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d'artagnan

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  1. Everyone's probably seen the adverts for Tesco's PPV VOD service but it may actually be the cheapest way to rent some of the bigger movies if you combine the deals. They do an initial sign-up deal where if you deposit one pound into your account you get an additional five pounds of free credit. The nice thing is you can combine this with their 99p Monday promotion where a dozen movies are made available at less than a pound with the use of a voucher code they email to you every Monday. Usually it's one big movie (today's is Star Trek Into Darkness, last weeks was Oblivion) and eleven other movies to choose from which essentially means you can get to view five recent big movies completely for free by using your five pounds of free credit. Normal pricing for movies is in line with services such as XBox Video and you've got up to thirty days to watch the movie even if you've rented it under the Monday promo. Tesco have even done a Metro app for Windows 8 users.
  2. I recently finished reading Charles Stross' Merchant Princes saga which was recently republished in the UK as a three parter (down from the original six parts). It starts off as the story of a lass who is given a locket that allows her to travel to a parallel earth which is stuck in the late medieval period and finishes up with thermonuclear armgeddon and genocide. It segues from high fantasy to sf conspiracy thriller brilliantly and is an exceptional feat of multiple world building.
  3. This thread has prompted me to actually buy Space: Above & Beyond on DVD after having it on my other laptop as a rip for years now. Figured I may as well pay for it after getting so much pleasure out of it - did the same thing with Firefly. Coolly though Amazon recommended Dark Skies which I saw when it was first on but had forgotten all about so I ordered that as well because it was a brilliant show.
  4. The kerb-stomp in American History X. All the more powerful because they don't actually show it and instead cut away and you hear the sound leaving you to infer what's happened. The first time I watched that it was a genuine wtf?! moment but it's actually worse on repeat viewings because you know it's coming...
  5. I'll second this recommendation. Bloody great novel. Part of the SF Masterworks set as well, IIRC.
  6. I'd bloody well hope Reynolds has that right given his former career as an astrophysicist for ESA! Just remember that were you able to travel at C then the perceived time of the journey would be zero. Travel would appear to be instantaneous from your perspective. As you approach C, the perceived time gets shorter and - at 0.85 C then a 10 light year journey would appear to take 5 years from the perspective of our traveller (from memory as to the numbers there). An interesting, or very fucked up if you think about it, consequence of faster than light travel is time travel. And for a novel which explicitly deals with that you could try Singularity Sky by Charles Stross (it's sequel is deliberately time-travelling Alien Space Nazis with a weakly godlike entity backing them up and is called Iron Sunrise).
  7. Put it this way, Reynolds has a million pound, ten book advance deal (I think his latest - Terminal World - is the first book in that deal). With the exception of his short story collection Galactic North I've loved everything he's written, and the only problem with Galactic North really is that it's like seeing how sausages are made after you've already read the Revelation Space universe novels.
  8. No, what she might get dragged over the coals for is when people figure out she works in marketing and is in some way involved in doing the PR at least for this film by working popular boards, but has tried to hide it. I don't take issue with marketing the film. I take issue with the coy attempt to try and hide that it's anything but and that littlelegs hasn't been completely up-front about it. Being involved in the marketing for films, tv shows, other fluff isn't something that's going to cause people to be hostile around these parts - there are plenty of people who are involved in the various industries covered by rllmuk for that, but they're all honest about their involvement in various projects. The best bet is for littlelegs to be completely honest about her involvement with whichever firm it is she's working for then to use that position to get things like early access to trailers for board members, promo gifts and competitions, advance screenings etc whilst participating in honest and friendly discussion in threads related to stuff she isn't trying to flog. It was a nice retort, but a little too practised. I'm a red-blooded male. I can happily stare at Natalie Portman's arse for two hours (Maybe Idiocracy wasn't far off the mark - a film that involves staring at Natalie Portman's arse for two hours should obviously win every Oscar going). This film won't be that.
  9. 01 - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. 02 - Children of Men 03 - The Dark Knight 04 - In Bruges 05 - The Constant Gardener 06 - Shaun of the Dead 07 - Wall-E 08 - The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford 09 - The Hurt Locker 10 - Mystic River 11 - Serenity 12 - Adaptation 13 - Sin City 14 - The Fountain 15 - Moon 16 - No Country for Old Men 17 - Up 18 - Downfall 19 - A History of Violence 20 - Gone Baby Gone
  10. It was when I was at that sort of timeframe and I realised I'd only got those two that I realised just how engrossed I was in the game. Just wandering, exploring, taking in the sights is a game all on its own. And I love just listening in to incidental conversations such as the . Or the . But it's indicative of just how complete the game feels - it's a universe though you may be exploring just some parts of it, the parts you do get to explore are awesome with none of the emptiness you sometimes seem to get because there's a whole universe going on around you. And there are so, so many little touches as well as oblique references to the first game. Virtually every change that has been made to the game for this sequel has been for the better. The combat is actually enjoyable and fun and really mixes it up, your squad seem more balanced but the squad you put together actually does really alter how you fight (admittedly, that may be because at Level 60 in ME every single fight gets to be a cake-walk) and the squad AI is so much better, I liked idly wandering in the Mako but it was a case of seen one planet seen them whole with the scanning/mining wierdly addictive to the point I'm like a rat hitting a lever for cocaine because I know there's Eezo on this planet damnit!, the main missions and the side missions are far more varied and interesting - even making a side mission where you don't fire your weapon (sorry, used it once) tense and intriguing, the dialogue is better all around and the Renegade/Paragon morality is far more ambiguous and 'human' with your choices not necessarily being obvious or having the outcome you might expect,. Plus all the returning characters - both major and incidental - seem to rock without any of them irritating the hell out of me (yet) - killing the god-botherer was a no-brainer in the first one. The mission structuring itself is far better in all honesty. Only quibbles? A lot people seem staggeringly blase that Shephard isn't dead, NPC conversation trees do occasionally seem to come in at the middle (again, a lot of people seem to know all about the Collectors - it saves wasting time on expositionary exchanges that you already know about but you do wonder how the character you're talking to might know it), I actually miss the lift conversations with their muzak (there is some great banter between some of the characters in the first one in those sequences), and I've got caught on scenery a couple of times forcing a re-load. Oh, and I play with subtitles on so would just like to point out to whoever did the QA that it's court martialled and NOT court marshalled. Grrrr!!!! Final thought for now? It's Deus Ex 2 (and not just because it looks like an Unreal Engine game, in all it's shiny, beautiful glory)... But in a good and perfect way. The changes that they were making horrified you when you first heard about them although you could grasp why they were doing them though it seemed like they were dumbing down for the sake of dumbing down, but upon playing they all make sense and there really isn't anything major to complain about. It's a slightly different take on the experience of the first game but it just seems like they've managed to improve everything overall.
  11. I'd also recommend anything by Neil Gaiman, but particularly American Gods. It's a genuine masterpiece.
  12. I suggest both of you go and read T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land given that Banks is completely upfront about the source inspiration. Even the title comes from that work and structurally the novel reflects the poem's structure and also reflects its themes. If you check the titles for the various parts for The Waste Land then you'll even see that they correspond to events that happen in Consider Phlebas in the order in which they happen.
  13. I'll third Mieville - he's part of what has been called New Fantasy in which they consciously eschew the tropes of Tolkienesque fantasy. I'd actually recommend his novel Un Lun Dun as a starting point - it's aimed more at early teens than his other work but is a brilliant read and as well written as his other work with an incredibly positive moral message. If you like it then you should get on with his adult fiction. The reason for suggesting you start there is that his adult fiction is very literary, heavily politicised and can be a burden if you aren't into that kind of thing. If you read SF and Iain M Banks in full literary mode with his SF doesn't bother you (and you get things such as that the Shellworld in Matter is a thematic metaphor) then you really should get on with Mieville. If you get along with that the Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast trilogy might be worth a read. Mieville is very much the spiritual heir to Peake and there are serious comparisons between Gormenghast and Perdido Street Station, but I couldn't personally get on with Peake in the end (I think he runs out steam in the second book). Charles Stross has also written a couple of novels which use a Lovecraftian Cthulthu-esque universe as their basis - The Atrocity Archives and The Jennifer Morgue which - also pay homage to other writers as well. They're fantastical horror as opposed to straight fantasy though.
  14. Yep, maybe this is the beginning of how she became the way she is in Epitaph One? Also, it's very strongly implied in this ep that
  15. Saw it this afternoon and really enjoyed it. One thing that hasn't been commented on in the reviews I've read is that Visually and in terms of the choices that have been made with regards to the overall presentation, it's an amazing piece of film-making. It also happens to have the most visceral kills seen in cinema for a very long time. Blomkamp really doesn't shy away from things visually. What's also nice is that whilst it posits a load of socio-political commentary the film is never arrogant enough to try and suggest solutions. You're simply presented with the way things are and are left to draw your own conclusions. It's staggering to think this was made for just $30 million...
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