series is about a zombie apocalypse and a few remaining survivors scattered in different areas (and one main group that we follow), as they try to find a safe home free from Walkers (the Zombies.) But this series isn't just about the Zombies, it's about personal struggles as well, the relationships between the characters that change and develop from episode to episode. This is what makes this show not "just another Zombie thing." We get to know the characters and begin to care for some of them, some are better written than others. They all have their individual personalities and abilities, following leader Rick Grimes, who is a policeman. Series 1 sets up the show perfectly, it only has six episodes but at first the Producers didn't know if people would like it, but of course they did. The first ever episode was directed by director of "The Shawshank Redemption", which is highly regarded as the best movie of all-time (my #1 favourite film) so just had to see the first one, which is an amazing episode. Sometimes TV series take a while to find their feet, but "The Walking Dead" is brilliant immediately, it could not have been a better start to the show with "Days Gone By." Then season 2 kicks in with 13 more episodes which is wonderful. This season is very Rick, Lori and Shane oriented. This trio is where a lot of the conflict comes from in this season, alongside the addition of the new cast, when they find a farm. The character Hershel is excellent and really well written, probably the best if it wasn't for my personal favourite character, Dale. He is the wisest, most experienced member of the survivors who provides moral support and always does the right thing, having a real heart. The way the Glenn/Maggie love sub-plot was inserted is delightful which keeps the enjoyment flowing. Some viewers think season 2 starts a little slow, with the group searching for Carol's little girl and that the episodes at the farm while this was going off were "boring." I disagree, these episodes do take up the first half of season 2, but it allows more time for character development and the ways in which the characters were explored kept me entertained even if the Zombie action was lower. After all, this series is more than just killing Zombies; it's more in-depth and intermixes alternating themes together effectively. And the pay-off in episode 7 is mesmerizing after the wait (I won't spoil it for you but it really is an amazing and totally unexpected conclusion to that story arc.) Season 2 episode 7 is my personal favourite episode of "The Walking Dead" up to this point, it really did masterfully handle everything well here, one of the greatest TV episodes of all-time. The premiere to season 2 is outstanding as well; one of the best new season opening's ever, such a tension-filled and action-packed episode. I loved in the season 1 episode "Guts" how Rick and Glenn dress themselves in Zombies flesh/guts to be disguised as a "Walker" while walking through packs of them. The climax to season 2 is marvelous, another personal favourite of mine, the last episodes of season 2 are great and build up suspense stunningly. The following events in the third season carry things on and bring in more plot elements, such as more survivors. It's not just the Walkers who are a threat, even humans are, everyone wants to survive however they can. It's interesting to see how the Zombies have changed the world, not just the landscape, but also their impact on people. The psychological effects on some survivors are easily shown, with some losing it and the stresses of situations mounting, changing people. The survivors must fight to stay alive, but also maintain their humanity, even if the crazy world in which they live tries to change them into something ugly. Season 2 is amazing. I think Season 2 is better than Season 1, a lot more things happened due to more time being invested. Season 1 has a more compact feel, whereas Season 2 has a more drawn-out sense but still so many things happened at the same time. Season 1 is short but sweet, 2 concentrates a lot more on developing the characters and internal conflicts. Season 3 is exceptional as well, I feel all the episodes link well together and not much of it is slow, surprising considering it's the longest season (Season 3 has 16 episodes.) It does focus on the characters like season 2 and also explores other themes, sub-plots and story arcs, a lot of the season is action driven. Difficulties with other humans arise and it stretches the boundaries of what is morally right and what has to be done to survive. The episodes "Sick", "Killer Within" and "Clear" are magnificent, some of the best stories "The Walking Dead" has ever had.

These are my favourite episodes from the 3 seasons but really almost all the episodes are great:

Season 1: "Days Gone By"(A+), "Guts"(A-), "Tell It To The Frogs"(A-), "Vatos"(A-)
Season 2: "What Lies Ahead"(A), "Save The Last One"(A-), "Pretty Much Dead Already"(A+), "Nebraska"(A-), "18 Miles Out"(A-), "Judge, Jury, Executioner"(A-), "Better Angels"(A), "Beside The Dying Fire"(A+)
Season 3: "Seed"(A-), "Sick"(A), "Killer Within"(A+), "Say The Word"(A-), "Hounded"(A-), "When The Dead Come Knocking"(A-), "The Suicide King"(A-), "Clear"(A+), "This Sorrowful Life"(A), "Welcome To The Tombs"(A-), I didn't mind season three's finale even though many fans thought it was weak.

The special-effects are ground-breaking and unbelievable considering this is a TV series. The amount of Zombies in some episodes clearly indicates a high budget. As the series progresses, events escalate and the series becomes darker and darker with more shocking events, Walker frenzies and characters that are struggling with their own inner demons and sadness.

"The Walking Dead" is an astonishing TV show. It's full of fear, gritty action, intense emotions and a serious, dark atmosphere. It's not for the faint hearted either, it can be violent but is also full of hope - that is what keeps the survivors going, hoping that one day they will find a secure haven away from all the mess and hell of the Walkers. I definitely recommend you buy this set, believe the hype, "The Walking Dead" is a masterpiece.

Gravity [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]
Gravity [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ George Clooney
Price: £4.41

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's ok, 30 Mar. 2014
I went and saw this film in the IMAX and it was really good, but to watch it anywhere else I feel would make it a lesser film. "Gravity" was designed to be shown in the IMAX and everything wouldn't be as effective on a normal DVD player, for example.

I think the special-effects are great but some parts were a little slow. It is well filmed, however I feel it needed something more.

Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban [2004] [DVD]
Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban [2004] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Daniel Radcliffe
Offered by ReNew Entertainment
Price: £5.13

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Film, 23 Mar. 2014
The first two films in the series were great, but I believe the third installment is even better. This time they bring in a different director, Alfonso Cuaron, and he does a really good job. "The Prisoner of Azkaban" has a different feel from the first two movies, due to the director creating his own style and atmosphere. This film is darker and more realistic and is brilliantly shot. The plot is really strong too, the movie keeps elements from the previous two, but adds much more personality. The first two films felt the same as Chris Columbus was the director for both, his take was stylized and fantastical. Alfonso's direction is more grounded, with fun aspects, and not as kiddy as the first two.

In this film Harry and his friends are starting to mature and are now teenagers. Harry enflates his aunt Marge into a giant floating ball and is surprised to find that he gets into no trouble even though using magic outside school is against the law. As the film progresses, we find that everyone is concerned for Harry's safety and learn that Sirius Black, an escapee from the high security prison Azkaban, wants to kill him. Dementors, foul creatures that feed on happy memories, stalk Hogwarts to protect it from Sirius Black getting inside. I won't tell you much more about the plot as it will spoil the movie for you, but the plot is really strong.

There are new additions to the cast in this one too. Michael Gambon replaces Richard Harris as the character Dumbledore after Harris's death not long after the release of the "Chamber of Secrets" in 2002. I feel he embodied Dumbledore better than Harris overall, despite not having lots of scenes, definitely not as many with Harry as with previous films. Professor Lupin is the new defence against the dark arts teacher and for me he is the best teacher of that subject they ever had in the series. He had the closest bond with Harry, making friends quickly with him and he was a good person, a great addition. This movie develops the intelligence of Hermione Granger more, I'm not going to tell you why as it's a spoiler, but that was great. Snape has a lot more to do and I think he's a brilliantly written character and the actor just owns all the scenes he's in. He had a lot better dialogue in this film and Snape believed Lupin was helping Sirius Black into the castle, as they had a past acquaintance, related to Harry's father. This is the only film in the series where the plot didn't center around Voldermort, he is mentioned but is not the focus this time. The scenes towards the end are excellently scripted and delivered with style and imagination, a very unique and interesting conclusion. It has to do with time, the only Harry Potter film to use that unique approach.

The acting is also top-notch, the adult actors are all veterans as usual and the kids got to strecth their legs more with acting. This film had the best use of music out of all the films in my opinion and is overall the strongest directed of all eight. "Prisoner of Azkaban" is arguably the best film in the series. I definitely consider it being in the top three. It's a shame Alfonso Cuaron only did this film, another director made "Goblet of Fire", but "Prisoner of Azkaban" is such a great film. Overall Grade: A

Doctor Who - The Complete BBC Series 1 Box Set [2005] [DVD]
Doctor Who - The Complete BBC Series 1 Box Set [2005] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Christopher Eccleston
Offered by movielovers786
Price: £17.39

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great regeneration of this amazing show, 17 Mar. 2014
This is a strong return for Doctor Who, and Russell T Davies had to get it right and he did. The effects look a lot better than in the old series as there have been advancements in technology since then, it's more modernized which gives it a fresh feel, the characters are likable, there is an atmosphere of warmth surrounding the series and the plots are always interesting and different. Christopher Eccleston is brilliant as the Doctor and it's a shame he only lasted one series. I still prefer David Tennant, he always my favorite right back to childhood, but Eccleston is still great. Here's my take on each of the episodes:

Rose: A good introduction to a revived series. It introduces the characters well and the plot is immediately engaging. I love the shot with the Doctor and Rose where they are walking down a street, a very long take. This episode has to establish the series as well the main plot and introduce characters, themes, etc. It has some problems, the villains were not exactly threatening but it was a good start. Grade: C

The End of the world: The Doctor takes Rose straight to the future after the events of "Rose." I liked this episode and enjoyed many parts in it. It could have been developed a bit better, it was rather simplistic and your standard sabotage story. I thought it was a bit odd that the Doctor would choose to show Rose the end of the world on her first trip but I went with it. Grade: C

The Unquiet Dead: Not quite as strong as the first two episodes but still enjoyable.The scenes between Charles Dickens and The Doctor were very well written and how they re-created the past was excellent. the setting was good and the acting was top notch again. The story suffered in my view from the villains, this seems to be the problem so far. The plot was a little weird and far-fetched (I know Doctor Who can be far fetched.) I just thought it could have been so much more, still alright though. Grade: C-

Aliens of London: This episode is ok. This almost got a good grade, I just thought it could have been so much better written. I liked parts of it, just a little silly was the plot. Grade: D+

World War Three: The aliens are the problem. Their actions do not suit their appearance. They look adorable on the outside, with their facial expressions and features, but they can attack people in a way that doesn't fit in with this. This was bad, they needed to look like a more menacing villain. The end of the episode picks the grade up though, good scenes towards the back end. Grade: D+

Dalek: For me, this is overrated. It's still very good, but not as good as people say it is. I think Eccleston pulls off a brilliant performance and it does good at introducing the Daleks to the new series viewers, but the plot needed something more. I'm not a massive fan of the Dalek stories and that might be why I think it's overrated. It's solid though. Grade: B-

The Long Game: This is an interesting story and has mixed opinions. I personally think it's ok, nothing great, but nothing bad. A nice piece of science-fiction creativity and Simon Pegg is brilliant as our antagonist, wish he'd play these roles more often. Grade: D

Father's Day: This is where the series really picks up. It's probably the most emotional episode in the series and it has great characterization, showing conflicts and problems arising from all angles. It's a cause and effect type story that explores human interactions very well, and issues surrounding couples and still remains true to Doctor Who and the sci-fi element. The best episodes are the ones that can manufacture multiple themes and keep the pace and creativity going, this was brilliant, Grade: A

The Empty Child: This is my favorite episode in the series. The plot is simple in it's form, but it's the style that makes it stand out. This is probably the scariest ever episode so far. Excellent. Grade: A-

The Doctor Dances: Not quite as strong as the first part but still great. The horrors gone, but the awesomeness is still present. Very Good. Grade: B+

Boom Town: The weakest episode in the series for me. It's ok but I feel it had a lot of wasted potential. I also found it unlikely that a Slitheen would be able to weave their way back into society, Harriet Jones would have noticed and for some bizzare reason she is not mentioned in this episode at all. Unrealistic this one. Grade: D-

Bad Wolf: I love this one. I liked the idea of putting The Doctor, Rose and Jack all in different "games", games where people die and only the winner survives. It's so clever and it sets up the finale perfectly. Grade: B+

The Parting Of The Ways: Unfortunately the conclusion was not as strong as the build up, which is usually the case in two-part stories. The Daleks are not my favourites as you know, the plot could have been so much better. I still enjoyed it though. Grade: C-

Overall, series one was good. A lot of the episodes hit "good" which is a C grade. I thought Eccleston played brilliantly and the plots were interesting and entertaining, can't wait for season two!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 24, 2014 10:05 PM BST

Stanley Kubrick T-Shirt, clockwork orange, 2001 space odyssey, shining, hal 9000
Stanley Kubrick T-Shirt, clockwork orange, 2001 space odyssey, shining, hal 9000
Price: £12.99 - £15.55

5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Shirt, 5 Jan. 2014
I love all Stanley Kubrick's films (he's my favorite Director of all-time), so I had to get this. It looks so like him, with that intelligent and focused mind. The image clearly shows his character. The green also looks nice from the black background, not too big or small, just right. Just make sure you pick the right size (you can always send it back if its too big or too small, that's whats annoying about the internet clothes.) I love this shirt and it's a must for all Kubrick fans.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 - Hardened Edition (PS3)
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 - Hardened Edition (PS3)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best game ever, 5 Jan. 2014
Modern Warfare 2 for now and for the future (for me) will always be the greatest game of all time.

I love this game, its miles better than MW3. The story is really engaging and the characters are so memorable. There are a huge variety of missions (that you can play on at different difficulty levels) and the special ops are amazing and very challenging. My fave Call Of Duty (love zombies but this is a truly a great game.) The best game of all-time.

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