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Scott Pilgrim vs the Universe: Volume 5
Scott Pilgrim vs the Universe: Volume 5
by Bryan Lee O'Malley
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slower than previous volumes, 11 July 2010
The first thing to say about this book is that it is not a good place to start. If you want to get into the Scott Pilgrim series, then you'll need to go back to the beginning rather than jumping in to the penultimate volume. Not only will you be completely lost, but you'll be missing out on all the great writing of the last four books.

However, if you've already been following this series, and have enjoyed it so far, then you'll definitely want to pick this up, even if it's just to see where the story goes. The dialogue and characterisation remains fantastic, and while some seem to be unhappy with the illusatration, I really like the simplified style.

My only complaint with this book is that the story is somewhat less eventful than previous volumes; the Scott Pilgrim series has often done a good job in mixing fantastical plot elements with well written interactions between the characters, but volume 5 seems to have abandoned most of those elements in order to focus on the relationship between Scott and Ramona. This is still well done of course, but it does make the story feel slower than previous entries. I would also say that the villains of this volume are the dullest so far, haven been given less personality and back story than other evil exes. Because of this, I'd say this is the weakest entry in the Scott Pilgrim series so far.

It's important to state that it's only the story I found lacking, and the rest of the book keeps up the high standard I enjoyed in previous volumes. Really it seems like a lot of this volume is set up for the final book, Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour, and it does that fine, but this volume does suffer as a result.


Scott Pilgrim vs the World: Volume 2
Scott Pilgrim vs the World: Volume 2
by Bryan Lee O'Malley
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.73

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's great, but..., 19 May 2010
The first thing I'd like to point out is I did really like this book, which is why I gave it four stars. The dialogue is fantastic, the characters are great, and the style manages to do so much despite being quite simple. If you liked the first volume, Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life, you'll enjoy this.

The problem I have is that what really sticks in my head are the things I didn't like about the book, which I will admit are minor details and may not bother you at all. After reading the first book, I hoped that the next would devote more time to the Evil exes plot, but I still think this particular story still feels underdeveloped; the evil ex in this story just isn't present enough to have any detail to him, which is a real problem when all the other characters are so well written.

I suppose my issue here is that the story I expected to be the focus was not, and the focus was instead on the relationships between the characters. This isn't a bad thing when the dialogue is this good, but given that the evil exes story line is the one that I was most aware of, to find it fairly absent through the majority of the book was a little disappointing. I haven't read beyond this volume, so I can't say this is a constant in the Scott Pilgrim series, and the plot may be better developed in the next book.

I should say again that the book has great writing and illustration, it's just the story I thought would be the most important is not. I just wanted to say that so that you know what to expect. Otherwise, it's a great little comic.


Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life: Volume 1
Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life: Volume 1
by Bryan Lee O'Malley
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More than you might think, 6 May 2010
I'm assuming you're looking at this because you've heard about the film version coming out later this year, and you want to know what it's based on. I'm also assuming you've read some of the premise, either here or elsewhere, so you know at least a little bit about the seven evil ex-boyfriends. All I'd like to add is that this story is much more than that.

I got this book expecting that surreal, video-game parody story, but in this first book, there's not too much of that. What this book does, as an introduction to the world of Scott Pilgrim, is acquaint you with the characters and the style. Don't worry, there's still a fight, but not till the end of the book, and it's certainly not the focus. The focus is getting to know Scott and his friends, and this is done very well in my opinion, thanks to the great (and funny) dialogue throughout, as well as some simple but highly stylised illustration.

I haven't read past this first volume, and I'm currently waiting to see what number two Scott Pilgrim vs the World: Volumes 2 is like, but this is a strong start to the series, and leaves me wanting to see where the story is going, which is really what you hope for from a first volume.

In summary, it's well written, nicely drawn, and has some good character development. Just don't get too cuaght up in the premise, because it's a bit more complicated than that.


Evening Out With Your Girlfriend: Remastered
Evening Out With Your Girlfriend: Remastered
Offered by Captain Blood2
Price: £22.99

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant piece of pop-punk, 29 Dec. 2008
Odds are you're looking at this product because you've been listening to Fall Out Boy's latest albums and want to know what they did before. So I'll start by saying this is different from From Under the Cork Tree: Limited Tour Edition, and very different from Infinity On High. What this album is closest to is the album that followed it, Take This to Your Grave, which shares the pop-punk feel, with less experimentation than their newer work. I'm not saying this is a bad thing, I personally love the more simplistic style of this album: there's more guitar riffs, less over-the-top vocals and, being written by Stump rather than Wentz, the lyrics are less convoluted. This makes Evening Out With Your Girlfriend simpler and tighter, and gave a base for their later albums.
My only real complaint with this album is it is very short, at just under 30 minutes. Still, what there is here is fantastic, and fans of pop-punk will be happy. My main point is to warn fans that this is different from Infinity on High, and people looking to complete a back collection may be surprised at what they find. Otherwise, a definite buy.


Nathan Barley: Series 1 [DVD]
Nathan Barley: Series 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Nicholas Burns
Price: £8.99

48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just ignore "Written by Chris Morris" for a second, 21 July 2008
I wanted to write a quick review, not just to say how much I personally love Nathan Barley, but to make a note on what I read in so many other reviews of this show. Many of the lower ratings for Barley state how much different Nathan Barley is from the rest of Chris Morris's work. And that's true, but mainly because it's not trying to be. Barley isn't exactly the socio-political satire of Brass Eye or The Day Today, it's attacking a social trend that I happen to believe is still very much alive: pretentious idiots who deem what they create as genius, and worthy of greater regard.

Personally, I think the show is more similar to the work of the other writer of the show, Charlie Brooker. Fans of his show Screenwipe or his Guardian column Screen Burn should get a similar sense of misanthropy from the character of Dan Ashcroft, the disenchanted journalist surrounded by idiots.

I'd also like to note that the show itself is pretty exceptional. The characters, while almost completely non-likable, are all well played. Julian Barratt is particularly excellent, especially for fans of The Mighty Boosh who see him exclusively as Howard Moon, and Nicholas Burns is also fantastic as the titular character. The stories can be simple, but this is definitely a character driven comedy, and the jokes come thick and fast, with the heavy majority hitting home.

Put simply, don't expect Nathan Barley to be the return of Brass Eye, repackaged as a modern day sitcom, because you're more than likely going to be disappointed. The show is as much the work of Brooker as it is of Morris, and manages to create a world full of wonderful, if horrific characters, which makes this, in my opinion, a brilliant comedy series. If you're a fan of casual misanthropy, I'd advise you to buy this, but there may not be quite enough stupid jokes for fans of My Family or Two Pints.


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