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

Fun fun fun!

Posted : 14 years, 3 months ago on 21 May 2008 07:13 (A review of Mario Kart 64)

For the $15 I spent on this game, it's provided me with at least 30 hours of fun. It took a little while to master the controls (5-6 hours), but when I did, it was just awesome. Nintendo keeps it simple, nothing too fancy here, just a lot of fun. There are 16 tracks and 16 racers. The racers are only marginally different but the tracks provide good variety. Of the three racing games from the Nintendo 64, this one is the clear favourite. The two player mode works very well too and I've enjoyed racing with other people, even if they beat me sometimes.

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Got me console gaming again

Posted : 14 years, 3 months ago on 18 May 2008 04:00 (A review of Nintendo Wii )

Nintendo knows how to build fun consoles and games. They've hit a home run with the Wii, once again.

Truthfully, the games I play overwhelmingly tend to be racing games or sports games. I never liked the idea of playing FPS games on a console while fidgeting with the aiming using the direction keys. I'd much rather play on a PC and aim with the mouse. I haven't owned a console in over a decade now, but that changed with the Wii. It hits the spot for both racing and sports, if they games designed properly.

As far as racing games go, there are two varieties - ones you steer with the wii remote and ones you steer with the nunchuk or classic controller. So far, I've tried about 5 different games and have come away satisfied with all but one. So it doesn't have the best graphics rendering engine or the most powerful processor, but the games are almost always fun to play.

The sports games tend to be more hit and miss. The Wii Sports package is awesome and makes full use of the Wii remote. Tiger Woods golf does well with the remote too. However, I haven't found any other satisfying game so far. Still waiting for people to get better at this.

The slam dunk, as they say, is the Virtual Console. It's a absolute stroke of genius. I'm especially enjoying the Nintendo 64 games - a console I never played with. Also like playing some of the classic NES and Sega games on offer.

All in all, this is a versatile and innovative gaming console that has got me console gaming again.

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Already time for a 90s revival?

Posted : 14 years, 3 months ago on 14 May 2008 07:12 (A review of Carnavas)

I can't believe this album was released mid 2006. It took over a year for this to gather some momentum. The feature of their music that grabs you from the first song is the buzzing guitars circa 1994. Just that would be enough to make them my new favourite band of the week/month/year. They also throw in Billy Corgan style vocal delivery - disinterested one moment, high pitched screaming the next along with a healthy dose of angst and irony. That's enough to make them my favourite new band of 2007 (even though they released this album in 2006).

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I don't understand! No, *I* don't.

Posted : 14 years, 3 months ago on 14 May 2008 04:57 (A review of The Wedding Banquet)

One of Ang Lee's earliest works, this comedy/drama is an excellent mix of unconventional characters, delicate family dynamics, cross cultural exchanges and a decidedly mixed ending. Ang Lee knows how to extract humour from settings that are not over the top and write compassionate yet flawed characters that don't feel artificial.

The title of the review? An exchange between two characters that don't understand the contradictions in the other person, but still accept them for who they are. I thought it summed up the spirit of the movie perfectly for me.

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Sci-fi series masterclass

Posted : 14 years, 3 months ago on 14 May 2008 04:49 (A review of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex)

Some of the finest sci-fi series I've seen come from the Japanese animation studios. The producers and writers focus on creating something that is more than simply an action series, a problem that plagues too many sci-fi series. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is one of the best examples. It's a potent and provocative mix of action, philosophy, politics, futurism, war, sociology along with a great deal of character development and back story.

So far, there have been two seasons with the last one being broadcast four years ago. I don't think we'll see any more episodes. Another thing that others can learn from - quality over quantity.

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A movie of modest ambitions

Posted : 14 years, 3 months ago on 12 May 2008 06:16 (A review of Speed Racer)

The directors aren't looking to make anything substantial, they just want to take the cartoon and make a live action movie out of it. That's pretty much it. It has about the same depth as the cartoon did. Unfortunately, a movie (usually) sets a higher bar as far as plot and story are concerned.

5/5 for fantastic visuals (including Christina Ricci) and 0/5 for the rest. A little bit of fun while it lasts and then you spit it out, like colourful bubblegum.

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It's a Robert Downey Jr show

Posted : 14 years, 3 months ago on 4 May 2008 07:28 (A review of Iron Man)

Robert Downey Jr is one of the best actors in Hollywood today. He completely convincing in his role as Tony Stark/Iron Man. The rest of the cast is excellent as well, no weak spots.

The movie is engrossing from start to finish. They seem to have taken a few cues from Batman Begins and tried very hard to make the action and the technology believable (I do mean believable, not realistic, it's based on a comic book after all). For the most part, everyone follows the rules of physics. The only thing about the movie that really bothered me was how Iron Monger managed to master his suit instantly, while it took Tony Stark several weeks (months?) to do the same. Still, this was about the only false move the writers made.

Doesn't set the gold standard for superhero or comic book movies (that is still Batman Begins), but it's a damn good movie regardless.

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Initiation into Jazz

Posted : 14 years, 3 months ago on 3 May 2008 04:25 (A review of Call Me Irresponsible)

I discovered Michael Bublé when I heard one of his songs playing in my co-worker's office a few days ago. That's all it took to get me hooked.

This is Michael Bublé's third album and his best so far. The bulk of his material is covers of classic Jazz and Pop songs. He picks his material extremely well and the album gels very well. His singing is outstanding throughout. Somehow, he manages to impart a healthy dose of emotion into every song, regardless of the mood.

It's hard to pick any highlights from this set of songs but I'll take a stab at it anyway. My picks are 'Lost' and 'Always On My Mind'. Both about lost love but with very different emotional tones, both pulled off beautifully by Bublé.

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Good music too, not just the show

Posted : 14 years, 3 months ago on 30 April 2008 04:17 (A review of How To Be A Megastar Live! (CD with DVD))

I caught the Blue Man group on stage earlier this year and loved them. I snapped up this CD/DVD set as soon as it came out because I really liked the music they played. I'm pleased to say that much of the music (the full length songs) holds up even without the visuals to accompany it. This is good alternative pop music for the most part.

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Fun and funny sci-fi adventure

Posted : 14 years, 3 months ago on 28 April 2008 02:49 (A review of Back to the Future - The Complete Trilogy )

I have loved this trilogy of movies since I was 11 or 12. The second movie wasn't that well received, which has always surprised me. I thought it was superbly written. In fact, all three movies had pretty strong scripts which is commendable for movie sequels.

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