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I must admit I was a bit sceptic about this film before I went to see it. It usually never goes down well when sports superstar tries to start a film career but how I was wrong... SO WRONG! This film is not portentious, it's realistic, it's not grim (like a lot of Loach films) It's heartwarming, it's not mawkish or sentimental, it's just right...and It doesn't use football in a flippant cak handed way, it uses it perfectly to illustrate the cameraderie and euphoric togetherness of the crowd mentality...
Football is everywhere in this film, but you don't have to like football to like the film. It's there in he background looming large but hardly ever directly influences the action. Most crucially, from a football perspective, it's made by and with people who know their stuff. Often in films that include sport there is too much effort to seem like they know what their talking about. References are often poorly staged and forced, or the lifestyle over dramatized and cliched but in Looking For Eric it's just right.
There's a 30 second conversation between a Manchester United fan , and an FC United fan about the merits of supporting each one. Both call the other a sell out. The conversation has no bearing on anything in the film but it's there for people in the know. It's things like that that make this film a real fans film. Pete Boyles even in it! It's about United fans, and for United fans but you don't have to be a fan to enjoy it (trust me the audience in the Cinema was not what I expected to say the least!)
It helps that the leads are excellent. Eric (the postman) and his family (including Gerard Kearns from Shameless) are excellent! Even better are his friends & co-workers who provide the comic relief. Meatballs, the leader of his gang of mates, is hilarious and almost as captivating on screen as the man we'll all go and see this film for.
And that man is fantastic. In his first scene I was a little worried. He mumbles his lines a bit and at first doesn't seem completely at ease but after his 2nd appearance, when he challenges Eric to say 'Non!' to the things he doesn't like in his life, he is excellent. Radiating coolness and wisdom he dominates every scene he is in.
The finale tips slightly into OTT, but at it's heart is the spirit of football...and football fans. I won't ruin it because it's sensibly not in the trailers, and as such makes it a wonderfully stirring moment when it occurs (I was genuinely quite affected by it!)
All in all, this is a film about football fans, that nails it perfectly but at the same time, its not a film about football fans, it's a film about facing your fears and trying to take control of your life with the help from those who love you!
I loved this film. I came out of it with a huge smile on my face!
OOOOOOH AHHHHHHH CANTONAAAAAA!
Let me begin with saying that I am not reviewing the hotel but the water park within the hotel. I have not stayed at the hotel only visited it recently on a day visit for the water park.
Cariba Creek is the centerpiece to the Splash Landings Hotel at Alton Towers. Just like the theme park I imagine it attracts many people especially during the summer months and increase the number of bookings for the hotel itself.
For one adult it costs just £14.00 which is a fair price in comparison to the £38.00 that they charge you to get into the theme park (mind you the theme park has a lot more to offer!) It was something new to the 4 of us who went and we all enjoyed the day but I think we were all let down slightly or maybe we just set our expectations of the place a little too high.
The park only has 3 slides. The Master Blaster, Rush N Rampage and Flash Floods. Alongside the 3 slides are The Lazy River, A Jacuzzi both indoor and out, an actual pool, small childrens pool and the Wacky Waterworks Treehouse which included the infamous Tipping Bucket.
The Master Blaster - 4/5 - A very entertaining slide. The use of water jets to push you and your dinghy at fast speeds around a bendy slide with a big plunge at the end. Great for everyone. You can do it both in singles and doubles. Only downfall with this slide and it's a big one was the queue waiting time. This could easily be solved by introducing more dinghy's. Spent almost 30 minutes in a 30 person queue!
Rush N Rampage - 3/5 - A decent slide. One that you can race against another person but it was nothing spectacular. Good fun and the queue was usually short.
Flash Floods - 2/5 - A series of short slides in which you chose your path but there was only 2 slides you could go on per time and none of them were anything special!
The Lazy River - 2/5 - A few water features to try and boost the experience on a very short river style pool. Poor
The Wacky Waterworks Treehouse - 5/5 - Cracking! I may be almost 18 but even I had a lot of fun on this feature. It is basically a huge climbing frame with lots of water features to wet other people! Lots and lots of fun for everyone. This also included the tipping bucket which is something special! Every so often a huge bucket would be filled with water and tip down the climbing frame onto those below. A great laugh!
If Alton Towers were to add to this water park they need to add a more exciting set of slides. Some steep ones that are at almost every water park around the world. Something on the lines of Summit Plummet (Blizzard Beach Orlando Florida) or the Jumeirah Sceirah (Wild Wadi Dubai)
Another downfall of the water park was it's lack of food and drink options. Basically you had to choose between an overpriced hotdog or and overpriced sandwich (£5.50!). We ended up getting back in the car and driving 15 minutes to the nearest McDonalds!
The park is very family friendly however with lots to entertain both kids and adults. The changing rooms were clean and tidy and easily accessible. Its worth the day out but if you have a choice between this and the theme park. Pay that little extra to go to the theme park!
The RedCafe really is a place for Manchester United supporters to discuss and debate about both football and general issues. An entertaining community who are up for a debate and a general chit chat!
www.redcafe.net is the leading Manchester United forum and you can see why with over 26,000 members. It has that many members that the site is split into two sections. The "Newbies" and the "Mains". New members to site having to spend time in the newbies section until they earn a good reputation.
The RedCafe is full of banter and very interesting topics about football in general but mostly about Manchester United. There are many members who know their knowledge about both the club and football and spark up some very interesting discussions.
The RedCafe isn't just a place to talk it is a place for advice and a place for giving. The RedCafe gives the average fan to possibly get his/her hands on tickets or receive advice from others who are willing to help.
Last but not least the website is a laugh. Fact and figures aside and debatable topics the RedCafe is home to many people who are just there to make others laugh about almost anything. Some of the comments made on the site are legendary. Be warned though some of the comments made are not for the easily offended. You do get the odd person who takes things too far or posts obscenities but they are dealt with by the moderating staff on the website.
If there is one downfall to the RedCafe it is the length of time you may stay in the newbie section. Anyone can join this so you are more than likely to be surrounded by "Half-wits" for most of the time! However if you are a good and sensible poster you will be up there discussing topics with some top people sooner rather than later.
Assassin's Creed. A breath of fresh air to the next gen consoles!
For every console there are so many sports and shooter games for you to choose from it's ridiculous. Assassin's Creed however is something completely different! Once in a while a game like this comes out that may not attract the same sales figures as the ever so popular sport game, but it's a game that you really should try because its something NEW!
The best bit about Assassin's Creed at this moment in time is that it will be dirt cheap! Assassin's Creed II comes out around November so the price of it will be around the £10-£15 region depending on where you look!
The game has an original plot to it. You are a character in the future who is being tested on in laboratory as one of his earliest ancestors (Altair) was one of the worlds most successful assassins. You go back in time and take control of Altair who is assigned assassination missions.
Assassinations aside the game is well known for the "free-running" style gameplay. Whilst visiting some of the most iconic cities in history you have to get about and the most efficient way of doing so is not to walk around the street but above them! Altair has the ability to climb almost anything. This is probably the best bit of the whole game. Probably the most important thing about assassinating your enemy is your getaway route and on this game you have so many options!
One of the big plus points to this game is the graphics. They are simply stunning. Not many games come close to the visual look of this game. I eagerly anticipate the next chapter to this game for this reason!
Like most games this does have faults with it! The missions can seem slightly repetitive and can get rather irritating to say the least! It is almost the same thing over again but a different scenario.
As realistic as the game is poor Altair can't seem to swim and for one of the missions especially it is frustrating. Also the combat parts of the game are a bit poor with Altair being able to take numerous hits with swords, arrows alike.
Possibly the most off putting thing about this game is the fact that there is NO online play. This almost makes the game useless after you have completed the missions but there are a lot of things to find and do apart from the missions!
For those of you looking for something different and something cheap. It is worth a buy or at least a rent for a couple of days!
I have only ever flown with Virgin once and it was to Dubai from Heathrow. A 7 hour flight that flew by LITERALLY!
I have never travelled first or business class so I can't review that for you but for you normal folk I can give you a pretty decent review of Economy Class. I think!
I flew with Virgin about 6 months ago, just after the new year so I don't think their technology and facilities will have changed much? The space you are given isn't quite "British Airways" standard but it is enough for you to feel comfortable for long periods. Baring in mind you are recommended to walk about every so often whilst on long haul flights. Like most long haul flights they provide you with certain accessories to help you enjoy your flight such as headphones, pillows and blankets which is always a bonus because there is nothing worse than a long cold flight during the night! Drinks were free which was great. How I hate paying £1.50 for a puny-sized can of Coke/Pepsi! I must admit I have always had doubts over Plane food as many people do but Virgin actually prepare a decent meal. Full English with a glass of Tropicana! Saying that I did stay clear of the eggs but I'm not a massive lover of eggs anyway!
As far as entertainment goes I have only ever been on one flight that rivals it. With TV's in the back of the headrests and a selection of films that aren't even released in Cinemas yet the flight passed very quickly and thats what you want in a flight. In fact there was that many films and programmes I wanted to watch I actually ran out of flight time! The plane didn't just offer films and television programmes though, they also offer games in which you can compete with other passengers on the flight. I can remember being in the top ten on texas hold'em poker! ha!
The service was of a good quality. Stewardesses were polite and very helpful throughout both flights and I really couldn't fault them.
I do recommend you fly with Virgin if you have the chance it's an experience in itself!
Being a Manchester United supporter and season ticket holder I visited Wembley twice last season. Once for the Carling Cup Final (A good day) and the other was for the F.A. Cup Semi Final (A not so good day).
I'm glad I got to visit it twice because it gave me a chance to change my opinion on it. Not like it actually changed it much! For the many years that us football fans waited in anticipation for the new Wembley Stadium I really don't see what all the fuss is about.
My first experience on Carling Cup Final day! We arrived in London about 2 and half hours to kick off and we spent most of that time in traffic trying to get to the stadium. We took the Club Transport for this trip which meant coaches to right outside the ground! I expected traffic but this was horrendous! The closer we got to the stadium the longer we waited in traffic. The surrounding roads are just god awful! The people who organised the Final were just as bad! The travelling Manchester United supporters had to go to the furthest end of the stadium when surely it would of been much simpler to put the London based team (Tottenham Hotspur) at that end? Because of the delay my experience at Wembley Stadium was not the best one! We didn't have time to walk down Wembley Way or even walk around the stadium it was just straight in! This brings me on to the facilities! How the hell can anyone charge you £7.50 for a Hotdog and a Soft Drink? I also had to trek half way around the stadium for the toilet at half time! How is 4 toilets enough for one half of the stadium? All this aside I was there for the game and the experience of a Final. This too was hindered slightly because of the stupid stewards who made the area we were situated in sit down all match yet the majority of fans in the stadium were able to stand!
My second experience was a much more enjoyable one (Match result aside). The reason for this was because we simply stayed away from the Stadium until practically kick off. We made our own way down via Minibus and joined up with fellow supporters at a local pub. We then walked down Wembley way and into the stadium for the match as Kick-Off neared. As soon as the final whistle was blown we just got the hell out of there and back to the pub to drown our cup sorrows!
The only magnificent part of the Wembley Stadium is it's structure. A truely magnificent piece of art. The outside looks stunning and once at pitch level it is an amazing experience. Will go again for the sake of Manchester United and thats about it.
PASS THE BALL JIMMMMMMAY!!
Jimmy Grimble is a film I have watched over and over again and yet if I were to watch it again right now I would enjoy it just as much. One of the reasons why I have watched it so many times as it was filmed at the school I have attended for the past 6 years! Whenever the oppurtunity arises to watch this film I always oblige!
The film is about a lad who is not the most popular kid in school to say the least. He is a City fan and is constantly being terrorised for it as he attends a school full of Reds! He lives football just like many lads and has some serious potential at the sport the problem is that he bottles it when he's not just having a kick about on the street. He eventually comes across some "Magic Boots" given to him by an elderly woman and he thinks they give him the ability to become a magician with the ball as he guides the school team to his dream cup final at Maine Road!
The film has a sense both a sense of humour and drama. A brilliant mix between the two to keep the film flowing in such an entertaining manner! Some cracking punch lines from the characters that will make anyone from the British public crack a smile!
Some famous names in the cast such as Robert Carlyle and Ben Miller. A cracking British film for all those who can relate to the game of football and what it means to you as a kid! Thick Manchester accents throughout! MANCHESTER NA NA NA!
Twisted Wheel are one of the most promising upcoming bands that British alternative music has to offer. They have a collection of catchy and almost "Sing-a-long" tunes on their debut album. I must admit their music seems to attract the younger generation but for any set of musicians the younger generation is where it's at!
1. Lucy The Castle
2. She's A Weapon
3. We Are Us
4. Oh What Have You Done
6. One Night On The Streets
7. Let Them Have It All
8. Bad Candy
9. You Stole The Sun
10. Bouncing Bomb
11. What's Your Name
Each song is something slightly different. All with an original catchy tune. The album features a variety of songs with both a rocky/alternative beat and then a more mellow acoustic sound.
I listen to Wheel almost everyday in my car. I was introduced to them by my older brother although I had heard them previously but hadn't really gave them much of a chance! Now however you could say I am hooked on Wheel. I download anything new by them and even tracked down a demo CD from eBay to get some of their unreleased tunes!
An absolute privilege to see live especially in front of a local crowd who know their music. I've watched them twice, once at Heaton Park as they supported Oasis alongside Kasabian and The Enemy and once at the Academy in Manchester. The latter being a much more thrilling experience!
As with any band I do have some favourite tracks such as "We Are Us", "Bouncing Bomb" and "Bad Candy." I really recommend you give these a listen and I honestly think in the next few years this band can make it BIG! Similar to that of "The Courteeners". Another gem from Manchester.
I have eagerly been anticipating this game for years. LITERALLY! Fight Night Round 3 was released March 2006 and since then I have been waiting for Round 4 as have many people.
In those 3 years of waiting there is no doubt that the game has had a complete overhaul both graphically and in it's gameplay. It has to be one of the most improved games in recent years to say the least. It is definately more enjoyable than Round 3 without question. The improved gameplay means no more "Button Bashing" in the ring! Now you need to be much wiser and use the analogues to duck and weave to and then swing a devastating punch! The graphics are superb you cannot fault them one bit. You really do feel you are in the ring with Manny Pacquiao and Mike Tyson and when i say "YOU" I mean just that!
As well as the improved graphics and gameplay the developers have brought in a new, more entertaining career mode as well as being able to create yourself in a much more realistic fashion. Using "photo-game face" you are now able to put yourself straight in the game! Whether you want to beat yourself up and knock someone else out is up to you!
The new career mode they have introduced is a much more enthralling experience than that of Round 3. "Legacy Mode" give you the chance to climb the ladder of boxing all the way to the top. You basically start off in the training gym and fight your way to greatness and of course a World Title! Whilst inbetween all the fights you train to become a much more efficient fighter.
You can now also download other fighters to your roster using xboxlive! It's a bit of a shame that the likes of "Floyd Mayweather Jnr" and "Oscar De La Hoya" don't appear to be on the roster but not to worry! Some wizzkid out there using the new photo-game face has already created him along with many other famous fighters and some celebrities too like "Borat" and "Ron Burgandy"!
There are a couple of downfalls to this game however..
The first is the online play! There is a matter of "Glitching" online when fighting other people. Yes you will have to unfortunately come across a person who will glitch against you but none the less it needs to be sorted out via updates. (Basically an opponent can body shot you to victory even if you beat his face off, knock him down twice and feel like you have won every round!)
The second is the repetitiveness of the game. Sometimes you feel your are just constantly doing the same things but the new gameplay softens the blow because each boxer has a different style so you have to adjust your game plan too. Any sport game however is slightly repetitive and its just something you have to deal with.
No trip to Vegas is complete without a visit to the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino!
I visited Las Vegas last year for 10 days whilst tripping round the U.S. with my folks and spent those 10 unforgetable days at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino which was a bit of a surprise to me to say the least!
Now I was only 17 at the time of my visit so obviously I couldn't engage in the activities that "Sin City" is known for but non-the-less I had one of the greatest holiday experiences of my life.
Vegas itself is something special and a MUST visit for anyone who has the oppurtunity.
Our first night at the MGM didn't really go to plan as there was a problem with our booking arrangements but not to worry as it was an unexpected error by the hotels server and so the Hotel offered us a FREE, yes FREE night in the Signature! A much more luxurious branch of the MGM Grand Hotel. With an 8 person jacuzzi, 40" TV, free room service and 2 king-size beds we spent that night like celebrities! A true one-off experience.
The next day we were transfered to our room with little fuss. After the previous night I was expecting a lot less from the hotel room but I was wrong to doubt the standards of such a prestigious hotel. The beds were elegant, the view of the strip was tremendous and the facilities sublime.
We spent a lot of the time out and about in Vegas so really the room was just used as place to crash out.
The amenities in the Hotel were endless! Ranging from the Grand Pool complex to the Wedding Chapel! The hotel has everything. You could truely spend your whole holiday inside the hotel and have a fantastic time. It is no wonder that they attract thousands of people a year!
Like most hotels in Vegas it offers entertainment of the highest quality. No I am not talking about a Karaoke night on Thursdays we are talking about the real deal here! Performances from some of the worlds greatest entertainers such as Cirque Du Solei! There is a reason why the MGM is host to World Title Fights in boxing.
The pool facilities are something else. We only spent 2 days around the pool area but it was enough to entertain you for the day. With 3 or 4 full sized swimming pools, a flowing river in which your ride around on dinghies and a huge Waterfall it is simply stunning.
Whilst on our trip we visited almost every Casino to see what they had to offer and none of them have anything on the MGM Grand. We visited the likes of The Bellagio, Ceasar's Palace and The Mirage and none of them come close to the MGM Grand!
The only negative thing I can come up with is the walking distance around the hotel. It can literally take you 15 minutes to get from your hotel room to the Vegas Strip! It really is that big of a hotel!
"This film is a one of a kind"
Those 8 words really do describe this film. There is nothing else like it out there and if there is there is no way it could possibly as entertaining as "Being John Malkovich" is.
As I was watching this film I must of been sat there thinking to myself every 10 minutes, "This is the strangest film I have ever seen" BUT in a good way. It just kept me watching. Not once did I feel the need to leave the room or pause the film to go do something else. It just kept me watching from start to finish.
The plot has to be one of the most original plots in the past 20 or so years. It would spoil the film if i were to describe the plot to you in depth so in brief the film goes like this:
"A puppeteer discovers a door in his office that allows him to enter the mind and life of John Malkovich for 15 minutes. The puppeteer then tries to turn the portal into a small business with his co-worker"
I think the cast of the film also adds to entertainment of the film. When you think of some of the films that the likes of John Cusack and Cameron Diaz have been in, not to mention John Malkovich himself, it makes you wonder what they are doing in such a bizarre film!
As strange as the film is, it is not confusing. The plot is well thought out and is very comprehendible if you follow the story. It just makes you think after you have watched it "What have I just been watching? But why did I like it so much?"
I do feel however that this film may be one of those that isn't "YOUR" cup of tea if you know what I mean. Some may love it and some may hate it (a bit like Marmite) but you have to at least give this film a chance.
I must say though that it is not one of those films you have to make time for to watch. In other words it won't compete with the blockbusters at the cinema or the newest DVD but it is a MUST WATCH when you get the time.
Call Of Duty: World At War is the latest installment of the Call Of Duty award winning series and has been developed by both Activision and Treyarch. This is a slight change to that of Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare which was developed by both Activision and Infinity Ward. Infinity Ward sitting this installment of the series out to focus on the sequel to Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, "Modern Warfare 2" which is due for release in mid November.
The game is set in the second world war and offers players the chance to get straight into the action. The Campaign mode is split between the American Forces and the Russian Soviets. With numerous missions to accomplish and four difficulty settings the game is a challenging yet rewarding game to play. Call Of Duty: World At War has also introduced other bonus features within the campaign mode. You can now play online in a Co-Operative mode with your friends and the developers have added "Death Cards" to the game which give you the oppurtunity to incorporate cheats into your game to make it more fun or in some cases more difficult.
The majority of people will buy any Call Of Duty game for one reason. The online multiplayer experience. Call Of Duty is well known for its online play. It can entertain you for hours on end. With many game modes ranging from "Team Death Match" to "Search and Destroy" you could easily spend most of your day on your Xbox 360. Playing online isn't just for fun, it is a competitive challenge with points being earned from each to game to eventually cause you to rank up to the next level unlocking new weapons and perks to help you defeat the enemy.
Something new to this installment of the series is the "Nazi Zombie Mode". A game mode in which 1-4 players can team up and basically fight for your lives as waves of zombies come at your round by round to end you. This game mode has been to say the least a HUGE success and it makes me personally wonder if Modern Warfare 2 will suffer if they too do not incorporate a similar game mode.
Call Of Duty: World At War is definitely worth the buy in my honest opinion. There is one set back however about purchasing this game at this moment in time. The game developers have released a lot of downloadable content and if you were to purchase this game it could cost you around another £24 to be up to speed with the latest maps and game modes that the game has to offer.