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All reviews - Movies (107) - TV Shows (28) - DVDs (14) - Books (35) - Music (49) - Games (24)

Rounders review

Posted : 14 years, 1 month ago on 6 July 2008 07:26 (A review of Rounders)

Two of the finest actors in Hollywood play off each other in this thriller.Matt Damon plays a card shark trying to stay out of trouble. Edward Norton plays his friend who keeps dragging him back into trouble. The final poker game is so perfectly paced that you can't look away.


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Ring review

Posted : 14 years, 1 month ago on 5 July 2008 09:31 (A review of Ring)

Japanese horror movies don't come much better than this. A mysterious video tape kills people seven days after they watch it. One TV reporter tries to uncover the mystery which leads down several dark paths.

It was re-made into a Hollywood movie that tried to 'improve' it but only resulted in making it un-focused. If you're lucky enough not to have seen the re-make yet, do yourself a favour and grab a DVD of Ringu and get the living daylights scared out of you.


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One of the best pop albums ever made

Posted : 14 years, 1 month ago on 5 July 2008 03:38 (A review of Faith)

George Michael's first solo album is not only his best, but it's also one of the best pop albums ever made. He mixes rock, soul and funk to produce his signature sound. Starting off with the funky and rocking title track, the album grabs you instantly. Michael is a gifted songwriter and can go from playful funky fun to thoughtful ballads in the space of two songs, and he shifts gears instantly with the second song, 'Father Figure'. He finishes up the one-two-three opening combo with 'I want your sex', easily the most controversial song he's ever written and catchy as hell. There's barely a weak song on the rest of album and his songwriting is superb throughout.


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Grand Theft Auto IV review

Posted : 14 years, 1 month ago on 1 July 2008 09:29 (A review of Grand Theft Auto IV)

I've done about 10% of the game and it's proven to be fun so far. I haven't played any of the GTA games before this one. It's not exactly an FPS, it's not exactly an RPG and it's not exactly a racing game either. It's not aimless meandering either, though you can do that if you want to. The missions so far have been varied which keeps things interesting. The missions will probably get tougher from here on.

The scale of the whole game and Liberty City is impressive. I still haven't been across the bridge yet (it's blocked by the police) and have already logged in ten hours of in game time. The attention to detail is extremely impressive too. All the characters have distinct personalities and it seems like so do the random people on the street. There's a bunch of radio stations in the car and the programming on all of them is keeping with the theme of the game and it's setting. Like I said, the detail is impressive.

It's not hard to see why this game series is extremely popular. The missions varied, the attention to detail is impressive and there very good integration of a storyline with the gameplay. Not my favourite game, but reasonably entertaining and immersive nevertheless.


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Virtua Tennis 3 review

Posted : 14 years, 1 month ago on 29 June 2008 07:51 (A review of Virtua Tennis 3)

I loved the original Virtua Tennis from six or seven years ago. They've kept the excellent gameplay of the original and suitably improved the graphics and the career mode. The players are more current (I was surprised that Tommy Haas is still in there) and there are more locations to play with. The career mode is the biggest improvement with tons more tournaments and training exercises. I could play this game hours on end (I already did).

Quick update: It took me about 20 hours to become the top ranked player and win the 'King of Players' tournament. Feels a little short but then you can still keep playing matches even if you've reached the number one ranking. The game doesn't 'stop' when you win.


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The Quiet American review

Posted : 14 years, 1 month ago on 28 June 2008 03:43 (A review of The Quiet American)

A satisfying, if not extraordinary adaptation of Graham Greene's novel. Two men, one middle aged Britisher, one young American vie for the affections of a young Vietnamese girl against the backdrop of the civil war and subsequent invasion of Vietnam by the Americans. Graham Greene deals in metaphors and irony throughout. The book is brilliant, the movie is merely good.


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Shanghai Dreams review

Posted : 14 years, 1 month ago on 28 June 2008 03:29 (A review of Shanghai Dreams)

Set in China in the 1960s, this movie tells the story of Qing Hong, the title character. Her parents disapprove of her boyfriend and want then to keep away from each other. In the backdrop, there is news of the economic growth in the coastal cities, especially Shanghai. This is bitterly resented by the people living in the interior, who are banned from moving away by the communist government. We get to peek inside the lives of young people living in an era of complete cultural repression. Anything related to western culture is considered to be bad, which makes it instantly desirable for these teenagers. The movie moves towards a surprising denouement in the last quarter which leaves you slightly shocked by it's brutality. The director does not shortchange either the personal or political aspects of the storyline and is backed up by excellent acting.


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Eric Clapton: Crossroads Guitar Festival 2007 review

Posted : 14 years, 1 month ago on 23 June 2008 12:09 (A review of Eric Clapton: Crossroads Guitar Festival 2007)

This DVD is proving hard to review. There's no way I can do justice to it in a couple of paragraphs.

Eric Clapton invited a varied bunch of performers to the day long festival. The only common thread is that all of them play blues guitar in some form. The result is that there's is so much good music packed into the four hours that it's not even funny. The varied bunch of performers are all on top form. The sound quality is amazing, it feels like a studio recording.

It's hard to pick highlights since the whole DVD feels like a highlights package. I'll pick a couple of surprises instead. The first was Susan Tedeschi. I haven't heard much from her but I knew her as a good singer in the vein of Bonnie Raitt. Surprise, Surprise! She's an awesome blues guitar player too. The second was John Mayer. All I remembered about him before listening to set here was some vague pop music from the early part of this decade. Again, Surprise! His subsequent album was heavily blues influenced and he's a damn fine blues guitarist too. Good for him, I'll be checking out his album soon, especially the song 'Gravity'.

Final word - As expected, the set played by Eric Clapton and all his collaborators was amazing. However, even though the title say's this is an Eric Clapton record, it's not, really.


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Awesome first season

Posted : 14 years, 1 month ago on 22 June 2008 05:54 (A review of House, M.D.: Season One )

We're dropped right into the world of Gregory House without any introduction. Every episode is unique and interesting as House and his team try to figure out their case. Along the way, we learn more about the characters and the world of House gradually expands. Watching this on DVD is a great as you can watch a bunch of episodes in one go. Hugh Laurie is brilliant, as usual. I've been a fan of his for long (think Blackadder and Jeeves & Wooster among other things) and it's interesting to see him in a drama for the first time.


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Dull

Posted : 14 years, 2 months ago on 17 June 2008 04:28 (A review of Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends)

Coldplay have largely abandoned the guitar led approach of their first three albums. It might have been a good move to acquire a more diverse sound if only large stretches of the resulting album weren't so dull. There's still a handful of decent songs and a couple of really good ones but the whole album doesn't hang together.


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