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Who would think that such a simple game would bring so much entertainment!! You are provide with a square mat with a row of red, yellow, green and blue dots. For your ten quid you also get a piece of cardboard sectioned into parts such as right hand red or left foot blue, with a spinner attached. Sounds like a quality game doesn’t it!! So here’s what to do. Someone is nominated “spinner” and gets control of the quality piece of cardboard and spins the spinner. Player one then has to follow the directions, if right hand red is spun they must put their right hand on a red dot. Easy to begin with because you have a wide choice of dots. The second player then waits for their spin to be red out and again, follows the directions. A simple game to learn but not simple to play! Once you’ve had a few spins you are all completely tangled up and eventually everyone will fall down in a big heap with legs and arms sticking out everywhere. Hilarious and painful! More hilarious for the people watching though. This is definitely a party game. The more people there the better, everyone doesn’t necessary have to be playing, just there putting off the people balancing on one foot and leaning against someone elses bum. To make the game a great deal more interesting I suggest getting completely drunk first (assuming that you are old enough to). The game then usually lasts one round but turns out to be a lot funnier. This is probably not a good game to play if you have a phobia of feet because you will probably end up with someones big toe in your ear. If you insist that everyone wears their socks you slip around on the mat, this could be classed as a good thing or a bad thing, depends if you are the one in play or the one watching. Playing on a wooden floor is never a good idea, the mat may not slip around as much as it does on carpet but it does hurt a lot more when you all f all over. One way around this is to make sure you are on the top though! Another time to definitely make sure you are on the top is if you have your fifteen stone friend playing as well. Ow. So you can see that this game brings much entertainment, for ten quid you can’t go wrong.
Another great film from the makers of Pixar and Disney. This one is about a fish called Nemo. Nemo was the only fish to survive after a shark attack which took his mother and her eggs. Nemo was left with his dad Marlin who became paranoid and wouldn’t let Nemo go to school. Eventually Nemo manages to persuade his dad that he needs to go to school but on his first day he gets caught by a boat and taken away. The film follows Marlin trying to find Nemo (hence the title!). On the way he meets Dory who has a memory of about 7 seconds, a bit like a fish really! I think that Dory makes this film. The voice is provided by Ellen DeGeneres (who remembers the show!!!). Dory is the funniest fish in the film providing comedy all the way through. The second funniest has got the be the sharks “fish are friends not food”. These consist of a group of fish who have set up a helpgroup to try and stop eating everything! It reminds me of a weight watchers meeting! The film has lots of silly little jokes all of the way through, marlin having to hold his breath when he jumps out of the water still makes me laugh when I watch it. The seagulls are excellent, I live near the sea and every time we see a seagull we all have to shout “mine, mine, mine”. It’s describes them perfectly. Before watching the film I have to admit I wasn’t expecting much, what could be interesting about watching a group of fish for an hour and a half? I’m glad I eventually got around to watching it though, I should have listened to everyone else and seen it sooner! I have to say that I haven’t actually heard of many of the people that provide the voices. Obviously I know who Ellen is and Willem Dafoe but that’s about it. Personally I don’t tend to watch films for who is in them anyway and all of the voices fit the characters perfectly. You know you’ve seen a good film when you quote lines out of it for weeks afterwards and we are still talking “whale” to each other now. The animation and graphics are, as with all Pixar films, excellent. There’s so much going on in each scene you need to watch it more than once to appreciate everything. You also get the appearance of characters from other Pixar films too, watch out for Buzz Lightyear in the Dentists and make sure you watch the credits right to the end to see Mike from Monsters Inc. This film is not to be missed, if you haven’t seen it go and buy it now! The story is consistent and interesting all the way through and is suitable for all ages. Everyone will love Finding Nemo and it’s definitely one that I shall be adding to my ever expanding DVD collection.
Prisoner of War is an adventure game available on the X Box. The object of the game is to escape from a World War 2 Prisoner of War Camp. It’s not as easy as it sounds though. You play an American pilot who has been captured and placed in the camp. You get friendly with a few people who then give you tasks to complete in order to escape. These can be anything like getting some papers from the Lieutenants desk or breaking into a room to speak to someone. You are given a basic daily routine to follow, roll call in the morning followed by breakfast, then exercise time, free time and finally another roll call in the evening. You must attend the roll call or a camp wide search will start and if you are out and about you better have a good hiding place!! You can get tips on how to complete tasks by speaking to the other prisoners. There is also usually an escape committee who you can pay to give you more information. Of course you will have to go hunting around for contraband to pay them with. There are also objects lying around the camp for you to find, e.g. lockpicks (which you can hide in your pocket) or crowbars which are more difficult to sneak back because you can obviously see it in your hand! You get a safety box next to your bunk where you can keep all of your bits and pieces that you find. Your bunk is the only place that you can save your game. The gameplay is very good and very easy to follow. You have a good view of everything around you and are able to look around. You have a small diagram in the corner of your 360 vision and can see where the guards are looking so that you can sneak past them. You know when you are doing something you shouldn’t because your heart rate gets louder and faster. The controls are easy to pick up and you can change them if you really need to. You don’t need to wait for ages until a certain part of the day because you have a timeskip option. This me ans that if you are waiting till the evening to sneak out and steel a prison guard uniform you won’t have to go all the way through the day. You can timeskip to the evening rollcall. The levels of the game last quite a long time. Once you have managed to escape out of your first camp obviously you get captured again and put into a higher security camp. The game has a good storyline to it which makes it more interesting. The game is neither too difficult that you get bored and give up, or too easy that you just sail through it and finish it in three days. Some of the tasks require a lot of thought and once you have worked out how to complete the task you will still need lots of skill to creep past the guards. This is not an action packed fast moving game. It’s more for the adventure lovers who like to take their time over things and enjoy problem solving. I would definitely recommend this game. It’s one that you can easily play for a month then have a few weeks break and still sit down and get back into it within five minutes. Definitely worth buying!
This film is the best suspense I have seen for ages. If you are going to the cinema this weekend, this is definitely a good choice. The film starts off with a story, as all horror/suspense films do. Obviously it isn’t as scary if it’s a lovely sunny day with fluffy bunny rabbits and lambs hopping round. Ten people who have never met are trapped by the storm and end up all staying in a motel. One by one they start getting killed off and there appears to be an order to the deaths which is based on which room number they are staying in. There is something that connects them all but they need to find out what it is. The murderer is not one that you are going to guess instantly, it does take a while to work it out. Once you realise why these people are being murdered the story becomes very interesting and you will get engrossed! All of the characters in this film are introduced very well. The story starts almost instantly but before it gets too far in you will already feel as if you know all of the motel guests. The suspense in this film is brilliant, you will be kept guessing all the way through. I think we changed our minds quite a few times before we though we knew who the murderer was, and we guessed correctly! The acting in the film is excellent. The main stars are John Cusack (Being John Malkovich) and Ray Liotta (John Q) but all of the characters are well acted. The effects are very good, the whole films takes place at night so the movie is quite dark but you can still see what’s happening – I hate it when you can’t see what’s happening because the screen is too dark. It’s not really a jumpy film, you will be staying in your seat all the way through it, it’s the suspense that sets the atmosphere and makes it interesting. Definitely not a film for kids, a bit too frightening for them. An adult film and good to see with a group of friends, so you can gloat when you guess the killer!!
They finally brought this out on the X-Box!! I have been waiting for this for ages and so far I am not disappointed! The X-Box version of The Sims has all of the basic game characteristics as the pc. You start a family, move them into a house (or you can build one yourself), get them a job, get married, have a family and live happily ever after. There are extra bits on the X-Box version though. As well as the standard game you have an option to ‘Get a Life’. This is when you can create a character and you move into a house, the first level is your mum’s house. You are then given tasks that you must complete before you can move onto the next level, which is a different house. In the first level you are living with your Mum, the tasks are you must cook a meal for you both without catching fire to the house, repair the television, borrow some money from your mum to move out and get a job. Obviously you have to do things to help complete your tasks, for example, you have to study cooking before you can cook a meal without catching fire to the place. You must talk to your mum to ‘butter her up’ before asking to borrow any money. When you work through the ‘Get a Life’ section you unlock different parts of the game for the two player mode. These are small scenes where you play against another person and are given tasks to do. One scene is in a park with lots of other people and you have to get as much food as you can, either by cooking it, stealing it, begging etc. These scenes are quite funny for a while but get quiet boring. There are lots of extra bit in the game that you get on the pc version. You have the option to ‘throw a party’ where all of your friends come over, a great way to make more friends! You do have to keep them all supplied with food though! Creating a character is a lot more details. You do each part of the body separately firstly choosing how fat/th in you want your character. You then go on to choose what sort of top you want them to wear and what colour, trousers/shirt and shoes. When you get to their head you can choose hair style and colour, face type and even eye colour and make-up style (not for the blokes)! When you get into the game you can buy a dressing table where you can change your appearance, clothes, glasses etc. There is quite a bit of choice for furniture, some that is in the PC version and some new things – like the sonic shower, unfortunately kids can’t use this and if it gets too dirty you get an electric shock off it. Building is easy to do and has lots of choice of wallpapers and floor coverings/ This game is definitely very addictive. The controls take a while to get used to after using your mouse on the PC version but once you have them I think it’s much easier to use. The graphics obviously aren’t going to be mind blowing but for a simulation game they are very good and there is a lot of detail. The gameplay is very smooth, no waiting for things to load etc! The only think I would complain about is that you can’t speed the game up enough. You do have control over the speed of the game and can make time go faster when you need to. If all characters are asleep or at work the time goes really fast but if you want to speed up gameplay while someone is awake or at home you can’t go as fast and may be waiting a while. Next thing to wait for is the updates!! Hopefully the Sims on Holiday and The Sims Unleashed are not far off for the X-Box because I want to adopt a cat!
Boggle is a great game for all ages and for any number of people. What you get for your money When you open the box it does seem to look quite empty. Included is a gamepiece which 25 cubes fit into and an egg timer. How to play the game The game is set up very quickly and easily. The cubes all have letters written on them, the first player shakes the letter around in the gamepiece and lets all of the cubes settle. The egg timer then starts and the object of the game is to make as many words from the letters as you can in the allotted time. It is made slightly more difficult when the rules state that the cubes have to be joining, you can’t have one letter from one side then jump right over to the other side – they must be adjoining. When the time runs out you must read your words out just so that the other players can make sure you haven’t made them up. You get two points for a three letter work, three points for a four letter work etc. The best way to play the game Obviously the best way to play this game is (as with all games) with a group of people who are all slightly inebriated. You need to be sober enough to be able to actually read the letters on the cubes and put them together to make works but drunk enough to come up with some different and interesting words. It makes it funnier if you make the person use the words in a sentence. Obviously this isn’t funny in the slightest if you are the one driving home and can’t drink. There isn’t a great deal to this game, it’s very easy to play and doesn’t take long to explain the instructions so new players can join in straight away. It’s suitable for kids as well as adults and could be educational as well, kids don’t notice they are being educated if it’s fun!! For a simple game you can have hours of fun and not get bored, great value for money!
We bought our Tivo just before Christmas at the bargain price of £99. Usually they are supposed to be £300 but you can generally find them around at £200. A Tivo is like a video recorder with a hard drive. Instead of putting a video into the machine it downloads the program onto a hard drive. This is just the basics though. If you like a particular program you can set it up as a season pass and your Tivo will record every episode for you without you telling it too. You can even set it up to record first run only so that it doesn’t record all of the repeats. Tivo will also learn the sort of programs that you like to watch. This is done by you putting thumbs up and down to different programs. If you really like a program you can give it up to three thumbs up (depending on how much you like it) or if you hate it give it thumbs down so that Tivo knows that you don’t like it. Once Tivo has started to learn about the programs that you like it will record things that it thinks you may want to watch. This can be turning off though! Searching for programs to record is very easy. You can either search by the name of the program or by the channel it’s on. Programs can be recorded in four different qualities. If you only want to watch the latest episode of Eastenders you can just record basic quality, which is about the same as watching the television through a normal aerial. If you think you may want to keep the program (you can back up to video from Tivo) you can select the highest quality. The higher the quality the bigger space it will take up on the hard drive. At the best quality you can fit about 20 hours of running time onto the hard drive although now you can buy bigger hard drives to fit inside your Tivo if you are feeling brave! Setting up your Tivo, well, I’m not going to lie, it’s a nightmare. If you are just plugging your Tivo into your television and that’s it, very e asy and simple. Add in digital sky, a video recorder and a dvd player you have a complete nightmare and lots and lots of leads!! It took us quite a while to sort it out. There are pretty good instructions in the back of your Tivo book and I would suggest you follow them step by step and make sure it’s all right! All of the leads for your Tivo are included in the box. Once you have managed to plug the Tivo in (probably two weeks later!!) you need to set it up. This is all done on screen. You need to choose your channels that you receive and inputs/outputs etc. This may sound complicated but everything is explained and is very easy to follow. When you have finished your setting up Tivo will connect to the phone line (if you have remembered to plug it in and if you have it plugged in correctly) to download the account data and the television schedule for the next two weeks. Total setup time including download is about three hours, do it just before you are going out. You get about a week free use of the Tivo service before you will need to start paying your monthly subscription. Just like Sky you need to pay for the privilege to use the service. It’s either £10 per month or you can pay £200 for lifetime subscription. I would recommend the £200 if you can afford it! After that every night Tivo will connect using the phoneline and download television schedule data and any new messages Tivo want to send you (like new channels added etc). This is a freephone telephone number so it won’t cost you anything. Tivo is definitely worth a purchase for £200. I have heard that they are discontinuing it though so I would get in there and buy it now! Tivo have confirmed that the services will continue even though the box is not being made any more. The one thing wrong with the Tivo is that once you have lost the remote control then you are lost. There are no buttons on the front of the box to operate it so my advi se is DON’T LOOSE THE REMOTE CONTROL!!!
The Osbournes is a reality television show which is on MTV. Basically in each episode the Osbourne family are filmed going about their daily business. This may sound very boring but the Osbournes are not your typical family. At the head of the family we have Ozzy, who is mad. Well, he isn’t just mad he’s completely off his rocker. Typical things you expect Ozzy to do are swear a lot, not be able to work the remote control and shout at people. Ozzy wife, Sharon is also his manager. She is the only sane member of this family. She keeps everyone else, well, living really. I don’t think they could cope without her. Kelly is the daughter. They actually have two daughters but the other one didn’t want to appear on the show. Kelly has a number one record now and the other daughter doesn’t, I know who was more sensible! Typical things you will see Kelly doing are trying to boil and electric kettle on a gas oven and spending money. Jack is the son, nearly as mad as his Dad. He really doesn’t appear to do very much except for stalk the cats outside dressed in his army stuff. Then you have the family pets, various dogs and cats. New ones appear nearly every week and none of them are house trained. I think the thing that’s appealing about this program is that it is completely unbelievable. You really cannot imagine what a disorganised family this is. The aim of the program must be to prove that such disorganisation is possible. I accept that they are probably very busy people and life does tend to be a bit all over the place but still you should have some idea what you are doing, or trying to do. This doesn’t make the program bad though, quite the opposite, it’s hilarious!! The messes they get into are soooooo funny. My personal favourite is when Ozzy got his new television put in his house and was completely unable to use the remote contro l. Every time he tried to change the channel the lights would come on or something. In the end Jack had to sort him out. A strange but true fact, when Ozzy is singing or doing interviews he sounds, well, quite American. When he’s at home his accent lapses more toward the Birmingham side. Watch out for this! This program is definitely not suitable for children. There’s a lot of swearing in it, hence it’s late showing! Once you have seen an episode you are unlikely to want to see it again but that one time viewing will keep you laughing for hours. Make sure you catch this program while it’s on, it’s one everyone is talking about. Hopefully they will make a second series!!
This was one of those films I watched because I had nothing else better to do. I generally like period drama films and this was supposed to be funny so I gave it a go! If you don’t know the ending to this film (and don’t panic, I’m not going to tell you!) it’s brilliant. It’s not a film that keeps you guessing till the end or makes you think about what is going to happen all the way through it. It’s a nice humorous film that you can just sit and enjoy without thinking too much – ideal for when you are tired!! The story is about two men, Algy and Jack (played by Rupert Everett and Colin Firth). Both of these men use Ernest as a scapegoat. One has a friend ‘Ernest’, who lives in the country, giving him an excuse to get out and visit ‘Ernest’ at any time. The other has a friend ‘Ernest’, who lives in the city, giving him an excuse to visit the city at any time. This plan works fine until they both fall in love with women, Gwendolen and Cecily (played by Fraces O’Connor and Reese Witherspoon). Both these women believe that their future husbands are called Ernest and when the two women meet up obviously things get a bit confused. This storyline might sound a bit confusing but when you are watching the film it’s easy to understand! Apart from the main characters above Judi Dench makes an appearance. This type of film is well suited to her and she plays the part of Gwendolen’s stuffy old aunt brilliantly. All of the acting in the film is very good, the chemistry between Rupert Everett and Colin Firth’s characters is hilarious, obviously they must have had fun filming!! The humour in the film is very subtle and very funny! It’s all sarcastic type humour brought across by the actors very well. The film is set in two places, one in a big country house and then in the city. It’s probably a good job that there weren’ ;t too many different sets because they would cost a fortune! Everything is well placed for the time period and I didn’t notice anything out of place (like cars parked up in the distance, televisions, mobile phones etc – yes, I have seen them in other films!). The soundtrack isn’t anything you would have heard before, it’s all happy music which fits in great with the film. This is the type of film you need to go and see when you need a happy, funny film and when you aren’t really in the mood for thinking. It’s very easy to follow (without getting boring) and very funny!
I have to admit, I didn’t go to see this at the cinema, yes, I know it was one of the ‘to see’ films of the year but it’s three hours long! Our local cinema’s seats are the most uncomfortable you have ever seen so after three hours I doubt you could walk!! Waiting for the DVD was the best move I think! I could relax and enjoy it, you also need to concentrate on the story so watching it on my own without any distractions (people munching popcorn and opening drinks) was a better idea. The book of Lord of the rings is split into three parts, this film is just the first part of the book, The Fellowship of the Ring. In short (which is difficult), here is the general storyline: After Bilbo Baggins leaves Bag End he leaves his magic ring in the care of Frodo. This ring must be destroyed and Frodo finds himself on a quest through middle earth to destroy it by throwing it into the Cracks of Doom. Along the way Frodo picks up lots of people to help him on his journey, Gandalf, Legolas, Gimloi, Aragorn, Boromir, plus his three Hobbit friends, Sam, Pippin and Merry. This visual effects in this film are brilliant as are all of the sets. You could turn the volume off and still be amazed with the film. The characters are all perfectly cast. Ian McKellen as Gandalf steals the show though. At first I was a bit disappointed with Gandalf, when I read the book I expected him to be all lovely and fluffy. The Gandalf in the film can be quite frightening but you get used to him and by the end of the film you will love him! Elijah Wood as Frodo is also excellent. He looks really young and little in the film. When he is standing next to Gandalf the makers have made him only half his height. This is carried on all the way through the film. We get a small appearance by Liv Tyler as Arwen. The make-up department must have had a field day having to make people up as elves, hobbits, dwarfs etc etc. The costume department must have had fun as well. All characters looked great, no body looked out of place at all. I expect they took a long time getting ready every time before filming though! The soundtrack isn’t anything that you will know, it’s not the sort of thing that you are going to have blasting out in your car on the way to work. Mostly it’s classical type music put in the film to add atmosphere, which it does very well. If you can, make sure you watch this film to it’s full potential on a Dolby 5.1 sound system. The sound is amazing, one of the best I have heard this year so far! One plus point of going to the cinema I suppose, good sound! One thing I would recommend before seeing this film is that you read The Hobbit which is about a quarter of the length of Lord of the Rings. You will get to know characters like Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf and have some sort of idea what is happening in Lord of the Rings when the film is starting. If you haven’t read the book of Lord of the Rings the story can be quite hard to follow. There’s so much happening in every scene it’s hard to take it all in. You will probably enjoy the film more the second or third time around. You definitely need to watch it more than once because there will be things you miss the first time around. Because The Lord of the Rings is in three parts, this film does end in a funny place. You will feel annoyed because it ends in the middle of a story, not long to wait until the next part now though!
We are unfortunately no longer blessed with the Crystal Maze on our television screens. In it’s time, Crystal Maze was a great game show, one where you could join in and yell at the television at the contestants for being so stupid. Crystal Maze started off being presented by Richard O’Brian. I thought that he was the best presenter, there’s nothing funnier than watching some skinny little bloke running around like a lunatic to add a bit of humour into your life. Afterwards Ed Tudor Pole took over who was funny but you can’t beat Richard O’Brian. Every week a team of contestants worked through the four zones, Industrial, Future, Medieval and Aztec (in the later series the Industrial zone was replaced with the Water zone). In each zone there are lots of different rooms, each with a different puzzle. The leader of contestants gets to choose which sort of game they want to play (mental, skill, mystery or physical) and which person will play it. The player then gets a certain time limit to play the game and try and win a crystal. If they don’t get out of the room in time (with or without the crystal) they get locked in and the only way to get them out is to sacrifice a crystal. At the end of the show their crystals are added up and for each they get 5 seconds in the crystal dome where they are blasted with gale force winds and have to try and catch 200 gold tickets. To make things even more complicated there are silver tickets as well and for each silver ticket they collect, one gold ticket is taken off the total. If they get their 200 gold tickets they win big prizes and if they don’t they are sent packing with a lovely crystal in a box. The novelty of Crystal Maze is the stupidity of the contestants. The games are all easy, very easy (well, they look it anyway) but still they find it impossible to complete them. They get in the room and start yelling, “there’s a kettle, a teab ag and a cup…….I don’t know what to do, I’m coming out!!!!!!!!”. Useless. Even stupider, when their fellow contestants are yelling at them to get out of the room because the time limit is nearly up they just stand in the middle looking vacant until they are locked in. It probably was a lot different on set but on the television all of the rooms and zones were set up really well. I did hear that they did just one zone at a time, set one up and films everyone for the entire series, which would make sense. The Futuristic zone was all computers and technical looking, the Aztec was set in a desert with pyramids, medieval was in the dungeons and the Industrial was all machines. In later series with Ed Tudor Pole the Industrial zone was replaced with a water zone which was set on a ship. Choosing great presents made this show, both added humour into the program making it great fun to watch. Unfortunately the only was you will get to see the Crystal Maze now is re-runs on uk gold or something! Because the programs are that old now the dress sense in them has something to be desired as well but you can laugh at that as well as the contestants trying to working out how to get the crystal.
This was one of my favourite films when I was little, I must of watched it hundreds of times and still do now! The story is about Dorothy Gale who lives with her Uncle and Aunt on a farm in Kanzas. Dorothy runs away one day after someone threatens to kill her dog Toto. A tornado appears and carries her and Toto to the magical land of oz. When Dorothy lands in oz she a hero because her house has landed on the Wicked Witch of the East and killed her. Obviously she wants to get home so she has to follow the yellow brick road to see the ruler of Oz to ask him to send her home. Along the way she makes some friends who join her because they want to ask the great and powerful oz for things too, the Scarecrow wants a brain, the Tinman needs a heart and the Lion needs some courage. Of course she meets the baddies as well, the Wicked Witch of the West tries to capture Dorothy because she killed her sister. There’s also the flying monkeys who carry Dorothy off to the Wicket Witch of the West, nasty things. Nearly as bad a seagulls. All of the actors and actresses in this film are brilliant, they couldn’t have cast it any better. Dorothy is played by Judy Garland, well chosen because she’s not only a good actress but a good singer too. The tinman/scarecrow/lion are all excellent as well. The Wizard of oz is a great film for all ages, the songs in it are guaranteed to get you singing! As a musical you have to expect the odd song but all of the songs in the Wizard of Oz are catchy tunes, apart from the obvious yellow brick road song, the tinman, scarecrow and lion all get their own songs to sing and the munchkins get a sing in at the beginning of the song . It’s a very ‘happy’ film, excellent for Christmas time which is probably why they put it on every year. The special effects are obviously not like they are in films now! For it’s time though the scenes are very well laid out and the od d effect that is in the film doesn’t look out of place. The sets are amazing, they are very colourful so even very little children would enjoy this film, there’s so much happening in every scene, lots to look at! The story is very easy to follow, very straightforward but not so much that it gets boring! So, the time to watch this film. It’s not really a good film if you are going to get the lads round one evening for a bit of a movie night. Believe me, they wouldn’t appreciate it. If you home alone feeling a bit bored one Sunday though this is a great film to put on, even if it’s in the background! Even if you miss bits while you are doing something else it’s not like you don’t know the story!! If you have never seen this film, where have you been!!
Being a big fan of the first Blade film and quite partial to vampires (don’t ask) seeing the sequel was vital. Unfortunately I don’t think it was nearly half as good as the first one. This time Blade is trying to kill off a breed of vampires Called the Reapers. These vampires are an improved breed who cannot be killed with silver or garlic. They can still be killed by daylight though! Reapers feed from other vampires who (if they are lucky enough to live through the attack) become Reapers themselves. Blade and Whistler are called by the Shadow Council to help kill off these vampires. They have The help of a trained team, provided by the Shadow Council. This sequel is definitely more gory than the first Blade. There is a small storyline there but most of the film is taken up with people beating each other up, slicing through each other and generally being violent. This is fine if you can sit through an hour and a half of Wesley Snipes leaping around like a black belt but I got bored after half an hour. When the storyline shows through and they stop fighting it’s very good, there just isn’t enough of it. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good horror/action film with loads of blood, guts and gore, they are my favourite types of film!! There does have to be a constant storyline as well though! If you like fight scenes then you will love this film. The fight scenes are very fast moving and look brilliant. The special effects are great as well as the sound, lots of base in this film (turn the sub up and keep the neighbours awake!!). Wesley Snipes is great as moody Blade, he is just right for the part. Kris Kristofferson returns as Whistler (yes, he did die in the last one). We are also blessed with Luke Goss as Jared. Yes, I know what you are saying, can he act?? Well, I thought he was brilliant. Definitely a good choice for this part and I expect to be seeing him in more films in the future based on this performance. My favourite by far though has to be Danny John Jules playing Assad. Being a bid Red Dwarf fan it’s great to see him out of his shiny suits, I did keep expect his to come out with something like, “how am I looking”, or “five fish, that’s rich”. Luckily he didn’t look like Duane Dibley in this film either. The soundtrack has quite a few well know people, Fatboy Slim, Paul Oakenfold, Cypress Hill, Moby and The Gorillaz. The soundtrack fits in brilliantly with the film and there’s quite a few different varieties of music, dance, R&B etc. It might even be worth investing in the cd for this one! This film is definitely not suitable for young children. There’s a lot of swearing in the film, some excessive I think, it’s not really necessary for all of it to be there. It’s also a very violent film which you probably wouldn’t want your kids watching! If you liked the first Blade you will enjoy the second one. It isn’t as good but still enjoyable and although there are lots of fighting scenes there’s still a storyline in there. They could have made the storyline stronger and put less fighting in the film which would have made it much better but it’s still enjoyable.
Cast Away is a long film, a very long film. Don’t watch this if you only have an hour and a half to spare because you will have to miss off the end!! Aptly named, this film is about a Cast Away. There’s only one main character in the film, Tom Hanks (must have been a cheap labour bill!). There are a few other characters at the beginning and end but the main part of the film only stars one person. Tom Hanks plays Chuck Noland. He works for Fed Ex, in case you haven’t a clue what I am on about now, Fed Ex is an American company who deliver stuff all over the world (not an advert there!). He is happily partnered with Kelly Frears (Helen Hunt) and when he leaves for a business trip over Christmas they swap presents before he flys off. As you would imagine big disaster on the way and the plane crashes, Chuck is the only survivor and finds himself stranded on an island. Over the next few years Chuck learns to live on the island, how to make fire, how to catch fish etc. until he finds a way to get off the island. What I like about this film is that you get to see the whole story through Chuck’s eyes. While he is on the island you have no idea what is happening back at home, no idea how is girlfriend is doing or what happens to the remains of the plane. You live through four years with him and watch him get thinner (and hairier). You will also meet the star of the show – Wilson. Wilson is a volley ball which is washed onto the island in one of the Fed Ex parcels which was on the plane. He becomes Wilson when he acquires a face painted in blood and is Chuck’s only companion on the island. The plane crash in Cast Away is the most realistic that I have seen in any film (not that I have ever experienced one to compare it too). If you are watching this with your 5.1 surround sound it will make you jump!! Brilliant special effects and amazing sound. Tom Hanks (as always) is brilliant, he was de finitely the right person to choose for the part of Chuck. There must have been a lot of work involved for him, he was quite chubby at the beginning of the film and lost a lot of weight when on the island, as you would eating coconuts and fish. This film is suitable for adults and older childred. There are times when there isn’t a lot happening and small children may get bored. There’s also quite a few loud bits, especially in the plane crash, which may frighten young children. Although the film is nearly two hours long it isn’t TOO long. When you are watching it, it doesn’t seem like you are sitting for two hours in front of the television! There are parts in the film where there isn’t much happening but they are all necessary for the atmosphere of the film and storyline. You need to know what it’s like spending all that time on your own on an island! This is quite a thoughtful film. It has both happy and sad parts in it, you don’t have to concentrate too much on the storyline, it’s very well explained. If you haven’t seen this film yet, it’s definitely one to put on your Christmas list!
E-TSP is a book club based on the internet. I originally joined e-TSP because they have a great sign up offer. When I joined I got three books for 1p, which is a bargain!! I did have some reservations when signing up after hearing stories from people about mail order book clubs in general. I had heard nightmare stores about people having books turn up on their doorstep every month that they didn’t want and then having to pay to send them back. So far (touch wood) I have had no problems like this at all. Every month you are sent a small brochure and usually an extra bit with the bestsellers of the month. You can either send back the slip to say that you don’t want the book of the month or you can log on to their internet site and refuse the book of the month on there. They will always send you an e-mail if you do this on the site so that you know you have refused the book. So far I haven’t received one book that I didn’t want. Obviously if you don’t send back the slip or refuse the book on the site you will receive the book of the month. I have a friend who received the book and she e-mailed e-TSP to say that she didn’t want it. They send a prepaid address label for her to return the book so it didn’t cost her anything. You only have the inconvenience of parcelling up the package and going down to the post office, which is your own fault for not returning the slip!! I have known people to refuse the parcel when it is delivered and it will be returned to the sender, this is a good way to get out of taking it back to the post office!! The club itself then. The prices are moderately cheap. There’s nothing that you wouldn’t find for the same price elsewhere, amazon for example. The choice of books isn’t wide but you can usually find something interesting every month. The way to get cheap books from this club is to buy two. If you buy two books you will get the second at a redu ced price, usually half price. You also have to pay postage costs so watch that you are not paying too much for the books! I would say that e-tsp aren’t any better than any other website to get books from and personally I would rather have a wider choice and browse around amazon for a while and purchase from them. Occasionally you will find a bargain new release. I have found that e-TSP usually get paperback versions of new releases quickly which means you can buy the book cheaper!! If you prefer to have the hardback version this is of no interest to you at all! Their website is very good. It downloads quickly and it’s easy to find your way around. So the outcome is that the only reason to join this club really is for the first three books which you get really cheap! You have to stay a member for six months (I think!) and then you can cancel. This isn’t a problem if you can remember to cancel the recommended book every month but if you are forgetful you may want to think twice about joining.