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Michael Brown (Rozelle, Australia)

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Battlestar Galactica - The Complete Series [1978] [DVD]
Battlestar Galactica - The Complete Series [1978] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Lorne Greene
Price: £12.00

13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Missed opportunity, 9 Feb. 2004
I loved the series, but as a DVD box set, this is a bit of a disappointment.
I've only watched the first 5 episodes, so far, but I have to report that the picture is average, at best. There's been no attempt to clean it up that I can see. At times, it has a hazy quality that makes it seem that you're viewing it across a smoky room - and there's no smokers in our house! There's a fair share of blips and scratches too, although nothing too distracting. It's still better than VHS, of course, but not by as much as I'd hoped it would be.
The sound, at least, is a massive improvement over my old video tapes of the series. Although touted as a 5.1 mix, I got nothing out of my rear speakers, save for some music over the opening credits. But all my front speakers appeared to be busy, even the sub-woofer.
I've not yet watched any of the extras, so I can't comment on those. However, you should be warned that the US version of this set has more extras still, including a Hatch/Benedict commentary over Saga of a Star World. I decided I could live without these though.
Despite all that, I'd still put this down as an essential purchase for fans of the series, and at a reasonable price (less than 40 quid, as I write this).


Creative Labs Jukebox 3 20Gb MP3 Player with Free Remote Control/FM Tuner
Creative Labs Jukebox 3 20Gb MP3 Player with Free Remote Control/FM Tuner

77 of 78 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A little long in the tooth, but great value at this price, 15 Jan. 2004
I've had the 40 Gig version of the JB3 for over a year now. Although I've been very happy with it, there's no getting away from the inconvenience of its huge size, especially when compared to an Apple iPod. If you can cope with that though, this is excellent value, especially with the inclusion of the FM remote.
It's got some other tricks up its sleeve, which the iPods can't match. Such as:
* a removable battery, with space for a second one alongside, to give you a total of 22 hours play time. Plus, you won't have to return it to base and stump up £50 or whatever when the battery dies on you, like all those iPod owners are starting to do now!
* playlists are much more flexible. With the latest iPods, you can (at last!) create a playlist on the fly. But you can't remove tracks from it, or reorder them like the JB3 can. You have to recreate your playlist from scratch.
* it has a line out (two in fact) on the unit itself. The iPod's line out is on its dock.
* you can record on it. The FM radio remote doubles as a microphone
If you want a spend a bit more - actually, a LOT more! - you should also check out Creative's Zen NX. This is more the iPod's size, although still a bit bigger. It gives you 60 Gig of storage for less than the 40 Gig iPod. It also has some of the JB3 advantages I've listed above, including that all-important removal battery.
Cheers,
Brownie


Call of Duty (PC CD)
Call of Duty (PC CD)

82 of 91 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Medal of Honour 1.5 ?, 15 Nov. 2003
This review is from: Call of Duty (PC CD) (Video Game)
Very good, but not "ten times better than MOHAA", like some reviews said. Faster, louder and generally more rounded out than MOHAA. COD is not the giant leap that MOHAA was. Maybe because it has MOHAA to leap over, whereas MOHAA had ... well, bugger all to leap over when it came out!
The Good
========
The "two weapons only" (plus pistol & grenades) works better, and is much more realistic, than MOHAA's "carry everything at once" approach. I remember spending far too much time in MOHAA dithering over which weapon would be the best one to use in any given situation - and getting shot while I dithered! The look down the barrel feature sounds like a small touch, but it makes a big difference.
The Omaha beach assault (taken from Saving Private Ryan, of course) has its equal in COD. I won't spoil it by saying which film it's lifted from though.
You get to play British troops! And for once, they don't all talk like the royal family, either. Jason Steatham (Lock Stock, Snatch etc) adds some gritty, cockney realism to your Blighty comrades.
The Bad
=======
A tad short.
Germans can take a crazy amount of hits and still get up and have another go at you.
Bizarrly, no doors. At least, no doors that open. Do EA have a copyright on doors in WW2 FPS games, now?
Overall, best to think of it as MOHAA 1.5. Or maybe, one of MOHAA's expansion packs, as they SHOULD have been done.
Well worth £25


Medal of Honor Allied Assault: Breakthrough Expansion Pack (PC)
Medal of Honor Allied Assault: Breakthrough Expansion Pack (PC)
Offered by marxwax
Price: £2.99

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Short and demanding, 12 Oct. 2003
EA didn't really learn much from Spearhead, I'm afraid. Just like the previous expansion pack, this one's way too short.
It's also inherited Spearhead's extremely demanding hardware specs. Playing on an Athlon 1900+ with a Radeon 9800 Pro, I had to turn all the graphics options, and was still getting framerates dipping below 20 fps. I don't understand why the same system (with an inferior graphics card at the time) sailed through the original MOHAA without problem, but drags with these expansion packs. And it's not as if they actually look any better than the orginal, either.


Citizen Kane : Special Edition [DVD] [1942]
Citizen Kane : Special Edition [DVD] [1942]
Dvd ~ Orson Welles
Offered by HalfpriceDVDS_FBA
Price: £14.99

17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wrong is finally righted!, 16 Sept. 2003
The orginal UK R2 release of Citizen Kane was a wretched affair. Look out for it in bargain bins now. It's got a yellow cover, in a clear plastic case. Avoid like the plague!
This new release is must more like it. Picture and sound are have been given a muched needed spruce up, and we have some good extras too. The highlight of these is Barry Norman's Anatomy of a Classic documentary. It's always good to hear the great man's views, but keep in mind here that Bazza only narrates this documentary. He didn't write it himself. Still, one must assume he wouldn't speak the words if he didn't actually agree with them.
The R0 Special Edition is still well worth a look though. It has two commentaries, both of which are different to the one included here. It also has a different (and better) documentary, The Battle Over Citizen Kane.
However, the picture and sound are not quite as good as on this new R2 Release. Neither does it have this release's two radio plays, one of which is Welles's infamous broadcast of The War of the Worlds (a.k.a. The Night That Panicked America). See the movie's entry at [...] for further comparisons.
If you only want one version, then this new R2 release is the one. But if you're true devotee of this classic movie, then treat yourself to both!


Best of Crosby, Stills & Nash
Best of Crosby, Stills & Nash
Offered by FastMedia "Ships From USA"
Price: £229.28

12 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but stingy with Young's material, 26 Oct. 2002
No doubt there's some great stuff on here, especially on the first three CDs, which take you up to the mid-to-late seventies. Though on the fourth CD, which covers the eighties, quality drops off alarmingly.
Neil Young fans (like me!) will wonder about the amount of his material that was not included. I'm not talking about his solo stuff, which obviously doesn't belong here. I'm talking about the songs he actually recorded with the band.
For example, why leave out Country Girl, one of the stand outs from 1970's Deja Vu album? After all, they found room for Crosby's cliched Almost Cut My Hair and Nash's incredibly annoying Teach Your Children (practically a nursery rhyme), both from that same album. The absence of Young's Pushed It Over The End, from the 1974 reunion tour can, at least, be explained: Young wouldn't let them include it on the box set! This annoyed Nash no end, apparently.
The final major Young omission is that none of his songs from 1988's American Dream are included. Crosby too, misses out here: his Compass and Night Time For The Generals are the best songs on that album. All these songs would certainly have helped beef up a fourth CD, which, as I said, is of an inferior quality to the three that precede it. Strange such songs were omitted in favour of padding, such as a cover of Traffic's Dear Mr Fantasy.
Despite those shortcomings, this is still a good box set, for lovers of strong melodies, and acoustic music in general.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 28, 2016 3:39 AM BST


American Dream
American Dream
Price: £6.38

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not great, but not bad either., 17 Sept. 2002
This review is from: American Dream (Audio CD)
This album came about because Young had promised that if David Crosby kicked his drug habit, then he would record with CSN again. Although Young made good on his word, it's pretty clear that his mind was elsewhere. He contributes the most songs of the foursome, including the title track, but they're far from his best.
Bearing in mind the album's orgins, it's very strange that Crosby was so underused. Shame too, because his two songs, Compass and Night Time for the Generals are probably the strongest here. Stills' Got it Made and the extremely catchy That Girl are good, but his others are forgettable. Nash's stuff is just dire!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 6, 2015 12:37 PM GMT


Citizen Kane [DVD] [1942]
Citizen Kane [DVD] [1942]
Dvd ~ Orson Welles
Offered by Quality Media Supplies Ltd.
Price: £8.74

79 of 93 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great film, abysmal DVD, 16 Sept. 2002
This review is from: Citizen Kane [DVD] [1942] (DVD)
The R2 version of Citizen Kane - the one with the yellow cover - has to be one of the worst DVDs ever. There's no extras, aside from the (rather good) trailer, and the picture and sound quality is truly awful.
For example, there's a scene near the end, where Kane as an old man is walking down a long flight of stairs. I swear, he appears to jump a dozen stairs in one go. That's how bad the picture quality has been mangled.
If you've got a multi-region player, go for the R1 Special Edition instead. Picture and sound have been massively cleaned up (Kane now walks down ALL of those stairs!), plus there's some cracking extras too.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 30, 2011 7:13 PM GMT


Aliens vs. Predator 2: Primal Hunt - Expansion Pack (PC CD)
Aliens vs. Predator 2: Primal Hunt - Expansion Pack (PC CD)
Offered by Hospiscare Charity Shop
Price: £7.49

2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not long enough, 21 Aug. 2002
Fun while it lasts! But for me, that was a grand total of two evenings, and I'd completed the Corporate (i.e. Marine) game. It's much more, hard core alien shooting than ordinary AvP2. The aliens come at you far more frequently, and in much bigger groups. That kills the suspense a little, but makes up for it in excitement! Just wished it had lasted a little longer...
I started on the Predator game, but the early stages of that consist of wandering around a planet, shooting some Bison-type creatures. I stuck that out for about two minutes of boredom before I gave up.


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