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    • UGC Cinema / Other UK / Ireland topic / 1 Reading / 0 Ratings
      More +
      23.02.2017 12:48


      • "Good cinema"


      • Costly

      Hateful 8 - a film I saw here

      ‘A bastard's work is never done’

      Star – Samuel L Jackson
      Genre – Western
      Run Time – 187 minutes
      Certificate – 18
      Country – USA
      Oscars – Won 1 & 1 nomination
      Golden Globe – Won 1 & 1 nomination
      Awards – 35 Wins & 107 Nominations
      Amazon – £5.00 DVD £7.95 Blue Ray
      = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

      ” “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” The past has these people between its teeth”
      (William Faulkner – ‘Requiem for a Nun’)

      Quentin Tarrantino, like many directors with a vision, is a big enough name to have the luxury to only make the films they want to make, so often very good or very average films, Tarantino comfortably near the top of that particular pile. Inglorious Bastards made my teeth itch with that Brad Pit character yet I really enjoyed Django Unchained, The Hateful 8 being another western with a bit of both thrown in. As one critic said:

      ’…..Nobody does what Tarantino does, and that alone, in a world of copycats and sequels and rip-offs, makes him priceless…..’ But another critic said: ‘For some years, [Tarantino's] movies have felt less like great films, more like exacting punishments to be nobly endured in the name of Cinema…’

      Quentin has said ‘The Thing’ and ‘Reservoir Dogs’ are his influences for this one and it shows, Kurt Russell joining Samuel L Jackson, Tim Roth and Michael Madsen for this one. 77-year- Ennio Morricone is also back with QT and scoring his first Western for 34-years, famous for the early 1960s Spaghetti Westerns, of course. Interestingly, QT reveals in the extras that Morricone used a lot of off cuts from The Thing for this movie. There are some strange and pretension slow motion moments that point to that soundtrack stuff.

      The films biggest problem was distribution. Quentin insisted it was shot in 65mm ‘Ultimate Panavision’, a process from the 1950s and 1960s, only 10 films ever shot on those cameras with this film size, Khartoum (1966) the last. In fact he had to dig the cameras out from the Panavision museum, refit them to survive the extreme cold for the mountain shoot and pray the only three available didn’t breakdown. The camera was designed for sweeping panoramas and there are plenty of those here. It looked great on Blue Ray so I can only imagine how it looked in the big screen cinemas. But some chains refused to take the film in the U.K. as they simply didn’t have the projection to show it or not prepared to pay the extra for the kit and specialist projectionists’ required. As a result, 50 theaters internationally were retrofitted with anamorphic-lensed 70mm analogue film projectors, to display the film as he intended it to be seen. UK cinema chains, Picturehouse, Curzon and Cineworld, did not be show the film. Rather ironically most of the film is shot in a wooden cabin.

      As usual Tarantino can’t resist the ‘N’ word and a bit of female beating thrown into shock some more. For his penance, disaster struck early on after the script was leaked online. Quentin Tarantino did not then want to make the film. However, the project was rebooted after the cast did a brief reading of the script and got excited for the film, Samuel L. Jackson persuading him to do this film, Tarantino accepting and giving Jackson his first lead role in a QT film in return. There was further disaster when a studio executive appeared to release the movie online a week before the adapted DVD release.


      A guitar destroyed by Kurt Russell's character in the film was not a prop but an antique 1870s Martin guitar loaned by the Martin Guitar Museum. The guitar was supposed to have been switched with a copy to be destroyed, but this was not communicated to Russell; everyone on the set was "pretty freaked out" at the guitar's destruction and Leigh's reaction was genuine in the film, though "Tarantino was in a corner of the room with a funny curl on his lips. The museum will no longer loan guitars to film production companies because of this incident. Insurance covered the loss.

      ===The Cast===

      -Main characters-

      • Samuel L. Jackson as Major Marquis Warren a.k.a. "The Bounty Hunter"
      • Kurt Russell as John Ruth a.k.a. "The Hangman"
      • Jennifer Jason Leigh as Daisy Domergue a.k.a. "The Prisoner"
      • Walton Goggins as Chris Mannix a.k.a."The Sheriff"
      • Demián Bichir as Bob (Marco the Mexican) a.k.a. "The Mexican"
      • Tim Roth as Oswaldo Mobray (English Pete Hicox) a.k.a. "The Little Man"
      • Michael Madsen as Joe Gage (Grouch Douglass) a.k.a. "The Cow Puncher"
      • Bruce Dern as General Sanford "Sandy" Smithers a.k.a. "TheConfederate"

      -Supporting characters-

      • James Parks as O.B. Jackson
      • Channing Tatum as Jody Domergue, Daisy's brother
      • Dana Gourrier as Minnie Mink
      • Zoë Bell as Six-Horse Judy
      • Lee Horsley as Ed
      • Gene Jones as Sweet Dave
      • Keith Jefferson as Charly
      • Craig Stark as Chester Charles Smithers
      • Belinda Owino as Gemma
      • Quentin Tarantino as the narrator (uncredited)

      ===Plot ===

      Its years after the American Civil War and high in the snowy mountains bounty hunter Major Marquis Warren (SLJ) is transporting three dead bounties to the town of Red Rock, Wyoming. Warren is known for not bringing them back alive. When his horses give up on him he hitches a ride on a stagecoach driven by a man named O.B. Jackson (James Parks). In the carriage is John Ruth, another feared bounty hunter, known for bringing in outlaws alive just to see them hang. The feisty murderer Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is handcuffed to him, also heading to Red Rock. Both men are suspicious of anyone who might steal the claim to the substantial bounties they have between them and eyeing ach others pieces at all times. Ruth knows of Warren and vice versa and bond over Warren's personal letter from Abraham Lincoln.

      Now we have another man wanting to hitch a ride with them as the blizzard catches them up, former militiaman Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), who brags that he is traveling to Red Rock as the town's new sheriff, soon on the stagecoach. Neither men believe he is sheriff material.

      The coach is not going to make it to Red Rock in the storm and so they seek refuge in Minnie's Haberdashery, a stagecoach lodge. They are greeted by Bob (Demián Bichir), a Mexican who says he is the stand in for Aussie owner Minnie Minx (Dana Gourrier), who is visiting her mother and left him in charge. The other lodgers are the talkative hangman Oswaldo Mobray (TimRoth), Joe Gage (Michael Madsen), a quiet cowboy traveling to visit his mother; and elderly Sanford Smithers (Bruce Dern), a former Confederate general traveling to put his missing son to rest. Ruth decides its best they all disarm and put their guns in a bucket if they are to sleep the night through here, a room full of men and women not best trusted around their valuable human cargo. It proves the case as the killing begins and we discover who is who and why they are really here…


      A Rogues gallery with no one to root for is the tag line here and spot on, the Hatful 8 indeed. As usual Tarantino is detailed on all aspects of the movie and nothing left to chance. As I said he loves to offend wit the ‘N’ word and some women beating and claims its authentic behavior of the time. There are also some pretentious scenes of horse and carriage racing across the plains in slow motion so he can linger on those 65mm panorama shots. Why take 5 minutes for a scene when you can take 20 is Tarantino’s mantra. Because of this the film gets flabby and so we end up with three hours of it and three more on the cutting room floor. QT is definitely chasing Oscars here. It got just one and nothing to do with him.

      Critics have said the fact that the film is set at an undetermined point shortly after the end of the American Civil War is obviously no accident. As the guy from The NY Times said: ‘Minnie’s Haberdashery becomes America writ small, fraught with all the hideous, baked-in racial tension that lingers in the United States to this day. (At one point, the room is even divided into rival North and South areas.)”. When I read that line I looked back on the film and thought, yep, spot on, I didn’t grasp that. In fact its one of those films you only know how good it is after you have actually thought about what you have been watching. Often something really good is judged as OK as you take if for granted because of the talent making it.

      As I say its way too long at 3 hours and a more realistic two hour runtime would have earned its fourth sheriffs star for me. At $44m its one of Tarantino’s more expensive projects and actor’s salaries always kept low as they are desperate to work for him. It did $158m back and so one of his better earners.

      You will enjoy it if you watch it but you just need it to move a little faster and not one you would watch again, as you would Pulp Fiction or Reservoir Dogs. Its classic Tarantino non linear stuff with a decent twist built in and appropriately hammy performances by the cast. As entertainment goes it’s a decent film ad looks incredible as we unpick the mystery as the macho men face off in the cabin as the storm howls.


      Imdb.com – 7.8 /10.0 (325,536votes)
      Rottentomatos.com – 75% critic’s approval
      Metacritic.com – 68% critic’s approval



      ===Special Features===

      This is a rare case where you really need to rent or buy this one in Blue Ray as that detail is the real kick of the movie. It looks fabulous as the sweeping panoramas and rich Rocky Mountain vistas splatter across your TV screen.

      -Sam Jenkins guide to 70mm-

      The cinematographer talks about using the old cameras and lens and how they got it all to work.
      If the cameras failed at altitude there would be problems.


      Sunday Times –‘For some years, [Tarantino's] movies have felt less like great films, more like exacting punishments to be nobly endured in the name of Cinema’.

      Sight & Sound –‘Nobody does what Tarantino does, and that alone, in a world of copycats and sequels and rip-offs, makes him priceless’.

      New Statesmen –‘"Hateful" isn't the word I would use. Wasteful sounds right - of our time and Tarantino's talents’.

      London Evening Standard –‘It's mannered, grandiose and self-indulgent, but in its own way absolutely expert. Aesthetic, even, if you like that’.

      Empire –‘As the pieces slot quickly into place, the investment you made in these people and their predicaments begins to pay off, big time’.

      Financial Times –‘Tarantino has returned to his first film's template - colorful characters, a single room, blood and betrayal - but this time in a framework that is deliberately designed for repeat viewing’.

      The Mail-‘These characters are, as we are told from the outset, all hateful... and they aren't interesting or dynamic enough to overcome that fact’.

      The NY Post –‘The movie isn't one of Tarantino's fantasties correcting historical atrocities, it's about American history *as* an atrocity. The declaration of an angry political consciousness from an artist I never imagined having one’.



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    • More +
      13.04.2016 17:10
      Very helpful


      • "good first in the series"
      • "good twists"
      • "a good story"
      • "good main characters"
      • "A good read"


      • none

      A good story that brings the past into the future ...

      I was asked to read this by a friend of a friend of a friend – you get the point – my friend gave me a brief run down of what to expect, making sure that she did not tell me anything that may spoil my reading of the book itself, which was nice.
      Before I start I have to say that I do not know the author very well, only knowing that the author is stepping into a series of novels under the name of Ascend from the Ashes.
      Right then.

      My first reaction of her description was that this book was not going to be my cup of tea, with me thinking that it was going to be one of those prison escape stories – you know the ones, where a person is wrongly accused of something, who then escapes from prison to find the one armed man in order to prove his innocence – But it is far from that, (even though there is a prison break in this). I found this to be more of a look into how some people, those that stand up for their freedom, their rights to live in peace. Those that do not want to follow the strict rules and laws of the land, the laws of the world, have to struggle just to live.

      As I continued reading I was learning more about each character. Not just through what the author was telling me, but also through the way the characters themselves talked about each other, learning about each of the characters mannerisms, their fears, each persons likes, dislikes, even the emotional roller coaster that each characters has gone through, and still going through. This, for me, made me feel for the main characters in what turns into a battle of survival and a life built on hope.

      Throughout the book the author gives the idea of the world being controlled by vicious dictators who use a single religion to put fear into all those that are under their control. Maybe that is why she has given the characters easier names to remember, such as Paul, Martin, Brian and Dean, taking the readers away from the slaves names they had. Giving each one of them a more, shall we say, 'friendlier' persona.
      This was one thing in the book that made me think “why?” until I realised that those 'simple' names made it easier to separate the good from the bad. With the book actually explaining about the names which seemed to make perfect sense.

      ** The Storyline …
      The story itself is a simple format. That being of the peoples struggle to survive in a world of hatred, violence and butchery.
      But it's the way this story is told that makes it a book worth reading. The way this author uses a simple format, together with a 15th Century religion, then adds in a dash of strict laws, punishment, mutilations, butchery and then creates strong relationships within the main characters that makes this one stand out from others I have read.

      Let me try and give you a brief run down of the storyline without spoiling anything. Here goes then ..

      The story begins a little, well, strange, at first, soon flashing back in time, then catching back up on itself later in the story – Although later in the book I realised why the first few paragraphs were there, opening the book quite well – Then the story really began, taking me into what I can only describe as a journey that brings the characters alive whilst creating a few twists and turns that made me sit back and ask myself 'why did I not see that coming?'
      The story takes you across a harsh country that dangerous in all aspects, from the starving wild animals that pad across the land to the Mujahideen's who hunt any person they deem a threat, or even just for fun. Even the villages and towns people are as dangerous at the wild lions and tigers which has created a world of mistrust and evil.

      The story rolls along nicely, taking me into many pitfalls that the characters have to deal with. Even making me feel for them when things began to happen. Be that death and destruction to those softer moments that only the bonding of friends can ever create.
      There are a few surprises within the book, with each one as obvious as the others once you know what they are. These surprises creating a whole new set of problems for those that are fleeing their hunters.

      The ending is a little – I will say, brief, but as this is the first in a series of Ascend from the Ashes novels by the same author the ending makes more sense, it being ready to take the reader into the next book.

      ** The Characters …
      The main characters, – of which I can't not say here some come and go throughout the book, but there are three main characters to look out for) – struggle each day just to survive, as do most people living in a world that has one law, a strict law that punishes anyone and everyone for the slightest of reasons.
      Their only hope is that the rumoured city that hides within the mountains actually does exist, with them heading north in the vain hope that they are heading towards freedom. Towards a life where a person can be what they want when they want, without fear of torture and public execution.

      These characters are easy to get to know, with a few insights into how their struggles got them to where they are, all knowing that there may be worse to come, especially if they are captured. This then allows the reader to follow the small group as they go through almost every emotion as they head to what they hope is freedom.
      Throughout the book, the entire book, the author makes you imagine the pains, the sufferings, the hurt, the hatred, and many more emotions as the small group flee across the country to find a place that, for them, may not even exist. Their individual knowledge and skills combining to help each other along the journey, although – sorry for a spoiler – not all of them make it as some of the characters that begin the book don't make it into the final chapters. But, during the chapters there are new characters that appear, giving a more wider scope of the characters themselves.
      There are a mix of characters too, each having at least a single purpose within the group, all combining to let the reader understand how and what the group are doing.

      There are a few good twists throughout this book. All making perfect sense once I read them, with me then wondering why I did not pick up the signs, the clues, that I had already passed during the read, soon recalling where they fitted into the twists themselves. The first twist hitting me in such a way as it would if I jump into a lake from off a mountain side hundreds of feet high. That twist then managing to bring more emotions into the story without things getting out of hand.

      ** Conclusion
      After I had finished reading this I was told that this was the first in a series of novels from the author, all in the 'Ascend from the Ashes' series, with this one being titled “the search for Freedom.
      I do know that this is the first in a line of 'Ascend from the Ashes' novels, all surrounding the lives of those that are fighting the strict laws that govern the world, this one being called 'The Search for freedom'. I have been told that the next in this series is well underway and, even though I'm not really one for reading such books, I have told my friend to tell her friend to tell his friend that It will be a pleasure to read the second book in this series. Secretly in the hope that it will be as good, or even better, than this one. I have been told that the next book promises to be one that strikes the heart of the readers as the story concentrates on one particular character, ripping that characters life apart, bringing an emotional novel that will have you crying, (Let's hope so).

      ** Would I recommend this to you?
      Yes, without a doubt. This is one of those books that I enjoyed reading, with each chapter as good as the last, some chapters filled with action, suspense and thrills, other giving you more of an idea about the characters who are in the book itself.
      The book flows at a good pace and has some rather interesting events in many of the chapters, with some shorter chapters giving the reader, and the characters, a bit of a breather.
      It has all one needs, thrills, action, drama, good characters, bad characters and it even has a few places which may well tug at your heart strings as you realised what is , or has just happened.
      As I said, I don't want to spoil the story, just in case you do want to read it, so I don't want to be telling you what happens in each of the chapters. What I will say is that the chapters come thick and fast, some of them more action packed than the last, with one of two simple chapters that helped me get to know the characters a little more.

      ** Where to get it …?
      Head over to amazon, or go onto barnesandnoble.com and input Ascend from the Ashes (ISBN-13: 2940157949457 on Barnesandnoble) and grab an ebook for £2.49.
      For that you get hundreds of pages crammed into 75 chapters, some chapters short, others longer, but all having an important part to play.
      So, for £2.49, it's a nice little price for a rather interesting read.


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    • More +
      18.08.2015 12:22
      Very helpful


      • Quality
      • "Great style"


      • Expensive

      If you have the money- worth a buy!

      I managed to get these a little bit cheaper online just below £100 but the average asking price for these online is around 150. I love testing electronics so I decided to give these Monster Beats Studio High Definition headphones a try and after that pass them on my little cousin who was asking for new headphones for a while now. I received the product in just two days from ordering.

      Many people re out off by the price of these headphones, especially the kind of people who think tesco value in ear headphone are the only ones you need, i thought that to but i went for it after hearing and reading so many praised reveiws. So i bought them and now it is one of the best things i have done in my life. at first i didnt really notice that much of a difference in sound quality but when i used my old head phones i could really tell the difference. the superior bass and the smooth crisp melody's this pair of headphone produce is just astonishing

      On top of all of that, these headphones are very fashionable and elegantly fashioned. The leather and lavish padding feels extreemly comfy on your ears and you can have them on for drawn-out periods of time without irritation or feelings that your ears are going to be blown out. They fold neatly to fit into their carrying case and they come enclosed with two cords, one of which has a mike piece for you to use the headphones hands-free with your iPhone or other music cell phone.


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    • Soundlab DLP32 / Turntable / 3 Readings / 3 Ratings
      More +
      18.08.2015 12:18
      Very helpful


      • "Quite cheap"


      • "Tinny Sound"

      Useful- probably not the best in the market though!

      You can get this product for around the hundred pound mark, this likeable model has a built in lid which keeps the system under wraps and a smooth and stylish interface. The retro look of the deck gives it a classic appeal without it looking to eighties. The best features on this model are the antiskating bar, which will ensure for a slicker mix, this means you won't be sliding all over the place and also makes it a good choice for beginners who might have come from a belt drive deck to a direct drive.

      They have a pitch bend, adjustable pitch control, target light, very strong strobe light powered by 4 LEDs, tonearm height adjust, 1.8kg/cm2 torque, startup speed of 0.4 sec (Technics are 0.7 [i think])and the anti-skate goes up to 7. If you use a Stanton Groovemaster cart on the provided headshell you can scratch to your hearts content. SoundLab got a bad name some years ago with the old DLP-3 which wasnt very useful at all and since that people have stopped looking to them for a good deck.

      An excellent turntable for the bedroom DJ, but when you start playing professionally you really need Technics because chances are thats what the club will be using and you will need to be used to them. In comparason, there is no questioning which is a better deck between a DLP-32 and an SL1200. Techs are very very well built, to a degree that no other deck can really match them. But for the money, the DLP-32 is your best bet.


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    • Logic3 iStation 3 / Speaker / 8 Readings / 7 Ratings
      More +
      08.04.2015 15:42
      Very helpful
      1 Comment


      • "easy to use"
      • "loud enough"
      • "recharges ipod batteries"
      • "Nice size docking station"


      • none

      Treat you ears to some gentle sounds without breaking the bank

      This is an ipod docking station really and a lot cheaper than some of the dedicated products out there.
      It also has slots for other music systems, using a 3.5mm port, plus a USB port, But as an ipod docker it charges up the ipod
      it measure about 115mm high by 160mm wide by 30mm deep, so it can sit on a desk without taking up too much room.
      It gets it's power from the mains, which means that it runs all day long without losing any power at all. Or you can use 4 AA batteries if you want to go mobile with it.
      On either side that are clear plastic covers that slide around the front of the speakers.
      You dock your ipod onto the pins on the front section that sticks out. Then, using the ipod features you select the tunes you want to listen to.
      It has two speakers which are small but give out a decent enough music quality, 6 watts in total, so it's ideal for sitting on your desk when you want to listen to something relaxing after a stressful time
      the sound quality is great, although it's a big help to have good quality tracks on your ipod to start with, but the speakers in this give out a good enough sound. There's no bass to shout about, and there's very little 'tinniness' to complain about too.
      The other good thing about it is that, when you ipods docked with this, your ipod batteries will eb charging up as you listen to your tracks.
      This rather fine little docking station sells for about £30, at the most, with some places selling it for a lot less. This is one of those things that is nice to get as a presents as it is not something that you'd actually think about buying for yourself. But once you've used it you'll wonder why you didn't get it for yourself a while back.


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      • Flex R502FR / Power Drill / 7 Readings / 7 Ratings
        More +
        06.04.2015 21:39
        Very helpful


        • "does exactly what it should do"
        • "powerfull enough"
        • "nice weight"
        • "Easy to use"


        • "none for what it is"

        Mix your stuff up with a lot mroe ease

        A while back I had to do some DIY that I don't really like to do, that being plastering. I hate plastering and my up most respect goes to professional plasterers as, for me, is pure annoyance.
        But, as I said, I had to do some plastering, basically, almost every wall in the house I was working on. This meant I had to get hold of a plaster mixer so that I could mix smooth a bath tub of plaster in one go.
        My dilemma was whether to hire a mixer or buy one, which, after checking out the hire prices, and realising that I did not have a clue how long I would need the tool for, I thought I'd invest in one just in case I decided to do more plastering in the future And this is the one that I bought.

        This looks like all other mixers of its kind. Having two handles, one either side of the motor, so that you can get a good grip of the mixer and manoeuvre it around the bathtub in order to get the plaster mixed properly. On one handle there is the on/off button which, when squeezed, kicks the motor into life.
        Then, sticking out of the underside of the motor housing,
        there's a chuck type clamp which is designed to hold the mixer heads, which are basically long poles with blades on the end. Think 'kitchen' mixer and you get the idea.

        It comes with two paddles, of mixer heads, which are designed to be used for mixing different things. The 'two head' paddle for light plaster, paint and other lighter mixes. Then there's the strange looking head that is designed for heavier mixtures, such as cement, grouting, resin and other heavier stuff.
        It offers 600 watts of power, which is plenty for mixing well.
        The metal poles goes into a clamp so that the poles can be detached for cleaning. With two mixer poles coming with this unit.

        All you do to use it is push the end of the paddle into the mix, press the trigger and move the machine slowly around the mixture as it mixes
        This mixer sells for about £60, which is good money really for what it is.
        So, if you are planning to do any form of mixing, be that paint, plaster, resin or what ever, this is something well worth looking into


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      • Bosch GHO26-82 / Planer / 6 Readings / 6 Ratings
        More +
        05.04.2015 14:25
        Very helpful


        • "safe enough"
        • "Easy to use"
        • "enough power"


        • "none "

        Bosch those doors into the frames... and other things too

        It is a 710watt unit with a planing depth of 2 – 6mm with a width of 80mm
        This is a straight forward looking plane, looking more like a handle for a suitcase, a large suitcase.
        It starts at the top, with the handle itself, which arches over the back end of the plane and houses the trigger on the underside and the lock button to the side. The lock button allows you to lock the machine in the on position without having to keep the trigger pulled.
        At the front of the machine, where the handle joins the main unit, there is a large blue knob that seems to be useless. This is not useless, it is a knob that lets you decide which way the shavings fly out of the machine, left or right. This may not sound useful but if you're in a situation where you have to shave some wood but don't want to mess up one side of the work you simply select the other side to throw the waste by turning the knob.
        Further down from the selector know there is the depth guide, which is basically a dial that turns so that the actual shaving blade goes down or up, lower or higher. This dial turns in ½ mm sections, which sounds like nothing but ½ mm in shaving depth world is more than enough.
        On the underside there's the footplate. This is a flat as a witches what-sits and has a slot in it that the blade slides through. There's also three grooves that act as guides for when you're planing at angles.
        The blade itself is strong, a lot stronger than some blades that I've used, and manages to withstand a few whacks against hidden nails and screws. It even manages to sharpen quite quickly as well.
        The handle is well designed and is large enough to hold easily, even when wearing protective gloves. Then depth changing know is a good size too, easily turned with gloves on and as the mm marks are at almost a quarter of the way around the dial you're less likely to accidentally dig too deep.
        There's also a small red 'leg' that, when pulled out, lets you stand this unit on the footplate without damaging the blade.
        The cost of this basic electric plane is a low £80, roughly, which is good money for a machine that does exactly what it is designed to do.


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      • More +
        05.04.2015 00:09
        Very helpful


        • "easy to use"
        • " plus spare"
        • "quick charge battery"
        • "good stamina"
        • "Good power"
        • "Good size"


        • none

        AEG have done a good job with this one ... which is nice

        There is a little LED light that shines toward the area that you are doing your work into, which means that where you are working with this there will be light.

        It is only 160mm tall and about that long with the shape of it being as you'd expect any driver of its kind. Although the difference with this one is that the battery pack is a 'stick' type battery that slots into the handle itself, instead of a bulky type that slides onto the bottom of the handle. This is what makes this driver a little easier to get into tighter corners.
        The trigger is where it should be, at the top of the handle where the under belly of the machine starts, with the directional button being just above the trigger.
        At the front there is the torques settings, 17 in total, found by turning the easy to use dial around into the number you want lines up with the mark on the top. The lower to torque number the less pressure the chuck needs in or to stop turning.
        In front of the torque setting there is the chuck itself, which is a keyless chuck and can be loosened, or tightened with one hand as it locks in place when you turn it a fraction.
        Then, just below the torque dial, there is a small LED light that brightens up the area you are working on.

        The battery is a 12volt Li-ion type and rechargeable using the massive charger that comes in the box. This charger allows a dead battery to get to full charge in about 30 minutes. This makes it a good thing when it comes to those longer screwing sessions. Plus, I got a spare battery in the case which meant that this driver was never out of charge really.
        When charging the battery you can keep an eye on the process as the charger has small lights on it as the battery charges.
        This is a fine handy driver which offers plenty of power without the bulk that some of these drivers have.

        This driver can be found in many DIY shops for a good price of about £60, which is a good price for an AEG branded tool


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      • Einhell RT CS 165 / Power Saw / 6 Readings / 6 Ratings
        More +
        31.03.2015 22:57
        Very helpful


        • "angles and straight cuts "
        • "cuts well"
        • "safe to use"
        • "Not as noisy as some"
        • Powerful


        • "none really"

        Einhell goes in circles and does a fine job doing it.

        This is a 1200watt machine with a cutting blade diameter of 165mm.with a start button on either side of the rear handle, making it fine for south paws too. It also has a front handle to get the pressure on the downward point in order to keep the saw under control.
        It has a cutting depth of 54mm as a straight cut and 40mm when it's at a 45° angle.
        It looks a bit of a monster really, and to be honest, it is, as it is a little bulkier than some circular saws I've used.
        The blade spins at a powerful 5200 rpms, which slow down as the blade hits the wood. The blade is covered with a retractable guard that pushes back into the machine as the saw goes into the wood. This means that it is unlikely to take one of your fingers by accident as the guard doesn't allow any part of the blade to become exposed as it does what it is supposed to do.
        To change the angle of the cut you simply loosen the catch at the front, then push the footplate to the angle you want, up to 45°, with the guide on the side showing the angles in number up the side. Once you have the angle you tighten the nut once more.
        It also had a width guide which slides into the top edge of the footplate and is moved by loosening the nut, getting the setting and tightening the nut once more.
        The handle is a good size and there's no way that you're going to loose grip of it as it seems to be moulded to anyone's hand.
        There is a dust extraction port that a vacuum connector can be attached to so that when you're cutting through the wood you don't get covered in saw dust as it gets sucked straight into the vacuum cleaner.
        This circular saw sells for a rather fine £50 - £60 which is good money for what you get and the power it offers.


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      • lipsy.co.uk / Online Shop / 2 Readings / 2 Ratings
        More +
        31.03.2015 15:42
        Very helpful



        A nice way for ladies to look fine .. or men if they want to...

        My eldest daughter is at that stage of life where it's a new outfit each day or 'she ain't ever going out again 'cause I've ruined her life forever'. Fortunately, these days, there are a few good online shops that offer good quality clothing at a nice price. And this is one of them. It's full name being “Lipsy London”

        When she first pointed me in this direction I spent a bit of time checking it out to see if it was all that it seemed, my saying is “If it's at a lower price than other places then there could be someone after my card details ….”.

        But after a little checking around I found that, even though this is a reasonably priced shop, it is one of those that is trustworthy with your card details. Which is nice to know. Plus, as I found out recently, when it comes to returning an items, due to it being a wrong size, the refunding of monies back onto my card took days rather than months
        The website itself is as easy an any other catalogue style site to navigate around, giving you quicker links to narrow your search of what you are looking for, such as shoes, tops, leggings, hoodies, denim and more. Or you could shop by brand instead, although I have no idea who these brands are as when it comes to fashion I am at the bottom end of the waiting list.

        You do have to set up an account in order to order, but this takes minutes and, if you want to, you can have the site store your card details so you don't have to input them for future orders. I chose not to store my card details, but that's preference. As far as I can tell the site is safe and your card details are as safe as they would be on any other site of its kind.

        The quality of the goods are great. My daughter has spent quite a bit of money on the site and has been pleased with everything she has bought. The only reason she had to return an item recently was because it was the wrong size. But returning it and getting a full refund the my credit card took all of four days. Which is great for any online shops as far as i'm concerned.

        So, if you have a daughter, or you like to buy ladies clothing at a nice price without fear of shoddy wears, then this is a good site to look into. My daughter swears by it.


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      • Panasonic RF-U350EG-S / Portable Radio / 6 Readings / 6 Ratings
        More +
        30.03.2015 22:07
        Very helpful


        • "extendable aerial"
        • "basic features"
        • "good sound quality"
        • "Easy to use"


        • "no DAB"

        A basic radio that is for basic use... and a good job it does too

        It is a rectangular box shaped radio, being about 150mm high by about 280mm wide and about 65mm deep. It has one of those thin aluminium pull out aerial that, when not in use, slots into one short piece and is clipped to a little hook on the back of the unit.
        On the front is the speaker, together with a small screen that shows you information such as the radio station you're listening to, the time of day and such like. The screen is about 50 by 70mm
        The controls are along the top, with those being the manual tuning button, the volume, on and off, the preset channels, FM choice and more. All easy to understand and all being marked quite clearly on what they are.
        You can have up to 10 preset channels, setting them in place by pressing and holding the number keys when you've found the channel you want to save.
        There is a headphone socket on the rear so that you can listen to the radio without disturbing others.

        There is a carry handle that stretches over the top of the unit and is easy to grip and well made so that there is little chance of the handle snapping off or you losing your grip on it.

        The sound quality is second to none, although it does depend a lot on how well you've got the station tuned in, but with a bit of a jiggle of the aerial I tend to get a crystal clear sound coming from the 2watt speaker. The build is excellent really and the one I have has had a few knocks, but it's still going strong, even if the bottom right corner has a bit of a dent in it

        The price of this basic FM radio is about £25 - £30, which is not too bad for the strong build of this one, even if it does not have the DAB that many others have.


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      • More +
        29.03.2015 23:35
        Very helpful


        • "4 ink cartridge sytem"
        • "simple to understand menu settings"
        • "clear screen"
        • wireless
        • "Easy all in one system"


        • none

        "By-ep son, this is a fine all in one isn't it/"

        This has all the controls on the front, including a 2.4 inch screen that is so clear you could watch a movie on it.
        The control consist of such things as the power button, wireless connection light, home button, stop button, start button and a cursor arrangement that helps you move through the options when you're using the unit.
        I mention the wireless light as this all in one is wireless, which means the only wire needed is the one that plugs into the mains socket in your home. This also means that you can print from any PC in the home, as long as you have installed the software to do so.
        You can also print from anywhere in the world, apparently, but I've not done that yet so I can't say where it's a good or bad thing.
        It uses the preferred four ink cartridge system, which means that you only have to replace the one colour you run out of. To check the ink levels you simply press the menu keys, scroll through though the settings and find the 'check ink level'. This gives you an idea of how much there is in each cartridge.
        The printer itself is great at doing what it is supposed to do, it prints, scans and copies what ever you want it to do, and it prints as fast as any other all in one does.
        You can work without a PC by simply plugging an SD card and using the menu to get to see the image son the small screen.
        Using this is simple, especially if you are using a PC do do it from. All you do is turn this on, wait for the wireless system to kick in. the find the thing you want printing on your PC and press print. This sends the data over the wireless airwaves and the printer prints it out.
        The scanning is the same, put the thing you want scanning underneath the top, placing it face down on the glass. Then, from your PC, or the menu controls, you press scan. The copying is as easy as the others, being a little mix of scan and print.

        This printer sells for about £100, give or take, which is money well spent on something that does it all in one.


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      • Makita BHP452 / Power Drill / 6 Readings / 6 Ratings
        More +
        29.03.2015 22:50
        Very helpful


        • "Nice carry case"
        • "easy to use"
        • "Super fast charge"
        • Powrful


        • "Maybe a bit over priced"

        Makita is not just an Elton John song

        This is an 18 volt version and is shaped like most other battery operated drills of its kind. It has a handle that the battery slots into, with a trigger near the top end of the handle. There's also the standard directional button that lies just to the side of the trigger. At the front top of the handle there is a little tiny light that aims are the area that the drill/driver bit is working into. This brightens up the area when you need to as the light comes on when you squeeze the trigger.
        As we look at the front there's the torque setting, 16 in all, plus a hammer-drill, driver action and drill action setting. All wrapped around the torque setting ring.
        Then right at the front of the unit there's the chuck itself, which is keyless and means there's no need to worry about losing the key to lock or unlock the chuck to get the bit out.
        On the top of the main body there's the gear selector, which, when pushed forward or backward slips the gears into '1' or '2' gear. This comes in handy when it's time to drill into those harder materials such as concrete or brick.
        The handle has a soft, rubber grip to it which makes it nice a comfortable to hold, even when it comes to getting a stronger grip.
        The chuck can be loosened, or tightened, with one hand as the chuck locks into place when you're turning it.

        It has a super fast charging rate, being less than thirty minutes from completely flat to fully charged.
        The charger itself is a bit of a monster but you'd expect that in a quick charge system.
        All this comes in a rather fine aluminium case that has a foam inner which hugs all the pieces perfectly well.

        The only down side to this is the price, which is about £160. That seems a lot of money for a drill, and it is really. But if you want a drill that is going to last a daily battle with screws and drilling then this is not too bad at all.


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      • More +
        28.03.2015 16:13
        Very helpful


        • "good sized table and seats"
        • "seats four easily"
        • "Easy enough to carry"
        • "Well built"


        • "none really"

        Make sure you have a picnic table with you, even in those busier days

        This is basically a portable table with four little seats attached to it, which folds into something the size of a long thin case.
        To set this up you simply open the two halves of the case, laying them flat on the ground. Then you pull up the chairs from inside, which should gently pull upwards, to the side and into a more seating position. Then you simply turn the unit the right way up.
        That's all it takes to set this up, everything clicks into place when you pull them up, locking into a strong position.
        To put it away you push the centre of the brackets on the underside of the chairs, which folds the chair legs in. then you push the mid section of the upper part of the chairs, which lets you push the chairs into the bottom of the table.
        Then simply fold the two halves of the table to create the case with a handle.

        In more detail though, when set up, the table is about 850mm by 670mm, with each seating area being 280mm by 280mm. The legs on the chair are thin yet remarkable strong, although I wouldn't let your pet elephant sit on it.
        The plastic seats and table top are light yet remarkable strong, which is what you need for something is going to be sat on.
        When this is set up as a table and chairs is stand about 700mm high with the chairs standing about 360mm off the ground, which is about the right height when it comes to sitting down for something to eat.

        I tend to use this when ever we are off on a day out where I know we will be eating close to the car, mainly as carrying this can be a little disheartening after a few miles. But if you're planning to picnic nearer your car then this is ideal as it means that you don't have to fight with Yogi for the last picnic table.
        The seats are strong enough to sit on and, even though made of plastic, they are quite comfortable really. Meaning that sitting on them for a while is not going to cause hassles to your rear end.
        The table itself is big enough for most picnicking trips, giving you space to put all your food out with out worrying about the ants running off with your mini sausages.

        This picnicking/camping table sells for about £30 - £40, although Argos are selling similar one for less than £30.


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      • More +
        26.03.2015 23:30
        Very helpful


        • "traps in place quickly"
        • "extends easily"
        • "good clear markings"
        • "Easy to use"


        • "none really"

        A strip of metal that rolls into itself with ease...

        When it comes to tape measures you'd probably think that they are all basically the same. A long thin piece to metal that stretches out of a small box type device in order for you to measure the distance between A and B. the only difference being that some are longer than others. From a few metres to a length that would run longer than an Olympic size swimming pool
        This one is a 8 metres version, which means that the metal strip comes out just over 8 metres, with the last remaining ½ metre having no marks on it.
        The measuring marks are on one side of the strip, which is why the small piece of metal that is used to hold the measure in place, has only one gripping side.
        The measurement marks come in mm, cm and inches, with there being a small mark every 16 inches, with that mark being used to get the right distance between such things as joists or decking supports. The mm/cm run along one side, with the inches opposite. Both marks being easy to see and as they go right to the edge of the strip you get a perfect mark on the wood each time.
        The metal measuring strip is quite flexible and will bend when it it pulled out a bit of a distance, usually around the metre and a half region, then the end drops to the ground as it is unable to stay aloft on its own.

        It has a locking button which is designed to trap the strip in place when you want to measure a few things at a time. You simply place the metal end on the work, then pull the casing along the work, releasing the tape from inside. When you get to the length you need you slide the button downwards, which traps the tape in place. This makes it easier to mark the work without fear of the tape flashing back and stripping your skin off your finger, which it will do if you're not too careful.
        This simple to use tape measure, with a branded name on it, sell for about £8 which is not bad really for this quality of measure.


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