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      18.01.2017 16:16

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      The Big Short - a film I downloaded here


      Star – Steve Carrell, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt
      Genre – Comedy
      Run Time – 1 minutes
      Certificate – 18R
      Country – USA
      Oscars – Won 1
      Awards – 80 Nominations & 35 Wins
      Amazon – £5.00 DVD £8.00 Blue Ray
      = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

      So the Big Short, based on the book ‘The Big Short: Inside Doomsday Machine’, by Michael Lewis, a book that details the main players in the 2008 housing bubble collapse. The story just had to be turned into a movie as it was so bloody mind-blowing and recklessly unbelievable. Hollywood decided to give it to comedy director Adam McKay (he of most of Will Ferrell’s’ films) and his wring partner Charles Randolph, a masterstroke as a comedy movie is probably the only vehicle to describe and deliver the unpalatable and complex world of investment bankers and the best way to keep us engaged. The Academy certainly thought so and the pair won the Oscar for ‘Best Adapted Screenplay’. We had previously the serious and intelligent Margin Call movie about the same crisis and it’s been serious ever since so why not a bit of brevity and levity around a near comical collapse of the world banking system? Trust me; this method and film will keep you hooked.

      99% of us are still none the wiser what happened and why it happened but this film is the first to really lay it out in an articulate and entertaining way that one can follow. You will certainly be a whole lot clearer about sub prime mortgages and CDOs (Credit default Obligations) by the end of this cracking film. We also know financial services are 20% of the U.K.’s GDP and 12% of the taxes raised. We know that the banks knew along that they were too big to fail and we would bail them out.

      What seems to have happened is that up until the 1970s people that should be allowed to have a mortgage that wanted a mortgage had a mortgage. They were the house owners who would pay on time and had good jobs and so owned most housing stock and so a rock solid banking asset. Then in the 1980s when the City and Wall Street was deregulated the bankers decided they needed to sell more mortgages as they had run out of new reliable house owners and mortgage payers that would never default, the so-called triple AAA’S, and so wanted more buyers. This was achieved by selling mortgages to people who were slightly less reliable but still good credit payers, the new middle-class, the AAB’s. The first bill to be paid is always the mortgage payment and who doesn’t pay the mortgage, right? Because the banks were making millions through interest mortgage rates and commissions on those mortgages they continued to drop the ‘requirements’ to get a mortgage. In the 1990s they realized that they could bundle in the AAA’s with lesser mortgages, say ABBs’, in financial packages. As long as the value of the AAA’s covered the defaults on the ABB’s, etc then the products would remain sound. But, by the beginning of the new millennium everyone had got too greedy and even unemployed black Americans were getting loans and mortgages just so the the realtor got a commission, the so-called Sub Prime, known as the NINJA loan --No income, No job, No Assets. As long as the banks could keep hiding this bad debt in those Collateral Debt Obligations and the Rating Agencies could be paid off to keep those Triple AAA ratings coming to say the packages are perfectly safe then this could go on for a while yet. But it couldn’t and they knew it so they started selling/offloading these CDOs to other investors to decrease their exposure. And they were selling them everywhere! At one point they were demanding South American banks buy them or trade deals would suffer. Most South American banks told them to get stuffed and so those painful tarrifs came in. It was later discovered that the banks colluded with the major bond-rating companies to maintain ratings on worthless CDOs, allowing them to sell off their losing positions before the true values became known. But smart traders knew ‘enough’ of the bad debts would eventually be defaulted on and the whole lot would come crashing down one day, the people just as irresponsible as the banks for taking those loans. We hoped the corrupt bankers and co would go to jail for their madness but only one ever did - a black guy for Credit Suisse. Nothing has much changed in America under Obama.



      ===Cast===

      • Christian Bale as Michael Burry, M.D.[8]
      • Aiden Flowers as young Michael Burry
      • Steve Carell as Mark Baum (based on Steve Eisman)[8]
      • Ryan Gosling as Jared Vennett (based on Greg Lippmann)[8]
      • Brad Pitt as Ben Rickert (based on Ben Hockett)[8]
      • Melissa Leo as Georgia Hale
      • Hamish Linklater as Porter Collins
      • John Magaro as Charlie Geller
      • Rafe Spall as Danny Moses
      • Jeremy Strong as Vincent "Vinny" Daniel
      • Finn Wittrock as Jamie Shipley (based on Jamie Mai)[9]
      • Marisa Tomei as Cynthia Baum (based on Valerie Feigen)[9]
      • Tracy Letts as Lawrence Fields
      • Byron Mann as Wing Chau
      • Adepero Oduye as Kathy Tao
      • Karen Gillan as Evie[10]
      • Max Greenfield as Mortgage Broker #1[11]
      • Billy Magnussen as Mortgage Broker #2[12]
      • Rudy Eisenzopf as Lewis Ranieri
      • Margot Robbie as herself (uncredited)[5]
      • Anthony Bourdain as himself[5]
      • Richard Thaler as himself[5][13]
      • Selena Gomez as herself (uncredited)[5]

      ===Plot===

      Michael NBurry (Christian Bale), an eccentric hedge fund manager, nose is twitching when he notices an anomaly in the mortgage market. Mortgage fraud is rising fast in 2007 and so are defaults and so maybe trouble brewing? He has gone over the numbers in almost autistic detail and believes there is a housing bubble about to burst when defaults hit 8.1%. But no one on Wall Street is seeing anywhere near 8% and so he goes to his boss to explain it. Chief Executive Lawrence Fields (Tracy Letts) trusts him to a point as he often delivers big deals and so profits for the firm with those instincts but cant believe the housing market is about to collapse. But Nburry is sure and begins to spend the company’s money on shorting the housing market. He does that by going to a bank on Wall Street to ask if he can buy a product that will do exactly that and when they hear how much he wants to spend with their bank on something that they think will never happen they willingly invent that product and take his money, the so-called CDO. They think the housing Market is fine and every month it is then Nburry $50 million investment will have to pay them at last $50,000 dollars. But if the market goes then he will get back twenty times that. Nburry is so sure he agrees the deal with other banks as word get out some nut is betting against the mortgages of America, considered a rock sold market and Triple A safe.

      Our second and third players are a maverick investment firm headed by Mark Baum (Steve Carell), an obnoxious and righteous trader who believes in ethical investing, and bonds salesman Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling). A misplaced phone call alerts Vennett to Nburry’s actions and calls a meeting with Baum to get him to buy into it. Baum hates the bankers and blames them for his brother’s suicide and joins in the short to bring them down.

      Our final players are a growing investment firm from Denver, young investors Charlie Geller (John Magaro) and Jamie Shipley (Finn Wittrock), in Manhattan to try and get a seat at the big table. When they are rejected for that license they accidentally discover a prospectus by Vennett in the lobby, convincing them to become involved in the swaps. They decide to call retired hedge fund guru and neighbor Ben Rickert (Brad Pitt) for advice. He looks the numbers over with his sageful eye and agrees the boys could have something and get seriously rich with that information.

      As 2007 ticks into 2008 the pressure is on Nburry as nothing seems to be happening to the housing market and his firm is hemorrhaging money. He is in for 1.3 billion and something is wrong. All the indicators are the market should have collapsed. Defaults are at 9% and lending as high as ever. Baum decides to check out market for himself and sends a team down to Florida to talk to house owners on the ground while he attends a conference in Vegas with all the players in the housing market. He finds a striper able to get that cheap credit and she owns 5 house on just $22,000 a year! What he hears in Vegas not only confirms his fears but terrifies him. Not only is the market going to collapse but the whole baking system.


      ===Results===

      Watching The Big Short makes you as happy as a dog with his head stuck out of the car window with the ears flapping and the wind in their gums. This is a belting movie and the best of 2016 for me. It has all the ingredients you want from an Oscar winner and should have been Best Picture for me. I felt Spotlight didn’t quite have the all around appeal this one did but both biopic’s on two of the biggest scandals of the decade. You are quickly drawn in from the opening scene where Bales somewhat mumbling character starts to notice the catastrophic flaw in the mortgage market and then further characters being introduced just edging up the interest, enjoyment and outright anger some more. Through quirky little touches like well timed occasional celebrity cameos breaking the fourth wall (addressing you the viewer watching the film) to explain the most important and pivotal facts on the banking crisis, and the writer and directors ability to make us laugh over something so horrendous, this film has you buy the cajones throughout. Its all there, from the opening Michael Moore style archive footage commentary of bankers being fired to the detailed breakdown of the backing collapse through a zinging script and great performances I guarantee you will love this film. Steve Carrell is excellent and steals the move as his righteous angry trader character and there is no real point where this film lags or slows down. There is no baggy love interest or side stories either as we just crack on through the banking demise with humor and astonishment.

      Admittedly it ends up a polemic against the greedy banking system and Wall Street rather than the corrupt bankers. Like I said only one guy went to jail and he was black, the bankers causing the most damage being Jewish of origin. That accusation would have been too much for Hollywood to handle. It remains a fact though. The film also admonishes the people that took out the crazy loans and mortgages of any blame and clearly a bias to keep the audience on side and rooting for a mixed bag of likable Wall Street rogues. The banks were simply creating money out of thin air to give to people who could never pay it back and the people who could and did pay their mortgages having to pay the penalty around the world. It’s notable that in the United Kingdom very few people took out mortgages over 100% and the bulk of the sub prime debt was in America. But the banking system is global and the American banks had off loaded a lot of the risk though those corrupt rating agencies that allowed them to flog useless CDOs as anything but. The Tory Government simply took the opportunity to destroy public service and blame black immigrants.

      For it $28m budget it did a decent $133 million for an excellent issues movie, a mockery when you think the dreadful Batman V Superman did $850million! Hype sells movie more than quality. This is one of those films that people may have been put off because its requires brain power but its done in a way when its not as complicated it looks and should have pulled a bigger crowd if that was communicated.



      ===RATINGS===


      Imdb.com –7.8 /10.0 (227,435votes)
      Rottentomatos.com – 88% critic’s approval
      Metacritic.com – % critic’s approval

      ===Trailer===

      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1596363/videoplayer/vi1593618969?ref_=tt_ov_vi

      ===Special Features===

      -In the Trenches-

      A short film about the real characters involved and plenty of behind the scenes stuff from cast & crew from the excellent movie.


      ===Critics===

      The South China Morning Post –‘It's a fine feat of screenwriting; particularly given its 'heroes' are bankers about to get rich on public misery. ... This is one Hollywood film that doesn't come up short’.

      London Evening Standard –‘Confronting these facts while snorting at how funny this film often can be is quite confounding’.

      Total Film –‘Slick and funny, this is the years most entertaining economics lesson, making the facts of the financial crisis easier to digest without making them any more palatable’.

      Film Enquirer –‘The Big Short's faults aren't hidden, but neither is its remarkable ability to entertain while giving a rather complex lesson’

      The Star –‘It's to McKay's credit that he makes The Big Short so fun; there are a lot of talented comedic actors here, the banter is strong, and there are pop culture montages strewn throughout, meant to mark the passage of time, that help maintain visual interest’.

      New Statesman –‘The knowing, boisterous humor comes off as irredeemably smug and the A-list cast can't disguise the fact that they are portraying points of view, rather than characters’.

      Financial Times –‘A big, clever chortle, full of sardonic insights into a time of woe’.

      ==========

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    • Parcel2go.com / Transport / 0 Readings / 0 Ratings
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      18.01.2017 15:41

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      Brilliant aftercare service

      I booked a delivery through parcel2go with in post not realising how far away the in post lockers are from my address. I decided to cancel and book a different courier so I spoke to a lovely lady called Agata who was very helpful and managed to transfer my delivery to dpd, to collect from my address this option should of been more money but was changed for me at no extra cost. Saved me a big headache. Thank you!

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    • Tesco Car Insurance / Car Insurance / 1 Reading / 1 Rating
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      18.01.2017 10:17
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      • "Its cheap"

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      • Cunning
      • "Terrible customer service"

      They are the cheapest, there is a reason for that....

      On the 7th of January 2017 a woman crashed into the back of my car. The accident was completely her fault and she admitted liability at the scene. I have been driving for 16 years and this is the first time I have ever had a traffic accident, and I drive about 500 miles a week. As soon as I got home I called my insurance, Tesco, who immediately told me I should pay my £450 excess and they would get my car fixed. I was still a little shaken up and did not know the process however I was a little reluctant to pay the £450 when my insurance told me I may not get it back. I told them that she admitted liability however they said they needed to hear it from her insurance and that they would call me back next week. On Tuesday the 10th of January Tesco called me and told me that Aviva, the other parties insurance had admitted liability and that I should contact them to get my car repaired. As this was a non-fault claim it wouldn’t affect my policy or no claims. Now my insurance was due to renew on the 12th of January, previous to having the accident I searched around on comparison sites and my renewal price from Tesco was the cheapest, so I just decided to renew with them. On the 12th of January I received an email from Tesco with no attachment simply titled Your Insurance Documents. Tesco do not attached your documents on the email, nor can you go to their website and log in to access your documents, you have to click on the specific link which they send you by email and enter your date of birth and postcode on the screen. This then takes you to the pdf of your policy documents. When I clicked on the first email the document, there was a covering letter saying, “thank you for renewing with Tesco”, the renewal date of the 12th of January and the cost of renewal £413, which they charged my credit card for. The same day they sent me another email simply stating again Your Insurance Documents, no more information, it was the same standard email with the link to click on. As I had already received my insurance documents, I did not click on this link. The same thing happened on the 13th of January, they sent me another standard email. I just thought that they had sent the email out by mistake as the emails were just the standard Your Insurance Documents emails. On the 17th January I received an email from Tesco stating IMPORTANT - Please contact us urgently. When I clicked on this link and entered my emails there was a letter stating that I owed them £75.13 and I had seven days to pay it. Completely confused I went back through all my emails, clicking on all the individual links from Tesco and found that what they had attached wasn’t my insurance documents, it was letters stating that I owed them extra money. The first one was a letter stating because of my recent claim I owed them £143.09. The second was one stating that because it was a non-fault claim they would refund me £67.97. I did not claim on my policy, I went through the other parties insurance and so I did not expect this to have any effect on my policy. I called Tesco who did say they were partially at fault for the confusion however I still had to pay them £75.13 because I had an accident. I asked why I was did not receive a call from Tesco stating that my renewal had gone up and I was told that “we don’t have enough staff to do this “….seriously? Tesco is a massive corporation, saying they don’t have enough staff is a joke.

      Firstly, having a car accident is stressful enough without having to deal with insurance companies trying to rip you off. The government should stop insurance companies from putting premiums up for people who have non fault claims, especially when they don’t go through their own policy. There was absolutely nothing I could have done to prevent this accident, she was 100% at fault as she was not looking where she was going, and now I’m being penalised, how in any sense is this right? Also Tesco have been very cunning in the way they send you correspondence. Like I have said previous, their emails were titled Your Insurance Documents. Which states they are sending you your documents, not letters saying you owe them money. I have put in a complaint with Tesco however I am going to cancel my policy and go with another provider as luckily I am still within the 14 day period.


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    • Ebuyer.com / Online Shop / 1 Reading / 1 Rating
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      17.01.2017 21:49
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      A*** service

      Nathan Cain was the person I was connected too, was a great help, would definitely recommend Ebuyer, and would use again in the future, a***

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    • gaynors.co.uk / Online Shop / 1 Reading / 1 Rating
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      17.01.2017 15:59
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      Try another supplier

      I tried to buy a pair of Muckboots and was happy with the price, and the £1.99 delivery advertised, so that went to the checkout. The £1.99 was not shown there and I did not want to pay the £4.95 charge so I wrote them an email.
      They did not ready my email and just listed the delivery charges advertised....even though the cheapest is not shown at the checkout.
      I bought the exact same boots from another supplier who were £12 cheaper, who delivered for free and, amazingly, who delivered within 48 hours. Fantastic

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    • officemachines.net / Online Shop / 1 Reading / 1 Rating
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      17.01.2017 15:17
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      • "unprofessional staff"
      • "Rude Behaviour "
      • "Poor Service "

      Worst Company to deal with.

      I wish I could give them 0 star. Worst company ever I have dealt with. Have ordered an item from them a label printer, and realised that its not fit for the intended purpose. When I contacted them fro return they refused to take the return as we were business customer and not an individual customer. The guy i spoke to over the phone told me that they cant take return and after insisting he said I need to contact my solicitor in case I am not happy with their policy or service. Finally I mange to speak to other person in their team and he said send us the request return and we can look into it. Its been more than a month no response from them. I sent few chaser emails but no response what so ever. Beware of such fraudsters!!!! better to buy from companies like PC world or Curries who value their customers rather than these companies operating from bed room or Garage.

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    • Ebuyer.com / Online Shop / 1 Reading / 1 Rating
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      17.01.2017 14:54
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      • "Outstanding Customer Service"
      • "Very positive attitude"
      • "Spoke on the phone but can tell she is smiling!"
      • "Great help"

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      Becky L!

      Becky L was the person I was connected with and she was extremely helpful in understanding my issue with my account and understood exactly who she needed to talk to, to get the right answers in my direction. She has outstanding customer service skills and goes above and beyond her role. I can tell she had a smile on her face without even seeing her! Really does make your day just that little bit better so thank you again, Becky. Superb attitude and I can only imagine she provides great moral.

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    • Vue Cinema (Plymouth) / Other UK / Ireland topic / 0 Readings / 0 Ratings
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      17.01.2017 02:04

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      • "Sweet film"

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      Pacino's swansong

      Star – Al Pacino
      Genre – Comedy
      Run Time – 106 minutes
      Certificate – 18R
      Country – USA
      Awards – 3 Nominations & 1 Win
      Amazon – £5.00 DVD - £8.67 Blue Ray
      = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

      In 1971 John and Yoko sent a complimentary short note to up and coming British folk Steve Tilson, offering him some advice about how to deal with fame and life in general, if his talent came to fruition. But Steve never got it, or knew about that letter, until 2006, when an antiques collector rang him up to verify it. He couldn’t, of course, but quite a surprise for a man that never did become famous. Hollywood read this story and 8 years later made a movie about it, Danny Collins. But it wasn’t going to be about some ginger bearded nobody from Leicestershire, opting instead for the more Hollywood option of the letter being sent by just John to an ageing fictional pop star, Danny Collins, more Rod Stewart than Nick Drake, Pacino’s best and certainly most enjoyable performance for a while. This film will remind you why you like this guy.

      Al, like DeNiro, and many of those Italian American A-Listers from the 1980s, hasn’t really done much of note since and we stopped watching their movies, mostly romantic comedies or mid range thrillers now as they refuse to play the characters they should be in their 60s and 70s, the dreaded avuncular old man roles. It must be hard to entertain the idea that you may not be a big star anymore. But for Danny Collins, Pacino did, at least, and earnt a Golden Globe nomination for his efforts, his 20th in total, with 5 wins to his name to date. But his only Oscar was back in 1993, Scent of a Woman, an apologetic one by The Academy for not giving him an Oscar for the previous seven nominations, including the Godfather trilogy, Serpico and Dog Day Afternoon, barnstorming performances in likewise movies. It shows you how tough it was to win gongs back then.


      ===Cast===

      • Al Pacino as Danny Collins
      • Annette Bening as Mary Sinclair
      • Jennifer Garner as Samantha Leigh Donnelly
      • Bobby Cannavale as Tom Donnelly
      • Christopher Plummer as Frank Grubman
      • Nick Offerman as Guy DeLoach
      • Josh Peck as Nicky Ernst
      • Fernando Colunga as Fernando
      • Michelle Vieth as Selena
      • Katarina Čas as Sophie
      • Melissa Benoist as Jamie
      • Giselle Eisenberg as Hope Donnelly
      • Eric Michael Roy as Young Danny Collins



      ===Plot===

      Danny Collins (Al Pacino) is a huge perma - tanned star with the Vegas mansion and showbiz lifestyle but living off past glories, just old enough to get away with throwing cool pool parties with lots of beautiful people and rock and roll enough to pop A-List drugs. But he hasn’t had a hit in 25-years and hasn’t written a new song in three decades but still making a great living by touring the back catalogue and hits to packed venues for the older crowd, his loyal fans, demanding he sing his hit song Baby Doll, and others. He is a likable guy and people still want to be around him, a beautiful young girlfriend (Michelle Vieth) and a loyal manager, Frank (Christopher Plummer), for all those years still by his side.

      On Collins big 65th birthday bash at the mansion he receives a special gift from Frank, something Frank has been keeping secret for three months and champing at the bit to show him. It’s a brief letter from none other than John Lennon, sent to him 40-years ago with words of encouragement on keeping it real and complementing his talent when he was just starting out. Somehow it never got to him and Frank has bought it off a collector after verifying it. Danny loves the present and soon contemplating its meaning, then and now. Lennon obviously thought he was very good, no bigger compliment.

      Soon after the party he discovers his girlfriend has a lover, who he is not really that bothered about, but can’t get the letters sentiment out of his head that he has wasted too many years not producing new music to the level of the songwriter Lennon knew him as. Its time for a late midlife crisis as Danny tells Frank to cancel the rest of the tour and ship his piano out to an obscure New Jersey hotel so he can start writing again. Frank, thinking its phase and will pass, agrees, Danny pitching up at the local Holiday Inn on the outskirts of Trenton, New Jersey, much to the shock of the staff and pretty day manager Mary Sinclair (Annette Bening). He announces at reception he will be staying for a while and begins composing in his room.


      ===Quote===
      Mary Sinclair: I'm sorry, are you on drugs?
      Danny Collins: Currently or in general?


      Danny is soon chating Marry up in his charismatic way but she knows it’s all an act but flattering in its own way. A bit of normality is what Danny is looking for in his life and hopes it will inspire his songwriting. Mary is impressed by the story of the letter, proudly framed and perched on his $35,000 dollar Steinway. Danny also wants to take this timeout to make things right with his son from his third marriage, Tommy (Bobby Cannavale), why Danny is really in New Jersey, Tommy’s wife Samantha (Jennifer Garner) as equally surprised to see her famous father-in-law pitch up at the family home when her husband is at work. She is not looking forward to phoning the news to her hubby. But Danny has a lot of emotions to offload and so decides to spend the day with them to try and fix things.



      ===Results===

      I wasn’t really sure I would enjoy this but I did. Yes AP’s turn is very hammy and the film somewhat too nice at times but its joyous fun and you enjoy Pacino’s company, in full chest wig mood, Tony Ferrino style. The script is smarter than, and not as cheesy as, it appears and has a real heart to it. This is Pacinos most endearing turn for ages, reminding how engaging an actor he once was. He is only 5ft 7’ and so only suited to certain roles and that’s when his star shines and that sexy voice growls. The rest of the classy cast is mere window dressing. This is no real narrative of note here other than pursuit of the maudlin to draw an audience and so you need to enjoy it as a mood piece.

      For its Pacino light $10m budget it lost money and bombed at $8 million. I’m guessing his core and more cerebral audience drew parallels with his character and how Pacinos career was living of past glories and gave this a miss. Tony Montono playing piano in Vegas? I had certainly not seen or hard of any publicity for this movie on TV or magazine ads. This is really the legacy of Blockbuster Videos’ collapse, a company that was quite literally the shop window for the film industry. Today people go to the movies to see the big blockbuster films and maybe watch the medium sized ones they missed on their satellite package. Very few people are looking for the smaller movies like this that are not signposted. I don’t have a movie package so have to trawl through top 100 lists online to find these films on places like Amazon Market place and buy them at under a quid, with postage, over two quid all in. I then flip them at CEX Exchange to claw a bit back. I’m not asking Pacino for a thankyou letter like the one John Lennon sent but it would be nice if Hollywood had physical high street rental somehow, other than the small range of films at the dusty local library.

      So if you like a gentle sentimental tale with a charismatic lead and a middle aged romance or two then you will enjoy this. There is no real reason you should but it s just a nice experience. The kitsch Danny Collins ‘hits’ from the film actually featured on the movie soundtrack and Baby Doll sounding remarkably like Sweet Caroline. The suggestion was Danny Collins character was based on a cross between our very own Rod Stewart and Barry Manilow. Just take this film for what it is and you will enjoy it.


      ===RATINGS===


      Imdb.com – 7.0/10.0 (22,432votes)
      Rottentomatos.com – 78% critic’s approval
      Metacritic.com – % critic’s approval

      ===Trailer===
      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1772288/videoplayer/vi343846681?ref_=tt_ov_vi


      ===Special Features===


      -Behind the Scenes-

      Pacino doesn’t contribute but the folk singer chap dos, the only interesting bit here.

      -Album-

      Some Danny Collins tunes from the film, Steve Coogan style!



      ===Critics===

      Little White Lies –‘Return to sender’.

      Chicago Times –‘The story works because it's told like a catchy pop song that doesn't try to be more than what it is’.

      The Baltimore Sun –‘What could have been a cheap piece of hackwork becomes a pleasing little trifle, thanks to its actors.

      The Observer –‘Pacino delivers his best turn in a very long time, hiding the fact that he can't even carry a tune behind a magnetic presence that screams "star".

      The Independent –‘Danny is a role tailor-made for Pacino at this stage in his career, one that enables him both to indulge in some very hammy scene-stealing, but also to show his character's vulnerability and essential decency’.


      Cinema.com –‘Even if Pacino's singing voice leaves much to desired, his performance doesn't. Much like the film itself, it's all in the execution’.

      Red Eye –‘There's undeniable humanity and gentle humor running through this tale of redemption’.


      South China Morning Post –‘There is so much goodwill in Danny Collins that even its characters' struggles are made to feel frothy.

      The Guardian –‘Pacino is good company, keeping his more mannered Pacinoisms in check, but none of it feels like a stretch for him.
      ==========

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    • More +
      17.01.2017 00:25
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      • "Easy controls"
      • "Good voice acting"
      • Story

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      • "Very linear"

      A fun little game for young kids

      Ratatouille is a straightforward platformer and if you're a genre snob who holds their selections to higher standards, you might find yourself peeved with the title's general lack of originality. You explore environments, scurrying around corners when necessary. You jump on objects and tail-swipe enemies. You balance across high wires or sniff out your next objective. It's all in there, ripped directly from the Book of Platformers, if ever there was such a work. Ratatouille even includes the obligatory platformer sliding levels -- in this case Remy barrels down the insides of a giant piping system. You won't often run through a doorway into some new world or gameplay mechanic you have never seen before, which is a valid complaint.

      But perhaps that's too harsh. Ratatouille was clearly made for small children who watched the Disney film and enjoyed it. As a children's game, it does its job. It entertains, has decent replay value and enough variation in levels to prevent little kids from getting bored with the game play. However, innovative or not, Ratatouille is usually fun and entertaining, two truths that we attribute to tight control and smart, varied levels designs. You move Remy effortlessly through the sewer systems, city streets, kitchens and dream worlds he inhabits using the analog stick and while the game play is very linear, you do get some nice environments and decent renderings.

      The voice acting and cutscenes stay true to the original film as well. The voice actors do a great job of recreating the scenes from the film and the game engine holds up well enough to not make the characters look like dated monstrosities.

      Kids games are usually an excuse for video game companies to make a bad product and expect kids to soak it up. However, Ratatouille is an okay game. It isn't groundbreaking or innovative buts it functions well and is a fun little game to play if your child has some time to kill. Adults may not get a kick out of this game, but little children will enjoy it's simplicity and story.

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    • Beats Studio / Headphones / 1 Reading / 1 Rating
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      16.01.2017 21:58
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      • "good base distribution"
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      comfortable headphones from a leading brand

      I bought these headphones for christmas and I have to say that they are the best headphones i've ever had.
      They are very comfortable and don't hurt if I wear them for a day or more.

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      16.01.2017 21:36
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      • "Meet a lot of compatable ladies"

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      Start a new life with Across The Room

      Get to meet different ladies in a relaxed atmosphere in good quality hotels.

      Meet ladies for personal dates either in group venues or on a one to one basis.

      Great way to get into meeting ladies and improving your social life.

      Would recommend this to anyone who wants to put happiness back into their life.

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    • Ebuyer.com / Online Shop / 2 Readings / 1 Rating
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      16.01.2017 16:06
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      Good customer service from Matthew Carruthers

      Very helpful customer service from Matthew Carruthers. Quick answers and problem resolved in a couple of minutes.Happy customer.

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    • Ebuyer.com / Online Shop / 1 Reading / 1 Rating
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      16.01.2017 14:55
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      Thank you Becky L

      Sometimes you can buy online and have problems when things are not as described, late or never arrive. Ebuyer are leaders in their field and have a great reputation. When problems occur, they have a 1st class support team who in my case completely took care of every aspect of my product return and replacement.

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    • Accessories in general / Discussion / 0 Readings / 0 Ratings
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      16.01.2017 14:24

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      • "Bits and bobs of 2016"

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      The bits and bobs of 2016

      So what a year it has been on this ‘bonkers’ old planet and what an even crazier year it will be in 2017 because of. This week President Donald Trump will have his finger on the nuclear trigger, a truly terrifying thought, and Britain will begin leaving the European Union, even more terrifying for some. We don’t seem to have a plan for either. Here is my A-Z of how it played out and my thoughts on it…

      A is for Andy Woodward

      The ex Crewe and Sheffield Wednesday player made an accusation that he was sexually abused at Crewe by convicted pedophile and football coach Barry Bethall back in the 1980s.This triggered a rush of similar claims from similar players against multiple clubs. At this stage 30 London clubs alone have been accused. That seems absurd. Over 151 clubs in total have received complaints from over 850 people on the NSPCC lines alone. The question now is how many are true? After the council agreed to pay out for the Lambeth kids home scandal of the late 1970s and 1980s, any kid there whilst a convicted pedophile was there CAN now apply for compensation, whether abused or not. you can guess just how many people will now bang in a claim. The Shirley Oaks Survivors group of just over 700 people were the ones that have been causing all the problems at the Historic Sexual Abuse Hearings. The proceedings have been hijacked by ambulance chasing lawyers that are puling groups together to drum up class actions in pursuit of compensation so nothing actually getting done to prevent future abuse and convict the bad guys, hence the resignations. A lot of people from carehomes lead troubled lives thereafter and in need of cash. Children’s homes across the nation are being accused and the payouts are big for some adults. Woodward’s group has over 2000 ‘abused adults’ in it so far and that would be one huge class action payout against mega rich football. clubs who don’t want the bad publicity. I’m sure a lot of kids were abused back then but the numbers don’t add up. What people generally don’t know is Woodward was sacked after 13 years as a policeman just one week before he went public with his accusations, and sacked for an inappropriate relationship with a victim of crime. That will come out in the court case. He will want to be paid off before the court case. There are other lurid and somewhat ironic allegations about him also online involving younger girls. His new girlfriend is organizing the collections for his foundation. It’s just too expensive for organizations and businesses to contest each of these cases in the high court and so have to agree compensation at a lower figure than those lawyers’ fees, whether abuse took place or not. This is why whiplash claims are so high.


      B is for Brexit

      The big dark secret is that majority of white English people of all classes voted Brexit, that number disguised in the final vote by the high urban Remain vote, the ethnic vote. If N.Ireland and Scotland had NOT voted tactically Remain to keep their EU subsidies it would have been 60/40 leave. You didn’t think it would happen but everyone you asked how they would vote said OUT, certainly around our way. It dawned on me on voting day evening as hysteria gathered towards a nailed on ‘In’ vote that the 10-1 on meant value on OUT, so a couple of quid placed and 15 in the pocket the next day. Brexit is probably going to cost the EU a hell of a lot more than that when we finally leave but it’s happened so we have to back it, as the Brexit crowd would begrudgingly accept a Remain vote.

      C is for Celebrity deaths

      It’s been an incredible year for losing our heroes. It started off slowly with the death of freaks Pete Burns and David Guest and none that bothered but then a crescendo of big stars fell in the spring with the loss of Bowie and Prince in music and then the death of Alan Rickman and Gene Wilder in film, and then Muhammad Ali and then George Michael on Christmas Day. The rich seam of drugs mined in the 1970s and 80s by the great and the good behind closed doors had caught up with them and they went down like flies. The specter of AIDS also hangs heavily over showbiz in the 90s. Rick Parfitt can hardly complain his ticker wasn’t up to a general anesthetic after all the coke he snorted, no doubt having an extra shot when the nurse wasn’t looking. Leonard Cohen was a miserable old sod and better suited to the infinity of death and Caroline Ahearn really didn’t deserve to go at just 52. Spok and Chekov departed from the Enterprise to join Princess Leia and R2D2 (Kenny Baker) in space heaven and Victoria Wood and Carla Lane joined Ronnie Corbett and Paul Daniels in the old showbiz rest home in the sky. 2017 kicked of with the death of England manger Graham Taylor and Paul Gascoigne a fag paper away from following.

      D is for Drugs

      Most Russian athletes have been doping since just after the war and it took until 2016 to finally do something about it. The Cold War put in place state doping programs to make one side look stronger than the other on the sports fields and the Americans as guilty. Putin has rebooted the Cold War and so Russia back to its old ways. After Russia were rightfully humiliated over it they hit back and hacked sports bodies computers here, revealing a massive rise in Therapeutic Use Exemptions, the so called TUE’s , loopholes that allow athletes to take banned drugs in sports where they need them to compete because they have are supposed to have a certain medical condition. 70% of the British Olympic swimming team in London 2012 claimed to have asthma so they can take certain banned stimulants. TUEs also allowed obvious cheaters to keep racing and a way out for sports bodies not to ban those star athletes that were guaranteeing their lottery funding, Bradley Wiggins an example of.

      E is for the Economy

      Post Brexit and the economy is flying and the stock market at a record high, the Project Fear people admitting they had a Michael Fish moment and got it completely wrong on Britain’s impending economic collapse. You can’t blame them for being scared about leaving Europe as no one really knows how it will all play out but what the ‘experts’ did know before the vote is the stockmarket could only rise because most of the Footsie 100 is 70% dollar value and so the companies would grow like the rise in the dollar. Those experts have also said the pound has been overvalued and a correction was needed, a correction that is helping to pay down the deficit through low interest rates on money exchanges. Brtian is one big pound shop right now and, ironically, everyone wants to buy from us, including Europe.


      F is for Fix

      The surprise winner of Strictly Come Dancing caught everyone out, including the studio audience, and equally surprised and muted applause to be heard as the gasps at home. When the public vote on Sports Personality of the Year the final vote count is released to the public. Not even a freedom of information act could get the vote breakdown from the BBC for Strictly. They simply would no release the numbers after Ore Oduba’s surprise win in the final. Ore was a little known BBC TV sports reporter and appeared to be in the show to make up the ethic quota, perhaps statistically insuring a black person in the final three. The BBC are under huge pressure to be more ‘representative’ of the British public with their programming and talent and that means affirmative action and racial, gender and sexuality quotas. Did they rig the result to let the black guy win? Why were the bookies bang on with SPOTTY and so wrong with the 123 here? Expect the same in Let it Shine.

      G is for Global Warming

      The Earth had its hottest year ever but not in England, yet another OK summer and mild autumn. But just as scientific consensus in the 1970s was for a coming Ice Age as world temps dropped over a 15-year period that hysteria returned in the end of the last century after a particular hot 10 years. How man made pollution was responsible for the hot temps of the 1990s and not the cold temps of the 1960s has not yet been cleared up. The truth is world temps have plateaud but CO2 levels keep rising and that doesn’t fit the narrative anymore. I think most people are in favor of a warmer world. We just have to adjust our lives to the temp rises as there is no way we are going to stop the third world having babies and so population rising out of control, the only problem here.

      H is for Lewis Hamilton

      I know a couple of lads who work at Mercedes F1 garage and they say Nico Rosberg was ‘contracted’ a world title. He was been threatening to leave the team for a while if they didn’t deliver that title. Well he is world champion now and there is no doubt in my mind the team ‘hurt’ Hamilton wheels to achieve that. Exactly the same parts are used on both cars and for some reason Hamilton’s were going wrong at the start of the season to allow Rosberg to win so many races. When that stopped in the final third of the season Lewis powered back by winning the final few races to lose the championship by a handful of points. Hamilton would have been world champion under nay of the previous ten points system in F1. What a stitch up! But the Mercedes boys have lost their chief designer and may not be top dogs next year so an interesting season to some with this wider and faster cars.


      I is for Iceland

      That ludicrous defeat of England in the European Championships was the sporting lowlight of the year. They are a financially broke island of a population of just 330,000 to England’s 52 million. They only have 50,000 men under the age of 30 to pick from and most of them are fisherman. England were terrified of them and there most disastrous exit yet of an international tournament. Fear for an international athlete is when you reach the point of no return find it easier to turn back to the safety of your millions, big houses and white trophy girlfriends as reassurance that all is well.


      J is Jobs

      Whilst Europe continues to stagnate the British economy rages. The reason is simple -.immigrants are coming here to work, not sign on. Most new businesses in the UK in the last ten years have been immigrant ones, as have the workers, Polish shops selling Polish sausage to Polish people. If you can’t sign on here then why come? Secondly the Tories have hammered the long term unemployed, many committing suicide, and some forced back to employment or training of sorts and so off the negative stats. Some even went to the EU to sign on to get less hassle. I signed in 2012 for a bit and it was brutal. But the cruel to be kind method s is working and we are approaching a record low 1.5 million unemployed. But because of mass immigration, wages have collapsed and ten Lithuanian truckers willing to work cheap to every British lorry driver trying to pay his mortgage only means on thing. At least when we leave the EU wages will rise as labor becomes scarcer.

      K is for Kim Kardashain

      The non entity of a celebrity ‘broke the internet’ again with her’ bad skin’ last week. After the rather dubious robbery in her hotel room her psoriasis skin condition has got worse and spread to her face. That and her fat ass are her selling points and so it’s serious. I do believe she was robbed though as we forget all the images and film we see or here from that family are controlled and edited and so nothing like what really happens in their life. Because her and her husband are so recognizable it’s often the case with celebrities like that they spend most of their life hidden away in a rather mundane life. She probably doesn’t want to be exposed to real people and so criticism. It’s quite possible some gnarly Eastern European crooks did the homework by watching the show and thought she was an easy target with lazy security easy to bribe. Yes, it could have all been a put up PR job but either way her face is swollen up like a baboon’s ass.

      L is for the Leicester City

      It’s still hard to believe they won the Premiership. They actually won the bloody title! Why they won seemed to be down to the tactic of the old ropeadope of leaning on the ropes to soak up the punches to burnout your opponent and then hop the ball over the top to Mahrez, who gave it to Vardy, who smashed it past the keeper. Clearly teams learnt their lesson this season and blocked the Foxes only tactic and Leicester City could be the first champions since Manchester City in 1968 to be relegated the following season. Whether the Foxes doped to win the league is not being discussed but it’s noticeable that when the Blood Passport drug testing system was introduced in the Champions League in 2015 it meant you could not dope in your domestic leagues during the Champions League groups stages or you could be caught. European domestic leagues tend to drug test in - house and so you tend not to hear about the fails, certainly the case in the English Premier League. This meant the big four in England were being tested vicariously in the Premier League with results they couldn’t control. Chelsea were dreadful in that first year of ECL testing and City, Arsenal, Liverpool and United all failed to get over 75 points, the first time that had happened in 25 years.



      M is for Theresa May

      Cameron had to go for holding the insane EU vote, let alone for losing it. Theresa May’s promotion to the top job was the obvious favorite and Britain having its second female PM and so far she is doing rather well, a sexy and powerful older woman to some. I’m not a sexist when it comes to women in power and if you can do the job you should be doing the job. I am, however, against women who put men down because feminist won’t address the fact that most women choose not to be in power or have careers and like being moms and is nothing to do with men being sexist if we agree with that.

      N is for Nuclear

      A shocking and little seen ITV documentary revealed the unbelievable state of the Sellafield reprocessing site up north. It’s officially the most hazardous place in Europe now, the $4 billion spent by Europe and the world to entomb Chernobyl not being spent in Cumbria. You would think it would be an orderly place with people in white protective suits and men with clipboard making sure this deadly waste was disposed of safely and neatly. In reality it looked like a council tip in a derelict building site where stuff was generally dumped where there was a space for it. One of the old cooling towers was full of radioactive stuff just piled in haphazardly inside the lead sealed structure; bits of junk that had become radioactive through the conversion process to nuclear fuel all around the country and bought here. There was no way technicians could access the area if the stuff became unstable and toppled. One impact from a plane and the whole of Cambria would have to be evacuated. Even worse was the containment lakes outside, drone footage showing weeds all around them and the concrete basins clearly cracking. There was no doubt some of the water that covered the extremely radioactive waste was leaking out into the ground. And Security was lax, presumably on the premise no terrorist would be stupid enough to come to this place and so be irradiated by plutonium. It’s the same old healthy & safety story that we can keep cutting money here until something bad happens, in this case really bad.



      O is for the Olympics

      And a record medal haul shows that if you throw money at sport you get success. We again dominate the middle class sports where the thing you are holding or underneath you does most of the work and a university sport. But it was a good Games in Rio and although the crowds were average still an excellent TV experience. Sadly the Tories are continuing this paradoxical policy of cutting funding to the sports that don’t win medals and so the sports who most need the funding. Badminton’s 100% cut was a real shock though, especially as they won gold in the doubles.

      P is for President Trump

      Trump was Americas Brexit, simple as. Yes, Donald Trump is going to be the leader of the free world!!! The left failed to protect jobs, pay and conditions and so the people took their chance at the ballot box. Yes, it was mostly a vote on immigration and Obamacare helping the blacks more than the whites but that right hate vote alone was not enough to swing it. Did Obama not win the last election? In America’s case it was surprising, women voting against a woman president, 52/48% across the country, Hilary cheating on her man having a bigger impact than Trumps comical womanizing. Americans are not the brightest. Either way its bloody terrifying that non tax paying Trump, a three time bankrupt narcissist, will have his finger on the nuclear trigger. Hold on to the rails folks! Politics is well and truly dead.



      Q is for the Queen

      She has a bad cold over the Christmas period and a non show for the public. To commentators it was because she is old and much weaker but to me it’s preparing the way for abdication. She is 90 now and has cut her ties to 25 big charities and organizations. As soon as William and Harry got their bald spots and started to lose their looks the pressure was on to get married and we have to remember the Royal Family is a business now and they need to churn out new and babies, pretty princess and cut baby boys to stay relevant. If the Queen dies on the job it may have a devastating effect on the Royal product but if she is phased out and Charles is ignored then we could have a young King and Queen this decade for once. Its 6/1 abdication odds this year folks!

      R is for Rodrigo Dutertc

      If you think Trump is bad then met The Philippines President. Rodrigo Dutertc likes to throw criminals out of military helicopters for fun and claims to have killed 30 drug dealers so far in his presidency. If you want a zero tolerance on drugs then this is your guy. Over 13,000 people have been murdered for their involvement in the drug trade their in his first year, some for just using, and some in the wrong place at the wrong time.


      S is for Syria and the right result in the end with a home win. America and the west have had no real issue with Assad in charge and agreed Russian influence there since the 1970s, if they were being honest, and by not doing anything to end the war they knew Russia would eventually turn the war Syria’s way and end this carnage. There is no oil in Syria and Russia simply there to keep a foothold in the region. Putin produces half the world’s gas and a fifth of the words oil and they need to keep that barrel price high as their economy depends on it. When the price is low they always lash out. The US and OPEC are trying to put them in their place with a low oil price, simple as.


      T is for Terrorism

      Since 911 we have been at war with Islam. We are not allowed to recognize that as we are called racist. Saudi Arabia are pouring billions of oil money into the worlds mosques and Islamic bias schools to teach a version of west hating Islam. Terror attacks in Turkey prove that Islamic fault lines are being held for now but truck attacks in Germany and France show that just about any angry Muslim, for whatever reason, could take it out on innocent people with those bombs, many of them Muslims. France prison population is now 70% Muslim, 45% in Belgium and 43% in Holland. 44% of Britain’s Category A prisoners are Muslim. 85% of Switzerland’s prisoners are foreign nationals and most of them Muslim. Many of Europe’s imprisoned Muslims are there for Islamic terrorism or gang crime, crime and Islam dovetailing more and more every year. ISIS are being allowed to stay around in the Middle East as we can draw all the hardcore Muslim fanatics into one place and f**k them up, as we are doing. It’s great for arms sales to. But the cocaine trade is now run by Muslim as it moves through West Africa on that migration corridor, the Patriot Act bringing in money laundering laws in 2003 that seriously stemmed cock coming up through Mexico into the US.


      U is for Usain BOLT

      The great man did the triple double, Olympic gold and silver in the 100m & 200m in three straight Olympics, and added three relay gold’s on top. It’s an incredible feat and will never be rivaled in sprints for me. A man who could rival the feat on the track has joined Bolt in Olympic track retirement, Mo Farah, strictly marathon next time around. Where as British people love Bolt and think he isn’t a cheat, they think Mo probably is a cheat and certainly not British, failing to feature heavily in the Sports Personality voting year in year out. He deserves to win but always feeds the doubt by not wanting to live in England and share the team’s digs at events. He always thanks God and his family first and his fans last. Bolt is the true king and now lives in England with those same drug testers.

      V is for Viola Beach

      They were a little known indie band from the north of England heading for better things. Unfortunately they decided to smash through no fewer then three safety barriers in their hire car and slice the top of their car and heads off when they hit the raised bridge, sending the car into an icy Swedish river at 3 am to finish off the remaining two lads barely alive from the original catastrophic impact. The autopsy revealed no drugs or illegal levels of booze in their blood. Had they been watching too many movies and thought they could jump across what they thought was a drawbridge style bridge or was it suicide by the band manager driving the car? All the evidence points to the lads not remotely slowing down to the traffic around them and actually swerved neatly into the lane that was clear to the raised bridge section. The music business gushed tributes thereafter and fine words were said, as yet, none willing to blame the guys.


      W is for Wimbledon

      So Andy won it again and a load of other things to, including the coveted world number one spot. You have to play a hell of a lot of tennis and win those games to stay ahead of Djokovic. But since the Meldonium thing and Sharpova in the spring, Novak’s form collapsed and he won just one event after the French Open that gave him all four slams at once. He looks a prime candidate to be doping. The loophole was conveniently there for the players to take Meldonium, even though they didn’t have the condition it’s prescribed for and so it will be exploited by players and tennis will cover up positive results. Over 700 Russian athletes alone were believed to be on it in 2015. When someone like Sharpova naively comes out publicly to say she has failed a drugs test then tennis has to also own up there has been a positive. But she knows where the bodies are buried and has had her ban slashed. If she had kept stum it would have been a silent six month ban, the type Nadal receives, allegedly.


      X is for the X chromosome


      Governments and lawmakers in the West are beginning to legislate for the ‘third sex. Pratt Russell Brand has said he will bring up his kids as ‘gender neutral’, and in the toilet blocks in some U.S states have had to provide a cubicle for ‘in-betweens’ as men who want to become women don’t want to pee in the Men’s and the women don’t want them in the Ladies as they have men’s bits. Put simply a lot of people who are legally Trans are going to start suing the sh&t out of everything that they see as prejudice against their gender. I have always thought men who want to be women are gay and its away around accepting that and people who want to be gender neutral are persuaded by other people. Tran’s people are such a small percentage of the world but, as ever, a US reality show around the life of Bruce Jenner, has made it cool and an irrationally big story and issue.

      Y is for the Yorkshire

      A young couple lost their beloved dog to cancer. They missed him so much they went online. They discovered you could get pets cloned in South Korea (no eating dog jokes please) and paid 60 grand for the duplication. Low and behold the puppy grew up to look just like their last dog. It’s unclear if it was just another puppy from the same breed and they had been tucked up but if they believe its real then that’s all that maters. It won’t be long until humans are secretly cloned though, within the next five years they say. Imagine ten Donald Trumps!


      Z is for Zika

      Every year we are scared rotten by an infection disease and as the final Ebola cases died out it was a mosquito spread one this time around, young mums to be the most fearful. It was believed the bug spread bug has caused the deformed baby syndrome in some cases. Babies are meant to be cute, the main reason to have them. Athletes used the extremely small chance of catching it to doge the Rio Olympics perhaps fearing a differing kind of blood test. The bulked up Rory Macilroy refused to go, golf a sport where they are rarely tested, Olympic testing very different…

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    • pcspecialist.co.uk / Online Shop / 1 Reading / 1 Rating
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      16.01.2017 09:35
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      There's nothing I'd change about my PC Specialist experience

      PC Specialist was initially recommended to me by a colleague when I spoke to him about NOT wanting to pay for features I didn't want in a "standard" computer from PC World etc.. I initially sought a quote online in order to find the cost of my ideal configuration. I thought about it for about two weeks, during which time I received just one e-mail from PC Specialist - just a gentle reminder, so I wasn't hassled or chased to place an order. I sought advice from colleagues who I consider to be experts, and they all thought both the spec and the price were good, so I proceeded with an order. I received several e-mail updates overt he next few days and, within a week, I have my new machine, exactly as ordered, but much more quickly than I'd anticipated. The packaging was substantial and effective, the unpacking and "assembly" process (it's an AIO) easy, and the end result excellent. I am very pleased with my new PC, and very impressed with the speed and quality of service from PC Specialist. I have already recommended the service to several friends and colleagues, and I have confirmed the view of my colleague who originally recommended PC Specialist.

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