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The Chalcenteric Kid "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." (Boca Raton)

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4.0 out of 5 stars Almost AOS Part 2, May 29 2004
This review is from: Marbles (Audio CD)
For me, the great CD of the h era is "Afraid Of Sunlight", but this CD is pretty special too. I was never a fan of "Brave" because of its inherent lack of tunefulness and when I started to hear comparisions between "Brave" and "Marbles", I was somewhat dismayed, thinking "Like Brave? Oh no. All those twiddly noodling tracks between too few good tunes. Say it ain't so."
But luckily, my dismay was misplaced.
The reason that I don't give this five stars is there are still noodling tracks in here and they are Marbles I-IV. Now, they ARE "Brave-like", not too tuneful, over too quickly and quite irritating.
The good thing I can say is that they are short and give us more time for some really great tracks like "Fantastic Place", "Angelina" and the real standout "Ocean Cloud". Not too sure about one of the other reviewers here who's complaining about the lyrics, especially of "Ocean Cloud" - that track is simply worth the price of the CD.
I also have to agree with other reviewers who say the opening track "The Invisible Man" seems a little incoherent - like it's a number of unrelated songs cobbled together to make a long "epic". But that being said, it's still not bad. There are no bad tracks here for me, except of course the aforementioned noodlers that are "Marbles I-IV". It took me a long time to get listen to the second CD because I kept on replaying the first one.
Yes, it is that good.
I have also gone back to listening to those CDs that most of the reviewers here ( including myself ) find the most disappointing - "Radiation" and ".com". They are growing on me, but "Costa del Slough" still remains the worst track they EVER recorded - but "These Chains" on "Radiation" - that track I'm really getting in to.
"Anoraknophobia" I always liked - I saw them live in Cologne for the tour promoting that CD and they kicked proverbial you-know-what - Steve Rothery was just outstanding live.
I have "Brave" in the car CD changer, but, sorry, it still leaves me cold. There is no way that "Brave" can hold a candle to either "Marbles" or another great effort of the h era, "This Strange Engine".
If you get the chance to hear "Man Of A Thousand Faces" live, whatever you do, DON'T PASS IT UP.
I am a fan from "Script For a Jester's Tear" and still a big fan of Fish too. His solo work is also well worth checking out.
Right now I would rank the h CDs as :-
1. Afraid Of Sunlight
2. Marbles
3. The Strange Engine
4. Seasons End
5. Anoraknophobia
6. Holidays In Eden
7. Radiation
8. Brave
Perhaps if I listen to ".com" some more, it will push "Brave" all the way to the bottom of the list.

Clutch at Straws
Clutch at Straws
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5.0 out of 5 stars Second Best Fish era CD, March 25 2002
This review is from: Clutch at Straws (Audio CD)
"Sugar Mice" and "Warm Wet Circles" are as good
as anying on "Misplaced Childhood", that being
the great Fish era Marilion CD.
Still lots to like here as I say. Tuneful and
with Fish's perceptive and elegant lyrics.
Buy this one.

by Thomas Harris
Edition: Hardcover
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4.0 out of 5 stars I liked it - ending and all, March 13 2002
This review is from: Hannibal (Hardcover)
Most of the people who do not like "Hannibal" will start
their reviews saying they are big fans of SOTL and
"Red Dragon" and then comes a big "but......".
Well, but nothing.
You cannot compare those books to "Hannibal" beyond the
in the most trival of ways - some characters are common.
They surely don't have to have the same motivations after
a space of ten years?
In many ways this is a story about the progreesive
disillusionment of Starling and her final realization of
her true nature. It is about her finding happiness.
"Hannibal" is a way more ambitious book than SOTL and
ultimately more satisfying too. It is nice to see an author
prepared to let evil win out in the end and have virtue to be
so completely vanquished.
That makes the ending exquisite - to take a character and have
them end up happy and contented in a life of ( from any rational
standpoint ), monstrous depravity.
And all this stuff about "feminist icon"? Hmm. Why can't she
still be a feminist icon? Finally emerging as an equal partner?
I think all this "feminist icon" nonsense came from the fact
that in SOTL, there were no intruding male characters ( except
Crawford and he was too old for her ) amd she got to figure it
all out and shoot the bad guy.
Now Dr Lecter has shown her her true nature and she is not under
any hypnotic or chemical influences, she can be an "icon" again,
fully in control, doing whatever she wants, confident and smart.
But just "playing for the other side".

Desert Hearts (Widescreen) [Import]
Desert Hearts (Widescreen) [Import]
DVD ~ Helen Shaver
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4.0 out of 5 stars A little cliched but OK, March 12 2002
This was the first movie I ever saw dealing with these themes,
so as such, it remained in my mind for a long time.
Looking at it now, it seems a little cliched - "prim and proper
meets free spirit" kind of thing, but the subject is handled
well and Helen Shaver's slow realization of what is happening
to her is very believable and quite moving.
As for Ms Charbonneau, she is almost a cypher, but let's face
it she is there just for Helen Shaver to play off of.

Citizen Kane (Two-Disc Special Edition) [Import]
Citizen Kane (Two-Disc Special Edition) [Import]
DVD ~ Richard Ben Cramer
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Grossly overrated, March 12 2002
In its day ( Note: IN ITS DAY ), this was ground breaking
stuff. A young punk lashing into the newspaper industry
with such gusto and giving people a glipse of something
they may only have suspected. But that does not make it a
classic and I don't think it stands the test of time at all
well. Welles should be more correctly remembered for the
impact of "The War Of The Worlds" broadcasts - that truly
showing his impact within the wider reference of the culture
of his day.
Citizen Kane is at best a chapter in a life - and probably just
a footnote if the truth be told.
Could such a movie be made now with Mr Murdoch owning Fox?
Of course not.

Secret Records Revealed
Secret Records Revealed
by Dennis Cuddy
Edition: Paperback
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1.0 out of 5 stars George Bush wishes he never said it., March 6 2002
Rhodes scholars appoint other Rhodes scholars?
Oooooh. Conspiracy.
How about "highly educated Western leaders and industrialists
are often educated as Rhodes scholars at Oxford"?
And then "highly educated people appoint other highly educated
people who are like them"?
Poof. No conspiracy at all.
So George Bush said "we are entering a new world order"....
Ooooh. Conspiracy.
I bet George Bush wishes he had said, "we are entering a new
geopolitical framework, with the US being the only superpower.
But with developing nations rapidly accquiring ( and how I hate
this phrase ) weapons of mass destruction. We are living in
uncertain times".
Not as snappy as NWO ( as wrestling fans will testify ), but if
he had amplified his statement like this, you see no conspiracy
As to what Rhodes himself said, Jesus, Mary and Joseph, that was
at the height of the British Empire - clearly he thought that
Britain was going to stamp English all over the world and be
possibly the dominant world power ( as the US is now ). So, how
wrong he was!
So again, no conspiracy, just imperialist rhetoric and nothing
And these people are all "Rhodes scholars"? Well, I am afraid
that that is called "history" - something many Americans lack a
perpective of. The scholarships were started by Rhodes, they
still bear his name. That does not mean in any way that they
also bear or teach or promote his imperial asperations.
There is no "global conspiracy", there is nothing sinister going
on. It's just the rich and the powerful sticking together as
they have always done.

Breakheart Hill
Breakheart Hill
by Thomas H. Cook
Edition: Paperback
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4.0 out of 5 stars Really Dreadful, Dec 17 2001
This review is from: Breakheart Hill (Paperback)
In the correct sense of the term, this story is dreadful. The
writing invoking the lives of the young people in the story is
very good - their loves and betrayals. But throughout the book,
( from the opening sentence really ) there is papable dread.
I thought the resolution of what happened on the fateful day was
a little too pat and unexpected. But the very ending of the book
is very satisfying. You can feel the weight of the truth that
has pressed down on the doctor for all the years of his life.
I recommend this one.

When Dream & Day Unite
When Dream & Day Unite
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5.0 out of 5 stars Still their best, Nov. 22 2001
This review is from: When Dream & Day Unite (Audio CD)
For me this is still the best CD from Dream Theater. I don't mind that they sound very much like Rush on a number of tracks. This CD has good solid tuneful songs. on their later CDs they have moved towards an even more "Prog" feel, with longer and longer tracks. The later CDs I like too, being a big fan of Progressive Rock, but for me, "When Dreams And Day Unite" is still my favorite.

Liquid Tension Experiment
Liquid Tension Experiment
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4.0 out of 5 stars Flying the flag for Progressive Rock, Nov. 22 2001
What never ceases to amaze me in the field of popular music is, what is actually popular. LTE play great Progressive Rock and yet when I say their name to my friends, all I see is a glazing over of the eyes and complete incomprehension. I have just seen the band "Transatlantic" here in Munich and am now a huge fan of the drumming of Mr Portnoy from LTE.
If you want an antidote to "pap" music, give this CD a spin and renew your faith in "real" music being played by flesh and blood people.

Bridge Across Forever
Bridge Across Forever
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just saw them live in Munich., Nov. 22 2001
This review is from: Bridge Across Forever (Audio CD)
They played a great 2 hours and 40 minute set here in Munich, playing most ( if not all ) of the material on this their latest CD.
"I hope you didn't come to hear soem short songs. We don't know any short songs" - and indeed they do not.
Live, Portnoy's drumming was just excellent and the bass was making my jeans' leg vibrate. This group are so little known as to be almost "confidential". If you like Progressive Rock, give this one a try.
But, oh boy, Neal Morse is a gurner! ( meaning he pulls hideous faces while playing ).

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