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Whilst perusing the DVD section of HMV on Oxford Circus, I came across the World Cinema section. Noticing it was also a sale section with really cheap foreign titles, I scoured through the lot, mainly on the hunt for Japanese films. Instead, I came across "Stalker", I had a look at it, the cover of the case, depicting a man laying in shallow waters intrigued me. "Hello, what's all this about?" Turned it over and had a read, sounded even more interesting. But, alas, I only had enough money to get home. So I put it back. But the seeds had been planted, I became incredibly desperate to see it, couldn't find it in my town, after a week and a half, it arrived through my letter box. I shoved it straight on! Based on the novel "Roadside Picnic", about extra-terrestrials creating special zones, by Arkady and Boris Sturgatsky, Andrei Tarkovsky takes it, adapts it and makes it his own. "Realising his visions", and how. A cinematic genius, I really admire his work. Stalker is an enigma, you never really know a whole lot of what's going on, but that's one it's charms. The time period is confusing, I'm still not sure if it was set years after it's release date of 1979, before then or in the present. There isn't ever any indication anyway, it seems like it's set in a poor area, so technology is lacking as it is. It doesn't really matter though, not particularly important. Anyway, it seems to be set in a Russian town, a neglected area that seems poverty stricken. There, two men meet up, a self-pitying writer and a disheartened scientist. They employ the services of the "Stalker", a mysterious fellow who is the only one who can traverse and navigate "The Zone". This is where things are confusing still. The Zone is an area of land, surrounded by cordons and police barricades. Nobody really knew what happened to it, coul d of been a meteorite that struck the land, others believed Aliens had something to do with it. Whatever happened, people don't usually come back from "The Zone". Hence the ultimate fear and blocking off of it. The rumour going around is that at the heart of the zone is a place. A place where you're innermost desires and wishes will come true, but only for those who are brave enough to make the journey, to "The Room". The film follows the 3 characters journey through "The Zone", facing dangers, lamenting, remembering and coming to terms with their lives. It's very profound and draws up several psychological issues, existence, it's very intelligent. There are no special effects as such, it was a low budget movie, but they make use of natural lighting, location and sound to produce such a heavy atmosphere that draws you, gets you feeling anxious and nervous. Takes a very special movie to do that! Throughout most of the film, I always got the sense of foreboding, something following them? Are they being watched? What lies around the next corner? Why is the Stalker so petrified? He's supposed to know his way around "The Zone".... I don't want to give away the ending, but it's satisfying and had me bug-eyed with confusion and amazement. Be warned though, it lasts over 2 and a half hours and goes at a snails pace, but I was wide awake for the whole duration, thats how much it grabs you! It's all totally human though, the fear, the thought, the emotion, there aren't any heroes, no huge stunts, gore or anything, it's artistic, poetic and enlightening. Really enjoyed the experience of watching this film. The camera work is second to none, the shots are all artistic, take a still and it could be portrait-esque, fantastically shot. The film itself is both black and white (well Sepia) and colour, switching between the two at key points during the mo < br>vie at various points, I was a bit sceptical at this fact at first, but when you see it, it really works and actually adds to films disposition. The whole package comes as a 2 disc set, the first hour of the movie is on the first disc, whilst the last part is on the second disc. This is a bit annoying, I'm sure they could of put The film is presented in both 5.1 and the original mono Russian dialogue, with subtitles. The publisher, Artificial Eye has gone all out with a whole huge amount of different languages. The extras include a stills gallery, featuring behind the scenes shots, biographies, interviews with crew members and extracts from Tarkovskys diploma film "The Steamroller and the Violin", which makes for an interesting viewing. While the film was fairly different from what I had expected, it didn't douse my enjoyment of Stalker, not one bit of it.
Being an anime fan, I was extremely pleased to get the opportunity to see this wonderful anime. That opportunity came in the form of new(ish) channel "CNX" (Sky chan 244, Telewest chan 148), despite all the repeats, gawd bless 'em! To be honest, I was amazed by the first 5 minutes, which is like me, jumping to conclusions before seeing the whole thing. But for a change, I was right. It was pure anime gold and I don't say that lightly. Anyway, Cowboy Bebop, a 26 episode series, follows 2 bounty hunters, Spike and Jet, a duo that usually have to spend their bounty on damage repair and hospital bills.... Spike Spiegel is the green mop-haired, suit wearing, seemingly invincible hero and during the series, we're teased with flashbacks of his shady/mysterious past. This adds a sense of "hmmm, what the hell is going on with this dude?" (ARGH ! I said dude...). Jet is Spikes partner (in business), an ageing ex-cop, with a robotic arm. He's also the handy man and chef of the "Cowboy Bebop", the pairs flying heap of junk. Other characters that reside within the Bebop (at some point) include Faye Valentine, the sexy bounty hunter who is always at war with Spike, Ein, a corgi with super intelligence and Ed, the master hacker, who is also a girl. They all have their moment at some point during the series, with Faye becoming equal in role along with Spike, as she also has a mysterious history. It really makes you feel for the characters, when you see their moments of weakness, the more and more you bond with them It's set around a century into the future and often takes stage in space, which surprised me at first as I assumed that it was set in modern day, with no fancy hi-tech stuff. Don't get me wrong, it doesn't detract from enjoying the series. Well, the addition of this advanced technology gives rise to exciting chases and dogfights amidst the stars. Qu ite a few of the episodes are stand alone, self contained storys, meaning that you can watch it without missing any back plot or future story lines. The first four episodes do just that, a good way to lure you in. Every now and then, however, we do get snippets of a deep underlying plot that doesn't really get going until later in the series. We get to see such delights as animal-napping, mutated food, transexuals and "special" mushrooms. The animation is rather crisp, vibrant and highly detailed (watch out for Fayes wobbling breast ;D), with beautiful backdrops, fast paced chases, the kooku looking villains and not forgetting the vehicles, like the Bebop itself. As with most animes, the dubbing is often scrutinized, but the voice actors do a good job of representing the character they potray. This is one of those rare cases of the dub being better then the original japanese dialogue. I say that because the japanese voice actors seemed to have no life, whereas their english speaking counterparts do, especially in the case of Ed, you'll see why when you hear her ! Aha, now onto the music !! Yoko Kanno takes charge of this department of Bebop and i'm most definitely not complaining. From the excellent swingy jazz pieces that excist in the opening theme tune "Tank!", to the sounds of the wild west (i.e harmonica's), she truly does set the atmosphere in the only way she can, the best way. The series is a real gem. If you are unable to import the DVD's from America/Australia or anywhere that has them on release, or you don't have digital television, then you really are missing out. I feel for you, I really do...... Theres a Cowboy Bebop movie, called "Knockin' on heavens door" which is going to be released in the USA in a few months, I can't wait to see it. --------- Well, I have returned after many months of absence, due to college work, f ew will remember me, but never mind, i'm back now and thats all that matters !
Infact, it's almost identical to the Dreamcast version. I hope to god Sega's shoddy conversion to the Gamecube format is limited to this game only, otherwise it'd be a crying shame ! I own Sonic Adventure 2 on my Dreamcast. I thought it was amazing, some great graphics, cool 'choons, awesome levels and landscapes. I played it so much that I completed it within 2 weeks (well i'm not that good really). Then when I heard a Sonic game was coming to the Cube, I said to myself "Thats the game i'm getting on launch!!" To be honest I really shouldn't of. Not that the cube version is worse then the Dreamcast game, but it's no better. The graphics are the same as the DC's, which really got my goat, if they put some effort into the remake, they could of taken advantage of GC's amazing power. But no, like I said earlier, they just got lazy. Enough quibbles (is that even a word??) and back to Sonic. From humble, yet superb, side-scrolling beginnings on the Mega Drive (Genesis for you Americans) to the now 3D expanses of this new game. Oh how I loved the old games, simple, yet original and slightly challenging. When the first Sonic Adventure came out, I was sceptical "Will the first fully 3D Sonic game really be any good". I wasn't disappointed. After completing it, I couldn't wait for the second game. Even though I had it for the Dreamcast, I still felt it necessary to purchase this new The game sort of follows on from the first SA game. Sonic and chums are on Earth (we're still not sure how he got there from Planet Mobius but anyhoo) and is causing a bit of a stir. The army are after him, believing him to be behind some criminal activity. Of course Sonic is innocent and has been framed like the proverbial rabbit. He is swiftly captured and taken away by helicopter. Sonic then decides to make a daring escape by using par t of the helicopter as a snowboard and plummets down to Earth. This brings us to our first level and one of the best. City escape, fast and full of baddies. The level starts off with a cool snowboarding bit completely downhill. We're also introduced to a bit irony as SEGA have included traffic on the roads. You can bash right into them and send the cars flying. AHAHAHAHA ! A hedgehog destroying a car ! There are some truly awe-inspiring moments, from the 16-wheeler chase to running down the side of a 100 foot building. The musics not bad either ;) After escaping from the army pursuit, Sonic witness'es something that disturbs him, a black hedgehog carrying a chaos emerald, moving faster then Sonic ever could. What is going on? Well without giving much away, good old Robotnik ("Eggman", his nickname is used in this game) has a doomsday device orbiting Earth which could wipe the surface clean of anything. This would allow Robotnik to construct a new Robotnik Land. All he needs is the Chaos Emeralds and the Master Emeralds.... Unlike the first installment, you are limited in choosing who you play as. In the first one, you could choose a different character and play "their game". SA 2 will only let you play as the Hero's or the Dark side. The Hero's consist of Sonic the Hedgehog, Tails and Knuckles, on the Dark side, you have Robotnik, Shadow the Hedgehog (darn I really didn't want to give much away!) and new comer Rouge the Bat (a jewel theif, pratically a female Knuckles). Within this, there are more limitations, Sonic plays the standard levels, Knuckles has a sort of hunting game (looking for the pieces of the Master Emerald) and Tails rides about in his mech suit shooting targets. Exact same goes for the Dark side, with just Shadow instead of Sonic, Rouge instead of Knuckles and Robotnik instead of Tails. Another annoying thing about this is the game is played sequentially, the first level is Sonic, then the second is Knuckles and so on. I got real bored of the Tails levels and the Knuckles levels can be too long (on one level I took 18 minutes to finish it!). Thank god for the level select mode (which also lets you try out new mission objectives). You can play any level that you have completed in the main game. I whinged about the graphics earlier, oh sure, they were fine for the Dreamcast, but the possibilities could of been great had they reworked them for the Cubes capabilities. Apart from being a bit blocky and jagged, the colours are vibrant, the locales are quite nice, all though a bit flat and un-interactive. They range in themes, from forests and large safe-holds, to space stations and deserts. A great range, with some pretty great music to go with them. Sound effects are resurrected from the "Bling" of collecting a ring to the funny jingle when you pass through a continue post. The voices are a bit cheesy and the actors probably couldn't find work elsewhere, but somehow, the voices fit the characters well. The cut-scenes are mostly in real-time, but on occasion and for the end sequence, we get Full Motion Video, which is blinding ! One niggle with the cut scenes is the dubbing. Characters will often speak over each other, and there'll often be prolonged silences which need not be. The controls are nice and smooth, they are quite sensitive, which has good and bad points : Good - accurate turning and manoeuverable. Bad - Too fiddly and good end up ruining your thumbs. The A button will get ya jumping, while the L/R shoulder buttons change the camera view (which is just as well seeing how the cruddy camera angles haven't been fixed from the original). The B will perform a certain action. Now this changes depending on where you are and what power ups you have. If you have the lightspeed shoes, when standing next to a li ne of rings, the B button will allow you to perform the "Lightspeed Dash". The lightspeed boots aren't the only thing that you can pick up, each character has a bunch of power ups that can help during the game (about half are not compulsory). New moves are in abundance in this game, most notably Sonics "grinding" move. This allows him to grind along rail. This is highly useful on some levels where to get somewhere, grinding is the only way to get there. As for extras, we have the Chao garden. Chao's are odd little blue creatures that you can raise in the game, like tamagochi's. You can feed them, pet them and send them to school. Theres even a little cute racing game where you can race up to 8 other Chao's. Whenever you rescue an animal from a robots core in the game, you can use that animal to give your Chao personality traits and special attributes. Sonic Adventure 2 Battle also utilises the Gameboy Advance link, allowing you to raise your chao's from the cube. It also allows you to transfer Chao's from the cube to the GBA (you'll need Sonic Advance though) and vice versa. And lastly, the multiplayer. This is perhaps the only enhanced part of the game. In the DC original, only a handful of levels were avaliable to the 6 characters, but now about half of the game levels are avaliable to play on. New characters are included too, Amy Rose amd Meccha Sonic, The Chao Walker and Dark Chao Walker, Tikal and Chaos Zero (both from the first SA game). This adds a bit of variety to the game, but not much, as the characters take on the Action/Hunting/Shooting styles of the standard 6 characters. We also have Kart racing, the Chao racing and a couple of side games like snowboarding for instance. It's a great game for multiplayer, but sadly only a maximum of two players can go head to head. It's fun while it lasts... Hmmmmm, overal, SA2B is a tough cook ie to crumble. Some of the later levels can be frustrating to get through, but the ending isn't disappointing and full of action (which is rare in games these days). It could of been so much more, but cash cows seem to be top priority compared to new, original and exciting. I shouldn't of bought this game full price. What I should of done is waited until it was at maximum £25. I hope thats what you'll do, if you can wait that long to own it.
Sun kissed grooves and blissed out moods. Hmmm intresting tag line, but those are just buzz words that marketing people come up with. I tend to stay clear of obvious offenders, erm...... except this one. Chilled Ibiza 3 is the latest addition to the Chilled Ibiza collection. A nice series of compilation CD's if you just want to relax and unwind. Stress, the mind killer (or was that fear?), I usually suffer from it daily. Work, college, personal life, friends of family. All of lifes trials and tribulations can have nasty side effects on the old grey cells. So when I heard some of the tunes from the advert, I decided I must buy it. I don't own the previous 2 Chilled Ibiza's and I am still deciding whether to bother or not. Don't take that to mean this one, the third, isn't good, far from it infact. For £15 I got 2 CD's of delight. Lets go through the tracks - CD 1 01. Groove Armada - "Edge Hill", nice tune but it sounds a bit gloomy. Thats unusual for GA, but then they aren't the most normal bunch either. 02. King of Woolworths - "Bakerloo", one of my favourites on the CD, try and guess which advert it's from....coz I can't remember. 03. Space Raiders - "Beautiful Crazy", another of my personal fav's, takes it slow. Some great lyrics and the Compilations first drug references ! 04. LTJ Experience - "Moon beat", quite a "spacey" tune. Some sort of tribute to the easy listening tunes of the 60's, you must of heard at least one of them (IMonsters - "Day dream in blue"). 05. Gregory Isaacs - "Night Nurse", nice remix, not one I really like though. The second drug reference ! ;) 06. Minnie Riperton - "Inside my love", nice vocals, not totally relaxing, sort of soft RnB music. I donny like it. 07.Chico Hamilton - "Mysterious Maiden", sou nds like a sixties easy listening track. Funny to listen to and one of my favourites. 08. Mr Natural - "Do you feel what i'm thinking", smooth, very smooth. Smoother then Galaxy chocolate or Erol Brown (yeah I probably got the name wrong). 09. Roger Goode feat. Tasha Baxter - "In the beginning", your eyelids are feeling very heavy (not a boring track though!). 10. Vangelis - "Prelude", the token Vangelis track. Nice, another of my favourites, but then I'm a fan of Vangelis' work. 11. Ibizarre - "Onmyouji", a trance track with a hint of latin guitar. Have no idea what "Onmyouji" stands for (and i'm not even sure Ibizarre do). 12. Boards of Canada - "Kid for today", an odd, yet simple tune. Lasts too long and then gets boring. Well it does repeat the same bit over and over. Another advert background filler. 13. Pilote - "Turtle", in my opinion, best track in this compilation, it's the whistly tune from the Orange advert. I don't think turtles sound like that though. 14. Bonobo - "Koto", fast, repetitive tune, but ultimately a cool one. Usually a song like this would get boring, maybe some of you will, but I like it. 15. Harry Diamond - "Givin up", kinda despressing really. Usually, I press the next track button. Although, the female vocalist has a strange, yet cool voice. 16. Dusted - "Childhood", a soothing beat. Not the most listened to track, so I can't say much about it. So i'm gonna sit here and twiddle my thumbs until the next track. Dum de dum dum......hmmmm.... 17. Zero 7 - "Distractions", a nice soothing, but sometimes rather loud, track. I do believe the other two in the series feature a Zero 7 song, a british (hurrah!) girl band who specialise in this sort of music. Warning, dodgy lyrics about a horse (or is that just my filt hy warped mind getting the wrong end of the spikey whip?) 18. Morcheeba - "World looking in", completely non-relaxing, but a nice song. They could of named this compilation "Now thats what I call the Best Advert Music in the world ever 39"........perhaps not. 19. Moby - "We are all made of stars", one of Moby's better songs, but does wear thin pretty quickly. I make this the 24th time this song has featured on a compilation CD. Summary : A few bizarre sounds that are, mostly, gentle to the ears. Although they could of put more original songs on it. CD 2 track listing - 01. X-press 2 - "Lazy", my dads favourite song at the moment. Nice opener to the second CD. 02. Amillionsons - "Misti Blu", fast paced lyric fest. Not one of the best tracks on the album. 03. A guy called Gerald - "Emotion Electric", electronica spliced with some great vocals. 04. Royksopp - "Epie", easy on the ear, despite speedy tempo. Those daft Nordic maestros return for more of the same. 05. Danmass - "Happy here", sounds like an old video game on the gameboy but I suppose they had some rocking tunes on the handheld. 06. Fila Brazillia - "At home in space", quiet, South American, native-based song. 07. A man called Adam -"Estelle", starts off shakily, but picks up with a great sounding female vocalist. 08. Thievery Corporation - "Vivid", percussion instruments and a slight hint of electronica. 09. The Aloof - "Never get out of the boat", absolutely goddamn right ;P, tribal style chants. Is this based on a movie or something? 10. Harry Peat - "Sweetest Dreams", a cute little tune. A good come down from raving. Sweet lyrics from a young sounding vocalist. 11. J Walk - "Soul vibration", exactly that, some soul music (with a mo dern edge) for a nice change. Off an advert for Frost (with David Jason) where he proclaims "Thats a tasty sandwich". 12. Kinobe - "Grass roots horizon", the singer sounds sexy ! 13. The Karminsky Experience - "Exploration", reminiscient of The Avalanches, Indian sounds add to the atmosphere. 14. Marvin Gay - "T plays it cool", something you'd hear in the background to the movie Shaft, or another similar film. 15. The Cinematic Orchestra feat. Fontella Bass - "All that you give", doesn't sound like an orchestra :D. 16. Strange Cargo - "She cries your name", I like it, a little strange, what a coincidence ! 17. Ibizarre - "Underwater World", very ambient, including whales. Close your eyes, imagine yourself laying on a beach, eh I couldn't diddle about listening to those sorts of relaxation tapes. 18. Freedom to Move - "Freedom to move" (sarabande), the classic piece from the Levi's advert. This however is disappointingly short, a minute and a half Summary : This is the more vocal of the two CD's, with lyrics towering above the bizarre. Some quite decent tracks, a little less ambient then CD 1. Phew, 37 tracks reviewed, i'm exhausted (not the CD's intentions). This compilation is great, I listen to it before bed sometimes (much to the annoyance of my parents), it helps me unwind. One slight niggle with this product though, is the fact that a track will start before the previous is even finished, which kinda mixes the two tracks together giving you a really dodgy sound. With over 2 hours of soft music (mostly) it's well worth every penny. You'll love listening to a song and going "Ohhhh thats that one off that advert", like I did ! For me, it's either soothing, soft tunes or hard pounding rock/metal, and this is the CD for the quiet side in me (which rarely see's the light of day). Theres not many artists in this compilation that i've heard of, so the production of this CD must of taken alot of researching. So credit to them for producing an amazing line-up of alternative music. Now, if you'll excuse me, i'm off to listen to some Killswitch Engage..... This is....my last.....serenadeeeeee..... oh look what you made me do.
Notice the reference to Popstars tagline? My humour really is wasted..... Ever since I saw a few pictures of this game last year, I was drooling in anticipation and that was just at the sight of something that may not of been. It's release in Japan was a huge success, quickly being heralded as a classic. The mastermind behind Mario and Zelda, Shigeru Miyamoto, was behind this game. He watched the insects in the garden of his new house (a very rare thing in Japanese cities), mainly ants, working hard together, gathering food and things. Something in his head clicked and the concept for Pikmin was born. And thank god for those ants, Pikmin is one of the killer titles that the Gamecube needed. You play (or rather "control") Captain Olimar, a space pilot the same height as a 50 pence coin. On his homeworld of Hocotate, he is a famous space explorer. He decides to take a short holiday to relax from over working. Olimar did not plan to go anywhere, so hopped into his ship and let himself go wherever he may go. While the ship was on auto pilot, a huge meteor colided with his ship and sent it plummeting towards a strange planet. The Dolphin (his ship) was in many pieces when he awoke and his sensors show an oxygen atmosphere - toxic to Olimar and his race. The life support on his ship has 30 days left before it packs up and becomes useless. You can probably guess what'll happen to Olimar then. The only way he can survive is to rebuild his ship, but, the 30 pieces of gadgetry have been scattered across a small region of the planet on impact. The planet itself is a garden itself, covered with trees, foliage and lush fields, with the occasional pond here and there. There are five regions to explore and you can only access them after collecting a certain ship piece. When you first start the game, you come across a red pod, with a flower next on top of it, go near it and it pops up into the air and three legs sprout to hold it above the ground. This is called an onion. It'll sprout a lone seed which will bury itself into the ground. Give it a while and a small shoot will pop up, wait a bit longer and it will get bigger. Once it starts glowing you can go over to it and press the A button. This will make Olimar pull the shoot out of the ground. Here they are ! Introducing the Pikmin ! The first Pikmin encounter is a sweet moment as we get to see the Red Pikmin in all it's glory. Pikmin are creatures, smaller then Olimar, and rather loyal to those who pull them from the ground. The longer you leave a Pikmin in the ground, you'll notice the shoot change to a bud, leave them for almost a day and the bud will flower. Pikmins with flowers are faster and stronger then bud or leaf types. Another way to get Pikmin to this mature level is by finding sap (either by digging it up or by killing these docile insects carrying big sacs of sap). Now the game begins.............. Olimar can't move the ship pieces by himself, can't break down walls or fight off predators, thats where the Pikmin step up for duty. With your first Pikmin, you must use it to chop down the small flowers scattered about the levels. These contain coloured pellets, which the Pikmin can carry back to the onion. The onion will absorb them and release new seeds upon the ground around it. These pellets range in size, the bigger they are, the more Pikmin are required to carry them, but also the more Pikmin you get from them. You can only have 100 Pikmin on the screen at any one time, but can keep as many as you want stored in the onions. This is handy because you'll, inevitably, lose Pikmin during the game and can go back to the onion and get some more out. Later in the game, you'll encounter the two other types of Pikmin, Blue and Yellow variety. Each of the three types have their own special attributes : Red Pikmin - Impervious to fire, stronger then the other two colours and are great for fighting off predators. Yellow Pikmin - Lighter and faster then the other two types, allowing them to be thrown higher and further. They also have the ability to lift bomb rocks, which are mainly used for demolishing walls. Blue Pikmin - These can swim and breathe underwater, which is great for getting to secret areas surrounded by water. Dismissed or inactive Pikmin will turn a pale colour until called or touched by Olimar. Aswell as having their own attributes, each individual Pikmin has a seperate personality, like theres always one or two Pikmin lagging behind the rest of the group. You'll also get the stupid Pikmin that'll run into the wall if you have turned around a corner too quickly. It's kind of cute in away, but it's a shame they can't be distinguished any further. Otherwise I would of given them all names ! Pikmin are very versatile, you are able to use them in many ways, from carrying objects and ship parts, battling with baddies, to bashing down walls, clearing paths or building bridges. The controls are stupidly easy in this game, to control one or more Pikmin, simply press B and Olimar will whistle. Any nearby Pikmin will be under your control, they will follow you around and do as you tell them, there are two ways to make a Pikmin do something, first is by throwing them at whatever (a wall for example) by pressing the A button, a Pikmin will have to be behind you and capable of fufilling the task (see the above types). The other is to walk next to something. E.G. if you walked next to a bomb rock and a yellow Pikmin was following, he'd pick it up. This, however, can be rather annoying, as sometimes you'll want your Pikmin to do something and they'll stop half way to chop down a plant. Other controls are - X button - Will dismiss the pikmin nearby, into their seperate colour groups. Y bu tton - Allows you to view Olimars monitor. This shows a map of the area, and statistics, such as how many Pikmin have been sprouted etc. Z button - Change the camera angle. L button - Rotates the camera. R button - Zooms in and out (3 levels of zoom). Control stick - moves the cursor, and Olimar, around the screen, this also aims where Pikmin will be thrown. C Stick - This lets you control all the Pikmin with you. Pikmin aren't the only inhabitants of this mysterious planet. I have mentioned earlier that there are predators lurking about and theres plenty of different ones ! Most common are the pupdogs, two legged creatures resembling strawberrys. A pupdog delicacy is of course Pikmin ! The best way to attack these beasties is to go up to them from behind and throw your pikmin onto it's back. Other little nasties include Breadbugs (which will try to steal your pellets), Puffy Blowhogs (which blow your Pikmin away - seperating them over a large area and Flame Throwers, which will breathe fire on your poor little Pikmin. You'll lose many Pikmin from fighting these creatures and it almost brings tears to your eyes when you see the tiny spirit of a fallen Pikmin float up into the sky. You'll also have to face a "Boss" in certain areas, like the PuffStool or the Armoured Cannon Beetle. These are more tricky then the standard creatures and require their own method for exterminating them. Watch out, all of the baddies can hurt Olimar if he gets in the way ! Right, 30 days to find 30 pieces, sounds easy, well it's not. Some pieces are hidden in obscure places, like behind a wall, which would take several days (depending on how many Pikmin there are) or in unreachable parts of an area until you come across certain types of Pikmin. This means travel between the 5 areas through out the game. There are transitions in the game, day will become night pretty quickly. But to help, theres a sun met er across the top of the screen, starting from dawn and ending with dusk, a little sun picture will move along, from side to the other, showing you the rough time of day. When it starts getting late, the lighting will change to night and you are warned to collect all your Pikmin before the end of the day. At night, the predators come out in huge groups. Olimar's ship and the onions will take off into the skies. Any Pikmin left behind are, sadly, eaten. The time is set to the internal clock of the GameCube and lasts around 15 minutes, so time-management is the key to getting things done. You'll have to develop a system of getting various groups to do certain things, such as while one group is building a bridge, another could be fighting off the baddies. At the end of the day, you can view Olimars daily journal, see how many Pikmin were gained and lost and various other statistics. It also offers the only chance to save the game to a memory card. Be warned though, it takes 19 blocks of memory to save one game (out of a possible 3). That is alot and most mem cards for the GameCube hold 59 blocks. On the plus side however, when you play Super Smash Bros Melee, if theres a Pikmin saved game on the memory card, it'll automatically award you with the Captain Olimar Trophy ! From the end of day menu, you can then select to "Go to next day". This gives you a small map of the searchable area and it's locations. When you move Olimars ship to the locations, you'll get a small row of stars, showing how many pieces there are in that area and how many you have collected. The music for the game is quite brilliant, ambient and peaceful. The music sets the atmosphere of each level wonderfully. While it may be slightly quirky, it's easy on the ear. Sounds effects are nicely done too, from the Pikmins squeals when thrown, to the crashes and booms of falling walls. Spot on. As for the graphics, they are mind-blowing, very lush. Rich in green, obviously. Leaves will sway when brushed pass, water splashes and waves when paddled through. Time has obviously been spent on the scenery, highly detailed backgrounds, textured ground with plenty of objects injected into the levels. The lighting is another marvel, a complicated system where the day gets lighter, then darker, with sun pouring through the foliage, with great work on shadows, getting bigger as the sun sets etc. Now talk to anyone, read any review, and someone will whinge about the length of the game, yes, if you were very good, you could finish it in a few hours. I still haven't completed it and i've had it for about a month ! In my opinion there is replay value as you'll want to improve on your past scores and with an extra incentive, theres a bonus Challenge Mode, which allows you to pick an area you have been to and then see how many Pikmin you can grow and sprout in a single day. Since I first saw this game, I wanted it, I needed it in my collection. As the Halo was to the Xbox, everyone who owns a GameCube needs this game. Don't dismiss it as a kiddy game, as it's complicated, with time-management coming into effect, it's emotional and above all, fun. It's highly original, and thats what the game industry needs, it doesn't borrow other ideas, it generates completely new ones. The only trouble with an original game, is that it spawns clones and gets lost amid all the dross that copies the ideas. However, i'm sure Pikmin is uncloneable !
To be honest, i've been a Soulfly fan for about a fortnight and just bought their new album "3" yesterday. So being the expert I am at punching ops up on the fly, here goes ! Soulfly are a Brazilian band that have made their mark on the metal scene. With their religious beliefs, patriotic songs/lyrics and typical shouting and screaming. Soulfly are - Vocals/Guitar - Max Cavalera Bass/Backing Vocals/Effects/Percussion - Marcello D Rapp Guitar/Percussion - Mikey Dolling Drums/Percussion - Roy Mayorga Max Cavalera and the "Tribe" are back with their latest album "3". It's their third offering and a great one at that. The cover features the bands main logo "3" (with a slight modification), as Max believes "It holds historical and traditionally steeped in myth and divine spirituality". Well he is a tribal guitarist and spiritual leader, so who's gonna argue? The inlet booklet has various pictures, from Brazillian art work, to nature scenes of rocks and waterfalls. There isn't printed lyrics for all the songs (that have lyrics) in here, which is a tad annoying, but we have to deal with it. Run down of the tracks - 1. Downstroy No nonsense, straight into the hard stuff track, some heavy beats and riffs with Max shouting his head off (obviously with some sort of voice changer, I mean, no one could get it that deep!). Extremist Religious undertones are in the lyrics - "Bleed for your belief, come on bleed with me", which Soulfly often use. Theres a bit of a come down at the end of the track as the music just drifts off on it's own High energy and rage, make this song a good opener for the album. 2. Seek 'N' Strike Another thrash fest, the lyrics not had much time spent on them, but none the less, one of my favourite tracks. From the start, with metal percussion instruments reminiscent to wi nd chimes, to the repetitive hard guitar work, to Max ruining his vocal chords, roaring the lyrics with a passion, then to the bizarre sounding outro. I like, I hope...you like 3. Enterfaith Screams of "Enterfaith" start this one off. A song about faith and how deep your convictions lie. Inspirational growling, followed by a fast guitar riff. 4. One A song of unity, "One soul, one heart, one man, one truth, one tribe, one life, one god." A pretty cool song, another of my favourites. Long instrumental outro which softens the song up a bit. 5. L.O.T.M Stands for "Last Of The Mohicans" Max screams his way through, this perhaps based on ancestors and heritage. A nice track that ends with some tribal chanting from a large group of people (all listed in the inlay booklet). 6. Brasil This track is sung completely in their native tongue of portuguese, so unless you speak the lingo, you won't know what they're singing about. I hazard a guess and suggest that they are singing about their home country of Brazil as a sort of tribute to their roots. Still pretty rocking however 7. Tree of pain This track began as a backyard acoustic get-together, further adding to the organic methodology of Max's songwriting. It's the longest on the album, 8 minutes and 20 seconds long, but it doesn't matter, it's my overall favourite song on the album ! It is an epic track, with guest vocalist Asha Rabouin (who also starred in "Fly high" on the previous album. She also co-wrote some of the lyrics for this track. Starts off with soft guitar and Asha singing a sweet harmony, then a few minutes into the song, Max and the gang kick in with some really fast, kick-ass lyrics/music. After they have finished their onslaught, Asha returns to end the song on a quiet note. This song is dedicated to Dana D-low and Max makes that clear in the lyrics. Tree of pain is about losing someone and the pain that you'll feel. I loved it and was completely blown away. 8. One Nation Starts off with a few small kids "I pledge allegiance...." and then Soulfly kick in with some. There are no lyrics to this song printed in the booklet, but I can tell you it's a song about a hope of peace in the future. Some stonking guitar work from Mikey and Max. 9. 9-11-01 This track is just one minutes silence, a mark of respect for the september 11th tragedy. Cavalera has said that he thought it was paying respect in the most "Purest form". 10. Call to arms "This is a call to arms !!" A very short track, at 1 minute, 23 seconds. PLenty of thrash, metal and screaming for that whole period. The lyrics are pretty indecypherable but it's a good little space filler. 11. Four Elements A violent sounding song, with lyrics like "I'll make you bleed". Long instrumental in the middle (middle 8? I can't remember the music terms). From what I can make out of it, the song is based on people ripping them off. Not sure who they are talking about and this is obviously the most sweary of all the tracks. 12. Soulfly III Lasting 5 minutes on the dot, we have a pure instrumental, showing off the bands talents on a variety of different instruments. This song is typically native to South American, with acoustic guitar, "those tubes that apparently make it sound like rain" and even pan pipes (only briefly). I likes it and it goes on my list of favourite tracks. 13. Sangue De Bairro A short track consisting of just guitar and drums. Oh and Max fast talking, well roaring, (Chris Tucker style) in Portuguese. 14. Zumbi Pure percussion, with an occasional chant in the background. Well it's basically tribal music, the sort you'd hear at a carnival. Afte r it finishes, theres a long gap, before the sound of wind chimes and guitar (played underneath the chimes) begins, so keep listening ! The Aftermath : Well not knowing of Soulflys excisitence to loving them in the space of a few weeks amazed me. Disc total running time - 58 minutes 54 seconds. Nearly an hour of pure delight. 3 is one of the best albums I have spent my wages on. I actually saved a bit of money too, using my "Download 2002" card, which gave me £2 off it (down from £12.99 to £10.99). You can apply for one from the roadrunner records site linked below. Also when you buy a RRR album, you'll get a free sampler CD (16 tracks) from various bands signed to their label. A true treat for the ears, from roaring start to mellow ending, I wasn't disappointed at this band of songs, so you shouldn't either. Thanks for reading...... Official Site - http://www.soulflytribe.com Road Runner Records - http://www.roadrun.com (USA) http://www.roadrunnerrecords.co.uk (UK)
This film sneaked out here in the UK with barely a notice back in 2001 and then the DVD slipped most people by with it's 2002 release. I took a chance on the DVD after hearing rave reviews. I was blown away. Actually thats a bit of an understatement, I don't wanna sound dumb, but my brain was exhausted after watching this film, I really had to concentrate to work things out. However, it was rewarding, my concentration allowed me to work things out in this film that you may not of noticed otherwise. The film itself is shown backwards, with the beginning of a scene being the ending of the scene previous. Yes, that explanation is confusing and we haven't even started talking about the plot ! We see a man named Leonard Shelby (played marvelously by Guy Pearce) who has a rare condition, he can only remember things for about 10 minutes. This is caused by a severe, almost fatal blow to the head he suffered when he tried saving his wife from being raped in their own bathroom. His wife doesn't make it and from then on, Leo can't remember anything before the incident for more then 10 minutes. He goes on a quest to find his wifes killer, keeping his evidence in a series of labelled photos and messages to himself in a scrapbook. He also comes up with the ingenious idea of tattooing himself with vital notes. The other stars of the film, Carrie-Ann Moss and Joe Pantoliano (both from The Matrix) play their roles superbly, Moss playing waitress Natalie, who helps Leo, but has her own agenda and Teddy(Pantoliano), a snidey character who seems shadey and suspect. They give their characters life and at the same time, are very sinister. Both of them mess about with Leo, fooling him and manipulating him. Trouble is Leo doesn't know any different. Now back to the backwards theme. Director Christopher Nolan made a noble decision and it works. At times, there'll be a scene where something is going on and you won't find out until the next scene. It's this style that will require your concentration. I mentioned earlier my poor brain was worn out, but it made sense, pure sense, what happened, how it started, what someone was doing.... On the DVD we have - 2:35:1 Aspect ratio, animorphic English Subtitles 109 minutes running time approx. Original theatrical trailer IFC interview with Christopher Nolan Director and Cast biographies Tattoo gallery Shooting script Interactive menus (whoopdeedoo!) Website material "Memento Mori" by Jonathan Nolan (the short story on which the film is based) The Beginning of the End, the film shown in chronological order. That special feature, which I watched after the main film, is extremely useful if you wish to gain a better understanding of all the goings on. It's hidden and I don't want to spoil your fun finding it ! Unfortunately, not many people saw this film, which is a dire shame as it is brilliant. Now I urge you to get it on DVD or VHS, whatever tickles your fancy, and watch Memento. Websites of intrest - http://www.mementodvd.co.uk http://www.otnemem.co.uk Thanks for reading :D "Jill Murphy asked me to write about one of my favourite things to help her celebrate her fourth anniversary of cancer-free living and to remind ourselves of all the nice things in the world. It takes more muscles to make a frown than a smile you know. If you'd like to join in, whether you've only just joined dooyoo, or you've been here ages, you're more than welcome. Just write about one of YOUR favourite things, make your title "A Favourite Thing: [your choice]" and include this paragraph at the foot of your opinion. And post before Friday, 9th August." 3 cheers for Jill !
Now i'm not a die-hard anime fan (although I claim to be) and therefore my top ten is based solely on what i've seen and think is worthy of the top ten. It was a hard choice but in at number 10 is Mamoru Oshii's Ghost In The Shell. This film was a sort of milestone in the anime world in the mid-nineties, with it's computer generated animation, highly detailed artistry and plenty of action to boot. Like most big anime movies, most comments made were along the lines of "If Disney and James Cameron ever got togther, this is what they'd make.....". In some ways that would probably be true. The story is set in the year 2029, where the only thing that can determine between a human and a cyborg is the soul (ghost). A top government secret agent is actually a sentient program roaming the net gathering information, hacking and manipulating whatever it so wishes. The program is so very well developed, it believes itself to be a living being and wants to download itself into a physical body. To do this, it influences the minds of many to perform terrorists acts, threatening to reveal itself to the world if it doesn't get what it wants, a body. In comes our heroine, Major Motoko Kusanagi, who is pretty much cyborg herself, to track down the "Puppet Master" who has been the centre of these terrorist acts. The CGI is quite obvious but used wisely and to a point that you don't really notice it. This film is very thought provoking, it got me thinking about my own excistence and purpose! Number 9 is Perfect Blue, a stylish and confusing thriller from Satoshi Kon. It focus'es on the life of Mima Kirigoe, a very popular singer who retires from her pop group to become a serious actor. Her first major role sees her playing a dancer who is raped by a group of men. This sends her fans into a fit of rage. None more so then a creepy looking fan who is absolutely obsessed with her. Then people Mima knows start getting murdered and her mind starts to break down. This film is so full of twists and turns that you really need to pay attention to keep up with whats going on. This movie can be very confusing, as it switches from flashbacks to hallucinations, so you never really know what exactly is going on. Watch out for the creepy scene when Mima discovers the website that contains so much personal information that Mima could of only written it. The person who runs the website claims to be Mima, sending the real Mima into serious confusion. 8 is Appleseed The very first anime film I had seen 3 years ago and remains one of my favourites. It takes us to Olympus, a city constructed after the third world war. Olympus is an idyllic place to live compared to the wasteland that the rest of the world has become. Only the select few humans live in Olympus, those that are lucky enough to have been integrated into Olympus' society. Appleseed follows the exploits of two such humans, placed into the Extra Special Weapons And Tactics (ESWAT) squad of the Olympus police force, as they try to foil the plans of terrorists attempting to destroy the city. The main character is Deunan a disillusioned officer of ESWAT and Hitomi, Deunans android friend. The animation in the film is slightly out of date, not quite matching Akira's which was made around the same time. I actually stumbled across this film by accident, we had just had cable put in and I stayed downstairs on a saturday night to watch porn, turned over to the sci-fi channel and caught the beginning of this, I fell in love with it and decided not to watch the porn :D The film is out in just over a week, i'll be first in the queue to buy it ! X is my number 7, a fairly recent film. At the turning point of the millenium, 14 individuals face their destiny, blessed with sacred powers, the seven dragons of Earth vow to destroy civi lisation and purify the planet to start again. Enter the Seven dragons of Heaven, the protectors of Earth, led by Kamui Shirou, a teenager who has only just been told of his destiny to fight for lives of billions. What makes matters worse, Kamui's best friend, Fuuma, has become his deadliest enemy as Fuuma becomes the leader of the opposition. This film features some great battle sequences, as each dragon faces off with each other. I bought this film without seeing it beforehand and I wasn't disappointed by this epic battle anime film. Innnnnnnnnnn 6...... Macross Plus, I have already written an op about this and it makes it into my top ten. We see a futuristic planet named Eden, a colony planet of Earth, he Ministry of Defence have the task of choosing between two hi-tech aircrafts. The test pilots were best friends, but are now enemies, when a woman from their past arrives from Earth, they are torn apart even more. The music, the animation, the backdrops are all gentle and brilliant. I can't stress this much more or the vien on the side of my head will burst. I have written a seperate opinion for this film, so if you go look for it in the movies section, you'll get a more in depth and detailed read. Number 5 is Wings of Honneamise, a truly remarkable film, not really well recieved by critics but is actually a work of genius. Set in an alternate world, roughly in the same time frame as the real world but with one difference, man has yet to reach the stars or launch a saterlite even. Shiro Ledat is a man with dreams of flying high, but he's not bright enough to join the Navy and fly their jets, so the only thing he can do that might even remotely give him a chance at flight is to join a branch of the Honneamanian military known as the Royal Space Force. The Space Force is the laughing stock of the military, run by old professors and cogers with officers too bizzare to be in any mainstream b ranch of service. They haven't even successfully launched a rocket into space, let alone a manned craft. The RSF soldiers are the drop-outs and misfits of the military and for a while Shiro fits in well among them. Then, during the testing of one of the launch rockets, one of his fellow officers is killed. Shirow then goes on a spiritual journey, pondering the meaning of life and the purpose of existence. He meets a poor young woman who hands out flyers on the boardwalk, trying to turn the sinful over to the world of religion. Curious, Shiro gets to know this girl and her beliefs and is inspired with the purpose he once so heartily believed in. From that moment on, Shiro is a driven man. Setting the pace for the entire Space Force, he pushes for the opportunity to ride a rocket into space and be the first man of his world to orbit it. But as Shirow becomes a public figure he begins to realize that there are more than noble motives at work here, and soon finds himself a pawn and a target. This film is a little known gem, it really must be seen. In the number 4 slot is Spriggan. This film is relatively new to me and was made in 1998. It's one of the best films I have ever seen. The film starts in the snowy mountains of Turkey, 3 archaeologists are deep inside a cavern are scouting the area. One trips and falls down the side of a large cliff, but lands on a small ledge, the other 2 climb down to join him. The ground rumbles and the surface of the opposite cliff face begins to chip and fall off, revealing part of a mysterious object. It begins to emanate sound and light that kills them all. Back in Japan we see Yu Ominae, a 17 year old boy at school, when one of his friends commits suicide he heads over to see his boss. Ominae is actually an agent (a Spriggan (a name for a fairy that protects ancient ruins)) for ARCAM, a secret organisation with the strict purpose of stopping people, mainly their enemy The Pentagon, from finding rel igious relics that could destroy Earth if discovered and exploited. Ominae flys out to Turkey to join the rest of the ARCAM team which have started to escavate what they believe is Noahs Ark, the artefact that killed the 3 archaeologists. The Pentagon send in their team of men led by Colonel McDougal, a psychic that resembles a child (reminisent of Akira) and his two stalwarts FattMan and Little Boy, the former being a huge giant carrying a chain gun and has robotic limbs, the latter being a super fast, cheeky guy. Fattman and Ominae meet in combat and history is brought back for Ominae, formerly working for Fattman when the two were in the army. Ominae was a specially born and bred boy who went crazy and shot his captain - Fattman. McDougal kidnaps a scientist and his daughter and takes them inside the Ark, where it is discovered it can elevate someone to the status of god. This film has been, time and time again, been likened to Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, crossed with the X-files. It's true, it is and you'll thoroughly enjoy it. The action is fast and furious, with a fight scene every 10 minutes, or less ! It truly is a modern classic in anime. My number 3 is Neon Genesis Evangelion. A 26 episode series with 3 films too. Another true masterpiece with a great story. The year is 2015 and at least half of Earths population has been wiped out, victims of the first attack by a mysterious race of beings known as the Angels. These are 100 foot tall (maybe taller) creatures with devastating powers capable of wiping out huge armies in seconds. Mankinds last hope is NERV, a secret agency that has built huge bio-mechanical machines (that require a human pilot to come to life). For some reason only a handful of teenagers on Earth are actually capable of controlling these bots. Shinji Ikari is an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary father, the head of NERV. His father has picked him to pilot Evang elion unit 1. He is the third child as the evangelion moves without a pilot to save Shinji from falling rubble. As Shinji accepts his destiny, he finally takes control of Eva 01 and takes it into battle against the Angels. This is one of the most popular anime shows ever, with a huge fan base all around the world. It's made so much money and is highly regarded. I love this show because, in true anime series' style, it includes violence, a deep and sometimes confusing plot, romance, rage of emotions and humour. The animation is very good, the angels look cool, the action is fast and explosive and oh just go watch it already !! 2. Akira Good old Akira, one of the most well-known anime films ever. Made in 1988 it was a huge success. Otomo Katsuhiro had created one of the best "cyber-punk" films you could ever witness. Set in 2019, Neo-Tokyo is rising from the ashes of old Tokyo, devastated in 1988 by what was believed to be a nuclear explosion. This is not the case however........ Biker gangs run rampant and one night they cross paths with Kaneda and his cohorts (a non-criminal biker gang). After some fighting, Kaneda and his boys give chase to the "Clowns". The high speed chases are quite spectacular, weaving through the traffic one of Kanedas gang, Tetsuo, manoeuvres so cleverly, it causes his pursuers to crash. Taking his eyes off the road just for a second, he turns back and see's a child in the middle of the road. It isn't no ordinary child, his face is grey and withered, like that of an old man. Tetsuo hits the brakes and crashes into the boy, after the smoke clears, the boy is still standing, unharmed, it appears Tetsuo crashed into an invisible wall. Kaneda and the rest catch up in time to see an army helicopter land and take the boy and Tetsuo away. While Tetsuo is recovering, the government start performing experiments on him. Meanwhile Kaneda and his gang are trying t o stay out of jail at the police station, Kaneda spots a girl who has also been arrested and manages to get her off too. Her name is Kai and is actually an agent of a secret organisation that have the purpose of protecting the psychic children (like the one Tetsuo almost killed). The psychic children are government experiments to create the next Akira, the real cause of the explosion in 1988....... Tetsuo escapes from his "cell" and decides to get his girlfriend, steal Kanedas super powered bike and get the hell out of town. Things don't go to plan when he is recognised by more "Clowns", who give chase, the bike runs out of petrol and Tetsuo and his girl get beaten up. This is where Tetsuo starts to develop psychic powers, he becomes psychotic and runs riot in the city and just who or what is Akira?........... The animation, to this day still remains lavish, due to the films high production budget. It is powerful, action packed and nightmarish. It's a creepy film that features alot of intrumental, often tribal music that give the impression of a meccha city sprawling out of control. One scene to look out for is when the psychic children make Tetsuo hallucinate that 3 toys are trying to attack him. Number 1 of my top ten anime's is Hayao Miyazaki's masterpiece, Princess Mononoke. A brilliant and moving epic adventure. Miyazaki is one of the best writer/director/Producer's in anime, being behind some of the most amazing pieces the anime world has ever seen (think "My neighbour Totoro" and "Kiki's delivery service"). Princess Mononoke has an allstar voice cast with the likes of Gillian Anderson, Billy Bob Thornton, Billy Crudup, Jada Pinkett Smith, Claire Danes and Minnie Driver. Their voices are most fitting with passion and dedication in their potrayal of the main characters. It's feudal Japan, and a young man named Ashitaka is returning to his vill age, on his way back he encounters a mysterious demon that is heading right for his village. Ashitaka takes a breath of courage and takes the beast on. He shoots an arrow right into the beasts eye, killing it slowly, as the worms covering it's body disintegrate, the beast turns out to be one of the boar gods, defenders of the forest. He was driven mad and to evil by a small iron pellet buried deep in his flesh. Before he dies, the god curses Ashitaka with a deadly rash that begins to spread over his body, the elders of the village tell him he must leave the community. He heads to the forest of the west in search of a cure. On his way he becomes embroiled in a bitter fight between the humans, living in a ironworks and the animal gods of the forests. The Humans, led by Lady Eboshi need to cut down trees in order to make more money, while the animals want them gone. While rescuing a few people from a river, Ashitaka catches sight of a young woman with 3 wolves, they leave before Ashitaka can find out who she is. The mysterious woman is San, Princess Mononoke, an orphan who was taken in by wolf god Moro and her two wolf cubs. San wants nothing more then the humans to go, even though she is one herself. Ashitaka falls in love with her the second time they meet. She resists, but can't help but commend his efforts to keep the peace between the two warring factions. As the movie progress'es, so does the rash, covering Ashitaka's body, in moments of anger the rash will flare out from his body, giving him super strength and little control over the parts of his body affected. Watch out for the cute little Kodama, the tree spirits, the sweet little things ! One scene to watch out for is when Ashitaka is with the two men deep in the forest, the first time we see the Great Forest Spirit. The music is gentle and other times bizarre, but most fitting, inspiration that really sets the perfect Atmosphere. This film is top quality, wit h some clear and crisp animation. It was that good, that it made me feel very emotional during and after the film had ended. Two hours (yes two hours !) of excellent animation. And so ends my Top Ten Anime, if there was ever any anime you should see, it would be those 10. My choices weren't just fact and personal opinion, but also how highly rated they are in the public eye. Others opinions didn't influence my op, but merely assisted it.
Hentai (Hen-tie) - Japanese for animated pornography. And theres nothing the Japanese love more then their copius amounts of dirty toons ! Urotsukidoji (Legend of the Overfiend) is a most notrious anime film. Full of rape scenes and nudity and erm penis shaped tenticles. If you take any "blue" movie, you'll notice they do attempt a plot, albeit a thin and brittle one. But if you look past the porn in Urot, you'll see it actually has a deep and clever plot. An ancient legend tells that there is 3 levels of excistence, the human world - where we live, the demon world (hell basically) and the man-beasts (half animal, half human creatures with special powers). It also states that once every 3000 years, a human will be chosen and born into the world, gifted with the powers of the Chojin. The Chojin (or Overfiend) will unite the 3 worlds and a new world of purity and natural beauty will be left. Modern day Japan, a boy named Tatsuo Nagumo has fallen in love with the "Hot girl" Akemi Ito. The two become deeply in love and little do they realise that they will play a huge part in Earths future. It is almost time for the unification of the 3 realms, around this time, the 3 worlds over lap, allowing the demons and man-beasts to pass into the human world. The man-beast known as Amano Jaku passes over to find the chojin. The demons also make it over and start to cause havoc, killing and maiming humans, not to mention rape which ever woman is unfortunate to be around. Nagumo begins a transformation, into the destroyer god, to lay waste to the world in preparation for the true chojin to arrive, perhaps the baby inside Akemi's womb...... Urotsukidoji 2, I believe, happens at some point during the first film, as Japan isn't destroyed and Nagumo is a less powerful demon. This film has been cut by the BBFC and that was just scraping it. Things have either been directly cut or "fudged". Despite all the filthyness, Urotsukidoji is classic anime, which outlandish plot, crazy demons and all kinds of violence and gore. I actually hadn't heard of this film before seeing it and was glad that my family were all out when I watched it ! It was made in the late 80's and early nineties yet the animation remains quite clear and crisp. If this is your bag, watch it, if you get easily offended then definetly don't watch it, by the way, and I think it's obvious, this isn't for kids !
Just after I had my digital installed, I spent vast amounts of time staying up late to watch my new variety of channels. Sky Premier, at about 11PM, 8mm came on, Nicolas Cage, hmmm, I thought, this film is sounding good already ! Man this film creeped me out, but it was one of the best films I had seen at the time. Nicolas Cage plays Tom Welles, a private investigator with wife and child. He lives a modest life in Pennsylvania and awaits his "Big break". Then he gets a call from a recently widowed old lady. While going through her husbands belongings, she comes across a safe, containing receipts and a video tape. After viewing it, she gives Tom a call. What she has found is a snuff film, where sado-maschism is taking to the ultimate extreme, the taking of human life on film for sexual pleasure. Tom is sickened by the film (and even though I know it wasn't real, it was still pretty bad, we see the whole thing) and takes the case. The widow has only asked Tom to identify the girl in the film. Even though once was too many times viewing this film, he watches it over and over to gather clues, he uses his hi-tech gadgetry to pin point a small face that pops up in the background. After some sleuthing, he discovers it's Eddie Poole, a renound pornographer (James Gandolfini, from The Sopranos). The two meet and Eddie immediately refuses to co-operate. At this point of the film, Tom unleashes powerful psychological warfare on Eddie, bugging his phone and pressurising him to give in. To give him an insight into this seedy world, he visits a dark little porno shop and tries to aquire information from the shop assisstant Max (Joaquin Phoenix, from Gladiator). Max is an odd character, purple hair, revealing clothes that really do belong on a woman, and alot of contacts of the underground. Heres where the film gets even more disturbing. Max takes him to the underground porn sc ene, perhaps one of the most shocking scenes in the film, a small flea market selling illegal porn, including child pornography and other nasty stuff. Thankfully we don't see any of it. With information from the underground and Max, he links Eddie Poole with Dino Velvet, an S+M film specialist, his films are "the sickest sh*t". Max tells Tom that Dino comissions films for bespoc production, for a price. Under the guise of two people wanting an extreme bondage movie, the two learn more about Dino and his activities.... This film was directed brilliantly by Joel Schumacher and from the writer of Se7en and in many ways is quite like it, shocking, disturbing and twisted. That night when I first saw it, I couldn't have the lights on for the last hour of the film. 8mm made me shiver, made me jump and in some places made me a little sick, yes it is that bad. Despite that, I thought it was a great film touching on a very taboo subject, god I would of hated to be a researcher for 8mm ! I bought the DVD for quite cheap, £9.99 in a sale, and was quite good value for money. The lack of features would of probably put me off buying it for any more moolah. It only featured a behind the scenes documentary, audio commentary from Schumacher and some bio's. If you liked Se7en, or just feel like being freaked-out, then you should check out this movie, maybe rent it first to test the water so to speak, but be warned it's not for the easily offended !
Theres not been many times you can say that an anime film/program is beautiful. Well, all anime is detailed, well animated and fluid, but this can often be over shadowed by all the sex, blood and violence, like Genocyber and Urotsukidoji (the latter having a very good plot and story, but the explicit sex and gory violence put alot of people off). Macross Plus is another kettle of anime, it is beautiful. The locales being the best, from the bleak deserts and grassy hills of the country, to the rocky cliffs and cityscapes. Each is detailed down to a very fine line, with the Macross building on Earth being very impressive. The dream world the best part of the story is set upon is known as Eden. Eden is a human colony, with Earth being over populated and spreading towards the stars. The Humans haven't destroyed Eden, the power supply is drawn from windmills on top of a cliff, a popular tourist spot. Theres no pollution and very little unrest/crime. On this planet, a story of friendship, love, jealousy and espionage unfold..... The year is 2040, the Ministry of Defense is testing and developing a super stealth aircraft, capable of transforming into a humanoid robot, this is to counter any alien attacks. A hot headed and out of control pilot, Isamu Dyson is assigned the task of testing one of the two aircrafts, competing for the MoD's approval and use of the winning air craft. The other pilot, much to Dyson's dismay is his arch-rival Guld. These two were once friends, but one thing stood in the way, a woman named Myung. Guld scared Dyson off and the two instantly became bitter enemies. Their test flights of their respective crafts end in conflict when the two argue their way into aerial combat. The dog fights are pretty spectacular, fast and furious, with plenty of explosions and noise ! Then Myung arrives from Earth and sends the rivalry soaring through the roof. Myung is with G uld and Dyson has trouble accepting this and makes matters worse. Myung is having her own problems, as her meeting with Dyson for the first time in years throws her emotions off balance, she is torn between the two men. Myung is now the manager of the first robotic pop-star, Sharon Apple, completely computer generated, with various programs controlling her voice, emotions and behaviour, a miracle of Artificial Intelligence, or so everyone believes. In actual fact, Myungs hooks herself to all sorts of thingymajigs that use her voice and emotions to create the music that is so very very popular. Myung and the team have arrived on Earth to prepare for Sharon Apple's sell-out concert in Edens oddly shaped, but superb looking stadium. Little does anyone know that Sharons AI has recorded Myungs feelings and memories and fallen in love with Isamu. She won't let anyone stand in their way..... Now, I said earlier that the animation and backdrops were amazing, well so is the music. The music plays a huge part in Macross Plus, setting the mood, conveying emotions and Sharon Apple's performances. Most are orchestral or harmonious/ballads, whereas Sharon's songs include a hint of trance in them. Macross Plus comes in 4 parts, lasting around 35/40 minutes each. There is also a MP movie, but thats just all 4 episodes edited together into a 2 hour movie. This series was made in 1994/95, and includes a certain amount of CGI (as was the trend of the time (see Ghost in the Shell) but it's used wisely). I own the DVD set, recently released in the UK for quite cheap, it contains all four episodes (subtitled and dubbed) and the movie (subtitled). Be warned though, Manga entertainment have screwed up and the discs are mislabelled. Don't worry it's all there, but the movie is actually episodes one and two. I panicked when I first found this out, but I can live with it.
"Theres always two kinds, the soldier villian who fights the hero with his hands, and theres the real threat, the brilliant and evil archenemy who fights the hero with his mind......" M Night Shyamalan was onto a winner with The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable was a sure-fire hit. Back in the mid 60's, a woman gave birth to a child in a shoe store. Several people helped to deliver the child and a doctor was called. He arrived and checked the baby. A mortified look shadowed his face. "Did you drop this baby?" he asked one of the women. "Jesus Christ no !" The baby had two broken arms and two broken legs. He was diagnosed with osteogenesis imperfecta and genetic disorder that makes his bones brittle and easy to break, Elijah Price. His school life is miserable, breaking bones quite often, the kids making fun of him and dubbing him Mr Glass. He refuses to leave the house, so as an incentive, his mother leaves comics on a park bench across the street. We shoot foward to present day. David Dunn (Bruce Willis) is on his way home. He catches the train and sits next to a window to watch the world pass him by. After a while the train rocks and shakes, soon it's moving violently. The train derails and everyone aboard is killed. "There is a soul survivor and he is miraculosy unharmed..." David Dunn walks away from the accident without a scratch. He doesn't know how or why he was the only one not to be killed. He is reunited with his son and wife (marital problems makes it awkward for any closeness). Davids lucky escape draws him much attention, particulary from a Mr Price (Samuel L Jackson). Elijah introduces David to his theory on how David survived the crash. David shoots it down immediately and dismisses Elijah as a crazy fraud. But their meeting is a catalyst for whats to come. David begins to realise that he has never been injured, never gotten ill and survived two other major incidents during his younger years. This film contains some truly wonderful and touching moments, such as when David goes to the train station and touches people as they walk past. As they touch him he senses the bad and criminal things they have done. Also when David is weight lifting and instead of removing weights, his son adds more weight. David proceeds to lift around 350lbs which scares him. The story does indeed have twists and is understandebly slow paced, as to set the atmosphere. A great film and a worthy addition to my DVD collection (along with the other 117 DVD's I own !) I own the Collectors edition of the film (which I do believe is the only version avaliable in the UK at this time) and it comes in one of those awkwardly large boxes. The first disc is just the film, with animated menus, scene selection and setups for subtitles etc. The other disc features fully produced deleted scenes (unlike American Pie) with an brief introduction from Shyamalan. Behind the scenes documentary featuring Bruce Willis. A feature with Samuel L Jackson "Comic books and superheroes". The train station scene, with multi angle feature. This allows you to switch from the camera view to storyboards of the scene. A small film made by and starring Shyamalan and some friends. The DVD also comes with two collectable illustrations by Alex Ross. These are two postcard sized pictures of David and Elijah which are very cool. I hadn't seen the film previously, but I took a chance on it (as with 80% of my DVD's) and wasn't disappointed. You shouldn't be either.
"Hmm, The Simpsons was popular, should I risk something new?", Matt Groening must of thought this, I mean he has enjoyed vast success with the dysfunctional family, so why not? I, for one, am real glad he took a chance. He let his creative juices flow and came up with one extremely witty show. Set in the year 3000 and being a sci-fi toon, Futurama has alot of material to work with, The Simpsons has gotten rather stale, run out of ideas if you will. Phillip Fry is a loser, delivering pizza and has a life thats going no where, on new years day 1999 he delivers some pizza to a science lab, when he checks the address, he realises it's a prank. As he snoops about he comes across the cryogenics lab (freezing stuff to me and you), where an accident occurs, Fry falls back on his chair and rolls into one of the "pods". It locks and the timer auto-sets for 1000 years. The scene when this occurs is quite amusing, as we see Earths destruction many times :D it leads me to wonder how the cryogenics lab survived all of the attacks ! When he wakes up, it's still new years day, but the year 2999 in New New York. Fry comes to terms with the fact that his friends and family are gone and takes a little too well. This is where we meet Leela, the purple haired cyclops. She tries to force him to have a career chip installed so he can be a delivery boy. Fry refuses and makes a run for it. Fry manages to get Leela into the cryo pod, but is kind enough to set it for 5 minutes. Fry takes in the new surroundings and ques up for the phone booth to call his great (x 10) Nephew, 149 year old Professor Hubert Farnsworth. Unfortunately, it's not a phone booth, but rather a suicide booth. This is wear we meet Bender, the crazy alcholic robot (he has an excuse though, if he doesn't drink it could be fatal), who has a penchant for cigars, swearing and robot pornography (circuit diagrams). The two quickly become friends and get caugh t by Leela. She chases them to the sewers, the remanants of old New York. Leela confesses to disliking her job and quits, they head over to Farnsworths lab, where they become his new work force for his delivery service. Thats basically the whole first episode in a nut shell. In the next we meet the other characters, Hermes Conrad, a fat, former limbo dancing, Jamaican bureaucrat who does Planet Express'es accounts (Fry mistakes him for an alien potato man), Amy Wong, the rich japanese intern for the the Professor and Dr Zoidberg, a lobster type creature who does all the medical jiggery-pokerey. Later on we meet other characters such as Mr and Mrs Wong, Nibbler (Leelas pet something or other) and Elzar, the many armed chef. Now the double act, Zap Brannigan and his first mate Kif. Zap is a space captain who is very higly decorated, despite being an idiot and his long suffering assisstant Kif, an amphibious creature who is highly frustrated. These two provide a hell of alot of humour in Futurama, so watch for their appearances. Zapp : "Your willing to sacrifice a beautiful woman for a moderately attractive ape?" "I'm the man with no name.........Zapp Brannigan at your service!" The future setting is what you'd expect from a sci-fi, flying cars, various aliens and lots of odd gadget things, they have the capability to save human heads and then keep them alive in jars, this means they can get many celebrities in on the action much like The Simpsons. The animation is crisp and clear, with added 3D elements to certain scenes, characters and locations, adding an extra splendour to this show. Casual swearing occurs more frequently in this compared to The Simpsons, so I wouldn't go letting your young'uns watch it. Unfortunately, the show has been cancelled (maybe Fox couldn't take any more of the bashing from the show) due to low ratings. How can this be when there are millions of fans. Many online petitiions have been signed to get it back on the screens, no success yet. This is a great shame, a brilliant show being cancelled, damn you Fox, damn you ! So to finish this opinion, an episode guide ;) - Series 1 Space Pilot 3000 : After an accidental cryogenic freezing, Fry awakens at the dawn of the year 3000, he tries to adapt to the future, but finds trouble. He befriends a drunken robot, gets chased by a careers officer and tracks down his great-great-great-etc. nephew, Professor Farnsworth. Episode 2, The Series Has Landed : Planet Express has to deliver a package to the moon, which gives Fry the chance to fufil a life-long dream. But the Moon is now a cheesy theme park. I, Roommate : Fry is forced out of the PE headquarters and has to find other accomadation, which tests his friendship with Bender when Fry has to choose between him and his new pad. Love's Labour's Lost In Space : Leela, Fry and Bender have to travel to a planet on the brink of self-destruction to save the native animals. On the way they are intercepted by space captain Zapp Brannigan. Fear of a Bot Planet : The crew have to deliver a parcel to a planet inhabited by human-hating robots. Bender has to make the delivery and his involvement with humans is discovered, prompting Leela and Fry to go rescue him. A Fishful of Dollars : Fry is short of cash, so he checks his old account. Suddenly 97 cents has become more then 4 billion dollars. Fry splashes the cash, which attracts the attention of a business woman known as "Mom". My three suns : Benders cooking experiment leaves the crew gasping for water, landing on a desert planet with three suns to deliver a message doesn't help. Fry accidently drinks the emperor of this planet and is crowned the new ruler ! A big piece of garbage : The gang discover that a huge ball of garbage, shot into space centuries ago is on it 39;s way back. After being humiliated by an old student, Farnsworth comes up with a solution. Hell is for other robots : After becoming hooked on electricity, the gang get Bender back on the wagon. He finds robot religion and enjoys a pleasant life, but thats too boring for the crew as they miss his old ways. Series 2 A flight to remember : The Professor books the crew onto the maiden voyage of the Titanic spaceship, where Bender falls in love with a posh robot countess. Meanwhile Fry has to pretend to be Leela and Amy's boyfriend to keep Zapp Brannigan and The Wongs at bay. Captain also decides to take a route "thats got some chest hair" through a huge meteor field. Mars University : The crew head to Mars, where Fry is shocked to learn by the year 3000's standards he isn't a college dropout any more. Outraged, he signs up, he then finds he has to share his room with one of Farnsworth's experiments. Bender visits his old fraternity, which is now full of nerds. When Aliens attack : Back in 1999, Fry knocked out Fox transmission, ending a broadcast of a TV show. 1000 years later, an alien race in a distant galaxy are only just recieving the program. When it cuts out, they are so angry they invade Earth. Fry and the Slurm factory : Fry finds a golden bottlecap in his favourite drink and is invited to the mysterious Slurm factory. Once there, he finds out why Slurm is so addictive. I second that emotion : Farnsworth installs an emotion chip into Bender that makes him feel whatever Leela is feeling. This is punishment for Bender flushing Nibbler down the toilet. Bender, Fry and Leela then brave it and go down to the sewers, they're not alone down there either. Brannigan begins again : After causing a bad accident at DOOP headquarters, Zapp is forced out of the service and goes to live with Fry and Leela. There, Zapp gets the captains itch and tries to take over from Leela by sparking mutiny. A head of the polls : When the price of titanium rises sharply, Bender sells his body. But then Richard Nixon (head in a jar) buys the body and uses it to run an election campaign. Xmas story : It's christmas time, but Fry discovers it's not the christmas he once knew, Santa does excist, and it's a large robot who's malfunctioned and will kill anyone who is on the streets when he arrives. Why must I be a crustacean in love? : Dr Zoidberg becomes uncontrolable and the others discover it's mating season on his home planet. They take him back, but Zoidberg just can't pick up any females, in steps Fry with his great knowledge (sarcasm there !) Put your head on my shoulders : Fry and Amy start to date and while taking a nice car trip, they have a bad accident, Zoidberg is with them and the only way to save Fry is to surgically attatch his head to Amy's body. A lesser of two evils : The crew bump into a "relation" of Bender named Flexo. Fry instantly un-trusts him, and gets confused when a precious item goes missing on a delivery and can't tell who stole it. Raging Bender : While at the cinema, Bender gets into a fight with a world champion robot wrestler, by sheer luck, Bender wins and becomes a wrestling favourite over night. A Bicyclops built for two : When Leela goes on the internet. she discovers another cyclops. The whole crew go to what appears to be Leelas home planet, where Alkazar tells Leela what happened to their race. How Hermes requisitioned his groove back : After failing an inspection, Hermes is fired and goes on vacation (which turns out to be a slave mining camp). His replacement, Morgan, is instantly unpopulair due to her rules and regulations. But then she takes an odd shine to Fry and his disgusting behaviour. A clone of my own : It's professor Farnsworth's 150th birthday and when people hit that age they are taken away mysteriously. Realising he has no one to pass everything onto, he clones himself in the form of a young boy, naming him Cubert. The deep south : The crew of Planet Express go fishing, where Bender builds a gigantic hook, this causes the ship to sink. Professor Farnsworth creates a habitable environment. A caffeine spill causes the growth of mermen and mermaids very rapidly. Fry soon finds himself in love with a mermaid. Bender gets made : After failing to pay a huge resturant bill, he goes to work in the kitchen.. While there, he meets robot mafia, they cut him in on a zuban cigar heist that could make him both rich and popular. But Bender is forced to conceal his identity during the heist, as the cigars are aboard the Planet Express delivery ship ! The problem with popplers : While on a strange planet, Leela discovers some small objects that taste delicious, naming them after what they do in your mouth, popplers are shipped to Earth and the PE crew sell them. Everyone becomes addicted to them, but when one gets warm and hatches, Earth gets some very unhappy parents attacking. Mother's Day : Mom, the loveable oil baron, has her own day of celebration. All the robots in the world buy her gifts and pay tribute. But the kind Mom has a plan for world domination, with a press of a button all the robots in the world attack humans. Only Farnsworths old relationship with Mom can save the day. Anthology of intrest : Farnsworth invents a clever machine known as the "what if?" machine. Each of the gang ask it one question and is presented with a video simulation of would of happened. Fry asks what if he never woke up in the year 3000, Leela wonders what would she be like if she was more impulsive and Bender wonders what would happen if he was 500 feet tall. Series 3 The Honking : Benders uncle dies and leaves him his scary looking castle, but only if he spends one night there. Bender then becomes cursed and turns into a car on a full moon. This leads to many people being ran over. Fry and Bender rush against the clock to find a cure. War Is The H-Word : Bender and Fry volunteer for military duty to enjoy the benefits of the soldiers's discount. When war breaks out later that same day, Leela too decides to join the all-male ranks, under the guise of Lee Lemon, and creates quite a stir for her leader, Zapp Brannigan. The Cryonic Woman : When Leela accidentally leaves the keys in the ignition of the Planet Express, Fry and Bender decide that it's the perfect opportunity to go joy-riding. This decision, unfortunately costs the entire crew their jobs -- and Fry and Bender lay blame on Leela. She decides to return to her former job at the cryonic lab, but before doing so accidentally implants her job chip into Fry and his chip into her. Now Fry is in charge of assigning jobs to the recently thawed and Leela is one of the best-looking pizza delivery girls in New New York. Fry's first assignment on the job brings him a big surprise -- he unthaws Michelle, his former girlfriend from 1999, who voluntarily froze herself after Fry's disappearance. Parasites lost : When Fry eats an egg-salad sandwich from a vending machine at a gas station, he begins to have strange side-effects -- he becomes stronger and smarter. Professor Farnsworth makes a diagnosis and concludes that Fry had ingested "intelligent worms" that have set up shop in his body. Because these worms are so smart, the regular means of flushing them out will not work. The Planet Express crew must shrink themselves to microscopic form and enter Fry's body to fight off the intruders. Meanwhile Leela is left to divert Fry's attention, but finds herself more and more attracted to the new man Fry has become. Amazon women in the mood : When Zapp Brannigan, Kif, Leela, Amy and later in a rescue attempt Bender and Fry crash onto Planet Amazon ia, the crew discovers the planet in inhabited by a race of giant women who have found that life without the male gender is preferable. These Amazonian woman worship a Femcomputer who sentences Fry and the rest of the guys to death. It is up to Bender; a manbot and technically not a man, to intercede on the guys' behalf. Meanwhile, Kif professes his love to Amy. Bendless love : When a sleep-walking Bender causes havoc on Planet Express by indiscriminately bending things in the middle of the night, Professor Farnsworth becomes bent out of shape and sends him off to the Bending Factory where his uncontrollable need to bend becomes controlled. There, he is re-united with Flexo and meets Anglelyne, a curvaceous fembot, and sparks begin to fly. The Day the Earth Stood Stupid : The Earth is conquered by flying brains with the power to turn normal human beings into idiots. On a distant planet, Leela learns that humanity's single hope is Fry -- the only being immune to the brains' moron-making power. So Leela must return and enlist Fry's help without becoming an imbecile herself. That's Lobstertainment! : Dr. Zoidberg tries his luck as a part time comedian much to the dislike of his audience. He decides to get professional help - his old unlce formerly famous Harold Zoid. Zoid sees no comedy talent lurking within Zoidberg though and decides to go with drama. They get AMC actor Calculon to do a main role by promsing him an Oscar. The Bird-bot of Ice-catraz : The Professor decides to ship hazardous cargo to the outer reaches of space, but the course chartered takes the ship through some environmentally sensitive areas-- including the penguin refuge on Pluto. Leela refuses to transport the dangerous cargo, so the professor removes her from command and installs Bender as captain. While Bender is piloting the ship, he allows his attention to drift and accidentally showers the penguins with oily goop. The Luck of th e Fryrish : After a string of bad luck, Fry remembers back to when he was growing up in New York and his older brother, Yancy, was stealing his good ideas -- until the discovery of a rare seven-leaf clover that reversed Fry's luck. Now in the year 3001, Fry sets out in hopes of regaining his luckier days by recovering the charm from the underground ruins of Old New York and the family homestead. The Cyber House Rules : When Leela rushes to the reunion of the Orphanarium where she grew up, she reunites with Adlai, a plastic surgeon who can give her the appearance of two eyes. With terrible childhood memories of her strange Cyclops look fresh in mind, Leela is convinced to undergo the surgery, while Adlai is convinced that Leela is the only one for him. Insane in the Mainframe : When Fry and Bender are mistaken as bank robbers, they are sentenced to time in an insane asylum for robots. Bender, of course, sees it as a vacation, but Fry begins to crack under the pressure of mechanical examinations and a diet consisting of motor oil. Fry soon becomes convinced that he too is a robot and is declared cured and released back to New New York. Bender and his new partner in crime, Roberto, escape from the asylum and attempt to rob a bank only to find the cops waiting to bust them. Bendin' In The Wind : Bender no longer lives up to his name after an unfortunate accident, but instead makes a new name for himself when rock star Beck offers him an opportunity to live out his folk-rock dream. Meanwhile, the rest of the crew gets a taste of the '60s. Time keeps on slippin' : In the 30th Century, the once entertaining Harlem Globetrotters are now feared as they will humiliate any planet in the Univers who dares to play them. Feeling up to the challenge, Professor Farnsworth creates a group of mutant basketball players to go head-to-head with the Globetrotters. I Dated A Robot : Fry falls in love with Liubot (guest st ar Lucy Liu, "Ally McBeal"), a virtual humanoid downloaded from a computer. Disapproving of Fry's affair with a virtual woman, Bender and Leela steal the original head of Lucy Liu from the internet company, Nappster.com, where she is being held against her will. Seeking revenge, the Nappsters unleash a mob of illegal Lucy Liu downloads to take over the city. Roswell that Ends Well : After a microwave accident and travelling through a super nova at the same time, the Crew are thrown back to 1947, where they land in Roswell, Area 51. Fry and Bender's head have to go in for a rescue mission to free Dr Zoidberg and Bender's body from an army base. A Tale of Two Santas : Bender is declared the new Santa when it is discovered that the evil Santabot has been frozen in a block of ice on Neptune. But when Bender begins delivering toys, the citizens, who are unaware that Santa is now a good guy, stage an all-out assault against him. Just when things can't get any worse, the evil Santa's icy tomb thaws and he escapes to exact his wrath upon the world. Series 4 Anthology of Interest II : Three stories unfold when Professor Farnsworth fine-tunes his "What If" machine: Bender discovers how different he would be if he were human, Fry learns what life would be like if it resembled a video game and Leela wonders what would happen if she found her true home....and crash lands on Planet Ozz on this episode. Love & Rocket : Love is in the air when Bender finds himself involved in a shipboard romance....with the ship. When the Professor upgrades the Planet Express spaceship's software with a sexy female voice (guest star Sigourney Weaver), Bender falls hopelessly in love. But when the ship discovers that Bender is unfaithful, she charts a course for self-destruction, and it's up to Fry and Leela to save the day. Leela's Homeworld : When Leela returns to the orphanarium in which she was raised, she is recognized for her success as a starship captain. Bender and Professor Farnsworth decipher something far more rewarding for Leela, as Fry helps her discover some long-lost secrets about her background, including what happened to her parents. Where the Buggalo Roam : When Amy brings her most recent boyfriend, Kif, home to meet the family, trouble ensues when Amy's parents fear that Kif cannot provide many grandchildren. Amy's parents, who own half of Mars and made a fortune off raising buggalo -- an alien version of cattle -- set out to break-up the relationship. When an entire herd of buggalo suddenly disappear, Kif offers to go after the rustlers and enlists the help of Professor, Zapp Brannigan, Fry, Leela, Hermes and Bender. Back at the homestead, Amy's parents make some interesting discoveries. A Pharaoh To Remember : After delivering an enormous sandstone to Osiris 4, Fry, Leela and Bender are forced to work as slaves assisting the construction of the great Pharaoh Hamenthotep's tomb -- a pyramid. When Bender experiences an identity crisis because he has never been an over-achiever, he becomes extremely motivated, working harder and faster than anyone for the completion of the tomb. While the Pharaoh acknowledges the crew's diligence, Bender's efforts accidentally kill him, and Bender proceeds to the throne. Godfellas : When Bender is accidentally swept away into a space vacuum, he becomes spiritually inclined and makes some devastating decisions. Meanwhile, Fry, Leela and Professor Farnsworth frantically search for Bender as he floats through space, and learns an important lesson from his journey. Futurestocks : At the annual shareholders meeting, Fry meets a 1980s Wall Street power player and ultimately nominates him to be replace Professor Farnsworth as the CEO of Planet Express. The new CEO appoints Fry as Vice Chairman and differences are quicky discovered when the strategy is to se ll off the Planet Express ship. A Leela of Her Own : When Leela is signed to the New New York Mets, she is thrilled to be the first female major league blernsball player. Drawing huge crowds at the games, Leela believes she is an inspirational role model to all women. Iron Chef : Bender attempts to become a chef, and is quickly rejected by the Planet Express crew. He then turns to the chef that inspired him, Elzar who also rejects him. Bender soon makes friends with some space hobos and, coincidently, one of them is Helmut Spargel, formerly the world's greatest chef. Helmut takes Bender under his wing and trains him to be a master chef by giving him a secret weapon -- a crystal vile containing "the pure essence of flavor". Where No Fan Has Gone Before : Fry is put on trial for his life for traveling to the forbidden planet of Omega 3 to retrieve all 79 episodes of "Star Trek", and he must defend the claim that human kind needs "Star Trek" to give them hope for the future. In the 23rd Century, "Star Trek" fans had evolved to such a level that they corrupted the world's governments and all things "Star Trek" were then banned to Omega 3. Fry sets out on his mission with Leela, Bender and Leonard Nimoy's head in a jar, only to discover William Shatner, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei and Walter Koening are living on Omega 3 under the watchful eye of Melvar, an evil energy creature -- and "Star Trek's" biggest fan. All in all, a nice line-up of episodes, although we could of done with a few less episodes about Leelas orphan past and her search for her race and episodes on Bender falling in love. If your reading this, well done for getting this far ! If you just scrolled to the bottom, shame on you and back up to the top you go ! This thing has taken me 4 days to write ( a few hours a day mind !). Thats it now, wipe the drool from your mouth, rub the cru sty stuff from your eyes, have a stretch and go outside.
Any bad remark about Homebase is thoroughly justified. I work there, it was a con, they were obviously so sure people would ignore the newspaper ad if they put Homebase in it, that they forgot to put a name to the phone number. I only found out it was Homebase after phoning up. I was too desperate for money to care. My store, one of the biggest in the area, is a crap hole. The store is always in a state, due to night staff putting stock out really poorly. Me and the rest of the staff really get peeved when customers open packaging, it's a form of stealing by the way. I couldn't really care less if they open it, but guess who has to wrap it back up? Apart from that, we rarely get bad customers my way (infact today we had a fit customer with large melons flaunting them about the place, she even gave me her number :D). The real trouble at Homebase are the managers, most sit on their arses all day. We'll be getting on with our work nicely, then a manager will come along and shake it all up and our work will be interupted. We have a new store manager, he's been there one week and already he is very unpopular, banning earings and other piercings and nail varnish. Incentives to make us more motivated? PAH ! bad tea breaks, bad facilities, low pay, seriously hard work (I injure myself every day I go to work) and plus the sunday premium has been cut for new employees from today. Now that is seriously unfair, no one will want to work on sundays. I have been there for about 11 months now, i've seen people come and go (bad ones coming, the good people going). I know the in's and outs, I know what goes on in the back ground. It ain't pretty, infact it's in worse condition then the store itself. My advice is, never buy flat pack kitchen bits, garden furniture, come to think of it, anything in a cardboard box. Because I guarantee it will have been opened by a customer before, gotten w et in the rain from improper storage or kicked about by staff. Please believe us when we say that whats on the shelf is all we have, the warehouse is filled with more junk then stock. We try to put a smile on, I don't want to toot my own horn, but i'm probably the only helpful member of staff at my store, not to insult the others. I've helped a pregnant woman do her whole shopping, then loaded into her car, she offered me money, but if anyone found out, i'd get the sack and i'd rather find another job before that happens. So please, don't abuse the Homebase staff, it's not our fault that we're so miserable, I mean look at the bloody uniform we have to wear....... Apart from that, our products are usually good quality, and in good condition (if your lucky !). We offer paint mixing, wood cutting and good home delivery My store has the biggest selection of Dulux paints in the region WOOOOOOOO !!!! I bet that has really made you wanna pay a visit ! Come only if B+Q haven't got what you want.
As the people at Dooyoo rarely add new products until they are old, I thought i'd write this opinion here. P.S. I apologise for my last opinion (Streetfighter) not up to my new standard of one very useful after the other. I deserved the ratings it got, it was late and I am about to make it up....... Untouchables, don't let the name fool you, you can pick it up. The highly anticipated fifth album from Korn, it's been a long time coming. This latest album depicts a band who have developed their style and as their albums progress, so does the maturity of their music. The front cover is rather bizarre, the main kid with the bloody nose on the front actually reminds me of some one I work with. The CD itself is nicely produced very clear, good quality. I am a little bewildered by the garish pink colour of the CD print. No lyrics on in the inset, which is a shame but then guessing the lyrics to the songs is half the fun of listening to them. Apparently this album was very expensive to make, but money well spent for them and for me. Parental Advisory, explicit lyrics, yes it is full with rather strong language, but most of it is spread out evenly, which makes it ok :D It's a great line-up and let me take you through it - The Tracks 1. Here to stay, easily one of the best tracks on the album and one of my personal favourites Jonathan Davis at his best with mainly clear lyrics. Theres also a video on the disc, which you can view through your PC. It's a great video, set in a broken TV with all the fuzz and snow, watch out for Jon's mic, it looks real cool. 2. Make Believe, the worst track on the album, Jonathan sounds just like Marilyn Manson, which isn't a good thing. Skip this one at all costs ! 3. Blame, this one sounds rather similar Here to stay, but it's still a good track. 4. Hollow Life, another one of my favourites. It's a step off the beaten track, with a haunting, chilli ng sound a quiet start that reminds me of a movie (and I can't put my finger on it). The song picks up later on but still manages to sound calm. 5. Bottled up inside, no nonsense, straight in there with some heavy beats, Jonathan has started to snarl..... 6. Thoughtless, great track, hats off to the other lads, Fieldy and all the rest for playing their hearts out, some great vocals too. 7. Hating, strong track, with some beats that really standout on the album. The lyrics to it are superb. 8. One more time, long intro but you can really get into it. Although it was a let down as some of the lyrics sound like they have come from track 4. 9. Alone I break, quiet start, but then Jonathan kicks in with some depressing lyrics, but thats what Korns all about anyway. 10. Embrace, thrashing away, the lyrics are 90% undecypherable, which is what you expect really. Jonathan really can growl can't he ! 11. Beat it upright, ooh-err missus, dodgy sounding title ! Mosh pit type music. 12. Wake up hate, again Jonathan Davis is sounding like Manson with some really self-abusive lyrics - "I'm, i'm filthy, wasted piece of sh**, I am disgusting, take me away", or maybe he was complimenting himself, we just don't know ! This is also the most sweary track, so you better not have this one playing when the vicar comes round more tea ! 13. I'm hiding, this track has a very odd beat to it, sounds like electric drums, another good track. 14. No ones there, nice ending to the album, nu metal sound breaking through, it says the track lasts about 9 and a half minutes, but it actually lasts 5 minutes, the remaining is for the remix of Here to stay, mixed by Andy Wallace I believe. It's an odd remix, taking a trance style and blending it in with a metal tune. theres even a hint of indian samples ! Overall, this album is great, well worth the dosh that I really should of saved until I get paid next. Moving on from Issues, which is a 3 year gap roughly. If your new to Korn and are just testing the water then it's a great place to start. If your a fan of Korn, it's an awesome album, part of the evolution, this band that have been around for almost a decade. Untouchables has whetted my appetite to get the other 4 albums and the DVD, apart from this album, I haven't heard many other songs by Korn, but all the same, they rock !