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since 23/05/2001


Final Fantasy X (PS2) 21/06/2005

Final Fantasy X-2

Final Fantasy X (PS2) Wow!!! So long since I was here! Missed Ciao so much, but some things take time in life, so you have to be patient........ So for my first "comeback" review, I thought it would be appropriate to write about a great pasion of mine - the FF games series. If it wasnt for these games I would have been back a long time ago lol!!!! More on that later............. For the unititated, FFX-2 is the latest in the Final Fantasy series created by Squaresoft (now Square-Enix). The games are basically a role-playing format (RPG) in which you follow a storyline with different characters inter-acting with each other. Still with me? Hopefully! Dont be daunted, anyone can play them, the biggest problem is they are so damn addictive!!!!!!! OK then, onto the game Just to bring you all up to speed, FFX-2, is the first ever follow up to any FF game. Normally they are all individual in story line - not this time, such was the outcry from the millions of FF players worldwide. So this is what they did............... .. FFX-2 tells the story of Yuna (from FFX) 2 years after she, Tidus and co. have destroyed Sin once and for all. All of Spira is now finally enjoying "The Calm", a time of bliss and tranquility. Yuna is no longer a summoner, and has become a "sphere-hunter" with a group called "The Gullwings". Their mission is to hunt around Spira for "spheres", lost records of Spira and its history. Yuna has taken this new profession up as a result of finding a sphere containing footage ...

The Lord Of The Rings - The Fellowship Of The Ring (DVD) 17/01/2003

Lord of all movies

The Lord Of The Rings - The Fellowship Of The Ring (DVD) Happy New Year to one and all! Sorry I have not been around, but what with moving house, and about a million and one other things on the go, life has been a little bit hectic to say the least! Hope that I find you all well and fully recovered from the dreaded hangovers LOL! So what have I been up to you may ask??????????? Well, nothing much changes. However, one thing did change – I finally got around to buying a DVD player (possible opinion to follow on that one methinks!). So now yours truly has come out of the dark ages and up to date with modern technology. Waheey! So my first film purchased for my new little toy I hear you cry? Could only be one title, something which will fully show the glory and wonder that is a DVD player – “Lord of The Rings”. CAST Ian McKellen Gandalf Elijah Wood Frodo Ian Holm Bilbo Baggins Liv Tyler Arwen Viggo Mortensen Aragorn Cate Blanchett Galadriel Sean Bean Boromir Sean Astin Sam Jonathan Rhys-Davies Gimli Christopher Lee Sauroman Director Peter Jackson Running time 2 hrs 51 mins Rating PG Ooh, that’s a nice bit of jewellery! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ Right, so were do I begin? Surely I don’t have to lay out the background to this one? What? I do? You gang of heathens LOL! Ok, here goes. It’s about, well, a gold ring, basically. To cut a long story short, the ring has magical powers, as it was created by an evil Dark Lord – Sauron – with the sole ...

Rush Hour 2 (DVD) 11/09/2002

Faster than a Chinese takeaway

Rush Hour 2 (DVD) As i seem to do these days is either work or watch TV! I suppose though working for a cable TV firm this is par for the course, as the job overlaps with my favourite pastime - watching films! Yet again boredom struck last night, over 100 channels to watch and nothing at all! God how did we ever survive with only 4 channels all those years ago LOL! So yet again a trip through the onslaught of Sky Box Office and, wahey, something I haven't watched yet (shouts of "Oh my God" from the faithful Ciao readers, a film eben Paul has not seen!). Yes, it is true. But not any more. Hold on to your hats, cos' Rush Hour 2 is headin' your way (in a way of a review that is!). CAST Jackie Chan - Inspector Lee Chris Tucker - James Carter Ricky Tan - Zang Zhiyi Nobody else is really on! Directed by - Brett Ratner Running time - 1 hour 30 mins Rating - 15 Any for a quick Chinese? From the moment the opening credits have begun, this film swings into action quicker that Tarzan with his nuts on fire trying to find a nearby lagoon! Action, comedy and mayhem are abound for the next 90 mins as Chan and Tucker carry on from where they left off in the original film. You remember, Chan has been assigned to LA to partner up with Tucker. Anyone crying "Lethal Weapon rip-off" would be quite right to do so. This is a buddy/buddy film, no doubt about that readers. So how on earth can it be any good? Well it is........... This time around our fast kicking ...

10 Things to do before you die 22/08/2002


10 Things to do before you die Now here’s a strange thing. Somebody on Ciao decided to create a category called “10 things to do before you die”. Morbid eccentricity perhaps? Or maybe like myself he/she is getting way too close to the dreaded big “30” in terms of age. Either way, having seen this category I thought to myself “Mmmm, this sounds like it could be a bit of fun”. And maybe, just maybe, it is time for a little reflection on this things that you have always said to yourself “I should really do that sometime”, but never get round to doing them. So without further a do, here are the 10 things that I really have to do before the grim reaper starts knocking down my door!!! #10 GET A TATTOO! For much, much too long now I have put this of with a passion! Why oh why can I not get over the potential pain of a long pointy object being shoved into my very being (no innuendo here, lets keep it clean, it’s a family show!). I so badly want to get this done! Please god give me the strength for this, just one tiny little tattoo, doesn’t have to be a Michaelangelo! Help !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!! #9 WIN THE LOTTERY! Ok, maybe not as anywhere achievable as a tattoo, but more fun just the same. Apparently the odds of scooping “the big one” are something in the region of 14,000,000:1. Not great huh? However as they say, “you’ve got to be in it to win it”. Why not me? Or you for that matter! We all ...

Devil's Advocate (DVD) 17/08/2002

The Devil Inside

Devil's Advocate (DVD) Gee, it seems to be such a long time since I wrote anything, I’ve forgotten what Microsoft word looks like LOL! For those of you who read my last op (as always very much appreciated) I have not been enforced into the unfortunate ranks of job obscurity. Far from it actually (more to come on that at another time and juncture!). Having had a wee bit of time on my hands, I thought it was time to get “back to basics” and enjoy my favourite waste of time – Saturday night at the movies! Trawling through the ever-growing video collection I seem to constantly be adding to, I thought I would delve through the archives and came across a wee gem of a movie that I’ve not had the pleasure of watching for some time now, “The Devil’s Advocate”. CAST Keanu Reeves - Kevin Lomax Al Pacino - John Milton/Satan Charlize Theron - Mary-Ann Lomax Jeffrey Jones - Eddie Barzoon Judith Ivey - Mrs. Lomax Craig T. Nelson - Alexander Cullen Directed by - Taylor Hackford Running time - 138 mins Certificate - 18 THE DEVIL INSIDE………………………..? So where do we start? From the beginning you would think, but actually no it isn’t. The beginning of the film is actually the end? Confused? You won’t be I assure you. Kevin Lomax is a young, handsome, charismatic lawyer, undefeated in all of his cases. Bored of being a prosecutor he turns his hand to becoming a ...

Telewest 04/07/2002

Fading into the wild blueyonder

Telewest Ouch - this is really going to hurt a lot! The op I am about to write is quite possibly one of the most painful things I am ever going to write, not in a physical sense, but more in line of a spiritual an mental one. Some of you may liken this to the film “Jerry Maguire”, i.e the rantings of a an employee who has become tired and grown wary of the way his employer has treated it’s customers. Maybe it is inspired by the fact of the ever looming 30th birthday (aargh! crisis! LOL!). More possibly realistic however is the fact that I am one of a few people who actually give a sh*t about the way my company treats it’s customers. Yes – I do work for Telewest. And yes, I do actually give a damn about it! I have read several reviews on Ciao! regarding Telewest. Some good, most of them bad. To be perfectly blunt, for those of you who have written anything negative about the service/customer service you have received from Telewest YOU ARE DEAD RIGHT! For those of you who don’t know, Telewest Broadband (as it is now known) is a provider of Digital TV, telephone & internet. I have worked for them for very nearly 6 years (yes, that is 6 YEARS!) so I think I am in a pretty good position to pass comment, on what was once a good company to work for, but more importantly for you the consumer, a company that you are happy to do business with and receive a good service from. The majority of issues that you, the consumer, have with Telewest as ...

From Dusk Till Dawn (DVD) 28/06/2002

Bikini clad vamps

From Dusk Till Dawn (DVD) After a very much self imposed absence on Ciao! I am back and with a vengeance! Mainly due to a greatly needed opportunity to recharge the old batteries, and get over my writer’s block LOL!!! During my time “offline”, which I strongly recommend to all at some stage so that you stay “fresh”, I decided to return to my roots and do what I enjoy the most – watching movies! Delving through my ever growing collection of videos (I really do need to get out more!) I came across a little something that I haven’t watched in aeons – FROM DUSK TILL DAWN. CAST Harvey Keitel - Jacob Fuller George Clooney – Seth Gecko Quentin Tarantino – Richard Gecko Juliette Lewis - Kate Fuller Ernest Liu - Scott Fuller Salma Hayek - Santanico Pandemonium Cheech Marin - Guard/Carlos/Chet Pussy Tom Savini - Sex Machine Danny Trejo - Razor Charlie Written by - Quentin Tarantino Directed by - Robert Rodriguez Running time - 1hr 45 mins (approx) Certificate - 18 Genre - Thriller/Horror/Comedy PLOT Vampires, vampires and a few more vampires! Well, not just vampires actually. The film begins with our audience being introduced to Seth & Ritchie (Clooney & Tarantino), two brothers who make the money by, well, robbing banks and the such like. We meet them holed up in a gas station with a hostage. An unfortunate local police officer just happens to walk in. The result? A couple of corpses ...

HOLLOW MAN (DVD) 15/04/2002

More Shallow Than Hollow

HOLLOW MAN (DVD) Another weekend in LOL! Short of cash and having just finished another day in the office, I decided to rely in my old faithful, never let me down Sky Movies. Having trawled through the listings I came across the much debated and reviewed “Hollow Man”, premiered on Sky Premier Widescreen. Well, there wasn’t exactly a lot more on offer on Saturday night, so I thought “what the hell, let’s give it a go”. The results were, shall we say, interesting to say the least. ~~ CAST ~~ Sebastian Caine - Kevin Bacon Linda Kay - Elizabeth Shue Matthew Kensington- Josh Brolin Carter Abbey - Greg Grunberg Frank Chase - Joey Slotnik Janice Walton - Mary Randle Dr. Howard Kramer - William Devane Directed by - Paul Verhoeven Running time - Approx 1hr 40 mins Rating - 18 ~~ STORY ~~ The film begins in a quite gruesome way. We are “treated” to a scene where a laboratory rat is picked up, and quite violently has its neck broken by an “invisible” hand. Nice eh? Take it that this is not going to be a romantic comedy then (excuse the sarcasm). We are introduced to Sebastian Caine, a wonderfully gifted scientist who seems apparently obsessed with the notion of being able to make animals invisible. Problem is, he is having a rather more pressing problem of not being able to make them visible again. Perplexing eh? Coupled with this, he also is suffering with the fact of recently being dumped by ...

Member Advice on Domestic Violence 02/04/2002

Tainted Love

Member Advice on Domestic Violence It is with great sadness that I write this particular review. I am sitting here, at my PC in work. I should be at home, but unfortunately it is not really a sensible idea for me to be at home. Why you may ask? Very simple fellow Ciao’ers. I have just had one of the most unfortunate circumstances of my entire life. About 3 hours ago I was quite violently assaulted by my partner. It all came as a bit of a shock really. To cut a very long story short, following a rather heated verbal discussion with my now soon to be ex-partner, I was greeted with a headbutt to the face, and several blows about the body/face with different objects. “ You must have deserved it” I hear the female fraternity cry out immediately. Sorry, but for those of you who know me, and read my piece on TV violence, then you’ll have a fairly good idea of the type of guy I am. I was lucky enough to have a very good up-bringing, knowing right from wrong, knowing that to strike a female is probably one of the lowest actions a man can take. People hear the term “domestic violence” and automatically assume a picture of a woman, battered and bruised at the hands of some Neanderthal thug, who gets his kicks after a tank full of beer by teaching his partner the meaning of respect in the only way he knows how to. Unfortunately, very seldom do we hear about the flip side of the LP. The side that shows that men are also susceptible to the odd kicking from their respective partner. ...

Coyote Ugly (DVD) 22/03/2002

Who you calling Ugly

Coyote Ugly (DVD) Drinking, women dancing on a bar, and a lot of good rock music? Sounds like a recipe for a successful film in my book! Having finally succumbed to the theory that not all hyped movies are as bad as they sound, I am finally getting around to writing a review on this movie that I ordered on Sky Box office a few months ago. Serves me right for hiding it in a Word document and forgetting the blood title! I ordered this on a cold and lonely night in January. I had seen many adverts for it, but never gotten around to going to the cinema. Too much hype I thought. So eventually the occasion arose, and, grabbing the opportunity, a pizza and some beers were in order for a quiet night in. QUIET NIGHT IN!!! This film doesn’t allow it! ~~ CAST~~ Violet “Jersey” Sandford - Piper Perabo Kevin O’Donnell - Adam Garcia Lil - Maria Bella Gloria - Melanie Lynskey Cammie - Izabello Miko Rachel - Bridget Moynahan Zoe - Tyna Banks Lou - Del Pentecost William Sandford - John Goodman Leanne Rimes - Herself Running time - 1hr 40 mins Rating - PG (13) ~~ STORY~~ Here we have little old Violet Sandford. She lives in the quiet town of New Jersey. She has no cares in the world, has many friends, and life is good. However, Violet has a burning ambition – she desperately has aspirations of becoming a successful songwriter. Unfortunately the small town she lives in, in New Jersey, doesn’t offer a lot in ...

Does violence on the screen create violence in society? 21/03/2002

Media Mayhem

Does violence on the screen create violence in society? It is an age old argument which never seems to go away. As the years pass by it seems more and more prominent in our society. The question is DOES VIOLENCE ON TV PROMOTE VIOLENCE IN OUR SOCIETY? Even in this modern day and age, after many arguments, public debates, surveys, criminal psychologists’ reports, ad infinitum, there still seems to be this school of thought that violence, be it on TV or cinema, somehow has a direct effect and/or influence on the people we are, our way of thinking, and lifestyle habits in general. Do you agree? I certainly don’t. Why? Ok, let’s take a trip down memory lane……. My name is Ug. I am a caveman, well early Neanderthal man to be exact. I spend my life walking around with a big club in my hand. Always handy just in case the odd dinosaur passes my way. Alternatively, just in case some I don’t like the look of passes by. If I am feeling a bit horny, I’m going to grab the first cave-woman who takes my fancy and drag her off to my cave for a bit of slap and tickle. Let’s get a bit more up to date. My name is Billy the Kid. For fun I like to spend my days hanging around with my gang, drinking good old whisky, robbing banks, causing mayhem and killing people with my six-shooters. Wild West? You bet your ass it was! A bit more up to date perhaps? OK then. My name is now Mr Todd, first name Sweeney. I am a respectable barber. I have a nice little salon, and make money giving my patrons ...

Wayne's World 2 (DVD) 14/03/2002

The Naked Indian and the Dead Rock Star

Wayne's World 2 (DVD) You’ll laugh again!! You’ll cry again!! You’ll hurl again!! And so says the trailer for the movie. Yes, it’s time for me to get back to normality and do what I do best on Ciao! (who shouted “what’s that then?”). That is to write a film review. And what better film to resume “normality” with than one of the funniest films of the 1990’s, (1993 to be exact) the daft, the stupid, the rather excellent “ Wayne’s World 2”, which was re-run on the Paramount Comedy channel a few nights ago. ~~CAST~~ Wayne Campbell - Mike Myers Garth Algar - Dana Carvey Cassandra Wong - Tia Carrera Bobby Caan - Christopher Walken Honey Hornee - Kim Basinger Heather Locklear - Herself Aerosmith - Themselves! Written by - Mike Myers Running time - 1hr 35mins Rating - PG ~~STORYLINE?~~ What storyline I hear you cry! This is Wayne’s World, there is no story. Well there is, in a very obscure way. Basically the sequel carries on pretty much from it’s predecessor. Wayne is still producing his cult TV show, along with Garth his faithful sidekick. Wayne is still going out with the rather gorgeous Cassandra. Cassandra now has her recording contract she so desperately wanted, and is doing very well for herself thank you very much. Wayne appears to be a little concerned over the attention that Cassandra is receiving, in particular from her agent Bobby Caan. Caan has no time ...

Robin Hood 14/03/2002

Straight as an arrow

Robin Hood Eat your heart out Errol Flynn! There's a new sheriff in town (literally!). God bless Sky for having the audacity to re-run the film "Robin Hood : Prince of Thieves" on Sky Movies. Unfortunately I missed it being shown again, but it served as a prompt reminder for me to dig through my ever-growing video collection, and throw it in the old video recorder for another airing. I absolutely love this film, even though would you believe that it is now over 10 years old - yes it is that old! 1991 was the infamous year! God how time flies! ~~CAST~~ Robin Hood – Kevin Costner Sheriff Of Nottingham – Alan Rickman Maid Marion – Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio Azeem – Morgan Freeman Will Scarlet – Christian Slater King Richard – Sean Connery Musical Score – Michael Kamen Title track – Bryan Adams Rating – PG Running time – 2hrs 17mins Having watched "Prince of Thieves" at least 3 times when it was released, I subsequently bought and lost it on video (like most of my video collection it developed legs and walked away with my ex-partner……sorry I digress). Consequently I bought it again. When first released it was billed as the ultimate Robin Hood movie, with an all star cast, action packed plot, and thunderous soundtrack (aided by Canadian rocker Bryan Adams). But is it all that good? ~~PLOT~~ The story begins with our hero Robert of Locksley (portrayed quite well by ...

10 Things I Hate About The World Today 13/03/2002


10 Things I Hate About The World Today Yes! At last! A place to get it all out! And I am the first to write in this category! This is for you decent, loyal, normal Ciao users who like me have several things that get write up your nose! I like to call this the “ GET IT OFF YOUR CHEST” category. A place to let out all your gripes, and the things you really can’t stand. So here we go, my top 10 hates #1 TELEPHONE ENQUIRY OPTIONS Aargh! What a nightmare! You know the scenario. You have a problem with your gas/electricity/water/phone/TV, whatever. You phone up the relevant company. You are then presented with more options than you can throw a stick at. Press 1 for this, 2 for that. Eventually after selecting all of the 300 available options you end up exactly back where you started from. Aargh! Oh my God! Get rid of them all! Or better still, have an individual direct number depending upon your enquiry. Make it bloody simple! #2 TAXI DRIVERS ROAD ATTITUDE Is it just me, or does every taxi driver I have ever encountered think that they REALLY do own the road? Nipping in here, out of there. U-turns in the middle of the road. Reversing onto main roads from side roads. Basically ignoring every rule in the Highway code just so they can get rid of their fare and progress to the next one. Make them re-sit their test. Hackney drivers are particular culprits. Sort it out, please. #3 BIG ISSUE SELLERS Were these people sent to Earth from another planet just to annoy us all? If I ...

Everything that starts with Y ... 13/03/2002

Young offenders pay the price

Everything that starts with Y ... ** Please note before reading this, this is merely one viewpoint on a difficult item. Ultimately, no-one person may be to blame, this is merely one perspective that I believe could be investigated** It is with great sadness that I write this particular review. It is prompted due to some news that was relayed a few days ago (Sunday) via my local radio station, and I keep asking myself “ Why, why was this allowed to happen?” To cut a long story short, yesterday in my home town of Liverpool, two 14 year old boys were tragically killed in a car crash. They had stolen a car and were travelling through a tunnel. Having given chase the police had set up a road block to prevent them accessing the tunnel, and as the news reported the young offenders tried to avoid this and crashed their vehicle. Tragic, and very, very sad. As the news broke, and more and more information started to filter through. It then became apparent that the two youths had previously offended on at least 4 or 5 previous occasions stealing cars. So I asked myself again, why was this allowed to happen? It seems to me that every time something of this nature happens people are quick to judge. The parents normally receive the butt of the blame. If they had brought them up better it wouldn’t have happened. Or the children involved come from a broken home. Or have been abused/neglected. There always seems to be some “other” reason that people have in mind. Listening to a ...
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