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emmajt81

emmajt81
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Member since: 13.08.2009

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    • Going The Distance (DVD) / DVD / 20 Readings / 19 Ratings
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      14.02.2011 18:41
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      If you liked Knocked Up you'll like this!

      Drew Barrymore and Justin Long star in this romantic comedy. Erin (Drew) and Garrett (Justin) meet whilst Erin is on a journalism internship in New York. Garrett works at a a record label and although when they meet they decide to keep it casual, when Erin has to go back home to San Francisco at the end of the summer they miss each other so much they decide to keep their relationship going, long distance. If I tell you anymore about the story it will spoil it but that is you basic premise.

      Obviously the film is about how effective is a long term relationship and is it possible - there is a sense of fact about this film as opposed to fiction which makes a change. There's a lot of comedy here, some quite adult comedy, and the two leads Drew and Justin have bags of chemistry between them (they have dated in real life so this is no wonder). Despite their great chemistry, the couple don't share all that much screen time because the relationship is long distance. Yes they visit each other, and have phone sex and all the rest of it but half of their scenes are apart from one another.

      Christina Applegate plays Erin's sister in this and she is a great character and a great supporting actress in this - stealing all the scenes she is in effortlessly. I don't know why Christina Applegate isn't in more movies to be honest as a lead!

      The film I would say appeals to guys as well as girls. It's not a standard romcom - it's not particularly girls or slushy and Justin Long is more of a guys guy and so I definitely think both sexes would enjoy this. It's got a fair amount of crude humour in it, verbal and physical!

      The only perhaps down side to this film was the ending. The rest of the film was written beautifully, with a good amount of humour, and chemistry, and to top it off it's actually believable and something a lot of people could relate to. But it's almost like they didn't know how to finish it off and just gave it the usual, standard rom-com ending. I like a good ending don't get me wrong but I was just feeling the film so much as something different and then the ending just kinda brought it back to where all the other rom-coms go. It spoiled it a little but not so much that I'd give the film a bad rating. Just felt a bit rushed - perhaps it was a re write who knows.

      I would say if you liked Knocked Up and The 40 Year Old Virgin then you'll like this film!

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    • Easy A (DVD) / DVD / 10 Readings / 10 Ratings
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      14.02.2011 18:27
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      Great cast, quirky and intelligent comedy, good acting

      Seeing the trailer for this I thought it looked like a good teen comedy with a difference - and I was right!

      Olive (Emma Stone) is basically a good student, who doesn't get into trouble and doesn't sleep around. A camping trip with her friend doesn't sound too appealing though so she lies to her and tells her she was with her boyfriend. Her friend, after much questioning, makes her mind up that Olive has in fact slept with this 'boyfriend' and before long it's around the whole school. It doesn't dent her image though, and everyone pats her on the back for it and looks at her a bit differently. So when her male gay friend Brandon asks her to pretend she's slept with him, to make him more popular and stop him being bullied she agrees thinking it won't hurt. Before long though lots of guys at school are taking advantage and Olive begins to regret lying in the first place.

      So yes, it's a typical teen film, but it's not really done like most teen films - the comedy and jokes are a little bit darker than perhaps most 15 year olds would understand and so the films appeal is rather broad. In fact the cinema had all different age groups in it including adults who can probably still remember the pains of being young and studious at school and wanting to break out of the mould.

      It's loosely based on Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel The Scarlet Letter - except this is a rather raunched up version! It's sometimes though hard to believe that Stone's character would ever have trouble finding a half-decent boyfriend being so articulate, intelligent and pretty. But there we are. If you think back to Mean Girls with Lindsay Lohan and the success and great reviews that film has, this is somerwhat similar. Let's hope she doesn't go down the same route at Lindsay Lohan though!

      There are a lot of underlying jokes in this film, Amanda Bynes plays a Christian girl who thinks Olive is just utterly despicable not only for her sins but for not being Christian - even though she herself states that all other religions are "science fiction" - so she isn't too open minded herself. Amanda Bynes never usually plays a supporting role but she is well placed here, playing a role very different to the norm.

      Lisa Kudrow plays a teacher in school who is having an affair with a student - it's a mildly amusing little sub-story but you don't really feel any warmth towards her character and the story is gone almost as quickly as it arrived, and you do wonder if there was much point in including that subplot or not. It doesn't spoil the film though, and it still bounds along at super speed.

      Rated 15 for it's constant discussions of sex, Easy A is a smart and surprising film with a cast who are much better actors than your usual teenage clan. Definitely a teen film not to write off - reccommended.

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    • The Bounty Hunter (DVD) / DVD / 11 Readings / 10 Ratings
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      14.02.2011 18:09
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      One of Jennifer Aniston's better films - funny and a storyline that doesn't drag

      The Bounty Hunter is a romantic comedy come caper comedy starring Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler. Don't let that put you off though as this is one of Jennifer's better movies!

      Milo Boyd (Gerard Butler) is an ex cop and now proclaimed bounty hunter - this means he goes out and finds people who have skipped bail and brings them to the police station and jail. He is divorced from his wife Nicole Hurley (Jennifer Anniston). She is a reporter and thinks she's onto an important story. However, after a minor car incident she is due in court - work takes over and she never turns up, meaning ex hubby Milo is out to catch his bounty! Once he catches up with her, and after she's tried to escape a few times, they realise that the story Nicole thought was a big scoop is in fact something sinister and dangerous and thus begins car chases, kidnapping and plenty more besides.

      It's not the usual sort of scenario for a romantic comedy and that's why I felt this movie worked so well - the back story means it's a bit different to some of the dross that's been released recently. I felt personally there was a lot of chemistry between the leads and this is one of Jennifer's better movies. It appeals, I think, to both men and women because as well as the romantic aspect and the luck of being able to drool over Gerard Butler for the duration, the guys also have the car chases, and the crime storyline going on so there's something for everyone.

      Both Gerard and Jennifer put in believable performances, and Gerard is more than capable of playing a believable, romantic lead as well as his normal gritty, bad guy characters - something not a lot of male actors can do these days. Christine Baranski as the Nicole's cabaret act mother definitely deserves a mention - she's only in a few scenes but as usual she steals the show from everyone else - hilarious and brilliantly comedic. Another reason this film works is that the supporting casts are equally as good as the leads, meaning the pace of the film keeps flowing nicely.

      Because of the storyline of the scoop Nicole is trying to get for her newspaper, the film keeps a good pace. I didn't once sit and wonder how long it had been on for, although at 110 minutes I guess there were a few scenes they could have snipped a bit shorter. Unlike your usual romantic comedy though this actually had a decent and intriguing storyline to keep you entertained, rather than just the usual "will he get the girl"?

      It's very easy to follow and is a funny movie that definitely offers something for both men and women. It's entertaining, fast paced and something for everyone to look at!! Would definitely recommend this one - good for a quiet night in!

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    • Dualit 2 Slice Toaster / Toaster / 30 Readings / 30 Ratings
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      04.08.2010 13:30
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      Dualit make the best toasers - long lasting and toasts well.

      Dualit is a brand which is renowned for making great toasters. Not only do they work well and last a long time but they are also aesthetically pleasing - in stainless steel they look expensive and nice in your kitchen. They also come in a variety of colours ie Red if you have a more modern and funky kitchen. Either way, it looks good!

      We paid £120 for ours at the time - we have had this probably going on for 5 years now I would say and it shows no sign of waning. The one downside I would say is that if you are toasting crumpets the slots just aren't quite big enough sometimes. Other than that - no complaints when it comes to bread! I do wish I'd bought the 4 slice version though I have to say - its annoying doing 2 slices and waiting around for more, so when this one eventually breaks I'll be buying a 4 slice one no doubt about it!

      The toast comes out well every time - there is a knob on the right for the time, and obviously everyone is different on how well done they like their toast. After practising a few times you'll find the time that's right for you. You also have a button which gives you the option of toasting both slices in both slots or just the one on the left hand side. Handy if you only want to do one slice of toast. The toaster doesn't have a pop up feature, but had a manual lever which you push down to push the toast upwards. Means you can easily check it while it's toasting to check it - and this doesn't turn the timer off either. If you find the toast it done but the timer still has time left on it, you can turn the toaster off from the wall plug and just let the timer run itself out. If you force the timer knob the other way to finish it you may end up breaking it, and its not a good idea to let the imer run out, with the heat on, with no toast in it!

      I find all the sliced bread I buy from the supermarket ie Kingsmill etc fits perfectly in this. If you go to the bakers and buy a fresk loaf then the ends will probably stick out of the ends of this. Of course you can turn them over halfway through, but I only ever buy packets of bread so don't have this problem.

      The toaster also has a crumb tray underneath which you can pull out afterwards and dispose of the crumbs - you do still get a bit pf spillage under the toaster but not as much as a normal toaster.

      I suppose over £100 for a toaster may lead you to think it's an expensive gadget but the fact that I've had mine for so long with no problems means its well worth the money. You can buy a kettle to match this, and get a breadbin etc in the same colour and your kitchen will look modernised as well! A great buy.

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      04.08.2010 12:19
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      Great for a retro throwback - get one!

      Back in the days of Saved By The Bell and perms, everyone had a Sodastream!! It was on every kids Christmas wish list - the idea that you could make your own fizzy drinks at home was such a novel idea. Fast forward a couple of decades and fizzy drinks are everywhere and are the norm for drinking every day. But Sodastream has had a comeback - retro is in again - everywhere - and this gadget is one of the must haves for today!

      Obviously back in the day the machine was a lot bigger - its revamped version is smaller, sleeker and looks better in your kitchen, especially when you can buy it in chrome to match your toaster and kettle! You can even get it in white or red! They are in fact so popular at the moment that Comet has sold out of the cheaper version (you can get more expensive versions but thats just to do with aesthetics. Comet is the cheapest place though.

      To set it up, you put the gas cylinder in the base of the Sodastream, fill one of the bottles that you get with the Sodastream with water, insert it and press the top button until you hear a buzz. Then you pour in your 'flavour' of choice and voila! Some Sodastreams are sold with a starter pack which is basically all the flavours available in sample size so you can try them out and decide if you like them or not. On its own the starter pack is about £10. The actual tubs of flavour are between £3 and £5 to buy separately and each bottle will make 12 litres of drink (wow).

      The starter pack comes with a dozen flavours, including Lemonade, Cola, Tonic, Orange as well as sugar free options. If you like Red Bull they even have an energy drink flavour which tastes quite similar. The flavours have definitely improved from back in the day!

      Like I said you can get different models - the cheapest is Genesis which will set you back about £50/£60 depending where you get it from. The usual white colour is the cheapest with other colours being more expensive. Other models like for example Penguin can set you back over £100 - all depends on what look you are going for. If you're serious about having it as a kitchen accessory and something you will use all the time perhaps its wise to invest in something which fits in with your decor. If it's just a fun gadget for your children (or you!) then the cheaper option is probably best - they all do exactly the same thing and take the same bottles and flavourings.

      The bottles can be bought separately as well - it comes with 2 bottles but if you think you need more (ie to make drinks for a party and put them in the fridge) then you can buy extras. The bottles aren't dishwasher safe unfortunately though :( The Sodastream website sells bottles, machines and flavourings although this is the most expensive place to get them from.

      I think this is a great gadget - the drinks are tasty and better than they used to be and it is great for a party or family gathering. And if you don't have time to run to the shops to get drinks you have this on standby. Its cheap at £50 and well worth buying I think! I love mine!!

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      • Blackberry Bold 9700 / Smartphone / 24 Readings / 22 Ratings
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        03.08.2010 19:53
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        Great follow up - just needs a few tweaks - but I'm addicted anyway!

        The upgraded Bold 9700 is a great follow up to it's predecessor. Blackberrys are the must have smartphone along with the iPhone and its sleek new design that fits better in your hand than the old Bold, makes this phone even more of a fashion statement!!

        Features

        The new Bold is smaller than the first one, meaning its more similar in size and weight to the Curve. You still have the same menus as the old Bold though - and the Qwerty keyboard is much better and easier to use (I think) than the Curve. The biggest change though is the trackball is now a trackpad. On the old Bold you had a rollerball which you used to scroll through menus etc. It proved annoying if it got dirt on it and refused to move! It's now been replaced with the trackpad, a little pad you slide your finger or thumb across to scroll. Its sensitive enough to know what you want to do but not too sensitive that you will whizz past what you want! You can alter the sensitivity to suit you in the Settings.

        As I said the handset is smaller, so its nicer to hold to your ear for a phone call. Everything else is pretty much the same as the old Bold - it has the usual 'work' style features including Calculator, Clock, Calendar and Contacts of which the latter two you can sync with Outlook using the Blackberry software on your computer. One thing I don't like about Blackberry though, is that all the ones I have had are very slow when they are browsing the internet, whether on 3G or Wifi. When I use my iPod Touch it's much faster. No idea why but it's quite frustrating.

        The Bold 9700 has an upgraded camera as well so you can take better pictures - not sure why the old Bold's camera was so rubbish! It's not the most important feature for me, but it's nice to know you can take a good quality picture if you need to! It's still only 3.2MP, but has a flash, and is still better than the previous 2MP. Am hoping the next Bold will be a 5MP camera!

        You have smart keys on the side of the phone, one on each side (as well as volume keys) and you can set these to open whatever you like. For me, the left is Facebook and the right one my Camera.

        Calls

        Calls are clear on the Bold and don't seem to drop for me. No complaints except with my network provider Vodafone. The phone is easy to call from your Contacts list, or from the last numbers dialled list as well as selecting phone numbers in emails or texts or other messages. The earpiece volume is good. One drawback is the phone gets quite hot when you've been on the phone for say 45 minutes. So if you're on a long, gossipy call be prepared for a hot ear!!

        Email

        Again all the same as the previous Bold. You can sync up your Hotmail or Gmail accounts as well as your work accounts using BIS or BES. If you want to use this you will need to get your network provider to sign you up to BIS which is the simplest and cheapest solution for email. You can have more than one account but it will only sync up you Inbox and Sent Items - your address has to be done via a manual sync with a wire. Emails arrive in good time, no complaints there with the phone itself. I've had numerous problems with Vodafone though so would not recommend them whatsoever.

        Battery time

        You will probably need to charge the Bold every day if you are making calls, texting, emailing and surfing the net every day. I wouldn't say the new Bold's battery life is any better than the old one. Generally its talking that takes up the battery the fastest. If you stick with messaging or emailing it will last longer. The thing you have to remember is these aren't run of the mill phones, they are Smartphones with data coming in and out all the time and bigger screens so the battery will never last as long.

        Apps

        There are a lot of apps you can get now, more than before, from Blackberry App World. For me, personally I prefer Apple's app store for the iPhone or iPod Touch, so generally download all my apps on my iPod. I don't really bother with apps on the Blackberry. I do have Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp for social networking, and obviously use the free Blackberry Messenger that comes with the phone (where you can connect to friends Blackberrys and chat via data essentially for free) but that's about it.

        Overall this is a great update from the previous Bold. Big fan of Blackberrys and will continue to get newer models from Rim.

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          14.07.2010 14:28
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          A great printer for home users or those who work from home

          My last printer was dying a death so logged onto HP's website to see what they had. I always use HP for my laptops and printers - simply because I think they are reliable and they last a fairly long time. I'm self employed and work from home so although I don't need a massive office based printer I need something which can cope with scanning, printing invoices every day and photocopying documents. After looking at the specifications for HP's printers I decided to go with an Officejet.

          I bought the one without Wireless as I don't really need it and although it wasn't much more money it would have been a feature I wouldn't have used. I bought it direct from HP and was just over £100 which I think is great value for a printer with so many different capabilities. It arrived within 3 days of ordering it on the website, and they give you tracking details so you can see whereabouts it is. It came in a rather large box - probably too much packaging if I am honest, but it meant the printer was safe and snug in the box with no damage. It also comes with ink already installed, but they are 'starter' cartridges meaning they are half full and just to get you started.

          The Officejet 6500 is an all in one printer, scanner and copier. One difference from my old HP printer is that this has a feeder on the top, meaning you can put a page in the feeder and scan or copy it direct rather than placing it on the glass and making sure it is straight etc. Handy if you have 10 pages you want to copy as you can put all 10 pages in the feeder and away it goes! Much easier than scanning each page on the glass one by one. A great time saver and if you do a lot of scanning or copying I would say this is a must have feature on any printer.

          The printer is set up on my home network meaning it is plugged into my wireless router and I can print on it without connecting my laptop to it with a lead. Handy if you are upstairs for example and want to print to the printer downstairs. This works fine and was relatively easy to set up.

          If you are scanning on this printer, like I said you can use the glass or the feeder. You can place it in one of these and then either use your scanning client on your computer to do it, or using the buttons on the front of the printer you can tell it what computer to scan to and how to scan it (i.e. JPEG or PDF etc). The downside with this is that you have to set up all of these options on your computer beforehand. You use the software that comes with the printer in the box when you install it, and make 'options' like JPEG, PDF, and specify how 'high res' you want it to scan in DPI. You then 'update' the printer with these options by clicking the 'update' button and it send the options to the printer, so that you can simply press 'scan' on the front of the printer, choose what computer you want to scan to, what format you want the scan in, and click start. The image will then end up on your Desktop or where ever you have chosen it to save to. Handy and works well but like I said it requires a bit of setting up from your computer (not the printer) which can be frustrating.

          The printer has a large tray to put your paper in, you can probably store comfortable about 150 sheets of paper, maybe 200, which is a great space saver in your house for paper. It also has slots for camera memory cards if you wanted to print your photos out - not sure what the quality would be for this as I have a separate photo printer (again, HP!).

          Scan quality is great when you have it on the right setting, it can scan very detailed and very high res which is great. Photocopying again is easy with the feeder or using the glass, and again good quality in either colour or black and white. The printer also features a Fax option - I haven't used it yet but we have connected it to the phone line so when our house phone rings the printer rings also! Printing is pretty fast - 13 sheets per minute in black and 10 sheets per minute in colour. It has double sided capabilities if you choose that option meaning you can print on both sides of a sheet of paper. I have used this option and it works fine - no smudging or anything.

          As with most printers now, colour ink is sold in 3 separate cartridges (Cyan, Yellow and Magenta) rather than an all in one colour. In somes ways this is annoying, it doesn't cost anymore in total but means you have to buy 3 different colour inks as well as a black ink. In other ways it is good, because for me yellow seems to run out after the other 2 colours so I am only having to buy a yellow cartridge every other time, meaning I am saving a little bit of money. The printer takes HP 920 cartridges, which unfortunately I have found aren't readily available in shops like Sainsburies, Asda, Currys etc. I looked everywhere and resorted to buying them online direct from HP. HP ship quite quickly so it wasn't a problem but means I have to keep a sharper eye on when the ink is running out now, as I can't just nip to the shops to pick one up when it does run out! There is a screen on the front of the printer which tells you exactly how much ink is left in each cartridge rather than just telling you when it gets low which is good.

          I am not that into technology unfortunately so can't give scientific answers on how many pages it prints - for me the ink lasts longer than my previous HP printer. I am a medium user I would say, and it is good enough for me. If I was using it a lot more, i.e. if I actually worked in an office and other people were using this, I probably would have gone for something slightly more expensive and robust. But for someone working from home, or someone using it for personal reasons and they print a fair amount this is a good printer. Its fairly large, bigger than my last printer, its actually 18.7 x 16.1 x 10.2 inches big. I would recommend this - apart from having to set up print options on your computer which takes a while, I have no complaints!

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            02.07.2010 16:38
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            A great gadget - a must have!

            For years I had been content with my iPod Classic - I had the 80GB one and only ever used 10GB of it. Then my friend got an iPhone and whilst I wouldn't want the phone, the iPod qualities of it keep teasing me more and more until I decided to buy one! I had a trip to the States recently and bought one from Best Buy over there. I bought the 64GB version as although I don't have much music, I knew I'd be adding films and tv shows and apps to this so went for the biggest available. They could do with having a 125GB option actually as it does get filled up quite fast! This cos me $360 which worked out at £240 saving me £60 on UK prices which I was pleased with!

            With the iPod Touch you get a USB cable for syncing with iTunes, earphones with a microphone (although I believe you only get these in the States, and that in the UK the headphones that come with the iPod Touch have no microphone) and instruction book and an adapter for a docking station (I have one but not made by Apple so it's of no use to me!). If you already have an iPod, just plug this into your computer and follow the instructions for swapping your music to a new iPod its pretty straightforward. If not you plug it in and it'll ask you to download iTunes which takes a little while but unfortunately it's a must with an iPod.

            The Touch is exactly that - touch screen. I find this easier on an iPod than navigating with the clicker which to be honest gets annoying after a while when you are scrolling through things. It doesn't have a sim card so you can only connect to the internet by Wifi - but that's very fast I have to say and I have used a few different Wifi connections on this already. You have iTunes on your iPod as well, so you can download music direct to your device and then it automatically backs it up to your iTunes library so next time you open iTunes on your computer and sync your iPod they will be on there. On iTunes you can buy music, films, tv shows, you can even rent things if you only want something for a trip away. You can sync photos from your computer to your itunes as well as videos, and you can also get apps for the Touch on iTunes.

            Obviously you can buy apps or applications through the App Store which is already loaded on your Touch. Some of these are free, some are cheap and some are a little more pricey (I'm taking £2.99 prices here for pricey!). There are some some very addictive games available as well as handy things like Facebook, Twitter, weather apps, news apps, Sky Plus apps (yes you can set your Sky Plus to record when you're out - brilliant). I have also downloaded Skype which will be handy next time I go to the States and have free Wifi as I can load money onto my Skype account and call actual numbers in the UK very very cheaply! Also already loaded on your Touch are things like Email which you can just set your account up with, you can sync your Outlook or Hotmail contacts to the address book as well. There is one weather app already on there, a calculator, a calendar etc.

            The Touch really does look very nice - its silver and shiny on the back and the screen is very clear and the touch facility works very well. I was sceptical about emailing and typing on a touch screen but it hasn't been too bad. I still wouldn't get an iPhone though - couldn't imagine typing everything on a touchscreen - besides I like my Blackberry far too much! Its easy to navigate the internet, you can zoon in on pages by double clicking or by putting two fingers in the middle of the screen and then dragging them apart. Its all very quick as well - quicker than using my Blackberry on Wifi I have to say. You can surf the net etc all whilst listening to music as well - this is definitely a device for people who get bored on journeys! Music wise all your playlists are synced so you can search by playlist or artist or song etc. Much the same as other iPods just on touch screen and much much clearer! Sound quality is much the same as my other iPod but for some reason it seems more exciting using this compared to a normal iPod. The Touch does have a loudspeaker which isn't all that loud but handy if you are sat at home playing apps by yourself (obviously not for use in public places where it would cause annoyance!). The volume for both can be controlled by buttons on the left hand side of the device.

            You can press the button at the top of the Touch which turns the screen off and locks it - much the same what would happen if you held the play button down and then locked the device on an older iPod like the Classic or Nano. To turn it off completely you want to hold the botton down and it will turn off entirely. Battery life isn't as good as I'd hope it would be, if you are just playing music, and then locking the device and turning the screen off it could last for as much as 30 hours. But if you're like me and most other people, playing music fiddling with apps, looking on the net, with the screen always on then the battery life will dwindle to about 5 hours if you have it fully charged. It's a big, powerful, colourful screen that's why. You can help battery life by turning the screens brightness down but it doesn't help much. The Touch actually has a built in brightness tool that turns the brightness down depending on your light situation which is helpful.

            So the iPod Touch isn't cheap, but it's a great gadget. Much better than my previous iPod. This keeps me entertained for hours, in fact some people may call me obsessed! This will last me a good few years, probably more than 5 if I'm lucky. I think it's a lovely device, lots of potential and useful for music and games. A great addition to your gadget family!

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              02.07.2010 15:42
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              one of the better hotels on International Drive!

              Had the pleasure of staying in the Sheraton in Orlando when I visted a short while ago. The hotel is on International Drive and I researched for a while before deciding on the Sheraton. Most of the hotels along i-drive as it's known are 2 or 3 star and to be honest not that great. The Sheraton is a 4 star and it was a toss up between here and the Wyndham and I eventually chose this one. The rates on Alpha Rooms surpassed the so called 'cheap' rates on the Starwood website (the Sheraton is part of the Starwood Hotels Group). I got a week for less than £300 in a double room (2 double beds) for June. If you a member of Starwood Preferred Guest you can also collect points for your stay.

              The hotel I have to say is about as far up International Drive as you'd want to be. Its at the top end but any further up really has nothing up there, so everything you'll want to do (bar a shopping outlet) is down from here. Luckily there is a bus called the I Trolley which runs up and down International Drive all day every day - you can get a weeks pass for $10 and its worth it! You can then jump on and off as you please. This is at stop 7 and the stop is right outside the hotel. There is also a normal bus stop which is $2 per ride and this will take you around Orlando into residential areas and to the Florida Mall and other places.

              The hotel itself can be seen for miles away as its so big! It looks kinda like a big lighthouse! Its very tall and not very wide. Check in was swfit - we were asked if we needed help with our bags but we didn't. This hotel feels very secure as when you get in the lift you can't go from the ground floor to any of the room floors without swiping your keycard, and it won't let you go to a higher floor than your room is on. We were on the 4th floor, not very high up but still had a fantastic view of International Drive, Wet and Wild (which is literally over the road) and you could even see the rides at Universal from our window. Oh, and the hotel pool. What more could you ask for?! Because the hotel is tall and round and narrow, when you get our of the lift you can basically walk round in a circle to find all the rooms on that floor. It feels small but it's very tall so plenty of rooms and guests!

              The room itself was fine - perhaps I would have changed the aircon unit as it was a bit noisy but thats about it. We had two double beds, good size and very comfy. The bathroom was very nice, shower was powerful and the bathroom was very roomy in space. The bedroom was also quite big. It has a big TV with plenty of channels on it and pay per view movies if you wanted to buy one (very expensive though). The air con was controlled by a panel on the wall - you could make it very cold which was great in the 115 degree Fahrenheit heat we had over there! But it was an old aircon unit, under the window and it pumped cold air out of it, rather noisy at night but we had to leave it on or we'd had been boiling! The curtains had a blackout blind which was great also especially the 2 mornings we needed a lay in!

              Our beds were made/sheets changed every day we were there, even Sunday. We had room service breakfast one morning which was great - not too expensive either. We didn't bother again because we were up so early to go to Disney etc, and there is an I Hop and a Dennys either side of the hotel so we went in there to try them instead. The hotel restaurant downstairs we didn't use but looked nice - albeit a little small. Next to it there are plenty of conference rooms. There are 2 computers with free internet in the reception area and a free printer which was great. We also had FREE yes FREE wifi in the room which we were pleased about. Most hotels charge an arm and a leg for internet so we were very pleased it was free here!

              Also in reception is a desk where you can book all your park tickets for Disney, Universal, Seaworld etc. Doesn't work out any cheaper than gate prices but would save you time at the parks. They are very helpful and quite quick at sorting things out. You also get free shuttles/transfers to Disney and Universal (the i trolley will take you direct to Seaworld) and they pick up at the back of the hotel. All quite well organised - we used them for all the parks and had no problems. The doorman who wanders about and gets people taxi's etc was friendly also - said hello to us every day and remembered us. Everyone who worked at the Sheraton in fact seemed quite happy in their jobs and friendly - makes a nice changed to the UK! There is a bar in reception as well which also sells coffees and cakes etc. Theres a TV in reception and plenty of seats. The hotel is completely no smoking so you'll have to go outside to smoke.

              There is a pay launderette on site if you need to wash any clothes. The pool area is small but most people in Orlando are off to the parks so there was never many people around it. It has a pool bar, and the use of free towels etc. We sat there for a drink on our last day it was nice.

              And the area, like I said this is as far up as you'll want to go, but next door is an I Hop and the other side a Dennys - good for breakfast, Opposite there is a Seven Eleven and a Red Lobster. Next to the hotel also there is a crazy/mini golf course - didn't play on it but they have real baby alligators in it as you go round! And turn right out of the hotel and after a couple of minutes there is a Sizzler, a Walgreens, a KFC etc. Get the I trolley further down the road for more. Its really not that far from anything to be honest and its right opposite Wet and Wild which is a great waterpark! The hotel also has a huge carpark!

              All in all I liked the Sheraton and would definitely stay there again if I went back to Orlando (which I will but not for a few years!). One of the better hotels on International Drive!

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              01.07.2010 20:12
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              A must see - great rides!

              If you like theme parks you'll love Islands of Adventure at Universal Resort, Orlando. Whereas the Disney Parks are more catered toward the younger family with small children, Islands of Adventure is definitely where most of the "white knuckle" rides are in Orlando! Possibly the only park with scarier rides is Seaworld. And with the addition of a new land, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, this summer its now even bigger and better!

              I was lucky enough to go here 2 days after the new Harry Potter land opened - it was madness! People queuing for hours and hours just to get into the land let alone queuing to get on the rides! All well worth it though.

              The park has several "lands" which are basically areas designed and themed differently. The Port of Entry is the main entrance and is where most of the gift shops etc are. There is a Cinnabon (my favourite - cinnamon flavoured cakes etc mmmmm!). Also a few clothes shops, a huge gift shops, and restaurants.

              Marvel Super Hero Island

              The first land you get to, which is home to the infamous Incredible Hulk rollercoaster (loops the loop many times and is not for the faint hearted). You will feel dizzy when you get off this ride! Of course as it's themed around superheros the whole land is done in comic book style. The Spiderman 3D ride in this land is one of the best in the park, you sit in a car and wearing 3D glasses you follow Spiderman round on one of his missions. Other rides are Dr Dooms Fearfall (you climb to the top of a tower and then drop) and Storm Force Acceleration (a bit like the teacups ride).

              Toon Lagoon

              If you haven't guessed by the name this is the land of the wet rides. Personally, I don't mind water rides, but a couple of these will get you drenched to the bone as if you'd just got out of the shower. Not pleasant for me so I avoid these rides! Popeye and Blutos Bilge Rat Barges - don't go on this if you hate getting wet! You get into an 8 person boat and go whizzing down the rapids - and you get drenched to the bone. You do dry quickly in the Florida sun, but its not nice if you're wearing denim! Dudley Do Rights Ripsaw Falls is a log flume ride - you don't get as wet on this one but still wet enough! There's also some kids rides and a stunt show in this land.

              Jurassic Park

              Dinosaur land - there's only one real ride adult type ride here and that's the Jurassic Park River Adventure - you get about 30 people in a huge boat/raft and you go round on an adventure, seeing dinosaurs jumping out at you etc. The ride ends in a log-flume style way, with you shooting down a ramp out of darkness into the water. Sit at the front if you want to get wet. The other ride is Pteranodon Flyers, which you can only ride with a child. The flyers go around Jurassic Park high up in the air on a rail. There's a Discovery Centre which looks exactly like the Visitor Centre from the film - here you can eat in the restaurant (fast food) or pop downstairs and see replicas of dinosaurs and some fun games for kids.

              The Lost Continent

              Themed to ancient myths and legends, this land is home to no real rides but two big stunt shows. Poseidon's Fury is an indoor special effects show. It's kind of like a ride, but you walk around with a guy in character who is trying to find lost treasure. It's quite good and clever actually but a lot of darkness and scary for younger children. The Eighth Voyage of Sinbad is a stunt show, which is set to a script. I found it rather boring to be honest and is one thing I'd miss out next time.

              Seuss Landing

              This is where most of the kids rides are based and is themed on Dr Seuss. The Cat In The Hat is a fun ride even adults can go on, and is just a fun little ride with various Cat in The Hat models. You then have a carousel, a spinning ride and a story corner.

              The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter

              The brand new world based on Harry Potter. A ride that used to be in the Lost Continent, Duelling Dragons, is now in this lands and is now called Dragon Challenge. This is two rollercoasters that snake around each other - lots of loop the loops and you come within inches of the other coaster! The streets of this land do look like they are out of a film - there's long queues though - not only for the rides but also for the gift shops! You can buy a Butter Beer like in the films, which I didn't think was that nicely it was a bit sickly. The other main ride here is Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. There will likely be a big queue for this but its worth it. It's a bit like Spiderman but isn't 3D. You still in a car and you are lifted up and down and round and round through the streets and over Hogwarts. It is rather clever and good and is as if you are in the film for real (and I am not a Harry Potter fan!). Daniel Radcliffe and the other stars all feature in the ride too which is cool. Even when you are queuing up there are holograms of the 3 main stars, and other fun bits (I wont spoil it for you) so even queuing isn't that boring! There is another ride called Flight of the Hippogriff but it's a kids ride - a very tame rollercoaster. This land is a must see though - so much effort has gone into the streets etc. Die hard fans will love it.

              Queues even in the height of June were non existent really - maybe 15 minutes as most (except for Harry Potter). My advice for Harry Potter is don't queue with everyone else at the start of the day to get into the land - leave it til after lunch when its slightly emptier.

              There are lockers next to the 'mad' rides where you can't take bags on, and they are usually free for the duration of the queue so you shouldn't have to pay while you're on the ride which is good news. They are quite expensive when you have to pay for them, although if you had kids they are handy if you don't want to carry nappies etc around all day.

              There's no free queue jump here like Disney anymore, unless you pay about $200 to queue jump all day - but to be honest the queues were so short (and it was BUSY) it's not worth the money!

              I prefer Universal Studios over Islands of Adventure but that's just me! This is definitely a must-see park. I would highly recommend it. You're better off buying a 2 day/2 park ticket if you are planning on visiting Studios as well - you can take 14 days to use them up so you don't have to go on consecutive days if you don't want to. Ours cost us about £120 I think for 2 parks so not too bad - not as expensive as Disney anyway!

              There's plenty of parking and most hotels on International Drive have free shuttles. There is actually a bus (37) that goes to International Drive which is $2 and you can get off, and then get on the I-Trolley to your hotel if the free shuttle isn't at a convenient time (we did this as our shuttle wasn't til 8 and we had done everything by 5!).

              Drinks wise you can buy a refillable cup for $10 I believe and then you get 75cents refills all day! Cheaper than buying drink and drink after drink! Food is expensive but it always is in theme parks. Universal Resort actually has a lot of choice for food - better than Disney and Seaworld for sure.

              Definitely visit this place if you are in Orlando!

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            • More +
              13.05.2010 14:01
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              Loved it!!!

              We were put up in the Louis Imperial Beach during the volcanic ash crisis in April after having our flights cancelled for the first and second time. We had been on a self catering holiday, and when our flights were cancelled we were put up here for four nights. Our flights were then cancelled for the second time, and we were put up in a dive of a hotel (Cynthiana Beach - see separate review) and then moved back here for a further 5 nights. So spent a total of 9 nights here, full board.

              The Imperial Beach is a lovely hotel. Some places review this as a 4 star and some as a 5 star. I loved this hotel. The moment you walk in you feel at home. The Imperial is based in Pafos main town, but is a way up from the harbour (as all of the full board hotels are) - its about a 15 minute walk from the harbour and 10 minute walk from restaurants and nightlife, although there are pubs, bars and a small selection of restaurants nearby. You either stay here half board or full board. The rooms either have a sea view or inland view. Most of the sea view rooms are also pool view - from staying there twice we had both sea view and inland view - both of which are great. Inland view means you see the mountains etc which is just as nice as the pool and the sea!

              Check in staff at reception are great and very helpful. The main lobby area has seating, reception, a shop, a kids club area, and 3 computers with internet access. It was 5 Euros for an hour, or there was one machine you could put change into if you just wanted a quick ten minutes. Printing was also available for free (handy in our situation!). From the lobby you can walk down into the bar, which is a pleasant enough area. There is also outside seating with sea views. The bar is expensive as all hotel bars are, so my advice is to wait for their two happy hours (I believe it was 6.45pm til 7.45pm and 10.45pm til 11.45pm) where drinks are half price.

              Down a spiral staircase (or via the lift) is the restaurant which is used for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It's all our in buffet style, and you can pretty much sit where you want, your drinks order will be taken and then you go and pick what you want to eat. They had different menus every night which could be Mexican Night, Italian Night, Carvery Night, Around the World night, etc. There was a good choice of food on offer - the salad bar was huge. The only let down was the desserts which were pretty much the same every night. But after all that food we rarely ate dessert! Lunch time again you got a good choice of food. Bread rolls and salad and cheese and biscuits were on offer every day with lunch and dinner and then a variety of other food. Breakfast was huge, and you could even have a free glass of champagne with breakfast (strange but true). Dinner was served from 7pm til 9.30pm and lunch was served from 12.30pm til 3pm and breakfast was served I believe from 7.30am til 10am. No complaints on the food - it was all lovely and great quality. They also had kids choices (chips, sausages, etc) if you have fussy kids!

              The hotel shop mainly just sold souvenirs - no food or drink, but literally step outside the hotel and there is a shop there which sells water etc at very reasonable prices. You have a mini bar in your room which you can request to be emptied so you can use it as a fridge which I imagine nearly everyone does. Handy for storing water or drinks etc. I think the charge for that was 3 Euros a day but our fridge was unlocked and empty both times so we had that for free!

              The rooms themselves were nice. Like I said you had a great view whichever room you were in and the balconies are spacious with seating and a rack for drying clothes or towels on. The rooms have a double bed or a twin bed - we had a twin room. The second room we had did have a very small bathroom, but its very clean. Cleaners were in every day without fail to empty the bins (very important when you can't flush toilet paper in Cyprus!) and to make the beds. The rooms had air conditioning which annoyingly goes off when you leave the room. The rooms have sensors so that if nothing moves in the room for 5 minutes or so, it shuts off electrics such as air con, tvs and lights. It's a money/environmental thing, but it just means your room is hot when you go back to it! The air con carried on working during the night though, although I am not sure how well this would work in the hot summer months. In April for us it got up to 28 degrees! The rooms have plenty of clothes space - lots of drawer space and a very big wardrobe. We were impressed with the rooms.

              There are 3 floors in the hotel for rooms - we had rooms on floor 1 and floor 2 when we were there. These are accessible by stairs or 3 lifts in the lobby. The floor below zero is for the restaurant and the pool.

              The pool area was very clean - lots of sunbeds to be had - no need to reserve one with your towel! They are very comfy as they have cushions to put on (for free). There is a large pool and a smaller pool for the kids. There is also an indoor pool and a jacuzzi inside - which wasn't hot!! There are changing rooms and showers as well - all inside with lockable doors for privacy. There are also sunbeds further out from the pool so you can overlook the sea or the indoor pool depending on what you fancy. There is a pool bar, which sells drinks and snacks. The pool bar also has a pool table, and various arcade games. When we were there this shut very early though so if you were hoping to pop down for a game of pool at 9pm with a beer it wasn't going to happen!

              There is various entertainment at the hotel both during the day and in the evenings. During the day they have darts matches, bowls matches, table tennis matches, quizes etc. Usually the staff walk around the pool and ask if anyone wants to join in. You are not forced - we joined in with a couple of things! In the evenings, the entertainment is in the bar - some nights you have bingo and a quiz, sometimes its just a singer. We usually ate dinner and then went into town for the night I have to say! We are young girls so bingo every night wasn't great for us, but this hotel is aimed at an older crowd or families so the entertainment is perfect for them.

              The hotel also has a launderette which was handy for us being stuck there for an extra week and a half! Its located on the first floor, it was 4 Euros to use the washing machine and 3 Euros to use the dryer. It was all very quick and easy, and you could wait or come back in half an hour when it was done. Much easier than walking to the local launderette with all your clothes and MUCH cheaper than the hotel's own washing service which could set you back 8 Euros an item!! You had to buy your own washing powder etc but its very cheap from the shop just outside the hotel.

              Like I said, the hotel is a 15 minute walk to the harbour, but there are buses every 15 minutes or so. Just leave the hotel, walk up to the main road (2 minutes) and there is a bus stop there. There's one opposite the hotel for the way back also! The buses were 1.50 Euros each and run into Pafos harbour and town, the Old Town, Tomb of the Kings and Coral Bay so there is plenty of choice. You can also get a bus to the airport for 3 Euros if you don't want to pay for a taxi although reception will call you a taxi if you need one. We did get a taxi to the harbour/town area a few times instead of a bus and I believe it was about 5/6 Euros. Its literally a few minutes in a cab but cabs aren't cheap in Paphos! The town itself has lots of souvenir and clothes shops, restaurants, cafes, bars, a bowling alley, the harbour and Pafos Castle which is just 3 Euros to go to the top of with spectacular views of the area.

              2 mnutes from the hotel there is a few restaurants and I would highly reccommend Rib Shack which although was expensive was worth every Euro! Burritos, ribs, all lovely!!! Even if you are half/full board you will fancy eating out and every now and then. Rib Shack is great, but further down into town you will find lots of lovely restaurants. One I can't remember the name of, which is on Bar Street (where the bars and clubs are) actually had traditional Greek dancers and they get the audience involved balancing glasses on peoples heads! Great entertainment and the food is great also. We went out of season so not sure if these offers last all year round but a lot of restaurants had set menus - you could get a starter, main course and dessert for 10 Euros or less. Bargain. And they usually include steak etc. Well worth the money.

              All in all, the Imperial Beach is a great choice for a hotel if you are planning on going to Paphos. Its a little walk from the town but the hotel is lovely. If I go to Paphos again I would definitely stay here again. As we didn't pay I am not sure how much it is, but it probably is quite expensive. But I feel its worth the money. It seems to be very popular with Thomson and First Choice customers and like I said, its for older people and families as opposed to a group of young people! No trouble in this hotel - security is great - there is no noise and nothing to complain about!!

              Highly reccommended!!!

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                12.05.2010 18:16
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                Avoid at all costs. Paphos is a great place but this hotel will ruin your holiday.

                We were put up in the Cynthiana Beach during the volcanic ash crisis after having our flights cancelled for the second time (yes second). Previously we were put up in the Imperial Beach down in Pafos town which was a gorgeous hotel. After another cancellation we were put here. We stayed one night, and went back to the airport to get a different hotel as it was totally unsuitable. Disgusting in fact. I cannot understand the 5 star reviews here.

                First of all location - the hotel is in the back end of nowhere. Its 7km from Pafos village and harbour with the shops and bars and restaurants, and its also several km from Coral Bay. Don't be fooled into thinking Coral Bay is round the corner - it isn't. Not that there's much there anyway. If you go to Paphos, you want to stay in Kato Pafos as this is where everything is. Anyway. The main road cuts off onto what I can only describe as a dirt track, and up here right on the edge of the cliff is the Cynthiana. its in a place called Kissonerga (avoid as its back end of nowhere) which is basically inbetween Tomb of the Kings (3km from it) and Coral Bay. Nearest chemist is down by Tomb of the Kings so we were told, and launderette wise (which we needed since we were stranded) was down in the village - 7km away!!!

                The hotel shop had closed down. Not sure if it was going to be open in high season, but the shops shelves were empty. A sign on the door is apparently too much to ask. So therefore to buy anything (water, soft drinks etc) you have a choice of extortionate prices from the bar, or walking all the way up the dirt track where there is a small over priced supermarket (and other than a car hire place, there really is nothing else).

                So once we'd checked in and got to our block, we discovered that even though there is a lift, the lift starts on the first floor. You still have to climb one flight of stairs to get to the lift, Not great if you are disabled so beware. So we get to the top, and walk along to find our two rooms (next to each other). The blocks are depressing. Its like a youth hostel I don't know how else to describe it. I have stayed in lots of self catering apartments much cheaper than this and they've been much cleaner and nicer. This place had damp on the ceilings, peeling paint and a very odd smell. The rooms are fairly big I suppose but they looked nothing like the pictures in the brochures or on the internet. They must have been taken about 15 years ago I reckon.

                The only good thing about our rooms was the view. Absolutely breathtaking - it was like looking at a postcard. Views of the coastline and mountains. Then we turned around and saw the state of the room. It clearly hadn't been cleaned. There were food crumbs and bits all over the carpet, the curtains were totally stained by rust from the patio doors, the patio doors didn't actually lock either, we peeled back the bed covers to discover hairs and someones pair of shorts under the pillow!!! Someones old makeup bag was also lying underneath one of the 2 camp beds which had been left up (proper campbeds as well, nasty metal things). The balcony chairs were yellowed, paint peeling off the balcony, and we had a lot of ants in the room and on the balcony too. We were disgusted.

                We went to reception to get them to come and clean the rooms and watched as the cleaner changed the sheets and kind of hoovered the room with a Henry hoover, but still left crumbs all over the floor. She didn't speak English either which didn't help. The hotel was fully booked because of the volcanic crisis, so we couldn't change rooms to one where the patio doors locked. I would not have felt safe being there for a week or more. So we decided first thing in the morning we were going back to Paphos Airport to change hotels as it was not acceptable. I felt like sleeping in my clothes the place was that filthy.

                As we had to be put up full board as part of our air travel rights, we went down to the restaurant for dinner. We had reservations already, but as we arrived, we saw all the tables set out as if you were at school - long lines of tables so you had to share your every meal time with someone you didn't know. Not exactly great for a holiday is it? As 3 young girls we didn't want to be sat with an elderly couple, but when we asked to sit somewhere else, we were rudely shouted at and told to sit down. Clearly the hotel (or bedsit to give it a better name) had never been busy before!

                After being at the 5 star Imperial Beach, we knew what a good full board buffet entailed. This place was below par. How anyone could stay here for a proper holiday and eat dinner there every night I will never know. There wasn't much choice for a full board hotel - pasta, two meat dishes, one fish dish, potatoes and salad. That was it. I bought a sandwich from the local shop as the pasta was bland and had no taste, the sweetcorn was sticky and overcooked, my coke was flat and my friends' red wine was chilled. Absolute disaster. We had walked round the grounds before dinner and seen the bit platter of coleslaw put out (nice! just like being in a school canteen). It was out an hour and a half before dinner started. Nice. I didn't eat any of it suffice to say. Dodgy mayonnaise was not on my agenda. And for that reason I didn't eat the meat. My friend is obsessed with breakfast but didn't dare venture down in the morning for the buffet breakfast. She didn't want to risk her health.

                The grounds - well the pool looked nice enough, but if the hotel is full you'd never get a space round the pool as there were only about 20 sunbeds. They have a childrens play area with a rusting swing and climbing frame. The 'beach' as they call it, is basically rock covered with a small dusting of sand, with dodgy stairs that you climb down into the sea that rock about!!! All looked positively horrific.

                I think I would have killed myself if we'd had to stay from the 19th til May 2nd! So on the 20th we left, dragged our suitcases up the dirt track to the road, waited 2 hours for the bus to the airport and told them it was dirty and unsafe. We got put back in the Imperial Beach in Pafos, and ended up managing to get home on the 25th. But we still got 5 nights in the Imperial - which is such a great hotel. 5 nights I definitely couldn't have managed at the Cynthiana.

                Please - avoid this hotel at all costs. For your money you can get a lovely hotel down in the Pafos town/village where there is life, and shops, and pretty bars to sit in and watch the sea

                Avoid avoid avoid.

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                  05.04.2010 14:29
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                  Just as good as the first film, full of laughs and romance!

                  In the first film, Mary was a baby who got left on the doorstep of her father Jack and his flatmates who took care of her until her mother returned. With lots of dramas along the way! In this sequel, we see Mary has grown up into a little girl who is just about to start school. The three guys Peter, Jack and Michael and Mary's mother Sylvia are still all living together. Sylvia however gets engaged to her English director boyfriend who wants her to move to England to get married and be a family. Peter is secretly in love with Sylvia and is devastated to learn she is moving away with Mary. The guys all go to England for the wedding and it's then that Peter realises he is losing two very important things in his life - Mary and Sylvia - and he has to do something about it and fast.

                  I won't spoil the ins and outs of the film but it is a good old fashioned family romcom - very enjoyable and full of laughs. Sometimes sequels don't match up to be as good as the original film but in this case, I enjoyed this film just as much as the first one. Of course, watching it back now it's a little dated as it was made in 1990 - but the main storyline is just as relevant now as it was then - losing someone you love is hard, broken families etc. Perhaps even more relatable these days in fact.

                  The performances are all very good. Jack (Marys real father) is played by Ted Danson and he brings his unique wit and humour to the role as he always does. Tom Selleck plays Peter who is in love with Sylvia. Tom Selleck was always thought of back in the day as a bit of a catch - you may remember about ten years after this film he played Monica's love interest in Friends. I've never quite understood his appeal to women, but he plays Peter well in this film and you can definitely feel the spark between his character and Sylvia. Steve Guttenberg plays the final guy in the family, Michael, and once again plays the character well although I always feel he was a little typecast in most of his roles. And the little girl who plays Mary is very good also - if a little annoying!

                  The film itself is easy to watch and a good bit of escapism. It's got romance, a bit of drama, lots of laughs and is set in New York and England so you get a variety of backdrops. I felt it was good to set part of the film in England because it makes it a bit different to the first film which was set entirely in New York. Plus the English countryside kind of adds to the romance a bit more I think!

                  I would say its best to watch the first film before you watch this, although you don't have to - it works well as a standalone film, but to understand the bond between the guys and Mary a bit more its best to watch the first film before this one!

                  All in all I think is a fun film to watch - great for a Sunday afternoon or a quiet evening in. Performances are great all round and its got plenty of humour!

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                  • My Sister's Keeper (DVD) / DVD / 33 Readings / 32 Ratings
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                    30.03.2010 16:50
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                    Watchable, emotional but not a standout film for me

                    Based on the book by Jodi Picoult (which I have never read), My Sisters Keeper was billed a tear jerker film - one for which you'd need a hanky at the ready. I watched this on DVD for the first time the other day and whilst I agree its sad, I was somewhat disappointed with the film and feel like more could have been done with it. Its not the usual typecast role that Cameron Diaz usually gets, so in that sense it's great to see her break out of her comfort zone and take on something a bit more dramatic and less romantic. I'm not saying My Sisters Keeper isn't a good film, its definitely watchable and it's not bad. But I was just expecting more.

                    The film is based on a couple's daughter, Kate, who is diagnosed with cancer at a very young age. They are advised by doctors that they could have another baby which would match Kate perfectly and use her to try and save Kate's life. Anna is born and from day one she is then used for many procedures to try and prolong or save her sisters life. She's forever being prodded and poked for bone marrow, blood etc. Then one day she decides she's had enough and wants to live her own life and hires a lawyer to sue her parents for the rights to her own body.

                    The rest of the film basically follows that story and Kate's battle to win her case against her parents. Along with that, we see what Anna is going through with trying to cope with the cancer as she gets iller by the day. Any film or story where a child is suffering like that is enough to make anyones eyes well up. In that sense it was a very emotional story. But something fell a bit flat for me. I don't know what. I found myself looking at the clock and wondering how much of the film was left. No ones performances were bad either - in fact the girl who plays Kate has been in many films and I think shes a great actress with a long career ahead of her. Cameron Diaz is great as the mother who just wants to save her daughters life, not caring about anyone else's feelings along the way. Most mothers I am sure would be able to empathise with her there.

                    Most of the story was about Anna dealing with the cancer and how over the years the family had broken away from one another - each dealing with it the best they can. Although the court case is of course a big part of the story, we don't get to see all that much of the battle. Perhaps this is why the film lacked somewhat.

                    As I haven't read the book I can't compare the two, although I have heard that the book is far superior to the film. Reviewing this as a stand alone film, I give it 3 out of 5. The story was good but lacked in the general detail of the court case - perhaps they could have added 15 minutes to the films running time and put a few more scenes in for that. The emotion was there and the film is relatable to anyone who has children - whether they've been ill or not - you can totally understand the mothers plight in this film. But it just didn't stand in my memory as an amazing film. Shame really as I had heard so many great things about this film and so was disappointed when I finally got round to seeing it.

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                    • Sorority Row (DVD) / DVD / 32 Readings / 31 Ratings
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                      26.03.2010 13:43
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                      Not a bad horror flick, definitely watchable!

                      I Saw Sorority Row at the cinema when I was in the States last year. Not really expecting too much, we had a free night and thought why not go and see something before it comes out in the UK. I was actually pleasantly surprised; it's not a bad film at all. Not brilliant but not bad!

                      Sorority Row is a teen horror film. When I say teen, I mean it's full of teenagers. I think anyone who likes horror type films would like this regardless of age. The basic premise is that a bunch of teenagers who are all sorority sisters (some weird random club thing they have in America) decide to play a prank on the boyfriend of one of the girls in the group. Unfortunately the prank goes too far and something terrible ends up happening. I won't give away what happens! After that some spooky and deadly things start occurring. Is it their minds or is it all happening for real?

                      Now, I was expecting a lot of nudity in this film since it stars teenagers and was more marketed toward the younger market. And there is a bit yes. But that's to be expected in most horror films these days. I wouldn't mind so much if there was a lot of male nudity going on, but funnily enough it's usually always female! Apart from that, the film is quite scary, making you jump in quite a few places, and has a fair amount of gore in it to keep the blood lovers happy out there!

                      As I haven't given away the main plotline, all I will say is that the things that keep happening to the group, you change your mind constantly throughout the film on what is going on or who is responsible for the strange happenings. However when there's about half an hour left of the film the ending is pretty obvious and quite predictable. But the film still carries on making you jump and delivering. The sorority sisters are all different sorts of girls - the usual clichéd versions? Yes! You have the strong girl who won't let anything stand in her way of getting on with life. The girl who is scared of her own shadow. And the girl who is trying to forget everything and put it all behind her. There isn't anyone of notable fame in the film really, unless you count Demi Moore's daughter Rumer Willis and Audrina Patridge from The Hills. Rumer isn't bad actually, and this was I believe her first big film and I have to say she didn't do a bad job at all. Her character is a bit weird and to be honest I think a lot of her characteristics could have been changed for the better, but she does a good believable performance throughout the film. Audrina isn't in the film for that long, but she's pretty good at the lines she delivers. Not bad for a non-actress.

                      The gore is pretty good throughout and quite believable. Obviously the whole film takes place at night which adds to the suspense and scare-factor, which again is like most horror films, but the gory scenes look real and they did a good job with it I think. Is the film believable in its story? No. I mean, something like this is very unlikely to happen in real life (although in America perhaps not!) but the script is decent (not award winning but decent enough to carry off a horror flick) and to be honest me and my friend were totally engrossed throughout the film. Her screaming extremely loudly in a packed cinema wasn't at all embarrassing either!!

                      So all in all, if you like horror or slasher films, and are a fan of Scream or I Know What You Did Last Summer then you will love this. It's got the gore factor, it's got something for the guys to ogle, and it will make you jump constantly. Grab a copy on DVD and check it out.

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