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All reviews - Movies (45) - TV Shows (29) - Books (35) - Music (3) - Games (4)


Posted : 15 years, 7 months ago on 14 July 2008 05:04 (A review of The Abortionist's Daughter)

I picked this one up randomly when I recognised it in a charity shop after seeing it on Richard and Judy’s book club on channel 4. I’m not usually one to follow these kind of things, but its nice to branch out once in a while and see what else is out there.

The Abortionist’s Daughter, Elisabeth Hyde’s third novel, sort of reminded me of Alice Hoffman, especially in The Blue Diary, or Jodi Picoult’s style of writing. It isn’t really what I normally read, but it is one of those books that I pick up if I’m looking for a venture outside (or perhaps inside) the box. Overall it wasn’t a bad read, quick and easy enough to get through, granted the whodunit aspect of the story was rather predictable and the characters were basically your standard models in this sort of book.

Not bad, but not astoundingly great either. I guess the best way to describe my feelings toward this book would be one or two notches above meh.

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Nice collection

Posted : 15 years, 7 months ago on 9 July 2008 08:10 (A review of The Book of Goddesses)

This book serves as a nice introduction into the subject of Goddesses, giving brief introductions into the mythology of twenty-six varying deities from all over the world. While the sections are indeed short, it is a good broad starting point with interesting details about each figure. The illustrations are also a treat as they are prints of hand drawn watercolours and thus have a more pleasant and at times sketchy quality about them which gives the book its true character and aesthetic appeal. The figures of the Goddesses themselves show the main focus of the skill of the author in illustrating her work, as they are more complete and stylistically developed than the surroundings and accompaniments, overall giving a storybook quality to the work. It is also a very easy read as it is described as a “gift book”, probably meant to inform a newer reader on the subject, and is especially good in this respect as it covers a wide range of female figures, many of which are lesser known.

Not a bad collection, but not for those who are looking for very detailed descriptions of the subject of Goddesses.

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Posted : 15 years, 7 months ago on 9 July 2008 07:28 (A review of Bad Cat: 244 Not-So-Pretty Kitties and Cats Gone Bad)

Personally, I did not get much humour out of this book. To me it just seemed like a pale, and often toned-down version of LOLcats, and it was probably not meant for people too familiar to the net-talking felines. I found the jokes rough and strained at best, with the odd crude one thrown in which managed to throw you me and just stare and say “WTF?” while I pondered if the safer side of humour is really that safe at all. But as other people have given this a good rating maybe I should just look at it and say I’m just not the target market and this just isn’t my thing. Oh well.

Since I managed to laugh about a total of three times while reading this I’m sticking to my LOLcats. Roll on Caturday.

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I enjoyed it

Posted : 15 years, 7 months ago on 9 July 2008 05:54 (A review of The Banquet)

This film is loosely based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, using the play as a basic framework with enough big changes to make it its own whilst still holding familiarity to the original idea. The main characters are almost all there, apart from the ghost and Horatio, the latter working out fine especially as he could have easily turned into a sidekick figure in the scheme of things.

Moving away from the origins of the story, the cinematics were rather impressive. The fight and dance scenes were very well choreographed and articulated throughout, adding an artistic touch to a brutal story. The sets successfully helped provide the film with an aesthetic aspect also, especially seen in not only the physical scenery (just take a look at the cityscape at the coronation ceremony) but the lighting and colours too.

Overall I rather liked the adaptation of the Western classic. A very aesthetically pleasing film with awesome fight scenes that don’t overpower the film itself, providing a good balance. My only qualm was the very end, as the question hangs in the viewer’s mind: Who? But if this is the only problem I had with the film then that’s a good thing really. I recommend this movie to fans of Asian cinema and anyone curious to see how the Hamlet adaptation went. Its worth a watch.

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A let down

Posted : 15 years, 7 months ago on 9 July 2008 05:48 (A review of Wassup Rockers)

Watching this movie I felt rather disappointed with Larry Clark and not entirely sure what he was doing, or try to do, rather. Wassup Rockers pales in comparison to both Kids and Bully (and I hope Ken Park also, which I have yet to watch at the time of writing this review), seeming much more strained and dull.

In short, the film consists of a rather uninteresting storyline which picks up more and more forced scenarios. I kept thinking to myself, ok, when is the real story actually going to begin? And it never did. The only reason I would say this was actually worth watching is in comparison with his other works, otherwise I think this was a very average production, not at all up to Clark's usual standards.

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The Jungle Book

Posted : 15 years, 7 months ago on 9 July 2008 05:46 (A review of The Jungle Book (Puffin Classics))

I just read this for the first time because it was on the reading list for my second year Eng Lit course and I'm glad I did. I found it very interesting for a children’s story book, and it also makes you very aware that a lot of kids books these days barely touch upon deeper issues as works like these used to. Kipling's imperialist background shows through in the undertones of the work, making for an interesting work to read from both a storytelling perspective and that of a literary and historical study.

Now to find the second collection of stories...

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Quotable goodness

Posted : 15 years, 7 months ago on 9 July 2008 05:22 (A review of Aqua Teen Hunger Force)

Now, at first I dismissed the show, but having been made to sit through every single episode (and the movie) by my friend at least five times apiece I've come to enjoy and rather like it. Sure, the humour can be crass and unusual, but watching it with someone who truly loves it makes the experience much better for all concerned, and the show has some excellent quotes to spout at random times.

All that aside, I have come to appreciate the show. It has the random mayhem that so many great British comedies are praised for, just in a different manifestation. I am very aware that being British and having a penchant for home-grown comedies and wariness to a new breed of American cartoons and comedies makes me biased, but seeing some of the negative attitudes towards the show I can understand why people say they don't like it. My advice is thus: Lighten up and take it as another piece of absurd visual humour. You might just grow to like it.

Tonight... You.

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Hi, Dave? It's Dave here...

Posted : 15 years, 7 months ago on 9 July 2008 05:19 (A review of Are You Dave Gorman?)

Are You Dave Gorman? is a humour/travel/random book, and the result of a drunken bet between two men. And what a result. We as readers get to follow the eccentric adventures of Dave Gorman and Danny Wallace as they attempt to find "loads" of people named Dave Gorman, and as a consequence experience a multitude of highs and lows as they progress towards their goal.

The way the book is written with dual narration from both men is highly entertaining and, I believe, a very successful means of telling the tale. Gorman and Wallace are no strangers to British comedy, being a comedian and journalist/comedian respectively, and thus the book is highly recommendable for fans of both British stand up comedy and writers such as Douglas Adams, Stephen Fry, and Terry Pratchett (though I don't think they are quite up to the standards of these three just yet). The book is funny and highly entertaining throughout, with a slight touch of seriousness thrown in just for the hell of it, and will leave the reader smiling at the end.


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Average cookbook for kids

Posted : 15 years, 7 months ago on 9 July 2008 05:17 (A review of Kids' Cooking Step-by-step (The Australian Women's Weekly))

When my mum gave me this for Christmas I was slightly puzzled. At age 18 and living away from home and therefore cooking for myself I already know how to cook and generally don’t need a detailed step-by-step walkthrough on how to make scrambled eggs. (And I always wonder, why is it from the Australian Women’s Weekly?)

As a childrens cookbook its not a bad start, though with my bias I still prefer my old copy of My First Cookbook (though it is aimed at a younger audience than this one). It is sad to see the use of the microwave become more prevalent over time though, and with recipes advising children to use the microwave this seems like a laugh in the face of older cooking methods (I’d rather melt chocolate over a pan of boiling water any day). Microwaved scrambled eggs just seems wrong to me.

Looking at it from an older point of view I also noted the clichéd blonde freckled kids used in the example pictures, staring out with glee over their scrambled eggs and egg and bacon muffins. Slightly creepy, but maybe that’s just me.

The recipes themselves are pretty standard enough, a couple of them being more or less copouts, even for a kid’s cookbook. Toasties filled with spaghetti from a can and sliced cheese really doesn’t require a recipe, and pre-packaged pizza bases are an outright cheat for something so easy. The layout is easy enough to follow and the language clear with pictures to illustrate. Also, for healthy minded parents this book does include quite a few vegetable and fruit-based recipes, featuring the avocado with strange frequency. Plus there is the ever-useful conversions chart in the back of the book.

Eh, it’s alright, with a nice few ideas, mainly in the dinner section (but expecting a child to make a roast on their own is expecting a bit much by my standards), but its not really my kind of thing. Average at best.

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Nice series

Posted : 15 years, 11 months ago on 27 March 2008 09:08 (A review of Ouran High School Host Club)

I rather enjoyed watching Ouran High School Host Club this past week. Its a good shoujo series with an interesting storyline. Though this story tends to only emerge in the later episodes.

There are quite a few loose ends however and a lot of details of the story left unsaid at the end, but this leaving to the viewers assumption is, I suppose, a working upon the ideas of the whole series. It is what you want it to be really.

I will look into reading the manga series which this was based on at some point. I'm hoping that since it is an on-going manga series it won't just leave off where the anime does, since it would be nice to see an expansion on the character development already set up.

I recommend this for anyone looking for a good, happy, semi-romance series. It does contain some hints of yaoi but not in a serious way, more playing on the fantasy/idea of yaoi.

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