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shabbie

shabbie

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Reviews written

since 23/09/2001

14

The Boondock Saints (DVD) 24/12/2001

Et Spiritu Sancti.....BANG

The Boondock Saints (DVD) Call me contrary, or whatever you like, but I tend to go against the grain at times, and my taste in films also follows this trend. I usually dislike most of the big blockbuster films, probably because they are so hyped, that by the time I see them, they just don't live up to what I was expecting.. I also think a lot has to do with how good the publicity agents are, and how gullible a lot of the public can be. I was going to say they are like sheep, but I often watch the sheep in the fields around my house, and believe me, sheep are not as daft as we are led to believe, but anyway, I digress, this is not an opinion on the Silence of the Lambs, so back to the issue in hand. Away from the biggies, I have come across a few real gems in the lesser known film catagories. Mind you, I think with directors and scriptwriters, it's all down to the old 'who you know' scenario. So this opinion is on one such film called The Boondock Saints. The Boondock Saints (1999), is a Tarantino type film, only in my view, better, and I'm sure Quentin would have loved to have had this one to his credit. It was written and directed by an unknown, out of work musician called Troy Duffy, who was basically, in the end, screwed by the film industry. He was initially promised the world on a platter, but after all the contracts were signed, loopholes appeared out of the woodwork. He knew exactly what type of actors would fit the characters, and the suggested Robert Di Niro and Brad Pitt were not them, ...

Black House - Peter Straub, Stephen King 19/12/2001

More Like Black Death

Black House - Peter Straub, Stephen King I was initially really looking forward to the publication of Black House, which was supposed to be the sequel of The Talisman, the first collaboration of the two best-selling authors Stephen King and Peter Straub. However, having read some bad reviews of Black House, I decided to give it a miss. Unfortunately, I forgot to inform my friends and family of this, and was duly presented with the book for my birthday. Since I then had the book, I thought I may as well read it, but before starting it I dug out my copy of The Talisman to read again so that everything would be fresh in my mind. Ha, fat lot of good that did me. Perhaps King and Straub should have done likewise. THE PLOT. Black House is set twenty years after the adventures of The Talisman, and brings back the central character, Jack Sawyer, who is now almost 35 years old. He grew up and joined the police force, where he rapidly climbed the ranks to become a very successful murder Detective in LA.. Then suddenly, in his early thirties, he decided he had had enough and retired to a very quiet and remote area called French Landing. We join the scene in French Landing, where three children have gone missing, two had since been found chopped up and half eaten, and the other in a similar condition, just waiting to be found. These murders are very similar to others committed in the 1920s in New York, by a man called Albert Fish, and so the local newspaper hound dubbed the latest killer The Fisherman. Now even ...

Pears Soap 18/12/2001

Simply The Best

Pears Soap Up until a couple of years ago, the mention of Pears Soap always conjured up pictures of grannies and other elderly ladies, claiming, “This is the best soap you can buy”, and was to be shunned at all costs, in case my friends would think I was old-fashioned. Why should I even consider this oval, amber coloured soap, when there were all the choices of colours to match my decor, wonderful scents and even soaps containing moisturisers to keep me beautiful? Then I saw sense. You see, in reality, even though the younger generations today know absolutely everything, our elders are not always wrong. Since developing ME a few years ago, my whole system seems to have changed, and I have become increasingly sensitive to things like certain foods, alcohol, household cleaners, some cosmetics and yes, soap. My symptoms included runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing and curious rashes. I spent a fortune buying various soaps in an attempt to solve my problems, with little success. Then one day I came across an article about Pears Soap, went straight out and bought a bar, and have never looked back. WHAT IS PEARS SOAP. Believe it or not, Pears soap has been around since 1789, when it was developed by a gentleman called Andrew Pear for the upper classes in London society. Normal folks like you and me in they days couldn't afford luxuries like soap. Ah, the good old days. (and no, I wasn't actually around then). Pears soap is made from pure ingredients and consists of ...

Scott's Porage Oats 01/11/2001

It Glides Sensually All Over My Body.

Scott's Porage Oats "A grain which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people." Dr Johnson (circa 1700s) This is how oats were described by the famous Dr Johnson, and although it sounds, and was probably meant, as a put-down, was actually true. So before all you non-Scots reading this nip out to donate your packet of Scotts Porage Oats to the local riding school, lets look at why this was the case. Way back in medieval times, wild oats had a habit of wheedling their way into fields of wheat, and in some areas, taking over. Now although wheat was quite capable of holding its own in the warm lowlands, at higher, cooler altitudes the oats choked out the wheat. Oats were also able to extract more nutrients from the soil. So in effect, the farmers in Scotland tended to harvest more oats than wheat and so the staple grain of Scotland was born. Oats at this time, also had another use. Most of the food eaten back then, was heavily preserved in salt; and in order to remove as much of it as possible during the cooking process,. a muslin bag of oatmeal was hung in the cooking pot to draw out the salt. So there's a wee medieval tip you can use if you oversalt a pot while cooking. Now let's look at cooking methods. Today many are into cooking and eating Chinese cuisine, for example, and insist that to do it properly, they must use Chinese methods. So out come the Woks and the chopsticks, the wee fancy dishes and the bare feet. That's fine, but when it comes to ...

Liz Earle Brightening Treatment 28/10/2001

I Glow in the Dark.

Liz Earle Brightening Treatment When I hear the expression, 'face mask', I immediately think of the ones you buy in the shops for halloween, with the elastic round the back of your head. So I suppose a Liz Earle face mask could be seen as something you put on which makes you look like Liz Earle; but alas it doesn't quite work that way. In fact when you put on any 'beauty' face mask, you usually end up looking more like Casper the friendly ghost, or an alien from outer space. So why bother? To many of you big macho lads reading this, a face mask is just one of those obscure girlie things anyway, but you are quite wrong. A face mask is actually a deeper cleansing of the skin than you can achieve by using soap and water (which no-one should ever use on their face, as soap strips your skin of natural oils), or any other cleansing lotions or potions. Depending on which skin type you have, a face mask can unclog, cleanse and tighten pores, feed and nourish the skin, and many other things which benefit everyone no matter what sex you are. WHO IS LIZ EARLE? Liz Earle was originally a beauty editor, whose job was trying out new cosmetics and skincare products. Now Liz is into natural ingredients, essential oils, herbalisms and the like, and she noticed that the ingredients she was coming across day-to-day weren't as natural and beneficial as she felt they could be, and that not everybody could afford the so-called top of the range products. So she set about doing some research of her own and then ...

Members Advice on Supplements 28/10/2001

Tea To Soak Your Feet In.

Members Advice on Supplements Tea to many is just an everyday drink; something to wash down a meal or relax with after a tiring day, but in reality it is much more than this. Tea is good for bones and teeth, and its vital chemical compounds have been found to fight against cancer, help stabilize diabetes and help prevent cardiovascular disease. It can even make your skin look healthier. You can drink it, medicate with it, cook with it, water your plants with it, and even keep your cat's litter tray smelling fresh and pleasant with it. The most beneficial and healthful tea though, is one which is barely processed and comes from the Camellia Sinensis bush.......Green Tea. Tea is man's second most popular beverage after water, and one fifth of all tea drunk in the world is green tea. Today, there is not just one green tea, but hundreds, and many varieties with several grades of qualities. this group of choices is further enhanced by the changes, season to season, of the quality of teas. Like wine, a particular harvest may be spectacular one year and mediocre the next, but unlike wine, green tea has a very short life span and must be consumed quickly or it will lose colour, aroma and flavour. There is much more I could write here on history, countries of origin, types etc., but for most of us the most important thing is what it can do for us, so lets skip straight to the benefits. Studies of tea's value in maintaining good health have been conducted and reported in medical journals throughout the ...

Member feedback on Ciao Community Points 25/10/2001

When Baldrick Joined Ciao.

Member feedback on Ciao Community Points I apologize to those who feel this op is in the wrong catagory, although I will include Community Points, but I believe if I had requested a new subject heading, "What Members Think of Ciao", my request may have been ignored. So let's start with how Ciao broke the news to us. They waited until the news of the Online Star awards were announced, then let it rip. BTW, the results of the aforementioned awards were:- Chats & Community. www.uboot.com......13366 www.ciao.com...........8211 www.dooyoo.com....6284. Oh, and Google won hands down in the Search Engine catagory. Now, while awaiting these results, I'm sure Ciao enlisted the help of Baldrick, from Blackadder, who had a 'Cunning Plan', along the lines of, "Throw everything you can think of at them at once and confuse everybody. By the time they realise what's hit them, the dastardly deed will be done". You will all by now know what was in the notification we received, 'cunningly' entitled, New Ciao bonus programme, so I won't comment on the wording other than to say it was like a speech a headmaster would deliver to Primary One pupils. So what of the new bonus programme? Well this has been re-evaluated in order to, a) Control spending. (fine, that's at least honest), b) Reducing abuse. (oh, really?), c) Improving website quality. (???). Now the notice claims these features are aimed at all Ciao sites, but hey, we in the UK are special, and we are getting extra features, to make our site more ...

Pfizer Rimadyl(Carprofen) 17/10/2001

WARNING to Every Dog Owner.

Pfizer Rimadyl(Carprofen) This is the most difficult opinion I have ever written, because of the painful memories it brings back, but I feel it is something I must do, and I'm grateful that opinion sites like Ciao are giving me a voice. The name of this drug, Rimadyl, sends shivers down my spine every time I hear it, but in truth it should not be the medication itself which affects me, but the arrogance of many veterinary surgeons who administer it without taking proper precautions, or discussing the pros and cons of its use with the owners of their patients. HISTORY OF RIMADYL. Rimadyl (carprofen),is an anti-inflammatory drug along the lines of Ibuprofen, and is used for pain relief in conditions such as arthritits, painful joints etc., in dogs. Developer, Roche Laboratories initially planned to market it for humans in 1988 and even received FDA approval, but then shelved the idea as they claimed the market for such drugs was too crowded. Perhaps one of the main reasons for this action though, was because some outside experts expressed concerns about unusual liver-function readings in 14% to 20% of the test subjects. Now. having spent so much money on the development of the drug, the idea of just scrapping the whole project did not appeal to the company at all. Then they came up with the idea of switching the product to the animal-drug market. A couple of corporate transactions later, and Rimadyl was in the hands of Pfizer's animal-drug unit. Next came the kind of sophisticated marketing ...

Fox Hunting 09/10/2001

The Killing Fields.

Fox Hunting I realise I am not alone in my anti-foxhunting views, but there are a couple of points that are rarely mentioned. Although many people do not agree with foxhunting, they frequently do agree with the points made regarding the need to control foxes because of the damage they do. Well I would like to take up these points, or as I call it; Pro-Hunting Myths. In the justification of foxhunting it is claimed:- a) Foxhunting helps control foxes, and needed because foxes kill lambs. b) Cubhunting (oh yes, they do this too), disperses young foxes and prevents the population becoming too concentrated in any given area. c) Foxhunting is not cruel because the fox either escapes or is quickly killed. Now apparently, despite numerous requests, no scientific data has ever been presented to 'Support' any of these theories. On the other hand, there is plenty of data to comdemn them, though for some reason little of this ever comes to light. So here's some. Let's take the arguements one by one. FOXHUNTING HELPS CONTROL FOXES. Does it? Foxes are resilient creatures,and have the ability to increase their population when mortality increases. They can replace 60-70% of their population annually. Therefore, the arguement that hunting controls them is dead in its tracks before it even takes off. It has been found that foxes compensate for heavy population loss in several ways; the amount of cubs per litter and the survival rates of these cubs increases, and they tend to ...

Member Advice on Schizophrenia 05/10/2001

Let's Deal With The Facts.

Member Advice on Schizophrenia Having recently watched several films, where characters are portrayed as having Schizophrenia, I realise how real sufferers must feel at these misrepresentations. Having been a Clinical Nurse Manager in the Psychiatric field, working with this illness in both a hospital and community setting, I thought it may be helpful to dispel some of the myths. As this is a subject which could fill many volumes, I naturally cannot cover every aspect here, so I will just touch on some of the main points, which I hope will explain what the condition is. Schizophrenia is a brain disease with concrete and specific symptoms, which are due to physical and biochemical changes in the brain. It is an illness which usually strikes young people in their prime (16-26), and is almost always controllable with medication. It is a Psychotic disorder characterised by disturbances in thought, perception, affect(mood), behaviour and communication, which lasts longer than six months. Schizophrenia is NOT a split personality, nor a result of childhood trauma, bad parents or poverty. Nor is it the result of any actions or personal failure by the individual. There are 5 different types of Schizophrenia:- Simple; This is a very basic form of the illness which lack the symptoms of the the other forms. Many may go through life with this illness and are never diagnosed. They tend to be those who go through life with no ambitions or motivation, and many spend their lives on the streets drifting ...

djangos.com 02/10/2001

BARGAINS.. Music To Your Ears.

djangos.com If you are anything like me, who buys loads of music but very unhappy at the current price of CDs, then this site I have found may impress you as much as it did me. Djangos.com claims to be the home of movies and music, but as it is an American company, I look on it more for music. It sells new and used videos, DVDs and CDs, but the videos and DVDs are sold in US format so the videos are not PAL and the DVDs are Region 1 which is fine if you have a machine that accepts them. So on the whole, for the UK, the main bargain source is in CDs. Djangos is one of those rare companies that have been around a while, and has moved with the times. It all began over 25 years ago with their first store in Portland, where they sold new and used movies and music. The concept was so successful that over time they have expanded and now also have stores in Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Diego. With the arrival of the internet they have now expanded into the worldwide market. How the system works is simple but effective. All the stores are connected via the internet, and all the stock sits in one big bank. Instore, customers use booths giving them the same access as someone using the internet site at home. So without getting too technical, this is my experience so far of Djangos. I initially went to look at the site for cheap DVDs and also to see if they had a particular one I couldn't get here. I was looking for Rammstein Live Aus Berlin in region 2 format, so I used the ...

A Painted House - John Grisham 30/09/2001

Needs A Second Coat.

A Painted House - John Grisham John Grisham is one of the world's top bestselling authors, so much so, that his books have the legend 'The New Bestseller from John Grisham', splattered across the cover, even before they reach the bookshops. As a lawyer who writes 'legal' fiction, Grisham has proved the adage, 'stick to what you know', and utilizes his knowledge to the full. His books have been so successful that most have been made into films, so why has he suddenly decided to ignore his successful formula, by writing A Painted House? Has he suddenly become arrogant through previous success, and believes he can write anything, or could it be that in fact he is again writing what he knows, as this book was apparently inspired by his own childhood background in rural Arkansas. THE PLOT. "Pappy and Gran had been renting the land since before the Great Depression, which arrived early and stayed late in rural Arkansas. After thirty years of backbreaking labour, they had managed to purchase from Mr Vogel the house and the three acres around it. They also owned the John Deere tractor, two disks, a seed planter, a cotton trailer, a flatbed trailer, two mules, a wagon and the truck." A Painted House is written in a first person, past tense, narrative, from the perspective of a seven year old boy, Luke Chandler. Luke's family are cotton farmers, and the whole story is centred around the picking season of 1952, which is towards the end of the cotton industry. It is basically a portrait of life in the ...

The Butcher Boy DVD 26/09/2001

A Silk Purse from a Pig.

The Butcher Boy DVD The Butcher Boy, which was made in 1997, is one of those films that every now and then slips through the net. I feel the main reason for this is, it is so hard to describe. You must promote anything in a way that makes the consumer or audience want to know more, or whet their appetite, and I believe this aspect has greatly lacked in the promotion of this film. The first time I heard of it, it was described as; A coming of age film, where a young boy lives in a world of comic-book heroes. Now wow, that really has you screaming for more!! So maybe I'm attempting the impossible here. The Butcher Boy, which fits into the Comedy/Drama catagory, is a film by the Irish director Neil Jordan, based on the novel, of the same name, by Irish writer Patrick McCabe. Neil Jordan began his film career by working as a script consultant on John Boorman's epic, Excalibur (1981). He then made his debut as writer and director with Angel (1982), a thriller set in Northern Ireland. His next film was the dark adult tale of Little Red Riding Hood, called A Company of Wolves (1984). He continued with Mona Lisa (1986), where he attained Best Film and Best Director from the London Critics Circle. Then followed High Spirits (1988), We're No Angels (1989), The Miracle (1991), The crying Game (1992) and Interview With the Vampire (1994). So you can see from this list, he has directed some pretty well known films. The main character in the film is played by Eamon Owens, a young Irish actor ...

Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs (DVD) 24/09/2001

Heigh-Ho, It's Off To Work We Go.

Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs (DVD) Can you name the Seven Dwarfs? In the Grimms' nineteenth century version of the fairy-tale, the dwarfs had no names, and yet today most of us can recall Doc, Dopey, Sleepy, Sneezy, Bashful, Grumpy and Happy. This is all due to the magic of Walt Disney and one of the most popular films in history; Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. THE PLOT. Once upon a time, there lived a beautiful princess who had a wicked step-mother. Now mummy dearest was very vain, and was a bit miffed one day when her mirror told her she was not the fairest in the land, but her step-daughter Snow White was. Right, that's it, says she to her huntsman, I don't want to mess the carpets with blood and stuff, so take Snow White out into the woods, kill her, and bring me back her heart. But this was a nice huntsman, so he let Snow White go and took back the heart of a deer. Meanwhile, poor Snow White is out in the forest alone, until some friendly bunnies take her to a wee cottage where she eventually meets the seven wee guys that live there; the Dwarfs. Now I don't want to spoil the story for anyone who hasn't seen the film, so I won't tell you about the adventures they all get up to, or how they sort out mummy dearest, or how Snow White meets her handsome Prince. Go and see the film, and take the kiddies; or buy the video. They'll love it. THE MAKING OF THE FILM. Way back in 1934, Walt Disney was already famous for his Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Three Little Pigs and Silly Symphonies, but alas ...
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