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Liddi

Liddi
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Member since: 15.03.2010

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    • Asda Photo Centre / Other Service / 53 Readings / 52 Ratings
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      26.05.2010 13:02
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      A Quality, Quick, Cheap Service

      Asda Photo Centre

      -General-
      Asda Photo Centres are located in store most Asda supermarkets. They have not long been introduced as another way for supermarkets to expand their products and services and diversify in to new markets.

      -What do they offer?-
      In store they offer a variety of different services to cater to to the tastes of its huge market. You can pick up instant 6" by 4" prints on the self service at 24 pence a piece as well as hourly and 24 hour service prints that can be at a a variety of sizes standard to photo printing, these range from 20p to £1.30 for larger prints. The price will depend on the size of the image ordered and also how long you are prepared to wait for it which is common in purchasing photo prints.
      As well as prints they offer a variety of photo gifts such as coasters and mouse mats as well as unusual items like Teddy's with t shirts with your print on. There is a huge choice available and you are guaranteed to find something that takes your fancy. Again all of these products are available on the self serve machines which you then take to the till to process afterwards (a concept I don't quite understand).

      -The Staff-
      From my own experiences the staff truly vary as to how helpful they can be, as with any retailer the service they provide is only as good as the staff they employ. So sometimes you can be served by someone who really knows what they are doing and other times you can be served by someone who just wants to get the order and then be done with it.

      -My Experiences-
      I have used Asda Photo Centre a number of times as it is a hugely convenient service to me. Although online retailers for photo prints and gifts can be cheaper, I would rather pay for the convenience factor at my local Asda. I have purchased a number of prints from here and as I mentioned above you can buy instant prints for 24p a picture here. This is great as you do not have to wait around for your pictures, however this can be expensive if you have many pictures and also time consuming selecting the images on your data drive. The quality of the instant prints is not as great as other prints you can receive online at Snapfish for example, or on the hourly or 24 hourly prints at Asda.

      Recently I went in to my Asda Photo Centre hoping to purchase a T Shirt, A Magic Mug (heat sensitive so when it is hot the picture appears) and a mouse mat, for a teacher's leaving present on behalf of the group. I was told that due to the majority of the photo gifts being produced by a company externally it would take up to 14 working days for me to receive the products (not ideal as we all leave school for the last time very shortly). However having searched around for other companies to produce the same items for me it would take just as long and be twice as expensive. The items listed above came to under £20 at Asda, a bargain for personalised gifts, which was great as I was on a budget. I went in the store to order these items and they also told me that the shirt would be black or white and I could not specify whereas on the online Asda site there was a choice of 6 different colours. I was then told if it came out black I could have a refund but again this added time and having a deadline to meet this made life more difficult again. I also had problems uploading my image on to the mug as the picture needed to be a particular size so I left this purchase as I had little time and the woman who served me had not been very helpful prior to this.

      I returned to the store later that day to try and get guidance on the issue and was served by a lady who fixed the image to fit on the mug and told me that the T Shirt would be guaranteed white as they only get white at this store. So it just goes to show how different staff can effect the quality of your service here. I would recommend that if at first you have problems return later and speak to another member of staff as some can be very willing to help unlike others.

      When purchasing hourly prints here often I have purchased and received my print within 10 minutes and this is cheaper and a much higher quality than the instant prints. I would recommend putting your pictures in before your shop then picking them up on the way out. As you will get higher quality images for a much lower price!

      -Positives-
      Great service with a good member of staff
      Cheap (compared to boots and klick) instant service for prints
      Innovative photo gift range

      -Negatives-
      Poor Service when staff are not willing to help
      Long waiting times on photo gifts as they are externally produced

      -Overall Opinion-
      Overall my opinion of Asda Photo Centre is high as they provide a great service. When the right person is serving you all your photo needs can be met and you can be away with your products in under ten minutes (product depending). However when you have someone who isn't sure and probably isn't in the mood to help you, it's best to return later when a better member of staff is there.

      -Rating-
      4/5 as could be improved if all staff were consistent!

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      • More +
        25.05.2010 22:15
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        Soothing After Sun would definately recommend

        Ambre Solaire After Sun Soother

        I'm one of those people who ever since I've wanted to get a tan (14 years and older) I haven't been able too. So I go and sit out side longing for a tan in my sun cream only to return in several hours later looking like a lobster. So its fair to say that I have tried a fair few after suns in my time.

        This particular aftersun is a personal favourite however mainly because it has a nice smell and is very easy to apply. The lotion has no key odour specified on the packaging but does have a very nice smell in my opinion.

        Applying the cream is simple as I said above, you simply apply the lotion to the area of skin required and it instantly cools the skin. When you've sat out in the sun all day and then had that horrible after sun shower that burns through your skins further this lotion is an amazing cure. It cools your skin down as soon as you put it on and continues to sooth the skin for up to 12 hours after. I would recommend reapplying the cream daily until the sun burnt area feels more comfortable. However as the cream is a very nice smelling lotion it acts as a moisturiser also. Throughout summer I use it all the time partly because I generally always have sun burn but also because it keeps my skin soft when I have been out in the sun and haven't got burnt (the rare occurrence).

        Unlike a lot of other creams this lotion is not sticky or greasy and leaves your skin feeling very soft after use, even long after it is first applied. I highly rate this product because of this as it makes you want to use it more to cool your skin down as it can be done at any time without having to wait for it to dry.

        When I purchased this product I did not purchase it with the huge price tag that can be found in stores such as Boots. I picked it up from the supermarket on a seasonal special (these are often available). Alternative to this location I have also seen this product in Home Bargains where again I have purchased the product at a reduced price. So it has been a great bargain purchase for a great aftersun.

        I would definitely recommend this product for over the summer it is a great investment for your skin!

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      • cokezone.co.uk / Internet Site / 34 Readings / 31 Ratings
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        25.05.2010 18:22
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        An easy to use site but not very rewarding

        Cokezone.co.uk

        Coke Zone is a site where you can turn your purchases of coke in to cash. After a friend had suggested the site to me we began collecting the codes and inputting them online. The site itself is very easy to use and when you get the codes these can be inputted at the top of the screen. You can also text your codes to add them to your account, but having tried this I have found out that this method costs you about 30p a time and will probably vary per network. Charge still counts even if you have free texts packages on your phone.

        As far as the codes go for points it is as follows.

        For each 2 litre bottle of coke you receive 3 points. For each smaller 500ml bottle of coke you receive 2 points. There are no points rewarded for cans of coke.

        All codes can be found on the bottles themselves therefore purchase is necessary to participate in the offer.

        In terms of prizes or rewards for the points and the codes Cokezones current offerings include:

        A VAIO Laptop for only 1800 points (approximately £900 worth of Coke, what a bargain)

        300 points for the PS3 FIFA world cup 2010 game


        In the past this promotion has featured xbox consoles for 600 points and cameras for 400 points. Lower point prizes include branded products such as bags, glasses and hoodies. Much lower point rewards include ringtones, phone wallpapers, and entry in to competitions run by the site. Often there are some new DVDs available to claim however supplies are very limited so you have to make your order fast this isn't a site where you can work your way up to a reward as they are regularly updating them. So from this I conclude that if you want a good reward you will have to drink your weight in Coke daily and pretty much pay for the reward yourself - but in Coke. You can also take part in the monthly surveys that are on the website but for these you only gain a measly 2 points!

        My friend and I who as I mentioned above have been collecting over a year have just under 200 points. Although we don't make the effort to collect the codes we have chosen Coke over the other cola brands for the points, but have yet to reap the rewards from doing so. For collecting and purchasing so much Coke to get any decent reward you need over 400 points so in my opinion the Coke zone reward scheme isn't all its cracked up to be as to be rewarded you really have to live off the stuff.

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        • Glee / TV Programme / 41 Readings / 38 Ratings
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          24.05.2010 14:30
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          Great Series for all ages!

          Glee

          Yes I like many millions of people across the world would probably consider myself a "gleek". Generally I'm not a massive fan of musicals but since glee I have been hooked on all of the tracks featured in the show as well as many other musical gems!

          The Cast
          The Glee cast is complete with the typical American stereotyped high school "geek" crowd and fox ensures each minority is also present for political correctness (like most shows these days are morally obliged to do). Aside from this my opinion of the cast is very high, all of them have incredible voices particularly Lea Michele (Rachel Berry) who carries many of the vocals throughout the show.

          Cast list and brief descriptions:
          Dianna Agron - Quinn Fabray "The typical cheerleader of the school with the "jock" boyfriend, as well as head of the celibacy club. She finds herself in the glee club after feeling threatened by Rachel's advances on Quinn, later in the series when she discovers she is carrying a child ruining her high school reputation she feels more at home in the glee club"
          Chris Colfer - Kurt Hummel " Stereotypical Gay character but a very lovable character who discovers himself and opens up to his father (Burt Hummel - Mike O' Malley) throughout the series"
          Jessalyn Gilsig - Terri Schuester "Mr Schuester's (Matthew Morrison) other half"
          Jane Lynch - Sue Sylvester "Gym Teacher and head of the 'cheerios'. When Glee Club returns by Will Schuester's intervention the budget for her cheerios is under threat, because of this a strong competitive rivalry is formed between the pair which often leaves one or the other in a compromising position"
          Jayma Mays - Emma Pillsbury "OCD Freak school councilor, who may have a small soft spot for Will Schuester..."
          Kevin McHale - Artie Abrams "A founding member of the glee club Artie may be bound by his wheelchair but he sure can sing and dance.."
          Lea Michele - Rachel Berry "The world revolves around her at least she thinks it does, at the heart of glee club Rachel wants to be the lead of every song and the centre stage. Her character initially sparks sympathy from the audience but the storyline's make you take a second opinion of her."
          Cory Monteith - Finn Hudson "Typical jock dating head cheerleader scenario, Finn takes the lead male role in glee club after being blackmailed to join the club to make the club 'cool'"
          Matthew Morrison - Will Schuester "Spanish Teacher at McKinley High, who takes over the glee club"
          Amber Riley - Mercedes Jones "Stereotypical character again Mercedes takes on all of the powerful soul music, she joined the glee club to because she felt like an outcast due to her above size zero weight"
          Mark Salling - Noah "Puck" Puckerman "A leader of the jocks, typical tough guy character who can sing (good co-incidence) and joins glee club to get the attention of the cheerios and other women"
          Jenna Ushkowitz - Tina Cohen-Chang "Tina joined glee club because of her stutter which made her different, but later we discover this was just a front."
          Naya Rivera - Santana Lopez "Top cheerio, girlfriend of Puck and Finn and has been with most of the guys at McKinley High you get the impression"
          Heather Morris - Brittany "Another Cheerleader Sue has employed to spy on the glee club"
          Dijon Talton - Matt Rutherford "Another Jock/Glee Club member"
          Iqbal Theba - Principal Figgins
          Harry Shum Jr. - Mike Chang "Another Jock/Glee Club member"
          Jonathan Groff - Jesse St. James "Ex-vocal adrenaline lead Jesse moves to McKinley to follow his love for New Directions lead Rachel Berry"
          Patrick Gallagher - Ken Tanaka "Football coach"
          Romy Rosemont - Carole Hudson "Finn's Mum"
          Mike O'Malley - Burt Hummel "Kurt's Dad"
          Kristin Chenoweth - April Rhodes "Will Schuester's old school friend who used to be part of her show choir back in the day"

          Other Cast Include:
          Kent Avenido - Howard Bamboo
          Josh Sussman - Jacob Ben Israel
          Stephen Tobolowsky - Sandy Ryerson
          Max Adler - Dave Karofsky
          James Earl - Azimio
          Idina Menzel - Shelby Corcoran
          Jennifer Aspen - Kendra Giardi
          Bill A. Jones - Rod Remington
          Lauren Potter - Becky Jackson
          Rachael Markarian - Cheerio
          Hayley Holmes - Liz Schneider
          Eve - Grace Hitchens

          (Help from IMDB)

          Brief Synopsis:
          Without giving too much away the plot is lead by stories of essentially make ups and break ups. With in the Road to Sections the lead storyline being that of Quinn's baby and Terri Schuester's fake pregnancy. The Road to the Nationals which is currently being played on screen in the UK features storylines which aid the development of some of the smaller characters in the first section. With Kurt and Finn's parents becoming intimate Kurt faces problems on a personal level as his dad chooses Finn over him to take to the game. Whilst in the glee club Rachel is facing more boy trouble even now she bagged Finn. The other characters each have their own which you will have to watch Glee to fine out about!! Although some of the storyline's are relative to the audience the characters are very stereotypical but this only adds to the American Fox TV shows we all know and love.

          The Music:
          The Glee cast have amazing vocals and featured in many episodes are well known singers such as Olivia Newton John. The show also stars two members of the Broadway cast of Wicked "Kristin Chenoweth" and "Idina Menzel" and is almost guaranteed to feature more and more famous faces as the series continues. The cast have released 4 albums:

          - Glee Volume 1
          - Glee Volume 2
          - Glee Volume 3 Musical Showstoppers
          - Glee The Power of Madonna

          All of which are available in store and online for approximately £10 with except to the Madonna album which is generally around £5 as it features fewer songs. These albums feature the chart topping "Don't Stop Believing" (Vol.1), "Defying Grafity" (Vol.1), "Imagine" (Vol.2), "Like a Prayer" (Power of Madonna) and "Hello Goodbye" (Vol.3). In my opinion all of the above and those on these cover albums all do the songs full justice and are great records in their own rights.

          My Opinion:
          I love Glee as it is a great show with an incredibly talented cast. Every week there are new songs and musical gems that bring back all of the great music from the past decades. Although many people hate Glee, I think a general consensus would review it as great. If you would admit to liking High School Musical then you will love glee if you a fan of any music and like a good American series.

          Price:
          The first volume of Glee can be picked up for between £15 and £20 on the high street and online. The new series of Glee - The Road to Regionals is going to be available later on this year date TBC. I think it is completely worth the cash as with 13 episodes and special extras you can't really say no!

          Showing on E4 every Monday night at 9pm (GMT) and again on E4 +1 at 10pm (GMT) it is also on every Friday night on Channel 4 at 9pm (GMT) on Friday and again on Channel 4 +1 at 10pm (GMT)

          I would recommend this to anyone and everyone I hope you have enjoyed my review!

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          • FIFA 10 (DS) / Nintendo DS Game / 39 Readings / 38 Ratings
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            20.05.2010 15:46
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            OK game but not worth the price tag

            Fifa Street 2 (DS)

            Why I got this game?
            After playing the playstation versions of the game when I was younger I thought I would chance the game on DS as I managed to pick up a relatively cheap copy online during the sales.

            My Opinion
            The game is really simple to use and the difficulty levels allow you to play games which are not too easy but not too challenging depending on how good you are at playing it. I do enjoy this game as you can just pick it up and play a couple of matches whenever you like. The only main disadvantages are that it is quite repetitive so can become boring if you play it a lot as it is primarily the same thing over and over. Also compared the other versions of the game the graphics are hugely different. The DS graphics in comparison to xbox360 HD are well virtually incomparable. It is fair to say that this game graphically is very poor.

            Game Play
            The game follows a simple layout the same as all of the previous editions of the game.

            -Kick off-
            This allows you to select any team from a large selection of teams across the world in all of the leagues respectively. Each team is made up of the original squad up to date at the time of producing. On this selection mode you can have a free play game that is 90 "mini" minutes (you can select time scales and other options on this mode).

            -Game Modes-

            o Be a Pro o
            Here you create a player or use an existing player and try to achieve the targets set on the game you play both for club and country and have to perform well to be picked for either squad. This is a new feature on DS but has been availiable on other consoles for some time I believe.

            o Tournament o
            Here you can play tournaments against other teams in order to win cups. You can also play tournaments within manager mode as you are automatically entered in to them in the season.

            o Manager Mode o
            This is the classic FIFA game essentially in this mode it is your job to manager a team; transfer players, play matches and virtually anything managers do in a season. You get objectives for five seasons and have to aim to achieve these in order to improve your reputation. It can be fun and challenging at times but the graphics of the game and the game play as a whole are no where near the quality that you can experience on other consoles and this is what lets the game down heavily.

            o Penalty Shootout o
            In this mode you select a team and practice your penalty taking and saving skills against another team. This can be fun for a bit but is more fun at the end of a match like the FA Final for example.

            -My FIFA 10-
            This enables you to alter your settings such as difficulty mode game times etc. Here you can also create your own player and also view the unlockable extras on the game.

            -Multiplayer-
            This enables you to connect via wireless connection with single or multi-card play.

            -Training-
            This section of the game allows you to practice areas of the game that you may struggle on here you can select as player in a position and work on set pieces and different areas of play. If you select training within the manager mode you can increase the skills of your players.

            Price
            The game itself is priced highly as a top rated DS game (Around £25), however it is very expensive for its capabilities and would recommend purchasing it at the lowest price available. It can be found on some online retailers for £15 new. In stores it will generally be a higher price however pre-owned games will also be cheaper of course.

            Rating
            Overall I think the game is pretty average. The graphics of the game let it down hugely as the other versions of this game for example Xbox and Playstation have a great deal better graphics and are priced very similar. I do not think the high price tag for this game can be justified on this console as the graphics are by no means good and I think that DS can do better than this. The modes on this game have improved from FIFA's last attempts on DS but they still don't quite meet the mark. I would recommend the game if it was on sale at a reduced price as it may be a justified purchase then. However I would recommend FIFA Street over this game as it's much more entertaining and i'd probably even say it has better graphics!!

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          • More +
            20.05.2010 10:36
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            Brilliant game for DS

            Fifa Street 2 (DS)

            Why I got this game?
            After playing the Playstation 2 version of the game, that I really enjoyed I decided to pick up a portable version of the game.

            My Opinion
            The game follows the same layout as the playstation version as commented on in the game play below. I really enjoyed the gameplay as it is really easy to use and follows the same controls as most football games. What I particularly likely was the touch joystick that the game incorporated. This made it very easy to use and perform the skill trick moves as well as more fun to play. As it made use of this feature of the game which other football games do not.

            Game Play
            The gameplay of this game is really very simple. The start up screen tells you to press start like msot games do this then leads you to four options.

            -Game On-
            This allows you to select a national team (i.e. England, France, Italy) from a large selection of teams across the world. Each team is made up of 4 players as all teams are on the game. On this selection mode you can have a free play game that is first to 5 goals.

            -Rule the Street-
            This is the challenge mode on this mode you have to compete with different teams at different venues across the world. At each venue there is the option for a kickabout where you play matches to win skill bills (points needed for the other sections) and to gain reputation for your team. By gaining skill points you can then go on player challenge. There is a player challenge in every venue this is where 5 players are listed and you must pay a number of skill bills to play the team and if you win then you get the player. The other option at each venue is the tournament this also costs skill bills. By entering this you can gain large amounts of skill bills and reputation points and also progress in the game on winning the cup.

            On rule the street mode you must create a player to join your team he will play in every match that you have and cannot be traded for another player. His skill level will start at 0 and using skill bills 250 a time you can increase his skills in a number of areas throughout the game. The ability of the players in your team overall will effect their rating and their ability to play in some tournaments also as there is a minimum rating for these which gets higher as you progress through the game, naturally.

            -My Street-
            On this mode you can create more players or edit your existing players, here you can also edit any of the game settings as well as view the control options in the game.

            -Multiplayer-
            This enables you to connect via wireless connection with single or multi-card play.

            Rating
            Overall I think it's a brilliant DS game because it is a unique football game that provides you with simple and challenging achievements. As well as taking advantage of all of the DS capabilities. It allows even the none football fans to get involved in the games as familar names of players are included and as each playing has their own ranking you are able to judge their abilities through this without knowing the in depths of them as a player. The ability to create your own player enhances the game hugely as even though the graphics are not brilliant you can create your own player and unlock clothing and accessories throughout the challenge mode. Overall I would give this game 5/5.

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          • General / Discussion / 28 Readings / 26 Ratings
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            17.05.2010 15:07
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            All about Me

            Me

            1)How old are you?
            I'm 18 but don't look it remotely :) I think that even though my ID proves it most people would think it's a joke :(

            2) Colour of my eyes?
            Blueee

            3) How tall are you?
            Not very approximately 5ft 4 but I don't really knooow

            4) Hair colour?
            Blonde but not as light a blonde as I once was except in summer.

            5) Any brothers or sisters?
            One brother; 15 and at the very annoying I'm not going to flush the toilet or clean up after myself, I'm just going to make every room I enter smell stage.

            6) Do you prefer cats or dogs?
            Neither really but dogs over cats anyday! Cats just sit around making silly noises haha.

            7)What job do you do?
            I'm a student hoping to go off to uni in September :) LEEEEDS

            8) Do you like your job?
            It is not really a job but is very boring at the minute the holidays are good :) Student Life should definitely improve in September!!!

            9) Favourite dessert?
            Rhubarb Crumble (home-made of course) With my not so secret Be-Ro recipe :)

            10) Food that I loathe?
            Nuts and beans (not together but yuk yuk yuk)

            11) Sweet or Savoury?
            I do have rather a sweet tooth but I'm not a chocoholic or anything.

            12) The last 2 films I have watched
            Jennifer's Body and Alice In Wonderland I only wish Tim Burton had included some songs from the original Alice In Wonderland!

            13) Song I can't get out of my head?
            Glee Cast - Borderline/Open Your Heart I think I am just obsessed with Glee to be honest, my last.fm is just glee glee glee I probably should be ashamed of myself haha.

            14) Favourite Programme?
            Family Guy; what a brilliant show :)

            15) Next Holiday
            Hopefully somewhere nice in summer!

            16) Favourite Country?
            Egypt was amazing :)

            17) Favourite beach holiday?
            Egypt probably but we weren't allowed on much of the beach sadly.

            18) Favourite hobby?
            Cooking I guess. If only I could be more like Heston.

            19) The last thing that made me laugh?
            Come dine with me haha how sad!

            20) Favourite cocktail?
            WooWoo as I'm still a bit of an amateur with drinks I have yet to explore the full range!

            Random information about me complete.

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            • Jennifer's Body (DVD) / DVD / 25 Readings / 23 Ratings
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              17.05.2010 14:32
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              Good film scares and laughs!

              Jennifer's Body DVD (NO SPOILERS)

              Having wanted to see this film for a while I decided to rent it to see if it lived up to my expectations. This film was drawn to my attention after seeing a trailer in the cinema and seeing that it was produced by the same people who made Juno (Diablo Cody) and also had a good soundtrack behind it!

              The cast for the film included two well known actresses: Amanda Seyfried and Megan Fox. As well as well known OC actor Adam Brody. Amanda Seyfried plays Needy a character that has a lot more depth to what you first realise in the opening of the film contrasting hugely to her previous roles in Mamma Mia and Mean Girls! Megan Fox plays Jennifer, the "IT" girl in a stereotypical American high school the kind of character you would expect Megan Fox to play well. Adam Brody plays Nikolai the lead singer of a band whose popularity grows throughout the film again another contrast to his previous roles.

              The film is classified as a horror although it is not particularly scary but is very jumpy at times.

              -Summary-

              The film tells the story of how Needy has ended up in the mental asylum that she begins the film in. Although some areas of the film do seem far from reality what films these days do not have this. The storyline focuses on Needy and Jennifer and their relationship with the school population after their town experiences a devastating tragedy. Although there are many American stereotypes in the film I still think it is a must see. The soundtrack to the film is great and was one of the reasons that I did want to pick up the film and this certainly did not disappoint.

              -My opinion-

              I thought the film was one of the best horror movies I have seen in a while. I enjoyed it particularly as it was not as predictable as they generally are these days and it was also funny at times which brought it back to real life a bit. Although there were clichés running through it such as; the times where its dark and someone's out side but I'm in a horror movie so I'm going to leave my phone on the side and not turn on the lights. This can be forgiven as I suppose they just have to be. The storyline was very gripping and even though I had previously seen the trailers for the movie I still couldn't predict what was to happen. It was also a good laugh in parts!

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              • More +
                17.05.2010 10:54
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                A service you cannot rely on.

                National Express East Coast

                As a student yet to take my driving test national rail is one of my main forms of transport and I regularly have to rely on this service to get me from A to B. Although at times the staff and service they have provided has been of the standard I would expect time after time recently they have failed to deliver.

                - Enquiry service-
                My experience of the enquiry services have been very poor as only a hand full of staff are helpful and other try to send you off on your way with your paying the highest available fare and going the longest possible route. The online service is probably the easiest method of enquiring as you can see for yourself the prices and truly find out the best way to go.
                When enquiring over the phone they use an automated service that increasingly frustrating particularly when you just want to know the train times from somewhere and it is telling you an entirely different destination as it is voice recognition.
                When enquiring at the station kiosks this can sometimes be useful and other times not. When I had accidently purchased a ticket for a destination further on that what I intended to travel that day I spoke to the conductor on board who told me I could get a refund for that section at my destination stop. On arrival at my destination I explained my problem at the kiosk who told me that if I wanted to do this it would involve me paying a £10 service charge and the amount I was refunding was £3 (not a lot I know but it all adds up on train fares) so I would end up owing them money. He then informed me that the only way I could get the refund was if I went back to where I purchased the ticket within half an hour (an impossible task as the journey was 30 minutes). Other staff at these services have been very helpful for example at Grantham station many of the staff in the kiosks are very happy to help get the cheapest available tickets for you. However this service is not consistent across the country it seems.

                -My Experiences of the train service-
                As mentioned above I regularly use trains to get around to where I need to go. Every time I travel I make sure to allow plenty of time to purchase my ticket and board the train however sometimes this is not always possible. A number of times I have had to run for a train and depending on who is manning the train will depend on whether the outcome will leave you watching the train doors shut a metre in front of you and having to make alternative arrangements or whether you actually get to board the train. Recently I made a trip to London. I had bought my tickets in advance and picked them up before the day of the intended journey the outgoing journey went as planned and there was no delay in the service. However the return journey left a lot to be desired. We arrived with half an hour to spare before the train left in order to find the platform in London and also to get seated. However on arrival at the station we found all trains were cancelled and delayed due to a broken down train. We appreciated the time lag of information getting to the station but when asking at the kiosks we were given no information regarding the services. We were then forced to wait with over 6 of the larger trains passengers (in excess of 500 people approximately) at this platform. Our original departure time was around 19.30 and our journey time around an hour and a half so we were due to be back for half 9 at the latest. However we did not board the train until around 9 and did not get back until 1 due to a massive diversion that the train had to take. Understanding the difficulties they may have faced the customer service offered was incredibly poor as many other passengers were ignored by the customer services manager on the platform. We were offered nothing for our inconvenience either which I felt was very poor particularly as so many people were involved in the incident and as the service was a main line. They have NO CONTINGENCY PLANS AT ALL!!!
                Had this been an isolated negative incident I had experienced I may be more willing to rate the service positively however it is not. On many occasions I have gone to the station and experienced major delays and as a result have had to change my plans.
                Also as I regularly travel on a line which involves a change I find it very poor how sometimes you can wait for up to 50 minutes in between trains and others only 5 minutes. This is also very annoying if you have only the option to take a long wait particularly in winter when its freezing and there is no heating in the waiting rooms!!!

                -Reliability of the train service-
                As mentioned above the reliability of these trains is very poor if you are going to catch a train I recommend you have the website on favourites if you have phone internet browsing. Or the service number on speed dial but as that works on voice recognition the train will have long left by the time you have input the correct destination on that thing.

                -The Fares-
                As a rule of thumb train prices are extortionate which prices rising every time you use the trains. I can only assume that the money we pay goes on making "necessary improvements" which causes all of the delays in the services! I would highly recommend that if you have to regularly make journeys using the national rail purchase a railcard as the cost of this is often paid off in a single fare. It is also highly advisable that you book your tickets in advance when possible as this can reduce the price hugely!

                -Overall-
                National Rail should really only be used if you really cannot get from A to B via any other means. It is a service that we should be able to rely on but unfortunately 9 out of 10 times you cannot. The best means of enquiring about anything to do with national rail would be online as on here they are consistent across the site what the rules are for their services.

                Hope this review was helpful! Thanks for reading!

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                • More +
                  05.05.2010 14:49
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                  Fast Cheap Food

                  McDonalds

                  McDonalds is one of those place you really do either love or hate. Until recently I had not been to McDonalds since I was younger (when everyone was having their birthday parties there) since then I have been a number of times for quick lunches or the odd McFlurry. The following review reflects my experience of McDonalds and my opinions of the organisation.

                  -The Company-
                  McDonalds the organisation as we know it are a huge global firm who have restaurants in every continent and pretty much everywhere we go! As a firm they are highly respected as a global organisation.

                  -The Place-
                  The restaurants themselves are all very much clones of each other with the exception of some factors that alter depending on the location; such as alcohol in the French restaurants. Since my last visits the layout of the restaurants has changed. Where the prime focus in the nineties McDonalds was the children they seem to have opened up their target market to a wider range of customers. This is also reflected in the way they have introduced the Breakfast Menu for the "Business men and women" market. The layout of the restaurant is very basic and colourful to meet all tastes at once without being over the top. The fact that all of the restaurants are very similar enhances the brand that we all know and love.

                  -Price-
                  The one thing you really cannot complain about at McDonalds is the price. I mean what other restaurant or cafe can you think of where you can get a meal quickly for under a fiver. (Dessert included!!) The prices are very reasonable and are very much a USP of the organisation.

                  -Products-
                  The McDonalds product range gets larger and larger on every visit. On trying to appeal to a large range of customers they have introduced salads and wraps as well as the traditional burgers and fries. The products have all seen recent improvements in nutritional values through the action against that was taken against McDonalds in order to force them to improve the quality of their food for the customers. However they are still loaded with large amounts of Saturated Fats.
                  The taste of the food at McDonalds is unique but is very tasty. They do however leave you feeling a bit bloated and "stodgy" after the meal however.

                  -Service-
                  The staff that work at McDonalds are not great in assisting or working with customers but from what I have gathered customers are aware of this and expect nothing more.

                  -Summary and Rating-
                  Overall I would rate McDonalds 3/5 as they provide a basic service and restaurant environment whilst catering for a wide audience with cheap products to answer to our cravings.

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                  • hotmail.com / Internet Site / 19 Readings / 17 Ratings
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                    05.05.2010 14:14
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                    Great Site!

                    Hotmail is a great way to set up an e-mail account for anything!

                    I have used hotmail for over seven years and have never had any problems with it yet. As a student I have used it to transport my work and send e-mails to my friends below are a list of the advantages and disadvantages I feel the website has.

                    Advantages:
                    - Simple user interface anyone can use this I have been using the site from a young age for the features it offers and I know my grandparents also have accounts.
                    - Great news page; on signing out of hotmail MSN appears giving you the latest news on demand.
                    - Quick Set Up - I have used the site to create personal e-mail addresses, e-mail addresses for my Young Enterprise Company as well as e-mail addresses to keep in touch with my family. Because of the quick and easy set up you can create an account and send an e-mail within minutes.
                    - Organising folders - This is made very simple through the managing folders features just a click away. This enables the user to organise their mail in to folders i.e. shopping, family, work etc.

                    Disadvantages
                    - Attachment files limit - In the unlikely event that you want to send a large document over e-mail this is not possible as hotmail has a limit of 10mb. Meaning you cannot send large picture or video files unless you purchase a premium account.

                    Features that the Windows Live Hotmail account enables you to do:
                    - MSN Messenger; This feature allows you to Instant Message (IM) your friends and family.
                    - Xbox Live; In order to activate your xbox live account you need to have a Windows Live Account enabled.
                    - Calendar; You can add events to your own calendar on your account.
                    - MSN Space/ Profile; You can personalise and create your own account where you can post blogs and images for public or private viewing.

                    In summary I think Hotmail is great as it provides a free way to e-mail friends and family and the range of features that it has on top of that make it even better and even more worthwhile having one!

                    I would reccommend this site for anyone!

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                    • Pot Noodle / Other Food / 13 Readings / 10 Ratings
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                      05.05.2010 13:57
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                      Good quick snack!

                      Pot Noodle, The student's best friend.

                      Simply pour boiling water in to the pot to the line "its not rocket science" and you have your "healthy" snack.

                      -Nutritional Information-

                      Nutritionally Pot Noodles are not on any dieter's menu but in fairness over the past years with health and safety going crazy and every food jumping on the Jamie Oliver band wagon, they are a lot healthier than they once used to be. Typically across the pot noodle range they have around 380 Calories so in comparison to a sandwich or toast and beans or any similar fast snack they are not an unhealthy option.

                      -Price-

                      Typically across the supermarkets they are priced at around 70p - 80p. Often they are priced at 4 for £2 on promotional offers in some stores.

                      -Taste-

                      As a pot noodle lover I have tried many in the range and below are my opinions of each respectively:

                      All pot noodles contain soya meat and are therefore suitable for vegetarians.

                      - Beef and Tomato
                      Very tomato-y and not really a lot else. Would not reccommend personally however its unusual taste is highly reccomended and was brought back due to popular demand.

                      - Chow Mein
                      An old favourite. I used to love this flavour. It doesn't taste like a traditional chinese chow mein as you would get from a takeaway. But is very tasty. It has a really nice sauce and contains peas and some other vegetables. With the added option of additional soy sauce. However since they have brought in a new taste with new ingredients it has become very peppery and is not as nice as it once was :(

                      - Chicken and Mushroom
                      Brilliant flavour. Simple soya chicken, mushroom and sweetcorn. Great taste with the option of additional soy sauce. Definate Recommend!!

                      - Doner Kebab
                      Not for the faint hearted. VERY VERY SPICEY for my poor taste buds. Would reccomend to the spice lovers but otherwise stay far away!!!

                      - Curry
                      Nice flavour. Curry powder with soya meat. Quite taste doesn't really have the wow factor though.

                      - Sweet and Sour
                      Great taste. If you like chinese shop sweet and sour and have a sweet tooth in savouries this is for you. It is very sweet and you do have to be in the right mood for it in my opinion. It is very nice but can become sickly towards the end of the pot!

                      I would reccommend pot noodles to anyone who has a lot of revision and wants a quick snack whilst working (although it can stain revision notes and leave them smelling of pot noodle if split - this has been proven). Pot Noodles are also a really cheap option "cheaper than a sarnie" so are great for low budgets. I wouldn't reccommend daily consumption however they should be savoured for lazy or busy or pocket empty times.

                      Hope this review is helpful to you all!

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                      • Valentine's Day (DVD) / DVD / 30 Readings / 29 Ratings
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                        05.04.2010 11:25
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                        A definate must see!

                        Valentine's Day (DVD)

                        I'm not usually a fan of rom-coms but I saw this advertised on TV and thought it actually looked quite good. Its star studded cast suggests the kind of movie it was (very cheesy!) but this film knew it was cheesy. I mean it is called Valentine's Day.

                        Without giving away any spoilers; the film was about what different people get up to on Valentine's Day what different couples and singles are doing. Somewhat similar to the British award winner Love Actually (but obviously never as good).

                        The film knew it was cheesy and cliché but it played on it and was a very enjoyable film to watch. It was funny and sad and shocking and every emotion just like good romcoms are I am told. As I said before I'm not generally thrilled by this genre of film and usually prefer comedies which lack the cheese but I did think it was a really good watch.

                        I thought that it would be quite predictable at times, which it was but at others it really wasn't and throws you off course which is the twist in the film that really makes it!

                        There is rumored to be a spin off sequel to this film called New Year's Eve which could be good, they have set themselves high standards to beat though!

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                          05.04.2010 11:20
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                          Good film, could have been better

                          I went the cinema the other week to watch this film after seeing the trailers and hearing about it for months I was really looking forward to seeing it.

                          Without explaining the whole story with spoilers in a nutshell; the film tells the story of what happens to Alice on returning to Wonderland years after her first trip there.

                          At the beginning of the film you are introduced to a very Jane Austen arrangement which then leads to on to Wonderland approximately half an hour in.

                          The generally impression I got of the film was very disappointing. My initial ideas of the film knowing Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter were in it and it being directed by Tim Burton suggested it would be a very upbeat almost musical film. But it wasn't much like this at all. There were no songs.

                          However the film did have good graphics and Tim Burton's weird and wonderful approach to it which was great as usual. However as his interpretations of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Sweeney Todd with Depp and Carter were incredible this film did seem to like the "something" that those two films did. Must have been the songs...

                          I would recommend this film still as the story was still entertaining however I did extremely overestimate this film.

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                            05.04.2010 11:12
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                            Would reccommend

                            Vera Wang: Rock Princess

                            -The Bottle-
                            The bottle of this perfume caught my eye immediately from the display and after spotting it I immediately wanted to try it.
                            The bottle is a pretty heart shaped design which fits ergonomically in to the hand not only pleasing the eye but also is easy to spray and use. Unlike large bottles of weird and wonderful shapes and designs. The bottle of the perfume also includes a ring on the top between the top (crown) and the bottle there is a silver diamante ring which is an added bonus!

                            -The Scent-
                            The smell of the perfume is sweet but very unique, unlike the other princess ranges this smell is of a much more subtle nature.


                            -The Price-
                            The product is quite expensive due to the Vera Wang Label that it carries. As the product is Limited Edition it is difficult to buy as a single unit currently but is still available in gift packs in some places. I would recommend boots as you can get the perfume bottle 30ml 2 lip-gloss and a body cream of the same scent for £45 which is a great deal for this product!

                            -Opinion-
                            I would definitely recommend this product. I think the target market would be primarily younger women because of the sweetness of the scent. The shape of the bottle and its look also appeals to this age range. Only negative is the price of the product but this is due to the designer brand attached.

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