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Stacey Frost (Brum)

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Infiltrate Destroy Rebuild
Infiltrate Destroy Rebuild

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IDR - the creation of musical genius, 28 April 2004
CKY, the band whose claim to fame is being played during stunts on thefairly controversial show Jackass, do not gain nearly enough recognitionfor what they do. For starters, the fact that most people here in the UKassociate them with the show is a shame, because they're so much more thanthat. They're geniuses. 'Nuff said.
The fact of the matter is that CKY, aka Camp Kill Yourself, always producethe goods when making their albums. And if you thought that Volume 1couldn't be topped, then you're mistaken. Infiltrate Destroy Rebuildoffers, in my humble opinion, some of CKY's best works, combining awesomelyrics with stonking guitar riffs and melodic yet emotive tunes, stillremaining as unique as ever. One of the best examples of their progressionis Attached At The Hip, a song which I listened to eight times on the trotwhen I first received the album, purely because of its striking ambience.And just to demonstrate the fact that their music is not at all same-y(the pitfall that some bands tend to fall into), Close Yet Far is abeautiful song, making full use of the wonderful instrument that is DeronMiller's voice. And if you liked 96 Quite Bitter Beings, what seems to meone of their most well known songs due to it's feature on both Jackass andthe Tony Hawk Pro-Skater 3 game, you'll love the 'sequel'; Escape fromHellview, which is arguably one of their best songs yet.
So should you buy this album? Definately. Whether you're already a fan, ora lover of songs with substance, this is definately for you. I alsorecommend seeing them live if at all possible; I did, and they were justas awesome as their albums are.
A must buy, believe me!!

Grass for His Pillow: Tales of the Otori Book 2
Grass for His Pillow: Tales of the Otori Book 2
by Lian Hearn
Edition: Paperback

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!!, 21 April 2004
This is the second novel in the tales of the Otori trilogy, and it is justas exciting and intriguing as the first!
The story follows Takeo, a young man with extraordinary talents and manydifficult decisions to make. In a realm that is supposedly not Japan, butan awful lot like it, this man must decide how to live his life; to usehis powers of stealth and hearing to become one of his tribes most usefulassassins, or to marry the woman he loves, starting a new adventure and anew life.
All the way through this book I was gripped. I haven't read abook in a long time that kept me reading the way this did. That's the onlyproblem with trilogies; waiting for the final installment is killingme!!
On the whole, I recommend this book to anyone with a passion for thrillingand adventurous lover stories, or with an interest in Japan (but, let'snot forget, this trilogy is only loosely based on Japan.)
A thoroughly enjoyable read.

by Glen Duncan
Edition: Paperback

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deeply disturbing...in the best possible way, 20 April 2004
This review is from: Weathercock (Paperback)
After having read I, Lucifer by Duncan, (which was great, by the way) Idecided I ought to take the plunge into some more of Duncan'sliterature.
Like I, Lucifer, Weathercock offers a dark and disturbing view of humanlife, addressing issues many authors steer well clear of.
Following the life of Dominic Hood, a young Catholic sado-masochist, thisbook offers everything from love to lust, light to dark, goodness andevil, and an exorcism thrown in for good measure.
Though slightly worried about Glen Duncan's state of mind, I thoroughlyenjoyed this book. It's a novel that almost makes you ashamed to like it,because of it's graphic and frankly quite disgusting content. Butunderlying this not-so-cheery exterior is an accurate, and insightfulcommentary on the human exisitence. It gives a view of life that is bothintriguing and disturbing for the character as well as the reader.
Speaking of the characters, they are all very well developed, andinteresting to read about. Father Ignatius Malone, for example, is anextremely mysterious character whose exploits make brilliant reading. AndDominic himself is both lovable and disgusting at the same time, aconflict which he also sees and must overcome within himself.
This is definately not a book for those without strong stomachs. However,if you can get past the scenes which aren't so politically correct, thisis a very enjoyable (despite it's darkness) read. A must read for allliterature fans, and those with a taste for a darker, different view.

Vision Of Escaflowne, The  Volume 3: v. 3
Vision Of Escaflowne, The Volume 3: v. 3
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff, 1 April 2004
As a stand alone from the anime that is both known and loved, these books offer a newer, fresher look at life on Gaea. Although they feature a different narrative compared to the anime, and the characters have been altered slightly (or, in the case of Dilandau, quite dramatically), these graphic novels are nonetheless enjoyable to read.
The fact that the plot is different only adds to the enjoyment of reading them, as not knowing what will happen next increases both excitement and suspense. The story is fast paced, exciting and fun, and, like it's anime counterpart, full of many diffierent emotions and scenarios, which only sereves to make it more interesting.
New characters are introduced, who are also very interesting to read about.
The drawings are of a very high standard, and, in true Escaflowne style, the mechas are both threatening yet majestic.
A must read for all Escaflowne fans, and mange lovers alike.

Vision Of Escaflowne, The  Volume 1: v. 1
Vision Of Escaflowne, The Volume 1: v. 1
by Hajime Yadate
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Escaflowne takes a turn...but is it for the better?, 3 Mar. 2004
Being an avid fan of the anime 'Escaflowne', I was a little iffy about reading Katsu Aki's maga. I'd heard that it was too different from the anime to be appreciated by fans of it, and let's just say I'm a little more than just a fan of the world's greatest anime. However, having received the first three volumes of this manga for Christmas, I thought 'Why not?' and dove right in. Suffice it to say that I had the first three read by Christmas night and was hungry for the fourth.
Yes, it is indeed different to the anime, but that's not to say that it isn't good in it's own right. Van is much more enjoyable, becoming more vocal on...well, any subject, really, and his language could rival that of an episode of 'Bottom'. But, to me, that just makes it all the more realistic. (I'd be swearing all the time if I were attacked by an invisible enemy!) Hitomi is also a lot less annoying, though fans of Dilandau will be... surprised (perhaps too weak a word!) as he is somewhat...different. Still, an enjoyable character to follow if taken as 'a man called Dilandau' rather than comparing him to the anime counterpart.
The story itself is also very different, but again, it is still a very good plot. The narrative runs well, heroes and villains are clearly established (with a few twists, in true Japanese style) and there is a suitable amount of suspense in each book to make you wish to keep reading. It's also good to read something different, instead of reading a regurgitated version of the anime.
However, I remain a fan of the anime still. The books, to me, aren't better than the anime, but just as much fun to read. Get ready for the emotional rollercoaster they take you on, though!
Overall, I'm very glad that these books were given to me for Christmas, otherwise I would never have begun to read them. Now I'm eagerly awaiting Saturday so I can go and buy the 5th one!!

Pirates of the Caribbean
Pirates of the Caribbean

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's just good, savvy?, 3 Mar. 2004
On having seen the film 'Pirates of the Caribbean', I decided to buy the soundtrack. (The fact that it was on sale notwithstanding...) I got it home and it didn't leave my stereo for almost two weeks! It's just that good.
As well as brilliant orchestration (Klaus Badelt and Hans Zimmer at their best, I believe), the tracks provide an amzing compliment to the film itself. Each piece has an element of pirate in it, which makes it stand apart from any other pieces of classical music. 'He's A Pirate' makes a fittingly dramatic end to the soundtrack.
'Barbossa is Hungry' is arguably one of the best tracks from this album. Starting off with quite slow and suspensful strings, the piece builds up into a dramatic piece fitting of a film of such high standards.
It is a little difficult to separate the film from the pieces, so trying to listen to the soundtrack as a stand alone is complicated. I believe however, that even those who were not fortunate enough to see the film, or didn't like it (sacralige!) will still like this soundtrack. it offers amazing, breath-taking excitement, heartfelt romance, fun and frolics, pilfering, comandeering and other pirately exploits all in just 15 tracks.
A must have for those fans of the film itself, or of classical music in general. Two big thumbs up, and a bottle of rum!
"But why is the rum gone?!"

The Book of the Sword (Samurai Girl)
The Book of the Sword (Samurai Girl)
by Carrie Asai
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well done to Carrie Asai!, 27 Feb. 2004
I finished reading this book a few days ago, and I'm really annoyed that the next one doesn't come out until June!
This book has all the things you'd want to read about: Fear, revenge, samurai (let's face it; they rock!), honour, loyalty, dishonour, and a healthy sprinkling of romance, humour and excitement.
The characters are a well-developed group, who you find yourself desperate to know more about. Take Hiro, for example. He took on Heaven Kogo after her disastrous wedding day and trained her to become samurai, even though he barely knows the girl. A loveable yet slightly mysterious character.
And Heaven herself is easy to identify with (aside from the attempt on her life and the samurai thing, of course). She's just an ordinary Japanese girl on her first trip to America, wanting to live her life like a movie. And who doesn't dream like that at some point when you're our age?
Overall, this was a really enjoyable book, and the suspense left at the end ensures that you want to read on. Which I certainly do.
A brilliant book.

The Last Samurai [DVD] [2003]
The Last Samurai [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Tom Cruise
Price: £3.57

32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My New Favourite Film, 9 Feb. 2004
Wow. This film absolutely blew me away. Surprisingly enough, I am not a great fan of Tom Cruise's work, so I was astounded by his acting in this film. It just goes to show what a brilliant script like this one can do for an actor. Cruise plays Algren, an American who goes from arrogant soldier to honorable samurai during a mission to eradicate the threat posed by said samurai. Whilst with the samurai, Algren learns their way of life.
As well as the undertones of honour and duty, this film is bursting with wisdom and beauty. The cinematography is excellent, and some shots in the film (ie the silhouetted Algren against a gorgeous Japanese sunset) are simply breathtaking.
The soundtrack provided by musical legend Hans Zimmer is spectacular, a true reflection of both mediation and warrior. The song 'Red Warrior' is just sheer brilliance, combining soulful Japanese flute, with strong emotive strings, as well as the spine tingling battle cries provided by Benjamin Hale.
Ken Watanabe also provides a wonderful contrast to Cruise as Katsumoto, the leader of the last samurai tribe. His wisdom and grace are portrayed beautifully, and there is no doubt in my mind that he should win an award for his role.
There must be something wrong witht this film, I hear you cry. Well, to put it bluntly, there's not. The battle scenes are simply breathtaking, the acting wonderful, the soundtrack fitting and the story beautiful in a dramatic way.
An astounding piece of cinematic genius. A must see for everyone.

The Last Samurai
The Last Samurai
Price: £5.02

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Truly Spectacular Offering, 9 Feb. 2004
This review is from: The Last Samurai (Audio CD)
Having seen the film 'The Last Samurai', I rushed out to get the soundtrack, and suffice it to say that I was definately not disappointed. I've had the CD for little less than three days, and it has not left my stereo yet.
The soundtrack offers Zimmer at his best, combining the 'Gladiator's dramatic and beautiful orchestration with more traditional Japanese classical music, this is certainly a CD to look out for.
My personal favourite would have to be 'Red Warrior', a heart-wrenching song that, when I first heard it, made the hairs on the back of my neck satnd straight up. The battle cries heard over the wonderful strings only serve to emphasise the originality and emotiveness of the piece.
The only downside to this soundtrack (and the reason it lost a star) is that there are themes which are repeated a little too often, bringing the calibre of the album down slightly.
That said, this work is a combination of relaxing meditative pieces and strong, spine tingling emotion. I'd recommend this to anyone with a love of classical music.

The Vision Of Escaflowne: Volume 8 [DVD]
The Vision Of Escaflowne: Volume 8 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Escaflowne
Offered by blockies
Price: £17.99

5.0 out of 5 stars *wipes away the tears*, 12 Nov. 2003
If you're a fan of Escaflowne, then you'll have probably noted that I'm always reviewing Esca stuff. Sorry to keep banging on at everyone about how great it is, but I really do love this anime.
Actually, Escaflowne was the first anime I ever watched, and I have not yet seen one to rival it for plotline, animation or soundtrack. It's a classic, so hats off to Kazuki Akane and co for making such a wonderful series.
The final DVD in the series made me cry three times when I first saw it. It has some of the saddest scenes from the series, as well as one of the best endings in anime ever. This DVD is quite possibly the best in the series, as it features some beautiful music pieces, awesome mecha fight scenes and rounds off the series perfectly. (I don't want to ruin anything for anyone, but let's just say that the ending isn't your conventional, Western, happy ending that everyone is beginning to get sick of. (I know I am...))
If you know the anime already, this is a must buy DVD. If not, I reccommend investing in one of the earlier DVDs to get a taste of what Escaflowne's all about. If you're anything like me, you'll love it's combination of fast paced action, romance and drama. There's something here for everyone.
Bet you could never have guessed that I'm a fan of the show...

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