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Comments on Sunday 23 May 2004:
Shaun of the Dead is quite excellent. As a good movie, it doesn't lend itself well to a review with my usual verbosity. At times terribly unsubtle and at times relatively subtle, the movie overflows with parallels, to the point where I'm not sure if I'm reading more into things than was intended by the creators. Were they really suggesting that pubs are in many ways the UK equivalent of shopping malls for the US? I would like to think so. "You've got red on you."

The Butterfly Effect starts out a bit slow, and as such could probably have done with being presented in a slightly different order, or at least cut down a bit shorter, but despite that is a pretty decent movie as well. Similar shape of movie to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, however, and not as good, so if you feel like watching that sort of movie, go for the latter. Unless you've already seen it and thought it was good, in which case no harm in watching Butterfly Effect as well. Surprisingly decent work by Mr Kutcher, regardless of what IMDB reviewers seem to think, and outstanding casting and/or makeup for the characters at different ages.

And a computer game - Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. A bit short, and not really replayable, but that's probably all for the best - there wasn't much more it could reasonably do for variety, and more of the same would have started to get tedious after not very long. As it was, though short, it was fun while it lasted. The puzzles and most of the level designs were very much true to the original Prince of Persia, though thankfully with the emphasis on levers and switches rather than on collapsing platforms. The swordfighting scenes were a bit of a disappointment - the original Prince of Persia had a lot of dull swordfights, but towards the end had characters who had to be fought with specific (or at least different) strategies. As far as I could tell, this one has monsters you can jump over and hit from behind, and monsters you can't, and that's about the limit of the variation in tactics that have to be employed. Since you're fighting them four at a time it's good that it's this simple, but it would have been nice to have some tricky enemies to be fought one-on-one (other than the chap at the end, and even he just seemed to be much the same as one of the "you can jump over it" monsters with extra hitpoints). My only attempts to use the "riposte" manouvre, so valuable in the original Prince of Persia, revealed it to be less use in Sands of Time than just mashing the "swing your sword" key.

Very very stylish game, mind. Lovely graphics, sounds, music and overall presentation, and a bearable storyline. Just a bit lacking in the depth-of-game department. [23:34]
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