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Joshua Turnbull "Poncho the Wise" (Bristol, Britain)

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Dream Theater -- A Dramatic Turn of Events: Keyboard Transcriptions
Dream Theater -- A Dramatic Turn of Events: Keyboard Transcriptions
by Alfred Publishing Staff
Edition: Sheet music
Price: £19.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff, 29 Dec. 2012
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Excellent transcriptions, easy to read. The size of the text is usefully small without being to difficult, so a lot is fitted onto one page, making sight reading much easier with this.

Price: £0.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Valve being valve, 29 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Steam (App)
This is just more convenience from valve as we have grown to expect from them. It's just a really convenient way to access all the functionality of steam without having to visit store.steampowered.

John Petrucci -- Suspended Animation: Authentic Guitar TAB
John Petrucci -- Suspended Animation: Authentic Guitar TAB
by John Petrucci
Edition: Sheet music
Price: £21.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty much perfect scoring with one big turd of an error, 17 Mar. 2012
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Excellently readable scoring, and as yet I haven't found any typos of the sort that appear in these books when the tab differs from the score, so I'd say its worth it.
Except for one thing.
The contents page.
This should not be a gripe, but clearly the page was written by someone slapping their genitals at a random number generator, which is why we have:
Jaws of life: p17. Ok. Sensible place to start. Page 1 tends to be standard, but we'll go with this.
Glasgow Kiss: p23. I see where you're going here.
Tunnel Vision: p17 again somehow, indicating some hideous overlay of deformity tab.
Wishful thinking: p20. So, what, this is in the middle of two different pieces from before?
Damage Control: p27. Great, we're back on track, except we're on the 5th track of 8 in a 168 page book.
Curve: p15. Wait, why are we back he-
Animate-Inanimate: p30. Ah. A reasonable conclusion, I guess.

Seriously, it's a brilliant tab, but without the song names at the bottom of the pages and a contents page like this it really doesn't want you to know where the hell to look for anything.

Swamp Shark (DVD) (2011)
Swamp Shark (DVD) (2011)
Dvd ~ Kirsty Swanson
Offered by ReNew Entertainment
Price: £5.06

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What? I was entertained?, 4 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Swamp Shark (DVD) (2011) (DVD)
Of the stupidest sounding of the 'creature feature collection' including Snow Beast and Monsterwolf hitting Tesco shelves near you, I was certainly expecting it to actually be the stupidest, and sure enough, the film opens with a giant tanker containing a giant shark that for no reason is being illegally traded to a small-town sheriff who has no motivation whatsoever for purchasing it. As expected, the shark escapes in a stupid manner and begins stupidly harrassing the gentle folk of the small town, or, as it actually is, restaurant. Also as expected, the shark is a massive racist and chomps its way through the entire black membership of the cast in the first few minutes before begrudgingly turning its unacceptable-values-laden jaws to the Latino and Asian groups and, God forbid, the whites. But turning the DVD player off after I'd finished watching the film I came away with the unsettling feeling that I'd just watched something worthwhile. Hold on, I thought, that film actually had a plot. And the characters were all entertaining and relatable, even the awful teenage ones after they got their s*** together, stopped copulating unnecessarily and started acting like human beings. The restaurant family in particular were really engaging and had a believable dynamic going on. And here's the amazing thing, the plot didn't submit itself to trite cliches, and the 'friendzone' strand wasn't really focused on and remained understandable for it. Yes, the plot is pretty much ripped straight from 'Jaws' (the protagonists are refused by a higher authority permission to close down local festivities on account of a giant, murderous shark) with a few extra trimmings, and it really has to take some weird turns to make everything fit, bit this film is a good, solid piece of entertainment, and that's all that matters. Though not for £18.99, which at the time of writing is the price here, but that's just evidence that whoever's responsible for pricing goods at Amazon is on meth.

The Tenants [DVD]
The Tenants [DVD]
Dvd ~ Dylan McDermott
Offered by Springwood Media
Price: £1.99

3.0 out of 5 stars A difficult one to review, 13 Jan. 2012
This review is from: The Tenants [DVD] (DVD)
I don't particularly want to have to give this film a rating, because it really doesn't fit with other forms I'm used to. I bought this expecting a few chuckles for the presence of Snoop Dogg for 99p from my local cornershop, and considering that my contiguous purchase was 'Mosquitoman', a film so utterly appalling that it couldn't even keep me awake until I decided to watch it in installments, I didn't expect anything halfway decent. Upon watching it, however, I did receive a rather righteous punch to the critical ribcage as it explored the complexity of the relationship between two writers (read: nutters) in 1970s New York (I think) in a fairly mature fashion. I tend to disregard media focusing on writers (largely Stephen King works) because of their clear author insertion motifs, but this film gave the relationship at least a good go.
As a race relations film, it is not something to be commended if that was what it was going for as To Kill A Mockingbird got in their fairly early, but the tension between the two main characters is surprisingly catching. I cannot call them protagonist and antagonist as they are clearly both protrays as infernal jerks, and I think this benefits the film rather well. Snoop Dogg's character is infuriating in his constant appeal to race and Dylan McDermott's character has a natural but equally infuriating reaction to it.
Admittedly, the film has no real climax, which especially detrimental because it thinks it has a climax, but the tension between McDermott and Dogg (Oh, God, I think that means I have to kill myself) does keep one fairly encapsulated during the film. A poignant entry into cinema I think this is not, yet for 99p (or however much it is priced below probably 4ish pounds on Amazon) it does warrant attention.

Scratches: Directors Cut (PC)
Scratches: Directors Cut (PC)
Offered by Dewan online store
Price: £5.55

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A summary of all the point and click flaws condensed into one terrible production, 13 Jan. 2012
To get the good stuff out of the way first, this game really knows atmosphere. Honestly, I was jumping and worrying all at the correct points completely of my own accord because the look of relevant parts of the game and the honestly superb soundtrack really are unnerving in a silent hill 2 kind of way. And I don't scare easy. I played silent hill 2. Without crying. That much.
That aside, unfortunately Scratches suffers from an at best mediocre plot delivered like a lizard-mouse-mutant might deliver your every day mail. That is, to say, sticky and whiffing of cheese (and not even the good stuff, this is cheese that went off years ago). You play one-hit-wonder horror writer James Blackwood, who has to be the whiniest posh character ever happened upon outside American Blockbuster cinema; he arrives in a new house and spends literally every hour of the day puling to his real-estate agent about how kind of old the house which he asked to be kind of old is. It later turns out that his real estate agent is also a big whinger and every conversation you have from thereon appears to be nought but two seven year-olds who have lost their (only one of their already half licked) ice scream scoops. I wish I was kidding, but the voice acting does actually sound like a 7 year old declaring his age in quarters to a six year old, and nothing about the characters' motivations appears real. I'd like you to trust me on this, but I have written horror (it did not do well), and in the quest for horror (which is the premise of the game), I have never shrunk away from something scary, which Balk(fnar fnar)wood does at every slightly dusty corner.
And this leads me on to the horrible gameplay. Scratches is an encycopledia of all the things that point and clicks have done wrong over the years and would do well to improve on. Aside from the rub everything you find against everything else until the creator's logic becomes, well, not clear, but sort of existent, this game just doesn't allow you to think. The few puzzles that actually exist (most of the time you're just given the answer over the phone just to check you haven't died of clicky boredom) have solutions that are simply insane, even with prior knowledge of point and click logic. A good puzzle should give you all you need to work out the solution, and then set up a mind bending task to reach it. This takes the old point and click logic of 'you know those many, many things we have told you about so far? Well, a few of them, unrelated in the most obstruse manner, are actually connected. Go do it', which doesn't allow for actual thought to enter into the process before you start, chin in hand, clicking through gamefaqs in order to stop the nonsense. It doesn't even - like most point and clicks - allow you to be intuitive, for example in one point in which the character is required to trim a bush (spoiler alert, I guess, though I hope no one reading this review buys the game), but it tells you that a spade is useless. I have worked in a very 'problem solving' job in which I am given a bunch of tools and told that something needs to be done about something quite frequently, so I personally feel that Scratches should piss off about telling me how to do my job, because I'm well aware that a spade can cut through branches. I therefore, am better than the game.
Most of the nonsense, also relies on a good degree of pixel hunting, which given the now three dimensional view of every 'stand here and just look at what we can tell you to look at' spot simply serves to tell you that you 'haven't looked properly, clearly, harharhar'. To which I say, piss off, really, really piss off, Scratches, you've outstayed your welcome. And why is it better to render a bunch of different scenes in 3D when it surely should have been easier to render the whole house and grounds as one 3D map and let us explore it fluently? I checked and this game was made in 2006, which means it knew what was happening around it and put its fingers in its ears and yelled George Fornby songs until artistic sense just went away, only to be rejected by its long time lover, Tim Schaeffer.
The number of complaints one could make about the game is seriously overwhelming, and I don't think the storyline of 'writer exposes murder involving the occult, and oh, look-how-we-love-Stephen-King-and-Lovecraft' (seriously, the game bums lovecraft like his name was literal to homosexuals with what it thinks is realy subtle references) is enough to redeem it. My suggestion, should you choose to spank your money away on this product is keep a walkthrough handy as the puzzles expect clairvoyancy from you, but try to be surprised at the scary moments, because the game reeeeallly wants it.

Postal [2008] [DVD]
Postal [2008] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Zack Ward
Offered by fuze Ltd
Price: £8.27

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It really should be enough to say it was made by Uwe Boll., 30 Dec. 2011
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This review is from: Postal [2008] [DVD] (DVD)
Uwe Boll is bad. He is always bad. He has never done anything good. And here he seems to think it's ok for him to join in on the jokes and snide comments we were all trying dilligently to say behind his back. I find it sad enough that he's been included in the new postal III release, because it may be a sign that it, just like this film has been given the 'Saint's Row the Third' treatment of shoving big, garish christmas lights in your face with the words 'OMG LOOK HOW WACKY WE'RE BEING WE'RE TOTALLY WACKY AREN'T WE, WE MUST BE REALLY SPECIAL' embalzoned across them, much in the same manner of girls just turning 18 newly finding their way into pubs in which they're really don't belong. Another reviewer has rightly said the comedy feels forced, but it is more than this, and very hard to capture the essence of. Most of the lines feel like they were fed through some sort of mediocre comedy machine that specialises in jumping the shark to such an extent that I'm not even sure the shark is aware of what's happening, or at least written by the kind of insipid morons who are tasked to write pefunctory schedule-filling American sitcoms like Hope and Grace.
The film does, however, have some occasional moments that really shine, and did make me belly-laugh in spite of the loathing I feel for its imaginitively impecunious creator. There was a brilliant scene where a whole load of children are shot and killed in the crossfire at a toy parade or something, which was delivered in such a stupid-yet-realistic fashion that it really spoke to me about the nature of films today. I hate children. Why do they always have to be unrealistically written to survive situations they have no business surviving? That aside, I'm not sure how much this has to do with the old monkeys plus typewriters equals several poo-clogged typewriters and maybe a Bin Laden joke that might result in a short release of air from the nostrils that one might generously call a laugh.
A great example of its comedic failings is in its 'homage' (to be read with the same bilious tone that one might use to refer to Mary Whitehouse) to Postal II in which Postal Dude (who, by the way, could not have got the voice and character of Postal Dude more wrong) uses cats as silencers, but when in the film this happens and Postal Dude is done with it, it just happily pads away as if a bullet hadn't just passed through its digestive system 'as the crow flies'. It's not funny because it's just a childish way of things happening. This is the only piece of media I know that makes 9/11 jokes no longer edgy but just kind of stupid, in the manner of a 12 year-old writing on the internet, thinking to be comedy gold the idea of 'HEY WHAT IF THE 9/11 TERRORISTS WERE KIND OF STUPID LOLOLOLOL'. There's no excuse for it in professional cinema, but I guess I'm just bitter because I didn't think this would be an Uwe Boll release when I bought it. My suggestion would be to find where Uwe Boll is and politely taser him until he agrees to stop. Just, stop. God knows Germany doesn't need more things to apologise for.

Also, it's probably worth giving a look so long as you don't pay for it because it does have relatively frequent female nuditiy. Go nuts.

Speedlink STRIKE PC Gamepad - Black
Speedlink STRIKE PC Gamepad - Black

0 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Workable function for its price, 30 Dec. 2011
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When I first used this controller, I was particularly disappointed with how unresponsive it felt, but this was largely because my pitiful mind seemed incapable of being cognizant of the possible effect of the fact that I was using to play Assassin's Creed on aforementioned pissiness. Altair's octanagerian style of parkour, unfortuantely, had the effect of my willing him to do anything other than fraily lower himself onto rooftops by means of an invisible handrail being transfered to my thumbs. I know it's not the controller's fault and its far more to do with the delicate wittle wuv-flower of an assassin who didn't want to scwape his knees, but this transfer of impatience via the thumbs has now led the left joystick to get stuck on whatever position you push it in, instead of returning automatically to the central position as most controllers do. This isn't really a problem, except in a few cases where you might want to turn your character around to face another enemy with a quick flick, but instead the stick gets stuck and the character through no fault of his own suddenly comes over all suicidal and just runs at the big pointy monsters waiting for him, who are probably equally dumbfounded. I did, however, later switch to Assassin's Creed II to find Ezio to be a far easier controlled character with less of a care for his booboos than Altair, so the response issues originally felt were to do with Screed I, and not the controller itself - though I use the term 'response' in its broadest sense as Ezio still carries on in the grand Ubisoft tradition of leaping in whatever the hell direction he feels like, interpreting your instructions as a 'well, carrying on forward is just obvious, but I bet you didn't think of THIS'.
Later still, playing Psychonauts (in which Rasputin was very obedient and responds to my commands most pleasantly, thus proving there is nothing wrong with the controller itself), I was in a particularly intense boss fight in which I felt compelled to royally hammer the 'that guy needs to be on fire' button, causing it to fall inside the controller. I managed to dig it out again with a pen-knife, and it still works perfectly fine, but there is a lesson here. I don't know if its just because I have insanely strong man-fingers because I'm such a macho fellow, but the controller does seem to react to vicious gaming a little bit on the tender side, like an easily bruised lover. It's all very ergonomic and comfortable - especially if you haven't yet found yourself ever using wireless controllers - and works fine and the drivers take no time at all to download and install, but it is a controller of its price - that is to say, if you bought it cheaply, it's probably because it was made cheaply. Still, though, highly recommended for those on a budget.

"Dream Theater": Awake - Authentic Guitar-Tab Edition
"Dream Theater": Awake - Authentic Guitar-Tab Edition
by John Petrucci
Edition: Sheet music
Price: £17.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Typos! Everywhere!, 3 Oct. 2011
I don't know what notation software Warner Brothers were using to make this book, but it clearly hated them as much as Skynet. Perhaps Bugs Bunny had wronged it at some point in the past, because it really wanted to sabotage the hell out of a perfectly innocent Dream Theater tabulation by simply putting the wrong numbers down, for example in bars 39 & 40 of Erotomania, or the last two bars of the first bridge in Caught in a Web. The notation is correct, but the tab spends most of its time not really giving a moist turd about what frets you really want to be playing, and seems to think that an open-A string, when plucked, should resonate at a pitch of B. The mistakes either always seem to be the right frets on the wrong strings or the wrong frets, but with all the right intervals. A closer look at the cover tells me that John Petrucci actually edited this, so rogue software might not be to blame, but a malicious attempt by JP to make brilliant guitarists look silly so that they kill themselves and never surpass him in ability. The tabs are all a very clear size and font, and the notation is spot on accurate, but this book is hugely let down by the fact that you have to play through the whole thing to check where the errant notes are which wouldn't be a problem except that JOHN PETRUCCI PLAYS QUITE A FEW NOTES.

Just an afterthought, could it actually be that John Petrucci and the tabulation software are in cohoots... or perhaps they are even the same enti-HYURK
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 4, 2016 2:03 PM BST

A Dramatic Turn Of Events
A Dramatic Turn Of Events
Price: £8.81

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Standard Dream Theater... if you can really say that, 12 Sept. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I think what wasn't well received about Black Clouds was that Dream Theater tried to go for a certain 'feel' running through the album, which is kind of the exact opposite of what you'd expect from Prog. Every track is solid gold, but like any DT album, you'll probably have to listen it a few times to really start appreciating them; I'm on my second run through now and I'm falling in love with it as I type, so I may just have to stop typing before John Petrucci kicks into a solo and I just start ejaculating everywhere. Just, like, everywhere.

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