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Green Lantern 3D (With 2D Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Copy)
This, in my opinion, is the best 3D movie so far. It's jawdropping visually. The acting is fun and casual, the story is more about the journey than the destination. Most adults will just be watching the last third for the SFX only as the climax is slightly tedious/obvious. This seems to be the case with most superhero films of late, as though audiences can't handle a suprise or twist if it hasn't been developed to death.
In 2D this would be a 3-4 star film. In 3D its blows the roof off. Unlike the overly frantetic transformers 3D which jumps from scene to scene, image to image, Green Lanterns allows you to take in what you're seeing from a much wider angle viewpoint as well as immersing you in some edge of your seat thrill-ride experiences. The flight sequence at the beginning is incredible and has spurred the studio behind Top Gun to do a 3D remastering.
3D - 11/10Story - 7/10
The visuals don't really come towards you, which I like and think is very underexploited. Most filmmakers think this makes 3D tacky and more like a fad. The 3D Hungry public seems to not agree. However, the scale, imagery, design and size of the effects on offer are fantabolous.
If you're thinking of buying a 3D TV - make sure it's big, very big. No less that 47inches or the effect won't really work.
Jelly Dice Mood Lamp
Gifts & Gadgets
As another reviewer stated, the light scatter is surprisingly innefectual considering the brightness when staring at the lamp. It seems to defy the laws of physics.
I've used it a few times but it just doesn't illuminate enough of an area to create a nice mood in the way a lava lamp does.
I like to have a light on while playing games or watching movies. Even for this, the lamp is a bit too dim. You couldn't use it as mood lighting for a romantic dinner for example.
If it's pitch black and you don't want to see much, it's alright but nothing to go goo goo about.
Star Wars: The Complete Saga (With Online Exclusive Film Cell) (9 Discs)
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Having not seen any....of course I have and unless you've been living in the kessel spice mines, so have you.
The picture and sound are excellent, people seem divided, with some saying the first three aren't as good looking as the last three and vica verca. I think they all look pretty darn good, but don't expect anything you haven't seen before, as these are basically the same films you know and love/hate.
I even found I enjoyed The Phantom Menace, you can too if you block Jar Jar out when he's on screen. I wish the Lucas team had taken out his awful lines like "exqueeze me" and "meeza in big doo doo". Poo jokes were never what Star Wars was about, it was mainly adult themes in a sci-fi setting where we followed and routed for a brilliant band of brothers...and Sister.
I haven't watched all the extras, but the making of A New Hope is good fun and shows the quality of these films before remastering. It makes you glad they have been labour of love for Lucas and that he's kept them up to date and looking great, although some of the Phantom Menace CGI can look a bit ropey in places, but only for brief moments. Also, the New Hope making of doc was made before Episode 5 and 6 were written. It's great to listen to Harrison and Mark Hamil argue over who should get the princess. Mark even says Leia would be a complete doosh to not go for Luke. Oh if only they knew what Lucas had up his sleeve.
The Spoofs extra was a complete let down. It's just a bunch of clips from shows like saturday night live, some ads and a few other bits, none of which were all that funny. They really missed a trick on this one because there are some genuinely funny spoofs out there like 'Pink 5' and 'Chad Vader'.
Now - THE CONTROVERSY
Basically, the changes are all very very minor and don't change the films much at all. The net nerds will stomp their feet and claim their childhood has been soiled, but well balanced people who love Star Wars but have a life outside of it, will enjoy seeing Star Wars with a few fresh treats. Obi Wan's dragon call, which has been changed to an old man screaming was slated in many pre-release posts. It actually made me jump and was pretty eerie(I knew it was coming too), so I feel it was better than the sound it replaced. The Cantina has been changed, basically sped up so you have no clue who shoots first. Han does dodge but it really is so quick that unless you watched slowed down versions on youtube you won't really notice. I honsetly think all the changes i've seen so far are quite good.
I watched the original originals on VHS recently and they are poor beyond belief. They have a claustrophobic feel because all of the backgrounds are not fleshed out with CGI like in the newer releases. There's also goofs and gafs galore. I suggest most of the people complaining they want the Original Originals haven't watched them recently. 90% of what lucas has done makes the newer versions so much better. Nothing's perfect, so the 10% I don't love, like the song in Jabbas palace, I can ignore. It really is that easy.
Walt Disney first envisaged 'living' cinema in which a film is changed over time so that audiences can happily watch the same story with new twists over their life times. Lucas is the only person doing this and for me it makes watching a film i've seen a hundred times fun all over again.
Literally, for the 12+hour running time, there is a couple of minutes of changes you could even start quibbling over. The rest give new depth and flesh out the Star Wars universe so that it's a living breathing place.
Star Wars on blu ray is an absolute treat and half...
Fringe: Season 1 And 2
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After a thrilling 2hr season 1 opener, I was hooked. It really was on par with a good hollywood sci-fi blockbuster.
I really enjoy the Fringe science aspect, the interesting, wild theories, gadgets, experiments, and how they're utilised to develop each episode's plot.
However, 7 episodes into season 2, I'm starting to loose interest somewhat. It's descending into the same re-hashy ground that the X-files got bogged down in, concentrating on one central premise that seems to be dictating the flow of each subsequent episode. This would be fine if I was totally absorbed and engrossed by the central premise, but i'm only so-so. The X-files aliens were a heck of a lot more interesting until the humanoid aliens turned up. And that's almost exactly where Fringe is heading.
I love sci-fi above almost every other genre, but can't shake the feeling that the show is beginning to tread water, the same way Alias did, never getting to the point and if anything, opening more questions than answers. Abrahms' Lost did this obviously, but that was far far far more compelling.
I'm also not 'in love' with the central characters. Walter is good value and at times delivers amazing performances full of tortured emotion, but Olivia and Peter are far too one dimensional. You can almost guess at the one liners peter is going to quip in any given situation. The story is too obsessed with shapeshifters and the parallel dimension that is threatening to collide with ours. It's interesting for a few episodes, but hearing the same 'tune' for twenty or so gets dull.
I wish they would focus on more single episode stories, exploring the vast multitude of theories out there. If they did this more, the show could be much better. They also need to add a much needed injection of emotional purpose. At the moment I'm only getting this from Walter. Peter displays the range of emotions you'd expect from a squashed apple.
I'll probably come back to watch the end of season 2 in a bit, but I'm not as enthralled as I wanted to be.
Lost: Complete Season 6 Box Set (The Final Season) (5 Discs)
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Perhaps I should have rated this as 4 stars, but I can't bring myself to do it.
From beginning to end, Lost took viewers on an amazing journey that was as flawed as it was brilliant. And the fact that it was flawed gives it the most human of qualities and elevates it above nearly all TV shows made in the last ten years, perhaps ever.
I frequently found myself fustrated by seasons that never came to a conclusion, plot arcs that were lost to the ether, etc...etc. But throughout the entire journey I was gripped and desperate to find out what happened next. I can't think of many tv series (early X-Files, early Breaking Bad, early 24) that have compelled me to drop everything to watch the next episode. Love it or hate it, Lost kept us guessing and hypothesising for many years.
I think the overriding reason lost was so brilliant was down to beautiful cinematography, excellent emotion through acting, characters with oodles of depth and ambiguty, and a beautifully realised score. The music is definitely one of the triumphs of Lost and as this evolved, it strode on par with John Williams' amazing scores made for the early Spielberg and Lucas films.
The ending didn't clear up many of the series' plot arcs, but perhaps it didn't need to. The countless religious, mythological and scientific metaphors that developed as the show evolved mingled so many disciplines that it became as complex, convoluted and chaotic as the universe in which we live. I don't believe there is 'one point' to Lost, more that humanity quests for truth and answers that will never be satisfied. The only thing you can be sure of is death.
And that's where it ends. I thought the end was utterly utterly moving, with many of the characters breaking down, being dragged over the finishing line, or dragging themselves by their fingernails, using the last remnants of their strength and emotion. That's what I took with me, the sense that these men and women were pushed, not only to the edges of existence, but to the edge of their physical and emotional capability. In the series finale that showed through more than anything else.
Quite simply...the end was beautiful and a close to god (i'm not religious but am open to any possibility) that a form of art is likely to achieve. The questions we had throughout largely remain and that's because we'll only find the 'bigger' answers when we ourselves complete our own season finales.
The truth is out there...
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This may as well be an alternate reality to the original poltergeist film. It's just as scary and takes you through the TV, to the creepy as hell world of the dead, and not in the rubbish way poltergeist 2 did.
So many films get the 'truly terrifying' tag, drag me to hell, paranormal activity...etc
Insidious knocks the socks off them. I'm not really a horror/scary movie fan, since most of them are quite rubbish, but this really is the first film since Poltergeist that had me cowering and whimpering.
The Hurt Locker
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An exceedingly slow film with very sparse moments of action. It's a a bit like Jarhead, as in, it has no real emotional core and there's no journey. It's essentially waffle with a bit of dialogue and the odd (very odd) bang. The characters are also quite dull so even they don't save this film.
I get the feeling this is the Emperor's New Clothes syndrome here. I for one realise that he's stark naked. This is an average tv movie at best.
It's certainly no Platoon - that's for sure
Overlord II (2)
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It would be unfair to slate this game just because I don't like it (hate it)but...
Basically, it's incomprehensible. The control system is dire and the overlord often gets stuck in the scenery and killed.
The graphics aren't too bad considering it doesn't need to install, which I found pretty odd. It's a cross between Tim burton's Nightmare before Christmas, Gremlins and the PS3 game Kameo. The graphics are similar to Oblivion, which needed simpler grahics due to its sheer size. This game doesn't have that excuse, even though the lighting and scenery looks quite nice. Its general appearance is its strongest quality.
The maps and hints or tips regarding knowing where to go next are pretty awful. You will frequently find yourself running around, slowly as there is no fast run button, trying to locate the next place you need to go, which isn't easy when the areas are as large as they are. In some cases the route is so obscure, almost hidden, that it will suprise you when you figure it out. You can use the option menu to see what to do next but the hints are vague. The Map adds to the confusion with all active quests visible as flashing arrows. Why not let us choose one quest to display so we don't have to run (walk) around for eternity. It's like being in hell...
The overlords castle is also badly laid out and hard / boring to navigate.All the bits you need are spread throughout a large area with loading screens between each one. This is made more annoying because the tutorial at the beginning flies you to each section of your tower, then explains what each area does. When you actually need to visit the respective areas the option to quick travel has gone, so you have no idea where it is. Why make us quick travel then? if we need to get there make us walk so we at least know how to get back there !!
This brings me to the minions, which are sweet and at times fairly funny. They're a blatant rip of the Gremlins, which I don't mind at all. Controlling them is a different matter. When you do finally get to grips which the conveluted control system, you'll find they're good at demolishing things but bad at assisting with tasks to further the quest. For example, if they need to man a catapult, the number 5 hangs in the air above it. So you select the object and send your minions towards it. Do they get in, do they heck. They mill around and you have to keep running back and forth until they get the message. If you ask a fraction of minions to wait, they will also do their damndest to sabotage the group suitable for the task. So you end up with a bunch of dead minions that you've been protectively nurturing and building up.Excellent. You can buy them (back from the dead) in your castle, but quite honestly, with all the walking and loading screens involved, I couldn't be bothered.
I see what they were attempting with this game, an open world lemmings type thing. Each differing fraction of minions has a different power and the puzzles get more complex, making you use the minions in increasingly inventive ways.
It could have been good, I haven't played the first maybe its better, but nearly everything goes against Overlord 2. It's a good example of how a few bad decisions by the designers make a game almost unplayable and boring.
It's almost incomprehensible. If you must, rent it first.
One more point and this is a biggy. The right analogue stick is used to control your minions and the overlord's pivot. You will frequently find yourself frustrated, trying to turn around, when your minions are elsewhere or milling around your feet. Minion control is important, so I could excuse this, but it drastically effects your ability to look around and navigate the game.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game
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Beautiful, fun, charming, challanging, funny.
This game has it all, bags of it.
It ties together Ghostbusters 1 and 2 brilliantly and could easily be considered the third film. It should be since Dan Akroyd wrote it. The whole gang bar Sigourney, and that's my only gripe, are back and on dazzling form.
The mesmerising graphics support a fun filled action packed adventure, which has loads of replay value, the same way you could watch the films again and again.
I can't recomend this game enough. I've played most things out there and this is easily in the top 5. It's not a short game but not incredibly long either, just long enough to be thoroughly satisfying.The lighting effects and environments from 80's New York are superb. Wielding a proton pack and busting ghosts is so fun it should be illegal. You get to visit all your old favourite ghosts and locations plus tonnes more.
I hope they're planning extra missions for the ps3 store. They should do. Even if they don't there's enough there to keep me happy for years.
You will not be dissapointed by this one and if your a Ghostbusters fan, it will make you weep with joy.
I'd give this ten billion stars if I could.
James Bond: Quantum Of Solace
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Comparisons to Bond ripping of the bourne films are quite frankly, stupid.Bond came first so if anything it would be the other way around. In any case, Daniel craig is perhaps the best bond, or at least the best since Sean Connery holsetered his Walther.This film does seem to miss the mark a little though. You can tell the script wasn't finished when they started filming. It never really draws you in like Casino Royale. The bond villain's main objective to control 60% of Bolivia's utilities is laughable and the exploding building at the end dosen't even make sense. Why would you fill a building in the desert with Highly explosive canisters in every room.I think they should have just made Casion Royale half an hour longer and come up with a fresh idea for Daniel's second outing, which he does well. A medocre and confused plot is not really his fault.The charaters are well drawn and largely likeable. Dame Judie dench was fantastic again.If you think of this film as the end of Casino Royale and take the whole as an introduction to Bond Origins, it begins to feel better and I still look forward to the next film