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Axel Law "The Happy Seizure Kid" (That Metal City, KS, USA)

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Mega Man Anniversary Collection - PlayStation 2
Mega Man Anniversary Collection - PlayStation 2
Offered by Hitgaming Video Games
Prix : CDN$ 7.70
24 used & new from CDN$ 7.70

5.0 étoiles sur 5 Old school gamers MUST OWN THIS!, June 27 2004
The original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was a strong system due to the classic game series that graced it. You had the great Zelda, Mario, Ninja Gaiden, and the RPG games like Final Fantasy and Dragonwarrior. Among my favorite series of all time happens to be the blue bomber (as we true fans called him), Mega Man. There were six on the NES as well as the 7th one for Super Nintendo and the eighth one for PlayStation. For years I anticipated a treatment like they did for Mario All-Stars (although they made The Wily Wars for Genesis, which had the first three, but that wasn't enough...), and I finally got my wish... all eight original games on one disc.
THE GOOD
Not ONLY do you get the original games on the one disc, you ALSO get the two previously Japan-only arcade games, Mega Man: The Power Battles and Mega Man: The Power Fighters. The arcade games you must unlock before playing. I don't see that as a drawback because gamers must experience the original games (especially you poor gamers that didn't grow up playing it). Most of the music in the first 6 games are remixed, most of them sounding quite good; the music in Mega Mans 5 and 6 are VASTLY improved over their original counterparts. Not only that, but you have the option of playing the games in their original forms as well. Mega Man 8 doesn't change much, but remember its crappy load time between sections? GONE. The game loads very quick-paced, and I am forever grateful to those involved with the game that eliminated it. Another secret you can unlock---and this surprised me---is the first episode of the short-lived Mega Man cartoon series (y'know, the one with Mega Man voiced by a GUY, and he was also Goku??). Not just a clip, not a collection of clips, THE ENTIRE EPISODE. That's the best secret to unlock aside from the arcade games. Also included amongst the secrets are picture sets of early drafts of characters, titles, and so forth (one of the original names for Mega Man is "Knuckle Kid." What a weird name.).
THE BAD
There's few wrongs with this game, but I mention them nonetheless. First off, when I said MOST of the music is remixed, by that I mean that Mega Mans 4,5, and 6 have totally remixed music but the first three do not. You'll hear, for example, Cut Man's theme and then when the boss music comes up, it's the original 6-bit music. Not necessarily bad, but I do wish they would've remixed every piece of music. Also, most of the secrets not mentioned in THE GOOD are mostly remixed music that has nothing to do with the series. Also, and I didn't see this as a terrible thing since the controls are set in my preference anyhow, but you can't change the control scheme. That might irritate some people, but thankfully, it didn't irritate me.
OVERALL
I didn't find much wrong with this game. It's a great anniversary edition of gamers' favorite blue bomber, and I'm glad that they finally brought them over to the PlayStation 2 and Gamecube for all gamers to play (Xbox, however, got the shaft.). Not only that, but it's only around $30. That's a GREAT price for 10 classic games on one disc. New gamers, do have the patience and the initiative to try out this collection. It's a piece of gaming history and my generation of gamers understand what I mean by saying that this is one of the best game series to ever enter our fertile imaginations.

Brotherhood of the Wolf (Widescreen) (Bilingual) [Import]
Brotherhood of the Wolf (Widescreen) (Bilingual) [Import]
DVD ~ Samuel Le Bihan
Offered by OMydeals
Prix : CDN$ 73.97
13 used & new from CDN$ 3.30

3.0 étoiles sur 5 Not terrible, but only good to a fault, June 24 2004
If you've read my previous reviews and listmanias, you would already know that I'm quite the fantasy fan. One of my good buddies bought it and thought, perhaps, that I might enjoy it. This foreign film, directed by Christophe Gans ("Crying Freeman"), is among the few films to leave me with so many mixed emotions.
Set in 18th Century France, for over two years the French countryside has been raided by a savage beast (thought to be a wolf) of unknown origin. The king sends for Fronsac (Samuel Le Bihan), a French cavalier, and his companion Mani (Mark Dacascos), an American indian, to investigate the gruesome deaths by the supposedly large beast. In the meantime Fronsac falls in love with Marianne (Emilie Dequenne) while also bedding with Sylvia (Monica Bellucci).
I know that people usually dislike reviews with spoilers, but in the case of this film, I can't ignore a few spoilers. I found Mani to be the interesting character with his benevolent connection with nature and the creatures around him. I know the kung fu seemed out of place and all, but I didn't really mind it at all (although there is an aspect I disliked about it... later in the review). But I disliked his death midway into the film; he had this humongous battle with the men involved with the beast and then suddenly is killed and tossed aside. There was no dramatic impact, and I found myself disappointed with the way this potentially deep character was treated.
The beast was initially, by Fronsac, dismissed as being a wolf (although you find out that it is indeed a wolf). The director hides his appearance several times; I rather expected it to be fully visible near the end of the picture. Instead, it's revealed rather immediately; I'm not saying he should direct one way or the other, but the initially revelations of the creature are originally from the verbal pictures of the characters, followed by several quick cuts and interesting camera glances. The film spends a lot of time bouncing around the mysterious nature of the creature, and then suddenly just decides to reveal it. It seems out of place, given the context of what the director is hoping to accomplish.
Oh and by the way, the creature was made by Jim Henson's Creature Shop and unfortunately, the beast was lame.
Back to the fight scenes, the fights were fine: however, Mr. Gans often employs the typical MTV-inspired slow-down/speed-em-up editing techniques. This was an irritating drawback for me, as I wanted to admire the choreography instead of wondering they were so needlessly disrupted.
And I think the film's most fatal flaw is its overlength. Two and a half hours may not seem like much in comparison to Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings," but seriously, I found myself wanting the film to end after an hour has passed. It's set in a staggering pace, which sometimes isn't a bad thing (see Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner"), but it works against this film. The director employs a lot of stylistic touches to make the film seem like a period film (which is great), but on the other hand, it makes some scenes unnecessarily long (like when he's faking the creature's death, for example).
Overall, the film is not a terrible one, but you may only want to see once. The style of the film is very exotic and beautiful, much like Tim Burton's "Sleepy Hollow," which gives it a fantasy tale look to it... but some of the detractions I've mentioned will turn you off depending on what kind of film fan you are. Three stars overall; perhaps you find me overcritical. Oh well.
PROS: Lavish production, art-fantasy tale style similar to "Sleepy Hollow" and other period-type stories, captivating final fight scene.
CONS: Mani is killed way too soon and with little impact on the viewer, the beast is shown early and is lame, story is stretched to the overkill, MTV-fused fight scenes (with the exception of the final duel).

Holy Diver
Holy Diver
Prix : CDN$ 5.00
44 used & new from CDN$ 3.31

5.0 étoiles sur 5 "You the man! He's the man! WE the man!!!", May 25 2004
Ce commentaire est de: Holy Diver (Audio CD)
Ronnie James Dio, believe it or not, has been around the music industry for several decades, starting with his "blues" period in the 50s (his real name is actually Ronald Padavona). He had fronted a blues-rock band called Elf for some time, in which the band merged with guitarist Ritchie Blackmore to form the band Rainbow (minus Elf's original guitarist, of course). After a falling out with Blackmore, he had joined Black Sabbath, replacing the legendary Ozzy Osbourne. His stint with them proved quite fruitful, but a falling out proved inevitable with the band's guitarist Tony Iommi and after their "Live Evil" album, Dio departed. From there, it was only inevitable that he would he would put out his own disc, and in 1983, "Holy Diver" was born. Dio's original lineup consisted of ex-Rainbow bassist Jimmy Bain (who would later depart and return currently), ex-Black Sabbath drummer Vinnie Appice, ex-Black Sabbath keyboardist Claude Schnell, and guitarist Vivian Campbell.
And before I begin the meat of this review, this album DESERVES the 5 stars I give it. Usually I'll give an album 5 stars if I really like the album despite one average or bad song. This, however, is different because every track presented here is nothing less than an A. So I'm not bothering with a grade rating for each song this time around.
The album starts off with a straight-em-up rocker aptly titled Stand Up and Shout. This easily sounds like something that could've been in Rainbow, although a little on the heavier side. Easily a headbanger! Next up is the title track, Holy Diver, and this is one of the hits from the album. Starts off with a calm keyboard segment, but bursts into a midpaced rocker with one of the most memorable guitar riffs in heavy metal history. Actually, the whole groove of the song is catchy anyway. This is actually the first song I've ever heard from Ronnie James Dio. Track 3 is Gypsy, one of the heaviest rock songs from the album. It also sports a fine guitar solo by Vivian Campbell. This is actually my favorite song presented here! Track 4 is Caught in the Middle which is similar to Holy Diver in its catchiness. Guitar crunches and wailing vocals mostly inhabit this particular song (not that the album doesn't already have them everywhere). CATCHY. Track 5 is a strange one: Don't Talk to Strangers. Starts off mellow with acoustic guitars, but that QUICKLY turns into a FAST rocker. At first, I was a little put off by it, but after excessive listenings, it's one of my all-time favorites (I also LOVE the guitar solo here). Track 6 is a semi-famous one, Straight Through the Heart. This one's anthem-like in its structure, sounding like something Judas Priest would create. Track 7 is Invisible, the album's mellowest song. This sounds like something later in Dio's career, ala "Sacred Heart" or "Magica." Dio's vocals sound similar to Dee Snider of Twisted Sister here. When I say "mellowest," I'm not saying it doesn't rock; it just happens to be the least heaviest. It's still catchy and still heavy, which is all good. Track 8 is his big hit Rainbow in the Dark. Great song with some of Campbell's finest guitarwork. The final track, Shame on the Night, which starts off rather modestly with a wolf howl and a crunchy guitar riff. As I've said like a broken record in this review, that QUICKLY changes. This one's also very anthem-like. This one's among the heaviest on the album and it perfectly ends the album (also sports another great solo).
I think most metalheads---at least the casual fans, because any true metalhead knows of Ronnie James Dio---tend to forget about Dio and the influence he has made on heavy metal. Dio is among the gods of metal with one of the most recognizable voices to ever grace our stereo speakers. His later albums are still excellent, but this one's probably the best Dio album out of them all. It's a shame, though, that Campbell stayed on for only three albums; it makes me wonder why he's comfortable playing just rhythm guitar for sell-out band Def Leppard. Oh well. Metalheads, do yourself a favor and purchase one of the all-time classic metal platters to have EVER been produced. You owe it to yourself, your ears, and your head. Hail to the dragonslayer!

Blade Runner: The Director's Cut (Widescreen) [Import]
Blade Runner: The Director's Cut (Widescreen) [Import]
DVD ~ Harrison Ford
Offered by importcds__
Prix : CDN$ 8.79
52 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 étoiles sur 5 Futuristic Art, April 23 2004
Ridley Scott is a director among the highest caliber and I have been a fan of his for quite some time. I love the original "Alien" and his fantasy film "Legend." "Gladiator" was another good film with a strong visual sense with rich performances (especially by Oliver Reed, in his final role) and grand production design. For some strange reason, I hadn't seen "Blade Runner" until this year. It's a film that didn't do particularly well upon its release in 1982 (especially since the director's cut is ten times better), but has had a cult following since then. Hell, I'm a fan of cult films, too. As you might have come across my "Dragonslayer" review, I love a film because the film is good, not because it won so many academy awards.
Anyways, "Blade Runner" is set in the 21st century in a bleak Los Angeles. By this time, there are several Earth colonies and mankind has ventured forth with only the poor and the helpless staying behind on Earth. Mankind also invented "replicants," machines made to look human and only have a four-year lifespan. Harrison Ford stars as Rick Deckard, a "blade runner" (assigned to terminate replicants) who must battle with four replicants (played by Rutger Hauer, Daryl Hannah, Brion James, and Joanna Cassidy) who have killed an entire ship and escaped to Earth. Rutger Hauer plays their leader and the so-called "prodigal son" that was meant to be the toughest replicant. Deckard discovers another one named Rachael (Sean Young) that is VERY close to being human (in other words, she can't be detected easily. She required 100+ tests to figure out if she was a replicant.). Deckard does as he is ordered, but finds himself falling for Rachael, and the other replicants simply went back to Earth to increase their longevity.
The film has an OUTSTANDING visual style, but that is to be expected of Ridley Scott. I loved his fantasy look for "Legend" and here he brings out not your every day-sunny day California. This is bleak, dark, and very much in the film-noir fashion. Plus, the music score by the great Vangelis ("Chariots of Fire") is excellent, with melodic saxophone moments and at other times in a hyperdrive electronic fashion like the end titles. The only thing I could 'probably' degrade the film for is that you find yourself not connecting with the characters. The best way to describe them is that they're vague. Then again, the film's focus is not entirely on the characters.
At first, I found myself with a lot of people (including Leonard Maltin, who I think misses the point...) who didn't like the film because it was hard to follow. After watching it a second time, I caught on more of what it was about. It's a movie that'll take some growing used to (it has a brooding pace that might not be appealing to today's viewers who are used to "cut, cut, cut" action).
Do I recommend this? While I found myself loving the film in the end, it's not one to instantly get into. The deep philosophical notion here is that life is precious, and we humans tend to see humanity in ONLY humanity. Here, we have a lot of people, not just replicants, who are poor, hungry, handicapped, and what the like. Humanity's disservice to humanity, and even the replicants have humanity in them (near the end, Rutger Hauer gives a very compelling speech about his own death.). Once I figured out the message of the film, I loved it all the more. To the sci-fi enthusiast, I definitely recommend it. Others might not have any desire to see it. On the other hand, I highly recommend that a second viewing be applied, for it took me two viewings to analyze it.
PROS: Grand visual style, Compelling story and message, Excellent music score, Astonishing production design, Dark ending.
CONS: Characters are somewhat undefined, Film requires two or more viewings which might turn off the casual viewer.
To sum it all up, this is a great art film that must be seen to believed. Watch with care; you might dislike it at first, but it'll grow on you the second time around.

Dragonslayer
Dragonslayer
Prix : CDN$ 14.44
17 used & new from CDN$ 8.86

5.0 étoiles sur 5 Something soars through the sky, it's the DRAGONFLY!, March 23 2004
Ce commentaire est de: Dragonslayer (Audio CD)
Dream Evil is a band comprised of Fredrik Nordstrom (Keyboards/Guitars, formerly of Hammerfall and In Flames), Niklas Isfeldt (Vocals), Gus G. (Guitars), Peter Stalfors (Bass), and Snowy Shaw (Drums, formerly of Mercyful Fate), and yes, you guessed it, it is a power metal band. Power Metal is gigantically huge over in Europe, much like "nu-metal" is in the States (however, I would rather tolerate power metal to the point of sickness as opposed to nu-metal, which isn't even METAL). To tell you the truth, I don't know a whole lot about this band, but I will say that power metal can get cheesy and annoying at times. However, this band attracted me in a couple of ways:
1) I'm a fantasy freak, and the whole album is actually a concept album about a knight who must save his king and kingdom from a fierce dragon. Dragons rule.
2) The band name, you guessed it, came from a Ronnie James Dio album, and Ronnie James Dio rules.
3) The album has some killer cover art.
So with that, I was intrigued, and off I was on a musical adventure in which case I wished I was a knight fighting in the Crusades or something. But enough nostalgia aside. Let's get on with the music.
1. CHASING THE DRAGON (A)
An awesome introduction, and one of the catchiest rockers I have ever heard in a while. Excellent guitar solos as well.
2. IN FLAMES YOU BURN (A-)
The song fools you in the beginning because it's an acoustic opening... but it BURSTS into a speedy number with some excellent vocals. The chorus is infectious. Ironic, given Nordstrom was in a band entitled "In Flames" originally.
3. SAVE US (B-)
Opens with a drum piece, continues on with some crunchy riffage. Has a catchy style like IN FLAMES YOU BURN, but far more positive sounding. Pretty good, although not as great as the previous two. However, it does sport a pretty awesome guitar solo.
4. KINGDOM OF THE DAMNED (B+)
Sounds like Hammerfall's HEARTS ON FIRE, although not quite so powerful. This one's pretty good still, and the chorus will stick in your head.
5. THE PROPHECY (A+)
AWESOME opening with guitar interplays. Some of the speediest guitarwork on the album is presented here. My second favorite on here not only because of that, but Niklas's vocals are at his best here. The chorus makes me have raging fists.
6. THE CHOSEN ONES (A-)
Excellent track that starts off with a melodic guitar piece, followed by some lowkey vocals by Niklas. Some keyboard elements are AWESOME in this particular song, and it builds up into a nice chorus. The rest of the song retains that same power.
7. LOSING YOU (B+)
A ballad that has a nice piano piece accompanying it. A guitar part is later on but doesn't detract away from the song. Very beautifully written, even if it takes three or so listens for it grow on you. For some reason it reminds me of Foreigner's slower music.
8. THE 7TH DAY (C+)
A galloping hard rocker with some infectious lyrics. Very crunchy in its guitarmanship and it's a good headbanger, but the chorus seems a bit heavyhanded, at least to me. All in all not a bad song but not nearly as good as the one's preceding it.
9. HEAVY METAL IS THE NIGHT (A-)
A cool song that reminds one of the old days of heavy metal. The guitarwork here reminded me of Dokken and Ratt, but seemed heavier than anything they've done. Niklas tries singing in a deeper Halford style of singing (minus the screeching) and it comes off surprisingly well. A pretty good anthem rocker.
10. H.M.J. (A-)
The three initials stand for HEAVY METAL JESUS. I kid you not, that's what the song's about: the knight being blessed by the Son of Man to kill the dragon for kingdom come. It's cheesy, corny, but it still rocks. It's not athiest by any means, and the song reminds me of the old days of AC/DC and Lynyrd Skynyrd (imagine if they ever were metal bands). This can turn you off depending on your point of view, but it's actually one of the best songs on the CD.
11. HAIL TO THE KING (A++)
The "technical" closer of the album actually ranks as my personal favorite from the album. Very heavy, gallopy, and nice musicianship all around. The chorus is the most infectious on the CD. All in all, very good and a great way to end the album... well, sort of. Read on.
12. OUTRO
All this is is an orchestra preparing or something... it sounds like it's just at the end of a symphony. I might see what the band is going with here, but it would've worked better had they shifted Track 11 DIRECTLY into here (as if the whole album was a symphony and it just ended), but it's just "there," and it only lasts 15 whole seconds. This doesn't need to be here. I'm not counting it against the album, but...........................F
Overall, you might find this to be a pretty decent album. I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it to be a cohesive concept album. Some power metal can be overbearing and cheesy, but this one is not. Check it out if you're a metal fan.

Ladyhawke
Ladyhawke
DVD ~ Matthew Broderick
Offered by thebookcommunity_ca
Prix : CDN$ 78.00
16 used & new from CDN$ 17.21

5.0 étoiles sur 5 Wonderful Fantasy Film, Feb. 23 2004
Ce commentaire est de: Ladyhawke (DVD)
In medieval times, a young thief named The Mouse (Matthew Broderick) escapes from the dungeons from Aquila, led by a menacing Bishop (John Wood). He is saved by a mysterious knight named Navarre (Rutger Hauer), who roams around with a hawk. By night, however, she is a charming beauty (Michelle Pfeiffer) and he is a wolf. The two are in love, but are cursed by the Bishop. So, with the help of a former priest (Leo McKern), The Mouse is determined to help them break the curse and destroy the evil Bishop.
I really love this film. It's one of my top favorite fantasy films of all time. It's also a childhood favorite; they used to show it on the ol' family channel right after Neverending Story. Nostalgia aside, this is a wonderfully made film. You have a traditional medieval story about starcrossed lovers, epic battles, beautiful locales, and humor along the way. I especially liked The Mouse's misconceptions about God and towards the end of the film, he finally has an idea of what's going on. The acting is quite good, especially considering the main three stars were up-and-coming; Broderick just got off of doing WarGames and Ferris Fueller before taking the role. Hard to believe that Rutger Hauer wasn't the original choice for Navarre (it was reported that Kurt Russell was originally selected to play the part) because he makes the role all his own. It's also nice to see him play a hero role, too; for a long time I thought of him as the psychotic replicant from Blade Runner. Of course, Pfeiffer is excellent as she is beautiful, too.
Richard Donner, best known for helming the Lethal Weapon series, directed and co-produced. His wife, Lauren Shuler, produced the film. His directing style here is actually different from most of his films, allowing the beauty of the old landscapes and the fight scenes to be portrayed properly. The screenplay is top-notch, which is no surprise since one of the writers wrote Enemy Mine and the other contributed to the Superman series.
Probably the only quarrel I have with it is the music score by Andrew Powell (one of the members of the Alan Parsons Project). I actually liked the score, especially with its jaunting theme, but one critic described it as "disco-medieval." I can't agree more. It screams the 80s so well that a contemporary score set to a medieval picture seems very inappropriate. Still, a good score despite what people say.
Overall, I highly recommend this fantasy film to anyone that likes the genre. In fact, I recommend it even if you're not because it's such a beautiful film that must be seen. A must-see.

Transformers: Heroes [Import]
Transformers: Heroes [Import]
DVD ~ Frank Welker
Offered by M and N Media Canada
Prix : CDN$ 35.28
8 used & new from CDN$ 9.22

1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 The Last Hoorah for the Transformers, Feb. 9 2004
Ce commentaire est de: Transformers: Heroes [Import] (DVD)
By 1986, the Transformers were still very popular, but fans had grown tired of the show, especially since its 3rd season changed its tone very drastically. It was more of a "space bonanza" kind of show and it no longer featured our hero, Optimus Prime. After the show's producers responded to the demands of the fans wanting Optimus Prime back, they ended Season 3 with his much-welcomed resurrection. They geared up for a 4th season, but by now, the popularity had waned, and thus the series ended with one last three-parter that was initially intended to launch the would-be 4th season. "Rebirth" introduced many new Transformers into the mix, most of them being the Headmasters (robots that transformed from the robots' heads) and the Targetmasters (robots that transformed from weapons).
Our story is about a planet called Nebulos, in which the society is fighting back against their evil rulers, "The Hive." The Hive control all the machinery and basically do their dirtywork. Several autobots crash-land on the planet after being pursued by the decepticons. The autobots had the "key to the plasma energy chamber" which was what the Transformers were forged from (or maybe it was just the autobots?). Once the decepticons find them on the planet, both robotic factions take sides and engage in combat. Optimus Prime discovers this because of Alpha Trion (who merged with Vector Sigma, recall), who says that Vector Sigma allowed Galvatron to know of the key. New battles are fought, new Transformers are introduced, and the decepticons are shot halfway across the galaxy while Cybertron hits another Golden Age.
Plotwise, it's ok, but most of the episodes spend time introducing the new characters and this planet that they're on. It seems like it could've been a decent direction for the show had it lasted longer, but instead, everything seems crammed together. The "love" relationship between autobot Arcee and human Daniel is rather disturbing to say the least. After all, wasn't Arcee supposed to hook up with Hot Rod or Springer anyways? Speaking of which, Hot Rod was also disappointing in this episode. He has returned to the "young-in" that was portrayed in the movie, but seriously, after leading the autobots for almost a friggen year you think he could've matured a little. It's like the third season never happened.
Overall, while it's certainly not a terrible episode, I find myself wishing the Transformers series had ended on a better note. "The Return of the Optimus Prime" seemed like a near-perfect ending to me, with Prime gaining Galvatron's respect and all. Maybe I'm just thinking this way because it's the Transformers last hoorah and being a fan of this show, I never wanted it to end. A must for Transformers fans; others needn't bother.

Transformers: Heroes [Import]
Transformers: Heroes [Import]
DVD ~ Frank Welker
Offered by M and N Media Canada
Prix : CDN$ 35.28
8 used & new from CDN$ 9.22

3.0 étoiles sur 5 The final three episodes of the series, Feb. 6 2004
Ce commentaire est de: Transformers: Heroes [Import] (DVD)
After Optimus Prime's heroic return (finally) in the final two-part episode "The Return of Optimus Prime," Marvel and Sunbow geared up for what was supposed to be the fourth season for our beloved cartoon show. Unfortunately, they ended up only producing a three-part episode "The Rebirth," which somewhat concludes the series in general. This brought in the Headmasters and the Targetmasters, in addition to Fortress Maximus, the new Autobot base, and Scorponok, the Decepticon base that transforms (duh!) into a scorpion. The storyline consists of several Autobots crashing on a far-away planet Nebulos while carrying the "key to the plasma energy chamber" (or something like that) and the Decepticons were in pursuit. They join two factions on the planet, the Nebulans themselves and the "Hive," an underground organization that rules the planet with an iron fist.
Actually, come to think of it, I'm glad they didn't extend the series to a longer seasonal run. By season 3, Transformers had gone as far as it could. While it delved further into the mythology of the Transformers, the charm (and more importantly, the CHARACTERS) the made the series so excellent to begin with are practically nonexistant with the exception of a key few characters. So, is this three parter excellent with the return of Optimus Prime? While Optimus does have a decent role in the final installment, it's still an episode that seems jampacked with new characters (obviously because of the new toys that were out). Hot Rod's back to his old self like the movie and while that it appropriate given Optimus's return, it feels so awkward and out of place. Also, I was disturbed by the Arcee/Daniel relationship in the movie... seriously, a little kid loving an Autobot?? How could that work? I won't go into that much because Amazon edits submitted reviews, but I'm just going to say that it's inappropriate and completely WRONG.
The subplot of Vector Sigma's "plan" (which causes Cybertron's second golden age) seemed very rushed as well. They didn't spend enough time like any true transfan would've wanted.
I would only get this DVD if you are a die hard Transformers fan. It's still an interesting rental, perhaps, to see how the mighty cartoon series came to an end. Otherwise, I recommend caution. Perhaps it'll come with season 3, even though it's supposed to be season 4 (and only 3 episodes in the season).

Batman
Batman
DVD ~ Michael Keaton
Offered by OMydeals
Prix : CDN$ 35.84
25 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 étoiles sur 5 A triumph for us comic book fans., Jan. 27 2004
Ce commentaire est de: Batman (DVD)
I AM BATMAN.
Heh, just thought I'd say that in honor of that hilarious SNL Celebrity Jeopardy shtick. And how true that statement was... Michael Keaton is the best Batman of the films.
"Batman" is a triumph of production design and visual mastery. The storyline was a bit thin and the movie might as well have been called "The Joker" because of the screen time given to Jack Nicholson. However, the movie still works. Jack Nicholson is sensationally funny and evil as the Joker and Michael Keaton plays the double role of Bruce Wayne/Batman works out better than most people tend to think. He plays the character as a brooding neurotic which doesn't tell us much about the character, but it draws us in anyways. And of course, Michael Gough is perfect as Alfred. The only bad thing I can say about the movie is that Kim Basinger (as Vicki Vale, the reporter) and he didn't really have much of any chemistry together. It's negligible, given the Batman character.
Tim Burton was the perfect director for the film because of his "gothic wizardry," as said by another Amazon.com reviewer here. I really do believe that without Tim Burton the series went to crap. In fact, this movie captured the original comics better than the campy 60s television series did; this grittier vision of Gotham City is a lot like the Batman of old, which is probably why devoted comic book fans found it better. I personally like Tim Burton's style and the Batman animated series that followed it (before they resurrected it and made it crappy). Once again, Danny Elfman did the score and created an entirely new Batman theme that's been redone several times. In short, it's frikken awesome.
My favorite part in the movie is when the Joker and Batman are doing their final face-off and the Joker's getting his @$$ kicked. The Joker says, "You idiot! You made me," and talks about how Batman threw him into the acid. Batman then replies "You killed my parents. I made you, you made me first." AWESOME line.
"Batman Returns" (1992) worked out alright with Keaton and Burton back for more, but definitely not afterwards. The first "Batman" proved a lot to the movie fans of how Batman SHOULD be made. One of the reasons why that "Birds of Prey" show didn't last was because they didn't make Gotham City the gritty city that was portrayed in the films, plus the fact that the film itself connected well with the comics (and of course, the show always added some pop/rock song that's been overplayed on the radio and had no relevancy to the show. But that's another issue entirely). Simply put, this is the best gothic vision of our favorite caped crusader and all the clones/spin-offs afterwards will have nothing on it.

Prisoner #5, the:Girl Who Was
Prisoner #5, the:Girl Who Was
DVD ~ Patrick McGoohan
Prix : CDN$ 36.84
13 used & new from CDN$ 17.87

5.0 étoiles sur 5 "Them Bones, Them Bones, Them... Dry Bones!", Jan. 25 2004
Ce commentaire est de: Prisoner #5, the:Girl Who Was (DVD)
Back in 1967, an allegorical television show emerged that has yet to be topped by any other English television series. The show: The Prisoner. Starring Patrick McGoohan, he plays the role of No. 6, a former secret service agent who resigned for unknown reasons and then finds himself knocked unconscious and trapped in a seemingly peaceful place called "the Village." Each episode features a new No. 2 (with a few exceptions), who watches his every move and strives to find out why he resigned. The only superior is the unseen No. 1, the supposed ruler of the Village. The only other characters that reoccur are The Supervisor (also called Controller), played by Peter Stanwick, and The Butler, played by Angelo Muscat.
In "The Girl Who Was Death," Number Six avoids a series of assassination attempts while "on duty" as a secret agent. An offbeat episode that was probably meant to parody the previous Danger Man series. In fact, one character from that series appears here as the same character, same actor...
... ah... now we get to the last TWO episodes of the series! Finally! How do they measure up you ask? Read on...
In "Once Upon a Time," Number Six deals with the same Number Two from "Chimes of Big Ben" (played by Leo McKern, from "Candleshoe" and "Ladyhawke") as he undergoes Degree Absolute. It is a one-week, last-man-standing psychological struggle in which Number Two hopes to FINALLY break down Number Six. A STRANGE episode, filled with mindboggling clues is meant only to be viewed once you've viewed the others. TRUST ME.
And finally, "Fall Out" has Number Two revived and Number Six placed before an underground court. They allow him the ability to leave whenever he wishes and to lead the Village as he sees fit. Alexis Kanner, who played The Kid in "Harmony," returns in a different role as Number 48. Both Number Two and 48 show signs of rebellion, and the Butler follows Number Six. Most likely represents how people automatically follow the strongest leader like blind sheep.
The final episodes upset the fans... and for good reason! Where is the Village?! Who is Number One?! In the episode, he meets Number One, who is holding a glass ball. In it, it shows The Prisoner's face and suddenly, Number One is revealed to be... him?! How is he Number One, and why? That's never answered. My theory is that it's symbolism for every man's desire to be "Number One" in life, to be the top dog. After all, his address is 1 Buckingham Place. Not a coincidence.
Even if you don't really know why he resigned, McGoohan almost plainly tells you... In "Chimes of Big Ben," he says he "resigned out of conscience." In "Once Upon a Time," he says he resigned "for peace. Peace of mind. I know too much." He probably felt the pressures of his job. Can you imagine the pain of being a secret agent and knowing EVERYTHING about someone, plus on top of that, people will always be out to get you?? This probably represented his feelings at the time. After all, he was fed up with "Secret Agent Man" and wanted to do something different, something surreal. With that theory in mind, I have no qualm about McGoohan revealing why. Of course, at the end, people think the cycle started over. I don't want to believe that; I prefer to believe that he actually escaped the Village, but he has a new "Village" to face... an even larger one.
The song "Dry Bones" is actually taken from a Biblical passage in Ezekial. It talks of Jesus resurrecting skeletons in the desert and then they were covered with flesh and blood again, as if they were anew. When Number 48 sings the song, the underground society grows wild. The Prisoner Companion referred to this as The Prisoner being The Prophet, an unordinary man sent to make change in the world. Whoa, the Prisoner... the equivalent of Jesus? No joking.
Oh man, this series is one of the most mind-warping series ever devised. It's a great allegory and impressively produced. I will never forget it and it's such an inspiration for me to write stories with hidden symbolism and overtures. Mr. McGoohan, I thank thee for such a fine show.

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