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A-Canadian-in-Singapore

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Jupiter Ascending
Jupiter Ascending
Dvd
Price: £4.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Utter tosh, 7 Aug. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Jupiter Ascending (Amazon Video)
I can't figure out whether this nonsense was designed for little kids, or for young adults.

The ludicrous plot (poor girl discovers she's secretly royalty and vitally important to save the planet) is standard kiddies' fare, as is the silly fight sequences (where no one ever gets seriously hurt). But the male lead keeps taking his shirt off (for no reason whatsoever) and every male seems to fall madly for the heroine (real Mary Sue stuff), which implies it's actually more for teenagers.

Either way, the writing is terrible, the acting risible, and the special effects aren't much cop. All in all, a bit of a waste of time for anyone with more developed tastes than your typical eight your old.


Sleepy Hollow - Season 1
Sleepy Hollow - Season 1
Dvd
Price: £19.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring, poorly written jingoistic nonsense, 5 Aug. 2017
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This is very poorly-written and unimaginative peril-of-the-week stuff, with one-dimensional characters who never behave even vaguely like real people. So every week they face some new "terror" and every week they find a quick and easy resolution at the last minute, and save the day. It's like Scooby Doo - you wonder why on earth they never learn, and each week keep acting as if they're facing impossible odds, when there's never any doubt they'll resolve it easily again. I watched about 4 or 5 episodes, then gave up as it had gotten so boring and predictable.

For a show where historical facts loom large, they've done remarkable little research, so there are lots of howlers and historical inaccuracies (for example, claiming the early English settlers in the US spoke middle English, which had gone out of use about 100 years before the colonies were begun. Hint: that's why it's called a medieval language, not a renaissance once.).

Meanwhile, the jingoisms really grate. In the historical sequences, the Americans are all heroic freedom fighters, and the British are all evil bastards. The only Redcoat who isn't an evil bastard is the protagonist, who almost immediately swapped sides and started fighting for the Americans who in his eyes were deserving of "freedom" (too bad it only applied to the white ones, but let's gloss over that inconvenient fact).

Worse than that, half of the Redcoats seem to be literally demons, for some reason - as if evil monsters have nothing better to do than dress up in silly uniforms and try and fight the revolutionary war, which has been recast as a fight not for lower taxes and more power for the local landowners, but as a war against a literal hellish evil.

I know American movies and televisions regularly rewrite history to make the Americans more heroic than the messy reality that is history (it's the sort of myth-making practiced by North Korea, with it's legend of their founding father riding a unicorn), but this is taking it to even more ludicrous extremes.

So to sum up, this show is really quite stupid and annoying.


Strawberry: A Vampire Romance
Strawberry: A Vampire Romance
Price: £1.53

3.0 out of 5 stars Misses the mark, 29 July 2017
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This has a few nice bits, but is fairly predictable and obvious, with characters that never feel full real, and a slightly unpleasant undertone of psychological abuse. Because the characters don't feel real, as a reader I never really get to care about their story, so it leaves me unmoved. I've seen this story told so much better elsewhere, I'm afraid.


Justice Calling (The Twenty-Sided Sorceress Book 1)
Justice Calling (The Twenty-Sided Sorceress Book 1)
Price: £0.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Has potential but never delivers, 29 July 2017
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This started off with potential, but just fell a bit flat.

The book is really short, novella or novelette length, which means everything is far too rushed:
- Heroine needs to decide whether to keep running (a habit of years) or stay and fight. Should be a massive, agonizing decision. Instead she reverses her opinion in about 5 minutes.
- She has this whole massively tragic backstory, filled with explosions and death of everyone she loves, and it's explained in about 2 paragraphs, then moved on from (wut?)
- The baddie is introduced without any previous hints: he just pops up in full evil-madman mode, and they immediately know he's the baddie, so there's no mystery or figuring it out.
The whole thing just ends up feeling massively unsatisfying. There's lots of potential, but nothing's ever done with it.


Dark Desires (Dark Gothic Book 1)
Dark Desires (Dark Gothic Book 1)
Price: £0.00

3.0 out of 5 stars creepus-ex-machina, 29 July 2017
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Gothic Romance is a hard genre to get right. It can too easily become corny, or OTT, but if you lean too far the other way, it loses it's essential gothicness and becomes a bit dull. In this case, we end up on the OTT side of the equation.

The story starts off well - penniless waif in peril, dark and brooding benefactor with disturbing secrets, etc. The heroine is unfortunately a bit of an idiot, making stupid decisions on a regular basis, but the story works reasonably well despite that, at least up until the ending. The ending is a creepus-ex-machina, where the villain appears without any decent establishment, and is easily defeated as well. That ending was a real let-down. So starts off decently, ends poorly.


Contagion
Contagion
Dvd
Price: £2.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit meh, 26 July 2017
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This review is from: Contagion (Amazon Video)
This is slightly disappointing for the amount of talent involved. I think a lot of the problem comes down to the script - it feels like a series of vignettes that never connect. Stories are picked up, then put down (sometimes never to reappear), and the viewer keeps waiting for the denouement, but it never comes. So instead we get only short glimpses into most of the characters' stories, and therefore not enough time to come to care for any of them very much. A movie like this should leave you either shaken and nervous about what the world could become, or uplifted about what our species of capable of, when we pull together. Instead, it just leaves you a bit meh. There are some nice scenes and some good performances, but it just never rises about the sum of it's parts.


Knowing
Knowing
Dvd
Price: £5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fairly risible, 25 July 2017
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This review is from: Knowing (Amazon Video)
This suffers from terrible writing, and quite poor direction. Nick Cage overacts (and does his tortured genius routine until it gets rather boring). The only adult female character is made to run around like a headless chicken, screaming hysterically for most of the movie. The main kid alternates randomly between surly teenager and sensitive 6 year old. Scientist friend exists only to give Nick Cage someone to emote against. The plot is preposterous and exists only as an excuse to film tonnes of CGI mayhem (too bad the effects are nothing to write home about, either, so even that can't sustain interest. Half way though, I started playing Tetris on my phone instead of paying attention to the screen).


Fated Mates: Book 1 of the True Mates Series: A Werewolf Shifter Paranormal Romance
Fated Mates: Book 1 of the True Mates Series: A Werewolf Shifter Paranormal Romance
Price: £2.30

3.0 out of 5 stars Off pacing results in a bit of a blah story, 15 July 2017
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I don't read a lot of shifter romances, because I often find them a bit silly and samey. This one hasn't disabused me of that notion, unfortunately. But my biggest annoyance with this is the pacing is all wrong. The heroine and her love meet, and get to third base (on page 12!). Then everything back-pedals and their relationship slows right down to longing looks and sarcasm for the next half the book. But as they've already fingered each other, there's no sexual tension. They don't seem that well suited as personalities, and I just didn't feel that emotional attachment you get with a good romance (where you really want the characters to end up together). This was all a bit blah.


Chasing Daybreak (Dark of Night Book 1)
Chasing Daybreak (Dark of Night Book 1)
Price: £0.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Not terrible but not great either, 15 July 2017
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My views pretty much echo those given in the review "Doesn't quite work and trying to hard."

It's not terrible - I managed to get all the way to the end. But there were a few roll the eye moments (the ancient vampire's sudden infatuation, the out-of-left-field resolution to the mystery deaths) and this is skirting perilously close to Mary Sue territory.

It's readable if there's nothing else in the house to read, but you could do so much better.


Dark Summoner (The Relic Keeper Book 1)
Dark Summoner (The Relic Keeper Book 1)
Price: £1.96

2.0 out of 5 stars Too many character and plotting mistakes, 15 July 2017
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This is another one of those urban-fantasy stories that makes the mistake of thinking a character has to be weak now, in order to become strong later (so the heroine needs constant rescuing), and who thinks the audience can't be trusted to figure things out on their own (or delay their gratification of full understanding until later) so persists on explaining everything in minute details, even when it makes no logical sense for the characters to do so.
So you have a scene where the heroine is attacked my monsters who start killing everyone. The stranger hero pops up to defend her, and when he grabs her arm and says "we have to get out of here before the rest of the monsters find us!" she digs in her heels and refuses to get out of there with him until he answers a couple of dozen questions. And the reader if left rooting for the monsters to kill them both and put us readers out of our misery.
I got about a third of the way through the book before I got too annoyed to finish.


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