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chilipepper27

chilipepper27
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Member since: 21.10.2007

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      10.12.2007 13:31
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      A fantastic high sea adventure!

      This is a special edition, 3 disc gift set which should definitely belong in everyone's DVD collection, it's certainly in mine!
      The running time of the film is approx 137 mins.
      The film is rated 12 years and over because it contains moderate violence and horror (I suppose it depends how sensitive your child is, my six year old really enjoyed it and didn't have nightmares- he just thought he was a mini Jack Sparrow for the next month after watching it.)
      It also has subtitles in English/English for the hearing impaired.


      ~Synopsis~

      This high-sea adventure begins with a young Elizabeth Swan (the beautiful Keira Knightly) who whilst aboard a ship she spots a boy adrift in the water, who turns out to be a young Will Turner (Orlando Bloom.... need I say more.) The boy is pulled aboard and whilst unconscious Elizabeth discovers a pirate medallion around his neck, which she quickly hides from her father to protect Will.

      Time passes and Elizabeth is now a young woman with the pirate medallion still in her possession. Will is now working as a blacksmith and has grown a definite soft spot for Miss Swan. And it's not long before we're introduced to the charismatic and lovable pirate that is Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp.....ahhh..... Johnny Depp.....sorry... where was I?) Ah yes, there's so much to Jack Sparrows character he's a joy to watch (and not just for the ladies!)

      The story takes a turn when Elizabeth takes a dive into the big blue due to wearing the smallest corset in the world and more importantly- the pirate medallion. As the gold sinks into the water with Miss Swan, a strange boom is sent through the depths and unbeknownst, things are going to get dark and perilous in Port Royal.

      It turns out that the pirate medallion that had been hidden for so long, was actually a cursed peace of Aztec gold with a curse bestowed upon it and had been left to Will by his father Boot Strap Bill, who through mutiny on the Black Pearl was sent plummeting to the depths of Davy Jones locker.

      The next thing you know all hell's breaking loose and scurvy pirates are running amuck in Port Royal. Elizabeth is captured and taken to Captain Barbosa (Geoffrey Rush - who I think plays a brilliant part.) The legendry curse is then proved to be true when the pirate crew change under the moonlight and are destined to live forever as the un-dead, unless the curse can be broken...

      A rescue is soon underway after Will reluctantly joins forces with Captain Jack- who wants back his precious ship- the Black Pearl, which was taken from him by Barbosa (who left Jack to die on a desert island -nice!)

      But without giving away too much of the story, the tale continues with lot's of action, mystery, humour, suspense, amazing characters and some fantastic sword fights.


      ~My Thoughts~

      This is a truly fantastic movie, with a great story.
      The cast play brilliant parts, especially Johnny Depp who pretty much created the character Jack Sparrow, and is now an iconic figure. And of course Geoffrey Rush, a fantastic actor who did an amazing job of bringing Captain Barbosa to life.

      If you like action movies with lots of fight scenes, especially sword fights, then you won't be disappointed with this movie. Some awesome sword fights between goodies, baddies, ghosties, girlies...you name it! Arrrgh, Me Harties!

      The costume design and make up are a really important part of the film, everything from the way the pirates are dressed, to the skin and hair is spot on. And likewise with the special effects, all visual effects are pretty much faultless, a favourite part of mine is when the 'cursed pirates' are walking on the ocean bed - it's so good!

      Everything from set design, to the music is near perfect, in-fact there isn't anything about this movie that I didn't like. So I'd definitely recommend that you add this little gem to your collection...Today!


      ~The first disc~

      This contains the movie which was directed by Gore Verbinski (who directed films such as 'The Ring', 'The Weather Man', 'Mouse hunt' and 'The Mexican'.)
      And produced by, Jerry Bruckheimer (producer of Top Gun, Armageddon, Déjà vu, and popular series CSI Miami.)
      And also, audio commentaries by, Director Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp.
      A commentary by Keira Knightly and Jack Davenport.
      Or commentary by the writers, who are, Stuart Beattie, Ted Elliot, Terry Rosso and Jay Wolbert.


      ~The second disc~

      This disc is choc full of treats too, including:

      *'Epic at sea' - A really interesting documentary which shows the making of film, showing the actors, locations, production design, the ships, costumes and make-up, stunts and swords, visual effects and the premiere...phew!
      *'Fly on the set' - Take a look at the film being made at five different locations.
      *'Diaries' - Three diaries to look at including the Producers photo diary, the diary of a pirate and the diary of a ship.
      *A hilarious 'blooper reel' - This will defo make you smile, although I wish it was longer! (But I guess it shows how professional they really are that it isn't longer!)
      *'Pirates in the park'
      *'Image gallery' - Take a look at all kinds of images, from inspiration and concept art of scary pirates, to storyboards and production - where you find shots of the cast and crew (lovely pics of Johnny Depp in here!)
      *'Moonlight serenade' scene progression - Here we see how a shot from the film goes from concept to completion.
      *'Below deck' - An interactive history of pirates.
      *DVD Rom enhanced computer features.
      *Deleted scenes - A total of 19 deleted scenes to watch.

      There are also Easter eggs (hidden features) to find!


      ~The Lost Disc~

      The lost disc is extra special, with loads of goodies to choose from, its running time is approx 73 mins long and is rated PG.

      This disc includes some fantastic footage such as:

      *'Becoming Captain Jack' where Johnny Depp enlightens us about fulfilling his childhood dream of playing a pirate and his unique take on the quirky character Jack Sparrow, (whom he loosely based the character on Rolling Stones guitarist, Keith Richards).
      *Also 'Becoming Barbosa' - An insight into Geoffrey Rush's brilliant character.
      *'Thar she blows' - A look at the interceptor and how it was made (and blown up!)
      *'The monkeys name is Jack' - Where you meet Tara and Levi, who took turns in playing the tiny primates, and see just how much mayhem they caused!
      *There's more 'fly on the wall' featurettes, where you can join the filmmakers as they create additional key sequences from the movie.
      *'Pirates around the world' - A fun comparison of dubbed versions from across the seven seas...ahoy there me harties.
      *Spirit of the ride - Take a look at the incredible ride that inspired the film.
      *Dead men tell no tales - This shows how the ride was developed and created.

      With a great story line, excellent set and costume design, great appropriate music and fantastic actors you can't really go wrong. I love this box set and really would suggest you give it a go.

      Oh and don't forget to watch the end credits for an extra clip, (you could make a cuppa while you wait!)

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        21.11.2007 11:00
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        Leaves your hair looking and feeling fantastic.

        This is one of a range of products from Andrew Collinge salon solutions, which is designed to help replenish and repair the hairs damaged structure. A ‘one minute wonder’ deep conditioning treatment, that is said to ‘restructure and re-hydrate for instant manageability and shine’ especially designed for dry/damaged hair.

        It says it’s “cleverly formulated to lock in moisture it will leave hair soft and supple and easy to style. See and feel the difference after every application.” I have to agree with this statement, my hair is colour treated and really long, so I’ve tried all kinds of different products, but this is the one that I feel gives the best results for my hair type, and so I’ve stuck with it for many years now (on and off) and make sure it’s always in my bathroom.

        It contains a huge list of ingredients, far too many to list and bore you with, but some of them are: water, cetearyl alcohol, glycerin and parfum (fragrance). It also contains a UV filter and multiconditioning complex, which helps to protect your hair from heat styling.

        Directions for use:
        As usual you are told to prepare your hair with a shampoo from the same range (which I never do, I generally use Pantene), towel dry and apply evenly to hair and massage from root to tip, I don’t actually apply any product directly to the root as I find it can look a bit oily when dry, and needs washing sooner than usual, and more washing the hair means more of the hairs natural oils are being stripped away, so I apply the majority to the mid lengths and ends and comb through with my fingers. I usually use it once every one to two weeks, it’s called ‘1 minute wonder’, but I usually leave it on for 5 minutes - or more if needed to get the best results. And as usual – avoid contact with the eyes, but if contact occurs – rinse with warm water.

        It’s not a very big tube, it holds 25 ml, but if you’re only using it every week or more then it lasts for ages. You don’t need to use a lot, about a walnut size is enough for me, my hair is long but not very thick, so thicker hair would probably need a bit more. And because I only use it once every week or two, I find its great value for money, costing around £4.49 for a 25 ml tube.
        It looks pretty good too, in a cool pale metallic lilac colour with silver, purple and black writing. It’s opened at the bottom by flipping up the clear cap, and is then squeezed to get the product out.

        I’m always really pleased with the look and feel of my hair when I’ve used this conditioning treatment, and it smells great too - not fruity, just a nice perfume smell, and gives a nice glossy smooth feel which is really easy to manage.

        My hair is generally quite weak when wet through all the colour treatment – it was very dark brown last month (for about 3 weeks, I got bored!) and now it’s back very pale blonde, so after my hair taking such a beating – I was glad to have this product at hand! And it worked, my hair is back feeling as good as it did before and much stronger after using this deep conditioning treatment a few times.

        So overall I would give this product 9.5 out of ten and I would definitely recommend it to anyone with dry or damaged hair, or for normal hair to make it look and feel extra special.


        Thanks for reading.

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        • Jekyll / TV Programme / 27 Readings / 25 Ratings
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          20.11.2007 19:12
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          A modern day Jekyll annd Hyde story with a twist.

          This is a 2 Disc DVD box set, which is six part thriller including uncut scenes and DVD extras, and guaranteed to have you hooked!


          ~Synopsis~

          The story begins with Tom Jackman (James Nesbitt), a married father of twin boys, who in the last six months, has left both his family and job behind him. The reason for Tom leaving his old life is to protect them, because something strange has been happening to Tom, something he can neither explain nor control.

          He started to experience blackouts – from which he had no memory of where he’d been and worst of all….what he’d done. Because what Tom doesn’t know, is that he’s in fact a descendant from the legendary Dr Jekyll, and so has a powerful alter ego in the form of Hyde, just waiting to get out….

          Hyde shares a body with Tom, but the strange thing is not just the change of personality- but the physical changes as well, Hyde’s eyes are black, and his hairline, jaw line, teeth and size are all different to Tom, and even stranger they don’t share damage to their bodies.

          Hyde has no idea that Tom’s married with children. Terrified for the safety of his family, he locks himself away and uses modern technology and surveillance systems to keep Hyde under control. But Hyde is too strong and therefore cannot be kept under control for long.

          But Tom has help, in the form of Katherine (Michelle Ryan) a psychiatric nurse who he hires with strict guidelines, to ‘oversee the change.’ And even his estranged wife is fighting his corner as well as fighting for the truth, when she becomes unwittingly involved.

          But little does Tom know, a sinister organisation is tracking their every move, strange black vans and guys in suits are never far behind. And with seemingly limitless money and power, there seems to be no stopping them….for they are waiting for Hyde to show himself, even setting a trap for him. Because the plan they are carrying out is over a century old, and it seems that Mr Hyde is in-fact no mistake of science…..


          ~My Thoughts~

          Jekyll is a modern day update of the classic tale ‘Strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’, by Robert Louis Stevenson. ‘Jekyll’ gives the original horror story a great twist to the tale, which I think works really well. It’s a fantastic story with lot’s of twists and turns, so you never really know what will happen next (even though it’s a well known story)…which is great, there’s nothing worse than watching the start of a series and it being so predictable you could write it yourself!

          But not this series, it’s a really well written story, with some fantastic acting from James Nesbitt, who plays both Tom (Jekyll) and Hyde really well.
          It’s refreshing to see him play such a layered charismatic role, which he plays beautifully.

          Because it’s a series, the special effects and stunts are never going to be as ‘spectacular’ as a high budget film, but they did a pretty good job considering. The transformation from Jekyll to Hyde was good, and a lot of the stunts were great to watch.
          A favourite bit of mine is in episode two, a scene in the lions den – scary and strangely humorous due to Hyde’s devilish charm.

          A fantastic tale, that will have you hiding behind a cushion and wanting desperately to watch it all in one go, a truly gripping story.
          The best series I’ve seen in a long time, definitely recommended – just be warned if you’re squeamish, there are a few ‘gory’ parts. And it can also be a little jumpy!


          ~DVD Extras~

          Audio commentaries:
          – Episode 1: Steven Moffat, Douglas Mackinnon and Elaine Cammeron
          – Episode 6: Beryl Virtue, Matt Lipsey and Gina Bellman.

          Featurettes include:
          - ‘The tale retold’ – A 45 minute long behind the scenes feature, looking at the making of Jekyll and includes interviews with the cast and crew.
          - ‘Anatomy of a science’ – A 15 minute close up of the ‘in the lions den’ scene from episode 2.


          Certificate 15, (contains strong violence, language and sexual references.)
          Run time is 360 minutes.
          Production year - 2007
          Writer – Stephen Moffat (Dr Who)
          Directed by, Matt Upsey and Douglas Mackinnon.
          Cast includes: James Nesbit, Michele Ryan, Gina Bellam, Dennis Lawson and Meera Syal.
          Released by contender home entertainment.

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            20.11.2007 13:47
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            Gentle face-wipes that leave your skin clean, toned and healthy looking.

            I find Witch face-wipes to be one of the best around, and I use them regularly, I’m always really pleased with how my skin looks and feels when I’ve used them. They’re for cleansing and toning and are really effective at removing make-up or to simply freshen up, day or night. They come in a handy pack containing 25 wipes which will easily fit into your bag if you need to use them on the go.

            The face-wipes contain extract of natural witch hazel, and are for any skin type, but especially for oily or combination skin. They are so easy to use, simply unpeel the clear tab on the front of the turquoise pack and pull out a wipe, and by using either side of the wipe (some wipes are only to be used on one side) simply wipe around the whole face and neck area if necessary. You will then be left with skin that’s clean, toned, tingling and really soft and supple.

            Witch products first came available in the 1960’s, and became popular for spot and blemish treatment. And has since broadened its range to five more daily products, which include washes and cleansers, and more recently in 2003 the ‘pure skin refreshment’ range. The Witch brand continues to evolve and two more moisturisers were launched last year, it’s growing in popularity every year and is definitely a brand I trust.

            These face-wipes also smell great, a really fresh, clean smell that’s not too strong. I’ve tried all different kinds of face-wipes, and a lot of them are way too overpowering with perfume, which is sometimes a horrible cheap smell (and I find these kinds of wipes generally sting after using.) But witch face-wipes are gentle on the skin and have a subtle smell that’s clean and fresh.

            When you’ve used the wipe, dispose of it in the bin, and make sure you have sealed the pack when finished to keep them moist. I noticed that the re-sealable pack does actually stay re-sealed until they’re all gone which is fantastic, because in the past I’ve bought other brands which once you have opened the pack, they don’t re-seal and so you have to either keep them upside down or leave them to dry up (which is rubbish!)

            But I’d definitely recommend these face-wipes as they can be used on any type of skin, they’re so easy to use and come a really handy pack which can be used anywhere. They are also good value for money costing around £3.24, which is an average price for the same type of products, but these actually give great results and are great quality.

            This product is not tested on animals.

            www.witchskincare.com

            “Its not witchcraft…its natural beauty”

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              19.11.2007 20:29
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              A fantastic film for all ages to enjoy with some great extras.

              Here is another gem from Disney Pixar, whose past releases include the award winning ‘Finding Nemo’, along with ‘Monsters Inc’, ‘Toy story’ and ‘A bug’s life’.


              ~Synopsis~

              The Parr family are an average family in an average town living average lives…..actually that’s a lie – well the first part anyway….because unbeknownst to the rest of the world, Bob Parr and his wife Helen –who now have three children named Violet, Dash and Jack, used to be the infamous Mr Incredible and Elastigirl, superheroes who fought crime on a daily basis – that is until things went awry for the ‘supers’ as they were known across the world, who became bombarded with lawsuits and were eventually forced into an ‘ordinary life’.

              But Bob is far from happy with the daily grind and is desperate to get back to the excitement of being a superhero. So when an ominous letter arrives for Bob one day, he wastes no time in squeezing himself (literally!) back into his superhero costume.
              But little does he know that it’s a trap which was set by a ‘self-made’ super, named ‘Syndrome’, formerly known as Buddy - who is out to get revenge for being ridiculed when he was younger.

              And soon the whole family of supers are joining forces to save Mr Incredible from Syndromes evil plan….but will they succeed?


              ~My Thoughts~

              This is another fabulous creation from Pixar animation studios for Walt Disney pictures. We’ve come to expect the best from these guys, and that’s because they always deliver the goods! Perfectly polished and brimming with humour, along with a great story and faultless animation, this film is another stunning creation from Pixar. And although I really like this film, it’s not one of my favourites from Pixar, and I’m not quite sure why, I just didn’t find it quite so memorable as the other films by the same creators, especially ‘Finding Nemo’ and ‘Monsters Inc’, but saying that it’s still an awesome movie that I really enjoyed.

              This is the sixth animated film by Pixar, the story was originally developed for Warner Bros, but after they shut down its animation division, Brad Bird moved to Pixar and took the story with him.

              The film appeals to a wide audience, but in my opinion it’s better for age 5 and over as it can drag a bit in some parts, and some of the humour is aimed at a slightly older age group. The DVD is also presented really well, it comes in a duel-ambary case with great artwork and a separate reflective card sleeve, that is the same picture as the front of the DVD, really nice to look at.

              The special features on the disc are also fantastic and will keep you entertained for hours! A favourite of mine is ‘Boundin’, a short film about a sheep with a beautiful coat, who bounds along proudly…until one day it gets sheared! Really funny! And ‘Incrediblunders’, I love the outtakes Pixar add at the end of the films, and so do my kids – they were in hysterics watching these! There are some really great extras to watch, which are both interesting and funny.


              ~Special features~

              The first disc: Along with the film, there are also the filmmaker’s audio commentaries.
              The extras disc:
              • Introduction – Brad Bird gives an introduction to the extras on the disc.
              • Deleted scenes – Shows all the films deleted scenes and has intro’s to them.
              • Jack Jack attack – A Pixar animated short made especially for the release of The Incredibles, showing what happened when Kari was left baby-sitting Jack Jack, a really funny short film!
              • The making of the Incredibles – A documentary about making the film, and features about 30 of the crew members.
              • More making of the Incredibles – Another longer documentary about how the film was made.
              • Incredi blunders – Fantastic! The outtakes of the film.
              • Vowellet: an essay by Sarah Vowell – Which is a documentary about the life of Sarah Vowell, a writer who did the voice of Violet Parr.
              • Character Interviews – The actors and actresses interview the characters.
              • Theatrical trailer – The Incredibles film trailer.
              • Mr Incredible and pals – A Mr Incredible cartoon spoofing cheesy superheroes from the 60’s.
              • Mr Incredible and pals with commentary.
              • NSA files containing info about the supers.
              • One to watch is a short film directed by Bud Luckey called ‘Boundin’, which is fantastic!
              • ‘Boundin’ – with commentary by Bud Luckey.
              • Who is Bud Luckey? A four minute documentary about the making of Boundin.


              ~Trivia~

              A cameo from Doc Hudson from another Pixar movie ‘cars’, can be seen parked on the left of the screen at 1.40:27 into the film, (although cars was released after the Incredibles – but the development of Cars was well under way at this point.)

              The film won the Academy Award for ‘Best animated feature’ in 2005.


              Voices by, Craig T Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Spencer Fox, Samuel L Jackson, Jason Lee and Brad Bird.
              Directed by, Brad Bird.
              Produced by, John Walker.
              Released in 2004.
              Run time 115 mins.
              Certificate U.


              Thanks for reading.

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                17.11.2007 23:42
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                A beautiful place with a fantastic beach.

                I‘ve so many fond memories of Perranporth, it’s a really beautiful place simply amazing, and well worth a visit. The first time I visited Perranporth was about 13 years ago, I went with my friend and her parents, I was 15 at the time and it was the first time I‘d been camping, I’ve been lucky enough to have had perfect weather every time I’ve been, the last time I went was last summer, but I must say I prefer to stay in a hotel now I have kids!

                It’s a perfect place to visit whether you’re a beach bum, surfer, or a family. If you’d like to learn to surf you can get lessons at reasonable prices and there’s loads of places to hire/buy all you need. There’s also a great choice of places to eat whether you want an Indian, Chinese, Burger, Pizza, Fish n’ chips, traditional Cornish pasty, Kebab or a nice restaurant with a lovely atmosphere to relax in. One thing I love, which I’d never come across before was Cheesy Chips! Best thing ever…I’ve thought about driving to Perranporth for those cheesy chips (and seeing as it would take me about 6 hours to get there, that’s saying something!) When we got back we asked for cheesy chips at our local take away, to our disappointment we were asked ‘what the bloody ‘ell are they then’. (Pretty self-explanatory I thought!) Oh well….

                If you decide to camp there are some great campsites in the area, I would recommend Budnick which is about 5 mins from the beach, it has all the facilities you need, shop, shower blocks, bathroom, café, water points and parking. If you can’t bear the thought of being stuck in a tent, then there are some good Bed and breakfasts (although you have to book early for a lot of places.) At one time you probably could have rocked up and found somewhere to stay whilst there, but nowadays it’s become a lot more popular, especially after featuring on a BBC series, so make sure you book in advance.

                A great hotel is the Ponsmere, it’s great if you have kids –of any age. There’s kids entertainment and entertainment at night in the ballroom for adults, there’s a good size pool outside and a playground, so if you sit outside you can look out over the beach. The rooms are nice to, with everything you need, we were lucky enough to have a sea-view, so the warm summer nights are made extra special when you head back and can chill out on the balcony and look out at the sea. The beach is one of the best beaches I’ve been to its clean although it can be pretty crowded depending what time of year you go. There are rock pools for kids (and adults) to explore with their fishing
                Nets, or simply have a paddle. The life-guards are always on the ball and make it clear that you have to stay inside certain flags depending what you’re doing.

                If you like nightlife then you won’t be disappointed there’s a brilliant lively bar on the beach called The Watering Hole, were the atmosphere is as relaxed as the locals, a definite must visit if you go to Perranporth. Another place I like is The Green Parrot, serves good food and great drink! But if you want a change you can simply jump on a bus and go to Newquay for a livelier night out. I can’t remember how long the bus journey was but it’s about 9 miles to get there, so not far.

                There’s a Spar and a Co-op (Co-op has a cash machine outside) for all your shopping needs and some of the best shops to take a look at (that aren’t filled with tacky rubbish) can be found almost everywhere you look. There’s also a small lake full of swans and ducks where you can have a boat ride or simply sit and relax, I don’t advise eating whilst sat there though, unless you like seagulls, not me …. They were the bane of my life!

                Like anywhere the weather plays a big part in how good a stay you have, there’s not all that much to do if it rains, (unless you’re staying at the Ponsmere.)
                If you have a car there’s no problem finding things to do/ places to go in surrounding areas.

                Seagulls aside I’d definitely recommend a visit to Perranporth, young or old it’s a lovely charming place that should be seen with your own eyes to really appreciate it. But if you want to check it out before you go you can visit the Watering Holes web site and see the awesome beach through the web cam.

                Thanks for reading.

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                  17.11.2007 13:24
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                  A fantastic look at a magical place with lots of humour!

                  I love this man! If you are already a fan of Billy Connolly then you will love this 2 disc DVD of his ‘too old to die young’ tour which was actually the first leg of his tour filmed in 2004 and the fourth part of his World tour. (The other 3 parts of his world tour are of Scotland, which was the first and filmed in 1994 with a 6 episodes. The second was a fabulous tour of Australia, with 8 episodes and was filmed in 1996. And the third was England, Ireland and Wales – filmed in 2001 with 8 episodes.) The disc also contains 3 bonus audio tracks: 1.Billy’s Bobby, 2.Wandering Soul, and 3.Billy’s Fast Waltz.

                  The running time is 312 mins and rated 15 but if you’re not used to Billy’s personality, you should know that he swears …a lot! (His wife Pamela actually thought he had tourette’s when she met him because he swore so much!) Although the way he does it he could probably get away with swearing at the Queen! If there were such a thing as the ‘best swearer’, the ‘Big Yin’ would be it, without question!

                  Anyway, the tour kicks off on the South Island of New Zealand, In Invercargill, (which is apparently is the southern most city in the world), where Billy dons a leather jacket (complete with ‘too old to die young’ and a picture of a skull wearing glasses on the back!) Gets on his Harley Davidson trike and sets off on his amazing journey. Along the way there’s laughter (lot’s of laughter!), fascinating insights into the cultures, people, Maori traditions, fantastic scenery, and wonderful stories from across the Country. With live shows mixed in with exploration and tales of old, it’s never dull!

                  ~Episode 1~

                  Stewart Island is the first stop on Billy’s map, which according to Maori legend is considered to be in the anchor of Maui’s canoe. It has a population of only 255 people, the tiny (for what he’s used too) Town Hall in which the audience filled with 125 people (half the islands population) was just as much a treat for him as it was for them.(he said it was “in many ways one of the highlights of the tour,”) He shows us a huge anchor chain that represents the island being anchored down (which a man shot at in protest when it was built!) I however think it’s brilliant. He then looks at eel fishing and later heads off to the second stop on his map, Dunedin. Here he explores cave drawings which date back to 1100. And he tells a heart-warming story about ‘somebody’s darling’.

                  ~Episode 2~

                  Billy leaves Dunedin and sets off to Queenstown where here he travels up high to do a naked bungee jump….yes that’s right Billy gets in the buff once more and leaps off the edge with no fear. (But before doing so said “I don’t want to hear ‘Oh Sh*t’ when you’re doing this!” as they buckled him up before jumping.) Billy then heads off to his next stop on the map, Greymouth. Here he meets a guy who shows him how jade is found in its purest form and is then worked (by rubbing) into a thing of beauty. He also meets the Kokatahi band and takes a helicopter ride to see some of the most stunning views on earth.

                  ~Episode3~

                  Here Billy leaves Greymouth and stops at Christchurch. Where he sees pieces of iron girders from the twin towers disaster, which were put there in memory. Whilst on stage Billy reads out a hilarious letter from a fan asking (in a very unorthodox way) for an autograph, and sees a guy who draws sand pictures on an enormous scale. He then leaves Kaikoura and goes to Nelson where he visits ‘the world of wearable art’, and discovers some very interesting bras! His next adventure takes him whale watching, were he’s lucky enough to see huge sperm whales diving under and showing their tails.

                  ~Episode 4~

                  Billy is now heading over to the North Island of New Zealand to Wellington and sees some interesting sculptors on the way, including a huge wind wand, that Billy names ‘smarties on a stick’ and an interesting brail monument. He then visits an architect who is such a talented guy (he could design me a house anytime!) We see some amazing portraits of Elvis and Jonah Lomu made of toast! And are guided around the stage he’ll be performing on and tells the tragic story of the New Plymouth rail disaster that killed 151 passengers.

                  ~Episode 5~ (Disc 2)

                  Billy leaves Wellington and goes to Palmerston North, here he drives down ‘the forgotten highway’. In New Plymouth he sees a wind wand and a huge wedge of cheese that is actually a water tank. He gets in a helicopter and flies over a huge Maori tattooed face in the side of a mountain. The next stop on his map is Napier where in 1931 the biggest earthquake to hit New Zealand destroyed the whole town, it was later rebuilt in a beautiful 30’s style. He then heads over to Rotorua were he takes a dip in a hot river whilst wearing a possum swimsuit!

                  ~Episode 6~

                  Billy’s up on the top of Mount Tarawera that lies on the volcanic fault line, it blew up in 1886 burying an entire village. He then takes a look at the village present day that was buried by ash and mud. He also tells a great tale about a Hells Angel in surgery when an earthquake hits! From Rotorua to Waitomo were Billy swings in on a rope in St Benedict’s cave to look at the amazing stalagmites and taste sugarstone. He then visits the Marai village where the Maori people live and sees their way of live. He later moves on to Waihi and looks at Kauri tree (which are some of the largest trees in the world) and then off to see a gold mine.

                  ~Episode 7~

                  Leaving Waihi for Auckland, he visits an aquarium (fantastic places!) To sit with penguins, look at sharks through the clear tunnel and see the octopuses (that used to escape at night to eat the crayfish!) He’s then off to a museum were he sees Richard Pearce’s flying machines. And then over to the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere, which he then jumps off! (Fully clothed this time!) And lands like “a bundle of washing” at the bottom. Later he visits a Maori tattooist who draws a traditional facial tattoo on him.

                  ~Episode 9~

                  The final episode sees Billy at ‘Dancing camp damn’ were he blows a bullock horn.
                  And takes a look at what he describes as “the best toilet you’ve ever seen”. Made with beautiful designs from mosaic tiles and coloured glass bottles, it really is extraordinary. He then heads off from Russel to Kaitaia to a meeting house which is a place of learning for young Maori. Digs for tuatua, which is a type of shellfish, and finally to the famous Ninety mile beach.

                  There are so many jokes and stories Billy tells it’s hard to pick out the best, but here are a few that made me laugh out loud!
                  “Bad hair day” a woman in a lift comments on his hair.
                  “Call it a Pavarotti pie for all I care-shut up an’ get out my face!” Talking about the argument between Aus and NZ over the Pavlov a.
                  “Hells angel on the beach” guy goes into surgery and later comes round on a beach due to an earthquake and says, “Oh...it’s just like earth!”
                  “….shake a stick at, till you’re blue in the face- wouldn’t say boo to a goose…who would!” about the English language.

                  Fantastically funny and really interesting! An unforgettable journey around a truly magical place. (Which I definitely want to see for myself after watching Billy’s tour!)

                  If you’re not a big fan of Billy, I still recommend watching this tour of New Zealand, it’s really interesting and shows some beautiful places.

                  Thanks for reading.

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                  • Blue Crush (DVD) / DVD / 32 Readings / 28 Ratings
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                    15.11.2007 11:42
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                    An amazing movie about surfing and friendship.

                    Run time approx 100 mins.
                    Certificate: 12.
                    Directed by, John Stockwell.
                    Produced by, Brian Grazer.
                    Stars Kate Bosworth, Michelle Rodriguez, Sanoe Lake, Mathew Davis and Mika Boorem.
                    Released in 2003.


                    ~Synopsis~

                    The story follows Anne Marie, a keen surfer living in Hawaii, with her two best friends Lena (Sanoe Lake) and Eden (Michelle Rodriguez) and her rebellious little sister a Penny (Mika Boorem).
                    Anne Marie is passionate about surfing and is training hard to win the toughest surf competition in Hawaii - Pipe-masters, on pipe-line, which is the deadliest wave in the world. But three years previous, Anne Marie nearly drowned after hitting her head on a reef, and this still plays on her mind when she’s in the water.

                    The three friends have jobs as maids, a job they hate - but need to pay the rent. Whilst working, Anne Marie catches the eye of a pro football player named Matt Tollman who is staying at the hotel they work at, and soon she’s persuaded to give him surfing lessons…..as you can imagine, things progress between the two and soon Anne Marie is losing focus on the big competition. But one thing she hasn’t lost is her friends, can they help Anne Marie face her fears and live out her life long dream of surfing pipe?


                    ~About the film~

                    The film is set in Hawaii on the infamous Pipeline on the North shore, which is the deadliest wave in the world. The scenes in the water were mostly filmed with either cameras fixed on boogie boards or simply guys swimming with cameras, but the footage they got was amazing. The films director John Stockwell and producer Brian Grazer are both surfers, and were determined to make this film as real as possible, so with help from some of the best female surfers in the world including Kate Skarrett, Kealla Kennelly and Rochelle Ballard, the local community of the North shore, and the water safety patrol - whom without them, the movie wouldn’t have been possible, they got a fantastic movie with awesome footage.


                    ~My Thoughts~

                    I’m not generally a fan of ‘girly films’, but this one is different. Yes it has a soppy romantic story entwined into the plotline, but it’s not the main story, it’s more about surfing and friendship – but mostly surfing, which is fantastic (I normally hate cheesy chick flicks!)

                    I must admit though that one particular scene in the movie made me cringe, it was when Kate Bosworth’s character was surfing near the beginning of the film, and although Kate and Michelle were given a crash course in surfing, they would never be able to surf like pro’s in such a short time, and so the big wave shots in the movie were by stunt doubles, and one particular shot of Kate’s stunt double had the face replacement technique used on her, to put Kate’s face on her body. And it was pretty obvious – I noticed it the first time I saw this film and second time round it was even worse. But throughout the rest of the film, it wasn’t really that noticeable (if at all) in a lot of the other shots. Maybe it’s just me being picky!

                    Aside from that, the acting was good, I really like Kate Bosworth, and a lot of the other actors were locals who had never acted before, but they did an amazing job and did what they do best…surf! The shots they got for the film were fantastic, and they were really in the thick of it out in the water, and it’s obviously so unpredictable out there in the ocean.
                    If you watch the extras on the DVD you see how tough it was, and how they all got worked and had some kind of injury whilst out in the water.
                    The shots in the water let you experience visually what it’s like to be in a barrel and come out of the other side, and to see how the waves are created, really awesome to see.

                    It’s a truly inspirational film, and you’ll probably want to buy a surf board when you see it! I’d definitely recommend watching it if you love the water, it’s a real feel good movie that will have you laughing in parts and then completely on edge! But most of the time, you’ll just be in awe of the huge waves and incredible shots in the water.


                    ~Special Features~

                    • ‘Three friends, one passion’ – A behind the scenes look at the making of Blue Crush.
                    • Deleted scenes – Shows all the scenes that didn’t make it into the movie.
                    •Lenny Kravitz music video – ‘If I could fall in love’.
                    • Filming Blue Crush – Showing the techniques that were used to shoot the amazing footage for the film.
                    • Wipeout! – This shows the awesome power of the ocean, and the wipeouts and action scenes that were caught on film, some pretty amazing (and scary) stuff!
                    • Surf Fashion – Sanoe Lake takes us shopping, and shows us some fantastic surf wear for girls.
                    • Inside the world of surfing – An amazing look at the history, terminology, equipment and the best places to catch a wave.
                    • Commentary with Kate Bosworth, Michelle Rodriguez and Sanoe L ake.
                    • Commentary with Director John Stockwell.
                    • The female surfing revolution – A featurette about the world’s best female surfers.
                    • Skateboarding – takes a look into the skateboarding culture.
                    • DVD-ROM features.
                    • Riding the waves.
                    • Blue Crush promo.
                    • Theatrical Trailer.


                    Surfs up!!

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                      14.11.2007 14:06
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                      A really great game that will keep you amused and entertained.

                      After reviewing Lego Star Wars the video game, with some input from my little boy, he then asked me “why are you not writing about Lego Star Wars II? It’s better…” Hmm…..Well that’s his opinion and so here’s mine….

                      Pretty much everything in this game is made of Lego bricks (sorry to state the obvious!) and just like the first game there is no spoken dialogue throughout the game, just gestures (even the most famous moments in the film.)

                      After the first game being such a success you might think a follow up game would be hard pushed to come close. But the first game was based on the 3 prequel films, and so Lego Star Wars II is based on the 3 sequel films, which are the originals (and best in my opinion) - The first of which is ‘A new hope’, the second is ‘The Empire strikes back’ and the third is ‘Return of the Jedi’. Three awesome films!

                      So after buying the game for my son I was itching to have a go, but if you’ve read my review of the first game you will know that I’m not so great at playing (to put it mildly!) And I haven’t improved…at all, mind you I was thrown in at some later stage of the game where I didn’t know where I was or what to do (I didn’t even know which character I was, I had to keep pressing jump to see which dude went up in the air!) But aside from not knowing what to do, I had fun!

                      ~ Game-play ~

                      The game begins in the Mos Eisley Cantina, where you find yourself in control of the lovely Princess Leia, who is followed around by her companion Captain Antilles. In here you can go to the bar in the centre of the room to access bonus characters (that are gained along the way), extras – where you can find cheats! You can also put codes in which unlock certain things. Gold bricks can be purchased to gain access to short-cuts, and you can unlock story clips which you can sit back and watch when you want.

                      New in this game is the ‘character customiser,’ there aren’t many options for this early on in the game, but as you progress you acquire more and more parts to use. Another great option in this game is the ‘carry over characters’, where if you have the first Lego Star Wars game saved on your memory card, you can then take all the old characters from your first game to the second game when on free-play. (the games need to be on the same memory card for this.)

                      Playing the game you can choose between the episode doors (like the first game) in the Cantina, but only when you’ve unlocked them. (bummer!) You then choose between story mode or free-play (where you can explore any unlocked level with any choice of character.) There is also for the first time, an option to build and ride vehicles such as speeder bikes, and you can mount and ride creatures in ‘on foot’ levels! This game also has the ‘Drop in’ feature so a second player can join or leave at any point in the game.

                      Throughout the game there are many secret doors to be found, which hide secrets and surprises! The Lego studs are the currency used to buy and trade to help you along your way. But to properly complete this game you must unlock every character, (and there’s lots of them!) Because every character has different abilities, and are needed in certain levels. You can choose from Han Solo, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Yoda to Ben Kenobi and a Wicket! (Plus many more!)

                      While wandering through the different levels you can find objects lying around, such as power bricks – which enable you to get an extra feature from the Cantina barman, gold bricks – which are obtained through completing a level in free-play. And mini-kit canisters (which are really hard to find) but if you find all 10 of them you get immense stud wealth and the parts to build an exclusive vehicle.

                      ~ My thoughts ~

                      I think I need to see a bit more of the game play before I can say it’s either ‘better’ or ‘worse’ than the first game, but I think it’s definitely on par. The characters are really cool and fun to mess around with, (you can swap their heads and bodies which is pretty funny!) As with the first game there’s lot’s of humour throughout the game, I found it pretty funny that Chewbacca pulls baddies arms out of their sockets! (not sure what that says about me though…) And Princess Leia’s ‘slap’ melee attack!

                      There’s adaptive game difficultly, so if you’re terrible at it like me you can make yourself feel a bit better by putting it on easy! The game also includes lots of puzzles to work out, which gets kids brains ticking over. And it’s really enjoyable, something that you can keep playing over again, which means that it’s also great value for money. A fabulous game for all ages, and well worth buying.

                      The game was released on September 11th 2006 and sold more than a million copies in the first week on shelves.
                      The game also won countless awards which include the BAFTA Video Awards awarding it with ‘Best children’s game’- ‘Best character (Han Solo)’ and Best game’.

                      Thanks for reading.

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                      • Stand By Me (DVD) / DVD / 30 Readings / 26 Ratings
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                        13.11.2007 22:50
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                        A real classic film about coming of age and true friendship.

                        Stand by me is one of my all time favourite films. The film was released in 1986, and was released on DVD in 2000.

                        ~The Story~

                        The story is narrated by Richard Dreyfuss, who appears at the end of the film. He is writing a book about a particular time in his childhood, sharing memories of his friends and the experiences they had growing up.
                        The story is set in a small Oregon town in the year 1959, where we follow the story of Gordie (Wil Wheaton), a sensitive 12 year old boy, who feels invisible after the death of his older brother. His best friend Chris (River Phoenix), who is labelled a trouble maker because of his background, and his two other friends Teddy (Cory Feldman), also from a troubled background – people think he’s crazy. And then there’s Verne (Jerry O’Connell), slightly chubby and a bit of a scaredy-cat!

                        The four friends are spending most of their time together during the summer holidays, hanging out in a tree house, smoking, playing cards, and trying to find ways to keep themselves amused. Until a story of a boy’s unfound body, a kid named Ray Browers who had been hit by a train and killed came to light after Verne overheard his older brother talking about the whereabouts of the body.
                        The group of friends decide they could be town heroes by making this discovery, and so set off on their two day journey. Their adventure brings them laughter, sadness, terror and most of all a friendship stronger than ever.

                        ~About the film~

                        The film is based on the 1982 Stephen King book ‘The body’. In 1983, Bruce Evans and Raynold Gideon who were two ‘Starman’ screenwriters, who had approached many different studios to finance the film but no-body seemed interested, thinking it had little box office appeal. Finally, mini-major Embassy pictures agreed to finance the film, but unfortunately, two days before production the company was sold, and Colombia pictures had no interest in the film.
                        But an ex co-owner of Embassy named Norman Lear, decided to put his own money up to finance the film with a $8 million budget.

                        The principal photography started in Oregon in 1985 and the actors were chosen to play the four young boys. But in 1986, Colombia pictures had a change of heart and decided to buy the films worldwide distribution rights from Norman Lear. After a re-think, Colombia decided the films title ‘The body’, was misleading and so made the decision to change it, a few ideas later and ‘The body’ became ‘Stand by me’.
                        The film was released in 1987 in the UK.

                        ~My Thoughts~

                        A truly superb film, that is still as strong over 20 years on. A brilliant heart warming story of friendship and growing up with fantastic acting by some very talented young actors, which includes the late River Phoenix who was 14 in this movie, a beautiful, hugely talented actor who sadly died later in life at the young age of 23.
                        This film is a real iconic movie that will be loved for many years to come. Although I’m glad the title was changed from ‘The body’, it conjures up all kinds of thoughts – it could be anything from a sex film to a horror film! Whereas ‘Stand by me’ is a perfect insight to what the film’s all about…good solid friendships.

                        One of my favourite parts of the movie has to be Gordie’s story telling about the pie eating contest, really funny! And not forgetting the boys walking the train tracks over the bridge – I won’t give anything away if you haven’t seen it, but it always has me tensed up when watching it! I also love the song ‘Stand by me’ from the movie, by Ben E.King, because although I’m a ‘Rock n’ Roll’ chick at heart, this is one of my all-time favourite tracks.
                        If you haven’t already seen this film then I definitely recommend you watch it!
                        A great film to have, that’s not out of place in anyone’s DVD collection.

                        ~Extra Features~

                        * Feature length commentary by director Rob Reiner.
                        * Featurette: ‘Walking the tracks: The summer of Stand By Me’.
                        * Filmographys.
                        * Isolated score.
                        * Music video – Ben E.King ‘Stand by me’.

                        And an interactive menu with Language choice, multiple language subtitles and scene selections.

                        ~Trivia~

                        Although the boys played 12 year olds, River (Chris) was 15 in the last month of shooting, Corey (Teddy) was 14, Wil (Gordie) was 13 and Jerry (Vern) was 11.

                        Kiefer Sutherland and Corey Feldman both co-stared in the 1987 film ‘The lost boys.’

                        The film won a golden globe for ‘Best motion picture – drama’, an Academy award for writing adapted screenplay. And a Golden Globe for best director.

                        Run time 86 mins.
                        Directed by Rob Reiner.
                        Starring: Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O’Connell and Kiefer Sutherland.
                        Certificate 15

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                        • More +
                          12.11.2007 22:12
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                          Fantastic lip balm that soothes and tingles.

                          Carmex lip balm was created by Alfred Woelbing in Milwaukee, in the early 1930’s when only natural ingredients were available.

                          After trying so many different brands of lip-balm, with hundreds of assorted colours and flavours over the years, I was recently recommended Carmex by a friend – and I love it!
                          I openly admit to being to lip-balm addict, and I have been for many years now (even more so since discovering this one!) So the pure frustration of trying to find one that was just right had finally come to an end.

                          Over the years I’ve come across some pretty awful lip-balms, some were like oil slicks that were more like gloss and stayed on your mouth for no more than 5 minutes (and left embarrassing greasy lip marks on your glass, which when you try to rub off just looks worse!)

                          Some tasted like rancid fruit or some kind of waxy plastic. And some just tell lies and are in-fact lipstick, which when your going for the ‘au natural’ look and suddenly end up with big red lips, it’s not great….especially when you look like you’ve either been punched in the mouth or just had a jublee (a big ice-pop in a cup), because it’s not quite polished or glossy enough to look like real lip-stick.

                          Or you get the flavoured ones that without actually saying it – challenge you not to eat them, they’re like the fruit pastel adverts “bet you can’t put a fruit pastel in your mouth without chewin’ it”. Only it should say “bet you can’t put this balm on yer smackers without lickin’ it off”. Well I couldn’t – although I’d probably eaten 10lbs of whale blubber before realising this (kidding). But now thankfully, I don’t have any of these problems!


                          This lip balm works wonders for very dry or chapped lips, but it’s great for everyday use on normal lips too, (I use it every morning and every night before going to bed …. and copious amounts during the day…told you I was an addict!). And it’s a great addition to any handbag or pocket as the cold weather approaches, keeping your lips nice and kissable!

                          I know most blokes wouldn’t generally be seen dead whipping out a lip balm and applying in public (especially the pink strawberry variety in a lipstick shape), but I reckon this one is an exception, with its unisex style, colour, shape and smell it’s the ‘cK be’ of lip balm.

                          The packaging is also pretty cool, it comes in a little round retro pot that’s about an inch high and 3.5 cm wide, it’s white with a yellow screw on lid, with black writing on the top and around the lid.


                          Directions for use: “Apply freely to dry chapped lips” (written for the same people who need to read the “Do not use in shower” stickers on hair dryers.)
                          Keep out of children’s reach, and not to be used on children under three years.

                          It contains 7.5g, and the ingredients listed are: Petrolatum, Lanolin, Cetyl Esters, Theebroma Oil, Beeswax, Parafin Wax, Camphor, Menthol, Salicylic Acid, Vanillin and fragrance.

                          You apply the lip balm with your finger, it’s pretty solid and a nice yellow colour, so it’s not messy when using. After you’ve applied it, you will feel your lips start to tingle (due to the menthol), it has a slightly strange smell (but in a good way!) You can definitely smell the menthol mixed with a little vanilla.
                          And it’s not greasy like a lot of other lip balms, so it stays on for a good while. But it’s not waxy either – just right!

                          Not tested on animals.

                          www.carma-labs.com

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                            22.10.2007 20:28
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                            A really fun game with lot's of humour.

                            ~ Introduction ~

                            “The ancient darkness of the Sith grows ever more powerful. Even the noble Jedi Order, guardians of peace and justice for so long, are threatened by this deepening evil.”

                            ~ Playing the game ~

                            Throughout the game you get to play through the whole fantastic story of the three prequel films, from episode 1. The phantom menace, and episodes 2. and 3. Attack of the clones and revenge of the Sith. There are a total of 56 playable characters ranging from R2-D2 (my favourite!), Yoda, Chewbacca, C3P0, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker and many, many more!

                            The game begins at Dexter’s Diner on the planet Coruscant, where the hero’s and villains of the galaxy come together under one roof. It is here that new characters can be added to your collection, you can talk to Dexter for game hints and exchange lego ‘studs’ for new characters, special items and secret features. You will also find episode doors here, (which are the 3 prequel episodes) but doors 2 and 3 are locked until you have completed level 1. sequence ‘Negotiations’. Each scene you complete then unlocks the next door in the sequence. There is a fourth door with a question mark on it, this room contains the bonus level (a short prelude into Episode IV: A new hope.) The story of the game is quite similar to those of episodes 1-3, but some bits without much action have been either lightly touched upon or cut out.

                            You can play either 1 or 2 player and can use the ‘Drop in’ feature where at any point of the game a new player can join in the form of one of the nearby friendly characters, and can just as easily drop out. There are vehicles to build and ride, things to collect such as hearts, studs and canisters which are hidden in each scene and when put together build a special ‘mini kit’ (you need 10 to build one.) You can also play in ‘freeplay’ where you can explore any unlocked scene with your choice of characters, which you can switch between at any time.

                            ~ My thoughts ~

                            This is a really cool game, reading the manual it made me smile – it read “Lego Star Wars the video game has been designed and tested to be suitable for players of all ages. But if you’re a young player, you might find that your parents want to join in. And although we’ve tried to make the game as easy as possible, even for older people – inevitably they are going to need help.
                            We all know how impatient adults can be….”

                            It made me smile because my six year old had been explaining how the game works (without so much as glancing at the manual) and I could see him getting more and more frustrated at every question I asked, and then when playing the game the huffing and puffing started, as I was doing everything wrong.

                            Well - the final straw came when I shot him by accident (it gets confusing when there are so many people on the screen!) and his characters little Lego head and limbs popped off. Needless to say – sorry didn’t cut it (especially because I laughed when I’d done it) and was told I wasn’t allowed to play ever again! So now I just sit back and watch the master…. (that’s a six year old master.)

                            But when I was allowed to play I really enjoyed it, even though I had no clue as to what I was doing, I found it to be really humorous, you have hearts which symbolise your health and when your last heart goes, you literally go to pieces which is pretty comical (word of warning – don’t laugh when this happens, younger people don’t seem to find this funny…at all.)

                            I liked the 2 player aspect of the game, which you could drop in and out of whenever you felt like it (which is great if you’re rubbish and are ruining the game for the other player…ahem…) By dropping in, you take on the character of a nearby friend (or foe if you play like I do!)
                            I also liked the ‘free play’ where you could explore without your head popping off every 5 mins! You will need to save your game throughout play though, this can be done at Dexter’s Diner.

                            Using the force is also pretty cool too, but you can only do this when playing as certain characters.
                            I noticed that there’s no spoken dialogue throughout the game, the characters act out their parts using gestures (which might sound strange, but it actually works really well.) Anyway I’m not a big game fan (although I love Star Wars) but I really like this one.

                            ~ A philosophical word from a 6 year old boy ~

                            “The star wars people look funny and some levels are ded ‘ard – and, and do you know Darth Maul? Yeah well you have to fight him in some bit and it made me really mad with my, erm - er flicker (controller.) But I beat him though…I was well good….coz my guys are ace fighters and av’ awesome weapons and stuff…..(the conversation continued over tea, whilst watching TV, cleaning teeth and going to bed….needless to say it was all good what he was telling me, what I understood anyway!)

                            The game received ‘Game of the year award’ from kidzworld.com, and peaked at the top of the charts in May 2005.
                            It was released in 2005. (A month before the final Star Wars film was released.)
                            For players age 3+
                            1 to 2 players.

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                              22.10.2007 11:18
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                              Contains 28 fantastic tracks on a double album.

                              ~About the band~

                              The Red Hot Chili Peppers are an American alternative rock band, which formed in Los Angeles, California in 1983.
                              The band has four members which are:
                              Anthony Keidis - Vocals.
                              John Fruschante – Lead guitar and backing vocals.
                              Flea – Bass guitar and backing vocals.
                              Chad Smith – Drums.
                              The band are still going strong after an impressive a 24 year career, and nine studio albums.

                              ~The Album~

                              Produced by, Rick Rubin.
                              Mixed by, Ryan Hewitt and Anthony Scheps.
                              Released in May 2006.
                              Stadium Arcadium is the newest offering from the Chili’s, which is a two CD album containing 28 tracks, the two discs are named Jupiter and Mars.
                              Run time is 122.19 mins.

                              The track list:
                              ~Jupiter~
                              1. Dani California. (Single)
                              2. Snow (hey oh.) (Single)
                              3. Charlie.
                              4. Stadium Arcadium.
                              5. Hump de bump. (Single)
                              6. She’s only 18.
                              7. Slow Cheetah.
                              8. Torture me.
                              9. Strip my Mind.
                              10. Especially in Michigan.
                              11. Warlocks.
                              12. C’mon Girl.
                              13. Wet sand.
                              14. Hey.

                              ~Mars~
                              1. Desecration Smile. (Single)
                              2. Tell me baby. (Single)
                              3. Hard to concentrate.
                              4. 21st Century.
                              5. She looks to me.
                              6. Readymade.
                              7. If.
                              8. Make you feel better.
                              9. Animal bar.
                              10. So much I.
                              11. Storm in a tea cup.
                              12. We Believe.
                              13. Turn it again.
                              14. Death of a Martian.

                              ~The Music~

                              The music has been described as alternative rock, funk rock and funk metal over the years. The album integrates all aspects of the bands musical styles, from funk rock, rap to pop punk, styles which the Chili’s have always been consistent with and there’s no mistaking their music if you’ve heard them before, they definitely have a very unique style. Anthony Keidis is one of the most charismatic front-men alive and his passion for the music is obvious in his singing, his biggest influence is Jimi Hendrix which definitely shows up in ‘Hump de bump’.

                              ~My thoughts~

                              I have been a big fan of the Chili’s for a long time now and own all their albums, and I couldn’t wait to hear the newest release, especially as it was a double album. But that’s the only problem, with so many tracks to digest you need a good few months of listening to really appreciate each song for what it really is, so many of my friends had listened to it a few times and said ‘nothing really stands out apart from the singles’. But they have since changed their tune!
                              In my opinion over half of the tracks on the album are quite strong enough to be successful singles.

                              Both CD’s have the same calibre of music and neither is better or worse than the other, containing funky soul tunes, ballads with complex harmony styles, to right rock blow outs. The diversity of the tracks is fantastic with vocals, guitar and bass being particularly strong. And after an impressive 24 year career with a troubled past including drug addiction, death and different band members coming and going, the Chili’s are stronger as a band than ever.
                              The photography is also fantastic by Gus Van Sant, and the layout of the booklet inside the CD case has the Mars and Jupiter lyrics opposite ways, so one is turned upside down which is great.

                              All in all the album leaves little to be desired, and I definitely recommend it be added to your music collection.

                              ~Trivia~

                              This is the ninth studio album and sold 442,000 copies in the U.S in its debut week and hit number one on the Billboard 200, a first for the band.
                              Rolling Stone quoted it as ‘Most anticipated album’.
                              Q Magazine said ‘#1 must have album for 2006’.
                              The album gained them 7 Grammy awards in 2007 and has sold 7 million copies worldwide to date with the first three singles reaching number 1 on the U.S modern rock chart.
                              The song ‘Death of a Martian’ was an ode to flea’s dog Martian, who died during the recording of the album.

                              This album rocks, and is definitely worth buying!

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                              • Transformers (DVD) / DVD / 26 Readings / 26 Ratings
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                                21.10.2007 23:50
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                                This is a fantastic film that can be watched over again.

                                ~About the film~

                                The 1980's cult hit cartoon 'Transformers', has finally been brought to the big screen in 2007. Directed by Michael Bay and executive producer Steven Spielberg, this is a highly anticipated movie that in my book, definitely lives up to expectation. Starring Shia Labeouf as Sam, Megan Fox as Mikaela, Jon Voight as John Keller the Secretary of Defence, Josh Duhamel as Captain Lennox, Tyrese Gibson as TSgt Robert Eps, and features the Voices of Hugo Weaving (Megatron), and the original voice of Optimus Prime, Peter Cullen.
                                The run time is 143 mins and its rated 12+.


                                ~The Transformers~

                                The Autobots: (the good guys)

                                Optimus Prime, a Peterbilt truck and the leader of the Autobots.
                                Bumblebee, a 1976 Chevrolet Camaro and Sam's protector.
                                Ironhide, a GMC Top kick pick up truck and weapons specialist.
                                Ratchet, a Search and Rescue Hummer H2 and medical officer
                                Jazz, a Pontiac Solstice sports car and Optimus's second in command

                                The Deceptacons: (the bad guys)

                                Megatron, a Cybertronian Jet and leader of the Deceptacons.
                                Starscream, an F22 Raptor Jet and second in command.
                                Scorponok, the only Deceptacon to keep its original alien form.
                                Blackout, a Military Helicopter.
                                Barricade, a Saleen Mustang Police car.
                                Bonecrusher, a Buffalo H mine protected vehicle.
                                Devastator, a highly modified tank.
                                Frenzy, a CD player/mobile phone.

                                ~Synopsis~

                                The story begins with an insight into 'the Cube' or the allspark as it's called, and how it is needed to save the planet 'Cybertron' but became lost in space. Cybertron is home of the Autonomous robotic life form, Autobot's (the good guys) for short, and the Deceptacons (the bad guys), which are two races of alien robots, who have waged war, and in doing so have destroyed their planet. The only way to bring life back to Cybertron is the allspark (or 'the cube'), but if the allspark fell into the wrong hands i.e.; Megatrons, he would use it to build an army of evil and take over the universe.

                                Megatron, (the leader of the Deceptacons), set out to find the allspark, which had landed on an unknown planet named Earth. The allspark was kept secret for hundreds of years by Sector 7, a secret United States government organisation, who built the Hoover Damn around it to hide the massive energy fields given off , and to keep it hidden and secret. But Megatron crash landed in the Arctic Circle on his quest to find it and became Frozen in ice.

                                Then in 1887 an explorer named Captain Archibald Witwicky, accidentally found Megatron (the Ice Man) and whilst taking a closer look, unintentionally activated his navigation system by accident, and as it blasted out it hit Captain Witwickys glasses and unbeknownst to him, made an imprint of the co-ordinates to the whereabouts of the allspark. The 'Ice Man', as he called him was hushed up by Sector7 and Witwicky was labelled insane…….

                                Present day at a U.S military airbase in Qatar, and we find the Deceptacons have landed, hiding in plain sight and are about to make their presence felt….and not in a good way!
                                But there's hope in the form of the Autobots, who are also making their way to Earth, to try and locate the allspark.
                                But a teenage boy named Sam (who unknowingly has the co-ordinates to it,) suddenly finds himself in the centre of the war between good and evil, and soon the fate of the world is in his hands…...

                                ~My thoughts~

                                A real rollercoaster of a film, that I only wish was longer. But non the less a really well made film with great special effects, and the music throughout the film works well too. The Transformers were really well designed and the actors were perfect for the roles they played.
                                When I first watched this film, I walked out of the movies thinking that I was Optimus Prime! It's brilliant, my son couldn't stop talking about it for days (He still thinks he's Optimus Prime!) And needless to say that every Transformers toy going will be added on his Christmas list this year!

                                But this film is not just for the boys or die hard Transformer fans, it's an all-rounder, with lots of humour, a bit of a love story, some sadness, loads of excitement and really awesome fight scenes. The budget for the film was $145 million, Michael Bay actually cut his fee by 30% to keep the film under budget, but I would have liked to have seen a lot more from the Transformers, because what we do see of them is amazing.

                                It was voted 'best movie you haven't seen yet' at the MTV movie awards, and Entertainment weekly actually named Bumblebee as 'the 4th most convincing computer generated character'. Which I totally agree with, he was definitely one of my favourite characters! The Transformers have been updated and changed quite a bit from some of the original designs - even some of the names have changed, (Optimus is very much the same - which is a good thing) but I think mostly the changes were for the better.
                                Definitely one to see!

                                ~Bonus features~

                                The special features on the disc include audio commentary by Michael Bay and 'the story sparks', in which Steven Spielberg speaks about his love for the franchise and how the early concepts came to life, plus other insights into how certain parts of the film were made.
                                But it depends which version you buy, the two disc special edition is jam packed full of many more fantastic features than the single disc DVD.
                                And if you watch this movie and enjoy it, then you will be glad to hear that Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg have signed on for two more sequels (2009), along with the other actors…I can't wait!

                                Thanks for reading.

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