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since 25/11/2008


Sorcerer's Apprentice , The (DVD) 16/08/2010

Good for kids

Sorcerer's Apprentice , The (DVD) I've just got back from seeing this film, and whilst it's the best version I've seen (well you can't get much worse than that awful mouse), it's good but not brilliant. Synopsis Morgana has destroyed Merlin, and now threatens the world. Balthazar and Veronica are the only two of Merlin's apprentices left to fight the battle, since Horvath has turned tail and moved over to the dark side. Veronica draws Morgana's life force into her body, and Balthazar manages to trap them both in to a Grimhold. Morgana will always be a threat until the Prime Merlinian can be found. Fast forward more than a thousand years, and a 10 year Dave stumbles into an antique shop. Coincidentally the shop is owned by Balthazar, who recognises Dave's potential. Sure enough Merlin's ring comes to life as it's placed on Dave's hand. Balthazar has finally found his apprentice, but Dave accidentally unleases Horvath back into the world, meaning it's another 10 years until his training begins. Cast Nicolas Cage as Balthazar Blake Jay Baruchel as David Stutler Jake Cherry as Young David Stutler Alfred Molina as Maxim Horvath Alice Krige as Morgana le Fay: James A. Stephens as Merlin Monica Bellucci as Veronica Teresa Palmer as Becky Barnes My Thoughts I enjoyed the film and there were a lot of great effects, they even managed to get in the Mickey Mouse dancing mops and the tune that went with it. It's definitely a kids film though, there are far too many plot holes for the average adult. As ...

Prince Of Persia - The Sands Of Time (DVD) 22/05/2010

Time is ticking away, or is it?

Prince Of Persia - The Sands Of Time (DVD) Cast Jake Gyllenhaal as Dastan Gemma Arterton as Tamina Ben Kingsley as Nizam Alfred Molina as Sheik Amar Steve Toussaint as Seso Toby Kebbell as Garsiv Richard Coyle as Tus Ronald Pickup as King Sharaman Reece Ritchie as Bis Gísli Örn Garðarsson as Hassansin Leader Synopsis Dastan is a poor street urchin, one day he saves his friend from a beating by the town guards. Unknown to Dastan or the guards, the king is watching, and he's touched seeing Dastan risk his life for his friend. Because of this the king adopts Dastan into his family. Several years later Dastan and his brothers are camped outside a holy city, they are debating whether to attack, or leave the city as per their father's order. Suddenly they are confronted with a shipment of weapons which has left the city, and is heading to their enemies. This seals the fate of the city and the Persian's attack. During the fight, Dastan comes into possession of a dagger, which seems to be of particular interest to the princess of the conquered city. The king comes to celebrate the win, but Dastan has forgotten to buy a gift for the king. His brother gives him a cloak, but after the king wears the cloak poison seeps from it and the king is dead. Dastan is blamed for his murder, but with the help of the princess he escapes. How can he prove his innocence, and how will the dgger help him? My Thoughts I was pleasantly surprised by this film, it's a very westernised eastern story, but this doesn't detract from the ...

Furry Vengeance (DVD) 17/05/2010

The animals are taking over

Furry Vengeance (DVD) Cast Brendan Fraser as Dan Sanders Ricky Garcia as Frank Eugene Cordero as Cheese Patrice O'Neal as Gus Jim Norton as Hank Brooke Shields as Tammy Sanders Matt Prokop as Tyler Sanders Billy Bush as Drill Sergeant Ken Jeong as Neal Lyman Synopsis Dan Sanders is a loyal employee of Lyman Industries, so loyal in fact he uproots his entire family from Chicago, and moves them to the Oregon wilderness, in order to supervise the construction of a new 'eco friendly, green' site. Unfortunately unbeknownst to Dan, Neal Lyman is not as eco friendly as he makes out, and is planning to flatten the forest in order to double the size of the housing development, adding shopping malls with woodland themes! Only the current inhabitants of the forest have other ideas, and they embark on an elaborate plan to make Dan see what a mistake he's making. Unfortunately for Dan, this plan is bound to make him a laughing stock at work. My Thoughts I've rated this a 3, but it almost got 2 star rating. For an adult it is very poor indeed, but my daughter and all the other kids in the cinema were laughing hysterically, so it must have hit their wavelengths. The one good thing about this film was that it avoided the 'talking animals' pitfall that so many of these films fall into. It did however have amazing animals, with the ability to communicate that would make special intelligence jealous! This is where it fell down from an adult point of view, it was way too far fetched, but the kids ...

Avatar(DVD) 21/04/2010

Over Hyped and Over Priced

Avatar(DVD) Cast Sam Worthington as Jake Sully Zoe Saldana as Neytiri Sigourney Weaver as Dr. Grace Augustine Stephen Lang as Colonel Miles Quaritch Joel Moore as Norm Spellman Giovanni Ribisi as Parker Selfridge Michelle Rodriguez as Trudy Chacon Laz Alonso as Tsu'tey Wes Studi as Eytukan CCH Pounder as Moat I didn't really hold out much hope for this film, I'd heard loads of people raving about the film, which usually means I hate it. This time I enjoyed it though, i still didn't think it was rave worthy but it was definitely better than expected. The graphics were a bit of a letdown for me, I'm sure they were really new age technology in the way they were developed and technically they did look excellent, you couldn't see the joins. But visually I thought they were a bit samey, the Na'vi looked pretty much like any other alien creature out there, except they were blue. So a bit same old, same old for the graphics. The story was another rehash, but this time a rehash of real life and one that needs telling again. The story of the Americans and their inability to understand that life is worth more than the almighty dollar, and destroying civilizations is just wrong on so many levels. The scene were the tree was destroyed almost made me cry, not because of any affiliation with the Na'vi, but because the terror the felt was the same terror felt by so many countries that the US has ridden roughshod over. The ending was predictable but good nonetheless, although it ...

Bella Italia Manchester Arndale, Manchester 19/01/2010

Couldn't ask for more

Bella Italia Manchester Arndale, Manchester Location The restaurant is one of four in Manchester, it is situated on the corner of Deansgate and St Mary's Street, less than 5 minute walk from the Arndale Centre. Opening Hours Mon - Fri 10:00 - 23:00 Sat 9:00 - 00:00 Sun 9:00 - 22:30 Menu The menu is Italian, and there is a large selection of dishes to choose from. The starters range from garlic bread and soups to toasted Ciabatta and prawn skewers. Main meals include a range of pastas and pizzas, and also chicken, fish or steak dishes. Sweets include the regulars such as Tiramisu and Icecream, with a nice selection of other sweets such as mascapone cheesecake or lemon tart. There's a nice selection of red, white and rose wines, beers, soft drinks and coffee or tea. The restaurant also has a breakfast menu, ranging from croissants to full English. The Restaurant The restaurant seats 92 people, but I would advise anyone to book a table in advance. We went at four in the afternoon, and we thought we were being overly cautious booking for that time, but the restaurant was busy even at that time, with only 2 other table free. By the time we left at about six o'clock there was queue of people waiting for tables which stretched out of the door. Which is testament to how good the restaurant is, I don't think I've ever seen anyone queue for a restaurant before, let alone in the cold of winter. One of the things we really liked about the restaurant was that they didn't try to rush us at any stage of ...

Planet 51 (DVD) 21/12/2009

What on Earth! Oh we're not on Earth

Planet 51 (DVD) Deciding against the panto this year, we decided to go to the cinema, but unfortunately there are no big blockbuster films suitable for kids on at the moment, so we decided on Planet 51. Synopsis Lem has just landed a new job, he’s just found out that the girl next door (who he’s had a thing about for years) likes him, and he’s doing great at college. Life couldn’t be better, well except for the hippy Glar, who is also interested in Neera. It’s a lovely afternoon, the food is cooking on the barbie and everyone is having fun, for all intents and purposes it’s a great day on 1950’s Earth. However this isn’t Earth, it’s Planet 51, Lem and his family and friends are little green men (and women). Lem’s life is about to get complicated though, as Captain Charles T. Baker (Chuck) an Earth astronaut lands in his backyard, a proceeds to destroy (through no fault of his own) every part of Lem’s life. Down at Area 9 (forget you’ve heard that), Rover comes back to life as Chuck’s ship comes into range. Rover is an AI probe (who has a thing for rocks) who’s programming tells him to seek out Chuck. With the help of his best friend Skiff, and neighbour Eckle, can Lem get Chuck and Rover back to their ship, before General Grawl and Professor Kribble find them and dissect them. Voice Cast • Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as Captain Charles "Chuck" Baker • Jessica Biel as Neera • Justin Long as Lem and Rover (vocal effects) • Seann William Scott as Skiff • Gary Oldman as General ...

Tinker Bell (DVD) 07/12/2009

Talking Tink

Tinker Bell (DVD) Synopsis The film begins with a seed floating on the air toward pixie hollow, once it reaches its destination the seed is magically turned into the latest fairy. The follows a small ceremony which all fairies go through, to find out what their talent is. The new fairy looks at the symbols for water, light and gardening, but they all disappear. She passes by the hammer, but as she walks past it glows brightly, and it seems that the hammer has decided that this fairy will be a tinker. The queen therefore names the new fairy Tinker Bell. Excited at first Tinker Bell follows the other tinkers to their workshop, but soon she realises that some fairies think that the tinkers are less important that they are, and to make things worse, Tinker Bell finds that she will not be allowed to fly to the mainland to help bring in the spring. So Tinker Bell decides to find a new talent, which can only spell disaster. Cast Mae Whitman ... Tinker Bell Kristin Chenoweth ... Rosetta Raven-Symoné ... Iridessa Lucy Liu ... Silvermist America Ferrera ... Fawn Jane Horrocks ... Fairy Mary Jesse McCartney ... Terence Jeff Bennett ... Clank Rob Paulsen ... Bobble My Thoughts I quite enjoyed this film, there was nothing particularly exciting or inventive about it, but it was a pleasant film to watch. I think the whole storyline was a bit of a rip off though, and a definite case of Disney riding on the back of the success of Peter Pan. Snip the wings off the fairies and you could have a ...

Deck The Halls (DVD) 01/12/2009

You'll want to deck the producer after watching this

Deck The Halls (DVD) Each time I think that films can't possibly get any worse, another one comes along that proves me wrong again, and Deck the Halls is one of those films. Synopsis Buddy is a man who's wandered through life never quite settling down, moving from job to job and town to town, dragging his young buxom wife and twin 15 year old daughters along with him. Steve lives in a nice quiet town, he's the local optician and everyone knows him, he's been in charge of the town’s winter festival for the last few years and is known as the 'Christmas man'. Steve is woken one night by the sound of a truck pulling up to the house across the road, the new neighbours are moving in, in the form of Buddy and his family. The next morning S catches Buddy just as he's trying to steal the paper off the doorstep, and whilst Steve and Buddy aren't sure about each other, their wives Tia and Kelly hit it off. Buddy still can't settle in his new home, despite making a good start in his new job, but Tia tells him that she's fed up of moving and he'd better try and make it work. Then Buddy hits on a idea, he'll light his house up with Christmas lights, and make it so bright that it'll be seen from space. Needless to say that the pompous and straight laced Steve finds Buddy's lights tacky at first, but then they start to drive him mad, and the more lights Buddy gets, the more annoyed and irrational Steve gets. Will either man admit they are acting like children? Will a merry Christmas be celebrated ...

Curious Case Of Benjamin Button , The(DVD) 28/11/2009

Button it!

Curious Case Of Benjamin Button , The(DVD) The film begins in a hospital with Caroline and her mother, her mother is dying with only a few hours to live. She suddenly tells Caroline the tale of Mr Gateux (or Mr Cake) and his train station clock, the clock runs backward, and this prompts Caroline's mother to ask Caroline to read from a diary she has in her suitcase. The diary has been written by a man Caroline doesn't know, and is the story of his life, it was written by Benjamin Button. Benjamin was born on the night that World War I ended; whilst everyone else is celebrating Benjamin's father is rushing home to his wife. He gets home to find the priest has already been called and the doctor informs him that she will die shortly. He rushes to his wife's side, and with her last few breathes she asks him to make sure 'there will always be a place for him', her husband agrees, but within seconds of seeing the boy his promise is forgotten. The sight of his son horrifies him so much that he rushes to the river to drown him, but is interrupted by a night watchman. Instead he runs until he comes across an old people’s home, and leaves the child on the step and places a few dollars inside the blanket. Queenie is in charge of the home and soon discovers the baby on the steps, she's initially repulsed by the sight of the baby, but it only takes a few seconds for her to redeem her composure. She asks the doctor go take a look at the baby, he informs her that he's suffering from diseases normally associated with the elderly, ...

Cross Country - James Patterson 23/11/2009

I prefer netball to Cross Country

Cross Country - James Patterson As usual I'm reading books in the wrong order, I've jumped from Double Cross straight to Cross Country without reading the two or three books in between, but I don't think this has spoilt my enjoyment of this book. Synopsis Alex is called on to help the investigation of the deaths of an entire family, when he gets there he realises one of them is Eleanor Cox his ex girlfriend. Witnesses have mentioned that the perpetrators, although masked seemed to be very young, they could even children. Soon there is another mass killing and once again Alex, Bree and John are called in to investigate, yet again it seems that children are involved. All too quickly Alex discovers that the person they want for these murders has left the country, but Alex can't just leave it there, he wants to bring him to justice for Eleanor’s sake, and to do so he must travel to Africa and put his own life in danger. My Thoughts I enjoyed this book, but there was something very sad about it. Throughout Alex's trials in Africa we hear of the horrendous atrocities which happen on a daily basis to real life residents of those countries, and it seems inappropriate to enjoy a reading book detailing the rape and murder of young children, knowing that there is probably a young child suffering at that moment in time. But I did enjoy it, because as dark as some of the scenes were, the book is about more than a few pages. Again, even though I said I enjoyed the book there are an awful lot of plot holes in it, ...

Miracle On 34th Street (DVD) 23/11/2009

Santa's a thug

Miracle On 34th Street (DVD) After seeing goodness knows how many comments on Facebook about Christmas trees going up already, I thought it was time to try and get into the Christmas spirit, so we rented Miracle on 34th Street, a Christmas film that I’d never actually got round to watching before, but had heard lots of good things about. Synopsis Cole’s department store is in trouble, it has just warded off one attempted buy out, but the claws are out from their opposition, and they’re determined to do whatever they can to own that shop. At the same time as the news of the failed buy out hits the papers, Dorey Walker is organising Cole’s annual Thanksgiving Day parade. Unfortunately for Doris, her Santa is a drunk and as far from the image of Santa as you could get. But as luck would have it, an old man who goes by the name of Kriss Kringle just happens to be passing, and bare and uncanny resemblance to Santa, Doris randomly approaches him in the middle of the park as he’s leaving the parade area, and offers him the job, which he accepts. Kriss makes a good impression at the store, and on Dorey’s daughter Sarah, although Doris has told Sarah the truth about Santa, so she’s reluctant to believe he’s the real deal. In order to test him out, she tells him that for Christmas she wants a proper family, mum, dad and baby brother, and if he doesn’t deliver then it’s proof that he’s not real. If that wasn’t enough for Kriss to deal, Cole’s rivals are cheesed off with the success Coles are achieving, ...

Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief 20/11/2009

Pro relief? No relief

Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief I am a Bzzagent and I'm reviewing the toothpaste distributed in their latest campaign. I was sent a full sized sample of Colgate Sensitive Pro Relief, and some small samples to give out to friends and family. What does this toothpaste do? In a nutshell it's supposed to help against sensitivity by blocking tubules which, when you see the microscopic drawing, look like little holes in the tooth along the gum line. 'The open tubules are a pathway to sensitive pain' according to Colgate, and the toothpaste provides occlusion of dentine tubules. Using the Toothpaste You use the toothpaste as you would any other, brushing twice a day, paying particular attention to the gum line. You can also dab a small amount on any particularly sensitive areas close to the gum, using a small amount place on the finger tip and massaging in. You're advised to do this just once a week, for one minute. My Teeth I have had receding gums for a while now, another great family trait I have to thank my dad for (along with grey hair at 16)!! Luckily I have faired better than he did, and still have all of my teeth, whereas he was stuck with receding gums so badly he had to have all his teeth removed in his 20's. So I've had sensitive teeth for a long time, which are mainly affected by cold things, and only slightly by hot items. But I've never had to stop eating or drinking anything because of it. My Experience As you can probably tell from the single star I've given this product, I was ...

Yes Man (DVD) 15/11/2009

Say no to this Yes Man

Yes Man (DVD) I've just had the misfortune of watching Yes Man, and you can probably guess that I was really disappointed. Synopsis Carl is a bank clerk in charge of approving or denying loans most of which he denies. After separating from his wife, he has withdrawn into his shell and no longer enjoys the company of his friends. In short he's turned into a grumpy old man, that is until he runs into an old friend whilst he's eating his lunch. His friends tells him of a seminar that's coming up in a few days, which gas changed his life for the better. The concept is simple, you can improve your life by saying 'yes'. And that's what Carl decides to do, but it's not as easy as it sounds, there are somethings you just want to say no to, the trouble is bad things happen when Carl says no. Cast Jim Carrey as Carl Allen Zooey Deschanel as Allison Bradley Cooper as Peter John Michael Higgins as Nick Rhys Darby as Norman Danny Masterson as Rooney Fionnula Flanagan as Tillie My Thoughts The basic idea for the film is a great one, although it seems very much a film along the lines of Liar, Liar. In this film he can't say no, in the other he couldn't lie, and both situations led to amusing consequences, or it did in Liar,Liar anyway, in this film someone forgot to tell the writers to add the jokes in. I'm not a huge Jim Carrey fan, I liked Liar, Liar and Bruce Almighty, but I wouldn't go so far as to say he's a great actor. In this film he's particularly poor, although the ...

Asda Cumberland Sausages 13/11/2009

They're anything but Cumberland

Asda Cumberland Sausages Asda Cumberland Sausages, well in my opinion they should be sued under the trades descriptions act because Cumberland sausage they are most certainly not! I know living in Cumbria means that we are spoilt when it comes to Cumberland Sausage because there are plenty of places that sell the real deal, but sometimes it's a pain driving down to the Coast Road to buy a couple of rings, so occasionally I will buy from the supermarkets. This is the first time I've bought the Asda version though and it will definitely be the last. The sausages aren't to bad as far as plain old sausages go, but the first thing that differentiates them from proper Cumberland sausages is the skin, on these sausages the skin is very thin and splits easily, the skin of Cumberland sausages is quite thick and doesn't split. The next difference is the sausage meat, this meat was smooth and very finely minced, whereas a real Cumberland has coarse roughly ground meat. Finally there was a distinct lack of herbs in these sausages, in fact apart from a little black pepper I don't think there was any other flavours in there. The herbs are the whole basis of a Cumberland sausage and without then it's just a plain sausage. As I said before, as an ordinary sausage these are fine, they cooked up well despite the skins splitting, and tasted reasonably good, they just weren't Cumberland Sausages. They didn't release lots of fat when they were being cooked, and they didn't taste greasy at all. Typical values Per ...

Night At The Museum 2 - Escape From The Smithsonian (DVD) 12/11/2009

They should have stopped at #1

Night At The Museum 2 - Escape From The Smithsonian (DVD) Night at the Museum 2 is the sequel to Night at the Museum (bet you never worked that one out!), in the original we found out that all the exhibits in New York's Natural History Museum came to life at night, due to the power of the Tablet of Ahkmenrah. Now he's back, but things have changed. Synopsis Larry has given up his position of night guard at the museum, and is running a successful company which produces and sells his inventions. His ideas for the inventions have come from his time as a night guard, the over sized dog bone (which he used to keep the T-Rex happy), the unloseable keyring (after the monkey kept pinching his) and the latest gadget, a glow in the dark torch for when you need a torch but it's dark and you can't find one. Because his company has been so successful, he hasn't visited the museum for a few months, when he finally gets there he finds that many of the exhibits are packed up for transportation. After talking to Dr McPhee he finds out the museum is being updated and the exhibits are being changed for more hi-tech devices. Teddy Roosevelt informs Larry that the Tablet of Ahkmenrah is staying in the museum, but they don't realise that Dexter the monkey is listening. Just as Larry is about to sit down to eat with his son Nicky the phone rings, on the other end is a terrified Jedediah, who tells Larry that Dexter stole the tablet before going back into his box, and all the exhibits stored in the Smithsonian archives have come to life, including ...
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