Monday, March 1, 2010

Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising (PC DVD)

Manufacturer's Description
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II – Chaos Rising features a new playable army, the traitorous Chaos Space Marines, and continues the epic journey of the Blood Ravens as they battle this new, more personal enemy. Developed by award-winning internal studio Relic Entertainment, Chaos Rising offers new single-player and co-op campaigns, a level cap increase from 20 to 30, more powerful war-gear and a suite of innovative multiplayer options.

The Hurt Locker [Blu-ray] [2008] Review
Rightly attracting major awards attention, The Hurt Locker is a supreme, tense and gripping piece of drama. And it grabs your attention from the stunning opening scene, which perfectly gets across the dangers faced by the specialist bomb disposal squad that we spend the rest of the film following.

Chief among them is Jeremy Renner’s Sergeant William James, who is the focal point for much of The Hurt Locker. The film spends some time digging into his head and why he does what he does, and his approach doesn’t always leave him eye-to-eye with the rest of his squad. Renner, in surely a star-making performance, delivers a rounded, three-dimensional portrayal of a man you could easily write off as a maverick, and the film is significantly enriched as a result.

But then with director Kathryn Bigelow behind the camera delivering her best film to date, The Hurt Locker excels still further. Her gritty, haunting visuals look superb in high definition too, evoking the down-to-earth shooting style Bigelow employs, and making the most of the assorted set-pieces she puts on film. It’s the sound that really gets you too, cleverly eating up the full breadth of a good surround-sound set-up, and carefully teasing you more and more into the film.

Not that you’re likely to need much persuading. The Hurt Locker is a terrific war movie, and a very human one. It’s also packaged on a quality Blu-ray that matches up strong presentation with interesting extra feature. It comes very highly recommended. --Jon Foster

Product Description
Evangeline Lilly, Christopher Sayegh, Nabil Koni, Sam Spruell, Sam RedfordDirector: Kathryn Bigelow

American VI: Ain't No Grave - Johnny Cash

CD Description
American VI: Ain't No Grave, is the sixth and final installment of Johnny Cash's critically-acclaimed American Recordings album series, and as with the previous five albums, American VI was produced by Rick Rubin. The songs on are drawn from all over the musical landscape and from various eras, and include Sheryl Crow's moving "Redemption Day", Kris Kristofferson's "For The Good Times", "Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound" by Tom Paxton, Bob Nolan's "Cool Water," and the never before heard Cash original, "I Corinthians: 15:55", written over the last three years of his life.

LEGO Creator 626 Green Baseplate

Manufacturer's Description
This green baseplate measures 10" x 10" (25cm x 25cm), so it's a great place to start building castles, skyscrapers, or what ever your imagination can come up with.

Product Description
The perfect starting point for LEGO creations! This green base plate measures 10'' x 10'' (255mm x 255mm), so it's a great place to start building castles, skyscrapers, or what ever your imagination comes up with. 4 Years +

Friday, February 26, 2010

Alvin And The Chipmunks [DVD] [2007] Review
A staggering surprise success at the box office just before Christmas 2007, the reason for the popularity of Alvin and the Chipmunks soon becomes clear. Not only is it a new adventure for a popular set of characters of old, it’s also a fun, breezy family movie, that the kids in particular will enjoy.

Starring Jason Lee (of My Name Is Earl fame), Alvin and the Chipmunks mixes in live action and CGI chipmunks (Alvin, Simon and Theodore) in a story that sees that moved from their natural habitat into the midst of the big city. The plot then becomes as predictable as you’d expect, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had anyway.

For Alvin and the Chipmunks has plenty in its corner. It’s funny, first and foremost, and moves along at a good pace, never forgetting that its prime job is to entertain its audience. And that’s something it easily manages to do, wrapping everything up by remembering not to outstay its welcome, either.

Considering that Alvin and the Chipmunks enjoy a legion of fans that stretch back decades, it’s perhaps not a surprise after all that the film enjoyed the success it did. But what’s pleasing is that the spirit of the source material, in spite of its contemporary setting, is adhered to, and there’s fun for all in the end product. --Jon Foster

Napoleon: Total War - Imperial Edition (PC DVD) - Sega

Manufacturer's Description
Pit yourself against history's greatest military genius or play the role of the infamous general himself in the biggest Total War game yet. Re-imagine some of the most famous battles in world history as you set out to either defend or conquer all of Europe.
With all the features of the top-rated Empire: Total War this features stunningly realistic battles on land and sea, with even more detailed graphics than ever before. Plus, you have full strategic control of your country's military, industrial and diplomatic resources - any of which can be delegated to computer control whenever you want.

Not only is the new story-orientated single-player mode the most cinematic ever in a Total War game, but this is the first in the series to feature a full multiplayer mode. Now you can play a whole campaign against a friend, not just individual battles, and find out exactly who will become the master of Europe.
Key Features

* Napoleon's story: Lead you armies in two all-new story campaigns in Italy and Egypt. Will you ensure history repeats itself or achieve what even Napoleon himself could not?
* Imperial glory: Plunge into the massive "grand campaign" with all the features and freedom of a standard Total War game, including land and sea battles and new diplomacy options.
* Instant action: Jump straight into major battles such as Waterloo, Trafalgar and Austerlitz in standalone historical scenarios where every detail, from weather to terrain, makes a difference.
* Battle joined: For the first time ever in a Total War game you can play the whole campaign mode online against friends, or have opponents drop-in for one-off battles in single player mode.
* Uniform look: Uniform editor lets you customise your own troops for the first time, plus other new features including online voice chat and an improved physics engine.

About the Developer: The Creative Assembly
With a history dating back to 1987, this developer came into their own with Shogun: Total War in 2000. Based in Horsham, West Sussex the studio has also dabbled with action games such as Viking: Battle for Asgard and their first sci-fi strategy game Stormrise. They were bought by Sega in 2005.

Product Description
Napoleon: Total War Pre-order Elite unit--This exclusive elite unit is only available when you pre-order Napoleon: Total War, delivering a new and powerful strategic option to deploy in the name of your faction. Once the game is installed and verified by Steam, you can enter a unique code and unlock your elite unit, which will then appear in single player and multiplayer games. In order to play Napoleon: Total War and unlock your exclusive unit you must connect to the internet to verify your game and code once during installation. Pre-order unit--Grand Battery of the Convention: With twice as many guns as an ordinary artillery unit, the Grand Battery is an exceptionally strong unit. Its cannons have both a long range and tremendous killing power.

Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters (Paperback) - Rick Riordan

Praise for the Percy Jackson series: 'Witty and inspired. Gripping, touching and deliciously satirical...This is most likely to succeed Rowling. Puffin is on to a winner' - Amanda Craig, The Times 'Puns, jokes and subtle wit, alongside a gripping storyline' - Telegraph 'Perfectly paced, with electrifying moments chasing each other like heartbeats' – New York Times

Product Description
You can't tell by looking at me that my dad is Poseidon, God of the Sea. It's not easy being a half-blood these days. You mortals can't even see the monsters we have to fight all the time. So when a game of dodgeball turned into a death match against an ugly gang of cannibal giants, I couldn't exactly ask my gym teacher for help. And that was just for starters. This is the one where Camp Half Blood is under attack, and unless I get my hands on the Golden Fleece, the whole camp will be invaded by monsters. Big ones. Can Percy survive the treacherous Sea of Monsters and restore order to Half-Blood Hill?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Michael Jackson's This Is It (2 Disc Collector's Edition) [DVD] [2009] Review
It's hard not to watch This Is It without feeling a mixture of sorrow and elation. When he passed away in the summer of 2009, Michael Jackson was in the midst of rehearsals for his final tour, an ambitious 50-date engagement. In editing 120 hours of rehearsal footage together, Jackson producer Kenny Ortega proves that it would've been an event for the ages. Michael performs material that spans his career, from a Motown medley to multi-platinum hits from Off the Wall, Thriller, and Bad. Though he hadn't toured in 10 years, it becomes instantly apparent, despite rumours to the contrary, that Jackson was still in full possession of that unmistakable voice--high-pitched whoops and all--and that he still had the gravity-defying moves of a man half his age. Jackson and Ortega also collaborated on some real showstoppers, such as a graveyard-set "Thriller"; an imposing "They Don't Care About Us," in which several dancers appear to morph into thousands; and a film noir sequence in which the singer slides in and out of Gilda and other black-and-white classics, singing "Smooth Criminal" all the while. Not everything works, like the Jackson 5 numbers, in which he flubs a few lyrics, claiming that his earpiece isn't working properly, but as he readily acknowledges, "That's what rehearsal is for." It's a tragedy that he didn't get the chance to share this dazzling show with the world, but Ortega allows fans to feel as if it actually happened--at least onscreen. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Alvin And The Chipmunks 2: The Squeakquel

CD Description
The official soundtrack to the movie Squeakquel, where pop sensations Alvin, Simon and Theodore end up in the care of Dave Seville's twenty-something nephew Toby (Zach Levi). The boys must put aside music superstardom to return to school, and are tasked with saving the school's music program by winning the $25,000 prize in a battle of the bands. But the Chipmunks unexpectedly meet their match in three singing chipmunks known as "The Chipettes" – Brittany, Eleanor and Jeanette. Romantic and musical sparks are ignited when the Chipmunks and Chipettes square off.

I'm New Here - Gil Scott-Heron

CD Description
The legendary poet and singer songwriter Gil-Scott Heron has often been cited as the Godfather of Rap and Hip Hop due to his groundbreaking social poetry. 'I'm New Here' is produced by Richard Russell, the owner of British label XL, and who blisteringly delivers Heron a bleak musical backdrop to perform against. Ranging from minimalist electronics to dark gospel, the poet's words have never sounded so poignant. This is a sublime record that evokes sadness and hope in equal measure. Features covers of artists such as Smog (the title track 'I'm New Here') and Robert Johnson ('Me And The Devil').