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


Posted : 16 years, 7 months ago on 8 July 2007 06:52 (A review of Syberia)

Syberia is definitely a very interesting point-and-click adventure game though it still doesn't quite meet up to some of the others I've played in the past (especially The Longest Journey).

I managed to finish it in about 17 hours over two days (including breaks, food, game crashes and redoing parts, and getting stuck on silly bits for half an hour...). Not a bad duration for a game of the genre, and since it obviously ends with a prelude to a sequel, that adds more to it. I'm looking forward to getting the sequel, but I said that with the other Broken Sword games so who knows when that will be..

Overall the game has wonderful graphics and a highly engaging storyline, with a predictable home subplot (Kate-Dan-Olivia) that at least provides a little entertainment at times. As with many point-and-click adventures you can tell a lot of effort and skill went into the designing of the scenery, but I think the designers tried to cram in too many scenes and angles that just serve the purpose of taking up time clicking through rather than getting anything done.

As for gameplay, the only things I would mention being a bit annoying were the access to the menu not being direct enough and the at-times finicky objects that slowed me down because they needed to be dealt with just-so, but there were only one or two of these so they didn't interfere greatly.

Its a good game, but I think those who don't like having to sit through the odd bout of long narrative might find this at times boring. This shouldn't put you off though as it is worth it.

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Ok BBC comedy panel show

Posted : 16 years, 7 months ago on 2 July 2007 12:49 (A review of Would I Lie to You?)

The newest product of the British comedy panel show genre, Would I Lie to You?, shows potential as it utilises another new (or unused) concept. Angus Deayton is at the helm once again as he finally makes his return from his humiliation on Have I Got News For You five years ago. As for team captains, David Mitchell is a good choice and Lee Mack is certainly an interesting one as his style of comedy seems to be one-liners more than anything else from his past work on The Sketch Show.

I missed the first show, but the second and third have been good. The latter was very odd in deed because two of the opposing guests were Dara ร“ Briain and Jimmy Carr, hosts of their own comedy panel shows (Mock the Week and 8 Out of 10 Cats, respectively) and Carr in particular seems less comfortable as a guest than a host.

It's a good enough show and the truths about the celebrities featured are shockers at times. I think it should do all right since it has an alright time-slot, but I doubt it'll meet the standards of the BBC's more long-running successes in the area such as HIGNFY, QI, and Nevermind the Buzzcocks.

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Jengcheon - The Restless

Posted : 16 years, 8 months ago on 29 June 2007 08:02 (A review of The Restless)

**May contain spoilers**

I quite liked this Korean fantasy-action film. It has some good action sequences and a nice storyline. I didn't think that Tae-hee Kim was the best person to have in the female lead though. She just looked half-startled most of the time and a tad too childish for the role. I could have sworn that I had seen her in something before (like a comedy), but alas, nothing. I just thought the role could have been suited a little bit better for someone else, but she does put in an alright performance.

As for special effects there were quite a few very well done, but the odd one just stood out to me as being a little bit out-of-place-looking. For instance, the attack using the flower petals just looked a little naff. However, I did like the sort of burning/disintegration effects.

A good film, but it could have been a bit better. It definitely has the feel of Musa and Bichunmoo to it but with a fantasy twist, so if you're a fan of those you should check this out.

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A good unfinished posthumous book

Posted : 16 years, 8 months ago on 13 June 2007 11:11 (A review of The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time)

I really like this book. It is a collection of some of Douglas Adams' short articles, speaches and interviews and his unfinished novel The Salmon of Doubt, another Dirk Gently book.

The short items of the book explore Adams' interests, plans for the future (which he sadly would never fulfill), funny real life stories and more. Of these watch out for:

Maggie and Trudie
Riding the Rays
For Children Only

But those are only a few of the gems in this work and are among my favourites. It's a wonderful collection, showing his worries and loves in life. The whole thing is started with an editor's note, a prolouge, and a foreword by Stephen Fry. Out of these I love the foreword most because it chimes in with Adams' style of writing but is also a rather touching view from a friend of Douglas Adams (plus, Stephen Fry talking about running around the room giggling makes me smile).

Firstly, you can tell that the unfinished The Salmon of Doubt wasn't completed by Adams and he hadn't had a chance to polish the existing work. The introduction to the book even explains how it was pieced together after his death. What is there is interesting and puzzling and it is frustrating to know that we'll never have an original Adams answer to it.

After this the book is rounded off with a final interview and an epilogue for both Adams and the book. In the interview Adams talks about the future, and it hits you as kind of sad because we know that he would never get to any of it. I felt it was a rather touching close to a nice collection.

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Girl meets boy with a twist...

Posted : 16 years, 8 months ago on 12 June 2007 11:20 (A review of Prehistoric Women (1950))

**Contains extreme spoilers**

This is bad. So bad that it's good? Definitely not. But so bad it makes it worth watching to see how bad it really is.

Meet the savage women... with perfect hair, and a pet panther. And of course, these women are as frivolous and prone to jealousy as women in the 1950's were meant to be. These women are on a mission: To capture themselves some menfolk, not only that, but a "husband"! Carefully avoiding the subject of why they need these men, we follow the story of their surprisingly easy capture of three men, luring them back to their trees for goodness knows what! The sole man that escaped wants revenge on the women and decides to leave his own tribe and hunt them out, and on the way creates fire! Along the way we are also introduced to the terrifying Guadi, a giant that doesn't seem quite as tall as he is made out to be.

Time for a summary:
So basically its a story of girl (Tigri) meets boy (Engor), boy kills girl's panther, girl beats up his friends and takes them hostage, boy tracks down girl, makes fire, and gets beaten up and captured. Girls fight over boy while all he cares about is being reunited with his mates. Girl wants boy for herself and takes him up to her tree for a good whack with her stick and a nap. Girls fight over boy, first girl wins the right to feed him and lets him rub his face against hers. You know, the age-old story. All the while the girls are planning a marriage ceremony to trap the boys. Oh noes! This is a very bad thing because the girls are trying to assert their authority over the boys! How dare they! The boys aren't going to stand for this, they plan to escape. Boy, using his newly learned fire skills tries to use it for escape, but ends up saving girl, only to take her and her tribe hostage by holding her arm. Boys then make girls slave for them, but boy keeps girl for himself. Another boy is mean to girls, refusing to give them food and putting it in the fire. Guess what? He invented cooked meat! But oh noes! Boy is missing his mama, so they begin the journey back to the boys' home, encountering the giant on the way! Boys and girls hide in a small cave and giant laughs insanely at them. Boys use fire against giant, severely confusing him and saving the girls, returning to the girls tribe where they all do a lot of flirting and suddenly the uneven ratio of men and women doesn't seem to matter as much as before. Girls and boys get married and girls all dance (they do this quite a lot in this movie). Phew! Get all that?

I swear, some of these characters were used as a visual base for some Monty Python sketches.

With scenes stretching out much longer than they should, an extremely inaccurate portrayal of everything possible, surprisingly modern animals and a narrator who states the bloody obvious. It's a tale of romance (apparently) and fire. So bad it's past good and right back to bad again. Enjoy it, if you can.

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Slight variation on the old talent show

Posted : 16 years, 8 months ago on 12 June 2007 08:31 (A review of Britain's Got Talent)

Doesn't this look a bit familiar? Yes, of course. It is X-Factor but with an audience in on the auditions and a bigger range of people to humiliate, and of course it's to find someone to perform at the Royal Variety Performance. Other than that it is exactly the same down to the backstage sob stories and camera style.

That said, it is a bit better than the aforementioned television nightmare. It is still only TV filler to me, but at least it has a bit more entertainment value.

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Ok show, not great

Posted : 16 years, 8 months ago on 12 June 2007 06:23 (A review of Embarrassing Illnesses)

Being British, we tend to try and ignore things until they go away, and this show points out why medical problems should not be ignored in this way.

It is an interesting enough show, but a tad too graphic for the 8.30pm slot on Channel 4 perhaps. One the first show alone there were close-ups of hemroids and a room full of rugby players giving their balls (testicles) a good fondle. Not exactly two things that are usually on the telly at that kind of time, so I wasn't exactly prepared.

Not too bad a medical show, though I've seen better.

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Nice sequel, not quite as good

Posted : 16 years, 8 months ago on 12 June 2007 06:00 (A review of Sailor Moon R)

**Contains spoilers**

2 months after the first series ([Link removed - login to see]), the Sailor Soldiers are back when aliens appear unexpectedly. Again the aim of the bad guy is to claim energy from innocent humans, and of course there are new silly monsters (this time called Cardians). But this isn't the same as the first series by a long shot.

This is only the start though, as the R series begins with a 13 episode mini-plot (read the [Link removed - login to see] for information on this). I found the end of this subplot very sweet, though I'm glad we got rid of the Moonlight Knight and Mamoru's memories of Usagi were finally returned.

The Moonlight Knight is just a bit weird and confusing. Although it was good to keep the audience wondering about his identity and how it was a possibility right up to the end of the mini-plot. I've seen a lot of fans conplain about him, because really, he doesn't make sense and is out of place as a character. Thankfully he is only around for the 13 episode run though, and Tuxedo Mask makes a come back for the rest.

And... Sailor Moon finally gets a new transformation scene and a new weapon! This is definitely a nice change as any watcher of the series will know their attacks get a little old after 50-odd episodes. The other warriors get their own slight new additions through the series with their old attacks making appearances every now and then.

In the second half of the series we are finally introduced to Chibi-Usa and some new enemies (and some of these enemies even have a vocabulary further than their own name for once)! As with Sailor Moon Classic the story can be a little obvious to the viewer (while the characters resume their oblivious attitudes to the most obvious details), but I still love it. One thing that bugged me about the series though was the Usagi-Mamoru relationship. It just became a little too on/off with them for me, plus
when you think about it it is a little wrong (thats the 14 year old and 20-odd year old detail again).

The very last episode (89 in the whole Sailor Moon chronology) is a bit pointless really. All it does is round up what has happened in the R series and shows a few spoilery clips of the next series (Sailor Moon S). It doesn't add anything to the show at all, but I watched it anyway.

A good series, but not quite as good as the first. :) I'm eager to start watching the third series out of the five!

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Suzuka review

Posted : 16 years, 8 months ago on 11 June 2007 11:47 (A review of Suzuka)

Gaia Online has the first two episodes of this series (American dub) legally online right now, so I decided to watch it. And well, it's not very good.

The dubbing is crap. The voices chosen are unbelievably rubbish, it has terrible music and shoddy animation at times, and it really is just a bad version of Love Hina (which I love) at times.

Who knows, maybe the original Japanese series is better, but I doubt I'll be watching any more of this. Two episodes are enough. Plus I know now that I'm not a big fan of sports-orientated anime.

(May I just add, What The Feck!? In episode two, why did Rei from Sailor Moon appear? She looked exactly the same and was a shrine maiden! ARGH!)

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Grease review

Posted : 16 years, 8 months ago on 9 June 2007 06:54 (A review of Grease)

I just watched Grease for the first time. It may seem a bit odd that I hadn't seen it before now, but I have never really sought it out and it was just there on TV today. I've come across the songs in many, many places before and frankly I thought they were too annoying. Now, onto the actual review..

What the heck?! I really wonder why this is such a popular film. Bad music, bad dancing, "teenagers" played by people close to thirty, a crap storyline, and filled with really cheesily classic American "culture". It seems to have a message of "change the way you are to get people to love you" which frankly comes across quite silly. It's at the top of plenty of "best musical" lists and I have to say that there are plenty of better ones.

I'm glad I got watching that out of the way. Never again...

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