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This is a very good film and it is such a great DVD. The film is a story of a small group of US soldiers in WWII sent to find a Private Ryan who is to be taken home, as he is the last of several children from the Ryan family who went to war. The film has some very detailed scenes with a lot of action and the DVD makes the very best of these. With a sharp 16:9 picture and the best Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack I have heard with bullets flying everywhere and explosions rocking the room. The opening "Beach" scene is great but I think the later "final assault on the bridge" scene, is better with a very good workout for your sub woofer. The extras are a little thin with just a couple of trailers and a documentary but overall an epic that every self respecting DVD owner should buy.
First I would like to say where I got the title from. An NTL engineer actually used I as we were discussing the state of the Customer Service Centre. Now if even their own engineers are against them how can they hope to win? Now NTL are a company that offer many different products at a very reasonable price. These include TV, Phone and Free or Broadband Internet Access. They have just launched their triple digital pack witch includes 1 Phone Line, Base Digital TV Pack (including Sky One and E4) and a 64 Kbps (Always On) Cable Modem all for £20.99 a month. Now from the above this seems to be a good deal and it is, but if you can get it installed with no problems you will be VERY LUCKY. I will tell my story from the start and let you make your own minds up about the company. It started a long time ago (in a galaxy far far away... sorry) when NTL first put cable down my road. They made a big mess but lucky I was away on holiday so it did not affect me. We signed up almost instantly as my dad works from home and the cheaper telephone calls seemed a good deal (as well as the free installation). We also went for the Basic TV, which was great. No trouble there with the whole lot installed with no problem. We remained with NTL for over 2 years only adding the Sports channels to our package with no problems. That was until about 1 year ago when NTLWorld was launched (a free 0800 ISP service). We decided to get another phone line installed. This went semi-well with little problems. We stayed like this till Digital TV arrived when we decided to have it installed. There would be no installation charge as we had been NTL customers for many years. We phoned up to get it installed to be told that we would be sent the relevant forms. Two weeks later no forms, so we phoned again and after a little shouting we had an engineer out the next day. The installation went OK but then we found that we could not tape from t
he Digibox. It turned out that the engineer had plugged the scart leads in all wrong. This was not a problem as I know how to set that sort of thing up, but it could have been a big problem for anyone who does not have a clue with technology. Recently we decided to change to the Triple Digital Pack as above, and had an engineer come to put a line in. The only problem was that we wanted the line put in upstairs above the carport. He said he was not allowed to climb on the carport as he was not insured (fair enough) but if we wanted to we could pass the cable though to him once he had drilled the hole (from inside to outside). This was no probs as I knew it would take my weight as I had just been up there to replace a panel. Once the wire was in he started connecting it to the box. He then told us that the guy who had installed the TV had done a rush job and not installed the correct splitters. This was not a problem as he had a splitter on him but if he had not had one he would have had to drive back to Luton (25 miles) to get one. Anyway once installed he checked the line quality and everything was fine. He then offered to connect a digital radio lead up as well so we could get a digital radio signal in the bedroom. It was just a simple wire but a very nice offer above his job. I also mentioned some drop out problems with the TV, which he checked. It turned out that the guy who installed the TV had done it all wrong and that is why the TV was dropping out. Well up till then it was not to bad, but then the fun started. As he was just an engineer to install the line he did not install the cable modem for us. We opted for a USB modem as it was easier to install and also I already have a home network and did not want to install another network car if I could help it. So after the engineer left we phoned NTL to get the address registered. They said leave it on for 10 minutes and then all of the lights on the front will come on. Well af
ter 1 hour not lights. WE phoned NTL again and after a 10 minute hold were though to the call centre who forwarded us to the Cable Modem tech support. 45 minutes later (at 3p a minute) we were though. Now a company who supply the lines should be able to provide a free phone number I think. Anyway they said they were having problems with the registration and it would be solved soon. Two days later and about 1 and half hours of waiting we were told the problem was sorted. But guess what it still did not work. Another hour of waiting and it turned out they had not even attempted to register us the first time and had just fobbed us of with the old "wait ten minutes" speech. Well finally it got working and guess what it crashed our system every 20 -25 minutes. I won't bore you with the tech details but it turns out the USB modems are crap and cause many many problems. So I connected it though the Ethernet card already installed in my computer and it worked fine and still does. So it took about 3 hours of calls 4 days and several heated conversations and all they needed to say is that USB modems are crap. Well now everything is working I am happy. But I believe if a company can run like this in today’s market that there are some serious problems. Unfortunately there is no alternative. I if went with BT and Sky I would 1. Pay More, and 2. Not get Broadband Internet access as ADSL is still at least a year away (well from most of us anyway). NTL used to be very good at customer services but it seems that they just don't know the meaning of the words these days. Addition 3 weeks later; Everything still working but I thought I would add something after getting off the phone with NTL. I wanted to cancel call waiting (as they have started charging for it) but every time I ask they say they have done it and then I get the bill and it is still there. I don't know if it has been cancelled this
time but if it has not I will be very angry. NTL just keep getting me more p*****d off.
I was searching for a new phone as my present contract was coming to an end. So I took the task of searching the Internet for a new contract phone. Now I can say that I have used every search engine and every shopping assistant around to look for a new phone and the best I found is www.mobileshop.com. I will break this review into different sections: 1. The Website 2. Product Range 3. Prices 4. Customer Service 5. Delivery The Website As this is the first thing that you see it is vital that it is easy to navigate and shows all the information. And I can say that it is a very nice site. There is an extensive navigation bar down the left hand side and the content is shown on the right. The site is split into lots of sections but the main ones are the different service providers sections (one2one, btcellnet etc). Each of these sections has a list of tariffs and a list of phones available on that network. The Pay as you Go and Contract phones are both displayed. All of the latest information and special offers are also displayed on this page. Clicking through from this page will get you either more information on the phones or tariffs. At each stage of the site there is a "More Info" link where needed and this opens a new window with more information. One thing I will say is that there is a lot of information on this site. For example there is about three times as much information on the phones as on any manufactures site. There is also a lot of information on the site regarding number transference from other networks and network services, much more than even the network providers sites. Overall: Very Good Product Range The site has a very extensive range of contract phones, but less Pay as you Go phones. This is probably because of price rises from the networks on Pay as you go, limiting the profits that can be made. However if you are
looking for a contract phone the range is the largest I have seen. They have almost every phone on every contract. Obviously some phones are not available on some networks, but if it’s available then it is most likely there. As for availability they seem to run out of phones quite often but do get stock in very often and so you can normally get the phone when you want it. Overall: Very Good Prices Now price is normally the main factor when buying a phone (or anything else) and mobileshop.com does not let you down. It has the best prices that I have seen anywhere (especially on one2one). Their Pay as you go phones are not the cheapest around but are competitive but the prices of new phones on contracts are good. One example is (the phone I got yesterday) The Sony CMD-Z5 at £19.99 on the cheap One2One contracts (Talk and Text £14.99/month and Anytime 75 £17.50/month) and free on the more expensive contracts. This is over £20 cheaper than any other site and about £80 cheaper than high street retailers. They also have a lot of accessories for sale (Although my phone came with everything included in the price, Car Charger, Hands Free, Car Holder, Cradle Charger), which are quite cheap. Overall: Very Good Customer Service The customer service is very good of what I experienced. I rang them as I wanted 2 phones (one for me and one for my bro) and wanted to see if I could do them at the same time (e.g. only give the details once). They answered quickly and were polite but informed me that all orders had to be done through the web site to keep costs down (and prices cheap). Very good but a little disappointing that telephone orders could not be taken but then I prefer using the web as it is more secure than a telephone line. Apart from that I have not had to deal with their customer service line as everything has bee OK. I would like to say here though that my phone
arrived with a fully charged battery and the SIM already activated. I do not know if One2One or mobileshop.com did this but it saved a lot of time setting up the phone. Overall: Good Delivery Delivery took 4 days, which is longer than a lot of companies who offer next day delivery, but I did not mind as there web site claims that most orders will take 4 days to arrive. I do not have a problem with companies who take longer to deliver than others as long as they tell you before hand, then it is your decision if you want to buy from them or not. The parcel came via Royal Mail Insured delivery, needing a signature (meaning that someone has to be in) but that is not a problem for most people. If it is I think they offer (don't hold me to this) to deliver your good to a work address, making delivery possible for all you hard working individuals out there. Overall: Exactly what they say: Good I hope that has given all the information needed. I can only praise mobileshop.com for its prices and service; my purchase has been trouble free. Now I only wish more online retailers could be this good!
This film is a bit of a contradiction. In other sci-fi films where the alien costumes are over the top, you can never believe that they are real. The costumes just look like costumes, and you never believe that they are people in the film. But fifth element is different. The style of the direction is similar to the other over the top sci-fi films but the story line is believable (almost). It starts of with Bruce Willis as a cab driver in the future where all the cars fly. You get given that he was an ex-military guy from his cool attitude and funky driving. He is then thrown in to the middle of a mission to; yes you have guessed it, to save the world from the one true evil. How does he do this? With the Fifth Element which is acutely a woman. He of course falls in love with this woman and we get the classic Bond style love story ending. The special effects are never over stated. Although very good they are never thrown in your face and instead used to emphasize the film instead of dominate it. The DVD is very good wit a great picture (2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen) and a great Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. The picture is very bright and colourful and shows how DVD should be. The sound is nice with all 6 channels used and as with any action film the bass is deep but controlled. It would have been nice to include a DTS soundtrack but we can’t have everything. The DVDs extras are good but not as plentiful as others out there. There is a Trailer and a 25-minute documentary, which is well made. There is also a hidden Trailer and stills from the film. To access then you need highlight the chapter’s option on the main menu (don’t press enter) and then press down. The cursor will move off the screen. Press enter and you will be presented with a still from the film. Then press left (another still appears) then right (another still) and then up (another still) and then down. The trailer will start. Both traile
rs are presented in widescreen and Dolby Digital 5.1. All in all a good film on a good DVD.
Friends was once in my top 5 TV shows. But now it will find it hard to be in my top 1000. The present series (Now on E4) is just not funny. I think that I have laughed about 4 times all series. I have laughed more in ER. I used to look forward to Thursday night with Friends to make me laugh and the ER to depress everyone again, but now I find myself not caring if I miss friends, in fact the only reason I continue to watch it is because ER follows. I think the main reason that it has lost its spark is the fact that the group are not together as much. I have very rarely seen all 6 of then on screen together. They have also split up Joey and Chandler meaning that any situations that are remotely funny seem very "set up" and that means that the jokes are far more predictable. I don't know if this is the end of Friends or just a slump that they will recover from, but until the writers and actors sort something out I will spend my time down the pub and just tape ER.
This film has been re-released in yet another 2 disc set DVD set. This does seem to be the craze at the moment but as long as they keep producing DVDs of this quality I will not complain. The film is based around a serial-killer who?s plan involves seven victims each of who is guilty of the Seven Deadly Sins. Two cops, one an experienced old timer who is about to retire and the other a ambitious young detective hired to replace him, team up to investigate these gruesome killings. Although the film is very deep and intense there were times where it just looked like the director was setting up for the big finish. The DVD as I mentioned is a 2 disc set with a great list of extras. They include, A commentary by David Fincher (Director), Brad Pitt (Actor) and Morgan Freeman (Actor) Exploration of the Opening Title Sequence (using multi-angle and multi-audio tracks) Animated storyboards Deleted scenes Alternate endings Production design Still photographs The DVD is presented in a 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen format with a crisp clear picture. The quality of the picture shows as a lot of the film is in darkened areas. The blacks show up clear with all the detail showing through. As expected with the 2 disc special editions around this film is presented in both Dolby Digital 6.1 EX format and also has a great DTS ES soundtrack. Both are used well with the sound complementing the film rather than overpowering it. This is a DVD that is worthy of a rent if not to be part of your collection with a deep storyline and a great transfer.
I must say that I am fully impressed with DVD. The great picture but most of all the amazing 5.1 sound and the chance to see outtakes and hear the director’s thoughts on the movie. But this DVD has none of the above. First I will mention that Dark City is not the best of films. It is OK but not worth running out to buy. The film is based around the lead character John Murdoch who finds himself in a strange hotel only to find that he has lost his memory and is wanted for several murders. While trying to remember what happened, he finds an underworld controlled by a group of "things" known as The Strangers who have the ability to change the city and its inhabitants while they sleep. The DVD however only takes a few lines to mention, 5 minute featurette, a trailer and only in stereo. No Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, no anamorphic picture and a useless list of extras. Now it is worth mentioning that the American (R1) version of this DVD has a full 5.1 soundtrack an anamorphic 2.35:1 and a 4:3 presentation and list of extras that a director would be happy with. This is an average film placed on a very very poor DVD. If you are considering buying it get the Region 1 version if at all possible otherwise you may as well buy the VHS copy.
This is yet again another DVD from Paramount that contains a very nice film with virtually no extras. The film is probably the best in the Star Trek catalogue and seems to be the only one liked by non-trekkers as well as the hard-core fans. The basic plot is set around the Borg (If you don't know who they are than you must have been on Mars for the last 10 years). Basically they travel back in time to take over the earth. The DVD is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen and gives a sharp picture and with a decent Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack the basics of the DVD are there. Although the sound is not the best around it does the job quite well. Unfortunately that is where the review almost ends, as the only extras to speak of are a theatrical trailer and a teaser trailer. That is all. No documentaries, no commentaries, and not even text based production notes. This is sadly where the DVD is lacking. Overall a good film with the basic elements done well but let done by the lack of extra features.
Now here is a bit of an unusual film. It stars the world famous Arnold Schwarzenegger but this time he is in a role where the film revolves around the plot rather than how many people he can kill. The film itself is set on the eve of the millennium. Satan is roaming the Streets of New York in order to mate with the chosen girl who will be able to release him from his eternal prison. But he has to do it before the start of the new millennium. And guess who is there to stop him. The DVD is quite good but by no means the best around. It is presented in a 2:35:1 anamorphic widescreen format with a nice Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. The picture is nothing to write home about but more than acceptable for a DVD in today’s market. The extras include a theatrical trailer a documentary on the location & film highlights and mini sections on the special effects. This is a good film that has an original plot (well sort off) and has Arnie providing a good performance.
This is a film that I did not see until it came to TV. When I watched it for the first time I was impressed. It has all the basic making of an action film with a good level of humour in it as well. Ok your not going to be blown away by the plot (drugs stolen, cops want them back) but this is one of the better versions of that plot around. The DVD itself is quite good. The original had a nice picture quality with an explosive 5.1 Dolby Digital mix. The only place it lacked was the extras. The picture is not the best I have seen but is not the worst either. There is no noticeable problems but it does not strike you as much as say Gladiator. Presented in a nice 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer it is better for all you out there (like me) with 16:9 TVs. The CE puts this right with a decent amount of extras including, Commentary by director Michael Bay, a Theatrical trailer, a nice documentary entitled "Making the Boom & Bang in Bad Boys" and a very cool effects documentary with the Multi Angle feature used (YES you will get to use your multi angle button). It also includes some music videos and production notes. Although not a 2 disc special edition I think you will agree that the extras are plentiful. It is worth saying that the Region 2 Collectors Edition is the same as the Region 1 Special Edition. Overall a nice action film with good humour and presented on a very nice DVD.
I own a P Reg 1.1 Rover 100 Knightsbridge SE and I am not ashamed of it. As a new driver (I only passed my test in January) I have had the pleasure of driving several cars (My instructor changed his car half way through my lessons) and I can safely say that the Rover is the best of the cars I have driven. The first car I drove was a 4 door Corsa 1.2 V reg. This was a nice car to learn in but after a while I got a bit annoyed with the gear change and also the engine was not the most powerful. On about my 6th lesson the car broke down so for a couple of lessons after I had to make do with a 2 door loan car. Still a 1.2 but this time the gear change was even worse. It just refused to go into gear at some points unless the clutch was released and re applied (I know this sometimes happens but over 10 times in a 1 hour lesson....) Then he changed to a new Fiesta Encore with a 1.3 engine. I had read that these cars lacked a bit of power at high speed, and boy were they right. The car was great, with a nice gear change and good steering but once you hit 60 and went to fifth gear the car just stops accelerating. Well now back to the Rover. As I own this car I may be a bit biased but I do believe that it is the best car of the lot. For a start it has far less body roll than the Fiesta and a much nicer gear change than the Corsa. It also has more power than both the other cars, maybe not at low speeds but once to 60 it keeps going. The 1.1i engine is nippy but first gear can be a little relaxed but once in second at about 20 mph the power flows and it is comfortable there until about 35 mph. The only down point is the lack of power steering but that is only a problem when performing three point turns and reverse parks (which I am happy to say that I have not done since my test). Overall I am very happy with the Rover and I can say that I have had little trouble with it, with only a few minor problems.
A nice car that can rival any car in its class. Sorry for getting off the point at the start of the review but I believe the only way to rate a car is to compare it to others in its class.
I brought this DVD basically because it was cheap. I found it for £8 in a sale and thought it looked good. And I was right. The film is set in Chinatown where Nick Chen (Chow Yun Fat) is a top cop. He fights crime in every way. But when a new officer, Danny Wallace (Mark Wahlberg) is brought in as Nicks partner the trouble begins. I will stop there as if I go much further I will ruin the rest of the film. The acting is of a very high level and the directing is good. The action scenes are good if an under elaborate at times. The DVD is average with a nice 16:9 widescreen video transfer and a good Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. The added features are average with a "Making of", "Music Video" and the standard trailer. Overall a nice surprise that came from a good bargain. The DVD is not ground breaking but the movie is good and there are some special features.
Before I start I would like to say that I like this film. So if you want someone who picks at all of the flaws of this movie this review is not for you. Mission Impossible 2 is more like what the MI series should be Action. The first film had a complicated plot which did not even make sense at times but this film is a lot simpler and has the main element of and action film, lots of guns, cars a motorcycles. The plot is simple. A scientist makes a virus and an antidote. A pharmaceutical company want to release the virus so they can sell the antidote and become rich. And you guessed Ethen Hunt is sent to stop this happening. This film is a lighthearted action film and unlike its predecessor has an easy to follow plot with all of the key elements thrown obviously in your face. The DVD it's self is a very good presentation with a nice solid picture and a great 5.1 soundtrack. It also has an average amount of extra features including a funny take the mick of Tom Cruse and his so called "stunt double". Overall a good DVD worth seeing. The Region 1 and 2 copies are identical so where ever you can find it cheapest it does not matter which region you get.
The Samsung DVD 511 is basically the new Samsung 709. The 709 was a vey popular player due to a multi-region hack that was avalible. Well the 511 also has a hack and it is a lot better than the 709s. It is easy and only needs to be applied once. It is as follows; To make sure your player is in factory settings cold start the player Power on your player Press and hold both the Play and Stop buttons on the player (not the remote) After a short while you should be presented with a set of language options. Release the Play and Stop buttons on the player. Select the language To convert this player to Multi-Region playback Press the Repeat button on your remote control (not repeat A-B) Using your remote control enter the code 3,8,7,6 and 7 The code 02 should be displayed on the screen indicating this is a Region 2 unit. Press the 9 button on your remote control for Region free, or 1 for Region 1, 2 for Region 2 and so on. Press the Open button on your player Press the Standby button on your remote control. (NOTE: This is done using the remote supplied NOT an Awia remote as with the 709.) Once done there should be no problem playing regions 1 and 2 but that is all i have tested. Now on to the player its self. It is a standard player with few frills but the picture and sound quality are quite good. All the simple functions are there including variable speed fast foward and rewind and chapter selction and a stereo downmix of a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. It also has a zoom mode but the quality when zoomed in is very poor so it has little use. The looks of the player are simple and do not stand out but the functionality of the player is good with the main functions on the front of the player. The remote is simple but functional although some buttons are a bit oddly placed. This is my households second DVD player (it was free wit
h the TV) and i prefer my other player (Bush DVD 2002 see my review for more) as it has a slightly better picture and sound. This is a budget machine from Samsung and not the best around but the Multi-region hack should make it popular. (Note: The hack above works for my machine and no problems have persented themselves for the UK machines but some people have had trouble with gray imports. If possible buy the player from a store with a returns policy just in case the hack will not work.)
I ordered Gladiator about 2 months before release as I had seen it in the cinema and knew it was one to own. I opted for the Region 1 copy as it has DTE ES 6.1 (the R2 only has DTS 5.1). This is of no concern to me now as I only have a Dolby Digital 5.1 system but I do plan to upgrade later so I choose the Region 1 version. The movie itself is great with some moments that will make you really believe that it really happened. It looks so real. I will not go on about the movie too much as this is about the DVD as well. But on request here I go. (If you don't wish to know the plot skip out the following text and the next paragraph) The movie is exactly what it says it is. "A general who became a slave. The slave who became a Gladiator. The Gladiator who defied an Empire" The movie starts with a cool scene where Maximus (the general of the Roman army) leads his army to victory. But later when the emperor tells Maximus that he wants him to succeed him and not his son the trouble starts. The emperors son kills (Commodus) him and takes control of Rome and orders Maximus killed. He escapes but is then sold as a slave. He then is entered in some gladiatorial battles and works his way to the Roman games. Where he finally fights Commodus to fight for revenge and Rome. It has an amazing picture quality, the best of my collection. Presented in a nice 2.35:1 format. The sound also is amazing with, as I have stated DD 5.1 and DTS 6.1 soundtracks. Speaking of soundtracks the musical score is fantastic bringing all of the emotion to the surface at the correct times. This is a real estimate to DreamWorks that they fitted a 2 hour 35 mins film and 2 soundtracks on as well. This is the reason for the extras being on a second disk. And their are plenty of them, including deleted scenes (with commentary), 2 behind the scene featurettes and film commentary from Ridley Scott. Overall this is an amazing film and
an even better DVD which is why it is one of the best selling DVDs ever!!