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Wall-E (2 Discs)
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A visually stunning High Def master piece.
Like an old classic this is a disney movie with everything, love, loss, friendship, action comedy appealling to adults and children alike.
Visually this film is stunning amzingly animated the abonded Earth of which Wall-e and a Cockroach are seemingly its only occupants for 700 years. Wall-E is an amazing qerky robot who will have you laughing and crying. I dont want to spoil the story for you. Run time is good and it really is something to watch again and and again.
You could take some of the underlying story of humanities flaws, the super company, humans leaving rubbish that has left the Earth unable to support life and *possible spolier* super fat human beings living in space in chairs unable to walk.
As you'd expect being a CGI film the blu ray is fantastic the incredible animation leaps off your sreen. It really is something new that you've never experienced before.
This is the only blu-ray I've got that has a visual set up test, similar to the THX optimiser of DVD's to ensure your system is set up best for the HD experience, more blu rays should have this feature.
Batman: The Dark Knight
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Well you've probably seen the film and as we all know it is outstanding, exciting, dramatic. I wanted to focus my review on the blu ray experience as there is no denying that as a film its a 5 out of 5 amazing experience
Around 40mins of the film was done in IMAX and transfering to blu-ray they take up the whole of your HD screen and simply put are the best HD visuals I have seen, simply almost 3 dimensional. The rest of the film is a good transfer but its the IMAX sections which will make you say WOW to the blu ray.
The audio and music is top notch and amazing on my surround sound system crank the volume up and again the fantastic score and effects show of blurays HD audio should you have the equipment.
One of my favourite films is just better in blu ray. So get it if you're blu
Have a blu-ray player the only way to watch this astonishing moive is in blu ray
Want to show of your HD TV and blu ray set up to a mate fire up the chase sequence where the bat car becomes the bat bike and you'll feel happy and excited at your hardware
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Where to start, well if youve never heard of Max Payne you might be able to add a star to the enjoyment as it is a pretty standard action fare yarn.
As a blu ray the transfer is crisp and sharp and some good audio, but the story, re written for the screen is painful. Pherhaps they were thinking wow we need to get a PG-13 rating or 12A from this so cant be as violent as we'd want... Or pherhaps the film noir voice overed game they didnt like and opted for something so usual.
I had high hopes but although I have enjoyed Mark Wahlberg movies in the past, 'Shooter' and 'the italian Job' and even 'three kings' he is dreadful cast as Max Payne, he cannot show that he has a tortured soul and is out for revenge. I mean his wife and daughtered have been murdered and you dont feel his pain (or Payne) at all just a serious look, no devastation, no tears.
There is only one use of bullet time slo-mo which featured heavily throughout the game and *possible spoiler* why fill the world with demons its just ridiculous.
Fan of the game you probably want to avoid to keep your Max Payne memories intact and not have them ruined by this movie. Not seen played the game and want an action blu-ray to blow away your HD system there are better films out there
Oh its only a 15 due to the featurette which is the strangest making of featurette I've ever seen. The director John Moore is ridiculous and you laugh at his self confidence and big finger to the producer.. Not worth owning the blu ray for the featurette though
Xbox 360 Elite Console
Having owned a 360 since its launch in December 2005, my core console upraded to premium has seen its far share of gaming hours. The new Elite came today and snapping it out of its box and running it as soon as was possible I have been slightly underwhelmed with some of its advances on my previous 360.
And why, well this is a 360, it outputs the same glorious HD graphics as the other models, same surround sound, it just has 3 different features, larger hard drive, HDMI output and its black... I suppose if you spent £300 on a new graphics card for your PC the money would be immedialty apparent in better graphics etc... But heh, my son got a free 360 out of it so he ain't complainingThe console does run slightly quieter when running games, although it is not significant, the disk tray operation is better and smoother than my earlier 360, and it seems so far that the disk spin fine and I haven't heard the disk chugging round the tray which has scratched some games on my older 360.
Being a previous 360 owner I will be transfering data from my old 20GIG hard drive to the new 120GIG one, the cable is available from the official xbox website. So I won't loose my live arcade games and save game progresses.
The HDMI output is OK - better as you can connect straight into your TV and if possible enjoy 1080p. Gaming at 1080p can reduce the frame rate as the console is needing to double the refresh rate. I play at 1080i and its great on my HDTV... The console could benefit from how the PS3 manages its visual ouput... Owning a HDDVD player I want to watch movies at 1080p bu gaming at 1080i or 720p... It would be better if this 360 would change automatically as it does on the PS3, who knows, a firmware update may do this.
Without having a seperate optical or Coaxial digital output I am using component as my AV reciever does not have an HMI input so I therefore cannot make use of plugging the HDMI cable into my AMP to enjoy the Dolby Surround sound.
The new pherials look nice, black headset, controller, component cable, HDMI cable. But all in all any 360 plays games so it depends on what you want from your gaming life...
I want movies on demand more storage space, when I get a Dolby True HD amp/DTS master audio amp I will benefit from the HDMI output but as yet, will be sticking with component for the time being.
As for failure rate, I'm sure the new console will not have the massive 1 in 3 failure rate of its predeccesors, but is still using the 90nm chips... Eventually they will use 65nm chips, which as they are smaller and produce less heat. however I am not worried as it has a 3 year warranty and when my old xbox broke the service I got was fantastic and completly free.
If your new to Xbox, this is the top console without doubt, I own all 3 and the Xbox racks up the most hours... why? Its its vast game library and numerous Xbox Exlusives, Forza 2, Halo 3, Bioshock, Viva Pinata, Project Gotham, Mass Effect to name a few. Big releases such as GTA4 etc... all make it on X360.
Xbox Live is fantastic, brilliantly simple to use and communicate with gamers download movies, trailers and live arcade games and now full HD movies.
An Xbox fan like me looking for an upgrade - It depends on your bank balance, but if you want the new Hard drive to enjoy the new live content, you can trade in your X360 premium console for £150 ish. the Hard drive is £130 on its own, so in reality, its £20 more for a new console.
Dead Rising (Classics)
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Do yourself a favour, before you commit to buying this game, download the Demo from Xbox Live.
If you enjoy the Demo which really gives you the feeling of what the game is, then this is a much buy. You against 53,594 zombies.
As a none linear game, you really can choose what you do during the course of the game... Do you follow the story mode and try to complete the 10cases to unlock the true ending... I'd recommend that as its non linear aspect of just roaming round is more rewarding after you follow its story mode... Don't get me wrong, even in its story mode, you can still go off story, choose to save some surviors or challenge and kill some of the survivors who have gone insane. In non linear mode you can focus on simply trying to save all the survivors rather than completing the story mode.
The Xbox 360 achievement system has been well thought about for this game, and therefore increases its replay value - Eg, kill 53594 zombies, photograph 10 pyscopaths, get a strike by knocking down 10 zombies with a bowling ball... Get addicted and you'll be hooked.
Graphicaly the game is good but the clever bit is the number of enemies that can be on screen at one time. Literally hundreds of enemies.
Deserving of its 18 BBFC Certificate, you can pick up literally anything lying around to take on the enemy. Guitars, Katana Swords, lawnmowers, baseball bats, Bowling ball (My favourite), football, golf club, pot plant, chairs, tills, hanguns (avoid), shotgun etc... etc...
Decapitations, blood squirting, graphic sound effects and dismemberment are common place.
This is a fun and crazy game and the Xbox 360 achievements to unlock keep wth the game to unlock them. You are also meant to die, and then restart the game with updated stats for Frank, you start as level 1, and is each level increases you learn new moves when your unarmed - such as disembowlment, lariat, skull crusher, which sees Frank become leathal with his fists and upgrades the amount of health you have your speed etc.... Reach level 50 and you are a lethal with your fists as well as any of the hundreds of different weapons avaible and the fact Frank can change into different clothes from the clothes shops in the mall (Pink flowery dress anyone? - Seriously)
For me, if your a male adult you'll love this Xbox Xclusive. Violent and funny, not repetative due to the number of weapons available ways you can play and its very challenging.
A lot is made of its save system, but it is not really that bad, quite clever really, you can only save in one of the malls toilets or the security room... This makes you realise about your health, and that if you've played for a long period without saving you really should go the loo.
Reckon you can survive to be rescued? Can you rescue and get safe all the survivors, can you kill all the survivors who have gone insane? Can you find out why its all happened and get the true ending? Then buy it now
Resistance: Fall Of Man
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Some say Resistance: Fall of Man is the only PS3 Game owning at launch.
I say not.
I accept this is not a tactical shooter, that its a blazing first person adventre... But it has just been done to many times before and far better, sure its goodm but not ground breaking or next gen, more by the numbers.
Sure, I love the fact its set in an alternative Britain, I love the fact its set in the likes of Manchester, Grimsby and London. I love the British Captain's accent narrating the single player Campaign. I love its awesome weaponry, but this just doesn't make up for the games pitfalls
Firstly, enemy and friendly AI is very poor. Men who tag along with you or who are trying to hold the enemy back simply offer no resistance rarely make kills and die all to quickly. They also stick with there default weapon even when far more powerful weapons litter the battlefield. This would have been OK if this was balanced throughout the game. However during one mission in a jeep with a gunner this is reversed. The gunner is invincible, as is your jeep. The gunner makes loads of kills; the jeep can't be destroyed or even turn the wrong way. Crazy
Enemies also offer little resistance and fall all too easily. Except when there is a large boss type enemy around. The enemies also don't change. They follow set paths re-spawn in the same place time and time again and horde together in large groups. Meaning if you spray your ammo in there direction you'll hit and kill some of the on-coming horde, then pick off the stragglers.
Secondly the auto save checkpoint system is poor. You can literally play and battle on for 15 or so minutes. Then die right at the end of the end and have to go all the way back to the beginning. Very frustrating, but that brings me on to my next point.
You rarely die; even on the toughest difficulty setting there is so much health lying around even if you're down to your last bit you rarely have to worry as you auto recover ¼ of your health and then pick up the health packs to get back to full.
There are also too many cut-scenes, on occasion there could literally be 2 minutes game play between cut scenes. I prefer a story told as you play.
Finally, most of the missions of the game look exactly like the previous (except for the impressive Tower Bridge mission). Bland scenery is abundent. I'd like to of seen more detail in the games buildings.
This game could really have worked, it has elements of Halo, Prey, The medal of Honour and Gears of War, but the game play just sucks andI found it hard to get into the game.
I did enjoy the games in game surround sound. The frame rate was very good but the graphics were medioca. The games story is great and some of its set pieces with tanks and the like are fun to play but all to short.
Multiplayer is OK, but without chat it is difficult to have fun when you can't rip the guy your killing.
Co-Op would be better on-line enabled as sharing your screen with someone on Co-Op makes the game difficult to play as you loose 50% of your visibility but can be a laugh.
As a multi Console and PC owner and Shooter fan, I felt that this game could have been great had some of the elements above been rectified. I hope the inevitable sequel will.
Wario Ware: Smooth Moves
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There is a lot to like about Warioware... The way it describes the wii remote as a form batton. It has brilliant comical scenes introducing ways to use your remote... The elephant, the umbrella etc... The music and graphics here are great.
Each of the mini games too, are bright and lucid and colourful, fast and involving, although each game last only seconds. Each level is a collection of mini games strung together.
The levels are hardwork and fun and you will be sweating and laughing come the end when you attempt all the different moves.
However, and its a big one. There is no true multiplayer game... Sure, you can pass the remote between each game, but there is no split screen action no way of measuring who is best, and this is unforgivable.
So a 5 star game becomes 3 - On the back of the game box, it also states it is a 1 player game, so a miss print here from play with it saying 1 to 4.
If like me, you own a wii for multiplayer fun in your living room, you'll be sorely dissapointed.
Sony Playstation 3 PS3 Console with 60GB HDD & 2 Games (Resistance: Fall Of Man / Genji) + Official Wireless Sixaxis Controller + HDMI Cable + Click (Blu-Ray)
Owning all the next Gen console's Wii, X360 and PS3 I was honestly excited about the PS3's home multi-media hub potential. This box of tricks really is a fantastic piece of technology, unfortuantly though, it is lacking in the gaming department at the moment.
As the list of Blu-Ray disks grows bigger daily. It seems to me at the moment it is the next gen home movie format to support in the UK - New releases are enjoying both a DVD and Blu-Ray simultaneous release.
The Player is Great, This packages comes with an HDMI cable so you can enjoy the full 1080p (If your TV supports it) off the PS3, I would however recommend upgrading the cable if you have an expensive HDTV as it is not a great cable. Disks like Casino Royale, Black Hawk Down, Ultra Violet are excellent. The supplied Click Blu Ray movie is also an excellent film but doesn't really show case the Next Gen appeal. The player does have a little trouble with slow motion tracking, almost like the frame rate is reduced, I'm sure sony will come up with a firmware update to fix this.
To be honest, this is all I am using the PS3 for - except to play some of the Playstation's back catologue available.
Don't get me wrong, I am a gamer but right here right now. No game on the Playstation can touch any of the Xbox 360's top 20 games. Resitance: FOM is poor (I'm the only reviewer here who thinks so) - as is Genji but Motorstorm is fun and Motorstorm is the only game with the exception of the downloadable Gran Tourismo HD (or 5) that shows off the consoles awesome power.
As yet there are no Surround sound Recievers out that can take advantage of the PS3's capability to output Audio uncompressed (PCM) know as Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master Audio. However, there are some about to be released very soon.
When these come out the PS3 will be an even better next gen movie player.
I am sure that as games like Metal Gear solid 4, Tekken and Gran Tourismo come out that the gaming side of things will improve. However these and Grand Theft Auto 4 (also on X360) have been put back to Easter 2008.
The controller is also to light and small for me. In the word's of Will Smith from Men in Black - I feel like I'm gonna brrak the thing. Sony also removed the rumble feature from it and the USB cable to charge the Control i only about 50cm's long. So if you run out of juice you have to sit in front of your TV whilst it charges. For me this is a major flaw, but in this package at least you get two.
But for me, the Xbox 360, Wii and PS3 sitting under my TV, I hammer my Xbox360 for playing games (and the occasional HD DVD), play the Wii for a laugh with my family, and watch Blu-Ray movies and DVD's from the PS3.
Want a games machine get an X360
Want to have family fun get a Wii
Want a next gen movie player get a PS3.
Who knows, in a 6 months or so maybe sony will crack the other niches, but for now, it doesn't. Its gaming catologue is small, many ports from Xbox 360, such as Rainbow 6, GRAW2 the darkness etc... Sony really haven't got many exclusive games right now. Bring on 2008!!
Some think £425 is alot. I think its great value for a CAN DO everything machine. Even though the web browser is difficult to see. And at £425, this package of £100 worth of games, a £30 controller £10 HDMI cable and £20 Blu Ray moive is great, great value.
The PS3's silent running is fantastic, just where are the games. However, if your already an Xbox360 owner, looking to get a PS3 you will be dissapointed, wondering whether to plunge into X360 or PS3 next gen gaming, I must, must recommend the X360 for its extensive Gaming catalogue, fantastic exclusive titles and brilliantly simple online play.
Transformers: The Movie - Special Edition (1986) (1 Disc)
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First things first, this is not the original TV movie, but I suppose, the final Transformers cartoon. And as such for me, never really lived up to the earlier episodes, in particular the excellent TV pilot movie. I suppose as time goes on expectations rise and this movie could never satisfhy fans who loved the Earth setting and constant battling between decepticon and atuobot.
It is very entertaining though and full of action. Opening with unicron devoring a world. Voiced by Orson Welles he is the ultimate transformer and the size of a planet!
There is a lot of battling and many transformer battle to the death (or so it would seem) The battle on Earth is great, Megatron being made into something completely different by unicron is poor but I bet at the time people were bowled over by the animation.
To its credit, Megatron is as always played to a tea with his megolamanicl voice and his decepticons such as starscream and soundwave sound evil and are tough. The autobots are nice as always and when it comes to battle, always put up a great fight. The music and sound effects are also great. Seeing cybertron and the transformers transforming into different more sci-fi items is great.
The story following the battle on Earth is The autobot matrix is passed from Optimus prime to a new autobot leader... Can they save cybertron from destruction from Unicron... What will become of the transformers?
This is action packed and great. Just not the best of transformers
The Bourne Identity
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Opening with a moody rain lit sequence in which a near death Bourne is pulled from the ocean looking like someone has pulled Sam Fisher out of the Splinter Cell Video game... Clearly a spy he has no memory of who or what he is.
The first incling Bourne gets is following the only clue to his existance, is when he is challenged that he reacts with a skill and force that will blow you away. The hand to hand combat in this movie really is fantastic and believable.
Brilliant car chases, music and the rusky European look and cars adds to the films character. You will fear Jason Bourne, like no other action star, get on the wrong side of him and you know that without question he would put you down in less than a second.
Matt Damon though as the forgetful spy is brilliantly cast and is the most human an action man can be... Plus the breathtaking fall from the top of a flight of spiral stairs whilst nailing a headshot is the most outrageous piece of action I have ever, ever seen. Brilliant