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dogard

dogard

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Reviews written

since 12/10/2004

19

Ssangyong Korando 12/08/2005

Korando - good name/poor car

Ssangyong Korando The Korando is a 3 door 4x4 from Korea that's been styled by British designers, picked up and built by the Koreans. It evolved from an old 4x4 used by the South Korean army and police. Its butch styling is different and coming from a country not recognised as a 4x4 manufacturer, didn't win it major acceptance in a competitive market more used to the subtle and proven Honda CR-V or Subaru Forester. Sales of the Korando ceased in 1998 - I've not seen many on the road so it can't have been all that successful. Some may not like the distinctive styling and may think its a little over the top for them. However, some of the newer 4x4's out there take styling even further and manage to loose the rugged 4x4 look. The build is tough and mechanically rugged with a fairly roomy interior. But like most 4x4's lacks the on-road refinement and heritage of the proven and more expensive luxury 4x4's. However, considering the Korando's standard equipment, all-terrain ability and proven reliability its worth every penny. (this is until you come to sell it!) The engines are solid bullet proof Mercedes engines that should see well over a 100k miles. Engines choices are a 2.3 petrol and a 2.9 turbo diesel, driving through a five-speed gearbox with selectable four-wheel drive. The gear change is similar to a MKII Land Rover !! That brings back memories... Don't consider the 2.3 with an auto box - its far to slow.....really, really slow....you'll 2cv's screaming up behind you!! These ...

BMW X3 2.0d 03/08/2005

I went, I touched, I drove and I left.

BMW X3 2.0d I liked the X5 and thought I'd have a look at the new X3 2.0d SE as its fairly economical on paper. After spending some time with the X3 and driving it I came to the conclusion that its a rather bland and boring car. Its far to low to be a serious 4x4 and no where near an Audi estate or even a 5 series. Inside you do get good equipment though: Many airbags - Driver and front passenger airbags with IDA? (impact-depending airbag system), front seat occupancy detector, Head airbag front and rear, Side airbags at the front for driver and front passenger. If you had a serious accident and all the airbags went off I think you'd all get squashed into to middle, bang heads and get injured that way. The interior feels cheap (but the price isn't) and not like the BMW's of the past. The dash layout is standard (Instrument panel with round speedometer and rpm dials, fuel gauge and coolant temperature gauge) but the plastics used look and feel of a lower quality than you'd expect from BMW. Dash is in a dark grey that just looks dated. Small glove compartment (for gloves) which is illuminated and lockable. The Radio and single CD player is the standard BMW one - nothing special here. This car has so many sensors that I'd be worried that when the warranty is up its all going to fail : Central locking with electronic immobiliser, crash sensors, fuel tank filler flap integrated into the central locking, seat sensors, brake sensors, ... The ride : Not bad. Fairly nimble but ...

accars.com 21/06/2005

Simple cars / simple website

accars.com The accars website is very simple to use as there is very little there to look at. This site is for people looking to buy cars such as the awesome AC Cobra, Aces, Acescas and Greyhounds (which I've never heard of?) There is not much here other than : -Contact information -Opportunity to be redirected to www.jbradburn.co.uk web site. www.jbradburn.co.uk web site is a site which covers the AC range as well as Frazer Nash and Bristol (very old names) A nice and easy site to navigate which I would guess is a good thing as the people who remember and buy these cars don't come from the PC/internet era. There are some great pictures of historic cars and other stuff in the gallery. Its only small (around 55 pics) but worth a look at some of the old cars. The cars in stock pages are very good, but there are no prices displayed!! all expensive then. The parts pages detail part, tyres, books and manuals for various old British cars. The 'About Us' page is worth a read if you're interested in old British car manufacturers. It gives you a very brief description of the history of Bradburn and the dealership created. Its nice to see that the old names are still out there and available (for those who are lackey) ...

Caterham 20/06/2005

Nolonger a kit supplier

Caterham Having spoken to a Caterham salesperson (Caterham Cars Midlands) over the phone I decided to called in the show room with a potential view to changing my current seven style kit for the Caterham Superlight. As it was a dry day I decided to go in my current kit car which is a very tidy Tiger Avon (Built by Tiger). I was met by a salesperson who came out as I was climbing out of my car. Very friendly, polite and complementary about my current seven. They had a good selection of new and used sevens and were more than happy to provide test drives and assistance. However, you must arrange a test drive by prior appointment, turn up and you'll find they're not all that willing to take you out. The sales staff seem to know the product well and all the pros and cons of ownership, and more than willing to sell you anything with 'Caterham' on it. What spoilt the experience was the overwhelming desire to sell me a complete factory built car, despite stating that I was looking for a self build. Even though I was looking for a self build I was actively being discouraged. Also, they did belittle some rivals (Tiger, Westfield, ...) by pointing out all the faults to the point of being arrogant. (I've had nothing but good service from Tiger Racing) I find this very unprofessional. The after sales support looks good and comprehensive. They have a network of service agents that can service your They are more than helpful when it comes to arranging finance. Personally, I thought it ...

Red Dead Revolver (Xbox) 07/06/2005

Red Dead Revolver

Red Dead Revolver (Xbox) In general its a good game with good game play and shoot um up action. Movement seems a little slow sometimes. You can collect a good selection of weapons that function like the originals (no special outrageous weapons). The bar room brawls are different and work well. I struggled on some levels but managed to clear them thanks to the 'retry' option you get. Some levels you'll complete very easily and quickly and you'll be left thinking 'was that it !!?' It would have been a much better game if it had a multiplayer option or coop mode. Buy it second-hand if you can as new its still £20+. I got mine for £12 which for the amount of time spent playing was well worth it. ...

Closer (DVD) 14/01/2005

Gripping film

Closer (DVD) This review has been rewritten as certain people seemed to think it was copied - It was not. This is a film about two normal couples who's relationships become problematic and more complex when the man from one married couple gets involved with a woman from the other couple. This is a concept that's been touched upon by many films but this one I believe delivers it much better than others. Its a story that in my opinion captures perfectly the emotions that we feel when involved in a love spat or fallout. There is the complete desire and need for another person, wanting and needing them close to you, to listen to you and love you. While at the same time with the adrenalin and emotions running out of control the mere vision of seeing that person and hearing their voice sends you into utter misery and a spiralling depression. Before long resentment starts to creep in and you find yourself feeling repulsed by them. This is a dangerous circle to fall into. I for one can relate to this. Jude Law, who is an actor I don't personally rate and in my opinion is grossly overrated manages to play a surprisingly masterful role, and is matched equally and supportively by the performances of Clive Owen, Natalie Portman and Julia Roberts (who I would normally put in the same pot as Mr Law). This is a brilliant movie with many mixed emotions but will not appeal to all (might be to close to reality for some!!). As soon as you think, okay, that's it, it all over, this is where they ...

Fiat Stilo Multi Wagon 1.9 JTD 12/01/2005

Its alright as a loan car

Fiat Stilo Multi Wagon 1.9 JTD Had one of these awful cars when my wife's three door Stilo went in for a service. The multiwagon is a sort of estate or is it an MPV. Its basically the same as all Stilo's underneath. The drive is not bad having a driver's seat that is highly adjustable, so it's easy to get comfortable. What I did not like was the five-door's high driving position. In 'city' mode (which makes the light steering even lighter), even those with the frailest of wrists should be able to park this car. This model had the parking sensors which proved useful. It much more easy to get to the back seats and there's room inside for three adults to sit in comfort for some time. Silly little picnic tables in the back of the seats are a novel idea but are made from cheap plastic and rob space. I don't know how the petrol engines drive with this body attached but the 1.9 JTD is not a bad engine and impressed - powerful, refined and very economical. There's a bit too much bodyroll for me and much more than the solid three door hatch. It feels much more softly sprung for gentle family motoring and also feels less agile. I was impressed by the enormous load area that should cope with any job you throw at it, whether it be trips to the DIY store, weekly shop or even moving bulky items to the tip (it was a hire car!). Hidden behind the dash is very clever and a great security measure (the autochanger is fitted in there - so well hidden, you wouldn't find it) Like the hatchback it had ...

Battle Of The Stars 10/01/2005

Seven futuristic mercenaries

Battle Of The Stars A magnificent seven si-fi film. A strange bunch of futuristic mercenaries are assembled to defend a helpless farm colony from an evil overlord. Sounds dodgy but its compulsive viewing. I sat and watched this over the Christmas break, despite what are now sub-terrainian special effects. It has a fairly good story line and has the standard good verses evil story. The characters are likeable and the script is decent. So, if you can put a side lame effects (a serious under estimate), then you should see this. Cast is made up of some big names : Richard Thomas, Robert Vaughn, John Saxon, George Peppard. The main character, Shad, hails from the planet Akir. The natives of Akir are known as the Akira. 'Vaughn, Robert' plays essentially the same character he played in 'The magnificent seven '. Gelt is modeled closely after the character Lee from "The Magnificent Seven" (both of whom were played by Robert Vaughn) and I'm sure that some of Gelt's dialogue is lifted almost verbatum from "The Magnificent Seven". I have seen that this was Roger Corman's most expensive feature costing $2 million. Most of the budget was spent paying actors Robert Vaughn and George Peppard who both had high asking prices. As a result of paying off these two big actors the special effects suffered. A bit cheesey at times. As is the Magnificent Seven, Battle Beyond the Stars is a good old film which once you start watching you can't turn it off. ...

Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan (DVD) 10/01/2005

An unusual film

Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan (DVD) Film is based on the India-Pakistan war during 1971. The story revolves round a militant attack at a transit camp of pilgrims on their way to the Amarnath cave pilgrimage. Amitabh Bachchan plays the role of a retired Sikh army general. Bobby Deol plays a good double role of Amitabh's son and grandson. This is well filmed and flows well. While the son is a devoted army officer, the grandson's character is that of a defiant individual. Unlike his father and grandfather he isn't much of a patriotic person. But with regards to his love towards his grandfather, he joins the army and proves his point. Its a very well made film about a very sad and violent period. This is not a film for all and will disappoint some. Personally, this is not my usual type of film but it was orth viewing. ...

The Streetfighter (DVD) 10/01/2005

Game 2 film

The Streetfighter (DVD) Col. Guile (Jean-Claude Van Damme) and various other martial arts heroes, including a younger Kylie Minogue(not bad) fight against the tyranny of Dictator M. Bison (Raul Julia) and his cohorts. The film includes characters from the video games up to and including Super Street Fighter II. I believe Street Fighter is one of the most underated and unfairly roasted films from the '90's. If anything, this is a lively, vibrant, highly entertaining and ever so well made fun filled film. The effects are not bad but more importantly its packed with excitement and is one of the more superior adventure films of the era. Colonel Guile (Jean Claude Van Damme) heads a team of United Nations commandoes on a rescue mission to retreive kidnapped relief workers from the clutches of power mad General M.Bison (Raul Julia) whose a total war lord. He's assisted by his crooked arms supplier Sagat whilst Guile's helped by Cammy (the suprisingly good Kylie Minogue). It may all look slightly over the top and perhaps it doesn't have the most coherent plot in the world, but this is, alas, probably one of Van Damme's best roles. There is a scene where he delivers a stirring war speech to his troops which in my eyes anyway is a as close to 'acting' as Van Damme gets. There's a good old showdown at the end with the two leads and a very engaging performance from Bison's unwitting scientist Dr.Dhalsim, delivering an ace line :'If good men do nothing, that is evil enough.' Its worth watching ...

Trancers 2 (DVD) 10/01/2005

A weak follow-up

Trancers 2 (DVD) Trancers 2, is a weak follow-up to the original ,"Trancers". At the start of the film, the scene is set by Jack Deth narrating: Talks about how he spent a lot of time wandering around, knowing a killer quake is comming in the future of 2063, ... blah, blah, blah.... The first film was not all that bad but the actors that were in the first film look weary and board. While Jack Deth sounds fine doing the voice over narration, in the film itself he has the energy of a deflated doll !! Helen Hunt, who played an important role, in the first film has little to do in this one. She looks good, has energy but only has a minor role. The Trancer leader, is neither particularly threatening, nor has a strong screen presence. Some of the dialogue in the film is poor but their are some cracking one liners, that at the time were really funny. Hoewver, atfer 10mins you've forgotten them. The film's best spiecial effects involve dead Trancers, flaming out, disappearing, and leaving burnt marks on the ground where they were. The spiecial effects are okay, but not really state-of-the-art, even for this era. The music in the film was electronic/synthesizer and anoying. Trancers 2 may be somewhat watchable for some Sci-Fi viewers. Its the sort of film thats worth watching on a Saturday night if you've got no friends or nothing better to do. ...

Chrysler Voyager 2.0 07/01/2005

Voyager

Chrysler Voyager 2.0 I had the 7 seater, 2ltr Voyager and regret selling it when I did. Interior: Build quality is excellent. Very spacious. The quality of the leather is good for a US car. My kids loved having their own seat and space (less fighting!!) Be warned, if you want to remove seats from the car get some help. I could not believe how heavy they were - be careful. Get all the seats out and you've got a van and can lug an amazing amount of stuff around. Having sliding rear doors on both sides is useful - the Toyota didn't have and was a pain. Instruments and controls were once you got used to them clear and nice to use as a result of the quality of build. Exterior: Looks good. The two rear sliding doors are much better than conventional opening doors like on the Ford. Roof bars are strong and useful but a pig to move - it will take two of you or you'll be running from one side to the other moving them. This is a wider than normal car and as such finding a suitable space in some car parks is harder. Engine: 2ltr is grossly under powered and a little unrefined. I managed to average 30mpg. Issues: The Voyager has a good immobiliser installer as standard. However, be warned if you are filling up with fuel and one of the passengers opens the rear sliding door on that side it seamed to cause a problem with the immobiliser. Strange and very annoying but the dealer said it was a security feature. Servicing costs were very high from the main dealers. The climate control works ...

Vauxhall Frontera Estate 2.2i 06/01/2005

The 4x4

Vauxhall Frontera Estate 2.2i I had a Vauxhall Frontera Estate Ltd. 2.2i as a company car for around a year and loved it. There are loads of write-ups on how bad the Frontera is, ... blah, blah, blah. Mine was great. It was a work horse - Even though it was only the 2.2i it could cope with a full load, roof box and 5 people. No, its not the fastest 4x4 by far and does wallow around due to big feet. BUT ITS A 4X4 !! I had a Mazda pick-up run into the side of me and caused major damage to his front end. The Frontera had little damage (a new door skin) for a side impact. I was very surprised and impressed. The switchable 4x4 system works well and the car is more than capable off road. The air-con is not up to much tho. Performance: Not bad for a big car with only a 2.2 engine. Fuel....uses a lot of it. Go for a matalic paint finish as this does not chip as much. The build quality is not all that bad. However, the interior is basically a Vectra. Seats were a little uncomfortable on long drives. The major issue I had which caused many, many arguments was the service I received from the GM service department. They have not got a clue!! The only problems I had with the car was caused by the garage servicing the car and causing issues. Summary : If you need a cheap 2nd hand, large 4x4 I'd consider a Frontera. However, there are others .... and I've had a few of them also. ...

Fiat Stilo 06/01/2005

They are better now

Fiat Stilo My wife has had three new Fiats over the years and has loved all. the deals we have had were good (0% interest) and the overall service from the sales team and service department has been exellent. Once a price had been agreed, everything was reasonably plain-sailing. We agreed a date when the car would be available for collection. We identified the car we were after with the extras and paint. They then looked throughout the whole Fiat network for one available and found one in Germany. The salesman arranged shipment and dates while we were there in the show room. (20mins). This cut the delivery date down by weeks. Any minor issues we have had since buying this latest Fiat have been sorted very quickly. The salesman takes an active role in the service to you and helped arrange a car when there was not one available when the Stilo went in for a service. The whole buying experience was painless. I would recommend this garage to anyone wishing to get themselves a good service, or a good deal. ...

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004) 05/01/2005

Not as good as the trailer

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004) My daughter had been raving about this film and the books. She hassled us to take her to see it over the Christmas period. The adverts for the film looked great and with a cast line up of Jim Carey, Meryl Streep (who I personally don't like), the overrated Jude Law and Billy Connolly it had to be a film worth seeing. According to my daughter who has read the books this film comes in a very poor second. Three wealthy children Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire who are orphaned when their parents die in a mysterious fire. In short Count Olaf their distant uncle (Jim Carey) tries to steal their fortune. And those 14 words are about as interesting and gripping as Jim Carey's acting in this film. He gradually got more and more on my nerves as this character. Billy Connolly play their uncle Montgomery Montgomery - This is when the film became a little more interesting as they were planning to go to Chile (if I remember correctly - I was more interested in the M&M's by this point). A missed opportunity for the film by killing him of so quickly. There are some good special effects but I think this was a Jim Carey's fill in movie while he's waiting for the next big movie deal. The films ending is sudden and poor. Summary : Rubbish (and that's from my 11 year old daughter); doesn't flow; poor acting and script; the film trailers built this film up and were better than the film its self. ...
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