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Ninetendogs + Cats on the 3DS is recommended for ages 3 years and above and not having played Nintendogs, the previous game I can not comment on how similar this is. When the game starts you are at the Kennels, you have the option of choosing from only nine different breeds of puppies, at this point you can not choose a kitten, in this version you can choose from, Welsh Corgi, miniature Schnauzer, Labrador Retriever, Jack Russell, Toy Poodle, Bull Terrier, Boxer, Shih Tzu or Pomeranian, my daughter choose the Toy Poodle and yes, it's extremely cute. To choose your puppy, you must use your stylus on the silhouette on the lower touch screen to stroke the puppy, a hand will appear on the top screen and the puppy will react accordingly. Once you have done this for a while you can choose from the puppies available. You have to pay for your puppy but you are given 2000 at the start of the game, which you will quickly spend, getting your puppy and things for it. You can then take your puppy home, the home is chosen for you but you can choose from other homes and pay for them with money you have accrued via competitions that you can enter your pet into and by gaining money from steps, in other words, you take your puppy for a walk, in real life this means you walk around with your 3DS and the more you walk, the more steps you get, when you then open your DS your puppy gives you a present, this present contains differing items which can be sold to Mr Recycles Shop and you can use the money to buy things for your pets and your home, or even a new home. But Let's go back to your puppy, you take him home and settle him in, you need to first give your puppy a name, this isn't as easy as it sounds. As screaming tantrums in my house will prove. Why? Let me tell you, you can not use the control / keypad to enter your puppies name, you must first speak it into the DS microphone, if you get a question mark, the programme did not understand you, this happens quite a lot, especially if you don't speak slowly and very clearly. Adults be warned, children will not be pleased ! Once the name has been recognised, watch out because you have to do it again and if you don't do it exactly the same way as before the puppy wont understand you, this can go on for quite some time !! If you are lucky enough to pass this speech test, your puppies name can then be entered via the keypad, why this wasn't done in the first place, I have no idea, and would like to physically berate the designer at Nintendo for this annoying stupidity. You then need to teach your puppy to sit, this is slightly easier, by sliding the stylus over the silhouette of your dog on the touch screen downwards and saying sit into the microphone, this seemed to go better. Once this is done you can then start to play with your puppy and buy things for it. Taking care of your pet, you must feed, water, clean and play with it, You must take it for walks where you will meet other puppies and as this programme uses StreetPass, you will be able to interact with other game users, you can send them information about your pet and gifts and they will send it back to you. You can go into your diary and touch Meet up at the Park to play with other Mii and their pets and as you meet new players you will find that at the kennels other breeds of dogs will become available to buy. Once you have your first puppy, you can then buy a kitten, but kittens are much less fun in this game as they are limited to what they can do, you can't take them out and you can't enter them into competitions, but you can still care for them and it's funny to watch the puppies and kittens interact at home. You can also use the camera function to take pictures of your pets which you can find in your diary. All in all, it's not a game that is full of action, it's slow and would appeal to a child with patience or a love of animals. My daughter has had this game for a few weeks and is not normally the type of game she enjoys, but it seems to mellow her out when she plays, although not when she was trying to name him ! It is not a game I would recommend because it all depends on the child, I wouldn't have dreamed in a million years my daughter, she of the Mario and Sonic games, she who loves anything Pikmin and who is a devout Pokemon fan, would have the patience to sit there stroking an imaginary dog, but she does and she loves it. Trouble is now she wants a real puppy !
Super Pokemon Rumble for the 3DS is the first Pokemon title to come out in the 3DS format and although all your little Pokemon friends look great in 3d the game itself doesn't differ too much from its predecessor, although admittedly you have a little more to do in this game. Let's start at the beginning, if you know Pokemon Rumble the original you will know that you go around collecting toy versions of Pokemon, well that hasn't changed, only this time there are 600 Pokemon that you can collect, but the designers seemed to have been lazy and taken the pokemon straight out of the first game so the graphics don't quite mash up with the new system, it looks dated from the word go and that's quite depressing having spent out a wad of money. Then there's the game play itself, you still have to walk around battling different Pokemon but go to fast and you can run right by some on them, blink, oops, missed it, when you do defeat all the other pokemon in that area you are rewarded with opening up the Battle Royale arena where you must defeat all the pokemon present to be crowned Battle Royale Champion. When you defeat Pokemon you can run around picking up extra time and you may need this to defeat the Boss at the end. With Team Battle you can choose two other pokemon and battle as a team of three but you can't switch pokemon during this battle. There's also the choice to Charge Battle, which sees you sending a large group of pokemon into battle against another group, you have to mash the A button and quickly rotate to build up your charge and if your team are stronger than the others you'll advance. There are some good features in this version, I like the Glowing Fountain where you can restore your pokemon's HP and revive any that have fainted. I also like Drilbur, if you can find him in a field you can wake him and he drills a tunnel that you can use to move from place to place, which is kind of cool and saves on time spent walking in previous games. What is really different about this Rumble is using the wi fi, once you and your friend have both cleared the Battle Royale you can invite them to play with you and this increases the amount of pokemon you will befriend and you can help each other out by having your pokemon stand beside there's to restore their HP. Using StreetPass let's other players visit your Toyshop and can get you a decent amount of money as they buy your Toys, on a sliding scale the more visits you get the better chance of you being able to find the special pokemon in the game. You will get a registration card appear when you 'meet' someone which allows you to see what pokemon they have and battle against them. If you win, you can 'borrow' their best pokemon to battle in an area but they will disappear once you leave that area. All in all, it's new meets old with some of the best features coming from the new design, if you love Pokemon and want to 'catch em all' then you just have to buy this game. For me it's worth the money even though I know some critics have panned it.
Something to talk about was released in 1995 to mixed reviews from the critics, but who listens to critics? When you have a movie that comes from the pen of Callie Khouri , she who wrote Thelma and Louise, you know you are in for something special. But then you only have to take a look at the cast to see that the quality was lining up to star in it. Julia Roberts, Dennis Quaid, Robert Duvall, Gena Rowlands and Kyra Sedgwick, you are talking quality and quantity. When Grace ( Roberts) finds out that her husband Eddie (Quaid ) is having an affair will she act in the proper dignified way all southern ladies are supposed to? Now what kind of a movie would that be? The first thing Grace does is scoops up her daughter and moves in with her sassy sister Emma Rae (Sedgwick) at their parents home which is a horse ranch and where Grace works. With her bombastic, egotistical and male chauvinistic father Wyle (Duvall) pressurising her to forgive and forget , not to make a scene and to put the business deal he has with Eddie's family before her own happiness or dignity , Grace decides to dig in her heels and go head to head with her father , who after buying a new horse decides he is going to enter the southern stakes show jumping competition at the expense of his leading hand who was set to ride another horse. With Graces daughter going through her own angst because she wants to ride a horse and not a pony in the competition all the pressure builds up on Grace until she completely loses at it at the local wives club and starts telling a few home truths about the other wives husbands. Not content with that Grace listens to her batty Aunt and decides to throw a little something into Eddie's Mint Mustard Sauce when they have dinner together which lands Eddie in the hospital in a hilarious scene and brings her mother ( Rowlands)rushing to her side. But Grace isn't finished yet, when her mother counsels her to take Eddie back and put her own feelings aside Grace lashes out at her and tells her mother a few home truths about her own marriage and her father's infidelity causing her mother to lock Wyle out of the house while the women of the family are inside having a heart to heart. It's both a funny and touching scene and when the Batty Aunt decides to fake a 'spell' and the doctor is called (Rowlands already having admitted to Duvall that there was a compliment between the two of them at her last physical and there was a history there from childhood) we see the doctor and Wyle squaring up to each other in the front yard. Can Grace forgive Eddie? Can Eddie forgive Grace for nearly killing him? Will her parents be able to get past the rift between them? Well I'm not going to spoil it, but then ending isn't quite what you'll be expecting. It's a good fun movie with some touches of insight into the southern belle way of thinking and acting with the best lines in the movie coming from Grace's sister Emma Rae with one scene in particular at the start of the movie with Emma and Eddie making you cry with laughter (well I did). I have given it five stars because as normal Rom/Com's go this is so much more. I would compare it to Steal Magnolias with the characters playing off each other, a depth of caring for the characters, a familiar sense of knowing these people and yet for most it's a totally alien world, southern sensabilities be darned, the women in this movie are sassy and smart and it's both touching and funny to watch them break out of their confines.
Ok, I feel it is only fair to share you with this little snippet of information first. I hate Hugh Grant. There, I said it and its out there and I can't take it back, unless I edit, which I am not going to do because I really and truly do not like this guy, in my humble opinion he is a one horse actor, all his characters are basically the same and yet he has starred in some of the funniest movies I have ever seen, this being no exception. Nine months is the story of Samuel ( Grant) and Rebecca (Julianne Moore) and their perfect relationship, perfect until she finds out she's pregnant and he enters a midlife crisis aided and abetted by his best friend Sean (Jeff Goldblum). Of course Samuel has doubts, big ones, does he want to be a father, would he be a good father?, it's the same bog standard drivel that Hollywood spawns en masse, but hold on a moment, what makes this film worth watching? Take one riotous family, Sean's sister Gail ( Joan Cusack) her husband Marty (Tom Arnold ) and their three out of control children, without spoiling the fun you have to look out for the shopping trip to the toy store and the Barnie Dinosaur scene, which will have you crying with laughter, especially if you are like me and have a thing against the real Barnie. This family causes mayhem wherever they go but they have that Hollywood good heart and you can't help loving them. But the best thing about this movie is the amazing Robin Williams as theRussian Doctor who is going to deliver the baby, the first time you meet him you just know he's going to be the funniest part of this movie as his command of the English language leaves a lot to be desired. There's a car race scene at the end with a difference as Samuel rushes to get Rebecca to the hospital which will absolutely have you in stitches followed by the delivery room scenes which will leave your jaw aching with laughter. I can't not give this movie five stars because it sent me into labour.
There have been so many body swap movies in the last few decades that you would think Hollywood had it off pat and could hit the right spot with its eyes closed. With Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman in the lead roles this movie should have a dream ticket to print money and it made a tidy profit but that was more due to the stars pulling power than the actual movie itself. The premise of the movie is that childhood friends Mitch (Reynolds) and Dave (Bateman)envy each other's lives, on the one hand you have the single playboy Mitch who can't seem to get out of bed in the morning and on the other you have the hard working family man Dave who has all the crushing responsibilities his friend doesn't. On a drunken night out our unsuspecting due decide to urinate in a fountain while wishing they had each other's lives and hey presto the next morning they find their wish has been granted. As with most of these movies it's funny to watch at first as they figure out what has happened but the problem with both of these characters is neither of them are that likeable, unlike say Tom Hanks character in Big where you were rooting for him from the start, with Mitch and Dave you sort of want them to suffer in their plight (or at least I did). Of course when they go to find the magic fountain its missing and so they must assume each other's lives and responsibilities, Mitch having to step up and do the work thing which gives a couple of laughs and finding out that being a husband and father isn't all he wished for and Dave with his new found freedom ends up going to an acting job for Mitch only to find out that he's shooting a porno movie. It's not all bad, there are a couple of laughs here and there and on the grand scale of stinker movies this isn't the worst, finding out that the fountain has been moved to a busy shopping mall and having to urinate in front of the horrified shoppers is probably the funniest scene in the movie at the end, but all in all it's never going to be a classic. If you like rude, crude and you are pubescent this is probably the film for you.
About the size of a tennis ball this little computerised ball packs the brain power of all of your worst enemies at twenty questions when you were a child, a times you will feel as though you are ten again and going up against the older siblings as the guessing capability of this machine will leave you searching your brain for the most obscure things in the universe to try to defeat it, can it be done? Yes, it can, but it will not give in straight away, we have had it up to twenty four questions at it stubbornly tries to outwit you and then it grudgingly gives way to its defeat. The kids will love it though and it gets them to use not only their imaginations and what they have learned about objects around them and will even have them asking you questions as the machine asks such stumpers as 'is it man made?' , 'is it made of ?? glass - metal- ?' and ' can you wear it? ', which actually prompted a debate in my house about animal products (don't ask). It has a robust design, having been dropped a number of times at my house and it's still going, with a small rectangular viewing screen which is backlit where the machine will ask its questions, four buttons give you the option of yes, no, sometimes, unknown and the fifth button is undo. There is also a sound and rest button on the front but it's hard to reset as it's set further back. It is easy to operate at any age and it will provide hours of fun at home or on the move. It is well worth the money and everyone will love to try to prove they are smarter than the little ball with the big brain.
This is one hundred and eleven minutes of your life that you are not going to want to get back, that is of course if you like all singing- all dancing - side splitting comedy of the 1950's, 1956 to be exact and socialite Tracy Lord (Grace Kelly) is about to get married to George Kittridge (John Lund) , but there's a couple of flies in the ointment, Tracy's ex husband C.K Dexter Haven (Bing Crosby) has come back into town because of the local Jazz festival and two reporter's from Spy magazine Mike Connor (Frank Sinatra) and Liz Imbrie (Celeste Holm) have been sent to cover the wedding because the editor has some very embarrassing photo's of Tracy's father. With a musical score that was written by Cole Porter is their any doubt that we would be witness to some amazing songs, Who wants to be a millionaire sung whilst looking through the barrage of expensive and tacky wedding presents by Sinatra and Holm is a little gem as is another famous show stopper in the form of Well, did you Evah? (ever) done impeccably by the two singing geniuses Crosby and Sinatra, but everybody has their favourite from this film and with so many too choose from including True Love by Crosby and Kelly, Mind if I make love to you and You're sensational both by Sinatra it's hard to narrow it down. Throw in the wonderful Louis Armstrong into the mix with Now you has Jazz with Crosby and how could this film go wrong, answer it didn't. You seem to know from the minute you meet Tracy Samantha Lord that she's going to be trouble and ohh what trouble she manages to get herself into but I am not going to spoil the plot for you if you haven't seen it only to say that this very lucky lady ends up having to choose between three very eligible and lucky men with some side splitting rivalry along the way. And for the ladies, or maybe even the gentlemen, take note of the most beautiful dresses you are ever going to see in a film. It's sad to note that this was Grace Kelly's last movie before she married her Prince and she could not have gone out on a higher note.
Hudson Hawk is one of those films you either love it or hate it a totally tongue in cheek movie that pays homage to the slapstick cartoon genre, you've even got some batman style effects to prove it and the mafia family are the Mario brothers as in that loveable plumber we all play on Nintendo. Co-written by its main star Bruce Willis in 1991, it reminds me of his character in the popular moonlighting show with the same zesty wise cracking - look to camera sarcasm he does so well. Called a turkey by the critics this film went on to lose so much money for the studio Tri-Star that some say it is the reason the studio went bust and was swallowed up by Sony entertainment. Ouch. So what exactly is wrong with it? It has a very impressive cast on paper, Bruce Willis hot from his success in Die Hard 1 and 2 is the singing, wise cracking and safe cracking cat burglar who has just been let out of prison after a stretch and all he wants is a cup of decent cappuccino at the place he owns with his old partner in crime Danny Messina, played by the always wonderful Danny Aiello, which is when it all starts to go wrong. Not only are the Mario brothers, played by Frank Stallone and Carmine Zozzara, the local mafia, after him to do a job but his probation office is in on it too, if that's not bad enough you have the butler Alfred, a homage to Batman, for psychotic husband and wife team, Sandra Bernhard and Richard E. Grant on his case and the CIA in the shape of James Coburn and his team all pressuring him for his services. He does of course have a love interest in the film in the shape of one Andie MacDowell, yes she who can not act more than two facial expressions, but there's a problem with that, she's not exactly what she seems to be. Is it funny? Well, I think so, there are some real gems here, Willis and Aiello doing a job whilst singing swinging on a star, they us different songs for timing their heists, is a classic moment for me and you can pick out a few other slapstick events from the film at will. The question is can you put aside some cringe worthy moments and suspend rational belief to enjoy something that isn't as bad as some critics would have you believe? Do you like the awful batman tv show? Then you'll love this, because it's batman with comedy and the wonderful Bruce Willis.
With the end of the 70's delivering such brilliant musical movies such as Saturday Night Fever and Grease we looked to the 80's with promise, it started well with Fame and then we had to wait until 1984 for another Musical treat. Footloose hit the big screen in 1984 and was the surprise hit of the year, if you look at the cast now it's impressive, John Lithgow, Dianne Weist, Kevin Bacon, Chris Penn, Sarah Jessica Parker and Lori Singer, but back then the 'kids' were practically unknowns, but the soundtrack of the film was packed full of big hitter's from the time, Bonnie Tyler, Shalamar, Denice Williams, Foreigner, Sammy Hagar and Ann Wilson but the title track from the movie sung by Kenny Loggins had every toe tapping and even if you hear it now you just can't resist it. With the story of a small town in Bible belt America who's town council outlaws 'popular' music and dancing within the city limits the plot can seem a little farfetched but loosely based on a true story it opens your eyes to life in these Midwest town's and how much power the local minister can have over a small community. Our hero is Ren McCormack, a city slicker who moves to Bomont with his mother and soon finds out that dressing like David Bowie and blasting out Men at Work doesn't sit well with the local Law or adult community. Hemmed in by the pressure as he is leaned on from all sides, from chicken racing tractors against the town bully to getting set up for having drugs (pot) at the high school and going up against Reverend Shaw Moore over wanting to stage a high school prom within the city limits, not to mention his blossoming relationship with the Rev's daughter Ariel, Ren needs to blow off steam and he does it in spectacular style in one of the best and most remembered dance scene's from a movie, it is true that Bacon used a dancing double, just the same as Jennifer Beals did in flashdance, but who cares, it's an amazing set of shots mixing dance and gymnastics to the pounding beat of Never by Moving Pictures. Watching Ren go up against the Reverend Shaw Moore at the town council meeting and using the words of the Bible against him is enough to lift anyone's spirits, but the rev already had the votes of the council members in his pocket and the town is still a no dance zone. Will Ren give up? Come on this is Hollywood at it's best, of course he won't, with the help of his boss he's got a plan, but when the Reverend finds out it's hold your breath time at the Sunday morning church service. If you haven't seen this film, where have you been for the last two decades, you have to watch this just for the sheer belly laughs of watching Ren trying to teach Willard how to dance. It's toe tapping, put a smile on your face and lose yourself in the music fun. I dare you to watch this movie and not tap your toes, if you can do that then it's time to move onto eating a doughnut without licking your lips. Enjoy.
Well if you are as old as I am and remember watching the original 5-0 this is my friend nothing like that. With the remake came sexy, if you like action, it is here. In spades. Steve McGarrett has morphed from Mr sauve Jack Lord into Mr extremely hot Alex O'Loughlin and with his wise cracking in between cracking heads and using any means necessary to get the job done he kind of reminds me of John McClain in Die Hard. His trusty side kick is 'Danno' who has morphed into the delightful Scott Caan who ends up not only the butt of most of the jokes but also gets unwillingly dragged into McGarrett's schemes. Daniel Dae Kim is 'chin' and ohh what a difference a couple of decades make, this my friends is action man chin and he has some surprises of his own up his sleeve during this first season. But they didn't want to make this series just for the ladies so they brought in the very lovely, hard kicking and surfing Kono, Grace Park, who grows from rookie to a trusted member of the team during the season and gives as good as she gets. Set in the beautiful Hawaii islands this show would be worth watching for the scenery and history alone and yet it has all the pulse racing tension and high octane action to keep you tuning in again and again and of course it has the super baddie who starts the show rolling, helps to bring the unit together and is the season arc storyline. If you want action, comedy and of course sexy, you can't do better than this.
Sainsbury's doughnuts with cream and strawberry jam from the chiller cabinet are a little slice of heaven on a plate. Ok, so maybe not heaven, but they come close. A nice long sized doughnut with a decent amount of jam, not too much to make it sickly and not too little too go unnoticed against the lashings of sweetened cream that's piped along the length and spills out of the top. Then there's a dusting of icing sugar (sometimes very skimpy which spoils the effect) over the top and you have one heck of a good cake to brighten any day. I do have one word of caution though, check the dates on these as they start to get a little stodgy bordering on heavy the longer they have been in the chiller or in the fridge at home (which of course gives you an excuse to rip the side open and devour them as soon as you get them home- just saying!). The smartest thing sainsbury's did was give the packaging a little rework and they now have grips in the top to stop the doughnuts hitting the case on the way home and splatting the cream everywhere.
Samsung Galaxy Mini - it may not be as big as it's brother but it's still got a powerful punch in the smartphone range. I got mine in white when they first came on the market and it's been my stepping stone into the world of touch screen technology. To be honest, when I received my first call I was furiously tapping the left hand button to answer it until a twelve year old showed me how to swipe the screen, did I feel stupid, you bet ya, but it doesn't take long to get used to it and now I wouldn't be without it. It operates on Android and has all the bells and whistles I need to get me through the day. I have text, camera (which doesn't like semi dark areas), I've got a calculator and much the same as normal phones but my new best friend also gives me google and maps (always relevant in my life as I can get lost in my own garden), youtube for when I'm really bored and a million apps which my children keep downloading for me (or them really but I end up feeding the dragon to keep it alive and visiting the animals in Tap zoo !). Ok, so it's not as big as some other smartphones but that just means I can use a small hand bag, pocket etc. Let's not forget battery life, as long as your not on it constantly it'll easily last you all day. As someone once said, size isn't everything.
Furniture Village- by someone who used to work there. Walk into a FV store and the first place to head for is the free coffee / juice/ cookie bar, why because it's actually good and it's the best value item you will get inside this store. It's pretty obvious that the sale people are paid commission from the word go, you can actually see them chaffing at the bit to get to you as they eye their competitor across the isle, the customary smile of the 'good' guy, a gentle hello as you draw near followed by a polite 'is there something I can help you with' or 'is there something you're looking for today?' , don't be afraid to tell them to go away, trust me they are thick skinned and they won't be offended, especially if you make a purchase. Now to the stock, we'll if you are looking for a bargain you need to be open minded about what you want as the only bargains in store are ex display models or customer returns, they tend to be as close to cost as possible, everything else has usually a 50% mark up or more, so if you really want something, especially in the 'sale' the floor manager has the discretion to take more off it, so haggle. Now for the horror story, the sofa's may look nice, but a lot of them are made abroad and you wouldn't believe the different little and sometimes big creepy crawlies that lurk inside them. When your nice new sofa arrives in the stock room it's covered in wrap to keep it clean on it's long journey from a foreign land, we once had a sofa that was delivered to an unsuspecting customer and when they unwrapped it cockroaches started to fall out. The house had to be fumigated, the sofa removed and the family put up in a hotel. I kid you not. Funny coloured beetles and an assortment of spiders that I had never seen before lurk in the shops. As for customer care, well, once they have your money and their commission you are no longer a customer, you are a timewaster, you are what is stopping them dealing with customers who have money to spend and their commission, so speak to the manager of the store and don't ask twice if that doesn't get you anywhere call head office.
A shredder from Tesco, how bad can it be?, well this one is pretty bad. That is unless you are going to only shred a couple of piece of paper at a time, and not all at once. Does the shredder shred, yes it does, it will shred one piece of paper quite nicely at a time anymore than that and the motor will start whinning, as for card, it whines from the outset. You may want to actually shred quite a few documents or mail one after the other, well I warn you now, after about five minutes this shredder will generally overheat, less time if you dare to do more than one page at a time, and then you have to turn it off and wait for it to cool down for a while. On the plus side it's cheap and cheerful with it's black plastic bin and for the none serial shredder it will probably do the job, it's lightweight and with a slider at the top that goes from off to auto to reverse it's also pretty idiot proof and if you lift the top of the unit whilst shredding it will cut off, which is a good safety feature.
With sensitive skin the last thing you want to do is put something on it that's going to make it erupt and then spend the rest of the week trying to calm it down and cool it down so forgive me for being nervous with any new product but I have to say when a friend bought me this for Christmas and I smiled sweetly and pushed it to the back on the shelf in the bathroom only to find myself unable to get my normal product a month later and reaching for this. I spot tested an area first and was relieved that I didn't break out in my normal itchy scratchy state when using some inferior products, it was thick enough to not get lost on my skin and I didn't get that pulling feeling after using it. Blessed or cursed with both oily and dry skin this cleanser didn't seem to mind my skin type and did the job of clearing away the debris of the day. I know you are supposed to use it twice a day but I'm basically lazy and with this cleanser I can get away with it. I would give it a thumbs up.