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On a recent holiday to Spain my friends and I were walking back from a night out when we walked past The House of Katmandu. The reason we took interest in it is because the outside of this building is upside down, looking a bit like an upside-down mansion. Wondering what this was we carried on walking, and when back in our hotel found some leaflets at reception for The House of Katmandu.
Through our hotel we managed to pay only 21 Euros per person to look around the house, play two rounds of golf on the attached golf course and watch one of their 4D films. Each of these things could be done on different days if we wished, so we spread out our experience of Katmandu and I must say we all thoroughly enjoyed it!
The House of Katmandu itself is a little like Ripley's Believe It Or Not with some strange, yet interesting things inside. There are things such as a water piano, which you can play with, models of different places throughout the world, a maze of mirrors and some mechanical robots to look at. I suppose in a way it's a little like a museum, but a museum of "different" things which you can interact with and keep you interested throughout. My friends and I loved this house and found it entertaining for the hour or so it took us to walk around playing with all of the objects. The variety of things in the house made it interesting, as you never saw two things which were similar.
I saw some small children walking around the house getting very impatient. I would say that the house is better aimed at those over 11 or 12 who will take the time to look at everything properly and read the accompanying explanations of things to fully enjoy it.
On two other nights we went and played mini golf at Katmandu. They have two courses - a fire one and an ice one. Each has 18 holes and is just like standard mini golf really, but it was definitely enjoyable. Some of holes are harder than others, and as I had never played mini golf before I found it very enjoyable, even though I had a very competitive friend with me!
Finally, the 4D cinema experience. They have 4 films in total, 2 each day which are repeated every other day. My friend and I were very impressed with these and so we bought cinema tickets for the other 3 which were not included in our ticket. 4D cinema is just like 3D except your seat moves and vibrates, giving you the impression that you are moving through whatever you are watching. I personally love 4D and thought it was wonderful, although someone who was in the theatre with us thought it was very average and didn't seem too impressed.
We also decided to try out the restaurant while we were there and we were very impressed. The waiters were lovely and friendly and the food was delicious. Some of it was slightly pricey but definitely worth it, as we treated ourselves to another meal there the night before we left as we enjoyed it so much!
I would definitely recommend this house to anybody who is visiting Magalluf or the surrounding areas. It is impossible to miss this huge upside-down house and if you can get a deal with your tickets like we did it is definitely worth the money!
After a couple of years of begging, I finally got a Wii for my birthday from my parents. One of the first games I bought to go along with it was of course Just Dance.
I love dancing, always have, and I knew that a game like this would keep me amused for hours... I was right.
Just Dance is a simple game when you follow the person dancing on the screen, and you get scored on how close your dance moves are to what they are doing. In theory it's very simple, but to start with I had issues with getting my wii remote to register the dance moves I was doing.
The best thing about this game is how entertaining it is. Some of the dance moves are hilarious to do and watch others do, and can cause a lot of amusement for all.
After doing a couple of songs you can find yourself building up a sweat, so I'm sure Just Dance is a fairly good workout as well as being fun! Some of the dance moves in the songs are fairly repetitive but it's a good exercise and still fun anyway!
Some of my favourite songs on Just Dance are Hot N' Cold by Katy Perry, Cotton Eye Joe by Rednex, Fame by Irene Cara and Surfin' Bird by The Trashmen. There are 32 songs in total, which are quite a few, but if you play often enough you will get used to them and know some of the dance moves without needing to follow the person on screen.
Overall though I am a massive fan of this game. It's fun, keeps you active and has a good mixture of songs suitable for everyone!
I picked this game up for £17 in Tesco a few weeks ago and I'm glad I did. I definitely want to pick up the most recent Dance on Broadway, as it features songs from musicals which looks fun too!
Recommended for people who like doing a bit of dancing and exercise!
Being a student and very limited on money, I'm always on the hunt for cheaper but quality items. I recently found Original Source shower gel on sale for £1 in Boots and bought the lemon one and a lavender one.
It is sold in a clear bottle with the lid on the bottom so squeezing out the shower gel is easy.
There are many different shower gels in the range, all of which seem to have a nice smell and of the ones I have tried have the same texture.
When opening the lid of this lemon one, the lemony smell is very strong, although the tea tree cannot really be smelt. According to the bottle, 10 lemons are used in the making of the shower gel, which is quite a lot! All the ingredients are also supposed to be natural, which is nice as it means they are mostly probably good for your skin.
When using the shower gel, it is quite thick in consistency and lathers up nicely. Once washed off, the lemon smell can still be smelt on your skin for a while later, which is nice and makes you feel cleaner.
This is definitely something which I would use again and will look out for it being on special off. It is usually sold for around £1.99, which is still good value for money, as it lasts for quite a while and smells lovely.
Wristcutters: A Love Story is a love story based around suicide. The film opens with Zia (Patrick Fugit) cutting his wrists leading to his death. The afterlife which he goes into is like reality, except a little bit worse. Nobody can ever smile and their lives are even more mundane than their lives when they were alive. Zia meets a Russian guitarist, Eugene (Shea Whigham) and goes on adventure across this strange new world to try and find his ex-girlfriend, Desiree (Leslie Bibb). On their way they find Mikal (Shannyn Sossamon) who is trying to find the people in charge of this alternate life as she believes she shouldn't be there.
I was pleasantly surprised with this film. Considering the basis of the plot is suicide, it had a lot more humour in it than I expected and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Some of the humour is fairly dark, as in one part some of the people in this world play a guessing game of how people killed themselves. The idea is interesting, that all the people that commit suicide go to a world solely for them, and as this is a place we cannot relate to, it is interesting to watch.
This is definitely an anti-suicide film, but with a twist, as we see the characters searching for love and answers in this new place, and having to survive in a place which is worse than where they came from.
Everything which happens in this film is a little bit odd, and a bit different from what I was expecting, but not at all in a bad way. The whole concept of the film is an interesting one, and something which I haven't seen before. Some of the things which happen are strange and a little confusing, but it all adds to the plot, making it more interesting and keeping you guessing what is really going on.
Patrick Fugit as Zia gives a great performance and explores the character well. The chemistry between all the characters is good, and the way which they interact with each other keeps the film going also. The relationships are interesting, as they seem to have genuine friendships and look out for each other.
This film is very creative and different, and worth watching if that is the kind of thing you appreciate. The world which has been created is mundane and boring, yet made interesting by the array of characters we meet.
I would definitely recommend this film for a strange look into suicide, featuring dry humour and dark comedy. It's strangely amusing and overall a lovely story.
Being a big Sophie Kinsella fan, I found myself slightly wary of watching Confessions of a Shopaholic, and so only got around to it last week. As it turns out, I was right to be wary, as I was less than impressed with this predictable chick flick.
Becky Bloomwood (Isla Fisher) is addicted to shopping and has a rather hefty amount of debt on her hands. She goes shopping almost daily, splashing out on designer clothes, shoes and accessories despite their large price tags. Becky has spent so much, her bank manager calls her on a daily basis, trying to get her to pay some money back. She's not happy with her job, and tries to get one at Allete magazine, but makes do with a column in 'Successful Saving' on how to save money. Luke Brandon (Hugh Dancy) is Becky's boss, which causes some amusement throughout the film.
If I hadn't already read the Shopaholic book series, I would have enjoyed this film a lot more. For me, there were too many changes from the book for me to fully appreciate it. The main issue I had, was in the books Becky is English and her life is in England, instead of the American base that this film has. Becky also came across much more annoying the in the film than in the books, although I do appreciate this is part of her character, and I did think Isla Fisher suited the character in a way.
The film has some amusing points. I enjoyed the interaction between Becky and her best friend Suze, although I didn't think there was enough of it. However, the chemistry between Becky and Luke wasn't as strong as I felt it should have been, and I didn't think Hugh Dancy suited the part at all.
Considering Becky's love of fashion, I was expecting the clothes in the film to be a lot more stylish and well put together than they were. A few outfits in the film left me wondering who on earth was putting these combinations together.
Although this film amused me slightly in places, I was more disappointed than anything. If you haven't read the books, there is no harm in watching the film as it is a happy little rom-com which will amuse you, and some girls may be able to relate to Becky's love of shopping. For me, however, I wish I hadn't watched this film.
In my friends' recent quest to educate me in films I should have seen, The Mist was pulled out of the pile and we sat down to watch it over the weekend. Without knowing what to expect, apart from something horror-related, I was soon engrossed in this small town and the disaster surrounding them.
When a large storm comes to a small American town, and damages Dave's house, him and his son, Billy, go to the local supermarket for supplies to fix it with. Whilst there, a huge mist surrounds the supermarket, and with a warning from a terrified man, we find many people hiding out in the supermarket, waiting for the mist to pass. They soon discover the mist is hiding something much more sinister, as various types of animal type things come out of the mist intent on devouring the town's residents.
Thomas Jane, as Dave, was brilliant. He came across as the hero of the film, whilst still facing many issues and coming up against many people. The relationship between him and his son Billy (played by Nathan Gamble) was sweet but believable, as we saw him trying to protect him, while trying to do good by the other people as well.
Nathan Gamble also impressed me, as a young actor, he did a very good job of portraying a scared little boy having to cope with a ridiculous situation. I was impressed by his acting, and his relationship with his father and other people in the film.
Although I wouldn't class this film as strictly scary, it has its moments which may make you jump. A few of the scenes are slightly gruesome, but then what do you expect from a film where the premise is a town overrun with aliens trying to eat people!? There are gory moments which aren't for those with weak stomachs, but it all adds to the suspense felt while watching.
One of the most interesting characters is definitely Mrs. Carmody, as a religious fanatic, believing that there is some way in which they can escape this if they all look to God for the answer. Her behaviour at times during the film is shocking, definitely showing the bad, extreme side of religion, and what it can do to people in extreme situations. Marcia Gay Harden, who plays her, is a credit to the film as we watch her religious side get stronger and her ideas more crazy.
Although with many Sci-fi based films a happy ending is unlikely, I was hoping there would be one to this. I was of course wrong, and although I will not give away the ending, it was slightly shocking and left me lost for words after watching it.
Seeing little glimpses of the monsters in the film made it more interesting. The first time we see anything is just a tentacle under a door. Through not seeing the entire monster it makes it more intriguing and frightening than if it was all revealed at once. Overall the monsters are creepy, but not exactly scary. It's more what they do than how they look which is the terrifying thing.
Overall, I enjoyed this film. It left me feeling sad once it finished, but it's definitely a good film, and worth watching if you enjoy strange alien type things! The film is based on the Stephen King book 'The Mist' and was directed by Frank Darabont. I discovered while looking up actor names for this review, that the ending of the film is different to the ending of the book, which is interesting to know. The ending of this film is definitely the most powerful thing about it though, so the change may have been a good one. Recommended!
Since starting University I've become a lot more prone to snacking, probably because of the bizarre hours I seem to be awake as a student. Having also recently booked a holiday to Spain with two friends for the summer, I decided to start trying to be healthier so I can feel more comfortable on the beach. With both of these facts, the latest thing I picked up to try was a bag pack of Snack-A-Jacks.
When I was younger I hated the rice cakes that everybody seemed to be obsessed with. I always thought they tasted disgusting, and automatically assumed that Snack-A-Jacks would taste similar and I would hate them. However, knowing that they were much better for you than many other snack foods, I thought they were worth a try anyway.
I picked up a 6 pack of salt and vinegar to try, and was pleasantly surprised.
Snack-A-Jacks are available in most supermarkets and convenience stores. An individual pack would set you back around 50p. The packet which I bought cost just under £2 for a pack of 6.
As well as salt and vinegar there are many different flavours, including caramel, sour cream & chive, cheese and barbeque.
When opening the bag, there is a definite smell of salt and vinegar, although it doesn't smell too strong. The Snack-A-Jacks are circular shaped and crunchy to bite, but if you leave them on your tongue they will dissolve. The salt and vinegar flavour tastes like it is soaked into the snacks, although they taste quite light as well.
The packaging is a fairly attractive blue colour, and it states on the front that there is 7% fat per packet. The nutrition details on the back reveal that there are 89 calories per 22g bag and only 0.6g of salt, so I assume there is more flavouring in these than actual salt. They are suitable for vegetarians.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised when eating these. As I am a large snacker, this is something I can snack on when I'm a bit peckish, without all of the extra calories of a packet of crisps. Although saying this, I do not find them as filling as crisps, as they do feel a little like you're eating air. However, as a tasty and healthier alternative for a snack, these are definitely worth a try.
I came across Kate Voegele fairly recently, when I started watching the television show One Tree Hill. Kate features in the show from series 5 as an aspiring musician called Mia. After hearing her on One Tree Hill I was impressed and decided to look her up properly, and ended up buying her albums. 'Don't Look Away' is her debut studio album, released in 2007.
I am generally a big fan of what I call 'pretty music' with pianos and beautiful voices, and Kate fulfils this with ease. Her music is emotion filled, and the mix of guitars and pianos (sometimes with the inclusion of drums.) with her lovely voice makes this one of my favourite albums. Her voice is strong, and many of the songs you can find yourself relating to, and although it's not the perfect album, it's pretty close!
Track 1: Chicago
"Wouldn't I love just to rise above this, you gotta believe, I have suffered enough to be free"
This is a much more upbeat start to the album than I was expecting from this lovely lady. It's quite catchy in places, and has a nice up-tempo beat behind it, and despite being that bit more upbeat, still shows off Kate's voice. Like many of her other songs, it has some great lyrics and is an interesting start to the album.
Track 2: I Get It
"I was untouchable, until karma crashed my party, found out I'm crushable, oh. And I'm the only one who's sorry"
This track reminds me slightly of Kelly Clarkson, in both the way that Kate's voice sounds and the general style of the track, as it has a heavier beat to it and stronger guitars than the previous song. Despite this, Kate's voice is still wonderful, although her voice sounds slightly weaker in some parts of this song as it is overpowered by the music. In the more upbeat songs of the album, the sound tends to remind me of Kelly Clarkson, although I feel Kate has a better voice.
Track 3: Only Fooling Myself
"Well, now it's etched in stone that I can't survive alone, you have the missing piece that I need so desperately"
This is one of my favourite songs. It's catchy, yet slightly beautiful at the same time. It starts off quite slowly and gets more upbeat, first with just a piano as other instruments are added later. The lyrics are meaningful, and as with many of Kate's songs, seem to base around loving people. The lyrics are fairly sad, but the emotion of the song works in her favour, as always.
Track 4: Top of the World
"You're on top of the world and if you're thinking I've been blinking while you're breaking the rules, don't that make you the fool?"
This sounds like a delicate song, which it is for the most part. The chorus is fairly catchy and she makes great use of her wonderful voice and her ability to write meaningful lyrics. This is another song which I love a lot, as it goes back to the 'pretty' music that I like, although with a bit more of a beat.
Track 5: One Way or Another
"She's a mastermind. She'd cheat and lie to get you to love her. Who's the victim if it doesn't make a difference now? I'll be gone one way or another"
This isn't one of the strongest tracks on the album. As much as I love this album as a whole, and the more I listen to it, the more this song grows on me, it's definitely not a favourite of mine. I don't know why though, it's just not in the same league as some of the better products of this album! Despite this, it's upbeat, a bit of fun, and has some typical Kate Voegele lyrics. It's just not something which I expected to hear on this album, and doesn't show her voice off very well.
Track 6: It's Only Life
"Don't look away, don't run away, baby it's only life. Don't lose your faith, don't run away. It's only life."
This song IS beautiful. Her voice sounds incredible, and there is a magical sounding piano in the background throughout the song. The lyrics are uplifting, giving the impression of somebody always being there for you, even if it seems like you're by yourself and nothing is that important to let it affect you too badly. This song shows all the reasons why I love Kate Voegele, and this would be the song I recommend people listening to, to get a taste of what wonderful things she is capable of. This is definitely my absolute favourite song off this album, and one of my favourite ever songs as well.
Track 7: Might Have Been
"I hope it's alright if you're still mine when we're older, Cause I won't spend another day wondering what might have been"
This song is generally difficult to comment on. It's not a bad song, but it's not something which makes Kate shine either. Compared to the song before and after this, it's not a great song. On its own however, it has some good lyrics, and has a nice upbeat feel to it. The fairly harsh sounding guitars and drum beat wasn't something I appreciated in this track, and left me not liking it too much.
Track 8: Facing Up
"I'm beggin' myself to make something of it, I give up still unable to comprehend, my own true will..."
The thing I love most about Kate, is the ability to relate to her songs. Not only is her voice lovely, but her lyrics always have some meaning behind them, and many of them manage to sum up how I'm feeling at different times. This song is no exception. The lyrics and voice are perfect, the music in the background features a mixture of pianos, drums and guitars, making this song a perfect mixture for me!
Track 9:No Good
"I know I should have thought before I had done, I've gone and let my impulse be my guide, and on that note I'll be defenseless for some time"
This song is about loving somebody whose bad for you - something which I'm sure many people can relate to. The lyrics are perfectly spot on for the subject matter, and make it a very likeable song. The song is slightly heavier than some of her others, as well as being upbeat, but this is probably my favourite upbeat song on the album, as her voice is strong and so are the lyrics.
Track 10: The Devil In Me
"Far in the distance, this is the view from the other side, how did I let this pass me by?"
Once again, this is a song based around difficulties in love. What I love about Kate, is she can sing about things like this on a few tracks without it getting frustrating. Her songs have relevance and always have a meaning behind them that people can relate to, and this is no different. I love the way this song, although looking at how her heart is struggling, does it in an upbeat way, showing emotion but sounding more fun as well!
Track 11: I Won't Disagree
"Well don't be shy, I've got an open heart and hand. And I just might have to confess just where I stand"
This song is quite delicate, but with drums and guitars as well. It sounds quite pretty, and her voice is beautiful as always, but it just has that added catchy chorus to make it into a slightly different song. The lyrics are lovely, and the music is quite catchy as I always find this stuck in my head!
Track 12: Wish You Were
"Coz I've seen your act, and I know all the facts, I'm still in love with whom I wish you were, It ain't hard to see, who you are underneath, I'm still in love with who I wish you were."
Definitely another favourite of mine, this song sounds beautiful and the lyrics are very meaningful. Being in love with the way someone you know used to be is something that many people can also relate to. Kate portrays it beautifully in this song, as it's poignant, pretty and meaningful throughout. I can't really give this song enough praise, as although it's not my favourite, it's very close, and is an amazing song.
Track 13: Kindly Unspoken
"Kindly unspoken, you show your emotion, silence speaks louder than words, it's lucky I'm clever, but I should have none known better, I'd believe only that which I'd heard"
This is my other favourite off this album. Once again it shows everything I love about Kate Voegele in one song. This is purely a piano, and Kate's voice, and it sounds beautiful. There is no other track which shows her voice so clearly, proving what a lovely singer she is. I love piano music anyway, but this just works so incredibly well together, I was amazed.
Overall, I'm a huge Kate Voegele fan, and this album is definitely worth listening to. If you like 'pretty music' as I call it, with a lovely female voice and pianos, it is definitely something you would appreciate.
I personally find that there is something almost therapeutic about this album, as every time I listen to it, I seem to calm down and get pulled into the lyrics and lovely sounds.
For anyone who watches One Tree Hill and didn't realise Mia was actually Kate Voegele, an actual singer, you'll find some of the songs on this album very familiar as they feature in One Tree Hill as Mia's songs!
I would definitely give this album 5 stars, as although it may not be everybody's taste, I cannot fault her voice at all, nor the lyrics which she provides.
Coming of Age is a teenage sitcom on BBC three which has just started it's second series. I came across it randomly one day on the television, and now the second series has just began, I remembered really enjoying it.
Set in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, Coming of Age follows the lives of 5 main teenagers in a sixth form college. Throughout the show we mainly see the characters exploring sex, losing virginity and other normal teenage issues. The main thing the show focuses on however, is sex.
The characters in this show are actually quite annoying, and the show has a certain type of fairly 'teenage' humour to it. It's a fairly over-the-top look at sixth form at times, but it's fun to watch nevertheless.
The show generally focuses around the school premises, as well as one of the main character's sheds, and sometimes the pub.
Anabel Barnston plays Chloe, a very innocent girl who looks up to her parents a lot. Chloe comes across as fairly naive, but it isn't annoyingly so, as it contrasts well with the sex-driven nature of most of the other characters.
Tony Bignell plays Matt, Chloe's love interest. He has elements of a typical boy, being very interested in sex, but he also tries to make Chloe happy throughout the show, which is nice to see.
Hannah Job plays Jas, the complete opposite to Chloe. She comes across as fairly uncaring, loud and sometimes obnoxious. She is a very annoying character for most of the show, although we do see a slightly softer side to her sometimes when viewing her interesting relationship with Ollie.
Ceri Phillips plays Ollie, is obsessed with Jeremy Clarkson for some fairly unknown reason. Some of the action in this series takes place in Ollie's shed, which has a sofa in it to make it a bit like a den. Ollie comes across as cocky at times, but is a bit of a softie at heart.
The final teenage character is DK played by Joe Tracini. He is one of the easiest to laugh at as he does so many stupid things. He fancies himself as a ladies man but isn't as amazing as he thinks he is.
Coming of Age is very easy to watch. Although I find it very enjoyable, I think it depends very much on your age. Teenagers and people who have recently grown out of their teenage years will appreciate what the characters are going to, and be able to laugh at the situations they find themselves in and the similarities to things they may have gone through. Older people may not find this very funny, as it is very crude at times and is pretty much based around teenage sex, although it is not too graphic overall.
Most of the jokes are very simple, and there is some slapstick comedy in there as well, with people falling over and doing stupid things throughout the show. Many of the episodes feature things relevant to today's society and teenagers, making it a much more teenage programme than anything else.
The first series of Coming of Age is currently available on DVD, although I would recommend watching an episode or two on BBC iPlayer first to make sure you enjoy it! The second series is currently showing on BBC3.
Overall, this show is very much a matter of opinion. Some would love it and some would hate it, it very much depends on your taste and sense of humour. As long as you take it for what it is - a silly comedy show about sixth form and the problems they face and bizarre things that teenagers get up to!
One of my favourite film genres is definitely the musical. What is there not to love about lots of singing and dancing with a usually happy storyline? Although including the dancing and singing, the plot which Fame follows has many ups and downs making it less of a happy storyline and more of a gritty film which covers a broad range of issues unrelated to the performing arts school in which it is based.
Fame was released in 1980, with the television show and stage musical following afterwards, as well as the 2009 remake which I am yet to see. It is quite simply about a performing arts school in New York, following a group of students throughout their time there, from the auditions to their graduation in senior year.
The film is split into auditions, freshman year, sophomore year, junior year and senior year, with each part featuring the same characters and how their lives and careers are coming along. As well as dealing with the pressures of trying to make it as a famous actor/musician/dancer, it also covers more serious issues such as homosexuality, racism and weight issues.
Depending on what you are expecting, this film can either be amazing or a huge disappointment. The actors which appear in this film are excellent at portraying their issues and insecurities in what they are trying to achieve, and it is easy to feel for them as they face so many challenges. However, as the film time is split between the four different school years, there is not a lot of screen time for each year or each character. Despite this, I got into this film very easily and found it easy to follow what was going on.
The chemistry between the characters is good, especially between Ralph (Barry Miller) and Doris (Maureen Teefy) and it is interesting to see how their friendship progresses throughout the four years and how both characters change dramatically. I particularly love the character of Leroy (Gene Anthony Ray) who although coming across as difficult to start with, turns out to be an interesting character to watch.
Watching Fame, it screams 80's movie, as we take a look at the interesting choices in fashion from the time and the way in which some things are interpreted. Even though it is from the 1980's, the film definitely still has its relevance, especially in some of the more serious things it covers.
One of the biggest things to come out of Fame is in fact the leading song by the same name. Regardless of whether you have seen the film, almost everybody seems to know and recognise this song. This film, of course, also features the famous dancing in the street scene, which is also well known because of its relation to the song. Definitely something which you tend to find yourself singing along to whether you mean to or not!
The film is a lot darker than you may expect, making it obvious why the film is a 15. Despite this it is quite fun to watch and definitely worth it if you enjoy musicals, and even if you don't. There is something in this film for everyone.
Being a huge fan of Frankie Boyle on Mock the Week and when he appears on shows such as 8 out of 10 Cats, I thought his DVD was worth a watch and asked for it for Christmas. On Mock the Week Frankie always comes across as the funniest, although the most crude. His jokes are funny and to the point, but almost always offensive to someone. However, the fact that he doesn't care about what people think makes him even funnier sometimes, and he appears as a well loved favourite to Mock the Week fans.
As I settled down to watch it, I found myself getting bored quite quickly. As much as I love comediennes, the jokes which Frankie were telling were things which I had heard before. Being Scottish, many of Frankie's jokes seem to incorporate this into them, as well as celebrities and the world in general. Almost everything featured in the DVD can be heard elsewhere on shows like Mock the Week. Although a joke is a joke, and I can quite happily watch re-runs of Mock the Week from time-to-time when they're on other channels, I was disappointed that there was nothing new coming through.
Frankie spends a lot of time interacting with the audience. Although this is a good thing, as it technically shows he can work on command, the things which he says to the audience are somewhat unnecessary and it feels as though instead of talking to them, he is just trying to ridicule and embarrass them in front of the rest of the crowd. However, this section was also a fresh look at Frankie Boyle, and it was nice to see something which seemed less scripted, and was less familiar.
Despite the fact I had heard many of the jokes before, Frankie Boyle is still a very funny man as long as you are not easily offended by...well, anything really! Strangely, this DVD is probably better suited if you haven't seen that much of his material before, because if you are a fan like me, and have seen most of the episodes of Mock the Week, you may find yourself disappointed with the repetitive jokes.
The jokes don't link on to each other either. Although one-liners are funny, the way in which Frankie delivers them makes them tedious sometimes, as there is no story to anything, just an endless list of jokes, making it sometimes difficult to follow.
Although I don't really have an issue with offensive jokes in general, sometimes Frankie goes too far. He is well known for this, but sometimes jokes about things such as Down's syndrome and rape can be difficult to listen to.
Overall, I was thoroughly disappointed with this DVD. I am also slightly frustrated, as I have tickets to see him in June and assume that this live show will be similar, in being a mixture of old jokes. Frankie Boyle seems to have a better place in television than as a stand-up, making me think that maybe it is a good thing that his final tour is the one he is doing this year. If you want a good stand up DVD, this probably isn't for you, especially if you're an avid watched of Mock the Week. For 'funny Frankie' you're probably better off with one of the Mock the Week DVD's instead.
Set in Brighton, Sugar Rush looks at the life of Kim Daniels (Olivia Hallinan) a 15-year old lesbian who has just moved to Brighton from London. As if the upheaval isn't enough of an issue, Kim finds herself falling in love with her best friend, Sugar. Sugar, however, is somewhat of a promiscuous lady, always talking to Kim about her latest conquest.
Olivia Hallinan as Kim works wonderfully, as you get a mixture of innocence and confusion through with her obvious sexual feelings towards Sugar. Her moments of happiness mixed with her moments of intense sadness make interesting watching, and really bring the character to life.
Lenora Crichlow plays Sugar, a fairly self-obsessed and seemingly straight girl, who becomes Kim's best friend. Sugar becomes aware of Kim's deep feelings for her, and uses them to her advantage. Sugar gets herself into trouble frequently, not seeing any issues with shoplifting.
What I love most about this show is the mixture of comedy and drama that features throughout. Despite the funny moments, there are some very poignant scenes also, giving the characters more depth. Full of teenage angst and underage drinking, drugs and sex, Sugar Rush shows an extreme side of teenage life.
Seeing both Sugar and Kim worry about things such as losing their virginity, relationships and family issues reminds us that they are only teenagers after all, although the life that they seem to lead can sometimes indicate otherwise.
Kim's mum, Stella, played by Sara Stewart, comes across as everything a mother shouldn't be. She drinks too much, is never seen without a fag in hand, and also runs off with the handyman working in their house. However, despite this, Stella causes amusement throughout the show, while still having some more serious moments come her way.
Another interesting character is Matt, Kim's brother, played by Kurtis O'Brien. Matt is fairly strange, believing he is actually from another planet, and throughout the first series you see him painting himself different colours and living with a goldfish bowl on his head. In the second series, he suddenly transforms himself into a cross-dressing goth, although his family don't particularly react to this.
In series two, we get a better look at Kim. She's seems perfectly happy with the way things are, 18 months after the first series left off. Kim's found herself with a proper girlfriend, enjoying her lesbian life. However, will everything be as happy when Sugar returns?
Kim's girlfriend, Saint, is played by Sarah-Jane Potts. I realised when re-watching the series recently that Sarah is currently in Waterloo Road, playing a French teacher! Saint owns a sex shop and meets Kim by chance one day. Their relationship doesn't always go according to plan, but it is clear that they like each other a lot, making complications in the show. Saint is an interesting character, especially as she is the first 'proper' lesbian we see in the show.
Sugar Rush is based on two books by Julie Burchill called 'Sugar Rush' and 'Sweet.' Having not read the books, I don't know how close any of the tv series is, but I am planning on picking up the books at some point now I have reaffirmed my love for this show.
I can't exactly put my finger on why I love this show so much. I watched it when it first came out, and found it amusing but was too young to truly appreciate it, however a few years later I'm finding it more interesting to watch and try and understand the characters and what they're going through.
Both series one and two end on slight cliff-hangers, which makes series two even more frustrating, as Channel 4 have no plans for a third series! Considering the long break since the last series, I doubt there ever will be a third series now, which is disappointing, but at least I have all the dvd's to compensate!
Some parts of the series can be fairly erotic and sexual, which makes this generally unsuitable for anyone under 18, although thinking back, the first time I saw this series I must have been about 13 or 14.
The extras on this dvd are fairly amusing but nothing special, with outtakes, deleted scenes and commentary for some of the episodes. They're fun to watch the first time, but I wouldn't watch them again after, as I would with the episodes themselves.
Overall, this may not being everybody's choice in programme, but I think it's worth trying regardless. It's nice to watch something a bit more risqué than your usual shows, and I think Channel 4 did well on bringing this to our televisions. It's not suitable for children, and covers some interesting topics but in a not too serious way.
As if I didn't already have enough things on the internet to distract me, a friend of mine recently enlightened me on something quite fun and brilliant called 'stumbleupon', a website which he uses when he's at work, as he never seems to do any actual work.
Already wasting lots of time on sites like Facebook, and of course dooyoo, I was reluctant but slightly intrigued but what he called 'the ultimate internet time-waster and addiction.' After spending a couple of days on the website, I have to say I agree.
The version of stumbleupon which I use is purely the website. There is a button 'stumble' and once pressed, you get taken to a random website on the internet that other 'stumblers' have recommended! Once there, a little toolbar appears at the top of the page, which has the 'stumble' button, meaning you can keep pressing this and being taken to many a different website for hours on end.
Having Google Chrome instead of Mozilla Firefox, I don't know if you can actually download the toolbar as such on Google Chrome, but it seems you can, or at least could on Firefox and possibly Internet Explorer. However, considering the temporary toolbar which appears at the top when you enter the stumbleupon site, I don't see not being able to download it an issue as it is easy to use regardless.
Now I know stumbleupon sounds like a fairly pointless website so far - which I suppose it is! But it's also extremely entertaining. In the days when I've come back from a lecture at Uni and don't feel like doing anything, but can't focus on a film or anything, I feel this would be perfect. The different websites which you can stumble upon can contain so many different things, it's hard to get bored. You can change your preferences so if you want to see things specifically about 'Psychology' for example, then you can.
If you sign up to the website you can save your preferences, and get given a wider choice for what kind of random websites you would like to be shown, making it less likely of you getting something which is of no interest at all to you. On top of this, as other uses rate things they have stumbled upon either good or bad, you aren't going to get any old rubbish from the internet thrown at you.
The concept of this website is so simple, and makes browsing the internet a lot more enjoyable, as you come across so many random things. One of my logged interests is something like 'Photography', I believe, and I've seen some beautiful pictures whilst using stumbleupon. Another one of my interests is something like 'internet games' and every now and then it comes up with random games and puzzles that it thinks I should try - wasting a bit more time!
You can favourite sites, review them, even share them with your facebook and twitter friends. In general, this site is fairly pointless, but incredibly amusing. It sounds simple, and I guess searching random things in a search engine would do the same thing, but I like the ease of this website. If you've got five minutes and nothing to do - click on stumble. Something is bound to amuse you, and you won't be disappointed!
I recommend this website if you enjoy wasting time on the internet, or like my friend, want something different to distract you from your work! It sounds silly, it is. However, it's worth trying, just to see what randomness you uncover!
I only really became aware of John Barrowman after seeing him in Doctor Who. He was a good actor, and fairly attractive, and from there my love for him grew. My parents being fully aware of this, bought both 'Anything Goes' and his latest book 'I Am What I Am' for me for Christmas.
'Anything Goes' is Barrowman's first autobiography, taking a look into his past, rather than the present. The book is split into 19 different chapters, each with a title of a song that Barrowman felt related to his life.
The reason I love this book so much is it is not done in chronological order. The book darts around, having little childhood stories link onto things which happened years later. The way it's written makes it feel more like you're sitting having a conversation with him, rather than reading his book. Despite the mixture of stories, it isn't at all difficult to follow, and all the stories link together in different ways.
Taking a look into the different parts of Barrowman's life was genuinely interesting. He delves into different parts of his career, covering the theatre, his solo albums and of course his success on television. Each with little funny stories about the different parts of his life.
We get introduced to his family, and take a look at his friendships and relationships, each with a lot more honest open writing than would have been expected. Many emotions are portrayed through this book, as happy and sad moments are recalled in the perfect amount of detail. Having read a fair few autobiographies in the past, this is definitely my favourite so far. The way it is written keeps you captivated, and I finished this book within two days.
In the back of the book is a chronological list of the different points of his career. From this list, and a brief mention of it in the book, I found that he performed in 'Beauty and the Beast' which I saw many years ago, causing me to look in the programme I bought from that show. It turns out I saw him perform as the Beast when I watched it and although I didn't know who he was when I saw it, it makes me happy to think I've seen him perform in something live!
There are footnotes featured throughout the book, explaining extra things (such as Scottish words which you may not have heard of) and sometimes giving short explanations of things or reassuring you that some things will later be explained. These footnotes once again make it feel less like a book and more like having a conversation with someone, as they give extra details or humorous comments which you would not expect in a book.
The book has been put together by Carole Barrowman, his sister, meaning that the writing is not solely John's, although you can hear his sense of humour and honesty in most of it. The pictures which are featured in the middle of the book are fun to look at, showing John from when he was little to the near-present day. The pictures add to some of the stories which are in the book, sometimes giving evidence that the things written about did actually happen.
Overall, I love this book. I've found it easy to read, and interesting. Despite all the things that Barrowman has achieved in his life, he doesn't take any of it for granted and you can see from the rest of the book how he has worked hard for everything he has. Although I loved him before I read this book, I like him even more now, and I would recommend this book for any fan of his! Now I'm off to read the next one!
Being a lover of anything cute and fuzzy, Happy Feet definitely appeals to my inner child. Having seen it countless times before, and it being on TV for Christmas, I can never watch this film too many times as it always makes me feel happy!
Mumble is an emperor penguin. Emperor penguins are supposed to be born to sing - but Mumble can't. The talent which he has is instead tap dancing. However, as all the other Emperor penguins can sing, Mumble finds himself cast out and alone. On his way he finds some new friends who help him on his quest to find his fellow Emperor penguin, Gloria, who he is in love with. However, he once again gets sent away, and goes on a different quest to discover why there is a shortage in fish.
Happy Feet is the kind of film which cheers me up instantly. What is there not to love about singing and dancing penguins?! Although it is good for children, there is also enough of a story to keep adults interested. Especially with the inclusion of how humans over-fishing can be dangerous for other species.
Many famous names are involved in this film, including Elijah Wood as Mumble, and Brittany Murphy as Gloria. Mumble is a lovely character because he is cute and innocent, but also quite smart and a genuinely lovely penguin. The way you see him change throughout the film is lovely, as he never gives up on what he believes in, including Gloria. The dancing which he does is amazing and the animation that must have gone into the dancing is incredible.
The story itself is very inspiring and for children, would probably be a good way of showing that being different isn't a bad thing. It's also a lovely way of showing that if you want something bad enough, you can get it, as Mumble tries to prove that his dancing skills are just as useful and magical as the rest of the Emperor penguins' singing skills.
Overall, this is a lovely film which I could watch over and over again. The penguins are cute and fluffy, and the story has emotional bits and fun bits as you watch, and sometimes worry about what Mumble is going through. There is, of course, a love story involved between Gloria and Mumble, but throughout the film it leaves you wondering whether or not they will have their chance to be together. Some parts of the film are a bit slow, but the good quality animation makes up for that.
The animation is much better than I would have expected, as although the penguins are not the ultimate realistic penguin, they are quite close to it, and look just about right for what you would expect. However, they look fluffy enough to want to stroke them, which is always a plus, as who doesn't love a fluffy little penguin! Instead of just animated humans, you also get real humans in some of the scenes, which is nice, but a bit strange considering the rest of the film is made of animations. However, it still works well, and doesn't detract from the general way the film works.
Children will love it because of the singing, dancing, fluffy penguins, whilst adults can appreciate the more serious story of a lack of food for penguins and parents can also take the chance to teach their children about being different, and being appreciated. Definitely a must watch family film.