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The Honda CBR 600 F Sport is quick off the mark, hitting 0 - 60 in just 3.1 seconds but with speed like this you are lucky enough to also get a graceful, reliable machine that is yet to let me down! Slightly quicker 0 - 60 than the CBR 600F but with a lower top end speed, though, in this country, your chances of reaching top end and not getting arrested and losing your license is pretty minimal!
The brakes have two nissin callipers on the front and a single nissin calliper on the rear that improve stopping power greatly. Sintered brake pads are a must for this bike and need to be in top condition to get full benefit.
Handling: The bike is easy to control and flatters your ability as a rider! Its generally easy to manage with a pillion providing you aren't giving a lift to your one mate with ants in his pants! Basically, you put this bike where you want it and away it goes! Bike for anyone...beginner or otherwise...but size can make it difficult for anyone less than 5'5".
Drawbacks: Sadly...there have to be some! Nothing is perfect, no matter how close the CBR 600 F Sport gets to being so. Shortly after being produced, Honda brought out the RR which is undoubtedly a more sporty bike. The rear shock absorber on the F Sport is a little soft (in my experience) and while this makes for a comfortable ride it can be somewhat 'mushy' on the corners.
The bike is pretty reasonably priced in comparison to others of it's type. If buying an older bike though, it may be wise to look for one that hasn't been altered too much. But if you are going to make alterations, a viper titanium can improves both appearance and engine sound.... basically it just sounds that much nicer!
When my partner and myself first tried the KInect Sports game we got instantly addicted to the track and field game! We played two player...laughed a lot at the playback and then played again and again and.....ached from head to toe the next day! We hadn't even realised we were exercising it was that much fun! Since we have bothered friends in to joining us and playing and some of these now own a Kinect themselves! Which is the best possible advert really!
The boxing part of the game is also massive fun, as well as the volleyball. Personally I got quite bored with the teable tennis as I didnt think it was quite as involving as the other games but my partner has played this game through xbox Live and absolutely loves it. We haven't noticed any kind of lag with this game like we did with Kinect adventures and it follows your movements really well. The menu screen is really simple and easy to use also.
The graphics are good and the soundtrack is lots of fun! The games require you to be the controller and you can't cheat and take it easy as you can with some of the otehr similar models out there.
In short...Kinect Sports is in a league of its own and is really worth playing! If only to beat your partner in the boxing ring or race your best mate in track and field and then laugh hysterical at the playback footage!
Fitness evolved is a game, its an exercise dvd........and it is great fun! The game is able to scan and track over 1 million points on your body meaning full player involvement in the game. It allows you to set and follow a personalised training programme aimed at working on your personal targets.
The gameplay is great. There is no lag and you are in complete control, able to watch yourself as you play. The fitness side of the game has a wide range of activities, however, you are required to start each one at a beginner level which isn't great for someone who already has a good fitness level. In addition to this, for certain routines you have to follow a tutorial for each new move which can be really quite boringand time consuming but you only have to do the tutorial the once.
The menu's are a little bit confusing and I have not yet figured out how to do a repeat of your body scan to chack for progress and the instruction manual isn't very helpful on that front.
With all this in mind, though, the game itself is brilliant. It tracks the calories burned and there is a huge range of games to choose from. Break a sweat...fantastic routine! Great workout and a total killer! The hula hoop games is great enteratinment and excellent to play with a group (especially following a few glasses of wine!).
When I was looking to replace my Nokia N95 all I wanted was a phone that was reasonably small, had a minimum of a 5mp camera and had BUTTONS....BUTTONS....BUTTONS!!! It became an almost impossible task! All I wanted was a phone that would allow me to text without the use of touch screen! And then I found my iddy biddy x10 mini pro! THere is a certain amount of touch screen required for the menu but I can text and make calls using the fabulous QWERTY keypad instead.
However, I must admit the touch screen isn't quite as horrendous as I thought it would be though I have never used it to send a text. As touch screen goes, it's pretty responsiveand easy to use I just dislike touch screen in general so being able to find a decent phone other than a blackberry with buttons was a huge bonus.
The slide out QWERTY keypad is great...the buttons aren't too small or too close together (and I have quite big hands!) so it is very easy to type with. The buttons are easy to press and, as with the touch screen, quick to respond.
On the downside....it does have the occassional tendency to crash on me every now and again but as long as I turn it off completely once in a while it is fine. The camera is decent. As expected, pictures in daylight or outdoors are much better than those with the flash but the flash works well and I have been able to take darker and indoor shots using it.
You can also get Apps for this phone. The selection isn't as varied as the Apps available for the iphone but there are a lot of free apps available.
In short, this phone does exactly what I could ever want from a phone. From the 2GB memory card and the 5mp camera to the very cute and easy to use QWERTY keyboard. Great phone.
Myself and my partner had ummmed and aaahhed about purchasing a Wii for some time, tossing the pros and cons back and forth for some time and I, personally, saw very little fitness benefit to the Wii (it is so easy to use a quick flick of the wrist instead of really putting any effort in to it.......let's face it you could play it lying down if you really wanted to!) So, when we saw the advertisement for the Kinect we were most intrigued! But, the cost, put us off just a little bit. Almost £130 for the Kinect and each game putting you back another £35 and that is if you already have an xbox to connect it to. But....then Christmas arrived and we were given a Kinect.
Now that we have it I wouldn't think twice about spending the money to go and get one! Kinect adventures came free with the Kinect controller but at first we seemed to have a bit of a delay on that game and we got a bit bored quite quickly. We then bought Kinect Sports and Kinect Fitness Evolved. Both games have an excellent response with no delay at all.
In order to play games using the Kinect you have to BE the controller. You can't cheat, use small movements or sit down while playing. You really have to put the effort in. If the game says run....you run! Knees up as fast as you can or you wont go anywhere. This instantly gives the game a fitness benefit. In addition ot this, the controller also records you during playtime and the playbacks are great entertainment!
The only downside to the Kinect is that you do need a decent bit of space....I'd say at least 6 to 8 feet from the controller to the play space. As well as that, in some games, furniture can be picked up by the Kinect which can also be a potential problem. Other than that....keep the dog out the way (poor timing on the part of our little pup almost ended him with a very sore tail indeed!)....and have fun!
Oh where to begin?! Well, we began, curled up on the couch, lights out and a pre-pared cushion ready on my chest for emergency moments when I might need to hide behind it and we ended....on different couches (boredom made us wander about a bit), laughing at the rdiculousness of it all and wondering, really, how much money the deluded family from the 'true' story were making for having allowed this creation. (I was even wondering how hard it would be to concoct a similar story of haunting myself! Seems like a handy money spinner if you ask me!)
The film follows a family has it struggles with a son suffering from the final stages of cancer and move into a house closer to the hospital that used to be a funeral home (creepy! Who would do it, really?!) Then strange things start happening to the ill son. As his visions/ nightmares/ sightings grow worse and things begin to move around in the house the help of a friendly priest is called upon. I won't spoil the whole movie for you but, as I am sure you can predict, everything works out alright in the end.
With regards to the movie itself; the acting is pretty shoddy. The woman playing the mother (whose name escapes me) is pouty, moany and completely lacks any emotion whatsoever. The son is better and pretty convincing, however. The effects are okay and there are some quite jumpy moments but after a while it gets far too predictable, a bit boring and sometimes a little ridiculous. Of course the boy is communicating with someone beyond the grave, would we expect it any other way. In truth, the jumpy side to the story is in fact very similar to that of Sixth Sense; but without as interesting a storyline or as talented actors.
I dont think I'd recommend this to a friend without warning that it is not quite the horror fest it claims to be!
Eight Below is a non-animated Disney Film, loosely based on a true story of a pack of Siberian Husky sled dogs in Antarctica. Starring Paul Walker and Jason Biggs, there are a few moments of human humour and romance as expected from the wonderful world of Disney but the main stars of this movie are, in fact, the dogs.
The film is very well shot with some breathtaking scenery and some excellent recordings of canine interactions and behaviour. Now, as someone with a great interest in animal behaviour there were certain aspects of this film that I found incredibly interesting. The skill of the animal handlers was evident; these are some excellently trained dogs. But as well as that, the film takes a very tender look into the world of a pack animal and how they interact with one another. Dominance, protection, brotherly love is all evident.
Once the humans have left the dogs to their own devices there is a lot less talking in the film but this simply adds to the impact of that which is happening on the screen. IN the same way the Wall:e catches your imagination without uttering a single word, these dogs instantly grab your attention and urge you to cheer for them, encourage them on their journey and hope desperately for their survival.
The bulk of the film follows the pack as they survive without the humans to care for them. We see the youngest, 'omega' dog of the pack grow and develop until he is accepted as the 'alpha'; meanwhile Paul Walker is searching desperately for a way to rescue his dogs. The true story isn't quite as bittersweet and in that case only two dogs survived; though they did become very famous thereafter!
This movie is a lovely want to watch, particularly if you have any interest in the Siberian Husky.
Dan in real life follows widower Dan (Steve Carrell) and his three daughters as they go on a traditional family weekend; involving Dans parents, siblings etc etc. The typical teenage daughter versus clueless father battle ensues and Dan leaves the overwhelming bosom of his family for a breath of fresh air where he meets an intersting, exotic woman in the form of Maria. In the typical form of romantic comedy, Dan has of course fallen madly for Naria within the space of an afternoon and one lengthy conversation. As lovely as this is it seems to set the movie off the an irritatingly predictable start as you foresee that problems are most certainly about to arrive.
And so Maria turns out to be the new girlfriend of none other than Dans brother. Various mildly humourous events follow this revelation but, dissapointingly the majority of these are simply cringeworthy and fail to edge into the realm of funny.
This being said, the film is a nice, easy watch with a pleasant and hopeful storyline with a happy ending and all the great warm fuzzy feelings that you would expect. If you want this and nothing more (Girls night in movie while the wine and conversation is flowing freely perhaps) then Dan in real life is a nice choice. Don't hunt it down if you are looking for belly laughs or even frequent chuckles.
An easy watch for an easy night in but dont expect ore than this.
Now, as a total self-confessed CSI geek (I own all boxsets and need to get started on collecting CSI NY before I go into withdrawal) I must admit to being quite excited when my other half relocated his spare (yes...spare!) xbox to our bedroom and went out and bought Deadly Intent for my entertainment. Now, I do not confess to being a massive xbox die-hard but on bringing home my brand new game I became an overnight convert. All of a sudden I understood how the other half could start his day off on the couch and end it there also, dishes in the sink, etc etc; while I toiled away at work. I understood how easy it would be to sit down at the xbox and suddenyl look at the time only to find you'd been sat there for going on four or five hours!! I was a convert and remain so!
Now, as a CSI fan I found this game a lot of fun. The different levels mean that it is possible to keep playing, however, once you know where to look there doesn't seem much point in revisiting a case. Developing your skill level, cunningness, thoroughness etc etc is definitely a part of the game that is aimed more at the serious gamer than just a CSI addict who wants to solve the puzzle.
The handling can occassionally be a little clumsy, though this really didn't bother me. I did have one glitch in Case 4: Extinguished where the hint was asking me to interrogate a suspect about a piece of evidence that didn't yet exist as far as I was concerned. But, once I restarted and replayed the evidence was there and I was able to continue the case. Other than that, I have had hours of fun on this game and only wish they put more cases on each game; five is, quite simply, just not enough!
Catch and release is a lovely, easy watch romantic comedy. At the beginning of the film we meet Gray on her wedding day, however, instead of marrying the man she loves, Gray must bury him after a fatal accident on his stag weekend. The film then follows Gray as she comes to terms with the loss of her loved one and how she learns so much more about him in death that she ever knew in his life.
The film shows us how Gray struggles to pick up the pieces of her life. We watch as she struggles to arrange her fiance's assets in the absence of a will. We watch as she struggles financially and how she tries to find her own path as she steps forward alone.
I wouldn't want to spoil the story for anyone but the twist at the beginning of the story does make you want to see more. We also see as Gray learns about her dead fiance through the eyes of his best friend, womanizing, cameraman, Fritz. Fritz's character is portrayed as arrogant and sometimes cold but we learn about Fritz at the same pace and in the same way as Gray, finding the different parts of him. At the beginning you may hate Fritz but after a while you learn to like his character much more.
The film as an element of bittersweet comedy and a selection of simple, but interesting storylines. We follow the path of grief as it tears through a fiance, three best friends and a mother. We find that it is impossible to know someone fully until you learn about all of their different parts.
This film is defintely an easy watch, easy to follow and enjoyable piece of entertainment. The characters and their situations are portrayed well through both the script and the skill of the actors/ actresses. Tjis is definitely a feel good flick and definitely worth watching.
When it comes to an opinion on Pets At Home I must admit to being quite torn! I have always loved animals and I have always had pets so I have visited quite a few different pet shops. Most recently we bought two rabbits from a Pets at home in Teeside. The staff at the shop were very helpful, giving advice and warning that my two chosen rabbits may not be friends once they mature. They advised me on the hutch, the food and the care that my new pets would require (I didn't have the heart to tell the very keen shop assistant that i have owned rabbits since I was 8 years old.)
Pets at Home is, simply put, a supermarket for animal supplies. With this in mind it can be perhaps understood that you will not have the same experience in a Pets at Home superstore as you would in the village pet shop where the owner's car purrs at your feet and a large colourful parrot greets you with a squawky hello as you walk through the door! But then would you expect a trip to Tesco to be as enjoyable and fulfilling as a trip to the small treasure trove, nik naks boutique that gives the impression of walking into Aladdin's cave as you walk through the door? Probably not.
Pets at home is great for supplies and certain products are excellent value for money, however, there are products that are clearly over priced but that we will buy from them on the basis of convenience. Hutches and runs are very good value for money and of a decent quality so if you are looking for anything along those lines, make sure that you give pets at home a try as you will probably find them alot cheaper! For example, the hutch that I bought for two rabbits is about 6 foot long, great quality and very spacious...in Pets at home this cost me £90. For a similar price in a smaller pet shop I could only get a hutch that would barely be big enough to house a guinea pig, never mind two full size bunnies.
With regards to the care of the animals sold by pets at home...sadly this varies widely from shop to shop. The branch at teeside Park in the North East was clean, the staff were knowledgable and the animals appeared to be well cared for. However, I have heard of branches where the animals were not looked after well, enclosures were dirty and any animals that were not considered 'perfect' were kept in a back room. Please note that this is hearsay and not something that I have seen myself. With the Teeside Park branch in mind I can honestly say that this is not the case as the smallest of my two rabbits as half of his ear missing, an unfortunate birth defect, and there he was, out in the open for all to see!
Again we have to consider the huge scale of Pets at home and perhaps accept that the people employed will not always be as knowledgable as we would like them to be.
For me, Pets at home really does deserve a thumbs up, especially for value for money and pet supplies. If you are planning to buy an animal from them then look carefully at the conditions, talk to the staff and consider the state of care yourself.
In a final note I would like to applaud Pets at home on their adoption centre. This is an area at the back of most branches which houses unwanted, older pets and gives them a chance at finding a new, loving home.
Isn't it depressing how much we enjoy slating other people, their clothes and their choices? Four Weddings is a show dedicated to just this level of amoral banter. And I love it! I have become slightly addicted to it quite quickly and love trying to figure out who will be the nastiest, who will win and who will wear the most ridiculous frock!
Four Weddings is usually shown on Living but I am pretty sure than C4 is pickking up in the hype and showing some of the older series. It basically follows four brides through their wedding day who are battling it out for a luxury honeymoon. All brides think that their wedding is the best. ALL brides expect to win. Basically each bride has to invite the other three brides to their wedding. They then rate each other's wedding on food, dress, venue and overall experience. The one with the highest average score at the end wins!
It is a very simple show designed for those of us who are looking for a bit of pointless entertainment. For me, I do genuinely like to see what different ideas people have for weddings. But I must admit, it is rather sad how much we enjoy slating other people. It is a guilty pleasure of so many of us and, as far as I am concerned, if these people are willing to put their weddings up for that much ridicule then, in a way, they are asking for it!
Fun to watch if you are looking for a bit of mindless entertainment.
My sister's keeper is a film based on a Jodi Picoult book that focuses on the highly contraversial idea of a genetically modified, so to speak, baby. It follows a family who make the difficult decision of having another child who will be a perfect match for their second child, a young girl who has been diagnosed with Leukemia. While I understand that any family in this situation does have the most difficult decision and most heartbreaking time before them, through watching this film it began to appear as if the youngest child was simply a field ready for harvest. The story discusses the many operations and procedures that the youngest daughter, Anna, must undergo in order to save her big sister, Kate. But at the beginning of the film there wasvery little focus on the difficult decision made by two parents. The film made the decision appear to be as simple as choosing which bread to buy!
I have never been able to read Jodi Picoult's books as I do genuinely find them too depressing and this may simply be the realism and blunt approach of her writing. There are so many things happening in the world that we do not see as we should and I feel that this film brought forward one particular topic that is so delicate and difficult to understand that it verges on being impossible to digest.
I can not fault the performances in the film, of anyone, and I particularly feel that Cameron Diaz gives an excellent performance. However, I do think that the film portray's Diaz' character as cold and heartless. This is an unfair portrayal of a mother dealing with the most difficult emotion a mother can deal with....the imminent loss of a child. I strongly believe that all mother's out there would do anything at all to save their child and this can sometimes make them blind to their own actions and the effect on others.
We see how these difficult times almost tear this family apart. We see the break down of the relagtionship between husband and wife. We see a son who becomes invisible in his own family as all focus is moved to the sick child. We see the youngest child as she fights for the rights to her own body.
I can honestly say that the film is very well done, however, I think that there should have been more focus on the parents in the story and the emotions that they will be dealing with. I think more effort could have been put into understanding their situation, instead we found ourselves angry with them for their actions and resenting their treatment of their two healthy children.
As a subject, I think this one in particular is very hard hitting and shows us the dangers of scientific achievement where the unborn can be engineered to provide a 'stock' of organ and tissue. However, the purpose of the review is not the topic itself but the film and I apologise for getting sidetracked! :o)
As previously mentioned, the film is very well done and the portrayal of the different characters by the actors/ actresses is flawless. The film has elements of humour, family values and love as well as all the pain and sadness that could be expected with such a difficult topic. We see a rare maturity in the three children as they strive to hold their family together.
This is a very sad film, without a doubt, but definitely worth watching. However, if you do decide it is worth a watch, try to distance yourself from the topic and look into the emotions that the parents are dealing with. Try to accept their actions even if it is difficult to understand. If you can do this, then you will appreciate the underlying stories of the film far more and you will not spend your time resenting their actions.
I hadn't even heard of the Mentalist, and had most certainly missed all the hype, but happened to stumble across it on Warner On Demand and loved it from the very first episode.
Not only is the storyline incredibly intriguing but Simon Baker (Patrick Jane) is most definitely what you could call easy on the eye. :o)
The Mentalist follows Patrick Jane after his rather unique skills are taken on by a Criminal Bureau of Investigation to help them solve difficult cases. Patrick Jane uses his knowledge of human behaviour and body language to identify suspects, methods and the missing link in the case. he approaches cases in a simple yet knowledgable manner and , in a way, his attitude and mannerisms reminded me of Hugh Laurie's character, Gregory House from the fantastic US medical drama House.
Patrick Jane is not only intelligent and intuitive but he is always rahter funny! Little snippets of sarcasm, a dry comment here or there. By no means worthy of a big belly laugh but definitately deserves a chuckle here and there. His relationship with his superior, Lisbon, is also a very interesting will-they-won't-they aspect to the story.
The other characters in the show are equally as interesting. Lisbon, the female boss, hard as nails but seems to have a soft spot for the eccentric scientist. Cho, cold as ice, man of few words. Van Pelt, the new girl, still naive, still unsure of how to take Patrick Jane, his abilities and his ideals. And then we have Rigsby. So obviously in love with Van Pelt that it becomes a personal mission to see them together! (And for the ladies, Rigsby most certainly buffs up half way through series one.)
If you haven't tried the Mentalist then I would highly recommend it. Especially if you have ever watched and loved House or CSI.
SPOILER INCLUDED! I am a huge fan of CSI and have the genuine geek collection of all series from series one right through to 9. I love the effects, the characters and the hidden stories and series 9 is no exception with only one very small downfall...the lack of Grissom! Now, although it may make me slightly soft, Grisson is by far my all time favourite CSI. His humour is incredibly subtle but if you pick up on it, very witty. He is delightfully odd and scarily intelligent!
This said, I must also point out that Laurence Fishburn is very talented and carries his role very well. His performance can't be knocked in any way and he also has a subtle, intelligent humour that can occassionally make you chuckle. His apporach to his new role as CSI is tender and endearing, almost like watching Bambi try to walk! He makes silly mistakes (the tie in the dead guy being one of my favourites) and can be seen as a very fresh out of the box rookie finding his feet.
Grissom' exit is great for the soft at heart and, you guessed it, he goes back to his beloved Sarah! Though I do still feel that this relationship was not used enough within the show....but that is a completely different story.
CSI Series 9 provides all the great effects and storylines that you would expect from CSI but do be prepared for the change in dynamics after Grissom exits the show. It, quite simply, just isn't the same.