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chiefo

chiefo
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Member since: 12.05.2009

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    • XMI X-mini II / PC Speaker / 61 Readings / 57 Ratings
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      16.05.2011 14:15
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      Perfect for anyone wanting to share music on a day out..

      Bought a while back to use at the beach/laying in the park with friends this little gem has really surprised myself and friends. Firstly I'd like to point out the size, tiny, not much larger than a tennis ball. Even when You expand it it looks very small.

      Small 3.5mm jack underneath with a short cable to plug in to your devices. A nice bag to store it in for protection. A charger too. You can charge it from the wall (though you'll need a usb adapter plug) and via a PC/laptop. In order to play it off the laptop you'll need to use the computers 3.5mm output jack. At first I thought it would play music via USB but then I realised this was only to charge the unit. Just to note it can still play music whilst charging.

      The build quality is pretty good for something so cheap. For under £13 including delivery you can't really go wrong for what it does. The sound is very loud and clear, even on the highest volume the quality doesn't get hindered which is quite a surprise. I guess this might have something to do with the files bit rate that you play through it though. If you have high bit rate files or lossless music they play fantastically well on this. There is also a scroll wheel for volume on the side of the speak. I prefer this to buttons as you can adjust the volume more accurately and more quickly.

      I never had the original but the battery life is excellent. I haven't tested it fully on either full loudness or lower setting but I have gotten over 10 yours use from it off a single charge. This I found pretty impressive as it can be easily charged in between uses.

      I didn't realise you could daisy chain it when I first got it and have yet to try but having read about it in the past it is something I will be wanting to try. This is where you plug one speak into another. I'm not sure if there is a limit to just how many you can have connected to each other but the results will be a louder experience. I don't know if the quality will be reduced because they will still be sharing music from the same source. I fear due to the noise of two or more (because one is very loud) it might blow up my source. Still it will be something to try when I have some spare cash.

      I've combined this with both an Apple itouch and a Orange San Francisco and have had no problems at all.

      Give it a go, or buy it for someone special. It will bright up there day.

      5 out of 5

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      • Sony KDL-19L4000 / LCD TV / 24 Readings / 23 Ratings
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        16.05.2011 00:17
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        A feature rich TV offering a lot for its current price tag.

        This little 19" has been the saviour of my girlfriend's bedroom for the last year. Bought mainly due to save space as her drawers were very small it looked like the perfect solution. It also offered some future proofing at the same time via the HDMI connections which at the time didn't enter our thoughts when purchasing it.

        Hooked up to a DVD player via scart cable it wasn't until severable months later that the HDMI connections started to get used more often. The laptop has been used as a media centre plugged into the TV via HDMI out. Here youtube/bbc iplayer has dominated the tv screen which even though is only HD Ready (720p) still looks great. Vibrant colours and a small screen make the details stand out. Viewing angles are also very good so you do not have to sit straight on to get the possible results from watching it.

        Since then a bluray player has been bought which has taken use of the other HDMI connection and even though the TV can't output full HD the picture nonetheless is outstanding. For such a small set it really does make the perfect bedroom TV. I expect the same will be for using it as a gaming TV in the bedroom. Plenty of connections so it will also connect into older consoles as well as the new ones needing HDMI. I have seen newer models are thinner and may offer newer features such as internet TV via ethernet cable but for an older TV which is currently selling pretty cheaply if you can find it you can't really go far wrong. It would even do a good job in the kitchen.

        Lets not forget it also has a built in freeview tuner so you get a lot more channels than your standard five. Since the digital switch over it has managed to pick up the majority which are available with a standard small non-loft TV aerial. The menu system is clear and intuitive, not difficult to use with a lot of features and settings.

        The TV set itself is pretty sturdy, though i must say the stand could be better, unlike modern tv's it cannot tilt so it could cause a problem if you were to wall mount it. The sound is pretty standard so, I didn't expect it to blow me away for such a small set so it is connected to a small sound center.

        Lastly the remote control is great, it is the same as you get on the larger TV's so it is nice to see that Sony haven't tried to pull a fast one and offer a lesser remote just because the TV is smaller. It has all of the buttons you would expect to find including the guide to see what is on. Installation is easy when you work out how to do it through the menu system. Auto tuning doesn't take all that long for both analogue and digital channels. After they have saved you have the option of whether you want to put them in any specific order, I left them as standard.

        All in all a decent TV.

        4 out of 5

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        15.05.2011 21:41
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        Treat yourself and throw out the generic set you have, time to upgrade your audio system!

        Never really knowing much about headphones I picked these up because they had decent reviews and the cost wasn't off putting. I had also heard of Sennheiser (German Brand) and recognised it as being one of the leaders in audio headphones.

        I also travel quite a bit so thought they would do the job when plugging them into my laptop/mobile phone/portable DVD player.

        I read that these are optimised for portable systems (including games consoles) and to be honest they do the job very well. I have been missing out on years using generic headphones not believing the hype. They are well worth the money for something which when you think gets used for hundreds of hours should make the decision of buying them a no brainer. The fact that you get a control too which i have never had before means i won't be going back to the old school type.

        They are also well built, feel very sturdy and sit very comfortably in my ears. In the pack you get different sized (3) buds so you should be able to find one that fits your ears. They also look the part. They cable length isn't long, 1.2m so whilst it does the job I could have done with it being a little longer. When I go jogging sometimes it feels like it is pulling on the player so I have moved it to a chest pocket which has not solved the small problem. They are light but that probably doesn't get considered by anyone buying headphones. I liked the fact that the packet stated you get a 2 years guarantee. I have had friends break headphones on many occasions and knowing if anything goes wrong it is good that the manufacturer is there to help.

        If you are after a pair of headphones which offer decent bass, very clear sounds which reduce background noise you could far worse that picking a pair of these up. The sound truly is so much better than what you get with standard gadgets, throw out whatever you get with your itouch etc, and pick a pair of these up. You'll have no idea of how important headphones are until you do.

        Lastly it is nice that you get a small carry case which makes the experience of buying the Sennheiser CX 300-II Precision a quality product, here you can keep the spare buds.

        Bring that music to life

        4 out of 5

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        • Sony DVP FX720W / DVD Player / 11 Readings / 8 Ratings
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          15.05.2011 21:17
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          Not a bad system if you can get over its minor flaws.

          Going on holiday a few times a day I decided to pick up this Sony Portable for a bit of fun on the plane. Managing to get it for under £100 I was pretty happy. The battery was said to be good and with the spec stating 5 hours that was enough to get me to my destination on the plane. You can always buy a spare battery and carry that about with you if 5 hours is enough for you. They are thin enough not to take up a lot of space. If you are using it in the car you can also charge it off the car cigarette lighter socket. This enables it to be watched and charged at the same time.

          It also has 2 twin 3.5mm jack outputs so two of you can listen to sound if you don't want to disturb anyone around you. Gone are they days of having to share one set of headphones.

          Well built and a decent 7" screen I was surprised at just how good the sound was from this little system. I certainly didn't expect great sound but it was a Sony but still better than I thought it would be. That was when playing a Shrek DVD which looked fantastic. Now, as I was travelling I didn't want to take a lot of discs so I opted for trying to use the USB slot with a couple of DivX movies on it. I converted a few DVDs to see if they would work. I had no luck with no real idea why. I tried a few different settings on the convertor, but the Sony wasn't accepting it. Lastly I tried a few different flash sticks and you guessed it, still no luck. So I put it down to the player only reading DivX off discs and not via the USB slot. A real bummer as I didn't want to carry a load of discs with me. I have contacted Sony but they have yet to respond to my emails.

          Music played well off of CD's though it wasn't the main reason why I bought it. It could play mp3's which were burnt on to a disc. A good feature is the USB in which accepts memory card adapters.

          Still, if you can get over that flaw I found trying to watch divx media it is a decent little machine. Quite expensive when compared to what else is on the market but it is Sony and it does the job well whilst looking good.

          Overall a decent bit of kit but loses marks due to the lack of play back via USB and price when compared to its competitors.

          3 out of 5

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          15.05.2011 21:06
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          You could do a lot worse if you are after a new gadget to play with. Oh, and it plays music.

          I've had this mp3 player for a while now but it hasn't been getting much use after getting a Orange San Francisco mobile phone.

          Currently selling for around £150 it isn't great value for what you get when thinking about it. I'll try to explain why. Most people these days have a mobile which can play music, and if it has a touch screen you will most likely have android or ios on it. That will allow you to download applications, play music, watch movies, and surf the internet all on the move. That is what makes these devices to me pretty redundant.

          It is well made, has a great selection of downloadable applications and allows you to use the net but for me that's where it's real strengths end. You still have to use itunes which I find awful. There is no drag and drop feature which makes the device locked down to pretty much your PC. If you want to go to a friends to get a song you can't because if you sync it on a different PC you will lose what was previously on it.

          To me this is a major flaw but understandable if Apple don't want you sharing music or getting music without paying for it. Back to how the device looks, it is very similar to the previous generations only more slick and has the retina display which makes things look crystal clear. you really have to see the screen to just see how good it is. the screen also shows off the camera which it has built in quite well, still photos aren't great but i was very impressed with the hd recording and playback.

          I don't mark it that highly as an mp3 player because it is a touch screen, gone are the days i could have a device in my pocket and change track/control volume with just feel alone. But Apple have really evolved and are offering you a whole entertainment system with the features I mentioned before. you'll find yourself lying on the couch messing about, be it using skype, playing a game, or looking at google maps. i almost forgot, it also plays music - the options and choice of what you can do are pretty endless. even though it is pretty fantastic i think if someone wants this sort of device they may as well just buy a new smart phone because it offers the same experience for a similar cost.

          That and itunes does not need to be used which is a dreadful experience. I'd recommend getting one if you already use itunes as a media player at home on your PC and don't mind it. if you can get over others flaws too such as not having the ability to watch flash on certain websites you'll have yourself a very good entertainment centre in your pocket. the mp3 player within is decent, fluid and simple to use. the artwork has always impressed me and the experience of using it is a joy. The battery is also a lot better than previous versions. I have it charging daily though as I leave a charger at work, but even after heavy usage the battery hardly gets drained.

          It'll be interesting to see how Apple improve on these gadgets because they have advanced so much and do so much they'll need to think of something special to stay ahead of the game.

          4 out of 5

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            25.03.2011 19:29
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            A great PC that offers a lot for its price tag. Simple, Sleek and stylish, a big A+ from me.

            The Acer Aspire Revo R3600.

            Those who have read my previous reviews know I like to stream media to my television. I used to do this via a WD HDTV steamer (non live version)

            I had the idea though that it would be pretty cool to be able to have the whole internet on the television. This was the main reason as to why I purchased the Revo. I knew it wouldn't be powerful enough to play the latest games (I play WoW from time to time) but that wasn't going to put me off knowing the benefits it brought to the table. It also costs sub £200 which isn't all that bad considering it is a fully functional PC but in the small form.

            When I first received the Revo I was surprised at how small it actually was, they have managed to pack a lot into a small unit. Mine came with no operating system installed so I put on Windows 7 Premium which it handles very well. No noticeable slow down and having it running via HDMI connection through the Sony TV I reviewed some time ago. I haven't got it mounted to the back of the TV but it sits there quietly out of sight at the back.

            You could have it sitting on your desk if you wanted, due to its size you wouldn't notice it there. The dimensions are 18cm x 18cm x 3cm so it is pretty tiny. So if you have limited space it is a good option on the PC front if you are after something small. It is also great for travel and if you need a PC on the move it will happily go with you.

            Back to where I have it. It comes with 6 USBs which is pretty fantastic, I have 2 Hard drives plugged into mine as well as dongles plugged in for wireless keyboard and mouse. I had one left free because I used one more for a webcam when Skyping to family and friends abroad. The last I put in a Bluetooth dongle so that I could use the machine to transfer files to my mobile phone.

            So yes, once i got it all set up installed Windows 7 and a few other programs to get the machine running how i wanted. Skype, MSN, a couple of media players, Firefox and I was ready. iPlayer and the such run well as you would expect, no slowdown. I think though that much of the experience will come from what type of TV you have if you have it linked up to one. This just plays the part of giving you the ability to have internet/media etc on the move or linked to a TV in your home. I wouldn't suggest using it for a main PC if you needed it for power intensive work such as video file editing/hours of encoding, or wanting to run the latest games. Now whilst it does have a decent enough graphics chip in the form of the intergrated NVIDIA GeForce 9400 it doesn't mean it is up to the job of higher end cards. For a sub £200 machine you have to expect some negatives and its limited power is the only one I could say it had.

            As a key media hub in my home it also gives me the chance to show people jpegs/photos straight off a camera via the memory card reader which is a pretty cool feature. The front also has a headphone and microphone jack. I don't really use these often though as the webcam I have in one of the USBs has a microphone.

            I won't bother talking about the specifications of the machine, you can see those in the description. Now, much like Apple products specs aren't all that important, they run their hardware without the latest technology. The Revo is similar in this instance, but it is the user experience that gives it top marks. You can watch blueray rips without slow down, surf the net, chat with your friends, all in a trouble free environment. I have no regrets purchasing mine, it does what I require from it perfectly. If anyone is thinking about wanting the internet/PC experience through their PC the Revo is great product at an affordable price.

            5 out of 5

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              09.03.2011 23:22
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              A great phone that offers what its rivals offer for a fraction of the price. A+

              Now, it is unlikely you would have heard of the ZTE Blade a.k.a Orange San Francisco unless you have been looking for a phone that offers very similar functions to the higher end phones offered by HTC and Apple.

              The phone runs Google's Android operating system which provides one exciting experience if you are new to the concept of smart phones.

              The phone literally does everything and at a bargain price. It is solidly built, comes with 8Gb of storage (internall memory is next to nothing), but this storage (Micro SD) can be upgraded to 32Gb or so. I have 16Gb running in mine which has installed on it a lot of applications, as well as my photos, music, and some tv shows.

              Now, reviewing the phone as opposed to the Android operating is an easier and shorter task, the camera is pretty poor first of all, but that shouldn't put you off buying it. The phone itself is nice, slim, feels well built and is very cheap for what it can do. You have the usual buttons, on the side are the volume controls, depending on what you are in on the phone they will do the job of controlling it. Media/Incoming calls/Ring tone etc. On the front of the phone you have a home button, back button, and a option button in the middle.

              Android itself is the system that drives the phone, because the phone has a decent amount of memory and CPU it can deliver the experience higher end phones offer. It is literally what Apple offer but at a fraction of the price, granted it isn't as fluid or slick but it isn't aimed at that market share. You are getting a taste for what better phones even costing £200+ offer and don't better. You have access to the Android market where you can download a number of applications for the phone to use. These include things like Youtube/Games/IMDB.com/Skype/MSN Messenger/Music players/Video players/calorie counters. Literally anything you can think of. Due to the phone being touchscreen you can slide the homescreen left and right, this opens up other screens. 7 in total. You can place icons/short cuts to your applications in any of them. It really is up to you how you want the phone to look.

              The screen is fantastic, sharp, vibrant. Using the gallery on it is very good. Pinch zoom to view photos is easy with the multi touch screen. The speaker is OK, but nothing outstanding. It does the job well enough. I use the MP3 function a lot, is fluid and easy to use. Better than my dedicated MP3 player.

              So, for what the phone is I recommend it highly. It is perfect for the price and offers a huge amount of functions. I love the ability to multi task. Play music, whilst being on Skype/MSN/ surf the internet and play games at the same time. And having the ability to change between them at a flick of a finger. Lastly, the phone/android has a task manager much like that of the PC, you can cancel programs/applications to free up memory etc, save processing power if you are going to open up more power hungry applications. There are applications that can track all of this too.

              5/5

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                09.03.2011 22:41
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                Thank you Seagate for providing an inexpensive solution to our back up needs!!

                I picked this up when I needed extra storage space to store and back up my homemade video/photos/ and music. With everything becoming High Definition (HD) the smaller drives, (1TB etc) get filled up too quickly.

                Now, what led me to buying this drive was that I was getting fed up of having a number of 1TB drives lying around. I had 4 almost full. Granted they only cost £50 a pop now but seeing 3TB for under £150 made it a bargain considering the space saving point, and because I could have access to all my files from one drive. Easy to navigate, and I no longer have to look through other drives to find what I am looking for.

                This drive actually has 3TB of space which surprised me. Usually you get 90% or so of what they advertise so I was expecting something like 2700Gb. So the added 300Gb was really great. You really do feel you are getting a bargain when comparing it to other 3Tb drives on the market. Like others too you get the standard 2 year manufacturer's warranty.

                There is also no fan so it is very quiet, pretty much silent from where I sit when it is on. I have it plugged into my TV to view the files and it runs like a dream due to not having a fan spinning up and down like my previous ones used to do.

                Data Transfer Rate - 480MB/s using USB2.0 is what you would expect. Decent enough for transferring most files at an acceptable speed. However, files 10Gb+ will still take several minutes. Not a problem for me though. It is compatible with the older USB1.0 and the newer USB3.0 so it is versatile as you would expect. It also has a mini USB port that connects to a standard USB port. The power supply isn't huge so together with the main unit it is easily compact enough to take with you on your travels.

                I haven't used the software which came with it. I never do. It came formatted so I didn't need to change any settings. I just created my folders and started copying across.

                Finally a solution to our back up needs. I just wonder how long it will be until the next size comes out! A couple of these will last until then.

                4/5

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                  21.09.2010 23:25
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                  Lots of advantages, and not much to complain about gets this an A*

                  I haven't long had my new portable 2.5" external harddrive from Seagate but I thought that I would review it anyway as it has been one of my best buys in a while. Before I got this one I had been using the 320Gb Agent Portable version which is now full. This looks like a smaller scale version of the 3.5" external of which I have two.

                  In my opinion it is good looking, sturdy, and well made. Using a full size USB 2.0 input/interface it transfers data at 480Mb/s. With the drive being 5400rpm you would expect it to be pretty slow in peformance but because I use it for mainly backups and to run films off the speed is perfectly fine.

                  I reformatted it to NTFS and with it being plug and play it is easy to use, drag and drop files on to it. I have had no problems using it with Windows 7. It's also only weighs 160grams. You won't notice it in your bag.

                  There are many plus points to this piece of equipment including a pretty attractive price. It also packs a lot of storage. The cable is also pretty hard to pull out of the drive so it is unlikely to come out accidently.

                  I don't think you can compare this to larger 3.5" drives that won't leave the desk which are stationary and used for a different purpose (if that makes sense). They are obviously far cheaper per Gb, especially now that you can get 2Tb for under £90. However, if you need a lot of storage on the go then this is perfect and will fulfill your needs and in the grand scheme of things costs peanuts to what it would have cost you a year or two ago.

                  Highly recommended. 5/5

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                    08.06.2010 10:56
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                    Wes Craven's best.

                    This review is just on the movie, which includes plot spoilers so do not continue if you do not wish to learn about the goings on within the film.
                    Crazy though if you have not already seen this classic! With the remake hitting the cinema I thought I would re-watch the originals, yes all seven excluding Freddy Vs Jason to remind myself of the story that takes place on Elm Street. Watching part five and six was a mistake, they didn't feel at all like a Nightmare on Elm Street movie.

                    The last time I watched the first Elm Street movie was back in the 90's. I could not really remember what it was about other than it being based around two main characters, Nancy, and Krueger, and Nancy's family as well as a back story to the children of Elm Street. The first thing that struck me was the music which to me was genuinely frightening. I wondered to myself whether I had made a mistake watching this movie on my own at this point. If you don not know already I am a bit of a girl when it comes to horror/thrillers. So the movie starts with Krueger making his famous glove with its four blades. Quite a piece of engineering, I'll have to pick up a replica for this Halloween as I will be dressing up as Freddy!.

                    Back to the story, growing up on Elm Street, Nancy is an ordinary girl with ordinary friends. They go to high school and from the looks of it pretty much enjoy it with their general goofing around.
                    That is until one night when they start to have nightmares. Nobody talks about them until they all come together and it becomes clear that the same man is entering their dreams. A man that is described as wearing a dark hat, dirty red and black jumper, and a glove with claws which he wears on his right hand.

                    Krueger is played by Robert Englund, casted perfectly for the role. His voice, appearance and mannerism is truly horrifying and totally unexpected. You can see why he became a cult figure within the horror genre. He is not like any other character and throughout the Elm Street movies gets developed quite well until the later parts. You do start to get an interest in the story. I have just finished watching the six instalment which was painful I might add but I have to watch the last part to see how it ends.

                    So the original. It is not as scary as I remembered once I settled down into watching it. Some of the effects used though considering the movie was made in 1984 were excellent. As simple as it was the bath scene where the gloves up through the water whilst Nancy is starting to fall asleep freaked me out. The telephone with a tongue attached to it also looked pretty nasty and made me look away. You will either do the same or laugh. Throughout the movie you see what it was that made this film so popular. There is a lot of originality and effort put into each scene throughout. Freddy has classic one liners. Also, the reversal fountain of blood will make you feel sick if you are at all like me.

                    The supporting cast is also strong with a young Johnny Depp making an appearance as well as John Saxon as Nancy's father. The idea of a man entering your dreams is just pure horror and terrifying. How else would you react but to be scared and this is what makes Freddy Krueger a god in his world. He can do what he wants and you have no chance!. I won't say how the film ends or too much about why Freddy exists but it is well worth watching the movie to find out about. A film that stands up well even today. Don't watch beyond part three or four as they just take away from this classic.

                    4 out of 5

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                    • Magnetica (DS) / Nintendo DS Game / 224 Readings / 215 Ratings
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                      15.04.2010 14:34
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                      Read the review.

                      Having had the enjoyment of playing Magnetica for a number of months now I thought I would review it. I was very surprised when searching dooyoo to see that no one else had reviewed it as it is a truly excellent title. A pity if it has been overlooked by puzzle lovers.

                      There is several different game modes that will keep you occupied for hours. I am currently playing through 'Quest' mode and the idea is to clear the level of all the marbles that make their way along tracks to the 'centre'. If they make it to the centre then you lose and get the option to retry or quick, so it is your job to stop them. This is done by flicking extra marbles into action with your stylus in any direction to form connections of the same colour, once you get three marbles of the same colour together they explode and leave a gap of where they were. This clears some room on your bottom screen, and most importantly gives you some time to breathe and you try and clear other marbles that will soon be causing you mayhem. If the marbles that were on either side of those that exploded are the same colour they will be magnetically pulled together, 'magnetica' style, drawing marbles away from the centre, the pit of death!!. You then have to throw a marble of the same colour at them to POP them too!! Great stuff. Sounds easy doesn't it? Well, the only problem is and it is a big problem is that you don't get to choose the colour of the marbles that you move about the screen.

                      They come up from beneath the level in an uploading shoot and you only get to see one marble that is coming next so you can plan in advance your next move if you have enough time to think!. Now on the lower, easier levels you can throw the marbles off the screen, wasting them, and getting them away from those that are coming to the centre on the track until you get the coloured ball that you want. Later levels have multiple tracks leading balls to the centre and take up so much of the screen that you cannot merely throw them where you wish in order to get the coloured ball that you want, this is where strategy and skill kicks in.

                      So as you clear the marbles the top screen has a meter that shows you (well I think it does) how many marbles are roughly remaining. Once all are gone and you have popped them all you clear the level and move on to the next. I am currently on level 57 and it is getting tough! The game adds different conditions to the level offering variety and longevity, some include a level being under water or a fan blowing air from the top screen that all messes with the direction of the marbles you have flicked about the screen.

                      The pace the marbles arrive at vary throughout the levels as does the starting position of the marbles you flick. It does get seriously tough at the later levels and will remind you of games you used to play in the past where you said to yourself, 'just one more go'. 20 more goes and you are still saying the same thing to yourself. I did want to throw the DS Lite at the wall on more than one occasion but kept my cool because the level will not defeat me! I love puzzle games and usually do not give up until I beat them. This one offers some serious challenges not only in Quest mode but in the others modes too such as 'Puzzle'.

                      Even though Quest mode seems to be the most engaging part of the game, Puzzle mode is a lot of fun too as you get to try and beat your previous hi-scores, It starts and ends with either the marbles reaching their way to the centre or until you clear all of the marbles that are thrown at you in what seems a never ending cycle.

                      Puzzle mode is where you start off with the level but there is no centre the marbles are being drawn toward. Instead, they are already on the level not moving and you have to figure out how to pop them all with the balls you are supplied with through the uploading shoot. The same level is the same each time so it is a case of trial and error until you work it out. Easier said than done in the early stages but gets complicated the more you advance.

                      Graphically the game is excellent, lots of effects and vibrant colours. The marbles and levels are nice to look at and does the game justice, you can tell that the developers but in a lot of effort and weren't just after a quick buck so to speak. The sound too is good and changes depending on how the level is progressing. Alarm bells start ringing with frantic music the closer you come to losing, you will hear this a lot. If you manage to clear a few marbles you will enjoy hearing the popping noises as the marbles disappear and you can breathe a sigh of relief.

                      I recommend this title to everyone that owns a DS, it can be picked up for next to nothing and does add a lot of value for money. Suited for short bursts here and there, perfect for killing time, it may seem repetitive if you are stuck on the same level for a while but you can always change the mode type to switch things up. It is a lot of fun, not for the faint hearted. Your pulse will rise playing this. I was happy that I found this innovative title as it got me blowing the dust of my DS and gave me some breaks between doing my dissertation!

                      Overall

                      4 out of 5 (only because it require more time than you are able to give it).

                      Up there for me with Tetris and Wetrix, I am sure many will remember this in the future!

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                      • Coach Carter (DVD) / DVD / 328 Readings / 321 Ratings
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                        19.01.2010 16:20
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                        Can the lost really have their future changed by one man???

                        ****************** Contains Movie Spoiliers********************

                        2005 was a good year for me and also that brought us film lovers Coach Carter, the type of film that sets a standard many other films in this genre (Sport/Teen/Drama) have since in my opinion failed to reach or imitate . The success of the film in my opinion was down to a combination of strong film directing, a well chosen cast with excellent acting and a well developed plot that gave the audience the chance to lose themselves for a couple of hours.

                        An old school b'ball aka basketball player and ex student has been hand picked, selected by an existing school coach to take over as his replacement. This isn't a full time job, but it is a job that needs doing and the current coach thinks he has found the man for the job. This isn't an ordinary job that could be done by anybody. It needs somebody special, somebody with heart, a person with integrity and knowledge of how things currently are in the neighbourhood.

                        The man chosen for the job is Ken Carter (Samuel L Jackson), an individual that has grown up in the neighbourhood, played basketball to a successful level achieving several records along the way as well as currently living a successful life owning a small business with hope of starting up another within the area. He is a man of ideas, intelligence and strives to reach the goals he sets himself. He doesn't want to become just another statistic in the neighbourhood, and he has tried to instill his traits into his son through discipline and well upbringing.

                        After meeting up with his ex coach and accepting the position that promises to bring hardship his wife isn't to best pleased with his decision when she learns the pay isn't exactly astronomical. But, he tells her he isn't doing it for the money, he is doing it to give hope and a future to the students he is going to coach. He wants to instill the same drive and desire that he has in himself as well as convince them to see what the future holds for them.

                        After watching literally one of the first scenes of the movie I knew it was going to be good. Coach Carter arrives at the school to be met by his old coach, after some small talk he goes to the gymnasium and is introduced to the students of the basketball team. They don't know who he is at first and show him a lot of disrespect. I was hooked from this point.

                        You might think the film is going to be predictable and I guess it is in the sense that you have a failing team both on the court and in the classroom and they somehow manage to turn that around but the plot develops beyond that and includes other subplots.

                        There are other dilemmas in the film such as his son quitting a good private school that his parents have sent him too in order to be able to be coached by his father. He even goes as far as to create a contract, or amending his father's original with him having to attain higher marks, this is done in order for his father to agree to the transfer of schools.

                        Teenage pregnancy is another issue that arises. One of the smarter players who not only achieves on the court but also in the classroom is met with this situation when his girlfriend tells him that she is pregnant.

                        A player that values respect on the street above all else, can this be changed by the coach that cares?

                        How would his team cope if he cancelled all practices and matches if they weren't to follow his rules?

                        All in all, and without ruining the plot fully by divulging possible twists and turns those who haven't watched it are in for a real treat. The young actors in this film gelled well together which resulted in believable responses with one another. Expect to see some strong emotions throughout. The acting was superb and was rightly led by Mr Cool, Samuel L. Jackson. He really was good in this film and made the role his own.

                        I'll end it there. Highly recommended.

                        4 out of 5.

                        Thanks for reading.

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                        • Paranormal Activity (DVD) / DVD / 249 Readings / 247 Ratings
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                          02.01.2010 21:04
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                          Wow, Be prepared to sleep with the lights on.....

                          ***************** Contains Movie Spoilers*********************

                          Film review only

                          Despite recently reading a number of mixed reviews on Paranormal Activity I thought I would add my own thoughts into the mix. I must admit that I didn't know much about this film prior to going to watching it at the cinema and I am glad that was the case.

                          Like The Exorcist and The Blair Witch Project I think you have to enter watching these types of film with the correct frame of mind to see what the director's set out to achieve. If you can concentrate and allow yourself to become fully engrossed in it the whole experience will become more satisfying, and you won't be disappointed, especially with all of the hype I read the film had.

                          By now you probably know the story. It revolves around a couple, Katie, and Micah. They share a house after Katie moved in and sooner rather than later strange events start to occur spurred on by the wanting for more. The build up is slow and allows you to get into the movie. A lot of people may dismiss it as being boring but unlike many horrors these days more isn't always better. Because of the slow nature of the movie once events start to take place you really are put on the edge of your seat and gets you curious. I know I wanted to see what happens next but because I am a wimp when it comes to horrors I didn't really want to look at the screen.

                          Getting back to Katie and Micah, she has been aware of an unnatural entity surrounding her throughout most of life but was never fully sure or understood what it was. Micah brushes it off and doesn't take it seriously but decides to do a home experiment anyhow. He goes to the trouble of setting up some surveillance equipment in the bedroom to allow any strange happenings getting recorded. It gets pretty crazy because after the first event is caught on camera he gets so excited and wants more. A door moving on its own isn't enough and he goes to taunting whatever the entity might be to provoke further happenings.

                          During this time they have a psychic visit them. He advises them not to establish any form of contact as this would only make things worse, even possibly inviting whatever it is into their home. Typically of Micah's attitude he turns up with a Ouija board. This doesn't go down well with Katie and he promises not to use it. So from here on in a lot of spooky stuff occurs. I won't go into the details but if you haven't seen it already it is well worth renting. I have since watched it a second time with a friend who missed it the first time round, seeing her react to it made it all the better.

                          Of course we spoke about it afterwards. Comments such as why didn't they leave the house, call the police, or sleep with the lights on were thrown about and I guess they were weaknesses in the film's plot, but it didn't really detract from what it was setting out to achieve. Of course the film set out to scare you and it did a good job. I read in another review that you knew when an event was about to occur because the time would stop scanning forward to just before the moment. I don't think this made it any less scary. Sure you knew something might happen but you didn't know what.

                          I thought the film had many frightening and freaky moments. Definitely best watched alone when you know you won't be disturbed. Not a classic but entertaining and enough for me to recommend it.

                          4 out of 5

                          Thanks for reading.

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                          • The Proposal (DVD) / DVD / 180 Readings / 175 Ratings
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                            31.12.2009 16:12
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                            What would you do to stay in the country???

                            *****************Contains Movie Spoilers**********************

                            Film Review Only

                            Not being the biggest Sandra Bullock fan I was skeptical if I would like this movie. I also didn't really recognise any of the other names from the cast however hoped this would introduce me to some new talent as the film was getting decent enough reviews/ratings before I watched it. The Proposal is a romantic comedy that centre's around a boss and their assistant and a plot that is really out of this world.

                            Margaret "Maggie" Tate played by Sandra Bullock is put in a tricky scenario in front of her boss and assistant and explained of a situation where after having visited a country whilst her visa application was being reviewed she is now in trouble after it was denied. Having entered a country illegally and the prospect of losing her job she has to think quickly to hold on to it.

                            The assistant Andrew Paxton played by Ryan Reynolds has to go along with her plan or face losing the chance of getting his paper published for the world to read and failing to get his dream job of becoming an editor at a publishing house. Being an only child he left his family life of growing up in a small town to move to the big city to fulfill his ambitions. The result of this was frustration and disappointment in the relationship between himself and his father.

                            Anyway, after managing to deceive her boss into believing that she is engaged to her assistant they make a visit to the immigration office to sort out both the awful problem that could tarnish her reputation and potentially ruining her future. Andrew is told by the office in charge of the case that he has had a tip off about this marriage and that if they were found guilty of lying they would face severe punishment. Andrew alone would face a 5 year long spell in prison with a $250,000 fine.

                            It is pretty crazy that he went along with it all to be honest. His family are very wealthy which comes as a surprise to Maggie, also because at the start of the movie he was IM'ing (Instant Messaging) his co-workers that the witch was on her way to the office, so it was obvious he wasn't too fond of her. So in my eyes agreeing to this madness was just that, madness.

                            After their visit to the immigration office and learning of the consequences if found guilty Maggie doesn't seem to comprehend what could happen from her actions. Andrew does though and tells her that they have to get to know each other if, or rather her get to know him if they are going to pass their test. He also gets her to propose to him in the street and promise him a few things including making him editor at their place of work. After this he takes her to where he grew up to meet his family.

                            I'll stop with the plot here in case you haven't seen the film already. I wouldn't want to ruin it fully for you! So what can you expect from this movie? Many laughs to start off with. I also wouldn't say it is as predictable as many films of the same genre. The plot is out of this world but refreshing and works well. The characters are developed enough and have a likable feel to them. They also have their own unique traits are dissimilar. Grandma Annie with her "baby blanket", and Ramone "jack of many trades" being two of my favourites. I don't know where he finds the hours in the day to work all of his jobs. I didn't have a problem with any of the characters and thought the actors did a fantastic job. The relationship between Andrew's mother and father was nice to see and seemed genuine enough in their actions towards their son.

                            Moving along from that, the film is wonderfully shot, the scenery at times are breathtaking, and come together well. I particularly liked Grandma dancing around the fire in the forest close to the family home, and Maggie trying to get her mobile phone back from an eagle by trying to lure it with just the cutest dog. I won't go into the strip scene! The movie flows well, I did prefer the first half of the movie and the second half was executed well enough when you thought you knew what was going to happen next.

                            Funny, clever, and introducing a great cast makes this one to watch on more than one occasion. I wasn't disappointed at all and would recommend it to others without any hesitation. This isn't your typical chick flick.

                            4 out of 5

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                            • Short Circuit 2 (DVD) / DVD / 189 Readings / 185 Ratings
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                              17.12.2009 14:33
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                              A 1980's movie that is just as good today as it was when it was released!! Watch it!!

                              ******************* Contains Movie Spoilers******************

                              Two years after the first in 1986 Short Circuit 2 gets released. For me this is one movie, one sequel that is as good as the original.

                              The film starts with the sex-is-always-on-his-mind Ben Jahvri (Fisher Stevens) from the first movie having his own stall on a busy street in the Big Apple, New York City (even though if was actually filmed in Toronto, Canada). He is selling miniature Johnny 5's that he builds himself from the van of his van.

                              Straight off the bat he meets a stranger, a hustler selling watches called Fred, that turns out to be a good friend later in the movie. The chemistry is great between them, they are a lot of banter that reminds you of the first movie.

                              Whilst all of this is going on, you see one of the miniature Johnny 5's get away from the others and head into a shopping outlet, for a moment you could believe he was alive as he is making his way around the store, the ladies fitting rooms, before taking a lift to another floor.. haha, great stuff.

                              Anyway, if it wasn't for this bizarre happening and the little guy bumping into an important character called Sandy (Cynthia Gibb) who loves the robots and convinces her Boss that they are the perfect toy to sell Johnny 5 would never have been asked to come and help Ben later on in the movie. She works for a company that develops/sells toys and she loves Ben's idea, you would have thought that there would be a ton of robots on the market already for sale! But hey Johnny 5 is cooler than cool.

                              After a deal has been put into the works Ben's new found friend Fred gets a plan together in order to fulfill Ben's quota for the robots for Sandy.

                              Johnny 5 arrives in a box unaware that he is in a metropolis of input, he is kept in the warehouse until Fred lets the cat out of the bag. Johnny 5 then starts his new adventure where throughout the film he becomes more streetwise.

                              I love the first scene where he goes to explore the city, he puts his digits/fingers on a wall and leans over popping his head around the corner to a look, and says "input, megabytes of input" It is funny because I guess back then that was a lot of storage,, where as now it would be more like "terabytes".

                              As he is exploring the city he comes up with a lot of funny lines, "human porcupines" is one where he sees some punks with funky hairstyles.
                              Cutting out a lot of the plot because I don't want to ruin the film fully for those who haven't seen it we get to a scene where Johnny 5 has been attacked.

                              After he is trashed by robbers Fred finds him down an alleyway and we witness a sad moment where Johnny 5 writes on the wall "Dying, get Ben". He is unable to speak so this is his only way of communication. Luckily for him opposite the wall there is a radio shack where he gets Fred to repair him with some persuasion.

                              There is a final chase scene with the track "I need a hero" being played in the background. You need the volume set on high when listening/watching this scene. You see Johnny 5 chasing Oscar, a man he met earlier in the movie. Oscar is yelling "forget it, you can't swim", as the chase takes to water, Johnny not giving up because he has heart continues to pursue him. And all the time the sound track is pumping out "I need a hero", ha it all blends well together and gets your heart pumping. Even watching it again recently it is just as good as the first time, if not better because I picked up on some details that I missed the first time round.

                              As much as I am a fan of the film I think many might find it too long or slow in places. It comes in at 1hr 45mins which is pretty long by today's standards but I thought it was great and was a worthy sequel to any fan.

                              The last moments where Ben takes the paramedics equipment to bring him back together is superb too, Fred gives up but Ben having known Johnny 5 for much longer and being one of his creators continues to even though others are thinking he it is too late. And others thinking he is crazy because Johnny 5 is just a machine! But then after a few moments we hear that voice saying "Benjamin, my friend... I've got such a headache".

                              Ha, so to summarize, this is a super film. One of my favourites from the 80's. If you haven't seen either this or the first one then you are missing out. Buy them both and enjoy the ride. If you have children and they haven't seen either this would make a great Christmas present and it isn't too late!! I'm sure Number 5 would become a favourite of theirs also!

                              A great family film.

                              4/5

                              A couple of quotes from the movie; taken from www.imdb.com

                              Fred: [burning himself with a soldering iron] Jesus!
                              Johnny Five: Christ, lived from 1 to 33 AD.

                              Chief: [after the cops have captured Johnny Five] Take him down to stolen goods.
                              Johnny Five: [furiously] I am NOT stolen goods!
                              Chief: [angrily] OUT!'!
                              Johnny Five: [while the cops take him away] But hath not a robot eyes? Hath not a robot hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? If you prick us, do we not bleed?'!
                              Chief: Yeah. Battery fluid, maybe.

                              Thanks for reading.

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