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lustba

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Back on and off for a while, hopefully getting back in the swing of things.

Reviews written

since 24/06/2007

60

Collection [Remastered] - Michael Jackson 08/06/2011

Michael Jackson - The Collection

Collection [Remastered] - Michael Jackson Michael Jackson - The Collection is a 5 disc CD set containing 5, remastered, full and separate albums from The King Of Pop. These albums are Off The Wall (Originally released 1979), Thriller (1982), Bad (1987) Dangerous (1991) and Invincible (2001). A collection of outstanding music spanning four glorious decades! Michael Jackson - A Short HIStory Michael Jackson (August 29 1958 - June 25 2009) started out his singing career as the lead singer in The Jackson Five in 1964 aged 6. From here, both he and the group gained massive popularity and success, enjoying hits such as ABC, I Want You Back and The Love You Save. Michael then went on to have a massive solo career, having hits in all corners of the globe. Jackson's first major success was the album Off The Wall which he followed up over the next 12 years with three of the other four albums contained in this set. With his 1982 album Thriller becoming the biggest selling album of all time, currently at over 110 million copies worldwide, and with tracks including Beat It, Billie Jean and Thriller it is no surprise why! Jackson's personal life has always been shrouded in both mystery and controversy. With rumours circulating that his father used to abuse him as a child, his constant denial of plastic surgery operations, the child abuse allegations against him and finally the circumstances of his death. Undoubtedly, in terms of musical ability he was nothing short of being a genius, however, one must wonder how ...

Costa Coffee Club 17/12/2010

Costa Coffee Club Loyalty Card

Costa Coffee Club The Costa Coffee Club loyalty/reward card is a new incentive offered by the company. It is available to be picked up in any of their stores, as I have done recently. They are ready to go as soon as you pick one up, and can use it with your current transaction. The loyalty scheme now offereed by Costa gives you 5 points for every pound spent, with each point being worth a penny. Unfortunately, as with many other loyalty cards, I have found that you only get points for every whole pound spent. Often, my purchases can come just under the threshold of an extra 5 points, I am sure this is the same with many other customers. An improvement on the scheme therefore, would be to have 1 point for every 20p spent perhaps. Thus, we would be missing out less. For example, I would generally purchase a large cappucino, costing £2.55. With the current rate, I get 10 points, if it were altered, I could have 12 points. It doesn't sound a lot, but if I go once or twice a week it all adds up. As a rather more famous brand would put it "Every Little Helps". For me, the sneakiness of companies such as Costa, is one of the only downfalls of these loyalty cards. They portray themselves as being generous, giving the customer a little extra, which is true, but they don't want to give us too much. As far as redeeming is concerned, it is a very easy process. The points available on your card can be redeemed in return for the purchase of 1 or more items. The points must cover the whole cost of an ...

Braindead (DVD) 29/04/2010

You would be 'Braindead' not to

Braindead (DVD) Braindead is a lesser known film directed by Peter Jackson, of Lord Of The Rings fame. The New Zealander directed this film in 1992, he is also credited with the screenplay writing, along with Fran Walsh (The Lord Of The Rings) and Stephen Sinclair (The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers). This is the first time the successful trio had worked together, the budget, concept and acting is a far cry from later success. But for what it is, Braindead is a very good film. Plot The plot for Braindead is very simple. It is not laced with intricacies and as complicated as more recent zombie/virus films such as 28 Days Later ir The Crazies. However, this simplicity is a benefit to the film, as it works well. The virus, in it's original host form is introduced in the opening scene of the film. The 'Sumatran Rat Monkey' has been captured by a group of explorers, to be sold on to a New Zealand zoo. From the first instance, you can tell the creature will be trouble, as there is an ensuing chase from some natives, some limb chopping and decapitation. These outbursts of violence and gore, are a sign of things to come, from this point, if you are squeamish, you will know the film is not for you. The main characters of the film are Lionel and his mother Vera, Lionel's love interest Paquita and towards the end, Unce Les. Lionel, played by Timothy Balme (no notable performances) is a mummy's boy, entrapped by his mother, who blames him for his father's premature death. He is a doting son, ...

Them (DVD) 27/04/2010

THEM

Them (DVD) *Film Only* We just want to play. Why won't you let us play? General The film itself is gripping from the opening scene. Although not original (but what is these days) we see a mother and daughter duo in a car, suddenly realising something is in the road and swerving. The events and plot of the story unfold from here. The first scene of the film sets the standard for the rest of the film, it is intense gripping and quite scary. The dark setting and surroundings of a country lane, the noises used to create suspense, shaky camera facial close-ups and dramatic tension all get the heart racing. As far as opening scenes go in horror films, this is quite memorable. Although you do not see much in terms of the culprits or indeed the fate of the victim, I think it works really well to get the viewer in a state of suspense for the rest of the film. After the initial scene and first couple of killings, we are introduced to our two main characters, a young, working French couple living in a secluded country house in Romania, not far from the first incident in the film. They are Clementine and Lucas, played by Olivia Bonamy and Michael Cohen respectively. This introduction of characters, although important, seems to be a little slow after the fast paced introduction. The change in pace, still creates suspense, graphically reiterating the secdludedness of the couple's home. Idea The idea of the film, has been the plot of many successful, and I'm sure not so ...

The Ultimate Book of Rude and Politically Incorrect Jokes - Allan Pease 21/04/2010

A rude joke book

The Ultimate Book of Rude and Politically Incorrect Jokes - Allan Pease The Ultimate Book of Rude and Politically Incorrect Jokes is a 276 page long book containing some very funny jokes. "A word on discrimination" appears at the front of the book, after the introduction. It states: "There's a paradox here - if you insult or offend one person or one group, you can be accused of being discriminatory. If you offend everyone you won't be accused. This book is definitely non-discriminatory. Everyone gets a serve." Allan Pease The contents of this book are not for everyone. Those who like clean humour or are easily offended definitely would not like this book, as the title would obviously suggest. However, I on the other hand, love it! Spread along the 276 pages are 143 different categories (which I am not going to list). These range from Blond Jokes to jokes about different nationalities, there are religious jokes, sexist jokes, animal jokes, newlyweds and political correctness. Some of the sections only have 1 or 2 jokes in the, jokes about religion for example spans 7 pages and jokes on the French Greek and Irish all fit on 1 page. Each section is clearly divided with a bold heading and each joke is then divided with three asterisks (***). I have found that the seperating of each joke makes them much easier to read, with the asterisks between them it shows the beginning and end of them. With some of the jokes being quite long it is an important aspect of the book. Some of the jokes are either not funny, or I don't get. However, ...

Taken (DVD) 15/04/2010

Taken (Extended Harder Cut)

Taken (DVD) Taken stars Liam Neeson as its main character, Bryan. He is a "retired" U.S. Government secret agent. He referred to himself in the film as a preventor. Divorced from his wife, he longs to be a part of his daughters life again. This is part of the reason he decided to retire. Shortly after her 17th birthday party, she, and her mother, seek Bryan's permission for her to visit Paris with a friend. After some persuasion he gives her permissinon, as long as she abides by 3 conditions. She stays in contact being one of them. Given the nature of his previous career he is very cautious, and somewhat paranoid. After not hearing from his daughter, he rings her, just at the right moment. Her and her travelling partner are kidnapped. From here, the story unravels, containing various fight scenes involving Neeson and gang members, chase seqeuences (both foot and vehicle) and lots of clever tricks from his character. The premise of the film, is a father, trying to save his daughter's life, doing whatever it takes no matter what the cost. The film's plot, taps into many people's worst fears. Being taken. Especially in a foreign and unfamiliar land. Certainly, this is a massive fear of many members of the fairer sex that I know. Being only 17 Kim, played by Maggie Grace, falls into this category. The way this is portrayed is very good. The initial fear upon being taken, shown in the young character of Kim is excellent. Not only does she have to be kidnapped herself, she also witnesses ...

Bomber Crew: Taking on the Reich - John Sweetman 13/04/2010

Bomber Crew: Taking On The Reich

Bomber Crew: Taking on the Reich - John Sweetman The book Bomber Crew: Taking On The Reich is a history of the bomber mentality and the bomber command establishment, seen through the eyes of a wide range of witnesses. These include gunners, navigators, pilots, mechanics, relatives and civilians. The main focus of the book, as the title would suggest, is the roles of a bomber crew through WWII and the war in the air against Hitler's Nazi regime, including, the Luftwaffe, Industry and the civilian moral. After the short acknowledgements and preface that Sweetman uses to partly introduce the book, we are formally introduced to the concept of the bomber and bomber command. A brief history is given along with discussion on the best usage for bombers. (An issue that plagued, the government, RAF and bomber command for the duration of the conflict). The book progresses in chronological order, from "The Phoney War" to Dunkirk and raids on Berlin to the famous Dambusters raid. The end chapter "Victory Bells" sums up the campaign and allied victory with the conclusion following. This section closes the book very well, bringing all the accounts together. There is a mixture of fact and opinion/experience within the book. There are many quotes and often monologues from the former crews of different bombers. There is also a lot of extracts that include statements from their relatives. These are often the most enjoyable parts of the book. They give a very personal insight into the lives of a bomber crew. These extracts have been ...

Fighting for Queen and Country - Nigel Ely 07/04/2010

Fighting for Queen and Country

Fighting for Queen and Country - Nigel Ely The book "Fightinf For Queen And Country" is written by a former Paratrooper and SAS soldier, Nigel "Spud" Ely. It follows his exploits throughout his army career, from training in Aldershot to the Falklands War and Gulf War. During these times he makes many new freinds and encounters countless enemies. Spud has written this book in such a way that we feel as though we are one such friend, sitting together in a pub. He recalls the accounts in first person and in a very informal way, as if he were conversing with us, the reader, thus making a fairly easy and very enjoyable read. The fact that this book is written in a very personal manner helps the reader to envisage the scenarios that Spud depicts so vividly. He is both very descriptive and very colourful in the language he choses to use. As you would expect, his former profession being as it was, there is quite a lot of swearing in the book. I know that this would be an off-putting feature for some, however, if you take into consideration the usage, and scenarios and put it into context within them it is completely understandable. If you had 250 of the enemy, trying to kill you from 100m away, imagine what you might come out with?! To me it adds to the graphic realism portrayed throughout, again giving it a much more personal feel. Alot of the swearing in the book is mainly quoted or arises during extremely heated situations or sometimes both. (Explicitness ranges from the word "twat" to"the 'C' word, and includes almost ...

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (Blu-ray) 31/03/2010

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (Blu-ray)

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (Blu-ray) The film One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest has got to be one of the all time greatest films ever made. This is my opinion, probably the opinion of many others and certainly, of the critics and fans in the year of it's release (1975). The film won 5 oscars, Best Actor (Jack Nicholson), Best Actress (Louise Fletcher), Best Director (Milos Forman), Best Picture and Best Screenplay. The plot of the story is based mainly around Nicholson's character R.P. McMurphy (Mac). He is transferred from a State Prison, to a nearby mental institute. Not understanding the reasons for this, and knowing that his release date is upcoming, he decides to have some fun. Both with the patients and staff. This includes, various escape attempts, gambling rings and parties. Mac makes many friends in his time in the institute, and the storyline predominently revolves around his relationship with them. The way in which the relationships develop, is scripted, shot and acted immaculately. Each of the characters, whether they are major or minor, demands that you acknowledge them, yet they do not overpower one another. Throughout the film, I was aware of each and every character. Something I that I am not used to, as many fringe characters can fade away into the background as their roles diminish. Each of them has something different to offer, and as each of them has some sort of mental illness or issue there are some quite funny characters and moments. Before the arrival of Mac, the main group of ...

War (Blu-ray) 13/03/2010

WAR = Poor

War (Blu-ray) Fortunately for me, I borrowed this from a friend and hadn't purchased it myself. Being a Blu-Ray DVD it was played on my PS3. This is about the only saving grace that the film had. It was in HD. Plot Basically, The Yakuza are running San Francisco. However the Triads have something to say about this. FBI Agent Jack Crawford (Jason Statham - Crank, The Transporter) has been put on the case to find the notorious mercernary killer Rogue (Jet Li - The Mummy 3, Romeo Must Die) . It seems Crawford has mixed feelings, both of duty and revenge, after his partner was killed, he believes by Rogue. The story untangles through a web of lies, deceipt and mainly killings. All is not as it seems and Rogue is instigating war between the two feuding gangs. You wouldn't be able to count the amount of cliches in the film if you used all your fingers and all your toes! Fast cars, naked women, corrupt cops, betrayals, chase scenes and fight scenes. None of them done to a particularly high standard! Characters * FBI Agent John Crawford - Jason Statham Crawford is the all singing all dancing hero of the film. He plays the "bad-cop" role, who has total disregard for the rules and will catch his man at any cost. (Cliche). His partner is killed by the Yakuza (namely Rogue) and he is out to seek justice and revenge, against both the man and the business. He is involved in a lot of the action, including some chase scenes and fight scenes with Rogue. I'm not sure where he is supposed to ...

Sony VAIO W Series VPC-W11S1E/W 10/03/2010

Sony Vaio - The Notebook

Sony VAIO W Series VPC-W11S1E/W Sony Vaio W Series VPC-W11S1E/W - A.K.A. The Notebook Appearance The notebook looks very stylish. Completely white with the Vaio logo on the lid. The keyboard is silver. That is it in a nutshell, not much more to say. The Product * Size - The dimensions of the Notebook are - Depth - 179.6mm Width - 267.8mm Height - 32.4mm Weight - 1.19kg Display - 10.1 Inches * Portability - Obviously, one of the main designs for notebooks is being portable. Designed for people who are on the move and do not want to lug around a full sized laptop. Be it students, businessmen or people with a generally busy lifestyle. The Sony Vaio, fulfills this purpose ideally. Being so light and small and coming with its own protective bag, it means it can be transported within most bags. Although I would still recommend purchasing a laptop bag for extra protection. * Features - It has a built in webcam in the middle/top of the notebook lid. The quality is not amazing, but adequate. It also has a built in microphone. Both of these features can be used on instant messengers and skype, for chat. * Sound - The volume limit on the notebook is very low. Obviously using it for media purposes is not a priority in its design. However, it seems as if the volume limit is extremely low. This is not a major issue, as I mentioned. The main purpose is not for media usage. * Battery Life - The battery life is not the best feature of the notebook. As has been discussed in other reviews. Obviously the ...

Tesco CR-106 03/03/2010

Tesco Value Alarm Clock

Tesco CR-106 My brother recently bought this alarm clock to help him get up in the morning for work. Doing shift work this can sometimes be hard. It is a Tesco Value alarm clock bought for £5.97. It is a basic alarm clock, but has all the necessary features on it. Digital LED display, 24 hour clock, radio function, snooze button and a sleep function. The Looks Although it is simple and basic, this does not mean that it is ugly. It is very small and has nice curved lines to it. The button layout has clearly been thought about, in terms of functionality and style. It is black, with the buttons being silver and the normal red display. The alarm setting buttons are featured on one side, and the radio buttons on the other. These include a tuning dial, AM/FM setting and volume dial. As you can see from the picture it does look relatively stylish, in my opinion at least. Functions/Functionality * Radio Function The radio is easy to tune, there is a silver dial on the right hand side of the radio, next to the AM/FM setting. Simply choose which band you want and set it to the frequency. There is a slider on the front of the display, under the time, which shows the frequency you are at. The signal strength is not the best as your aerial is simply a wire. It can often be hard to find a place to put the wire to achieve the best frequency. The radio function alone though is not something that I would personally use on a small device like this. There is also a sleep function, meaning ...

Eco MAW 894 26/02/2010

Eco friendly Tea or Coffee anyone? No Thanks!

Eco MAW 894 The Eco Friendly Kettle Living in a fairly environmentally conscious household, recycling as much as possible, turning off plugs and so on, it was decided to up the ante on our electricity consumption. Hence the reason for purchasing an Eco-Kettle Appearance In my eyes, this has got to be one of the ugliest household appliances on the market. Before this was purchased all the appliance on the worktop were matching, chrome silver. Nothing spectacular, but matching nonetheless. Now we have a giant white monster sat in the middle of them all, it reminds me of an Elephant Seal. The kettle is mainly white, with the switch and filter button light blue. There are two clear panels showing the water levels in the boiling part and storage part. In my opinion all of these points make the kettle look very cheap and tacky. It sits on a white base, nothing more to be said there. The handle, is just a white plastic handle, curving from top to bottom. Again, nothing extravogant or special. The spout is the main part of the kettle that makes it as ugly as it is. Its curved, with a lip around the outside edge, and just protrudes from the top of the unit. It reminds me of the nose on an elephant seal, just an unsightly piece of apparatus. Another thing that annoys me about its looks is where the spout and filter button "meet". There is a huge gap in between the two where the lid is lifted to fill the storage part. Now in my mind this could have been avoided by simply placing it ...

In Silico - Pendulum 18/02/2010

Pendulum - In Silico. A New Album A New Sound.

In Silico - Pendulum This is the eagerly anticipated album from Pendulum, a drum n bass band originating from Perth, Australia. It is the follow up to their previous album "Hold Your Colour", from 2007. The album "In Silico" was due to be released in mid March, then got pushed back to mid April, and has now been released on May 12th. Pendulum have released two singles from the album so far, these have been "Granite" and "Propane Nightmares". Granite, being released on 4th November 2007 and Propane Nightmares on 12th March. The term "In Silico", the title of the album, means a process that is simulated on a computer or within a computer simulated environment. This title is very apt for the style of music that Pendulum produce, as a lot of the sounds do seem to be computer generated, the title of the album, Pendulum - At a Glance The band members are: • Rob Swire (Vocals/Synth/Producer • Gareth McGrillen (Bass Guitar/DJ) • Perry ap Gwynedd (Guitar) • Paul (El Hornet) Harding (DJ) • Kodish (Drums) • Verse (MC) A biography of Pendulum can be found at the following website: http://pendulum.com/about.aspx Tracks 1 - Show Down "This beast is a long time coming, I thought you'd understand!" What a start to the new album. This is almost the first sound you hear on the album, along with a bass drum and some symbols, as these continue some guitars come into the mix. Highly unusual for Pendulum as they don't usually use guitars unless ...

Diesel DZ-1091 14/01/2010

A Pretty 'Diesent' Watch

Diesel DZ-1091 First of all, thanks to Ciao for putting this product on the website at my recent request. I will get cracking with my review now. *****Introduction***** After a long thought process about what I wanted as a main present from my girlfriend for Christmas, i finally made the decision that i wanted a watch. Originally I wanted one with a metal strap, then decided that leather was more suitable and we kept looking round different jewellers for suitable watches. In the end we found one in H.Samuel in Watford. Unfortunately they didn't have any of this particular watch (The DZ-1091), however it was ordered to their store in Bluewater to be picked up, whilst my girlfriend was visiting. The main specifications I wanted on this watch was to be analogue (as opposed to digital), with a numbered face and to be slightly different and noticable. I definitely got what I asked for there. *****The Product Appearance***** The watch has a square face, which is made of solid stainless steel, (as it says on the back). It is roughly just over an inch from top to bottom, as well as across the face. The stainless steel connects to the leather strap on each corner, as you can see in the picture, by protruding from the main body of the watchface, and is once again, geometric in shape. Although the watchface is square, it is not sharp looking, the edges are curved slightly and this makes it look and feel very smooth. On the bottom right of the watchface, where the stainless steel connects ...
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