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livelylad

livelylad

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Time to start reviewing again.

Reviews written

since 24/10/2009

46

The Last Fighting Tommy - Richard Van Emden 08/04/2010

"For your tomorrow we gave our today"

The Last Fighting Tommy - Richard Van Emden ''politicians who took us to war should have been given guns and told to settle their differences themselves, instead of organising nothing better than legalised mass murder." Introduction Sadly, Harry Patch passed away in July 2009. This book is his account of his life. His boyhood pranks, the horrors of the First World War and his later years. An insight from the last Tommy to serve in the trenches. Harry spent only a few months in the trenches, much less than most. Possibly the most remarkable thing is that Harry never spoke about his exploits in the war until he was 100 years old, this coupled with the fact that he was the last Tommy to serve in the trenches catapulted him into the public eye. Aged 109 Harry decided to write this book, I for one am very glad he did. The Book The book has 11 chapters, but I think its best discribed as being in three parts as it deals with three distinctive periods in Harry's life. Part 1 Growing up. Part 2 The First World War & The Second World War. Part 3 Growing Old. Growing Up Well the title says really all you need to know. Harry's formative years were spent in Somerset. You can clearly guage from reading the book that this was a very happy time for Harry. For me reading this part of the book makes me a little sad. It shows what we have lost as a nation, the boy hood pranks, the mischief, scrumping for fruit and mostly the innocence of youth in Edwardian England. Harry's tells of long warm summers spent with his ...

Training Day (DVD) 05/04/2010

To Protect the Sheep.... You Gotta Catch the Wolf!

Training Day (DVD) Introduction Well I may as well start as I mean to go on regarding this film. Its BRILLIANT. Plot 'Basic Plot to Avoid Spoilers' Denzel Washington plays a L.A.P.D detective Alonzo Harris. Alonzo is not your regular police officer. He is a narcotics officer, with his own crack unit who is a law unto himself. Ethan Hawke plays a rookie Jake Hoyt, Hoyt has 24 hours to convince Alonzo that he has what it takes to be a narc in his unit. Training day is the story of Hoyt's 24 hrs, his trails and ethical dilemas, his sense of right and wrong is shattered by the world he is introduced into by Alonzo. Both men have differing agendas for the 24 hrs. Hoyt wants to make a diiference on the streets, Alonzo wants to make money from the streets. Alonzo has got into serious trouble with a Russian mob, he killed on of their men and now he has to pay. The price for his life, one million dollars, to them by midnight. Standby for a fast paced ride! Acting Firstly, both were nominated for Oscars. Washington as Best Actor and Hawke as Best Supporting Actor. This alone should tell you the quality of the film. The chemistry between both is evident from teh first time they are in shot together 'Denzel Washington' For me he is the best male actor out there at the moment. He truely is brilliant, and in particular in this film. He richly deserves his Best Actor award for this role. He delivers a performance that words can do justice to. He is tough, gritty, raw and ...

Life Is Beautiful (DVD) 04/04/2010

This is a simple story... but not an easy one to tell.

Life Is Beautiful (DVD) Introduction This is a simple story... but not an easy one to tell. Life is Beautiful is set in Italy during World War II and centres around Guido (Roberto Benigni), a Jewish book keeper/waiter, Dora (Nicoltette Bruschi Benigni) an Italian School teacher and their son Giosué . The film is in Italian, but there are subtitles and if you prefer English dubbing. I watched the film with the English dubbing. Life is Beautiful is also known as La Vita E Bella. Story Set in late 1930s Arezzo, Italy, during World War II. Life is Beautiful tells the story of Guido Orefice (Roberto Benigni) and Dora (Nicoletta Braschi Benigni). Guido is a Jewish book keeper/waiter and Dora is an Italian schoolteacher, The film for me is is in 2 halves, the first is Guido's attempt to woo Dora. She is already engaged to another man. Undetered Guido seeks to charm his "Principessa" (Princess) and win her hand in marriage. To achieve this he uses a mixture of adult and rather childlike humour. He always seems to be in the right place at the right time, whether its to stop an out of control car or offer to suck the wasps venom from dora's leg after she has been stung. The second half of the film deals with the Holocust and their struggle to remain together and even alive. They now have a son Giosué, and for them Life is Beautiful until, Guido and his son are to be sent to a concentration camp. Guido and Giosué are on the train ready to leave as Dora (unable to stand being parted from ...

Above Suspicion - Lynda La Plante 03/04/2010

From-La Plante to Tree to Paper to Book. Nowt Suspicious There!

Above Suspicion - Lynda La Plante Synopsis A sadistic serial killer is at large. His target prostitutes, despite a lengthy, police investigation, he remains at large. Detective Chief Inspector Langton (who leads the team), acceps a rookie into the team. Detective Constable Anna Travis, she is young, inexperienced and the daughter of the late Detective Chief Superintendent Jack Travis, Langton's one time mentor. Perhaps she can help, Its a risk taking her on, but one he is prepared to take. Characters Below are my thoughts on the 3 main characters in the book. Detective Chief Inspector Langton A tough no nonsense man's man. He is straight talking but underneath there is a softer side. He is ruthless and determined, he lets nothing or no-one get in the way of the job. Detective Constable Anna Travis A graduate police officer, who is keen to suceed and step from the shadow of her late father. She is thoughful, resourceful and determined, yet she lacks self confidende and it still rather niave at times. Alan Daniels/Anthony Duffy Complicated, complimentary and charming. Nothing bothers him, supremely confident with a slight air of arrogance. La Plante has created a brilliant character. The Story Detective Chief Inspector Langton, is leading the hunt for a serial killer. The murders started eight years ago, the killers body count stands at six. All the killers victims were drug-users and prostitutes. Then a seventh body is found, the killers MO is the same - but the victim is not, she is a ...

Tefal FV9430 Ultimate Autoclean 300 02/04/2010

I wont be beaten by Lime........On any Scale!

Tefal FV9430 Ultimate Autoclean 300 Introduction Well as my job demands that my uniform is " Smart as a carrot" I require a good quality iron. I have had used literally dozens of irons in my time in the forces, and as sad as it may seem I like to think I am quite clued up. Below are my thoughts on my recent purchase. Aesthetically Pleasing? Well yes. The iron has a good feel to it. The handle is very comfortable and just about the right width, giving a firm grip without discomfort. The iron is rather heavy, but for my general ironing this is fine. It looks pretty cool as well (if an iron can be cool), which in the forces is a must. I mean in a room full of men ironing, its difficult to look cool, so the cooler your iron (not ilterally) the better. Ironing Quality This is without doubt a quality iron. This is evident once you have ironed a wide range of clothes. It tackles all fabrics with ease. I mainly iron heavy duty uniform which can be difficult to iron for several reasons. Firstly, the thickness of the uniform. This is not a problem with this iron as it has an excellent steam capability. It easily penetrates through the cloth, ironing away all creases. Secondly, the uniform marking the iron. Basically when ironing combat trousers, they generally leave marks on the iron. The causes the iron to stick to the trousers, which makes the creases worse. This again is not a problem with this iron as the soleplate is high quality also, the autoclean system reduces this problem so its almost non ...

Cinderella Man (DVD) 01/04/2010

You Should Go To This.... Its a Ball!

Cinderella Man (DVD) One man's extraordinary fight to save the family he loved. INTRODUCTION The Cinderella Man is the nickname given to James J. Braddock a 1920/1930's boxer, by Damon Runyon, a New York journalist. Runyon gave him this nickname after his rise from nobody to somebody. This film is fact-based and inspired by his life story, his struggles, his success. ***I will give a basic outline of the plot to aviod spoilers*** PLOT The story is set in both New York and New Jersey during the American depression of the 1930's. Russell Crowe plays James J. Braddock, a light heavyweight boxer. Braddock was on the verge of the big time. However despite his early successess and a record of having never been knocked out, injuries including a broken hand which, in turn lead to poor performances cause Braddock to lose his boxing licence. He was subsequently forced to retire. Enter the deppression, the stock market crashes his investments are worthless, he and his family were reduced to poverty. Renee Zellweger plays Mae Braddock, his adoring wife. She had alway hoped and pleaded with Braddock to quit boxing before becoming injured, she is delighted that she has finally got her wish. The great deppression is in full force, people are suffering the worst hardship in American history, almost every family is affected. Jobs were extremely hard to come by and the competition for jobs was huge. Braddock is forced to work at the docks to support his family. Five years after retiring ...

Acropolis, Athens 28/03/2010

(A) Summit to marvel at!! Acropolis Now!

Acropolis, Athens Introduction Following on from my review of our Cruise and our visit to Pompeii, I will now review another of the places we visited on our Honeymoon. Athens and the Acropolis. We were extremely fortunate on our Honeymoon we had many stops around the Med which allowed us to visit many countries and attractions. One of the places we docked at was the port of Piraeus, Greece. Again my wife arranged a trip for us to visit one of the main attractions in Athens, The Acropolis. Below are my thoughts on our visit to The Acropolis. ***Please look at our photo's.*** Background The Acropolis is situated pretty much in the centre of Athens. The Acropolis was the most important religious and political centre of Athens. Of the many Acropolis', this one is almost certainly the best known. It is a flat-topped rock that rises 490 ft above sea level. Its surface area is approx 3 hectares, to put it in a context that most would understand it is equivelant to about 3 1/2 football pitches. The top is adorned with lavish temples, monuments and buildings. The Parthenon (the most famous) and other main buildings on the Acropolis were built by Pericles in the fifth century BC as a monument to the cultural and political achievements of the inhabitants of Athens. History The word "Acropolis" derives from the Ancient Greek words for "high city" or " Upper City", The rocky outcrop forms the basis for the original settlement in Athens. The Parthenon (which is often confused as the ...

White Ladder - David Gray 14/03/2010

A Great Step On The Ladder- White Ladder David Gray.

White Ladder - David Gray Continuing my rummage through my CD collection, I stumbled upon White Ladder by David Gray. As I am all for sharing my musical thoughts I thought would take it upon myself to "educate" those who are the as yet unconverted to the best album made by Mr Gray. Joking aside, this is a great album. For David Gray this was his big breakthrough, in much the same way that Jagged Little Pill was for Alanis Morrisette. Also like Morissette it was by far his most successful album. Argueably he like her, has not since made an album of the same quality or commercial success. I will rate each song from 1-10, 1 being poor, 10 being excellent. Background David Gray has released several albums with little commercial success prior to White Ladder. I have listed them below in his album catalogue. On this album Gray changed his style from folk-rock to alternative rock, he also experimented using a more electronic based sound. This gave him a more mainstream pop feel and subsequenlty opened the door to commercial success. White Ladder was not an instant success, it took its take climbing up the album charts to the number one spot. It still holds the record for the longest uninterrupted climb to Number One. The success of the album was largely based on teh single release of Babylon. White Ladder is David Gray's 4th Studio Album. Track Listing 1. Please Forgive Me - 5:35 2. Babylon - 4:25 3. My Oh My - Gray, McClune 4:37 4. We're Not Right Gray, McClune, Polson ...

Princess 06/03/2010

This Princess is a Star!

Princess Introduction As I am currently drafting reviews of some of the locations and trips we visited on our Honeymoon, I thought it would be better to try and post them in some sort of order. To that end I am now going to review the actual Cruise first. I will then review some of the locations we visited. I have already reviewed what I consider to be our best trip, Pompeii, which you can find in my reviews. I have added some photos of our ship and a photo of each location we visited. Background We booked a cruise for our Honeymoon at Crown Travel in Liverpool. We (as is standard) flipped through several travel brouches before eventually deciding on Princess Cruises that their Grand Mediterranean Cruise, this is 13 day cruise. Booking the Cruise As mentioned above, we booked at our (then) local Travel Agents, Crown Travel in Liverpool. We were dealt with by an extremely friendly and very helpful representative. We were greatly helped by the fact that me wife's family have used that agent many times and are on first name terms. The service we recieved was brilliant, initially when we booked we were told that we would be flying from Manchester Airport to Venice Marco Polo. We were informed a few days later that a mistake had been made and that there were no flight available from Manchester direct to Venice Marco Polo and we would have to fly from Gatwick. As a result we would have to make our own way to Gatwick at our own cost! However step in Crown Travel, they paid ...

Blood Diamond (DVD) 26/02/2010

Diamonds - Not Sierra Leone's Best Friend!!!

Blood Diamond (DVD) Introduction The title refers to blood diamonds, which are diamonds mined in African war zones and sold to finance Warlords their conflicts, and the diamond companies across the world. The film is set against the backdrop of civil war and chaos of 1990's Sierra Leone, Blood Diamond is the story of Danny Archer - an ex mercenary from Zimbabwe - and Solomon Vandy - a Mende fisherman. ***Warning some scenes of graphic violence Basic Plot **The plot I have outlined below is very basic so as to not contain any spoilers** The film is based around three main charaters, Danny Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio), Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou) and Maddy Bowen (Jennifer Connelly). Set in Sierra Leone the films tells of Archer a diamond hunter, basically he would sell his Granmother for a diamond. He is constantly pursuing and trying to smuggle diamonds out of Sierra Leolna and onto the black market. Solomon is a local who gets caught up in the diamond trade after the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels attack his village. They kidnap his family and send him off to work in the diamond fields. Maddy is a journalist from America. She is hell bent on exposing the illegal diamond buisiness, and the corruption and that runs throught the Sierra Leone government. As mentioned above this is the minimal information on about the plot to avoid spoiling the film for you. Acting I will deal with the three main characters here, DiCaprio, Hounsou and ...

Innuendo - Queen 22/02/2010

Innuendo - Queen - No.....The King!!

Innuendo - Queen Introduction I have an extensive Queen CD collection. After my review of Basshunter (So called todays music/musicians) I thought I would review a "real" musician(s)/band. I have choosen Queen's Innuendo. Background I think its time to impart some Queen into the review pages. I mean they are pure class and their music has and will always stand the test of time. Hopefully this review will gain some more fans of the greatest rock band ever to grace our shores. Queen, for me the greatest British rock band ever! A bold statement yes, but they are the real package. All the members can play instruments, a rare thing in a band today. All can write quality songs, and oh how they can entertain and put on a show...Live....they were unequalled. Queen are: Freddie Mercury: Lead vocals, piano Brian May: Electric guitars Roger Taylor: Drums and percussion John Deacon: Bass Below are my thoughts on Innuendo: Innuendo Innuendo is Queens 14th studio album. Released in 1991 its final studio album released while lead singer Freddie Mercury was still alive and the last to be composed entirely of new material. This album was recorded when Freddie was in the advanced stages of the terrible illness HIV/AIDS. His and the bands determination to give the world as much music as he could before he lost his final battle with the disease is a credit to them all. Songs will be rated from 1-10. 1 being poor 10 being Outstanding. I dont think you will see ant ...

Pompeii, Naples 19/02/2010

It will have you in a Lava.... Up Pompeii!

Pompeii, Naples Introduction Whilst on my honeymoon, (a cruise around the Med) we had a stop off for a couple of days in Naples. As my wife loves to plan trips she arranged for us to visit Pompeii. I must admit I was delighted, as strange as it may seem Volcano's, Earthquakes and natures natural events fascinate me. Pompeii its myths and legends have fascinated me since my childhood this was the perfect day trip for me! Below are our thoughts on our day wonderful trip to Pomeii: Please look at our photo's they give you a better insight than my words! Background Pompeii is situated the Italian region of Campania, near Naples. Pompeii is the famous city that was destroyed by a the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. Herculaneum, Pompeii's lesser famous sister city was also destroyed in the erruption. Pompeii is by far the more famous of the two cities, and generally people are only aware of the destruction of Pompeii. History To appreciate a visit to Pompeii I feel that a brief insight into its history is very important. This will allow you to guage the true catastrophy that befell Pompeii and it inhabitants. The city was founded around the 7th-6th century BC it was an important port and was used primarily to forward goods to Rome or Southern Italy. This led to Pompeii's wealth, also its strategic importance in the area for these reasons Pompeii has been fought over and changed hands for many centuries. Eventually Pompeii was conquered by Rome in around 80 ...

The Hurt Locker (DVD) 16/02/2010

3-2-1 Bomb Gone!!!

The Hurt Locker (DVD) INTRODUCTION As with a review I have done previously (Full Metal Jacket) as a soldier, films like this interest me but, I can be rather picky! Plus having served with a bomb disposal team (yes I really have) even more so. I will try to leave aside my real life knowledge and go with the "dramatic Licence" used in the film. Background The film is set in the post-invasion period in Iraq. Its tell the story of a team of 3 soldiers who have the uneviable task of disposing of IED's. Synopsis ***I HAVE GIVEN THE BASIC PLOTLINE TO AVOID SPOILERS*** The three main characters are Staff Sergeant William James, Sergeant JT Sanborn and Specialist Owen Eldridge. SSgt James is sent to replace SSgt Thompson, who was killed by a RCIED in Baghdad. His arrival causes problems from the outset within Bravo Company Bomb Disposal Team. His two subordinates, Sgt Sanborn and Spc Eldridge are dismayed at the reckless attitude of their new leader, especially as they only have thirty-nine days left on their current deployment . They reach this conclusion after he approaches an IED before deploying his RC Robot (Wheelbarrow in the UK). SSgt James to them appears to have a death wish and little or no regards for himself or his team members. The story tell of their individual struggle with the most basic of human emotions in this complicated and stressful environment. Cast Jeremy Renner ... SSgt. William James Brian Geraghty ... Spc. Owen Eldridge Anthony Mackie ... ...

Olbas Oil 15/02/2010

Oil away the stuffy nose! - Olbas Oil - Inhalant Decongestant

Olbas Oil Introduction As a family we have sworn by Olbas Oil for years. For us its the best way to clear a blocked nose, catarrh or painful sinuses . Its safe so it can be used on all ages above 3 months old. My wife and I swear by this for our children. Indeed we are currently applying this daily to our childrens clothes and at night to their pillows to aid in a good nights sleep. Olbas oil is a natural decongestant. Its a mixture of pure plant oils. These give Olbas oil the unique scent and the power to clear the most blocked sinuses and noses! It has a strong menthol scent which is actually quite pleasent. ***Olbas Oil is suitable for adults and children as young as three months*** *** Don Not use on broken or cracked skin*** The Bottle Olbas Oil in bottles is available in 3 sizes, 10ml, 15ml and 28ml. We currently have the I have the 10 ml bottle which cost me a £2.19. The bottle is clearly marked with instructions on how to use the product. The top is very easy to remove as it does not have a child proof lid. I believe it should have a child proof lid just so that children understand that all medicines are the same and should not be messed about with. The design of the top of the bottle is such that only a single drop at a time is released. This is a good idea in principle as it allows you to use it sparingly, however if like me you are impatient then you tend to splash it about! How to use There are several ways to use Olbas Oil I have listed some ...

Bass Generation - Basshunter 14/02/2010

Bass Generation - Basshunter

Bass Generation - Basshunter Introduction I recieved this album as a birthday gift after stating that I "quite like this song" not so sure it was my greatest statement ever. Below are my thoughts on the fifth studio album from Jonas Erik Altberg better know as Basshunter. Background Swedish DJ/Producer Jonas Erik Altberg or, as he was better known by the pseudonym Basshunter. Then again after his recent airing on celebrity Big Brother he is probably known equally as well as Jonas, the guy that fell head over heels for Katia. Basshunter has only really come to the fore since 2008, after the huge hit Now You're Gone, most people are unaware that he has been making music for around 10 years. He discribes his sound as "Eurodance" Personally I dont have a clue what that means! Maybe I am just getting old! Singing/Song Style Well basically, he does not have a great voice, but then again with this type of music there really is no need to me a great singer. The music carries the lyrics rather than the lyrics carrying the music. On this album there are several female singers who in general have a better quality voice than Jonas. The music is electronic and heavily synthesised thats all you can say really. Its catchy and loud and I guess thats all its meant to be. Track Listing Disc 1 1. Every Morning 2. I Promised Myself 3. Why 4. I Will Learn To Love Again Feat. Stunt 5. Don't Walk Away 6. I Still Love 7. Day & Night 8. I Can't Deny 9. Far From Home 10. I ...
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