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Product Reviews

17 (59% helpful)

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  1.  A Cracker


    Michael Crichton (who sadly passed away in 2008) made a very lucrative career out of novels like this: techno-thrillers that relied very heavily on genuine facts and figures to produce a compelling fictional narrative.

    The plot of Airframe is effectively an episode of Air Crash Investigation with added corporate espionage. It is also a great ride. Crichton very rightly leaves the big reveal to the final few pages yet keeps the reader guessing throughout. Much like Deception Point By Dan Browns (a book as equally flawed stylistically but just as thrilling) the reader can guess the conclusion will end in a satisfactory manner yet the journey there is riddled with turns of the unexpected.

    Much like a rollercoaster you sometimes just want a brief thrill. This book certainly delivers on the front.

  2.  Ellroy is GOD!


    I have always been fascinated with much of modern American history dating from the communist witch hunts of the 50's through to Watergate and the Frost/Nixon interviews. It's this back drop that Ellroy uses as the basis of his Underworld USA trilogy (Tabloid is followed by The Cold Six Thousand and Blood's A Rover) and whilst much of what happens is based around real life moments in history such as J. Edgar Hoover's continued crack down on communism and the Bay of Pigs fiasco, the central figures are entirely fictional, as are their actions. The Kennedy's, Hoover, Jimmy Hoffa and Howard Hughes are all prominent figures in the narrative but this is Ellroy's take on America and, as such, there's a seedy underbelly that is exposed and a world where everyone, no matter how good their intentions, ends up corrupted or chewed out.

    Whilst there were certain historical moments that were skimmed over (the Cuban missile crisis is only mentioned in passing), for the most part, the book is near note perfect. The initial set up of labyrinth connections and sub plots pay off in spades as the narrative is given room to breath in the middle act, all of which is neatly rounded up in the build to the assassination of JFK. There are crosses, double crosses, double and triple agents whose loyalties are tested when all sides they're infiltrating end up at odds with each other. There are no heroes here, only varying degrees of filth and even the historical figures, most noticeably Jack and Bobby Kennedy and J. Edgar Hoover, are portrayed in a scathing light.

    As a complex tale of greed, corruption and political espionage it's a winner. As a character study of those involved in politically motivated organised crime you end up hating everyone. And the main crux here is involvement. From the blistering set up, Ellroy's prose and staccato, urban language put you in the time frame where violence is a necessary evil and casual racism is a way of life (one character is a die hard member of the Klu Klux Klan).

    If you haven't read any Ellroy I recommend you start here. Hand's down one of the finest novels ever written. It makes you feel somewhat dirty afterwards but it's seriously compelling and gripping stuff.

    It was Time magazine's novel of the year (1995) for a reason.

  3.  Beyond Awful


    Hands down, the worst movie of 2009. I don't condone the Michael Bay approach to filmmaking but this is just bad on so many levels it isn't even funny. After two and a half hours of farting, dry humping and unintentionally racist robots, robo testicals, a plot that makes little to no sense at all (Why does it take the Matrix of Leadership to bring back Optimus Prime when only mere shards of the allspark can bring Megatron back into the mix? And lest we forget that Megatron was bought back by the very allspark that killed him in the first film. I have a headache) and action that is beyond boring (a continuous half hour long skirmish of metal banging repeatedly against metal is gruelling, not thrilling), there is little if anything to recommend here for those who are new to the world of Transformers.

    And I liked the first one.

    I hated this film. It is a detestable thing with no redeemable features. And Michael Bay is now in pre-production of Transformers 3 (puts guns to head, pulls trigger).

  4.  Hill Rocks


    If anyone were to ask me who I would be reading in twenty years time the answer would come easily and without hesitation. Joe Hill.

    Horns is a very different beast from Heart-Shaped Box. Effectively a story about a man possessed with the powers of Satan, the forefront of the narrative is about the character's motivations and what led them to decisions that ultimately ruined the lives of the four key players. It's compelling stuff and one trump card that Hill has managed, with H-SB also, is his ability to tell enough back-story without bogging the reader down, something his father (Stephen King) has failed to do on numerous occasions.

    I loved it. Having read 90 pages, I sat down on Sunday for a quiet hour to read and ended up finishing it. Both Horns and H-SB have their good and bad moments and whilst I would honestly say that it's difficult to differentiate between the two in terms of quality, Hill's sophomore effort is step up in terms of maturity and writing prose. I just hope that it isn't another three years before his next one.

    I would really like to see him try something epic next time. Maybe a zombie apocalypse?

  5.  Ok


    This is a vastly inferior sequel to Resident Evil 4 because there is very little in the way of change between the two. Deja Vu hit moments in when you're fighting off a horde of angry villagers, just like Res 4, and hits again when you sumble across a man weilding a chainsaw with a bag over his head JUST LIKE RES 4. Resident Evil 4 was a joy: it took the series in a great new direction, was much longer and kept you on your toes. The only thing Res 5 has managed is making a far shorter version of 4 set in Africa as opposed to Spain. Also, bring back the Zombies and make it scary. That said, it's fun to play, just a shame it's uninspired and highly unoriginal.

  6.  Good Stuff


    I could gush but then we'll be here for hours and a good review is never as interesting as a bad one so i'll be brief. Needless to say, this book is terrific, the most definitive work on zombies since George Romero stopped being good. It really picks up on things that i would never have thought of, like the men stuck in the International Space Station whilst the whole world is going to hell and the way that high tech military equipment is no match for a hoard of a million zombies. But it's the way it discusses world politics and philosophy that realed me in. Human nature will never seem so tainted ever again. It may be bleak but by god it's a good read.

  7.  A Landmark


    Seeing as Metallica are my favourite band you could say that this review is slightly bias, but even if you're not a fan, you have to admire the sheer beast that is Master Of Puppets. Not only is it Metallica's best but it is the greatest metal album ever made! Not a single song is wasted, each one damn near perfect and precise in their delivery. Any other band would have trouble playing the likes of Battery and Damage Inc, their aggressive and unforgiving chord progressions hammering a relentless beat that leaves the listener dazed, but not Metallica. True masters of their craft, these guys have every right to be the biggest selling metal act of all time. It's just a shame they haven't done anything as good since (The Black Album comes closest).

  8.  Good Stuff


    A fine collection of short stories from one of the most promising of authors. If you liked Heart Shaped Box then you're sure to love this. Not every story in this book is horror, with Pop Art being the most notciable exception (it's really very sweet) and it shows how versatile a writer Joe Hill can be. I look forward to reading more of his work. His stuff is such a joy to read. Masterful.

  9.  Oh Dear...


    What's happened to the once great Quentin Tarantino? He got boring that's what. Out of the two Grindhouse pictures, this is by far the worst. Where Planet Terror was fun, Death Proof just lags. I want to see Tarantino do something different for a change. It's become tedious watching people talk like Quentin for two hours. It was quirky to begin with (it makes Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction) but now it's just dull. And where's the horror? I hope his next film gets him back on form but this is very much a dud in an otherwise excellent CV.

  10.  Zzzzzz


    I am a big fan of the original Hostel. I thought the idea behind it was just sick and the film itself was tense as hell. wasn't as violent as i was hoping (The Hills Have Eyes and Saw III were far more brutal than this) but all in all it was a pretty good film.

    This hastilly assembled sequel, however, wasn't a good film. It felt rushed and it just seemed that Eli Roth was just anxious to move onto the next gore effect, sacrificing all the tension along the way. Within in the first twenty minutes we've had a decapitation, dismembement and full frontal nudity but this is nothing if the ever growing sense of dred isn't there.

    The first film had the whole second half devoted to the escape of our protagonist, playing on all the conventions of the horror genre to great effect, keeping you on the edge of you seat for the duration. This film just plods it's way from torture to torture and that does not, a good film make. It's certainly more gruesome that the first (castration anyone?) but to put it simply, it was just dull.

    Rent it if you want to see it, but otherwise, don't waste your time.