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My girlfriend and I moved house last November; purely because we live in London and it's very hard to get settled in a place that you like.
When we moved into our new place we noticed that all the windows we're very old sash windows, the type of windows where you can feel a breeze come in at night. We didn't think this would cause to much of a problem, that was until winter reared it's ugly head. With both of us freezing our tails off I decided to try and fix the problem as best I could. I taped up the windows, bought draught excluders and a thousand google searches later we we're still at square one in our freezing room.
I headed down to one of those shops that sells a million different types of products (everything from bins to mobile phone covers).Luckily we have one not too far from our house and It was there I noticed the Lloytron Convector Heater; I think it was about £20 at the time that I bought it. I wasn't expecting much given the price and when I carried it home I was a little concerned as to how light the thing was; I felt like i'd just been sold the cardboard box and nothing more.
How good is it?
Well, to be honest it's a pretty awesome thing to have just to give you a bit more warmth over those winter months. The heater has two settings. One switch turns the heater up to 600watts and the second switch adds another 1200 watts: giving you 1800watts when both switches are turned on. Underneath the switches there's a dial so you can control exactly how much heat you want to come out. It's not a pretty thing to look at, but saying this I wasn't expecting it to look beautiful. The heater itself is seriously light, so If you bought one and had to carry it back it would cause you no problem what-so-ever! And to top it off the price tag of £20-£30 is definitely worth it, especially if it makes winter slightly more bearable.
As with every product you buy there generally is a downside or two. One issue I had was when I tried to attach the base stand onto the heater. The instructions might have well as been in another language for all the use that they did. I had to go online to find an image that showed me how the final thing look....I managed it in the end; after a few screams and resisting the temptation to drop-kick it out of the window....but that would have made a bigger draught.
When the winter months come around you get tempted to leave the heater on more often, and sometimes because you don't get this massive impact of heat you'll forget that it's still on. This can make your electricity bills soar through the roof, and the cheap cost of the heater won't make a shred of difference when the bill comes through the post. It's also not extremely durable, 4months after I bought it I can tell that the heat coming out isn't as strong as it was on the first day I bought it.
I do love this little heater, it's currently keeping me warm as I type this. However for those people looking for an economical product that will list, then I urge you not to buy one of these. I'd only recommend this product to people on a budget that want that little bit of extra warmth now and again.
In July 2009 a brand new 5-piece outfit rose onto the scene of British indie music; bringing with her style of indie rock that was soulful and arrested the senses both musically and visually (with influences such as Bjork,Pj Harvey, The Horrors and Bat For Lashes becoming present on every track). The South-East London born artist took the current music style in 2009 and added her own quirky life experiences of death/beauty and art to create this psychedelic image for her band to build their success upon.
The Cosmic queen and her band "The Machine" released their first album "Lungs" back into 2009 with the singles " Rabbit-heart" and the bands cover of "You Got The Love" topping the UK singles chart. The band instantly rose to success, winning countless awards and being nominated for the prestigious "Mercury Prize" Award.
The first time I heard Florence Welch sing I was roaming around on spottily trying to find some new music to listen to, I came across the bands cover of the "Cold War Kids" song "Hospital Beds" and must have listened to it over and over again that day:if you've never heard this song then i'd say go NOW and listen....it's amazing! Then the band released "Lungs" every single song grabbed me and gave me a shake. The album was a lot to take in at the start; it slapped you with one hand and then cuddled you with the other. With every song creating this illusion of energy and her heart-felt vocals instantly stopping you cold. It was the perfect album to listen to on those summer nights; that was until Radio stations and Tv networks had slowly started to ruin the album by blaring out everyday 24/7.
I wanted to write a specific section about her as a live artist, because I think an album will only take an artist so far, they need to be able to back up their music; otherwise musicians would just be 13year old kids playing with music software in their bedrooms. I was lucky enough to see Florence and the Machine three times in the past 3 years. Aside from festivals and concerts around the UK I even made the effort to travel all the way to valencia with some friends to watch her perform. I can honestly say that was one of the most special and intimate gigs i've ever been too. There was about 100 people in the room, wall to wall bars and the crowd was simply electric all night long, if you've never made that leap and gone to see a concert abroad; i'd definitely say it's something worth trying at least once in your life.
So with the critically acclaimed album "Lungs" Florence had set the bar high for herself and many critics had worried that she may fall into the trap of not being able to follow up with her second album. I also worried that with the amount Radio 1 had played her music over the past two years; she wouldn't have any fans left and everyone would be sick of her by now! Was she just another artist that made an album that had followed a musical trend and once the trend had faded away so would she? So we waited in anticipation and one day there it was; "Ceremonials" on my doorstep. So how did it compare, was it worth the wait?
The album kicks off with the song "Only For a Night". The song draws you in instantly with it's melodic rhythm and beautiful piano sections that surround you. From the start the sound on this album is completely different from that of "Lungs"; It has this eerie dark tone to it with flickers of magical instrumental notes. Florence's vocals are amazing as always sedating your ears and arresting your senses. The song is has a nice pace which is held by the beat and really gives you a chance to take everything in. The atmospheric sound really creates the perfect intro for the album, the contrast of these long deep rhythm sections combined with her soaring vocals really works well; I have a feeling there is going to be some serious competition in the album charts this year!
The song "Shake it out" is more of an upbeat track, it picks you up from the last song with it's catchy rhythm and more drum intense sections. The kind of song you want to listen to on the train first thing in the morning to pick your spirits up. The song introduces us to this organ sound that features a lot more in her later songs. The sound of the church organ and choir-like vocals helps the song build into the chorus and creates a song with quite a big sound. I say choir-like, don't run a mile! You hardly notice because it blends perfectly with the rhythm in the rest of the song; and it also fits well with the lyrically theme of the devil. I seriously love her vocals on this song, it's like every time she belts out the high notes you feel like your sat there going through the experience with her.
At this point in the album you start to notice a theme of one dark song one up beat song; an unusual arrangement of tracks but it does hold your attention quite well. By far one of my most favourite tracks on the album is "What The Water Gave Me". The song starts with this twisting string sound which is fantastic, it's so creepy but creates this amazing and unique sound. Lyrically this song is excellent, after a few listens you'll be singing along everywhere you go; so god damn catchy!! Her vocals ease into the song that allow the organ and bass to build up perfectly into the chorus. The song then picks up tempo and you half expect her to begin belting out the verse, but the song takes a different turn and keeps to the slow paced vocals; which just makes you even more ready for the intense build-up. The song slows down into some guitar palm muting and a really nice melodic xylophone sounds as the beat builds up....bam, there she goes with the brooding chorus that sounds ten times as loud as the first time round; from there on out it's like a hurricane of sound hitting your ears.
The next song " Never Let Me Go" is more personal and heart-felt, the heart-felt vocals really help break the album quite a bit. Musically the beat is simpler with the louder string section providing the perfect platform for her to sing her heart out. This song isn't as soft as i'd like it to be, I feel like i'm really missing the quitter more emotional tracks that "Lungs" gave us. And I can't help but feel like in parts the song is loud vocally just for the sake of it; just because you sing a lyrics loudly doesn't mean it instantly contains more emotion. It's not a bad song, it just sounds to big to listen to on a cd.
"Breaking Down" is somewhat of a marmite track and personally I don't really like it; mainly because the intro rhythm annoys me a little bit. The string and drum sections in the song create this unusual atmosphere; something that worked perfectly in previous songs but just doesn't in this one. This strangeness in the melody makes it really hard for you to enjoy the song, I definitely think this is one of the weaker songs on the album; and feels like a filler track. It's the kind of song that might accompany a David lynch film as the soundtrack.
"Lover to Lover" brings us right back on track and keeps the album going with it's 1950's piano rhythm and soulful sound. Florence's soothing powerful voice enters and reminds us why were listening to her album and not anyone else's. The chorus breaks out into a catchy upbeat rhythm which lyrics that could have been hand-picked from a modern-day church choir; once again reminding us why the album is called "Ceremonials".
With the organ setting the scene for this atmospheric feeling of romance, the trickling xylophone leads up to the chorus for "No Light, No Light', which reminds me slightly of "Blinding" from the previous album. There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the video for this track claiming that it somehow has racist overtones. I can honestly say this is absolute rubbish; even though the video is seriously weird, it makes a statement about good vs evil and black vs white in terms of morality. I think people are clutching at straws to say it's a race thing, anyways I digress. The song has a powerful feel to it, my only issue is this the album is starting to feel more and more like a set of hymns and choir performances than a powerful british indie record.
Finally the song "Seven Devils" brings us right out of our comfort zone with it's evil eerie sound and hounding pianos in the background. The song has this really moody and dramatic feel to it which perfectly clashes with her pure soaring voice. The overall sound is very dark and childlike in melody; similar tones and sounds that you would hear during a horror film. This is definitely my favourite song on the album and really should have been released as the single. It's one of those songs that completely absorbs you and you find yourself zoning in and out during the song. Everything comes together at the end and whole song moves up a notch into this dramatic eclipse of beautiful vocals and intense sound.
The song "Heart-lines" feels a bit out of place on this album, with it's crowd chanting style in the intro and heavy strong drum beat. When the verse comes in the song starts to get better but still remains quite confusing throughout. It's hard to know whats going on with the song; you have moments of atmospheric bliss which are followed by this clapping choir chant and then back into a moody deep style. I like it but I can't work out why.
"Spectrum" is a song for fans from the last album, it has the fast paced tempo of "Drumming Song" with the catchy lyrics of " Rabbit Heart". It has the Dance feel to it, which it nice to hear on an album that becomes a little repetitive at times. I love the lyrics in this song, and the touches of harp strings here and there just top it off.
About this point in the album "All This and Heaven Too" came on and I swear an earlier song had been repeated. I was hoping for something different, something that would give the album that edge. This song didn't do that, it came across like a christmas song; which we have enough of already. It's a nice song, and vocally she does a top notch job as always, but it didn't move me from my seat, it made me want to see what the final track on the album was like.
The final song on album "Leave My Body" was a nice touch and followed suit relating to the album's theme of ceremonies. It felt like the song had taken bits and pieces from every other song on the album and mixed them together into this explosion of powerful sounds. This sound does a great job of rounding the album off and even the musical arrangement creates this sense that the experience she has lead us on has ended.
-------------Some Extra Album Info----------------
Release date: 31-10-2011
Label: Island Records
1. Only For a Night: (4 Stars)
2. Shake It Out: (3 Stars)
3. What The Water Gave Me : (5 Stars)
4. Never Let Me Go: (3 Stars)
5. Breaking Down (3 Stars)
6. Lover To Lover (4 Stars)
7. No light, No light (3 Stars)
8. Seven Devils: (5 Stars)
9. Heartlines (3Stars)
10. Spectrum (4 Stars)
11. All This and Heaven Too (3 Stars)
12. Leave My Body (4Stars)
Itunes (download only): £7.99
On the first listen the album didn't really do much for me, It wasn't bad it just wasn't the"Lungs" album I had previously fallen in love with. Maybe that was the problem I was naively hoping for "Lungs" part II rather than being more open to change with the bands new direction. Lungs came across like it was Florence's chance to get everything off her chest; it was an album of quirky stories and experiences that were quite intimate to her; with this soft magical upbeat atmosphere that came with every track. This album is a lot different and while there are still a few tracks that are upbeat and catchy, the album is more dark, powerful and often romantic. The whole album has this magical eerie tone to it which illustrates her love for terror and doom; it has this though-provoking sense that is more hard-hitting than anything of "Lungs"...musically, not lyrically. The name "Ceremonials" fits perfectly with the songs, but sometimes the Choir-sound and the Loud organs can be a bit too much; I don't think she mixed this album up enough musically and towards the end your attention starts to stray. Every song screams at you like it's to big for the cd, you often feel like you should be in an arena or a concert venue to get the full-throttle of this bands powerful style. Maybe that's my biggest issue with the album, we all know she has an amazing voice and can belt a tune perfectly from a hundred miles away but a softer-slower song can be ten times as powerful and evocative. It's definitely an album that you have to listen to a few times before you love it, but once you start to love it, it'll be hard to put your ipod down.
Generally this is a really good album, it's different from "Lungs" and doesn't follow a musical trend; if you can excuse influences from the likes of "The Horrors" and "Bat for Lashes". I think the album should have possibly been split into two cd's, one with the lighter songs and one with the darker songs, she could have even called the second album "The Dark side". However in saying that this Light/Dark them makes you feel like your battling with good and evil throughout and in the final song you make up your mind which side you choose....this albums definitely makes you think the more you listen too it. The band proved there worth as more than a one-hit wonder and the dent in the face of British music gets deeper by the second.
All in all a fantastic British record than isn't at all a "Lungs" part II, it stands on it's own two feet; and it does it proudly! I'd give this album 4 out of 5 Stars
See you at her summer tour!
Since winter is still hanging around and i have been one of those lucky people to have the flu; i thought a "Vicks Vapour Rub" review was in order.
As soon as the flu hit me, I wrapped up in about 10 layers and headed to the nearest Boots in town. Along with a medley of cold and flu tablets I picked up some Vicks vapour rub, I had never used it before but I knew that footballers and other people had used it to help them breathe better; and at the point I was willing to try anything just to breathe normally at night.
The vicks vapour rub I bought came in 100g small green tub (it's a bit different from the image pictured above) and cost me £ 4.65. Quite pricey but most cold and flu products are rather expensive; especially if you choose the branded products.
So that night I read the instructions and applied a small amount to my chest and neck, I could instantly feel it working and It became easier to breathe within a few minutes. Although it worked great at first, my sinuses became blocked (just as part of having the flu) so no matter how much I applied it didn't really help. I re-read the instruction and found out you could also inhale the product by putting a couple of teaspoons in a bowl of hot water; this method did help but the fumes are so strong them almost knock you for six.
The big issue came when I went to clean the bowl out I had used, the vapour rub was like glue and it became a mini misson just trying to clean the waterproof substance off. I couldn't help but feel it would make a great wall paper paste or it might serve a future purpose of sticking things to walls.
As a product that gives relief to someone suffering with a cold I'd give it 4 stars. But because it's expensive and a nightmare to clean I wouldn't recommend it to other people. You can buy menthol that comes in a power, it's just as effective, cheaper to buy and no hassle at all to clean from a bowl.
Niquitin CQ 14mg patches:
It's that time of year again when people starting making resolutions to loose weight, stop biting their nails and give up smoking. Most people give up by the 2nd of January, but those persistent people among us manage to stick to their resolutions.
Personally, I try not to make any: because i'm useless at keeping them. I've tried to give up smoking so many times it's ridiculous. I once made a new years resolution to quit smoking and then about 30 minutes after midnight, found myself looking for a shop that was open to buy a pack.
I've tried the gum, the sprays , the inhalators and the patches so far. The gum and the inhalators aren't a million miles away from chewing a lump of coal; or what I imagine that would taste like. The closest i've come to quitting has been through the use of the patches.
There are many different brands of nicotine patches out there and there all pretty similar in their effect. Recently I've been using the Niquitin (14mg) patches that I picked up from Boots. The patches are designed as the second step in the Nicquitin programme, the first being a higher does patch (21mg) for heavier smokers (more than 10 a day) and step 3 being the lightest patch (7mg); designed to slowly wined you off cigarettes completely. Since I usually smoke less than 10 a day, I went for the second step.
The patches come in a pack of 7, one for each day of the week and come in a sealed foil packet. You'll need scissors to open one of the foil packets, this is something that does become annoying, especially if you're in a rush. Once you're inside the packet you'll notice that the patch has a peel able back to it and all you're left with is a clear patch that you just stick on your arm and leave there throughout the day. I do like the fact that the patches are clear because it makes them less detectable if your wearing a sleeveless top.
The effect: The first time you apply the patch, it feels a little unusual (almost like you can physically feel it working) but the feeling fades after a short while. The patch works great and does completely remove that need for nicotine. One great thing about these patches is that they are 24hour patches so you can wear them while you sleep; this removes that craving that some smokers get first thing in the morning. The patches release a small amount of nicotine throughout the day and stop you from reaching for that cigarette packet.
-While these patches do remove the need for nicotine, it doesn't get rid of the habit. You still find yourself looking for something to hold and eating bits and pieces to fill the void that having a cigarette once filled.
-They are extremely expensive, at around £10-14 for a pack of 7, you don't feel the benefits of giving up smoking financially; at least not straight away anyways.
-Personally, I found that this brand of patches are very itchy on your arm, i'm not sure if other people have found this but it made me want to scratch my arm all day long. Other brands of patches like Nicorette haven't given me this effect.
-And finally, they leave a black square on your arm where the patch was, and this adhesive-like substance isn't the easiest thing to remove.
The patches do serve a purpose and they do work to a certain extent, but as many smokers know they only cure 1 part of the habit. There are brands out there that work just as effectively without the itchiness and black marks, and for a slightly cheaper price. If you're planning to give up then I'd say use the patches but find a different brand because Niquitin don't cut the mustard for me.
Oh and all Nicotine patches are currently half price in Boots, so that will help you save some money.
For years we had to rely on those 3 and a half inch floppy's to keep or files safe. There was once a time where you had to carry around large amounts of them and wait for ages to be able to transfer files easily. Then memory sticks were released and not long after removable hard-drives came along. If you're like me then everyday you'll have to transfer files from once place to another and pray to god you don't break your storage device. After having people knock over hard-drives, snapping memory sticks and dealing with countless corruption issues I decided to look for a solution. And low and behold "Dropbox" came along!
And with it came the ability to be able to have access to my files on any computer I log on to. So what is drop box? Drop box is simply an online file storage system where you transfer and receive large or small files via the internet. With a free account you get given 2.5Gb of storage and for every friend you invite you gain another 500mb. For an extra $99.00 a year you can have 50GB of storage. And for even more money you can have more and more storage space online.
You simply install the software onto your computer and drag your files into the folder. You then have the option of installing the software on another computer or getting access to your files via your account on their website. I really can't recommend this software more. I love being able to drag all my work files into the folder and before i've got home their already on my home pc....brilliant. It also gives you the ability to be able to share folders with other people so different people can add/remove files; the perfect tool for people working on a project together. I'm currently working on an animation with 3 people that live all around the UK and one person lives in Sweden.
Without this software we wouldn't have been able to work on the project together.
I originally paid the monthly fee, but found that I wasn't using it enough to justify paying for it. I've had the free account for a year and it does the job. The only downside about this programme is that if you have a slow internet connection it can take a long time for you to transfer large files. I also wonder how safe your files are and who may have access to them, aside from my paranoia YOU MUST GET AN ACCOUNT!
Directed By : Will Gluck (famous for "Easy A" and "Fired Up")
Certificate: Rated R
IMDB Rating: 6.8 (highly overrated)
Justin Timberlake -Dylan Harper
Mila Kunis - Jamie
Patricia Clarkson - Lorna
Jenna Elfman -Annie Harper
Bryan Greenberg - Parker
Richard Jenkins - Mr. Harper
Wood Harrelson -Tommy
Nolan Gould -Sam
Andy Samberg -Quincy
Shaun White -Himself
I'm a bit of a sucker for crappy films that don't really have much of a plot or that feature actors that can't really act that well; I think it's a guilty pleasure. Being an artist i spend every waking day analysing every detail of film and I need some pure dribble to escape.
With this in mind, I set about to watch "Friends with benefits" featuring Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake as the main two protagonists of the film. Having already watched No Stings Attached, I had my pre-conceptions that this film wouldn't be too much of a different story; even the name suggests that the plot would at least be similar.
The Basic Plot:
The film starts with two couples that are meeting after work and end up breaking up, with Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis playing the people in each relationship that get dumped. Jamie (Mila Kunis) is dumped by her boyfriend because she is Too emotional and Dylan (Justin Timberlake) is dumped because he's emotionally challenged: this is where the plot becomes obvious!!
Mila Kunis plays(Jamie) a headhunter for different media companies across New York and Justin Timberlakes character (Dylan) is a designer for a small time website. The two meet because Dylan has been headhunted and Jamie has to convince him to take the Art Director job at GQ magazine. She tries her best to show him what life would be like if he were to take the job and she shows him parts of new york that she considers to be places of real beauty; places that she holds dear to her heart. Upon showing him the sights and spending time together the initial sparks begin to fly between the two; something that develops further as the plot progresses. The two chat and meet several times throughout the film and they agree to have a relationship that is only sexual and nothing more. Once a few weeks of lust pass and the couple get to know each other more and more, their emotions become greater for one another and they realise that a relationship based on sex alone is becoming more and more difficult.
This is not a film that will set your back in your chair and change the way you look at the world,. However it's not a bad film to watch on a date and it doesn't require any brainpower to watch. It has funny moments and the two seem to have quite a believable relationship, even though Justin Timberlake is a terrible actor; with Mila Kunis bringing most of the acting skills to the table. Woody Harrelson plays a hilarious gay sportswriter for GQ in this film; quite easily being the best acting performance of the whole film. The film isn't very cinematic and I wouldn't even say it was shot well. It relies quite heavily on a plot that fails to deliver anything more than an "Easy to watch" still film. I give this film 3 stars, I would have given it less if Woody Harrelson had not been in it.
One final Note: I actually can't believe they've copied the plot from No strings Attached and basically released the same film twice in a year, it's a pretty cheap move from an industry that many talented writers and directors would kill to be in.
I would have given it just 1 start but woody Harrelson knocked it back up to two!
The story centres around Dan Dunne and his life as a History teacher and the coach of the girls basketball team at Brooklyn High school. Dan isn't your average teacher; he teaches his pupils with imagination and the belief that their lives can be different from those that have fallen ill to the streets of Brooklyn and it's sin. His teaching methods often disregard the outdated curriculum of the school and prove to capture the intelligence of youth when put forward in a manner that they can understand. While his moral decorum among the school might make him a role model of sorts, his life outside of the school plays host to a world of escapism in the form of drugs and alcohol. What isn't evident from the start is his reason for his constant use of illicit drugs and alcohol outside of the school; the only thing that does rear it's ugly head is the way he treats women as a result of the abuse. His past and present relationships have failed as a result of his drug taking and lead him to the path of living a solitary life; one he seems not too quick to change.
The Antagonist of the story is Mr Dunne's pupil "Drey". Drey is your typical girl from the slums of Brooklyn; with her parents divorced, brother in Jail and her mother working day and night to provide for the family. In many ways she is the exact opposite of Mr Dunne, she doesn't come from the middle-class background he does and she doesn't fall short in the face of adversity; despite having every reason too, given her background. The relationship between Mr Dunne and Drey begins as nothing more than a teacher and a pupil until a series of unfortunate events force them into a friendship; albeit an odd one. After a basketball game, "Drey" finds Dan Dunne in the women's toilet intoxicated on drugs and we are shown one aspect of the drug culture. The other comes in the form of Frank, Frank is the local drug dealer and the reason her brother is serving a jail sentence, he takes it upon himself to look out for Drey; possibly because it's a means to control the guilt he feels for her brothers sentence.
The relationship between Mr Dunne and Drey becomes so familiar that at one point Mr Dunne invites her back to his place; providing a place for her to stay until her mother gets home. Her inquisitive straightforward nature introduces us further into the live of Mr Dunne and how his past experiences have lead him to his current life. Now that she has been exposed to both sides of the drug world she becomes curious and questions Mr Dunne about what it feels like when he takes drugs. At no point does teacher Dan Dunne condone his behaviour outside of the school, nor does he disregard it ; he states to Drey that "One thing doesn't make a man" and that that things shouldn't be taken at face value, not everything is perfect "something can be strong and weak". It becomes apparent that many of the subjects he talks about with his pupils are not purely for educating them but act as a method for reasoning with himself for his actions, a reflection of the way he lives his life.
It's clear during the film that Dan Dunne isn't your average teacher, his drunken benders often end in him talking to women in clubs about ideologies of changing the world with modern practises of teaching young kids; in particular the method of dialectics and how things change. His use of drugs isn't seen as an addiction but more a means of escaping the weight of the world he feels has been placed upon his shoulders; his intelligence is his downfall. It almost comes across like teaching is his drug and that while he's at the school he's focused and intoxicated but once he leaves he feels withdrawal and has to turn to the physical form to fill the void.
As the film moves forward the plot solely begins to focus on three characters; Mr Dunne, Frank and Drey. Both Mr Dunne and Frank are attempting to offer her the much needed stability she needs, but how much of a moral compass can either a drug dealer or a drug user have? Both Frank and Mr Dunne are complex characters, their initial traits force you too pass judgement, something which changes drastically as the film progresses and teaches us that people are more than the masks they wear in public. Frank introduces Drey to the culture of being a drug dealer and in some ways glamourising it, whereas Mr Dunne plays the constant reminder of the effect of taking drugs. Dunne confronts Frank and tells him to stay away from Drey, it's at this point that they both realise that neither of their actions present a good moral front for a youth trying to find herself. You might think that it's rich that a man that abuses himself so frequently would be able to pass moral judgement; but it's his downward spiral to rock-bottom provides the platform for Mr Dunne to teach his greatest lesson yet.
The film asks the question, does morality favour the drug dealer or the drug taker? I guess you'll just have to watch the film to find out.
Ryan Gosling- Dan Dunne
Shareeka Epps- Drey
Anthony Mackie- Frank
Jeff Lima- Roodly
Nathan Corbett- Terrance
Tyra Kwao-Vovo- Stacy
Rosemary Ledee- Gina
Tristan Wilds- Jamal
Bryce Silver- Bernard
Kaela C. Pabon- Lena
Erica Rivera- Erika
Stephanie Bast- Vanessa
Elanor Hutchins- Simone
IMDB Rating: 7.4
I think the title is a perfect metaphor for the film, Half nelson (a wrestling term) illustrates to me that someone can be restrained to a point when they admit defeat; and only when defeat is admitted can they be free. Watching this film was a bit like finding £5 on the floor; it came from nowhere and made me intrigued as to what else the actor "Ryan Gosling" had to offer. The film offers a truly moving script from the director Ryan Fleck, the thing that always makes me laugh is that your watching a film about a teacher and you end up learning something from the film. What makes this film so brilliant is the fact that it doesn't come with the hollywood sugar coat; there's no glossy shine over the top, which forces the acting performances and the plot to create this true sense of emotion in it's most raw form. I love the fact that this film is raw and believable on every level, it shows that it doesn't matter what your background is or where come from; it's the choices you make in life that make you the person you are. It also well and truly throws stereotypes out of the window, often in a satirical manner; something that forces us to readdress how we pass judgement on others; and that the class system doesn't in any way shape or form relate to a persons moral decency.
Half Nelson shows that independent cinema really does hold a strong place among the film industry; and that millions of pounds don't need to be spent in order to create a truly moving film. I would recommend this film to anyone that has previously watched films like "City of God" and "Precious" and enjoys a truly gritty raw and intelligent films.
Watch your back Hollywood!
At the start of this year Cadbury launched their all new "Big Race" bar as part of their Spots vs Stripes promotion; in the lead up to the olympic games. I'm lucky enough to work in an industry where we sometimes get freebies; if the client loves us!
We did a project for Cadbury back in June which lead to a crate of Cadbury Big Race bars being delivered to our offices; it's not very often this happens, I assure you! We received something like 25 boxes of 30 bars and I managed to sneak a few boxes home and try out the new big race bar. To start with this is quite a different chocolate bar to anything Cadbury have previously released. It's simply a Wafer texture that's covered in chocolate; nothing that would ever make Willy Wonka batter an eyelid.
To put it quite simply, the taste is really average and I was surprised considering that indulging in a bar of dairy milk or a crunchy makes for a tasty pastime. When you first bite into the bar you can really taste the dryness of the wafer and even after the chocolate has melted into your mouth your left with this horrible dry wheat aftertaste. The taste doesn't even compare to the smooth creamy chocolate of dairy milk, or the honeycomb goodness of a Crunchie; For anyone that eats Crunchies; you have to bite the chocolate off first and then eat the honeycomb! Even though the bar is covered in smooth cadbury chocolate, everything else inside the bar seems to overpower it and create this god awful taste in your mouth. The bar says it contains cereal; this is probably where the dry taste comes from.
After I had worked my way through about half of the two boxes I had, I can well and truly say I hated the taste of these chocolate bars; I was giving them away to friends and anyone who wanted them. We still have boxes of the chocolate at work because no-one wants to eat them. The Price of this chocolate bar can average from around 50-80pence in most supermarkets and convenience stores.
Milk Chocolate, Cocoa Mass, Cocoa Butter, Dried Whey, Sugar, Vegetable Fat, Wafer, Wholemeal Flour, Treacle, Hazelnuts, Salt, Biscuits, Soya, Dried Skimmed Milk, Barley Syrup, Potato Starch.
*Warning* This chocolate bar contains nuts: even though the name doesn't suggest it.
For someone like me that doesn't eat chocolate that often, I would not waste my money or my moment of chocolate indulgence on this bar: not when theirs at least 10 chocolate bars out their that taste a million times better for the same price or cheaper. Even though it's half the calories of a bar of dairy milk, it's also a quarter of the taste. So for someone that may be dieting and has allowed themselves this one treat of the week, would you really want to disappoint yourselves with a chocolate bar that tastes like cardboard?
It seems that cadbury just needed a new product to launch for promotion, rather than creating something new that would make their brand that little bit greater. I personally think they should have spent their time creating a new "spots v stripes' wrapper for the dairy milk bar.
Would I recommend this?
Only if you were stuck on a remote location and all you had to eat was these bars, even then I would be thinking twice. It also says on their website that the chocolate bar is good for running. Is it just me or should it be a crime that these brands can sponsor athletic events?
Jimmy Eat World started as a punk band back in 1993; with their name reflecting their religious beliefs when abbreviated (JEW). Their early albums formed a more heavy punk-style sound and as the band progressed they've taken on a more alternative rock sound with softer songs playing a heavier part on their later albums.
Jimmy Eat World have been one of my favourite bands since I was 14. I love the idea of being able to look back through their albums and being able to pin point exactly where I was and what I was doing when their album came out; like a dose of nostalgia on a disc. Needless to say, I was more than excited when they realised their latest album "Invented" (2010). Over the years they've come to be a reliable band for producing great albums year after year. They also manage to keep up with the never-ending musical trends without destroying their roots; They can make an album seem current but at the same time their will be songs that echo their earlier works. A lot of their lyrics centre around love/heartbreak/drugs and anger; I guess this is possibly the reason I fell in love with this band in my early teens and really connected with the lyrics (he says whilst trying to remain mainly). I almost feel I have matured as the band have...crazy!
Their previous release Chase This Light (2007) was a bit hit and miss for me personally and didn't rank well among the band's previous triumphs of "Bleed American" (2001) and "Futures" (2004). I was looking for a Jimmy eat world classic with their latest release; something that would make me happy/sad and want to bounce off the walls in one go; luckily their new album gave me everything I wanted.
The album kicks off with the soft melodic tones of "The Heart Is Hard To Find"; a song that romances you both lyrically and musically; the band have added orchestral pieces in this song to make the overall tone grander. The album then picks up the tempo with the punchy/catchy lyrics from "My Best Theory" and Higher "Devotion". Jim Adkins vocals really soar on "My Best Theory"; the chorus really rocks and vocals remind me of their earlier work (it's a song you really want to turn up loud). The guitar rifts in this song are excellent, for those of you that play guitar, you'll want to learn how to play it and for those of you that don't you'll be practising your air guitar throughout the whole song.
The album gets heavy in sections with the song "Evidence", this a track where the quality of guitars/bass/and percussion really over shadow the vocals; possibly a moment for the rest of the band to leave their mark on the album. The guitars and rhythm then kick back in with "Coffee and Cigarettes", a song that it probably one of the most crowd pleasing and well produced songs on the album. Although the lyrics aren't incredible on this song and their aren't many of them, it certainly gets stuck in your head without any hesitation; many a morning I have woken up singing these lyrics.
"Stop", "Littlething" and "Cut" bring the album back down in tempo and provides a perfect atmospheric backdrop for those summer nights; with emotion felt throughout every second of the songs, i'm not sure what emotion i'm feeling in this song, but i'm definitely feeling something!! You really notice "JIm Adkins" vocal range in the song "Cut"; he manages to just sing any way he wants and it sounds good, the perfect song to hear at a festival.
"Action Needs An Audience" provides you with one last gasp of raw Jimmy Eat World" chaos for old times sake, the kind of chaos you may have come to love in their first two albums; this song has the punk edge that none of the other songs have (fans of millencolin and Goldfinger may like this track)
My favourite and one of the final songs on the album is "Invented", the female vocals on this track really add an extra edge to the song and creates a greater sense of emotion when the lyrics are sung accompanied with the soft melody. It's the perfect song to be listening to when you're with your girlfriend/boyfriend. I really love the lyrics in this song, in particular : "Any dick can roll up in a suit, but only I will ever know what really moves you", it's a bit soppy but amazing!
The final song "Mix-tape" is the perfect ending to the album. The lyrics create this sense that something is ending and the intense musical arrangement really hammers the song back home.
One thing I love about Jimmy Eat World is the way they lay out their tracks in an album; they normally have the softer songs at the begging and end, to gently ease you into their cd and the punchy higher tempo songs are scattered around the middle to keep you going until the end. Lyrically their an awesome band; I have yet to find a band that constantly writes such excellent lyrics for nearly ever song they create.
The best songs from "Invented" 2010(in my opinion)
My Best Theory
Action Needs An Audience
1. Heart Is Hard To Find
2. My Best Theory
4. Higher Devotion
6. Coffe And Cigarettes
10. Action Needs An Audience
Jim Adkins- Vocals, Guitar
Tom Linton- Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals
Rick Burch- Drums
Zach Lind- Guitar, Backing Vocals
If you're looking for a new band to listen to then I would recommend Jimmy Eat World, and if you've never listened to them before I would suggest listening to a couple of tracks from the album "Bleed American" (2001).
There is no band I recommend more than Jimmy Eat World. You may not fall in love with them straight away, and some people won't like them at all. But i guarantee there's at least one song on every album that will have you tapping your feet, dancing around and singing like there's no-one watching your. I was also lucky enough to see them live last November, and after years of waiting for the moment, I can truly say it was one of the best experiences of my life; they sound exactly the same if not better live! This album may not be as raw and chaotic as their earlier work, but bands can't produce the same albums year after year; no matter how their sound progresses they still manage to retain their quality
Long live Jimmy!!
After 18 years, 7 albums, 41 awards and countless sell-out tours; oasis had well and truly made their mark in the British music scene. They played a massive part in the brit-pop music scene back in the 1990's; a music genre that was inspired by British pop acts from the 60's and 70's like The Beatles and The Kinks. Not only did they play part in the Brit-pop scene, but they managed to survive for another nine years without falling into the shadows the way that a lot of other brit-pop bands did. Their sound was strong and became a true inspiration (and in some cases a drunken anthem) for anyone from North of England; with myself being one of these people.
I was Lucky enough to see them live back in July 2009 (In Manchester aswell!) and it was their final tour as a band. To think that I may never have got to see them live would of been something short of soul-destroying. However this was not the case, and it turned out to be one of the best gigs of may life; more chaotic than you could ever imagine, and definitely a true northern affair.
After oasis broke up back in November 2009 I often wondered if the brit-pop culture had well and truly died, and would Liam and Noel be able to survive on their own; after years of supporting each other through the good, the bad and the ugly. I also wondered how two artists that created a sound so distinctive as Oasis would be able to produce any new music without it sounding like an Oasis record. Two years later and from the ashes two bands have risen, on one side of the fence you have Liam with his new band "Beady Eye" and the other side of the fence plays host to Noel and his band "Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds". The biggest question being which band would you choose to listen to if you could only pick one? Personally, i'd choose to listen to "Beady Eye". I'm a bigger fan of rock and roll with balls and swagger; the way the Rolling stones used to be, rather than the clean cut side of rock and roll that Paul Mcartney brings to the table (I always was a John Lennon fan!).
One thing I truly admired about Liam's new band Beady Eye, was that they could have quite easily ridden on the success of Oasis and used that to propel the band into worldwide success. But rather than go down that route, they created their own label (Beady Eye Records) and started completely from scratch; and band that has the guts to do this will have me as a fan from day one. And in all honesty i didn't think Liam had the sanity to go it alone without noel, i guess only time will tell if he flies off the rails or not; rumour has it that he no longer drinks, so he may be around in the music scene long enough to make his mark the second time around.
When I used to listen to Oasis, I could often hear flickers of the Beatles, The Rolling Stones and the Stones Roses coming through. However these influences are more evident in this Beady Eye record, especially the Beatles influence.
The first song on the album "Sons of the Stage(bonus track)" kicks off with deep baselines and a strong rhythmic presence that really sets the scene. Lyrically it's a strong song with Liam's vocals really soaring strong, the opening track reminds me slightly of "Reverend and the Makers". Overall it seems like a higher tempo sound than what Oasis gave us in the 90's. The guitar solo's are definitely stronger in the verses. Beady Eye keep up the tempo with their second track "Four Letter Word". The vocals in this song are very similar to Liam's old stuff; in the way that he drags the words out as he sings. The rhythm is definitely more chaotic and explosive, with solo's hitting you from left and right; an excellent addition to the song. The combination of the guitar and drums reminds me more of the Vines and The Strokes than anything Liam has ever done with Oasis.
The album then slows down and becomes more pleasant rather than edgy and hard-hitting, "Millionaire" is a track I wouldn't personally listen to more than a couple of times; it's more filler than killer and comes across as one of the weaker songs on the album. Their next song "The Roller" (the single released) is excellent. The first time I head it on the radio I honestly thought the radio station was playing a John Lennon song I hadn't heard before; fans of the Beatles will either love or hate Beady Eye for their Beatles references on this record. One thing I think you need to consider is that it's the northern accent that makes the song sound like a John Lennon song, rather than purposefully trying to achieve this sound. It's not only the vocals but the rhythm also plays a part in the excellent quality of this song; the overall sound is extremely tight and well produced.
The next song "Beatles and Stones" is perfect evidence of the bands influences and it only serves as a means to cement that both bands sounds are present on the album. The keyboard is an awesome addiction to this song; something I thought I'd never hear the band do. Lyrically, I love this song. It's easily one of the stronger songs on the album. I personally think this song was a daring move band the band; especially considering it's their first album and their trying to make an impression as a new fresh act.
"Wind Up Dream" is your typically Oasis style classic, it was something they could have quite easily removed from the album and it would have only worked in their favour; the song came across as a track to bulk out the album rather than a song that was specifically written to make a statement. Their next song "Bring The Light" is amazing! It's completely unexpected and it sounds like a Jerry Lee Lewis song with Liam Singing over the top. I truly love the fact that the band are really experimenting with their sound in this record and showing where their influences lie. It's a true rock and roll song through and through with the drum and keyboards really forming the backbone and the upbeat tempo for the song. "For Anyone Who Knows" and"Kill for A Dream" are quite similar to classic oasis songs with their chorus's being quite strong and their not being many lyrics in the songs. The type of song that would quite easily become an typical anthem, especially "Kill for A Dream" with the lyrics "Na, na, na, na, na".
The album then takes a turn back into early 50's/60's rock and roll sound with "Standing on the Edge of the Noise" It's more chaotic than the previous two songs but lacks lyrically. I's someone that loves a great set of lyrics in a song, so an excellent guitar solo will only take me so far before it becomes boring. "Wigwam"is a softer song with a rhythm that I really dislike for the pure fact it sounds like Liam is forming a Bay-city Rollers tribute act. In short, this song literally does nothing for me, another song that relies heavily on the guitar rhythm to carry the sound. The only saving grace is that the drum-beat and guitar piece at the end sound like it came straight of The Who's album "Tommy".
Finally the album gets back on track, with the swagger; I can almost imagine Liam with a whiskey in hand busting shapes across the stage. "Three Ring Circus" is a great song, quite easily one of the stronger songs on the album.
Once again were back to the John Lennon sound with "The Beat Goes on", this is definitely one of my favourite songs on the album. It's lyrically stronger than many of their other songs and the rhythm only increases the quality of the track. The addition of other instruments really creates a greater sound with this song and Liam's vocals really highlight the fact that he's more than just an anthem screaming man from Manchester. The seaside sounds on the start of this song made me think that "Champange Supernova" was about to begin, however I was sadly mistaken."The Morning Son" is probably the only song on the album that comes across with any true emotion, an emotion that's accompanied by the down-trodden rhythm of the guitars. The production quality really shines through on this song and the echo effect on the vocals really creates this distant atmospheric sound. Towards the end the song really picks up with the guitars and the drums becoming more and more intense: a perfect ending for the record.
Title: Different Gear Still Speeding (Released Feb 2011)
1. Four Letter Word
3. The Roller
4. Beatles and Stones
5. Wind Up Dream
6. Bring the Light
7. For Anyone
8. Kill for A Dream
9. Standing on the Edge of the Noise
11.Three Ring Circus
12. The Beat Goes On
13. The Morning Son
Runtime: 51mins 34 secs
Label: Beady Eye Records
Where do i start with coming to a conclusion for this album?
Rather than being the raw "Black Keys" esque album I was hoping for, it seems that Liam has gone for the softer edge of rock and roll for most of the songs but with a few up-tempo rock and roll style songs that make the album completely chaotic. It's evident that Noel was the calm order in the band with Liam being the sugar filled child running around hitting anything that makes a beat.
Generally this album is all over the place, there's no consistency with the songs: each song has a completely different sound than the one before it.
It also seems that this album is really missing Noel's excellent writing skills, that addition would truly compliment the excellent guitar rhythms and truly make this a stronger album on the whole; the football style anthems did become boring after a while. Rather than being an independent record that really pushes the boundaries of new music and popular culture, i'd have to say its more of a homage to British music of the past 30 years: with overtones of the Oasis vocals thrown in for good measure. I did originally have my doubts that neither Liam or Noel would be able to produce a record without it echoing their past accomplishments with Oasis and i'd have to say my doubts were true; especially for Liam, for Noel only the future will tell. The Beatles references are unmistakable throughout, it's something that John, Paul, Ringo and george would find endearing rather than become angry about. It's also nice to hear overtones of that incredible beetles sound come back into mainstream music once again.
Would I recommend this album? Yes I would, i think it's definitely worth a purchase for the pure fact that its almost like "the best of" British music rolled into one album.
But, I personally think Beady Eye need to really push their sound (and work out exactly what their sound is) to make a new mark on the music scene; this album doesn't even bruise the surface!
Cost Of CD
HMV: £4.99 (free delivery)
PLAY.com: £3.99 (free delivery)
After last years release of "Plastic Beach" I was excited to see what direction Damon Albarn would steer the band in with their new release. A band renowned for their musical collaborations/ visual stage presence and studio-heavy recordings would surely have something good for us to feast our ears upon third time round right?
The word on the street is that Damon Albarn made this album using an Ipad whilst the band where on their "Plastic Beach" Tour in America. So would pure talent drive a band to produce a hit record, when their previous releases have relied favorably on their studio time?
The album is very different to the Gorillaz we know well; if your looking for interesting collaborations and chart-topping hip-hop beats then you're looking in the wrong place completely. There are two ways of looking at this album, you can either appreciate the fact that the artist has dared to be different and put something different back into the world of music......
or, you can think that this is the Gorillaz releasing and absolute crap-sandwich of a record purely because they can; and with enough advertising anything can sell.
Personally after the 3rd listen i'm still in two-minds about this album, certain tracks really arrest my senses ; "Revolving Doors" with it's beautiful melody with soft lyrics that just lie gently within a heartbeat of a bass guitar, and the exciting mix of acoustic guitar, smokey voice and funky beat of "Hillbilly man" and the subtle atmospheric sounds of "Amarilio" . Apart from that, the rest of the songs are just filler; this album could have easily been cut in half and still have some room for a B-Side.
While the brave attempt to produce a studio album on an Ipad is one I respect, I can't help but feel that this album would have benefited from further time in the studio with proper recording facilities. However it does bring to light that artists out there without the luxury of being able to afford studio time can still produce a half-decent album. Overall this album is pretty chilled out and is interesting at times, offering some unique perspectives on musical genre; it just purely lacks ambition and drive.
It makes you wonder whether the Gorillaz are still that great band that gave us "Demon Days" or simply nothing but a marketing campaign. At least Damon Albarn got a free Ipad!
~~THE FINER DETAILS~~
1.Phoner To Arizona
2. Revolving Doors
3. HillBilly Man
6. Little Pink Plastic Bags
7. The Joplin Spider
8. The Parish of Space Dust
9. The Snake In Dallas
11. The Speak It Mountains
12. Aspen Forest
13. Bobby In Phoenix (ft. Bobby Womack)
14. California And The Slipping Of The Sun
15. Seattle Yodel
Total Length: 43mins 20sec
I'm not a massive fan of watches in all honesty and I hate the idea of carrying so many electronic items that have the time and having a watch as well. With mobile phones, Ipod touches, laptops and computers all telling the time these days it makes you wonder whether watches will become redundant eventually? However the case may be, I do think watches are quite handy but I completely resent the idea of paying a lot of money for one. I do understand that if you paid £400 for a suit you wouldn't want to rock up with a plastic Casio on your wrist. However, in the past 4 years Casio watches have made a massive comeback, and have become the retro product you must own; making it quite a fashionable item to be wearing.
I bought my first casio about 11 years ago when they were around £20 for a watch; I even remember people in my class having the calculator version of the watch ( I was never cool enough to own one personally). I then went years without wearing a watch. Recently I picked up a Casio watch for around £7 from Argos; an insane bargain if you ask me. You can literally jump on these watches and they won't break. For a such cheap product they offer amazing quality for money and their also comfortable to wear. A couple of years ago I went to amsterdam and lost my watch somewhere in the city, at the time I was a little bit devastated because I loved that little beauty. However, I then remembered that it cost me £7 and I could easily afford another one that was exactly the same...yay!
Had I have purchased a more expensive flashy watch I would be £80-200 out of pocket, but thanks to casio I'm only £14 down. I really can't think of a reason why you shouldn't buy one; even if it's just a backup for the times when you don't want to break of loose your fancy watch.
Display Type: Digital
Case Material: Resin
Case Diameter: 37.00
Case Thickness: 8.50 millimetres
Calendar: Day - Date
Special features: Alarm, Stop Watch, Back Light
Item weight: 90 grams
Water Resistant Depth: 30 metres
Warranty Description: 2 Years Manufacturers Warranty
Conclusion: Join the Casio revolution and buy one!
I bought the Behringer HPM 1000 headphones about 3years ago along my guitar amp. I have to say they are one of the best pair of headphones I have ever bought. I use them every day and wouldn't consider buying a different pair of headphones. The sound you get is excellent, they have bass built in; not a lot but enough for you to feel the beat well. The jack on the headphones comes with an extra fixture that means you can plug the headphones into your guitar amp and your pc/laptop. The length of the headphone wire is approximately 2-2.5m (my best guess), which comes in hand when your playing guitar. The length is easily adjustable to fit your head comfortably and the top is padded to give you some comfort on the top of your head. I also thought i'd mention that i've had them for 3 years and they still work just as good as the day that I bought them; they've been thrown around all over the place.
However great these headphones are there are some downsides; the same with every electronic product that you purchase. While the long wire is great for using with guitar amps; giving you the length needed to play guitar from a distance, it can be rather annoying when your just listening to music. The wire gets wrapped around my computer chair and i've nearly tripped over it half a dozen times. One other thing that could either be considered as a disadvantage/advantage is the containment of noise within the headphones themselves. When you put some headphones on you can't hear any external noise, where as with these you can head a little bit of noise that may be going on around you. Im not sure what the damage may be to your ears with the internal headphones so I can't really say whether this is a good or bad thing.
The final thing that annoys me personally is the fact that if you wear glasses the headphones can put pressure on the glasses and they dig into your face slightly: I'm quite sure this is the same on every pair of headphones.
Would also be cool if the individual headphones would rotate 360*
Ultra-wide frequency response
High dynamic range
Weight 232 gms
Conclusion: For a price of around £10, you won't find a better pair of headphones. Even though the wire is abit annoying and they are quite huge if you wear them in public, when you compare the downsides against the cost and quality of sound; you'd be stupid not to buy them.
I'm a bit of a film junkie, i think I roughly watch a different movie every night. Last night I watched a film called "identity", and since it's still quite fresh in my mind I thought I'd write a quick review about it. I want to write this review without giving too much away because i'd hate to even slightly spoil this film for you.
I love films that make you think, the kind of film where you've figured out who the killer is and then all of a sudden the film does a complete 180 and your like "oh my god". I have experienced this feeling only a number of times; with shutter island being the film that really set the bar high for me. Since I watched Shutter Island i've been searching for a film that would shock me just as much; and last night I think "Identity" came close.
Directed by James Mangold, the film "identity" follows the story of several characters that end up stranded in a motel in the Nevada desert on a stormy night. A flood and a Power cut prevents the characters from travelling to their desired destination so they all take refuge in the nearest hotel they can find. John Cusack plays an ex-cop that is now a professional driver for tv stars, he is driving a tv actress home when he hits a woman who is helping her husband change the car tyre. He attempts to help her and drives everyone to the nearest place for help; a run-down motel. They are greeted by a Norman Bates style character without the spine-tingling acting performance that Anthony Perkins gave us In Psycho. Once again John Cusack heads out to try and get help for the dying woman he has just hit, he meets a vegas call-girl who's car has just broken down and a couple of newlyweds that are also stuck because of the flood; as they realise there is no way out they all head back towards the hotel. Moments later a policeman(Ray Liotta) turns up on his way to transporting a dangerous convict across the country.
With the whole cast now in the hotel, they all set about going to their rooms and waiting till the storm clears up. All the characters come together in a "lost" kind of way, their are all connected by their misfortune. For instance the prostitutes suitcase opens as she's driving and her shoes and clothes flew out on to the road; the same shoe that caused the families car to break down; with the shoe causing the tyre to bust.
As the people are all settled in their rooms, murders begin to happen. One by one the cast are picked off by the murderer and room keys are left by the bodies that begin counting down from 10. The whole cast turn on each other and start pointing fingers; but when the remaining few are in the same room unexplainable things begin to happen. No one knows how it is happening or who the killer is. We are shown another scene where a team of policemen/judges and a psychiatrist are sat around a table discussing whether a man should be lethally injected for his crimes...These two different scenes of the motel and the man facing the lethal injection are can only be connected by indentity:your sat there thinking what the hell is going on, and before long it all starts to make sense.
None of the cast give incredible performances but the sheer plot carries the story above and beyond the typical thriller we've all watcher over and over. This film will truly have you hanging on the edge of your seat and provides you with a great deal of intelligent twists and turns that leave you wanting more. I can't believe how this film slipped under my radar for so many years. It also has the typical quiet music moments and the "boo" shots where you jump a miles from your seat; it makes it worse that you know it's coming but you don't know when.
I think this film is not only a fantastic thriller but a homage to other great directors and writers such as Hitchcock,Scorsese and Stephen King; references to each of these people and their work can be found throughout the film.
ED - John Cusack
DET. RHODES - Ray Liotta
PARIS - Amanda Peet
LARRY - John Hawkes
GINNY - Clea DuVall
CAROLINE - Rebecca De Mornay
GEORGE YORK - John C. McGinley
ROBERT MAINE - Jake Busey
ALICE YORK - Leila Kenzle
LOU - William Lee Scott
DOCTOR - Alfred Molina
MALCOLM RIVERS - Pruitt Taylor Vince
TIMMY - Bret Loehr
JUDGE - Holmes Osborne
DETECTIVE VAROLE - Frederick Coffin
Runtime: 1 hour, 27 minutes
Rating: 15/R for strong violence and language
Release Date:April 25, 2003
This film can be purchased for £3.49 off amazon; an incredible price!
I'm a massive coffee fan! Over the years I've worked in countless Italian restaurants and developed an insane love for coffee. I've now got to the point where I can no longer drink instant coffee; at the least it has to be ground and chucked into a cafetiere.
My parents own the MagiMix M150 and it's a truly brilliant coffee maker.The downside is that I no longer live at home, so I can't enjoy delicious coffee every morning. The M150 uses coffee capsules that can be purchased at various places online, but specifically at www.Nespresso.com. Online you can pick a pack of 30 Capsules for around £8-9 ranging at around 29p a capsule; that's pretty cheap considering a Small cup of coffe from costa is around £1.50 onwards. You can also choose from 16 different flavours of coffee; you'll get a little booklet that tells you what each flavour tastes like and how strong it is.
The actual machine itself is brilliant. It's quite a small compact machine and fits in nicely without overpowering your kitchen. The machine breaks down very easily to clean, and the drip tray at the bottom takes moments to remove and clean. From purchasing to setting it up takes literally minutes, once you've figured out where everything is and a few button pushes will explain anything that the instruction manual can't. Making the coffee is a simple process as well, the arm detaches, pop the capsule in, reattach the arm and flick the switch..job done and your creamy coffee is waiting for you. Oh and it has a little hotplate on the top where you can store your mugs so they'll heat up and keep your coffee warm for longer
As brilliant as this machine is, there are a few downsides. Having made frothy coffee's for years I was looking forward to making a cappuccino; however the frother does nothing more than spit hot water at you, even when the steam comes out you would achieve foam faster by blowing on the milk. The only other downside is the fact it takes a good 15minutes to heat up before you'll get the best creamy coffee.
However don't let this deter you, it does what allot of other coffee machines do; only better and at a fraction of the price.
I work for a company where we did a project for Lavazza and we managed to swindle a free espresso machine out of them. Unfortunately it was my job to install the damn thing and get the coffee flowing. After 30minutes I couldn't get it to work and the only thing than came out of the nozzle was a disgusting dirty liquid.
~THE FINER DETAILS/PRODUCT SPEC~
*Powerful 19-bar pump
*Includes 2 x espresso cups and saucers
*Includes a selection of coffee capsules
*Steam arm for frothing
*Utilizes Nespresso capsule system
Cost online: £127 at www.bestuff.co.uk, but can be founded cheaper elsewhere
~A LITTLE BIT OF EXTRA INFO~
Another great thing about Nespresso is that they haven't got a clue whats going on! We were lucky enough to receive a giant box of capsules just before last Christmas; a giant box that we hadn't even ordered. I can truly say I was in my element. If you do buy capsules I recommend the "Cosi"; it tastes amazing!
If you can manage to find one online cheap, i would definitely recommend buying it. I've actually just decided as I'm writing this, i'm going to track one down and buy it!