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Panic Room (DVD) 25/03/2017

Panic Room - the love of money is the root of all evil

Panic Room (DVD) FILM ONLY REVIEW The Product Actors: Jodie Foster, Forest Whitaker, Jared Leto, Kristen Stewart Director: David Fincher Classification: 15 Sony Pictures Home Entertainment DVD Release Date: 28 Oct. 2002 Run Time: 107 minutes ASIN: B00006681E Cost Amazon this is only £1.29 new and delivered. Basic Story Well as the name suggests the film is based around a ‘panic room’, those supposedly impregnable structures built into the homes of the very rich and famous. Panic Room was directed by David Fincher based on a screenplay written by David Koepp. The story features Jodie Foster as the newly divorced mother and her eleven year old daughter played by Kristen Stewart. They move into a four storey house in New York, which had previously been occupied by a wealthy recluse, who had a secret panic room installed The three thieves who break in are played by Jared Leto, supposedly the previous owner’s grandson, Forest Whitaker and Dwight Yoakam. The attempted burglary goes wrong almost immediately, in that they thought the house was still empty but the mother and daughter had moved in early. Surely mum and daughter will be safe as they have the panic room? But things don’t always work out as you would expect and nowhere is safe. My Opinion This film soon struck me as a more grown up version of Home Alone. Where residents pit their wits against some burglars. Here we have three burglars, and they are not the brightest, being almost comedic in places with their ...

Sherlock Holmes And The Pearl Of Death (DVD) 18/03/2017

...What big hands you have!!

Sherlock Holmes And The Pearl Of Death (DVD) FILM ONLY REVIEW The Product 1944 B&W Sherlock Holmes movie Director: Roy William Neill Number of discs: 1 Classification: PG Studio: Cornerstone Media DVD Release Date: 25 Sept. 2006 Run Time: 68 minutes Cost £1.64 second hand on Amazon or £5.99 new. Main Actors Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes Nigel Bruce as Dr. John H. Watson Dennis Hoey as Inspector Lestrade Miles Mander as Giles Conover Rondo Hatton as The Creeper The Basic Story This is the ninth film featuring Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Doctor Watson. The story is loosely based on the Conan Doyle story of the Six Napoleons. The feature of the story is in the title – a large pearl. The criminal, played by Miles Mander, manages to steal this expensive Borgia Pearl from under Holmes’ nose in a supposedly well protected museum. The story is then on to find it. My Opinion This is a great old black and white movie. I was going to watch it on TV but we did not have the right channel so I ended up watching a copy on Youtube. The film is just over an hour long. I find the combination of Rathbone and Bruce one of the best for Holmes and Watson characters. They seem to encapsulate how I imagine the characters to be – Holmes is tall and very confident and self-assured, while Watson is stockier, more quietly spoken and in some instances a little bumbling. This is a fast paced movie which has lots of suspense. Of course being over 70 years old it is obviously dated but for me that ...

Nineteen Minutes - Jodi Picoult 16/03/2017

What were you - school bully or victim?

Nineteen Minutes - Jodi Picoult The Product 2008 novel by Jodi Picoult Paperback: 608 pages Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (15 Aug. 2013) ISBN-13: 978-1444754360 Cost £8.99 new on Amazon or else £3.78 second hand. Also available on Kindle or Audible. The Basic Story This is a novel by the well known author Jodi Picoult and came out in 2007, ending up as number one on the New York Times’ Best Seller’s list. The '19 minutes' refers to how quickly a person’s life can change. The main premise of the story surrounds high school children in Sterling, New Hampshire, and a shooting incident. The main characters are Peter Houghton, his parents Lacy and Lewis Houghton, Peter’s one time childhood friend Josie Cormier, Josie’s mother Alex Cormier and police detective Patrick Ducharme. The book examines their lives over a number of years leading up to the shooting and examines the role of the bully and how schildren and teenagers always want to fit in with the ‘in crowd’. My Opinion I do not think I have read any of Jodi Picoult’s novels before so this was new to me. It was picked by our local book group so was not one that I would maybe have really picked for myself. However I decided to give the book a good try and did get through it. In fact I did find it quite engrossing and was waiting for the end to see what was going to happen, through in some parts Jodi Picoult did go into lots of detail. Originally I did not realise that virtually the whole book relates and build up to this high school ...

Cinderella (2015) (DVD) 11/03/2017

'Where there is kindness, there is goodness.'

Cinderella (2015) (DVD) FILM ONLY REVIEW The Product Lily James as Cinderella with Richard Madden, Cate Blanchett, Stellan Skarsgård, Holliday Grainger, Derek Jacobi, and Helena Bonham Carter. It is produced by David Barron, Simon Kinberg and Allison Shearmur for Walt Disney Pictures. Number of discs: 1 Classification: U Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment DVD Release Date: 24 Aug. 2015 Run Time: 113 minutes ASIN: B00V6C5Z0Q Cost £4.49 second hand on Amazon or £5 new. The Basic Story Well this is a fairy tale that most people know, though some stories vary a little in the telling. This version has Ella as the daughter of a merchant. She has an idyllic home life with a doting mother and father. Even when her mother dies she lives a charmed existence with her father. This all began to change however when he married a widow with two spoilt daughters. Life may not have been too bad but the father dies on a business trip, leaving Ella to the mercy of her stepmother. We then see the decline fo Ella’s life until she is merely an unpaid servant in the household. When the Prince declares that all the young girls in the kingdom should go to a ball of course Ella (now known as Cinderella) is forbidden to go. However a fairy godmother steps in and the rest is magical. The Clothes I’m sure for little girls the clothes in a fairy tale are quite important. It seems that major efforts were put in with this movie to ensure that the dresses were superb. Both the Princes items and the ...

The Persuaders! - The Complete Series (DVD) 10/03/2017

'Nitro and glycerine' - who can resist Moore and Curtis together!

The Persuaders! - The Complete Series (DVD) Programme Only Review The Product Tony Curtis, Roger Moore, Laurence Naismith, Directors: Leslie Norman, Roy Ward Baker, Basil Dearden, Val Guest, Sidney Hayers Number of discs: 9 PG Release Date: 19 Sept. 2011 Run Time: 1300 minutes ASIN: B005K8I5PY Cost Currently £24 for a new set on Amazon. Second hand ones are more expensive! Show’s Premise This series of 24 shows was a follow on from The Saint in which Roger Moore stared. The shows were produced by ITC Entertainment, and were a light hearted detective, adventure, comedy type show. The shows were broadcast weekly from late 1971 through to 1972. Each show was around and hour including adverts – actually the shows themselves were around 51 minutes. The idea was to partner two opposites, Roger Moore being the suave stylish Lord while Tony Curtis was the self-made New York millionaire. The idea sprung from one of the last Saint episodes where Moore teamed up with a brash Texan, though he was nowhere near as entertaining a foil as Tony Curtis went on to become. Both Moore and Curtis had all the money they needed and were jaded with life, a sort of pair of jet-set playboys. So The Judge, Laurence Naismith, who was actually retired, and who wanted to track down criminals he could not imprison by legal means back in his career, decided to partner these two mavericks together – they were like chalk and cheese, but although opposed to the idea at first they then became firm friends and go on an adventure of sorts in ...

Swan SU4010GRN 09/03/2017

Lightweight triangle sweeper - a quick pick up job

Swan SU4010GRN The Product Swan SU4010GRN Triangular Sweeper - Green Efficient electric floor brush Cordless operation Compact and delicate cosmetic design Low noise design Rechargeable with LED indicator light Powered by a 1500mAh rechargeable battery and offering 15 minutes runtime from one full charge A transparent window for easy dust-bin release ensures hassle-free emptying. Cost Price:£18.99 with free delivery on Amazon. Although now out of stock the Swan website lists it as £29.99. Why Purchase? I have had a rechargeable Gtech which was super, but after many years of use the handle snapped and then my son threw away the charging cable by accident so it was cheaper to buy a new one rather than repair the old version. However looking at Gtech these days they were much more expensive than when I bought mine, and as I only wanted a lightweight sweeper for days when I was feeling weak and did not want to have to lift my heavier Morphy Richards one I could not justify the cost. So I have been searching quietly for a while and as I had some Amazon vouchers I looked there. Some good ones were around the £32 mark but then I found this triangle sweeper at under £20. To me it looked a bit like a dinky toy but it had some positive reviews and Swan is also a well-known company and it has a limited 2 year guarantee so I decided to order one. What You Get? The sweeper arrived quickly and in a sturdy box. All was very well (over) wrapped with each component in a separate plastic ...

Rachel And The Stranger (DVD) 04/03/2017

Not your standard sort of 'Western', more a gentle romance

Rachel And The Stranger (DVD) FILM ONLY REVIEW The Product 1948 black and white film Loretta Young, William Holden, Robert Mitchum, Gary Gray Director: Norman Foster Classification: PG DVD Release Date: 20 Sept. 2010 Run Time: 80 minutes Cost £10.25 new on Amazon. The Basic Story Young widower with a child buys himself a female ‘wife’ to care for his house and child. Will his eyes be opened to her charms when his friend starts taking an interest in her? My Opinion This was based on the Howard Fast short story "Rachel". This was a low budget film which featured well-known actors from the time. I don’t normally watch ‘Westerns’ but husband had recorded this from one of the numerous film channels and it actually appeared to be interesting so I decided to watch it. The ‘Rachel’ from the title turns out to be a ‘bondswoman’ – sold to pay off her father’s debts. This was supposedly in Ohio in frontier country and I was not aware of this practice of buying and selling white people having taken place like that. Rachel is supposed to be in her mid-twenties when she gets sold to David, played by William Holden. This is purely a mercenary affair as Holden is a widower with a young son who wants someone to cook and clean and care for his son. He does not want a ‘wife’ but due to the proprieties of the time it would have been unseemly to ‘live in sin' so they do get married – but it is a marriage in name only. We see life in the little log cabin, with Rachel trying to make the best of things, keep ...

The Man Who Haunted Himself (DVD) 01/03/2017

Roger Moore as you have not seen him before!

The Man Who Haunted Himself (DVD) FILM ONLY REVIEW The Product The Man Who Haunted Himself – DVD Film originally released in 1970 Staring Roger Moore Director: Basil Dearden Based on the novel The Strange Case of Mr Pelham by Anthony Armstrong Classification: PG Run Time: 90 minutes Cost Currently selling at £7.99 on Amazon. The Basic Story This is classed as a psychological thriller and is a departure from what we normally see with Roger Moore. Moore plays staid and conservative worker Harold Pelham. He seems a stuffy and uptight sort of guy, but is quickly involved in a near death car crash. The crash does not seem to have been an accident; did supernatural forces play a part? After the crash Moore recovers but is plagued by coincidences – people claim to have had conversations he does not recall and he has been seen in places where he could not have been. Is he going mad – or is there another explanation? My Opinion Until recently I had not even heard of this film as it is not one that is well known and I have not seen it re-run on TV at all. Apart from his role as James Bond I am mostly used to Roger Moore as the smooth Simon Templar character in The Saint, or else playing alongside Tony Curtis in The Persuaders. In all these roles he is cool, suave and charming. This film however shows him as a completely different character, also sporting a moustache! I was able to see this film on Youtube but admittedly it was not a very good recording. It seems odd in a way to see Moore as a ...

The Body Shop Olive Soap 20/02/2017

Not especially pleasant to smell or look at

The Body Shop Olive Soap The Product Comes in olive green paper wrapper. Use within 12 months 100gram bar Made in UK Avoid eye area Body Shop state that it is: Non-drying Mediterranean, fresh, delicate scent Certified sustainable palm oil Community Trade organic olive oil from Italy Cost £2 a bar My Opinion Well I often do an online order form Body Shop and this was one of their soaps that I had not previously tried – I have worked my way through most of the other fruity and nature type soaps. This soap comes in a more natural looking green wrapper than shown in old images of a cellophane wrapper. The soap is not as translucent as some of the others such as strawberry. Also it has an unusual fragrance – not really what I would expect at all. It is more a sort of lemongrass aroma, not unpleasant but not especially inviting either. The bar is a very dark sluggish green and when on the sink in the bathroom looks to me like an old mouldy kitchen sponge. The texture of the soap is good and it definitely does not disintegrate with use as I still have a small sliver still left here. It is quite creamy to use but not one that I really would reach for and hence there is still some left while we have been using others. I buy Body Shop soaps as a sort of cheap luxury as at £2 and more each they are dearer than ones you get at 4 for £1. So I expect to have attractive soaps with nice aromas. I did not really like the sludgy colour but could put up with that if I enjoyed the smell – but that was ...

Wisdom Fresh Effect Freshmint Antibacterial Mouthwash 19/02/2017

A very disappointing product from Wisdom

Wisdom Fresh Effect Freshmint Antibacterial Mouthwash The Product 500 ml bottle of Wisdom’s Fresh Effect Freshmint Antibacterial Mouthwash Comes in clear plastic bottle and is vivid green Has childproof cap. ‘Freshens and protects.’ ‘Helps fight plaque Helps strengthen teeth against decay Cleans hard to reach areas Helps maintain healthy gums Freshens breath’ Contains enamel strengthening flouride and has antibacterial action Warning: Do not swallow. Keep out of reach of children. Not suitable for use by children under 6 years of age. Cost 95p in Wilkinsons. It also comes in a blue ‘Whitening’ version. My Opinion Well as I have crowns and am apt to get slightly inflamed gums I try and use a mouthwash twice a day. Mostly I buy online form Tesco but as I had run out and was in WIlkinsons I decided to buy a cheap one as a stop-gap. Not being sure which to get I opted for a ‘Wisdom’ one as it was an old brand I thought would be good. The liquid is a bright green like many other mouthwashes and you have a child proof cap to negotiate but it does come off relatively easily. I must say I was disappointed with this product. Maybe it works fine as I have no way of telling. Probably most mouthwashes have the same sort of effect but this one did not have any of the strong minty taste you come to expect. Hardly ‘freshmint’. There is virtually no taste at all, not a minty one anyway and hardly any aroma. Whereas other mouthwashes can leave our mouth feeling vibrate and tingly – this one did nothing really. You are supposed to use ...

Tremendous Tractors - Tony Mitton 14/02/2017

Which toddler does not like a red tractor story?

Tremendous Tractors - Tony Mitton The Product Tremendous Tractors by Tony Mitton and Ant Parker Paperback: 24 pages Age Range: 3 - 7 years Macmillan Children's Books; Main market ed. edition (8 May 2014) ISBN 978-1447250746 Cost Price marked as £5.99. I bought it as part of the 10 for £10 at The Works. Amazon charge £5.99 new but they are for sale second hand for £2.81. Variations Also come as Fire Engines, Trains, Aeroplanes, Cars, Boats, Diggers, Submarines, Trucks, Rockets, Helicopters, Motorcycles and Emergency Vehicles – there may be more! The Book It is a largish book being about 9 inches square. It has a glossy cover and an attractive red tractor on the front. About two to four lines of text per page and the large colourful images are stretched over two pages. Driving the tractors are a cartoon style mouse and rabbit – very much in the vein of Richard Scarry. Each double page features a different tool with the tractors – such as a plough, harrow, roller, seed drill, mower, bailer, forklift, combine harvester and trailer. The last page in the book features ‘tractor bits’ and explains what their purpose is. Shown are tyres, seed drill, a hopper, bale fork, blade and spikes. My Opinion This may be more of a boys sort of book – unless a young girl is into vehicles! Though really we should not be stereotyping children at too young an age. In fact the colourful farm images and useful information would also interest little girls I am sure. Farms always hold an attraction for young ...

Say Hello to the Baby Animals - Ian Whybrow 13/02/2017

Lovely colourful animal book with bright illustrations

Say Hello to the Baby Animals - Ian Whybrow The Product Author Ian Whybrow Illustrator Ed Eaves Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books Paperback Price £1.00 at The Works website when bought as part of 10 for £10 offer. Book is price marked £5.99. The Book This is a lovely square book with very glossy covers. It is quite large at around 9 inches. The cover is a colourful nature scene showing lots of baby animals scattered around the landscape on both the front and back. The book contains 24 pages with the story actually covering 18 very colourful double page spreads. At the centre of the cover is a baby lion who ‘travels’ through the book saying ‘hello’ to all the other baby animals. Going through the book the lion meets several different animals. The giraffe goes ‘lick lick’, the monkey ‘oo oo’, the hippo ‘splash splash’, the zebra click clack’, the parrot ‘squawk squawk’, the elephant squirt squirt’ and the leopard ‘raaaah’. There is very little text on each page. What I Thought This glossy book has a pretty and inviting vcvoer showing six cute baby animals, with a further six on the back cover. It is well made with good quality paper pages and they are very colourful dn interesting to look at. The book does not take long to ‘read’ as there is only a line or two per page. The left hand page talks about the baby animal that the little lion is meeting on those pages – text such as: ‘baby giraffe looks hungry to me licking the leaves that grow on the tree’. Then on the opposite page is an image of the giraffe ...

Palmolive Moisture Care Soap 11/02/2017

Inexpensive soaps but creamy and with a great smell

Palmolive Moisture Care Soap The Product Palmolive Moisture Care Soap Pack of 4 x 90 gram bars With extracts of olive oil Made in Turkey for Colgate-Palmolive Use within 36 months Cost Full price £1.25 at Tesco but currently selling for £1. My Opinion Palmolive state – ‘The classic bar soap from Palmolive - loved and trusted for decades. And now enriched with Olive extract.’ These bars comes individually wrapped and inside a minty green outer wrapper with has images of shiny olives on the front. The bars themselves are an oval sort of shape but with a concave underside – so easy to hold in your hands plus it keeps a lot of the soap off any wet surfaces. The colour is a pale lime or minty shade and it has the ‘PALMOLIVE’ name impressed into its top. The fragrance is very pleasant – not exactly as I would expect olives to smell but a pleasant soapy aroma. Nice and fresh and very gender friendly so any men in the household should be quite happy to use this. It also has a strong enough smell so that it makes the bathroom smell pleasant and soapy. I like the smell anyway and its something I always look for in a soap – a pleasant aroma. Weirdly the Palmolive website does not list the full ingredients and I had to do some searching looking to see what the annotated ingredients on the packet were referenced for. The packet says to see the ‘production code’ on the packet but that does not explain anything to me either. The bars are slightly smaller than some other four pack ones as some are ...

Mrs Palfrey At The Claremont (DVD) 08/02/2017

An elderly widow coping with loneliness-not very uplifting for me

Mrs Palfrey At The Claremont (DVD) Film only review The Product Actors: Joan Plowright, Rupert Friend Director: Dan Ireland Producers: Lee Caplin, Carl Colpaert, Zachary Matz Number of discs: 1 Classification: PG Studio: Acorn Media DVD Release Date: 7 July 2008 Run Time: 103 minutes Cost £4.79 second hand on Amazon or £7.55 new. Basic Story The elderly Mrs Palfrey books long term into a small hotel in London, mainly so that she is not a burden to her only daughter. She also believes that as she is close now to where her grandson works she will be seeing more of him. However things do not work out as she planned, but an unexpected meeting when she has a fall in the street leads on a friendship she could not have imagined. My Opinion ‘Bases on the novel by Elizabeth Taylor’, but as I have not read the book I cannot say how true it is to the original. I must admit I had never heard of this until it got reviewed on here a few days ago. Doing a search I found a mediocre version on Youtube and watched it the other night. I did not know the story as such so it was all new to me. The central character in the film is Mrs Palfrey of course, expertly acted by Joan Plowright, though I did not really know her. She cuts a great figure fo a widow who is trying to be independent. The hotel she books into is quite small and tends to have only elderly residents. Although the hotel is in London you get a feeling of boredom and monotony hanging over the residents, who seem to while away their days reading or ...

The 39 Steps - John Buchan 04/02/2017

Where are the 39 Steps? Like the Famous Five for adults!

The 39 Steps - John Buchan The Book The Thirty-Nine Steps (Wordsworth Classics) Paperback By John Buckan 128 pages Publisher: Wordsworth Editions; New Ed edition (5 Dec. 1993) ISBN: 978-1853260803 Cost The paperback is £1.99 on Amazon but is free if you have a Kindle. Or you can buy the complete Richard Hanney series of five books all in one edition for £1.99 paperback or 99p on Kindle. You can also listen to the full audiobook on YouTube. The Basic Story This is an action adventure story that was published in 1915 – firstly as a serial in a magazine and in October 1915 as a complete book. The story is set in 1914 just as the clouds of war were blowing in over Europe. Richard Hanney is the unwitting star of the novel who is back in London after travelling extensively and working in Africa. The story paints a world weary fellow who is finding London boring and dull. However events occur which drags Hanney into the world of spies and treason – it certainly jollies him up and gives him something to whet his appetite for adventure. Through the novel we see Hanney pursued up to and through Scotland and then back to London. John Buchan called this his first ‘shocker’ – by this he meant that the events in the story were quite far-fetched and barely creditable. Chapters The Man Who Died. The Milkman Sets Out on His Travels. The Adventure of the Literary Innkeeper. The Adventure of the Radical Candidate. The Adventure of the Spectacled Roadman. The Adventure of the Bald Archaeologist. The ...
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