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Benjiboo

Benjiboo
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Member since: 25.07.2009

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      27.04.2010 08:23
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      Not bad but not great either

      This is third of John Grisham's books I've read. This is another thriller not really related to law other than it's about Kyle McAvoy who is a newly practicing lawyer. This involves Kyle being blackmailed about an alleged rape in order that he will still steal confidential information from his new employer: international law firm Scully & Persching. The information that the blackmailers want relates to a case between two military defence contractors particularly design secrets of a pioneering military jet.

      As with his other books this story is very much focused on just one character and outside of the main story explores parts of their life in order to make them more real to the reader; Grisham does this well. This is well written and the 483 pages are divided into 42 chapters. Shorter chapters allow you pick it up and put it down with ease.

      Of the three I've read this one has taken me the longest and this is because it was the least compelling. It was quite good but not a real page turner - which is what you want from a thriller. It picks up pace about 3 quarters of the way through but ends very abruptly. The ending is also some what disappointing. This almost felt as if he had written so much got bored and said that'll do. In addition the fact that the information is about cutting edge military technology could add another level of conspiracy theory to the story. However this is sadly ignored other than a brief mention that the blackmailers could be working for the Chinese or the Russians.

      If you're a Grisham fan read it - but you may be a little disappointed. If you're not into Grisham I would probably say don't bother.

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    • Twilight [2008] (DVD) / DVD / 20 Readings / 19 Ratings
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      22.04.2010 20:52
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      This is a must see for the girlies and not a bad watch for the boys either

      This is a 12 rated romantic/vampire action thriller (an unusual combination I'll admit) that runs for almost 2 hours. This contains some moderate violence and menace but nothing much on the sexy front nor is there much effing and jeffing. This is film adaptation of Stephanie Meyer's novel of the same name and is the first of at least 4 instalments.

      I'm a 25 year old bloke who likes stereotypical boy films. When my girlfriend got this through the post from genericDVDrental.com I groaned. I knew of the books and knew they were fundamentally for teenage girls. I was disappointed that the same characters that regularly terrorised Buffy and occasionally kicked Blade's arse could in fact be made all lovey-dovey. In all honesty I expected this film to be complete pap.

      When my girlfriend started watching this I was doing the washing up and was just listening in the background, but it sounded pretty good so I sat down and watched it all the way through. I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised by this. This story features the Cullen's: a family of 7 "vegetarian" vampires i.e. they have decided to eschew their fellow kind and only feed off the blood of animals rather than humans. One of the "sons" - Edward - falls in love with a girl at high school - Bella. She is his kind of opium. This is essentially a story of forbidden romance with a twist. Edward loves Bella but constantly wants to eat her she loves him but should fear for her life whenever they are close. This first film explores the new relationship between Edward and Bella and the whole teen angst thing. But it also throws in some bad vampires for a bit of extra tension and some much needed action.

      All the main characters in this are easy on the eye and Robert Pattinson (Edward) and Kristen Stewart (Bella) were no doubt picked for their looks as well as their acting ability. Pattinson plays the cold, undead yet perfect boyfriend role well. Stewart does a decent job as his other half but is sometimes a little irritating. The story is given a little more depth on the character front with the rest of the Cullen family as they are all very different and kooky in various respects.

      For the most part this is a romance but there is something about it that makes it very watchable: even for somebody of my tastes. There wasn't a great deal of action or humour so it's hard to pin point but I didn't once get bored whilst watching this. Considering the genre and my expectations that is high praise indeed. I suppose it's just a decent story - a bit different from usual - that's well acted and well produced.

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    • 3:10 To Yuma (DVD) / DVD / 12 Readings / 12 Ratings
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      21.01.2010 21:33
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      A decent Western with a bit of a twist

      This is a 15 rated Western starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale that runs for almost two hours. This contains some strong language and some very graphic and bloody violence.

      There are two central characters in this story: a struggling Arizona rancher Dan Evans (Bale) who lost part of his leg whilst serving as a sharp shooter for the Unionists during the American Civil War and who lives with his wife and two boys. The second main character is Ben Wade (Crowe) an infamous and apparently stereotypical outlaw fast with his six-shooter and seemingly amoral. He regularly holds up money wagons and at the beginning of this film he holds up a rail road money wagon outside the town of Bisbee. After the heist Wade is apprehended in Bisbee with Evans present. As Evans is strapped for cash he agrees, for $200, to join the posse that will escort Wade to Contention. The plan being that Wade will be put on the 3:10 train to Yuma where he will face trial.

      The creators of this film have tried to make this different than the usual Western but have done so without straying too far from what we have come to expect from this genre:

      Horse riding - tick
      A band of outlaws - tick
      An all American hero - tick
      Fist fights - tick
      Quick draw gun-slinging - tick
      Indians (that is to say Native Americans) - tick

      I'm a man who enjoys a good action film and although not the fastest paced story ever this had plenty enough action to stop me losing interest. As well as the usual mentioned above this film stands apart from others for a couple of reasons. Firstly the outlaw Wade appears to be well educated, religious, well mannered and does have some sense of decency. The relationship between him and Evans is interesting because it's not just good guy - bad guy who mutually hate each other. In fact Evans and Wade develop some respect for each other. The other relationship portrayed in this film is between Evans and his son William (Logan Lerman). This relationship, although not strictly necessary to the story, gives added depth to the main characters and helps develop Dan Evans' motivations for his actions.

      This is well acted all round and both Bale and Crowe managed to avoid slipping into their peculiarly gruff "I am Batman" / "I am Maximus Decimus Meridius" voices. Credit goes to the young Lerman and also to Ben Foster playing Charlie Prince: Wade's right hand man leading the band of outlaws to free Ben. Foster portrays this evil and sinister outlaw convincingly.

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    • Premonition (DVD) / DVD / 14 Readings / 11 Ratings
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      21.01.2010 20:49
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      Not bad to kill a bit of time

      This film is a 12 rated drama/thriller (I think) that runs for an hour and a half. The main star is Sandra Bullock.

      Sandra Bullock plays Linda Hanson an ordinary lady married with two young girls. One night Linda has a very lucid dream of her husband dying in a car crash. She wakes the next morning shaken but glad that it was only a dream. Or was it? The actual date is in fact only a few days before the accident in her dream. This starts off simple enough but quickly gets complicated as the time line both in "real life" and in her dreams starts jumping all over the place.

      I wasn't really sure what the point of this film was other than to just explore the idea of premonitions (clue's in the title I suppose) and to examine the concept of being able to change the future if you know what will happen.

      This is well acted by Bullock and the whole film is based around her. She is supported well by the other actors; amongst them Julian McMahon as her husband and Amber Valletta as his assistant. As well as the confusing time/reality changes the other main downside to this was the character of the psychologist Dr Roth (Peter Stormare). Although not a major role this part was written/cast/acted really badly. In this Stormare looks and behaves more like a Bond villain than he does a psychologist: at one point during their consultation he even laughs at her in a mocking way. This part is very odd and out of place with the rest of the cast.

      Although this film was slightly insipid it was good enough to keep me mildly intrigued and I wasn't left feeling disappointed. This is one of those films that's good to watch whilst doing something else like the ironing or surfing the web say, for example, writing a dooyoo review.

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        21.01.2010 14:55
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        An absolute must read.

        This is the second book I've finished with my newly discovered love of reading.

        This book is about Ron Williamson: born in 1953 from the small town of Ada, Pontotoc County, Oklahoma. Ron is one of the two men jointly convicted for the rape and murder of 21 year old Debra Sue Carter. The story focuses on Ron as he was seen as the lead antagonist in this horrific crime and the one who received the death penalty. His partner in crime, Dennis Fritz, was alternatively sentenced to life imprisonment. This is about the life story and wrongful conviction of Ron.

        This is, as you would expect from Grisham, extremely well written. It starts as just a story but the more you read the more you become emotionally invested in the characters - especially Ron and his tragic life. Yet another page turner that keeps you gripped simply because you want to learn more about Ron's situation, about being on death row and what impact this has on him. This book is also very informative as it gives you an insight into the American (in)justice system.

        As a story this would be good but what really sets this apart and makes it more fascinating to read is that this is a true story that Grisham could be more accurately described as reporting rather than creating. He wrote this book with the co-operation of Ron's family and on reading it is evident how thoroughly researched and complied this is.

        I would recommend this book to everybody but I would especially promote this to conservative minded people like myself who support the death penalty. This book has genuinely made me consider my opinion of Capital punishment and it has also given me a greater insight and compassion for mental illness.

        I defy anybody not to be drawn in and moved by this powerful story.

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        14.01.2010 21:08
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        A great page turner that's a 2-4-1 on stories

        I'll start by saying that I am not a reader and this is the first book I've picked up in years: I saw it on my mother-in-law's bookshelf and asked to borrow it. I thought I'd give it a go because it's my genre, it's not available as a film and is written by a lawyer (I myself have studied law). When I started out I expected that I would read a couple of chapters then get bored/lured by electronic entertainment...TV, Xbox, Wii and so on.

        This book is about three ex-judges (the Brethren) doing porridge in a minimum security prison. These judges did not know each other previously but quickly became acquainted and the story starts after they have served some time, become friends and cooked up a money-making scheme together. They place personal ads in gay magazines and then enter into a series of correspondence posing as a young gay man. They then blackmail the writers with knowledge of their true sexuality. It is a hit and miss scheme earning them a tidy sum of money with nobody any the wiser... that is until they land a big fish. The big fish they hook is a very powerful man and his life is a story within a story.

        For a non reader this is a good book as it has short chapters and the two seemingly separate stories help keep the interest levels up. I was very surprised when this book did not meet my expectations: it vastly exceeded them. There is something about Grisham's writing here that just keeps you hooked and wanting to find out more. I was even switching off the TV so that I could find out more about Yarber, Beech and Spicer and their latest prey: Aaron Lake. The story gets you involved with the characters without giving too much back story to be boring in. The one downside to this story is the ending - although interesting it did not quite come up to the same standard as the rest of the book - but then that could just be down to the fact I didn't want the suspense to end.

        This book isn't humorous nor emotional it's a thriller and does exactly what it should do - keeps you on the edge of your seat and keeps you turning those pages.

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      • Wuthering Heights [2009] (DVD) / DVD / 18 Readings / 16 Ratings
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        01.11.2009 20:26
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        A cut above the average when it comes to period dramas.

        This is the ITV adaptation of the classic novel by Emily Bronte. This is 15 rated and has a running time of three hours although it's more like two and a half hours. This contains a little strong language and some mild sexual references/scenes. There is some violence but the main reason this attracts the higher certificate is due to the menace and disturbing nature of the story.

        This story is set in the early 19th century on the Yorkshire Moors. It centres around two houses - Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange - and the families that live there. Heathcliff (Tom Hardy) is a Gypsy orphan adopted by the Earnshaw family of Wuthering Heights. As well as the parents also at Wuthering Heights live their two children Hindley (Burn Gorman) and Cathy (Charlotte Riley) and the maid/nanny Nelly (Sarah Lancashire). The family resident in Thrushcross Grange are the Lintons: Edgar (Andrew Lincoln) and his sister Isabella (Rosalind Halstead). This story does show the Earnshaw family in their younger days to give some background but mainly focuses on their adult lives. The story is very complex and I don't wish to give too much away by relaying it but is essentially a story of love and rivalry and the poisonous and destructive affect of Heathcliff on those around him.

        The acting in this is excellent. Tom Hardy is quickly cutting himself out a path as very accomplished young British actor after his starring roles in Star Trek Nemesis, Manson, Martina Coles' The Take and now this. He conveys the deranged, evil protagonist unnervingly well. The beautiful Charlotte Riley (also of The Take) plays the stark contrast to this and she delivers the performance of the innocent, love-struck young girl wonderfully - she is a breath of fresh air. Even watching Sarah Lancashire I found it hard to believe she once had a regular role in the atrocity that is Coronation Street.

        I have never read the book and would never consider reading it nor would I have watched this if it were not for my girlfriend. I must also say that I do not usually like period dramas or love stories. Taking all this into account I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with this and how much I enjoyed it. Considering there wasn't much action in this there was just something that kept me intrigued and made me want to watch this - I wanted to see Heathcliff's downfall and find out if Cathy would live happily ever after. The best way I can summarise this is like Pride and Prejudice with a bad-ass Mr Darcy.

        For those who have read the book I think you will be pleased with how well this is acted and for those who haven't read it I would recommend this adaptation of the classic story.

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      • Rocknrolla (DVD) / DVD / 18 Readings / 16 Ratings
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        15.10.2009 21:24
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        Not bad, but only worth watching if you like these sorts of films.

        This is a London based gangster action film from Guy Ritchie. This is 110 minutes long and is 15 rated: it contains strong language, violence, sexual references and scenes of drug abuse.

        This starts off focusing on Lenny Cole (Tom Wilkinson) and his right hand man Archy (Mark Strong). Lenny is an old time gangster boss who is very rich and very powerful and one of the people he has in his pocket is the Councillor (Jimi Mistry) who helps him sort out planning issues. Lenny makes most of his money through bent property deals and, for the cool sum of seven million, is currently sorting out planning for Russian billionaire Yuri Omovich (Karel Roden). Omovich's character is very much based upon Roman Abramovich - highlighted by the fact that the planning is needed for a new football stadium.

        Also hoping to make some money from bent property deals with Lenny are One Two (Gerard Butler) and Mumbles (Idris Elba): two small-time, hard nosed crooks. They are screwed over by Lenny and end up owing him money. In order to get this money they take a job from Stella (Thandie Newton): an "acquaintance" of One Two and the bent account of Omovich. The job is easy they get their money and pay off Lenny. Stella then gives them the same job again except this time the security is much tighter and it all goes wrong. On the second job the two friends are joined by their other brother Handsome Bob (Tom Hardy).

        Whilst all this is happening Omovich's lucky painting - which he lent to Lenny as a sign of good faith - gets stolen by the Rock n Rolla (and junkie) Johnny Quid (Toby Kebbell). This plot of Lenny trying to recover the painting is the second major storyline.

        Also throughout the film there is mention of a supergrass who has got most of the main characters banged up at some point. Near the end of the film we find out who this supergrass is - giving a nice twist.

        The acting in this is good and everybody does what they're supposed to well. Of particular mention are Butler, Hardy and Elba: they make the characters very likeable and have a believable chemistry between them: they endear themselves to you as the viewer. It's also nice to see Tom Hardy playing a light-hearted role - showing off his very versatility as an actor. Plaudits are due to Kebbell - who I have never before seen - but plays this crazed junkie rather convincingly.

        This film is very watchable - if you like this sort of thing - but doesn't illuminate the skies. It is essentially a second rate Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. It has all the same elements: the big gang boss, the lovable rogues, the real bad guys, various different plots all coming together, the gritty action and an unexpected twist. What this film really lacks is the humour - all the characters are there and it is evident from the script that they are trying - but it is just not that witty. And without the humour this Guy Ritchie film loses its edge. Part of the reason I found this disappointing is that since Lock, Stock... I compare every film of this sort to it and none of them measure up. In fact I would say you will enjoy this film more if you haven't seen Lock, Stock... A That said, this is definite step up from Revolver - thank god.

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          20.09.2009 19:57
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          A great follow up to the first season, even funnier, you must see it.

          This is the second and final series of the crime drama produced for the BBC. It is 15 rated, 8 episodes long and each episode is approximately 53 minutes. It contains some strong language and some offensive references.

          Please also see my review of the first season for a fuller explanation.

          This continues the story from the first season with Sam Tyler still living in 1973 working as DI in the Manchester police department. The format has not changed from the first season: the main characters, actors and the format are the same. Each week Sam and the team - Gene, Annie, Ray and Chris - investigate a different crime ranging from wages robberies to suspected IRA bombings to drugs and murder. Each episode also contains more "twilight zone" goings-on about Sam's actual condition as to whether he is "mad, in a coma, or back in time".

          As this is the final series I am glad they kept the same format because if it isn't broke don't fix it. They have not tried to pack too much in but have instead concentrated on developing the established story and characters. In developing these characters we get to see more emotion and vulnerability especially from those we don't usually see it from: Gene, Ray and Chris. This is a good balance with the light-heartedness of their usual roles. We also get to see the seemingly flawless Sam make mistakes resulting in sometimes series consequences.

          At the end of the first episode there is a crucial little teaser dropped in which gives us a little insight into Sam's situation - this is well placed and helps to keep you interested. At the end of the series we do find out what Sam's hazy visions of running through a forest are about. In the final episode there is a good twist but I was still not entirely sure what had happened to Sam. Some would argue that this ambiguity is good as it leaves you thinking and others would argue not getting a definitive answer after two series is rather frustrating. I was happy with the ending - it left me with a smile.

          One reason it can be argued that this is better than the first series is that I found it to be much funnier. The writing has improved and there are some great one-liners and repartee that had me in stitches. I've included some of these below.


          Chris: Boss? Bloody hell, you look like something out of the Addam's Family.
          Sam: Up all night.
          Chris: Oh aye. What was her name?
          Sam: Migraine.
          Chris: German bird?
          --------------------
          Gene: The rules go like this; you're my officer, you do as I say!
          Sam: I was following my instincts...
          Gene: Well, I should charge your instincts with wasting police time!
          --------------------
          Sam: It's called surveillance.
          Gene: Doesn't sound very manly.
          --------------------
          Chris: What's a vol-au-vent?
          Ray: It's a puff pastry shell filled with a savoury meat mixture.
          Chris: So its a pie then.
          --------------------
          [The show opens with the introduction to Camberwick Green]
          Camberwick Green Narrator: This is a box. A magical box, playing a magical tune. But inside this box, there lies a surprise. Do you know who's in it today? [A toy version of Sam appears] It's Sam Tyler! Hello, Sam.
          [Toy Sam waves]
          Camberwick Green Narrator: How are you today?
          [Toy Sam puts his head in his hands]
          Camberwick Green Narrator: Oh dear. Not very happy. Is it Gene Hunt?
          [Toy Sam nods]
          Camberwick Green Narrator: Is he kicking in a nonce?
          [Toy Sam points - cut to a toy version of Gene Hunt, beating up another toy in a dark alley. Toy Gene and the nonce wave to the camera, then Gene hits the other toy repeatedly with a dustbin lid]
          --------------------
          Sam: I think we need to explore whether this attempted murder was a hate crime.
          Gene: What as opposed to one of those I-really-really-like-you sort of murders?

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          • The Cube / TV Programme / 22 Readings / 22 Ratings
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            12.09.2009 21:31
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            A contemporary and different game show that is entertaining enough.

            This is the new Saturday night ITV game show presented by Phillip Schofield and is an hour long.

            In this the competitors play to win £250 000: to win this they have to complete 7 challenges. The prize fund increase incrementally from £1000 - £2000 - £10 000 - £20 000 - £50 000 - £100 000 - £250 000. In this the competitor does not compete against anybody else each game is played solo: they simply have to complete the game. Each competitor starts with 9 lives and every time they fail an attempt at a game they lose a life. They also start with a Simplifier: this can be played at any time and will make the current game easier in some way. After a game is completed the player wins the amount of money they were playing for. The competitor is allowed one trial run at a game before they attempt it. As soon as the competitor agrees to play a game they must complete it before losing all their lives otherwise they lose all the money they have won to that point.

            The games in this all look simple - examples include - catching a ball, bouncing a ball into a target, throwing a ball onto a target platform, stepping over hurdles blindfolded, walking in a straight line blindfolded, reacting within half a second and counting the number of coloured squares on the floor within 10 seconds. This is not an extensive list just examples. Although these games may look easy, nothing is easy in the Cube. We were watching this with some friends and decided to try the walking in a straight line with our eyes shut it took me 7 attempts, my friends did it in 4 and 2 tries: my girlfriend did it first time. If you do watch and think they're easy then try them yourselves; it's good fun to play as well. The simplicity of the games is perhaps the biggest draw of this show because you can recreate them.

            There are a couple of the other features that help carry this show along. Phillip Schofield is a good choice of presenter as he is a seasoned pro and very personable with it - he keeps things light hearted, putting the contestants at ease - which brings out the best for the TV when they have the little chats between games. Also unique to this game show are the freeze frames and 360 camera spins used - like something out of the Matrix. This helps add to the contemporary feel of this show and adds suspense to an otherwise quick-fire show.

            The main downside to this is the lack of actual game play. There is the usual chatter between host and contestant which happens between every game. In addition - being an ITV show - there are ad breaks as well so there is a lot of down time in total. Also before the contestant plays each game we are given a demonstration on how it should be done perfectly by a lady dressed in white and wearing a silver mask called "the body". This is utterly bizarre and a bit pointless as Phil's explanations are perfectly clear without her.

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            • Phone Booth (DVD) / DVD / 19 Readings / 17 Ratings
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              08.09.2009 22:14
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              Worth seeing

              This is a 15 rated thriller an hour and a quarter in length. There is some bad language, sexual references and some violence.

              This film starts with a short build up to give some background of Stu Shepard (Colin Farrell) and then the remainder is in the phone booth. After calling his "mistress" Pamela McFadden (Katie Holmes) from the phone booth the phone rings and Stu answers (because a ringing phone has to be answered). The caller is anonymous (Keifer Sutherland) who we learn nothing about other than that he is an expert marksman and has a sniper rifle trained on the phone booth. The caller keeps Stu there to force him to confess his wrongs to his wife (Radha Mitchell) and the rest of the world. The only other main character in this is the lead detective on the scene trying to negotiate with Stu - Captain Ed Ramey (Forest Whitaker).

              The concept of this film is very original (with the exception of Liberty Stands Still - released in the same year). There is not much action nor is there much of a storyline: considering this is entirely focused on one man's life it does not explore his story in very much depth. Even taking all this into account, for some reason the film does keep you hooked in wanting to know what will happen next. I've watched this twice now and enjoyed it both times - it helps that this film is fairly short - it does keep you in suspense but no so long that you will get bored. There are no real twists but the ending is not necessarily what you expect. When the film was over I did feel as though there should have been something more.

              The acting in this is good - not excellent - but good. Colin Farrell gives a very convincing performance as the flash, arrogant publicity agent but also in the vulnerability he reveals later. Katie Holmes does what she does best playing a pretty and adorable but naïve young woman. Forest Whitaker is fine - his acting abilities aren't really stretched as Ramey - there isn't much emotion in the role. Now, Keifer: we don't see him through this film we just hear his voice and he does a good job of playing this unhinged tormentor. However there is one thing detracts from his performance: that is if you are a 24 fan. Every time Keifer opened his mouth all I could hear was "the following takes place between..." I find it hard to take Keifer as anything other than Jack Bauer. He is so iconic the boundry between Keifer and Jack is very blurred they are almost the same person.

              This film is not award winning, clearly any thriller that has a tag line of "A ringing phone has to be answered" is not going to be a rollercoaster ride of excitement. That said it will keep you entertained for an hour and a quarter.

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                06.09.2009 20:58
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                A must see police drama with a twist.

                "My name is Sam Tyler. I had an accident, and I woke up in 1973. Am I mad, in a coma, or back in time? Whatever's happened, it's like I've landed on a different planet. Now, maybe if I can work out the reason, I can get home."

                This is a 15 rated TV series that was made for BBC1. The series is 8 episodes long and each episode runs for approximately 53 minutes a total run time of approximately 7 hours. It is 15 rated due to violent nature of some of the crimes and the odd sex scene however there is very little actual violence or strong language and I would say is fairly inoffensive. The series is co-created by Tony Jordan who has also had a big hand in a number of other BBC productions such as Hustle, Eastenders and police dramas Holby Blue and City Central.

                My opening quote is from the opening credits of the show and give an accurate summary of it. DCI Sam Tyler gets run over in 2003 and loses consciousness. When he wakes up he is in the same place, having had a car crash but is instead in 1973 - his car has changed as have his clothes - it is like he has been there all along. He goes to the police station where all the coppers believe he is the new DI transferred from Hyde.

                The other main characters in this are the other police officers: DCI Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister), WPC Annie Cartwright (Liz White), DC Chris Skelton (Marshall Lancaster), DS Ray Carling (Dean Andrews).

                This show is essentially a cop show that each week investigates a different crime and is more about the action than the detective work. This cop show is given an edge by two different themes. One is that Sam does not know what is happening and he has to explore this. This includes hearing slightly ethereal voices from the future and meeting the younger versions of people he knew in 2003: it has a slightly Twilight Zone feel about it.

                The second thing which really sets this apart is the comedy. The comedy is derived from the contrast of ultra-politically correct Sam trying to apply his modern policing methods in a very "old school" policing environment typified by Gene Hunt. Gene is an archetypal, alpha male who believes he is Sherriff of the manor and does not strictly adhere to the letter of law but rather makes his own rules.

                The acting in this show is top draw. John Sim's interaction with Philip Glenister is excellent: accurately portraying Sam's abhorrence for Gene's arrogance and methods whilst at the same time holding him in high esteem. Glenister's performance as Sherriff is well accompanied by Andrews playing his deputy and Stooge who is even more ignorant and mis-guided than his boss - you won't help but be irritated by him. Lancaster successfully plays the dim-witted young detective trying - like a young pup - to impress Gene by imitating his methods. But at the same time Chris realises the intelligence of Sam's methods and tries - often unsuccessfully - to learn these. He is ridiculed by his peers which helps him to be endeared to viewer. White plays the role of Annie who - as a woman in a chauvinist environment - is put upon by all the men who fail to realise what an intelligent and gifted police office she is. Unsurprisingly, Annie also plays the love interest to Sam. I absolutely adored Annie's character and admire how supportive she is of Sam when he tells her about his predicament.

                This is an excellent show which is a good action packed cop show taken to another level by the comedy and excellent acting of the unique inter-personal relationships.

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                  30.08.2009 23:17
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                  My new favourite - you have to try it

                  This is a 100g bar of chocolate that costs 95p. It is made up of three different parts, in a way it is similar in content to a Mars bar. It has a layer of fluffy caramel milk nougat, with a layer of caramel on top and this is encased in milk chocolate.

                  The chocolate itself does not taste like the normal chocolate produced by Mars or Nestle but more like advent calendar chocolate, it has a cheaper more artificial flavour about it which I love. I am no expert so I cannot describe each of the inner layers separately but what I can say is that they form a wonderfully gooey, very rich, sugary caramel. The balance of chocolate flavour and caramel flavour is just right and you taste both at the same time.

                  The best way to describe this chocolate bar is like millionaires shortbread without the shortbread. It is amazing and equal in quality to Thornton's chocolate except without such a hefty price tag. This is a must for anyone with a sweet tooth but be warned it is amazingly moreish and you will probably eat the whole bar.

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                  • Let The Right One In (DVD) / DVD / 11 Readings / 10 Ratings
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                    30.08.2009 22:33
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                    The only horrific thing about this is that they committed it to film. Do not watch it.

                    This is a 15 rated Swedish horror film that runs for nearly two hours. It contains some graphic scenes of violence, one scene of nudity and some strong language.

                    This is about a 12 year old boy, bullied at school, who befriends a 12 year old vampire girl when she moves in next door. They "fall in love" and she helps him deal with the school bullies.

                    It's not worth listing any of the actors as you are unlikely to know who any of them are but just to say that the acting is decent enough: I'll give the film this much.

                    As regards the actual story it is awful. There is no back story to the characters, there are very few horror scenes, the horror scenes are not scary and the story is utterly pointless and goes nowhere. When I was at school I was taught that a story should have a beginning, a middle and an end: this film has no beginning or end, it's all middle. My opening description of the film seems brief but there is not a lot else to say about it.

                    This film is made in Swedish and - assuming you can't speak Swedish - you can watch this with the original soundtrack and English subtitles or you can switch to an English soundtrack. I hate having to read subtitles during a film but bearing this in mind - if you do have the misfortune of watching this - I would still recommend that you choose the subtitles because the English voice over actors are awful and it is read more like a news report than acting.

                    The reason I watched this DVD was by pure mistake - I was thinking of a completely different film when I hired it - but I thought I would give it a go anyway. This was my first venture into independent European cinema and sadly it just fulfilled the stereotype of being utterly weird.

                    If I could give it no stars I would. This is the worst horror film I've ever seen, in fact one of the worst films of any sort I've ever seen.

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                  • More +
                    30.08.2009 16:27
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                    Don't buy it

                    This is the second album from the Pussycat Dolls: it has 18 tracks with a total play time of 68:34.

                    Here's a quick run down of the tracks:

                    1. When I Grow Up - PCD at their best - up beat, feel good music that makes you want to dance around the room (and raise your leg above your head). (9/10)

                    2. Bottle Pop - features Snoop Dogg. Despite its name this isn't as poppy as I expected: it has more of an electro, dancy, soft crunk sound with Snoop Dogg spitting some sic rhymes. (6/10)

                    3. Watcha Think About That - features Missy Elliott. This song is a medium to quick tempo with a good beat behind it. Without Missy this song would be mediocre but as soon as she opens her mouth its gold - Missy at her best. (7/10)

                    4. I Hate This Part - this is a ballad - I'm not usually a fan of ballad's but PCD pull this off successfully it has some more classical instruments such as a piano and violin but still has a strong beat with it. (6/10)

                    5. Takin Over The World - this fits most easily into the R&B genre, it's mid-tempo and it's not strictly singing it's that sort of singy-rapping style. (5/10)

                    6. Out Of This Club - features R Kelly and ROB. This is one of those slow tacky R&B songs that does nothing for me and is one you could definitely skip. The one redeeming feature of this is that the male rappers drop some lyrical samples from other tunes such as R Kelly's "you ain't gotta go home but you gotta get the hell up out of here" and Fergie's "if you ain't got no money take your broke ass home". (4/10)

                    7. Who's Gonna Love You - a ballad given a slightly quicker tempo very similar to the previous two songs. (4/10)

                    8. Happily Never After - a true ballad not worthy of the Pussycat Dolls. If you heard this on the radio and weren't told you would not even know this was them. You cannot recognise Nicole's usually distinctive vocals and this could be performed by any two-bit girl band. (3/10)

                    9. Magic - the verses are like mid-tempo song you'd hear in an R&B club with quite a heavy beat behind it and some rapping by the girls but then the chorus is completely different: the beat is dropped and it switches to of more a warbling ballad. A bit weird. (4/10)

                    10. Halo - sadly not a patch on the Beyonce song of the same title. This is like a medieval ballad played on a synthesizer. Bland - yawn - skip it. (3/10)

                    11. In Person - this brings the tempo back up and makes you want to clap in a sort of salsa style: I felt a bit like I was in a Bacardi advert. The beat is good but the lyrics are hard to hear behind this - they are not sung but almost shouted a bit - reminded me of a female James Brown. The overall feel of the song was like Beyonce's Work It Out from Austin Powers Goldmember. (6/10)

                    12. Elevator - "We go up and we go down like an Elevator." Alright girls - hardly lyrical genius. A rare moment when Nicole has popped to the toilet and one of the other girls jumps on the mic - don't know which one: Carmit?Melody?Jessica? Mediocre and yet another track gladly skipped. (4/10).

                    13. Hush Hush - their most recently released single from this album - or so I thought. This is the slow album version - this song stays at the same tempo as the intro and does not get sped up into the dancier version released. Pap. (3/10)

                    14. Love The Way You Love Me - we again here from another one of the girls in this mid-tempo ballad. I don't want to skip it but I am getting bored. (4/10)

                    15. Watchamacallit - a slightly funkier song now: the sort of thing you would here played in the club of a Jet Li movie. (5/10)

                    16. I'm Done - a proper ballad: singing over a piano. This title sums up my feelings for this album. (2/10)

                    17. Lights, Camera, Action - pulling it back slightly with this track but sounds like I've accidentally put a Britney Spears song on. Yet another bland, average track. (4/10)

                    18. Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps - they've finished on a high here, in my opinion doing what PCD do best, taking an old favourite and singing it in their burlesque cabaret style - where it all began. (8/10)

                    Although the average of my above scores is 4.8, I would actually give this album an overall score of 3/10 as I would only choose to listen to three of these songs on a regular basis (tracks 1, 3 and 18). This is not a patch on their first album - they have gone for quantity over quality - a big disappointment.

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