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Mock The Week: Too Hot For TV
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forgive the broken caps lock button on my laptop, I think i dropped it at some point so if this review contains any odd capital letters, dont worry, im not typing with a finger dysfunction just a keyboard one.
I had not even heard of this wonderful comedy until about three weeks ago where a good friend of mine played my Dara o Brien live. I was dubious, I do not usually take to too many comedians and thus did not expect to be fully impressed. Gleefully I sat through the next hour and a half laughing so hard I almost fell over on several occassions. Such was the impact of Dara that I spent around 12 hours REWATCHING not only his show, but mock the week on tv and this wonderful dvd, which i got through twice (AROUND 6 HOURS). Such WAS THE impact of mock the week, especiALLY THE quick fire instant stand up rouND 'Scenes we'D Like to SEE' thAT MOSt of MY CONVERSATIONS ARE NOW LACED WITH SARCAStic un PC lines, usually courtesy of Frankie Boyle and Hugh Dennis. Whether or not the show is fully scripted matters not, the delivery of each line is outstanding on tv and in this too hot for tv dvd the scathing remarks only heighten the genius OF THE COMEDY THat is PLAYED OUR HERE. Pay special attention to BoYLE AND deNNIS AS THEY appear the most comfortablE and confident of the 6 comeDIANS on displAY And OFten COME out WITH, not only the funniest liNEs, buT also (Bolye in particuLAr) THE MOST LIKELY TO haVE Been CUT FROM THE tv edit of the show.
tHIs is remARKABle stuff, very un PC, often SCATHINGly offenSIVE AND inNapropriate and DEFinitELY noT SOMETHING you should show youR CHILDREN. Having SAID THAT IT IS CONSistenTLY HILARIOUS AND is a worthy purchase for anYOne WHO LOVES DIVERSE ANd clever comedy. jUst a shame dara presenTS AND doesnT do the stand UPS AT THE ENd. NEVER MINd though his live at the theatre royal is well woRTH CHECKING out.
The Swords of Night and Day
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Honestly I do not know if 3750 characters is going to do this justice.
As with my previous Gemmel reviews I found these books by chance in a Library and was led into a world of intrigue that I have been missing from books for many years.White wolf began our story with the Damned (Skillgannon) living in priesthood attempting to pull himself into salvation for past crimes, we are led through a phenomenal novel where heroes are made and legends carved, we meet Druss (Most famous Gemmel character) and a host of others who are set upon by beast melded from animals and Man and a final confrontation with the great swordsmaster Boranius. Dammit I cant even begin to do white wolf justice, but it ends on a high cliffhanger and I almost killed myself that I didnt know if book two was out yet.
Luckily here it is.
The Swords of Night and Day continues Skillgannons journey through life and personal turmoil amidst the backdrop of The once drenai lands now a thousand years into the future. Just read it. We once again are reunited with Druss, albeit only for a little while, and discover that finally the priests of the ressurectionists have learned how to raise the dead. Que main antagonist The Eternal, who has been reigning for 500 years. Also make way for a prophetic vision on the part of Ustarte that names Skillgannon as one who may end the tyranny. I cannot knowingly tell you the story and plot. But take my word for it, that if you enjoy heroic fiction with heart, warmth and frequent violence this book will fill your life for many hours. I have been influenced by Gemmels work to begin writing myself and with a style that is intelligent and yet easily accessible for all this book is so worth you having you may as well buy two copies just in case.Skillgannon himself is one of the most intruiging fantasy characters of the Gemmel Books and his past relationship with Jianna allows a tragic romance to form during the course of TSONAD and its preddessecor white wolf. And yes it is very interesting.The ending to this book is up there with the great endings in fiction. Well I think so. And these book sshould be filmed as it would be a collosal emotional affair made sure to attract millions.
My favourite Gemmel Character of them all, well character that is fictional, check out Troy for similarly stunning reading.
I cannot recommend this book enough
RIP Gemmel This book and its subsequent successors should stand as famous testament to a great writer and a great human being
Troy (1 Disc)
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Despite its generally poor reception from critics and many hard minded movie buffs Troy is not the poor flop it appears. It certainly has its flaws, but we will come to those in due course.With a cast that almost reads like a who's who of Hollywood at the time, Troy certainly didn't hold back on production costs and it shows, With expansive armies and the huge battles that surround and eventually overcome the massive city itself Troy is no stranger to high expense special effects and at least shines here. With huge battle scenes and often brutal combat there is enough action to be enjoyed and for that alone the film is a success above its peers. However it is not the action, nor the special effects or esteemed look of the film itself, but the poor acting from the majority of the cast that lets the film down. All the famous names are present. Achilles is thankfully, almost how you would imagine, slim, muscular and handsome, he fights with the strength of the Gods and outshines all other soldiers in battle. not problem there. But Brad Pitts portrayal is one dimensional and his acting skills, while not remarkable anyway, portray only a grumpy machismo filled warrior and fail to encampture the viewer. Agammemnon is the films major antagonist, vying to control all the Agean he wages war on Troy and while Brian Cox's acting is fair enough, he seems sadly out of place in ancient Greece, best stay with X men 2. Eric Bana Portrays Hector and at least gives some depth and emotion to the stereotype brute warrior. He acts superior to Brad Pitt but seems underplayed in the light of his more famous Colleague and so where there was a great oportunity to stand out amongst his often more experienced acting peers he falls short of the attention devoted to Pitt. Paris is played by Orlando Bloom and fails to impress as a leading role, he is better served as a supporting actor (Lord of the Rings anyone) and his acting appears flat. At least Diane Krugers Helen offers a feast for the eyes as she is truly beautiful, however her acting is poor and while she definitely looks the part she does nothing to save the film and as with the aformentioned seems almost emotionless in places. However my main complaint with Troy, as with other historical epics such as Alexander and co. Can be seen to full effect in King Priam. Peter O' Toole is not a poor actor but does not look the part of Mighty Priam and many of the Kings arrogant lines in the film only annoy the listener because they come from an actor that does not do Priam Justice as King Of mighty Troy. It is with this example that I can shed more light on my complaints. The warriors of Greece and Troy are supposed to be battle hardened and mighty, however there are only two instances where the cast look, truly look the part. Boagrius, who dies quickly at the beggining is enormous and goliath in appearance and Tyler Manes Ajax is large and brutal wielding a hammer to decimate his foes with terrific brutality. Sadly the majority of cast do not LOOK like warriors as they should, some appear small and weak in appearance others, simply too kind to be the mighty warriors portrayed. Its a small complaint and may well go unnoticed by the majority but I feel battle hardened, ruthless warriors should at least look the part even if their acting leaves much to be desired. Much like the poor Alexander (with his dreadful Mullet) the Actors are all Western Caucasions, acting like They would in a modern day film or TV drama. But this is a battle that will be remembered for all time and the modern acting does not do it justice.Having said that the fights are impressive enough to keep you seated and Hector vs Achilles is a great confrontation.Good, but not Great.
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Its hard to point out exactly the moment in the film where it achieved 5 star status. The colourful worlds and intruiging characters? The Humorous banter with the crew? That moment in space when the fleet of reaver Ships emerges from the clouded space to the shocked expression of the alliance? Perhaps! Maybe the film wins because of the fight scenes, or perhaps just that one small moment when captain 'Mel' Reynolds Whips his Revolver out and shoots the Operative contemptively after being informed, by the said antagonist, that he is unarmed, it provided a brief moment of hilarity and allowed all sceptical views on the film to drop excepting full enjoyment of this very underappreciated film.Underappreciated? you say, well yes, not in the way that the PS2 Game ICO is underappreciated, but for a film as enjoyable as this it has, sadly, seemingly lost out on much acclaim that Myself and Fans apply to it.
But enough of my one sided critical Monologue of the faults in Human understanding of underated sci-fi genius, the fiom itself!Crossing worlds and space the Serenity (Spacecraft) captained by 'Mel' set out to pirate planets and colonies in order to earn, survive and provide themselves with some excitement in a UNIVERSE which is run by the Alliance, a multi planeted empire that is a lot worse than the brainwashed public would believe. The crew are varied and interesting, ranging from aggresive machismo in Jane. JANE?????. Exactly. To sex deprived technician Kaylee, who spends the majority of the film lusting after Simon Tam, the highly boring and frustrating, mature older brother of River Tam. Now River Tam (Aside from having a daft name) is one of the films major focusses. She is unnerving, phsycic and at the films opening is seen experimented on before her brother breaks her free. She is also a killing machine that can be, and is subsequently, triggered off in a memorable scene where an entire Bar full of Space pirates are battered and beaten simply because she looked at an odd cartoon advert. Rage problems? Not so simple, and as the film progresses 'Mel' (Captain) Reluctantly agrees to help Simon Tam discover The secrets behind Rivers odd musings and horrific memories. 'Dead Planets' Hmmm, I wont spoil it for those who have not seen it but will heartily recommend this great slice of Sci-Fi fun for anyone who enjoys a great dose of healthy action every now and again.
With more depth than many competitors, Serenity stands out as funnier, deeper and more exciting than your average sci fi film and provides much more entertainment than many of the wasted attempts at sci fi in recent years.
Buy it, its terrific fun.
Hypnotize: Album 2 Of 2
System Of A Down - CD
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Coming up from behind its predeccesor Mezmerise (In the same year no less) was not an easy option and there was considerable risk this album would contain songs of almost the exact same design and leave fans pondering the reasons other than a quick cash fix. Luckily although this album is clearly by the same band and does give a nod to its esteemed big brother, it is none the less superb.Attack Kicks off in standard heavy metal fasion though its thrilling to note how far drummer John Dolmayan has progressed from Toxicity days, with blast beats aplenty this is one of SOAD's heavier offerings and leads the album off into an excellent start. Dreaming starts almost too familiarly to attack and would appear like a song for only am acquired taste, luckily the harmonious breakdown at the end is fantastic and will have any music fan singing away in unison. Kill rock and roll is next, and damn if it isn't more genius, with a glorious opening line 'I felt like the biggest ass hole' it will be hard forgotten and while up tempo as its forerunners it is a more accessible and light hearted song although its meaning clear as to the wave of feeling towards the music franchise over the past years. Moving on to the self titled track, not the best but certainly a good piece to listen to. Slower and more of a ballad, Hypnotise, is a nice deviant away from the first 2 songs thunderous start and leads the listener into a more calm arena before stealing society brings back the speed of tracks 1-3 with some brilliant, and all so true lyrics of an unhinged life all too real for many by guitarist and fellow singer darron for another qualioty moment for a band that do not care whether what they say will be taken well or not. Tentative provides another wonderful breakdown moment where the thrashing drums and distorted guitars cease and give way to serj and darrons harmonious vocals as they ask the all too poignent questions 'where do you expect us to go when the bombs fall' its a harsh and desperate cry for those who are in danger and are not listened too by an all too dictatorial system and marks another stellar moment for the band and album. the following 2 tracks U-Fig and Holy Mountains come as a slight downturn for an otherwise glorious offering U-Fig is odd fast, noisy but lyrically potent whilst Holy mountains is longer than many of the songs and while it has its moments, the chorus being of notable beauty) the song seems to dwindle and lack in the face of what went and certainly what is to come.The Next 2 tracks represent all that is right with SOAD and for what went before, can only be called a simple glance as to what is to come, VIscinity of Obscenity is irreverant and Insane, with Lyrics making absolutely no sense to those uninformed but being both stunningly catchy and memorable at the same time. 'Banana Banana Banana Terracota'....Terracota Pie'. Indeed but all done so wonderfully that one cannot help be drawn into its simple brilliance, a true Band highlight. After This we Come to A less heavy but no less fantastic song detailing the needs of closet lifestyles and the odd fetishes that drive them 'She's Like Heroin' is mid tempo but an ultimate sing along moment crescendoing into the final two pieces on this triumphant record. Lonely day is, sadly, a little let down. Very quickly forgotten though in the wake of the albums last, and finest track. Soldier side. Haunting, Beautiful and astounding to take in. When the song reaches its zeneth it reprises into a much grander version of the original soldier side intro from Mezmerize, ending the album on a epic high with a song with depth the like of jabba the huts crease.
Grand, Original and Epic...
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1st Album (Self Titled) Pretty good2nd Album Toxicity; Awesome3rd Album Steal this Album (Iknow its not really new material) Pretty good again4th Album????
Lets be honest with myself, when I heard BYOB I thought it was terrible, the time changes, the odd screaming from Darren, the new metal style they had advanced from their toxicity years, I didn't enjoy it and described it as being 'Crap' In the extreme.
Well that changed didn't it.
It grew on me, the damned band grew on me again, I hated Toxicity and then Loved it and the same goes for Hypnotise, another superb Metal Album.Soldier Side - Intro, IS a calm Wakening opener with its dreary but poignent Lyrics and slow strummed guitars it sets the scene for the beast that is to follow. The Calm Has ended. BYOB Roars itself into SOAD's finest offering for years screaming 'Why do they always send the poor' Befor Serj begins spouting Lyrics that to the casual Listener will not make any sense but are devastatingly poetic in their metaphors and should not be taken lightly. With time changes, the added addition of Darron singing a lot more this time and faster almost blast beats on the drums System of A down Bring their noise and do not hold anything back from the onslaught, as the song ends with the repeat shouting 'WHy do they always send the poor' the point is made and will not let up for the next 40 minutes.Oh My sweet revenge.... Glorious harmonized chorusus that are not only instantely memorable but often horribly relevant in todays limping culture provide the listener with inspiration and insight as well as hair raising, fist pumping musical genius. And it is that GENIUS, unlike anything any band has done before, unlike anything THE BAND ITSELF have done before Mezmerize leads itself into brutal fast paced shockers like CIGARO, with its thrash drums, hilarious opening line and odd lyrics, to saddened songs with devastatingly true choruses such as sad statue, one of the albums highlights, and Lost in Hollywood, which serves to not only give the bands opinion on the famed city but for once reveal some truths and insights into the darker side of the otherwise gloriously portrayed city.Much of the lyrical talent will go past in confusion and its lucky the music itself is as enrapturing as it is or it could run the risk of being dismissed as a ridiculous record serving only those of limited intellect....It could still, but for those who know better, the songs (Of more outrageous design) offer even more alarming and not so subtle truths to the world we (and they) live in. 'This Cocainne makes me feel like im on this song' apart from having a title alone that would have garnered the album its 1st three stars, is a fast paced, tongue twister of a song that if correctly listened to clearly highlights the nightmarish effects of hard drug use.
An intellignet and original offering from an already intelligent and original band, nothing like it and nothing like it to follow Mezmerise is as essential as clothing for those who wish their metal just a little bit more than angry roars and fast guitars.
At the top of the metal game with a special slot reserved just for them.
please if this goes hated for the first few tries, keep listening I promise it will click eventually and then its genius will shine. An album to be remembered for a very long time
The God Delusion
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Misinformed Anti-Religeous Drivel!
Dawkins used to be a scientists of High High Calibre Exploring Memes and fascinating readers with his insightful musings expanded from Darwins Theories and works he has now dwindled down the pointless road of so many of forcing an angry argument (Not a polite debate any more) against religeon. Or is it Religeon? I have no problem with debates highlighting the flaws in religeous workings but Dawkins open hostility towards Peoples Faiths in a all loving God is not only a pointless ventre but is highly flawed, there is no proof here of a non existant God and the book like his previous the devils chaplain is not based on scientific realities of a non existant God but, his personal theories and ideas that have come from qoutes, saying, failings and successes (and their reaons for) from atheist scientists and Foolish Church Leaders who in light of reading the qoutes I would say myself were wrong to say as they did (Note what they wrote to einstein in chapter 1 for instance).
However this does not proove no God exists, indeed Dawkins argues that religeon puts god in a box and wants to keep him small and controlled, I say he is ignorant to true faith and those who will stand facing death and cry My God is greater than this and I the humble friend and servant. Sadly in broad modern day terms most do not see this side of true faith, true love for another, believer or not, and so it is understood why Dawkins believes so passionately in no personal God and only the truths of science, but still his arguments can be gone over by discussing with intellectual people over a pint, some atheist others not and so there is really nothing here to highlight the non existance of God and just a 464 book of one sided argument that will not get anywhere but make now atheists more hostile to the thought of a God.
Its a shame because true reliegeon will not be used to control the masses nor start wars, but to take help to those who need it and damn well welcome anyone who would walk thru their doors, this faith is not dead and if looked for hard enough can be found.Then let these debates start. I myself can see the same flaws in religeous workings and myself have criticised the church or the Islamist Extremists, but I have done it all the while with a faith of a Personal saviour, who is not limited nor controlled by what I do or say, nor am I controlled simply guided in Love by one who risked all to save me...and you...
Those who read dawkins works, by all means register and accept what he says but as you do find a truly good christian and Muslim and sit down over a few drinks and discuss God, do not argue as Dawkins seems bent on doing, arguing blinds those speaking to anything their opponents say, debates imply friendly discussion and respect, something which dawkins has none of for those with religeous beliefs, but which I would have for his views as I do my friends views.
Think what you will but I suggest coupled with Dawkins work read a book called dawkins God by Alistair Mcgrath a fellow Scientists with a faith
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Once Again I stole upon this little Beauty In the Library, having read the 3rd Of Igguldons Emperor Saga I was Stuck with what to read and so Picked this up.The Sleeve note was compelling enough, A damned Warrior an epic journey, two possessed Swords and A witch queen were enough for me to open and begin reading and I was not dissapointed.Gemmel Has it in him to write the most compelling of Heroic Dramas and Is at his best here, With an anti hero that you cannot help but wish to follow until the end and sub characters that provide almost as much excitement and intrigue as the Lead Gemmel has written yet another winner. His ability to tap into things which will excite the imagination and dreams of all but the most desk weary Men is remarkable and as Skilggannon the Damned journeys through distant lands amidst a turbulent political climate and looming war it is with glee that the reader learns more of his past and more of the enchanted swords he possesses. The Adventure is relentless the imagery vivid and characters well crafted.
This is book one, something Gemmel has done increasingly of late is writing trilogies and page turners with cliffhangers, but luckily for us he has written book two (The swords of Night and Day) already and so what are you waiting for.
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As I turned the first few pages of Book 2 in David Gemmels Excellent Troy Saga I was almost Dissapointed that the Three Lead CHaracters in Book 2 Are different from those of his first book. Luckily this works out very well, as three more heroes find themselves woven into the ever decreasing situation of the trojans and the kings of greece. As in the first book there is sailing and action seen on various islands, but most interesting is the development of the supporting characters in Troy itself. The betrayals and dissintegrating politics between Priam and Agamemnon cause yet more strife and The relationships between former friends and allies become yet more out of control as assassins are set out and rivalries escalate in another superb offering from David Gemmel. The Book yet again ends with no ending setting the scene for the grand finale The Fall Of Kings in september but as with the first is well worth your time and money to read through, with all the characters from the first book and three new heroes Gemmel has once again written a compelling action Novel expertly capturing the feel of the time.
Buy it NOW
Troy: Lord of the Silver Bow No.1
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I stumbled upon this, and David Gemmel in a library whilst searching for the second in Conn Igguldons Emperor titles, they didn't have that so I picked this up. As I read My Eyes began to widen and i began to realise that this could be a book for the ages.The Tale Of Helikaon, Argurios and the priestess Andromache (Destined to Marry Hektor) weaves beautifully from adventures on the seas, to flashbacks detailing the characters lives and finally to betrayal and a battle in Troy Itself. The Action is vividly portrayed and the characters deeply intruiging. Gemmel Has a way of being able to create characters that can identify with all of us Regardless of your preferences towards Heroic Fiction, and it is with great Joy that I would Recommend this book to anyone and everyone who emjoys a non-stop adventure from beggining to end.
Shame It leaves us on a cliffhanger. No matter book two is already out so best buy them both at the same time to avoid getting too upset that you'l have to wait to read the next part in this excellent saga.
You will not be dissapointed, I walked into that library searching for a very good book I walked out having found an even better one.
Dont just read this, Read it twice then buy all his other books as well