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Far Cry 2 (With Exclusive Steelbook)
This is purely a review of the single player at the moment.
At the risk of repeating a lot of the other reviews... This is not a true sequel to Far Cry. The feel of the game play is very similar but Jack Carver is no where to be seen and the feral abilities are no more. That said, it is a very original concept for a FPS and in the grand scheme of things, it works pretty well. You have to give credit to Ubi Montreal for doing such a good job of this new style first time out but like all brand new ideas (be it games, cars, operating systems etc.) there are a few teething problems. Most of these issues are mentioned in other peoples reviews so I will leave you to read other reviews to discover them. What I would add though is that despite the odd annoyancies within the game, the positives seriously out way the negatives but you do have to give this game a good couple of hours play to realise that. If you stick with it though I think you will find it becomes very absorbing and addictive to play.
The big thing for me is that this game is superbly realistic. You have no radar or in screen map (to view the map you holster your gun and pull the map out) and as such have to search out your enemies based on where bullets hit you from. Cars break down when they are shot at but you can fix them too. Enemies will hunt you down but will also become afraid of you as your reputation grows and in general the AI is excellent. Finally, you choose how you complete the overriding goal of eliminating 'The Jackal'. This does mean that the story is minimal but on the flip side it makes the game wholly different to anything I have played before.
Might be worth a rent first to make you own mind up but make sure you give it a good go before making your decision. Enjoy!
9 Songs (Nine Songs)
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Very simply, the film portrays the year long relationship of a couple by alternating between scenes of their sex life and the gigs they go to see together. The former are raw, explicit and not particularly erotic but with very little dialogue they manage to tell you so much about this couple's time together. You see the relationship on screen change as the movie progresses and comes to an inevitably anti climactic ending. Some would say that this film doesn't go anywhere, portrays full sex for the sake of it and has no plot. I can see why it could make you feel that way but I would suggest that this film is worth watching. If you allow yourself to become absorbed within what you are seeing, there is a subtly engaging story hiding behind the controversy of an eighteen certificate movie that displays real sex.
Sony MDR-EX85 In Ear Headphones (Black)
I got these headphones packaged with a Sony MP3 player so didn't pay the £35 for them but I will do if they ever need to be replaced.
Until I got these earphones I was not a fan at all of the earbud design. I found they always feel out of my ears (especially on the move) and the sound reproduction of the ones that came with my Sony Ericsson phones have not been impressive to say the least.
These, however, have incredible sound. They out perform my full size headphones for bass response and volume and I have heard things within my music that I hadn't picked up on before as the sound is that clear. They are incredibly comfortable too. The design means that they 'hook' into your ears rather than 'plug' like other earbud styles so they are much more secure.
Assuming that these are identical to the ones you get with the MP3 player, they have an extension cable for use with a standard MP3 or you can detach the extension and plug them into a Sony Ericsson handsfree instead.
All in all a very versatile design and excellent value for money.
Spider-Man 3 (2 Discs)
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I should start by saying I have never followed the original story of Spiderman in the comics etc. so don't know what should have happened with the characters in this film but to be honest that is not something that concerns me. Even if I knew the original story I would expect a new twist on it anyway.
This film does have excellent effects and some awesome action set pieces. It does have the black Spidey suit which is very cool and ultimately it is entertaining BUT...
The scenes that link the action are stilted and far too melodramatic for my taste. The story feels like the production team suddenly decided that rather than do 4 or 5 Spiderman films they now want it to be a trilogy and crammed all the ideas they had left into one 2 hour plus movie. Although, they did leave it open enough to come back for more if there looks to be money in it!
I agree with a previous review, that this film should have been about the Sandman and Harry aka. Hobgoblin against Spidey. The black suit element could have been brought in later in the time line of the movie and setup things up for the next one. How exciting would it have been to see the birth of Venom at the end of this movie and know that there would be another to come that would feature Venom and Spiderman in more depth?
For me that would have made this a much better film and would have guaranteed audiences for a fourth installment.
On the other hand, I'm not a film maker so what would I know??
Saw 3: Extreme Edition
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The first thing to say about this movie is, it is sick and of course if you like horror movies you should be glad to hear that (if you don't like horror movies then don't watch this and review it saying it has gone beyond the boundaries of what should be socially acceptable!).
That having been said I kind of hoped for a little more intelligence out of this film. I loved the first two films and do feel that the third ties up some loose ends from a plot persepective and is better than you might expect from the third film of a horror trilogy. However I feel it could have been shot in a more intelligent fashion.
I just think that rather than show you every last little detail of someones nasty demise/torture/operation, the director could have left a bit more to the imagination and ended up with a more sinister end result. The effects are good but because some of them are shown in such detail it cements the "it's only a film" mentality rather than make me feel disturbed by what I'm seeing (or not seeing given the point I'm trying to make).
At the end of the day it is all personal opinion and if this movie doesn't make you at least wince in a few places, I would get yourself sectioned!
Live or die? You decide.
Hot Fuzz (2 Discs)
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Comedy is such a subjective thing that you will always get mixed reviews on a film like this but for me it was superb.
I loved Shaun of the Dead so went to see this at the cinema. My first impressions were that it was not as good as Shaun but I still bought it on DVD as soon as it came out. Having watched it a few times since, it's got better everytime. There are subtle little jokes, that you miss on the first few viewings, that make this film endlessly watchable and (call me sick if you will) but Simon Pegg throwing a flying kick into an elderly woman's face (she is trying to shoot him at the time!) was just absolutely hilarious!!!
For me this is a must buy!!!
300 (2 Discs)
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First off I did enjoy this movie but it didn't quite live up to expectations. Having not read the graphic novel I can only assume that it is a good representation of Frank Miller's story but it certainly had an 'illustrated' vibe to it in the same way Sin City did.
There are some extremely cool set pieces which derserve the slow-mo treatment but I did feel that said slow-mo was over used and the film could have been a shorter (and therefore possibly more engaging) had this not been the case.
In summary a film with flaws that still manages to entertain. I would recommend waiting for the price to come down a bit before you buy.
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I love the fact that when it comes to a film like this you will always get the 'die hard' fans come out of the wood work and say things like: "Well this movie would have been good but it didn't have this from the original and it didn't have that from the original, blah blah blah". I grew up with the original and had the toys too and to be honest I would have been mighty annoyed if they had copied it.
I got exactly what I was looking for from this film: Optimus Prime and Co. kicking the chrome vanadium out of Megatron & Co. In true live action, big screen, loud sound style.
What more can you ask for from a film about robots? You don't want a complex plot getting in the way of kids and their parents watching this film together and both finding it just as cool as the other does.
Definitely best in the cinema but if you have a big TV and decent surround sound then worth owning on DVD too. If you don't have the pre-requisites to buying this DVD get them and then buy it!!