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Gonz (London)

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Berberian Sound Studio
Berberian Sound Studio
Price: £0.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Visually great, and had potential to be very atmospheric - ..., 2 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Berberian Sound Studio (Blu-ray)
Sadly, a missed opportunity. Visually great, and had potential to be very atmospheric - but ultimately it is just utterly incoherent. I would advise people to give this a miss.

by John Connolly
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing, 3 Nov. 2009
This review is from: Nocturnes (Paperback)
I spotted this book in a shop while browsing, and was intrigued enough to order it from Amazon - with some anticipation. However, having read it I have to say it was a big disappointment. Amongst the other reviews here I've seen the words 'starkly original' and 'compelling' used - but I find none of that here at all. If you have never read Poe, Stephen King, Clive Barker, or MR James you may find something here you haven't found before - but all of those writers have their own distinctive ideas, and their own distinctive voices; John Connolly does not here.

I've not read any of his crime novels, or 'The Book Of Lost Things', so I'm not damning him as a writer outright. It is just that there are a several stories here that are little more than MR James pastiches (Even down to antiquarian and victorian-flavoured settings), but that fail to capture any real creepiness; others that emulate the doominess of Poe but fall short of the macabre darkness. There's nothing wrong with writing an homage - but it needs to have something of its own character (Robert Bloch's Lovecraft homage 'Notebook Found In A Deserted House' is a good example) but these really don't; overall they just feel very lightweight and forgettable. You may find it readable once - but I doubt you'll ever feel the desire to re-read any of these...

Borrow it from a library, and buy some MR James or Richard Matheson instead!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 28, 2010 4:26 PM BST

Hearts in Atlantis
Hearts in Atlantis
by Stephen King
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First class writing from King, 8 Oct. 2009
This review is from: Hearts in Atlantis (Paperback)
This is a great sample of King's fine ability to capture a mood, an atmosphere - of being a certain person at a certain place in a certain time.

King succeeds in evoking both the wistfulness and the bitterness of America's Vietnam generation, this is a very rewarding and poignant read.

The first story is, perhaps, only fully appreciated with a degree of 'Dark Tower' knowledge (The only thing stopping me giving this 5 stars)- but that is by no means neccesary. The characters of Bobby Garfield, Carol, Sully and others that run through this book are what makes it such a great read.

If you're looking for chills and thrills, look elsewhere in King's work - but if you're looking for an example of how fine a novelist he is, don't hesitate to buy this book.

Watchmen (2-Disc) [Blu-ray] [2009]
Watchmen (2-Disc) [Blu-ray] [2009]
Dvd ~ Carla Gugino

4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Put things in perspective..., 23 July 2009
I just want to make a few points on this.

As a film of a graphic novel - THE definitive graphic novel - Watchmen succeeds admirably, in my opinion. If you saw and enjoyed the movie and want to watch it at home repeatedly, you won't be disappointed; if you haven't seen it yet, but are excited about the prospect, you won't be disappointed.

Regarding the 'Director's Cut' debate here, I myself am a serious film fan - and frequently buy Director's Cut editions - but I don't believe that they are the ONLY cuts worth watching or owning. And, as a couple of other reviewers have mentioned, many MANY films are released on Director's Cut much later than the initial release. Do not let this put you off buying this unless you are a die-hard movie perfectionist. And let's face it - that only amounts to a minority of viewers.

I take particular issue with the assertion that Blu-Ray as a format is aimed primarily at serious film fans; that is just baloney. Blu-Ray players and discs are now generally affordable, and HD TV sets are in a high proportion of homes; as far as I'm concerned, Blu-Ray is very soon to be the default format. And, this film is AMAZING visually - so please, buy this; as I say, you won't be disappointed.

The sad thing is, that by being so harsh about the whole Director's Cut issue, reviwers have landed this film witha 2 1/2 star average review - which certainly does NOT do the film justice (Both in terms of the quality of the film content, and the visual richness on offer). I hope this does not discourage the more casual film fan from investing in this - that would be a great shame.

Buy it - trust me!

The Prestige
The Prestige
by Christopher Priest
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing..., 4 Dec. 2006
This review is from: The Prestige (Paperback)
I have to agree with the last reviewer - the premise of this novel is strong, but it is desperately lacking in the quality of plotting, character development, and above all pace.

The modern-day sub-plot is pretty corny (And unsurprisingly discarded by Christopher Nolan in his filmed version; he knows a thing or two about storytelling...), characters seem sketched and one-dimensional.

I was looking forward to this tremendously, and found myself totally underwhelmed.

Christopher Priest does deserve credit for his idea, though, which IS strong; however, having subsequently seen the film - which takes this and executes it in a far more effective and well-realised way - I can't help but see this as a missed opportunity. Its rare that a movie surpasses the book it is taken from, but this one does just that. if you like the idea, go and see the film!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 21, 2011 9:38 AM GMT

100 Bullets: Hard Way
100 Bullets: Hard Way
by Brian Azzarello
Edition: Paperback

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First class!!, 31 Aug. 2006
This review is from: 100 Bullets: Hard Way (Paperback)
Brian Azzarello deserves - certainly on the strength of this volume - to be considered in the same echelon as the top crime and noir thriller writers, living or dead. This is simply top-drawer storytelling, and even aside from the intrigue and byzantine plotting of The Trust and The Minutemen, this volume is compelling enough, just through the sad figure of the New Orleans horn player whose story will jar on the emotions of even the hardest-hearted literary thrillseekers.

This book is much more than 'Tarantino in softcover'. Do yourself a favour and read this series - before it get's the inevitable screen treatment; which - I warn you - will NEVER do full justice to Azzarello's work here.


Y: The Last Man Vol. 1 - Unmanned
Y: The Last Man Vol. 1 - Unmanned
by Brian K. Vaughan
Edition: Paperback

10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but could be better..., 31 Aug. 2006
I agree with most of the positive comments about Brian Vaughn's writing - he is an original voice, and his storytelling and ideas are top drawer. However, what really let's this down - and renders it inferior to the far less-hyped but much more fully-realised 'Ex Machina' - is the artwork.

It's not that the art itself is bad - it isn't; it's just that somehow it just isn't fully evocative of the tone and feel of the writing. This is thoughtful stuff, but the art is pretty basic one-dimensional comic art. This would have benefitted from a much more lavish treatment, lending some atmosphere and sophistication.

If you find this, do read it - it is intriguing stuff; just be prepared not to be as wowed as some reviews might lead you to expect.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
by Michael Chabon
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Evocative and filmic - immerse yourself in this book..., 25 May 2006
First off, I must say that I understand those who have found this book's second half less compelling than the first; I understand, but disagree... To me, the pace and structure of the book reflected the life-experience of Sam and Joe - it gets off to a rolling and kinetic start in a heady wash of personal and political upheaval and adolescent drive, then matures - through growth, evolution and progress, punctuated by dramatic interludes - into the story of two lives and the work of those lifetimes.

For me, the great strengths of Chabon's writing here are his characterisation - which produces personalities that you FEEL as much as read - and his descriptive skill with the details of life in 40s America, the physical, mental and emotional world of his characters and the world they live in.

If you are a fan of comics, and/or know something of the genre's history, it certainly does help - certain individuals and episodes (The boys working up characters and plots in a marathon session is based on a real-life chapter in DC/National Comics history) - will strike a chord with those who do. But it isn't at all essential to enjoyment of the book. This is not the story of comics themselves, but rather of the political, racial and cultural whirlwind in which 40s New York provided a template and archtype for the transformations and phenomena that was 20th century culture. Anyone who IS interested should check out Gerard Jones' excellent "Men Of Tomorrow", which reveals the true history in a compelling and revealing way.

The effect of those forces of huge change was deeply personal, not just global, and Chabon captures this perfectly. So, in my opinion it is right that the second half of this book is less about kinetic energy and more about experience, thought and coming to terms with what and who a person is.

Personally, I never felt I was having to 'persevere' with this book, and when I finished it I considered it a deeply satifying read. Don't pass this one over.

Essential Avengers Volume 5 TPB: v. 5
Essential Avengers Volume 5 TPB: v. 5
by Roy Thomas
Edition: Paperback

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 70s vintage classics, 26 Jan. 2006
This collection contains arguably the best quality story arcs - and best characters - in the history of The Avengers. This team has been a favourite of mine since I first started reading comics, and I remember this period with great fondness. Particular highlights are superb Barry Windsor-Smith art in Avengers #100, the Avengers/Defenders crossover (Arguably one of the best and least-contrived x-overs ever...), and an array of stunning guest-stars peppered throughout this run.
Steve Englehart features strongly, and I have always had tremendous respect for his ability to write superhero comics that are dazzling and action-filled, but also mature and smart.
The Avengers - like most of the 'Marvel Universe' - have come a long way since this period, but this edition is timeless, and well worth a revisit for those (Like myself) who want to relive a thrilling read from their youth; but those in the new generation will find much here that will excite and intrigue.
The only thing stopping me giving this 5 stars is the fact it is black and white - but that is what makes these so affordable for such a big chunk of reprint material. Buy it - it's fantastic!

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