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since 08/08/2012


Brooklands Museum, Weybridge 16/07/2014

A Full Throttle Museum!

Brooklands Museum, Weybridge Sometimes there is a surprise in just jumping into the unknown; Brooklands Museum at Weybridge is one of them and what it has to offer in terms of exhibits. Believe it or not the Museum itself is based at the world’s first race track, a vast two and a half mile circular track that held the earliest form of racing for cars and motorbikes, in fact endurance testing was the main thing that was held here when it first opened in 1907. It’s a unique track and had 30ft high banking around various bends allowing the vehicles to go faster than if it was a flat track. However that was then and this is now… only 800 metres of track remain within the museum grounds and the remainder has been either built for retail or industrial purposes or laid waste to weeds and effectively returned to nature. A good example is the piece of track that is opposite Tesco and Marks and Spencer at the southern end, the main road has been cut through the track itself to form the main route from Cobham from New Haw. To think the track was initially built on farmland and the loss of the land on which the track resided is nothing but a tragedy. This makes the Museum all the more important in keeping the legacy going and the Museum has seriously upped its game in recent years to pull in the crowds. First of all there is plenty to look at, not only Formula 1 cars and Motorbikes, but also Aircraft and Buses. This sounds a lot and it is, so I will explain further…. The fundamental point of the place is ...

Jack Reacher (DVD) 16/07/2014

Introducing Jack Reacher

Jack Reacher (DVD) When I first heard that Tom Cruise was playing the part of Jack Reacher then the alarm bells went of immediately! The problem is that Reacher is well over six foot high and is a cross between Schwarzenegger and Clint Eastwood, Cruise isn’t built in that nature and actually doesn’t have that physical appearance at all. So being a fan of the Lee Child novels I was interested to see how this would turn out. The plot is quite simple; one of Reacher’s Military colleagues who he fought with has been arrested for what appears to be the random murder of five people in Pittsburgh. It looks like a random murder that James Barr has committed but as Reacher digs deeper it appears there is more afoot than meets the eye, Reacher is an experienced Military investigator and although he knows the person arrested is more than capable of doing the job due to another incident that took place while in Baghdad, he knows for certain that after visiting the scene that Barr didn’t do it… he has to now go out and prove it. This is when things take a turn for the worst and Reacher is set up to take a fall to get him out of the way. The film is based on the novel called One Shot released in 2007, and is fairly close to the novel itself. The cast of the film takes the story to the need level, Cruise as the lead plays the part differently to his previous roles and here he is more serious than before and any humour shown is of the dry nature. He does show that he can handle himself with the ...

Star Trek (DVD) 16/07/2014

Space... The Rebooted Frontier!

Star Trek (DVD) The Star Trek franchise was struggling, after ten movies the audiences were getting bored with the lacklustre stories and what appeared to be bad leadership from Rick Berman, a man who had taken over the reigns and was slowly doing a good job of suffocating the entre Star Trek legacy given the fact that the TV show Star Trek Enterprise had just been cancelled after four seasons and the box office for Star Trek Nemesis was well below predictions made by Paramount. It was time for a change and a seven year break was just what the Doctor ordered. This is going to be a bit difficult to explain, but the story isn’t so much a reboot or a re-imagining, but more like taking place in an alternate universe that Ambassador Spock unwittingly travels to. However that is further on in the story, the film opens with the USS Kelvin investigating a storm in space that a ship of massive proportions. After the Kelvin surrenders and its Captain is brutally murdered, Command is given to Commander George Kirk. Kirk’s wife is in labour, and to save the lives of the ships crew and his wife and child Kirk has no choice but to take the Kelvin on a suicide run to buy time for the getaway to be performed. Kirks wife gives birth to a baby boy and before the inevitable happens both Kirk and his wife agree a name… James Tiberius Kirk. The plot of the story revolves around Nero, a renegade Romulan and his crew that wants to enact revenge upon Spock for the loss of his family and the destruction of ...

Batman: The Killing Joke - Alan Moore 27/12/2013

Batman On The Edge

Batman: The Killing Joke - Alan Moore It’s hard to believe this was originally released in 1988, the story is one that sticks in your mind with regards to Batman and what his close friends are put through by The Joker, however with numerous re-prints and the occasional Special Edition released over the last 24 years, the book is still a good read. The story is disturbing to say the least, it is a fresh approach as to what happens as the story unfolds and rather than have the Joker hatch a plan by robbing banks, this time it’s something that is far more cerebral in terms of what he wants to gain. The curiosity of The Joker ensures that whatever he touches he destroys and in The Killing Joke he wants to find out what lengths he has to go through to ensure a man’s will is broken and send him over the edge. Batman realising that Joker is loose to do all this has to take careful steps in dealing with him as he has captured Commissioner Gordon, who Joker is using as the proverbial guinea pig in his dark and twisted experiment. This is a different graphic novel story as the length wise the story is quite short and although its not a case of Batman saving the day by any means as the story shows the consequences in quite some depth, the story has added dimensions to it as we get to see who Joker was before the accident that turned him into Batman’s arch nemesis. This is done in subtle ways that the reader gets drawn into a back story and so the reader starts in some ways understand what The Joker is going through. To ...

The Death of Superman - Mike Carlin (Editor) 08/11/2013

Superman - RIP

The Death of Superman - Mike Carlin (Editor) First up with a title like this you know death is an important part of the story. The Death of Superman was a series of comics that was originally printed from October 1992 to November 1992. This was an epic in terms of story telling by DC as it literally dealt with a subject that was only ever been previously told in “What If…” stories dating back to the 1960’s, a story that usually ended up with a character waking up from a dream or a thought of the events that the comic has just told. In other words a reset button was pushed. It was obvious that something had to be done, the comic book sales were falling every month and people just weren’t buying the titles anymore and so something had to be done, something that was fresh for the Superman legacy. The story opens with a large monster escaping from an underground cavern in the vicinity that Justice League has been dealing with an issue, when this creature escapes he causes carnage in small towns across America and slowly making its way across the countryside towards Metropolis; the only man that can stop him is Superman. Superman is drawn into this after seeing the Justice League fast approaching defeat as members of the team who have one up against the creature have been seriously injured when coming face to face with the creature now named Doomsday, a creature who it appears is making his way to Metropolis for a reason after seeing the signs at the side of the road. After a vicious fight between Superman and Doomsday in ...

Iron Man 3 01/11/2013

The Canned Adventurer Returns!

Iron Man 3 The third film in the Iron Man saga takes a very different direction to that of the previous two films in more ways than one while threading a number of sub-plots together in its plot. Watching the film you do get the feeling that its quite complicated being Tony Stark, and in Iron Man 3 you see things have changed for him considerably in his life. Beginning in 1999, Stark is attending a Conference in Europe; this is an important part of the plot as this is essentially what the plot of the film is built on and we see the “old” Tony Stark before he was kidnapped which happened in the first film. We also get to see a product that allows regeneration of a plant to take place but has a few nasty side effects. Apart from these scenes the film is set directly after Avengers Assemble and here we are introduced to a Tony Stark that is suffering from the mental effects of going through the inter-dimensional portal that concluded the Battle of New York by the actions that Stark performed in his metal suit. The plot in Iron Man involves his Happy Hogan, Stark Industries new Head Of Security being injured in an explosion caused by human combustion and so Stark takes it upon himself to “raise the bar” when talking directly to the media which has dire consequences with retaliation as his Malibu residence is destroyed by a helicopter attack, thus meaning Stark is on the run and has to rely more on his wits rather than the technology of his Iron Man armour, especially as a terrorist ...

Alex Ferguson My Autobiography 30/10/2013

Old Trafford Legend

Alex Ferguson My Autobiography It has to be said that Alex Ferguson has had a career that is second to none when it comes to Football Managers and the time that spend in the job. Let’s face it Moyes isn’t actually doing anything other than what he did at Everton and so the results are talking for themselves. Fergie is a legend and for a man who spent 26/27 years ,depending on who reports what in the media, in one single role has to be given a level of respect for just achieving that on its own.However what he accomplished with Manchester United is something that is the envy of every Manager in the Premier league, if not the country and certainly around the world. I was fortunate enough to buy this book on the day it was released and I have to admit that I got a few curious glances reading this on the train on the way home that night and I think this was mainly down to the press conference held to launch the book that ignited the curiosity of the man himself. I prefer to read a book in as few sittings as possible and once off the train I managed to finish this when I got home. Although I did go to bed around 3am. The book is so far away from an autobiography that the pitch of it could have easily been changed to that of an interview or even the rant of an old man who simply wanted to vent a few things and put his side of the story across. But no, what we get here is quite a spiteful and verbose speech on why he hated people and what he thought they did wrong in their career and against him as the ...

Gillette Champions Fusion Shaving Gift Set 26/10/2013

If Sweeney Todd Self-Harmed....

Gillette Champions Fusion Shaving Gift Set I’m not one for actually doing the metrosexual thing, as I prefer to keep it simple. By that I mean soap, water, sponge and razor blade with a can of shaving gel, deodorant and maybe some wax for my hair, in fact that describes my bathroom cabinet really. It works for me and I don’t smell so I know I must be doing something right! For Christmas last year I received the Champions Pack from Gillette. I guess this was based on the advertising campaign that was doing the rounds featuring a few years that Roger Federer and Tiger Woods as the foil packaging it comes in looks like the sportsmen were airbrushed off the packaging and replaced with something that resembles the Wembley arch. Opening this pack was difficult and was more frustrating than anything else but once this was done then the contents could finally be gotten at! Up until I received this present I was using the Gillette Mach 3 razor, and to be honest was getting a little bored of it due to the fact that the razors weren’t actually cutting the hairs as close as I felt they should be given the fact there are actually three blades. So to be given the Gillette Fusion was a bonus, as was receiving an additional three replacement blades a can of Fusion Gel and a small bottle Aftershave Balm that is supposed to be good for me because it contains Aloe Vera and Vitamin E, the mind boggles it really does! Putting this small bottle of a witches concoction aside the main question for me is if the blade is any good as this ...

Who Moved My Cheese? - Spencer Johnson, Kenneth H. Blanchard 20/10/2013

Reclaiming My Cheese!

Who Moved My Cheese? - Spencer Johnson, Kenneth H. Blanchard Change is something that we all have to deal with throughout our lives, whether like me it’s the upcoming end of a job or a change in lifestyle, change is something that can be quite hard to take and even more so something to acclimatise to in terms of what you lose and what you try and gain. For me personally the upcoming change is my company contract for my job is ending next year and to be honest this has sent a low level of panic across the team, I have been based at my place for six years so being told that this is coming to an end was a jolt, especially as it was my first day back after a very pleasant spell of annual leave. I’m not one for motivational speeches or even the so-called “chats of delight” to lighten the mood or my attitude, if something like my job is ending then I find another one straight away and move on after all the situation doesn’t really have much to offer me apart from redundancy and I’m not considering that as an option at the moment as it leaves thing rather open ended for my liking. In my monthly one to one meetings with my Line Manager I was asked to read a book, one that was well known and a book that could give me the key to re-focus and give me a path to follow. The book is relatively cheap at £5.99 and will take less than an hour to read from cover to cover, there is plenty of information with the origins of the book and the story is told of how the book cam about, this on its own is interesting to read and does genuinely give you the ...

Star Trek Motion Picture Trilogy - Andy Schmidt 15/10/2013

Trek Trilogy Rip-Off!

Star Trek Motion Picture Trilogy - Andy Schmidt Throughout the Star Trek franchise the opportunities to take advantage of the comic tie-in was something that was late to take off and even though Marvel issued a high quality edition for Star Trek The Motion Picture in 1979, it all depended upon who held the licence at the time that the film was released as to whether this was part of the marketing strategy. This book brings together all the film adaptations of Star Trek II The Wrath Of Khan, Star Trek III The Search For Spock and finally Star Trek IV The Voyage Home which many people consider one of the best films, for reference it was the one with the Whales. These films released between 1982 and 1987 were considered the trilogy of the Star Trek franchise as all three films were connected and told the story of the crew of the USS Enterprise and the adventures they had throughout the three films that involved life, death and sacrifices. The plot of Star Trek II is basically one man setting out on revenge against Admiral Kirk. Kirk is overseeing a Cadet training cruise when he comes face to face with his nemesis from 15 years ago who Kirk had exiled on a planet for the crimes he had committed…. Khan. The interesting thing about reading the adaptation of The Wrath Of Khan is that the comic version of the film wasn’t released in 1982 at all and was originally available in 2009 by IDW, the reason for this was that the new Star Trek film with Chris Pine was debuting at cinemas and so the only film not to have the comic ...

Docklands Light Rail (DLR) 06/10/2013

A Model Railway On All Levels

Docklands Light Rail (DLR) The Docklands Right Railway is a light rail transport network using a third rail principal opened by The Queen in 1987. USING vast parts of the Millwill and Poplar Railway that had closed years before when the docks lost prosperity. It opened with 15 new stations on the network running from Tower Gateway Station, just north of Tower Bridge and a line south from Stratford joining the other line at West India Quay and then south to Island Gardens where the line terminates close to the northern shoreline of the Thames next to the Greenwich Foot Tunnel this provided the backbone of regeneration to an area that needed it and shaped what was to become Canary Wharf, London City Airport and also the London Olympics. What sells the system for me is the fact that it is automated and driver-less, meaning you can sit at the front of the train and well… pretend to be the driver! Unless that is of course the Train Manager needs to take control for manual purposes, which can be done using the panel at the front of the train. For me personally it was an adventure to simply explore the Docklands, after all it had history and although a lot of the building had been left derelict or had been demolished, the fact that you could sit in a train and be above them looking down was an awesome thing to do. I first went on this about a year after it first opened and have to say that I spent much of the day just riding the line to all the various areas that was served. You have to remember that this was ...

Casino Royale (2006) (DVD) 03/10/2013

007 Rebranded!

Casino Royale (2006) (DVD) Sometimes it comes a point that a franchise just ceases to be entertaining and extraneous measures are needed. This is the opinion that the producers of the Bond films made after Die Another Day. In fact the opinion was that Pierce Brosnan was going to be replaced by Daniel Craig came true when James Bond returned in Casino Royale. As a fan who had seen Brosnan in just four films was a little surprised that they had decided to replace the main lead with someone younger and in appearance didn’t look like a Bond at all. However after watching the film the world became a different place and all was at one with the world again. The film opens up in black and white, a bold move for the Bond films, and shows Bond performing his two assassinations to gain his double-0 status. It only turns into colour when the titles start and overall is quite impressive as this gives the film a certain noir aspect that is used very well. From here on we see a man called Le Chiffre making deals to ensure he can cover debts and walk away without looking behind him all the time. MI6 are fully aware of his movements but is unsure as to what he is up to. Bond’s adventure in Madagascar makes front page news in the British tabloids, due to his reckless and destructive activities chasing a bomber through a construction site and nearly destroying an Embassy, M has no choice but to give him an assignment away from the issues 007 has caused. His mission is to track down Le Chiffre and stop what he is ...

Oxford Street, London 02/10/2013

We'll Always Have Oxford Street!

Oxford Street, London This street has played a vital part in my life, from working in a street just off the main thoroughfare to the extent that the majority of shops are open till 9pm at night makes Oxford Street a strongly viable option compared to the new places of Westfield in West and East London. Oxford Street itself has been through a lot in its rather splendid and eventful history, from the terror of the IRA bombings in the 80’s to the recent building work of the much needed Crossrail project. A project that has severely impacted the street along its full length with various buildings being demolished and tube stations such as Bond Street being upgraded, the scope of impact is huge. Whenever I go here to shop or simply for a stroll then I like to walk from the east end of Oxford Street to Marble Arch, some 1.5 miles in length. There’s plenty to see and plenty of places to visit, however Oxford Circus acts as some kind of barrior between the two halves and comparing the two you can see a noticeable difference. The east side between Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Circus borders Soho to the south and Fitzrovia to the north. The shops in this stretch seem to be more t-shirt shops and less of the brand names in residence. The shop fronts are messy and the buildings look tarnished and unkempt, the pollution from the buses seem to have had an effect here as the road is very narrow and the pavements less than half the width compared to the Marble Arch end. Its here that Crossrail has the ...

The Great Escape (DVD) 26/09/2013

Barbed Wire, Motorbike and Steve McQueen

The Great Escape (DVD) As soon as the music starts you know exactly what film is starting, you know what’s going to happen and you know that this has been on TV nearly every Christmas since you can remember…. This is how The Great Escape is known! Don’t worry about the fact that the story is based on true events and the fact that Steve McQueen is the lead in a film that has a truly stellar cast. No don’t worry about that at all, as these facts are usually overlooked. Based on true events, the story centres a captured group of mixed military men held in a German prisoner of war camp in central Europe. Their leader hatches a plan to not only send the German guards to sleep by projecting an atmosphere that the Allied prisoners are simply getting on with it and not attempting any escapes. However it couldn’t be further from the truth, three tunnels are being built going in three different directions in a bid to free 250 men. The leaders plan is to cause chaos for the Germans. As the plan is developed the story opens and evolves that you see each man’s story developing, effectively the story splits in multiple storylines when the attempt reaches fruition. The cast for the film is awesome, Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, David McCullum, Donald Pleasance, Charles Bronson, and James Coburn are just a few of the names in the film. It’s interesting to see some of the co-stars as well as they seemed to have been picked as they have a hit in the chart parade at the time, this is more ...

James Bond: Octopussy (UMD) 15/09/2013

Bond's All Time High

James Bond: Octopussy (UMD) Having a Playstation Portabale (PSP)these days is kind of like having a Sony Walkman to listen to cassettes, still useable but just off the radar when the world now uses Ipad’s and tablets to watch media, so picking up a Bond film in CEX for just £4 was a bargain for me as I tend to watch the films on the train going to work and back. It works for me and passes the time quite nicely so my trip into Victoria seems to pass quicker than it would reading the morning paper. The film was released in 1983 and is Roger Moore’s penultimate film as the secret agent. At the time Moore wasn’t planning to make another but the producers made him an offer and so he made A View to a Kill two years later. When Octopussy was made Moore was 55 years old and the film does show this in parts. However the story is firmly based in the Cold War era, this makes the film stand out a little more from the others. When Agent 009 is found dead after gaining entry to the British Embassy in East Germany grasping a Faberge Egg, the British are forced to investigate the issues suspecting the Russians are responsible. In Moscow the Russians have rejected a plan from a General to invade Europe. However the General takes the rejection badly and decides to execute the plan in his own way with a severe twist. Parts of the film are taken from the short Ian Fleming Bond stories Octopussy and The Property of a Lady with the scenes set in Sotheby’s London auction room. Moore plays Bond in his own way and after the ...
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