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AmyAmy

AmyAmy
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Member since: 19.12.2007

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      09.02.2013 12:23
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      Love it!

      As a Spiritualist, it is in my interest to read anything and everything that relates to the higher world and, as a personal interest, angels. When I learned that the inspiration for one of my favourite novels was actually Lorna Byrne's Angels in my Hair, I knew that it was something I was going to have to read.

      Angels in my Hair is spectacular. Lorna Byrne can communicate with angels, and has been able to do so all of her life. This book is, primarily, an autobiographical account of her childhood and her early adulthood, with the events of those years inter-weaved with her encounters and teachings with the angels.

      What I'd like to say first of all is that this is not one of those almost narcissistic books. I've read spiritual books where the writer is telling us about the Spirit World, but focuses too much on their own life outside of the connections. Byrne has the balance perfectly here - we get to know enough about her family and her early jobs, etc, so that we can start to connect with who she is as a person, and then heightens the emotions by incorporating messages she has received from angels. She tells us things that she wasn't allowed to share with other people at the time, and her experiences with Angel Michael.

      She doesn't reveal everything at once either. It isn't a case of "This is how I saw them, this is how they appeared." We embark on this journey of learning alongside Byrne as she developed her own abilities and understandings. Pretty much with every chapter she is given a new insight as she progresses along her own path, and this increases, as readers, our own knowledge and involvement with her journey and the angels.

      What I also love about this is that it is believable. I am not saying that other writers who discuss their connections to angels are not writing the truth, but I question very little, if anything, with this one. A lot of what I read in it relates to other things I've read or been told elsewhere. It is very genuine, and I will say that with confidence.

      The book is 330 pages in length which is wonderful. I'd have liked it to have been even longer, but Byrne has two other books out now so I shall be going to look into them as soon as I possibly can. I found myself digging deep into my own emotions with this, and was opened up to a lot of new knowledge and understanding. If you are at all interested in the spirit world or the existence of angels, I cannot recommend this one enough.

      Amy 2013

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    • The Quiet Man (DVD) / DVD / 33 Readings / 31 Ratings
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      07.02.2013 08:41
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      Brilliant!

      *FILM-ONLY REVIEW*

      Ireland is one of my main areas of research and interest, so when a friend suggested that I watched The Quiet Man, I knew that this was something I had to do. I would now like to ask everybody else to watch it - it is truly amazing!

      In the 1952 film, Sean Thornton comes over to Ireland from America to return to Innisfree where he was born. He has plans to buy the very cottage in which he was born, and while he is there sorting that out, he finds himself falling in love with Mary Kate. It is a beautifully romantic film that starts out with a "will he get the girl?" chase, but turns out to be so much more than that.

      The plot is absolutely beautiful. I found that it unfolded at a perfect pace. Just as I thought I knew what was about to happen, something else was sprung on me to take me by surprise and turn the story in a different direction to that which I had otherwise expected. In my opinion, I also feel that it captures the essence of the west coast of Ireland, which was exactly what I had hoped for.

      The cast is fantastic. All round everybody is brilliant; there wasn't a single person who stood out to me that made me question their abilities to act. However, it is the two protagonists that make this film something fantastic. John Wayne plays Sean Thornton, and he is very appealing indeed! It is Maureen O'Hara as Mary Kate who is the star of this to me. Her accent is absolutely gorgeous, and for a brief moment she also speaks in Irish, which is the most beautiful combination ever! Barry Fitzgerald as Michaleen is a wonderful character. This is not a funny film, but every now and then I found myself laughing at Michaleen; he provides a little light relief amidst the strength of stronger emotions.

      The film is directed by John Ford. I have absolutely no complaints with the directing and find that it evokes the right emotions at the right times with the right frames. We get to see a lot of the gorgeous west coast - the scenery is impossibly moving, and really does reach down into the soul. Mayo looks absolutely beautiful, and I cannot wait to visit it some day/

      The Quiet Man is just over two hours in length, which initially I thought was going to be far too long. However, this was not the case at all. I was quite sad when it was over, and will certainly be watching it again. I definitely recommend this to everybody!

      Amy 2013

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        06.02.2013 13:35
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        Worth it!

        For months now I've been reading reviews about the sweet range of Carex hand washes. I had remembered seeing them in Wilkinson at one point but when I went back, they were gone. Finally. after much searching, I found the Strawberry Laces option - thankfully, the one I wanted the most - on offer in Tesco.

        What attracted me to the Strawberry Laces one is, admittedly, the colour. The hand wash, as seen through the clear bottle, is a gorgeous bright pink shade. It looks very sweet and delicious (but must not be eaten!). I don't have any particular attraction to strawberry laces sweets, but I do love the colour.

        The hand wash smells absolutely wonderful. It does, to my surprise, smell exactly like Strawberry Laces! It is a very sugary sweet artificial strawberry scent, a true delight. What also surprised me was how long the scent lingers. I can wash my hands, and then hours later still smell the product on there. I reckon that if I used Strawberry Laces for the rest of my life my hands would end up permanently smelling of strawberries!

        Just like the rest in the Carex range, and like most other liquid soaps, the hand wash comes in a plastic bottle that is almost square in shape, but with a slight little waist. On the top there is the hand pump, which must be twisted before it can be used. This is always a good way to detect whether or not anybody has used it in the shop! To release the hand wash you just push the pump down, and a pea-sized amount of the product is released into the palm of your hand.

        I find that one squirt is enough for a general hand wash; it creates a faint lather that definitely allows you to feel like your hands are receiving a good wash. If I have visible dirt on my hands however - for example, if I've been writing all afternoon and the pen has decided to graffiti notes on my palms - then two pumps of the hand wash tends to be better. It definitely makes my hands visibly cleaner, which is always good! The bottle says it kills 99.9% of bacteria, which, naturally, I cannot back up, but I certainly never feel like my hands are needing another wash after using this.

        For the 250ml bottle I paid £1 for this in Tesco. It's probably nearer double that when not on offer, but this is no different to any of the others in the Carex range. If you can find it then I definitely recommend that you give it a try. It smells amazing and does the job, all the while looking very pretty!

        Amy 2013

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          05.02.2013 10:15
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          Brilliant!

          *FILM-ONLY REVIEW*

          I have to confess that I am a huge fan of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The novel itself is amazing, the event that led to its creation is one of my favourite moments in history, and any interpretation (good or bad!) gets me impossibly excited. The 1994 film Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is one of my favourites.

          True to the novel, Victor Frankenstein leaves Geneva to study science at university. Various events in his life previous have left him heartbroken after he'd had to witness too many untimely deaths, and he decides that he wants to put a stop to that. So what does he do? Well he takes life into his own hands and tries to create a being who defies the constraints placed on humanity. Such experiments are never safe, and Victor's successes quickly become great life-threatening problems when the creature he has brought to life escapes...

          The interpretation is fantastic. I have watched far too many where the story is similar but with alterations that annoy me, but this one stays true to the story. I did find. however, that emphasis was placed on particular scenes that makes it very unique to other interpretations; it helps bring the original story to life whilst making itself stand out.

          It is directed by Kenneth Branagh, and I have to say that it is beautifully done. The pacing is fantastic and really helps with the emotions - just as your heart is racing with fear, you're forced to weep in sympathy. It's quite an adventure, to say the least. The cuts are brilliant too, with shots cutting right before a moment of wincing. The use of sound is very effective too - whereas certain scenes rely on music to heighten the experience, others are filmed in near silence. The balance is perfect.

          Branagh not only directs it, but he also plays Victor Frankenstein. He's quite a likeable character, yet you want to hit him a lot of time time for being impossibly stupid in his actions. This is the impression I received from reading the text too so it works very well, and allows me to remain true to my initial emotions. The creature is played by Robert De Niro and he looks fantastic. I am fed up of cliche 'square head and bolts' green 'monsters'; this creature actually looks like he could have been created by man, rather than being a fantastic being of myth. Helena Bonham Carter plays Elizabeth Frankenstein, and she is as wonderful as ever. She was the reason I wanted to watch this version over any others on this particular evening during my Frankenstein craving, and she doesn't fail to deliver.

          The costumes are beautiful and the settings are powerful - often beautiful and usually sublime. The film is a 15 certificate which I think is a fair rating. It is one of my all-time favourite interpretations and one I would certainly recommend.

          Amy 2013

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          • The Libertine (DVD) / DVD / 33 Readings / 33 Ratings
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            04.02.2013 09:15
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            Not too bad!

            *film only*

            There are three reasons why I wanted to watch The Libertine:

            1. Johnny Depp
            2. I've just started studying Renaissance literature so decided it might be a nice idea to get a little introduction to John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester
            3. Johnny Depp

            The 2004 film The Libertine looks at the life of Rochester, a seventeenth-century writer. He is asked by the king to write something - something good - which is a wonderful platform to highlight how his excessive drinking and insane lifestyle gets in the way of him writing masterpieces. Meanwhile, he decides to help out an actress named Elizabeth Barry. Elizabeth isn't exactly a good actress, but with Rochester's help she will hopefully improve. But when Rochester finds himself starting to fall in love with her, who knows what direction things will take...

            I have to say that the film was quite an enjoyable watch. Rochester is such a dark, daring, and dangerous character, and I have been informed by somebody who absolutely loves Rochester that this is a very accurate representation. With that, I feel satisfied with having received my initial introduction to his character through this film.

            The character is great and makes the film watcheable. The plot, however, I was not too impressed with at times. The first half was great but I felt it was a little slow in progressing as it went on. However, the personality of Rochester is enough to keep you hooked and wanting to continue watching it so it's not too bad.

            Johnny Depp plays Rochester, and I truly cannot think of anybody who would be more suited for the role. If I didn't love Depp already, which I definitely did, then it'd be impossible to not love him after seeing this film. Johnny Vegas was a pleasant surprise too as I didn't expect him to be in it. The cast all round are pretty good. Nobody else really stood out for me dramatically, but the general reception of the cast is great.

            The film is directed by Laurence Dunmore. There isn't anything fancy done with the directing, but to keep the film real and to the century. any extravagant angles or points of view that weren't necessary would detract from Rochester himself. Of course there are a few beautiful close-ups of Depp, and the introduction when he addresses the camera is the most heart-fluttering thing ever!

            The film is an 18 certificate, which makes perfect sense. The language is strong, and there are a lot of sex references and nudity. This is to be expected when considering Rochester, and helps add to the feel of the film. Whether you are a fan of Rochester, or would like an exciting introduction to him, The Libertine is great.

            Amy 2013

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            03.02.2013 14:27
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            Lovely!

            It was the cover of Byron and Scotland: Radical or Dandy (edited by Angus Calder) that first drew me to it. The book dons a gorgeous image of the statue of Lord Byron as found outside of the grammar school in Aberdeen where he had his early education. I've pranced in the rain beneath this statue, and seeing that I am fond of the writing of Calder, I knew I had to read this book.

            The book contains eleven essays across 160 pages, which is about average and what I had expected. There is a variety of contributes, all of whom bar one are Scottish themselves. Among them can be found greats such as J. Drummond Bone, and Angus Calder himself.

            Each essay takes quite a different angle. My favourite out of them all would have to be either Byron and Catholicism by William Donnelly, which studies the religious representations in Byron's writing against the poet's own Calvinist upbringing, or Byron: An Edinburgh Re-review by Jon Curt, which primarily looks at Byron's relationship with the Edinburgh Review and, in turn, Edinburgh as a city.

            Other essays include Lord Byron and Lord Elgin by Douglas Dunn, and 'The Island: Scotland, Greece and Romantic Savagery by Angus Calder. Others look at his relationship with Sir Walter Scott, which is certainly very interesting.

            It would be ideal if you knew a little about Byron's background before reading this,but it is not necessary; you will still be able to follow it, but I expect a lot more would be gained if you knew his chronology. It is well laid out, with each essay fairly equal in length. Some take a closer look at his poetry and analyse works accordingly, whereas others focus more on his biography. The balance is great, and something worth giving praise for.

            I bought my copy of the book on Amazon.co.uk for just over £5, and it can be found around this mark, give or take depending on the quality you're paying for. I would definitely recommend it if you have any strong interest in Byron, or in his Scottish contemporaries and his relationship with Scotland. It will be a wonderful source for me to turn to when dealing with Byron's nationality, and found it to be a great read.

            Amy 2013

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          • The Woman in Black (DVD) / DVD / 44 Readings / 42 Ratings
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            01.02.2013 18:13
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            Fantastic!

            *FILM-ONLY REVIEW*

            As a devout Spiritualist I take an avid interest in anything that involves the paranormal. For this reason, and the fact that I am a huge Harry Potter fan, I was very much looking forward to watching The Woman in Black (2012). Having finally seen it, I can now confirm that it has been worth the wait!

            Arthur leaves his son and his nanny down south as he travels up North to sort out paperwork connected to an old house. When he is there however he starts to get the feeling that he is not alone. Meanwhile children in the village seem to be dying under rather horrific circumstances. Throughout the film we begin to make connections between the two.

            The film is directed by James Watkins. The opening scene itself is so incredibly beautiful and intriguing that I found I was drawn in from the second it began. Thankfully, it's also all uphill from there. The script isn't too powerful, but it doesn't need to be - this relies on the visual impact on the thrilling building and the impact with the ghostly woman in black that will always take you by great surprise. The costumes, too, are simply gorgeous and very realistic.

            The cast and characters are great. Daniel Radcliffe plays protagonist Arthur, There were, admittedly, a few times when I thought he was perhaps too young for the part - whenever he referred to his wife or his son - but I got used to this. I also didn't once (okay maybe once, but that's it!) see him as Harry Potter. This is the first of Radcliffe's work I'd seen outwith the Potter movies, so was very pleasantly surprised. To be honest, few other people stood out for me, but Radcliffe dominates most of the screen time so none of the others neither receiver nor needed too much air time.

            The film is an hour and a half in length which is perfect. It's also a 12A, which I think is a little low; personally I would have said 15, if I were to compare it to similar films, but I am sure 12 year olds will be fine to watch it! It's not terrifying, but intriguing, but there are moments when you do jump right out of your seat. It is a wonderful film and definitely worth seeing.

            Amy 2013

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          • Byron - Catherine Peters / Biography / 45 Readings / 45 Ratings
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            30.01.2013 15:32
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            Lovely!

            I'll be honest, I didn't think it could be done. Surely a successful biography of the great poet Lord Byron cannot be delivered in just 105 pages? It turns out...it can!

            'Byron', a Sutton Pocket Biographies book by Catherine Peters, is a watered-down version of the poet's life. It seems quite shocking to think that his entire life - bearing in mind he's one of the most eccentric, adventurous, colourful people ever to live - could be covered in so few pages, but I am more than impressed.

            The book is split into several chapters: An Orphan of the Heart (1788-1805), Youth (1807-9), The Isles of Greece (1809-11), Fame (1811-3), Sister and Wife (1813-16), Exile (1816-19), and The Revolutionary (1819-24). I found that these sections were very well organised, going from his birth and early days, to his education, then through to his early travels, beginning of his career, into his marriage, and then his exile, finishing off with his death. These are clear marks of Byron's life which easily lead to further, more organised dissecting of his life.

            This doesn't go into too much detail about his poetry. It doesn't really mention any short lyrics, apart from the odd one now and then to help support a statement about his affair with his half-sister, or his passion for this or that person. It mentions his long narratives and most successful works, but again this is only briefly. It is definitely more a biography of an adventurer rather than that of a writer.

            I wondered how much I'd learn. I can truly say that, while I didn't really learn anything new as such (having read close to 100 Byron books though this isn't really to be looked at negatively!), I certainly was introduced to looking at a few things in new angles. This is always going to be a positive thing!

            The biography is a wonderful introduction to Byron, but also a brilliant recap of Byron's life and the key events he encountered. I read a lot of books about the same thing as my primary interest with Byron is his marriage (closely followed by his mental illness, his Scottishness, or lack of, and then representations of the poet in the twenty-first century) so this was great to be able to skim over a lot of the rest of his life as a lovely refreshing read.

            I paid £2.50 for this, paperback, from a wee antiquarian bookshop but it can be found on Amazon.co.uk for around the same price. It is definitely worth buying whether you are new to the world of Lord Byron or already an avid fan, and was definitely a great read.

            Amy 2013

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          • Coraline (DVD) / DVD / 43 Readings / 42 Ratings
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            28.01.2013 09:09
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            Lovely!

            *FILM-ONLY REVIEW*

            Coraline is based on the book by Neil Gaiman. When Colraine and her family move into their new home, Coraline goes exploring out of boredom. She finds a little door that had been sealed off, and discovers that it actually leads to a parallel version of her own home. In this parallel world is her Other Mother and her Other Father; they seem to care a lot more about Coraline in her eyes than her own parents too, and it's not too difficult to look past the fact that everybody in this other world has buttons for eyes. Life seems great, but suddenly things start to take a rather disturbing twist for Coraline...

            I love anything that deals with other words, and this is great; it started out exactly like my childhood dream of finding tunnels in the walls of my house, so I was hooked immediately. I found that the plot develops at a fantastic pace and provides just the right amount of information without making the ending too obvious, but doesn't leave you baffled mid-plot either. It's heart-racing a lot of the time, and has a wondrous amount of surprises along the way. It really is very exciting!

            The film is directed by Henry Selick. A lot of people think that it is directed by Tim Burton, which is also the case with The Nightmare Before Christmas, also directed by Henry Selick. However, it is fair to say that such a mistake is easily made, for there are many aspects of this animation which would appeal to the Burton fan. There are a few unique aspects though too which help it stand out. In all it is wonderfully directed.

            Dakota Fanning voices Coraline, with French and Saunders voicing Miss Spinks and Miss Forcible. All of the characters are great fun, but the one I love the most is the cat. He is voiced by Keith David, and is truly one of the most adorable, lovable, perfect wee characters I've ever seen. I do love him dearly!

            Coraline is a fun, quirky, and very exciting film. It is an absolute thrill to watch and I recommend it to all!

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          • Beetlejuice (DVD) / DVD / 48 Readings / 47 Ratings
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            26.01.2013 14:37
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            Loved it!

            For whatever reason, despite the fact that I'm a huge admirer of Tim Burton, I hadn't seen the 1988 film Beetlejuice until today. However, it was certainly worth the wait.

            After Adam and Barbara die in an accident at the beginning of the film, the find that they become trapped in their own beloved home in their ghostly form. When a new family move in though they go to extreme lengths to try and scare them away.

            The plot is comically horrific, and horrifically comical! It's visually such a beautiful film. You'll find that it's full of surprises - certainly for me, at least - and is wonderfully very creative. The supernatural and the paranormal are very much at the heart of my existence, and this is a unique take on the afterlife, very mad and wacky!

            The casting for Beetlejuice is wonderful. Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis are fantastic as Adam and Barbara, and play the characters as very likeable and easy to relate to. Catherine O'Hara shines as Delia - a character who I don't really like, but I enjoy disliking her, and she certainly adds to the story. Winona Ryder is the wonderful Lydia, who happens to now be one of my favourite film characters ever, and Michael Keaton is the eccentric, terrifying, and all-round fantastic Beetlejuice.

            Directed by Tim Burton, the film is naturally going to be perfect (in my eyes), but even to a non-Burtonite, the expertly paced, heart-racing story is going to be a winner. It throws its madness at you and sucks you right in. Of course, it comes complete with music by Danny Elfman too, just as the sugar dusting on top of the cherry on top of the icing on the cake.

            There are no fancy extra features on the DVD which is a shame as I would have liked to have seen how certain scenes were done, but it is not a major issue, especially when you seen the price! I paid £3 for this in HMV. It's little more than that from Amazon.co.uk too so it's not exactly expensive. It's worth every penny and more!

            Amy 2013

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            24.01.2013 11:36
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            A great read!

            I'd heard great things about David Crane's The Kindness of Sisters: Annabella Milbanke and the Destruction of the Byrons, so decided to put it to the top of my list of books to purchase. Having now read it I can certainly see why it received great praise.

            The Kindness of Sisters looks at the relationship between Annabella Milbanke, Byron's wife, and Augusta Leigh, Byron's half-sister., To give you very brief background information, it is widely acknowledged that Byron had an affair with Augusta - daughter Elizabeth Meroda being the product of such incest - and this is one of the factors that led to the breakdown of Byron's very short marriage to Annabella. This book looks at the relationship between the two parties either side of Byron and analyses it.

            The book is quite creative, which is one of the reasons why it is often recommended. It begins with describing the last ever meeting of Annabella and Augusta at Reigate - this is something that few Byron books ever bring up, so certainly it is unique in that sense. It then takes us through the run-up to the marriage, and then the marriage itself, and the years after, finishing off again with the final meeting. It is very well presented with a lot of facts, and extracts from letters, diary entries, and poems to support what is being said.

            However, in the middle you also have a playscript of a conversation between Annabella and Augusta. This is very interesting to read and helps to put you in the shoes of both ladies. The downside? It is easy to forget that it is a reconstruction, and not an actual conversation that took place word for word. I was reading certain parts thinking "Ooh, I'd love to quote that to support what I'm arguing in this paper or that essay," forgetting momentarily that it's not actually fact. Of course, there are sections of the book which express similar things but with evidence, but it must be remembered that the script is not exact!

            The book is a great read, but it did drag on a little at the end. It was a little repetitive at times, but still very thought provoking. I thoroughly enjoyed it either way, and definitely recommend it. It can be found on Amazon.co.uk for as little as 1p (excluding postage), but will cost a little more if bought brand new or hardback. It is certainly worth looking out for.

            Amy 2013

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            • Fight Club (DVD) / DVD / 49 Readings / 47 Ratings
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              22.01.2013 16:19
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              Thoroughly enjoyed it!

              I don't know where I've been, but it is only now that I have finally seen Fight Club (1999). Sure, I only initially wanted to watch it because of the fact that Helena Bonham Carter is in it, but having just finished watching the film, I can honestly say that everybody everywhere must see it regardless of whether or not they care for anybody in it!

              Jack, an insomniac with an averagely dull life, meets Tyler Durden. Together they set up the Fight Club. Tyler's philosophies are a little unusual though which results in Jack embarking upon a rather adventurous journey that is certainly a world away from his usual day-to-day activities. At first it is not clear what the intentions are, but it is impossible to turn your attention away from this mind-messing, multi-dimensional plot.

              The plot here is one of the most phenomenal things ever. I've never been so hooked on any film before, however action-packed, as I was with Fight Club. It's directed by David Fincher, and a lot of heart-racing fantastically paced scenes are presented. it really digs deep into the mind.

              The script, based on the book, is written by Jim Uhis. It contains several powerful speeches, and puts forward quite a few important questions, the sort that we can never really answer, but those that can still have a huge impact on your own life and the way you go about. I have no complaints at all.

              The cast is equally pleasing. Helena Bonham Carter is breathtaking, and to those who says she always plays the same characters over and over again, you must watch this just to sample one of her more realistically surreal characters. Brad Pitt is brilliant as Tyler Durden, but it is Edward Norton who steals the film. He plays Jack fantastically and really works on the emotion of the audience.

              The 18-certificate film is just over 2 hours in length, which in my opinion is not long enough (and that's coming from somebody with a very short attention span who is not usually a fan of longer films!). I bought my copy of the DVD (which I am not reviewing as I have not had a chance to watch the extra features, so this is a 'film only' review) for £1.99 from That's Entertainment, but it is widely available from basically anywhere that sells DVDs new or old for a variety of prices. Fight Club is one of the greatest films I've ever seen; I truly recommend it to all.

              Amy 2013

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                20.01.2013 15:51
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                Absolutely fantastic!

                I love the writings of Margaret Ward. She wrote my favourite biography of Maud Gonne, for one thing, and when I read that I knew that reading her Unmanageable Revolutionaries would be invaluable. Thankfully, I was right!

                Unmanageable Revolutionaries, first published in 1983, looks at the role of women with Irish Nationalism. Ireland is one of my main areas of research, and more specifically women and their role during the road to Easter 1916. So this was going to be very exciting.

                It is broken down into three main sections: The Ladies' Land League of 1881-82; Inghinidhe na hÉireann (1900-14); Cumann na mBan (1914 onwards). Maud is the founder and president of the Inghinidhe so that was naturally going to be the section that I was looking forward to reading most. I found it to be very information, and is not just a replica of the information about the Inghinidhe that can also be read in Ward's biography of Maud, so that was a relief!

                The other two sections I knew a little about so was not going in clueless, but I wasn't that familiar with them. I found that the book goes into fantastic detail, easing you in gently with basic information to give you a general feel for the movements and organisations, and then begins to look at the more deeply so you can get more out of it. It's certainly great for any levels.

                The book has just over 250 pages so it's not too long, nor is it too short. I did worry that I wouldn't learn much about the Inghinidhe or Maud since I have many other books about her, but I needn't have worried. It is a great way to delve into the fascinating roles and actions of Irelands women around the turn of the century and during the rebellion.

                I bought my copy on Amazon.co.uk for around £5 as I didn't buy the cheapest available, but it is likely that you will find it for as little as 1p if you time it right. Unfortunately I have never seen this in an actual store but it may be available for purchase in larger branches of Waterstone's etc. I love Margaret Ward's contributions to literature on Maud, and the Inghinidhe, and Unmanageable Revolutionaries is an absolutely fantastic read.

                Amy 2013

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                18.01.2013 16:42
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                Not worth it at all!

                As a huge fan of Tim Burton's 2012 film Frankenweenie, I was naturally going to buy the soundtrack CD to add to my Burton collection. When I went into HMV I found the Frankenweenie: Unleashed CD, and before I continue with this review I want to point out that this is the only CD that I've ever seen in stores.

                And it's not very good.

                Credit where it's due, the cover is very pretty, with a gorgeous grey image of Sparky on the front. Above him is the title in a bright green writing, true to the films colours. Inside the CD case can be found a small booklet with some pretty images. This, although not necessary, is always a nice little touch.

                I'm afraid that the majority of the delights stop there. It came as quite a surprise when I realised that not all of the songs on the CD - in fact, very few - actually come from the film. Sure, it contains the 54-second Praise Be New Holland, which is sung by Winona Ryder in the film, and maybe one or two more that are so dull that I don't remember them being in the film, but the rest are 'inspired' by the film, or just have themes that are appropriate.

                Now this is not all bad. Out of the fourteen tracks, I don't mind a handful of them. My most listened to according to my iTunes, to which I uploaded the album, is 'Pet Sematary' by Plain White T's (yes, it has the peculiar spelling of 'cemetery', and the misplaced apostrophe in Ts...), which has the fun lyrics "I don't want to be buried in a pet cemetery." Given the film, this is appropriate. Everybody's Got a Secret by AWOLNation isn't too bad, neither is Underground by Grouplove.

                And that's it. The rest are okay. They can be listened to, sure, but if that's the best an album can do, then it's worrying. The album is £10 on Amazon.co.uk, and cost about the same in HMV. It wouldn't be so bad if the other CD was readily available - that is, the actual soundtrack album with Danny Elfman's music from the film which is currently £12 on Amazon.co.uk, but in the four HMV stores I've been in, all sold Unleashed, and Unleashed only.

                It's not a bad album if you want to discover something new and you like loud, electric, or indie music, but as a fan of the film looking to relive the soundtrack it's not the best. I will, in the future, buy the actual soundtrack CD from Amazon.co.uk,but in the meantime I'll not bother listening to this one too much...

                Amy 2013

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                16.01.2013 14:20
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                Wonderful!

                I promise I didn't mean to spill the sweet and sour sauce on the beige carpet. Honest! Regardless of whether or not I did it on purpose, the fact of the matter is that sweet and sour sauce creates a bit of an issue when spilled onto a pale carpet. A friend recommended I use 1001 shampoo to try and remove it, so I went to find a bottle. I am very impressed with the results, having how used it on the mess I'd made.

                The bottle is a bright yellow colour so it is easy to catch your eye on the shelf. There are various options - some in spray cans - but I went for the bottle with a blue cap at the top.It says that it is a 'large area cleaner for carpets and upholstery', and this is exactly what I was looking for.

                The instructions on the back tell you to mix 1 parts shampoo with 6 parts warm water and then whisk into a foam. Well I filled the sink with hot water, and added about eight or nine capfulls of shampoo, and then used a fork to whisk it up. This seemed to work well, and created the foam on the top. This needs to then be massaged into the stain on the carpet. Don't drench it though! I gave it a little rub too, and found that this worked quite well.

                Now it says that you hoover it once the patch is dry, but I didn't do this (where I live we have a shared hoover, and I just couldn't find Henry anywhere). Instead, I reapplied the foam for a second time, gently rubbing again, and I found that this pretty much removed the stain completely. It had faded the first time, but after a second use you can no longer see any hint of a stain. I am very impressed!

                The 450ml bottle cost me £2 from Wilkinson. It will last quite a long time (unless, that is, you spill a lot of things!). Not only did it completely remove the stain, but it did so without discolouring the carpet or ruining its texture. Plus it has left a slight 'cleaning product' scent in my room from the sink, so that's lovely. The carpet is as good as it was before I made the mess, if not better, and I cannot recommend this enough.

                Amy 2013

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