- Premium reviews
- Express reviews
- Reviews rated
- Ratings received
Not my cup of tea was the first thought that sprung into my head when I saw the advert for this movie. Not being a comic book or a spiderman fan, I had to be persuaded to fork out the £3.50 (student rate) to go and see this. In the main, I was pleasantly suprised. The stunts and special effects really transformed Daredevil from the comic book to the screen. However, it?s not a movie I would like to see more than once. Daredevil is dark, brutal and bloody. And though the character comes from the Marvel comic stable, the movie?s tone and mood is far more similar to Tim Burton?s Batman. Screenwriter-director Mark Steven Johnson (Simon Birch) has created a nightworld dominated by thieves, murderers and rapists in which a lone vigilante fights the good fight. Daredevil prowls the rooftops and alleyways of New York?s Hell?s Kitchen, battling to keep it safe for its honest, downtrodden residents. By day, Daredevil is Matt Murdock, an lawyer who defends the helpless people of New York. By night, Murdock transforms himself into Daredevil to brandish his own style of justice. He is known as the man without fear and is not a superhero, even though he acts like one. Blinded as a young boy, his other senses have heightened to such an extent that they compensate for his lack of vision. He utilizes the skills he developed in his singular quest to make a difference. Daredevil is one of those films in which the obvious questions pop into your head as you are leaving the cinema. For example, if he?s only a poor lawyer, where did Murdock get the money to acquire all the cool gadgets he has in his apartment? And how can he afford such a place in New York. But this is comic book stuff - that sort of thing does not matter. Bottom line: Daredevil does entertain. The fight sequences and stunt work are first-rate, the film shows flashes of humour, hit and miss though it is. The movie?s main drawback, ironically, i
s its star Ben Affleck. Physically he seems built for the part, all buff and square-jawed, but Affleck is too bland, too much of a nice guy. Not a bad actor, but definately not suited to this part. Affleck lacks the charisma, the danger and the toughness required to convince the audience he is the real deal. Jennifer Garner, while eye candy in a variety of outfits, is also slightly out of place in this movie, I feel. However, Colin Farrell hits the mark as Bullseye, the hired assassin for whom any object can be transformed into a lethal weapon, while Michael Clarke Duncan retains the right amount of menace as the crime lord, Kingpin. Daredevil is not a family friendly adaptation such as Spider-Man. There is some intensity to the violence. This moody excursion is the forerunner for a posse of comic book characters due on the screen this year. Still to come, the X-Men sequel, X-Men 2, The Incredible Hulk and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Not sure yet how many of those I want to see yet. In summary, go see if you like superhero capers. Stay at home if you like films with a particularly clever and thought-provoking story.
Firstly, hi to anyone who remembers me from many months ago when I used to write quite a lot on this site. Right, Sainsburys - making life taste better? I have recently started to shop more regularly at Sainsburys and I generally think the quality of produce there, especially fresh stuff, exceeds any of the other main supermarkets. The fruit and veg is definately the best - both in choice and quality. I have had bad experiences at Asda where fruit has looked fine and then been rotten on the inside. No such problems here. You may pay a few pence extra (although not always and this does benefit the supplier somewhat) but I think its worth it. One possible exception in my store is the bananas which tend to be all too ripe for me - I like them green! Another aspect I enjoy about s'bry is the pizzas. Their own are good but I'm a huge fan of the pizza express pizzas which they stock. They really are gorgeous ableit slightly expensive at around £3.50 each. Definately a treat!! The problem with pizzas is that you cant seem to get the bargains of say Safeway where there is always some pizza you can pick up for a quid! The ready meals are definately better than their counterparts. I have sampled some Indian, Chinese, Italian, Traditional packaged meals and they really are good. Try the new crispy duck chinese thing! However, as seems to be a recurring theme, they are relatively pricey. The booze section is well stocked with enourmous variety in beer, wine and spirits. You can tell that they actually care about wine quite a lot and present an excellent range and information about them. Usually a lot of good offers on drink as long as you buy a reasonable amount. This new Nectar points scheme is another reason I am shopping more there now. I like the idea of being able to tally up your points at bp, barclaycard, etc. Ok, you might have to spend a heck of a lot to get decent rewards but it r
eally tallys quickly, especially if you buy items with extra points at Sainsburys. In summary, Sainsburys is definately the best quality supermarket I have shopped at. I think the price difference between here and other places is exaggerated. However, that said, I dont think it should be the choice if you are really on a tight budget. It seems to me that, like everything else, you get what you pay for. It is slightly more expensive but slightly better quality than its rivals. Definately a thumbs up from me!!
Many hundred moons ago, the Beast of Gevaudan was brutally savaging the peasant women and innocent children in the countryside of southern France. Director Chrisophe Gans's beast is a ludicrous creation, but it does a good job of representing the French guillotine glory days. Louis XV sends philosopher Fronsac (Samuel Le Bihan) and his Iroquois blood brother Mani (Mark Dacascos) to smoke the beast out of her cave only to stumble across a ludicrous web of spiritual-political twists and turns. You cant help get a feeling of outrageous trashiness from this film, which is in French with English subtitles. It is worth seeing, if simply for the epic adventure, but I dont think it means to take itself too seriously. Just one look at the monster, which is straight out of a 1960s low budget horror flick will show you exactly what I mean. Fronsac and Mani appear on the scene shortly after a womans spine is cracked against a Gévaudan cliff. Mani catches the attention of the towns most popular peasant woman, yet she is more interested in a couple of murdering French savages. The aforementioned wolf appears halfway through the film in all her digital glory. It scares the local children and has to choose between woman, lamb and dog (it chooses the woman). The film has the feel of a mish-mash of many different films - a kind of surreal , action adventure, mystery, erotic horror epic type thing. It is loosely gelled together with some dodgy politics underlining the plot. Some carefully constructed peasant deaths help hold the interest and it does raise the occasional smile with its low-budget feel and general ridiculiousness. However, if you dont go in expecting a serious adventure epic and are prepared to take the film with a pinch of salt then you will probably enjoy it - even with those damn subtitles!
Moulin Rouge took me by surprise. An old-fashioned musical full of surrealism and downright stupidity. Not my cup of tea - or so I thought! I found Moulin Rouge so bizarre and compelling that I wanted to watch it again. I think it has something to offer everyone. It pleases you and offends you at the same time. And you will struggle not to sing along! Interestingly, the songs in the film all rely on previous pop hits and not on newly written pieces. However, the added twists and quirks are enough to give them the effect they are there for. But the film really is a mish-mash of everything. The 20th century pop music are crazily combined with the 19th century nightlife settings and mixed in with a highly camp feeling and a hint of sentimentally. The humour in the film is excellent and there is one outrageous stunt after another to keep you on the edge of your seat. The two main parts are played superbly. Ewan McGregor plays a naive would-be writer called Christian who travels to Paris and ends up writing a SPECTACULAR play for the popular nightclub 'THe Moulin Rouge' His lines must have been easy since most of the dialogue comes from old pop songs. Eg' Love lifts us up where we belong! all you need is love!' The plot is nothing too special but remember that it is a musical and the name of the game is entertainment. In order to get the backing of the Moulin Rouge's owner, Christian must impress the Satine (Nicole Kidman) with his poetry. They fall in love but the satine has been promised to an unpleasant, wealthy duke (Richard Roxburgh) since he can provide the financial support for the club. But what makes this film is definately the music. The tango version of the police hit 'Roxanne' is majestic and the duet between MCGregor and Kidman which involves a medley of cheesy love songs is superb. Mouli
n Rouge really is an all-singing, all-dancing spectacular spectacular!!!
Upwords is scrabble with a pretty damn cool twist - You can play in 3D. I was introduced to this game last year by my girlfriend and have enjoyed playing it ever since (especially when I win). It works like so: Every player (up to four) has seven letters to start and the person who reckons they can build the longest word goes first. Words which are placed directly onto the board, without covering other letters, count for double. So if the starting word is 5 letters it will get 10 points, unless it contains a 'difficult letter' like q,j,x or z when it counts twice. The player would then pick up another 5 letters to replace them. the instructions for the game are well set out, and make this all clear. The next player has the option of adding to the word in a manner similar to scrabble and utilise the double points option , or build on top of the word where each letter in the 'pile' counts for one point. The next player can then build on top of that and so on until the pile is five letters high. The beauty of this is that you can alter words by putting down just a couple of letters in the right places, or even a cheeky s at the end, and you get more points than the person who wrote the word before you. As you may have guessed, the winner is the player with the most points at the end of the game. The end of the game happens when one player is out of letters or when everyone agrees that they cannot go. Each letter you are left with at the end takes 5 points off your score and the 'difficult letters' take 10 off. Yes, so its a good idea to get rid of those ones as early as you can!!! Depending on how many players you have, the game will take about one hour. I think the price of the board game is around 20 pounds and there is a cheaper travel version available, which is just as much fun, if a little bit more fiddley. IN summary, I highly recommend this game to anyone, especially if you are a fan of wo
rd games. I think most people enjoy scrabble, but I find it a little boring, Upwords adds that little bit extra which makes it that little bit more fun. Just make sure you decide who is going to clean it up at the end before you start!!!
Having been at uni for 4 years now and taken major exams for 7, I have had ample opportunity to finely tune my revision skills. Unfortunately I havent always taken that opportunity and have relied a little too much on the (debatable) grey matter between my ears and some cheeky short cuts here and there to get good grades. Not that I recommend this approach, but I will pass on some tips will help you in the lead up to your exams, regardless of how much work you have done (or not done) beforehand. They are all to do with improving how efficiently you study! 1. Make a Plan: This is the easiest thing in the world to do. Unfortunately, the hardest thing in the world is sticking to it. Nevertheless, it is worthwhile to take into consideration things like 'how long have I got until my exams?', 'which exams are going to need the greatest proportion of my time', and 'how much time is it actually possible for me to study in a day?' Once you have thought about this, make a plan and stick it up on your wall. If nothing else it will remind you that you should be studying! 2. Allocate time to each exam sensibly: A couple of times when I had a number of exams looming I would concentrate far too much on the early ones and far to little on the later ones with the result of some very inconsistent grades! It is important to devote time according to how much you feel you have to learn (see next point) about each subject and not according to which order they come in. Remember that when it comes to the space inbetween exams that you are usually drained from previous exams which makes it a little harder to study for the next one. 3. Decide how much work you really need to do: I dont think I have met a student who studied in detail the entire syllabus of a course at university. The goal is to study enough in detail so that you can answer as many questions as you need to. The trick here is past paper
s. Get the previous few years past papers and look at what the recurring themes are, if there are any patterns, what came up last year etc. Use this to skillfully judge which topics are likely to turn up this year and revise them in detail. Dont put all your eggs in one basket, but sensible selective revision is what carried me through so many exams. 4. Develop a study pattern: When it comes to exam period and lectures are not on anymore there is the whole day to devote to revision, IN THEORY! However difficult it is, it is always a good idea to keep to a sort of routine of studying. Ie/ Work hard in the morning from 9 till 1, take a break from lunch and then do a couple more hours in the afternoon. It is always better to get a few good hours done each day (see next point) than to stay in all day studying every now and then in between Kilroy and Neighbours. You can then take a few guilt free hours in the evening to go out and enjoy yourself. 5. When you are studying, study!!! I notice that a lot of people at uni, including myself sometimes, tend to waste a lot of time which they have devoted to studying. I dont mean by this going out with your friends or going to play football, I mean just sitting at your desk watching TV, reading a magazine, or staring into space. This is when you you really can improve your study efficiency. Schedule frequent short breaks so you can allow yourself to switch off for a while before getting back into it. For example, I used to work for 50 minutes and take 10 minutes off. Better that than spending half the time daydreaming. A good idea is to go over your notes from the previous hour as soon as you start again. So there you go, five points that may or may not help you to improve the efficiency with which you revise for exams. There doesnt seem much point in saying this but try to stay relaxed. GOOD LUCK!
Last month, I went for a terrific holiday with my girlfriend to the small, peaceful resort of Pefkos on the Greek island of Rhodes. I would highly recommend this resort to people who are more interested in relaxing than partying 24/7, although there is still ample opportunity to have a good time! If this sounds like the sort of holiday you may enjoy then read on and find out some more details. We travelled with Greek holiday specialists Kosmar. The price for each of us for a weeks bed and breakfast was 318 pounds. This is certainly a budget price but the standard of flights and accomodation certainly didnt make it feel like a budget holiday. The flights were roomy and comfortable for a change, with reasonable food and good entertainment. I think it was Air Iceland we flew with, and the flight time was a bearable 4 hours. Granted they were in the in the middle of the night and we arrived at 5am, but what do you expect unless you are prepared to fork out an extra tonne or two. We stayed in the Pefkos Beach hotel, which surpassed my expectations. A large room, ensuite bathroom, ample storage, fridge (extra), air con (extra), comfortable beds, a radio and, best of all, a balcony with a superb sea view! We did have to walk up a short, steep climb to get there, but it was well worth it for the views. The hotel is very centrally located with the nearest supermarket and resteraunt 30 seconds walk from the room. There is a pool with a poolside bar at the hotel which is very pleasant if slightly busy. The breakfast is served here and consists of bread with ham, cheese, jam or marmalade or a bowl of cereal. There is orange juice and some seriously suspect tea and coffee. This is probably the most negative aspect of the place. What can I say about the resort of Pefkos itself? It is hot, with temperatures in the high 30s in early September. Situated on the South of Rhodes it is one of the hottest Greek re
sorts so staying out in the sun all day is a bad idea. We tended to go into a nice cool cafe for a long lunch and bottle of Amstel in the middle of the day! The beach is one of the best on Pefkos, which doesnt say all that much for Pefkos's beaches. It was a long stretch of sand, sheltered by cliffs and a few pine trees dotted about. The sea got deep quite quick and therefore the water was a little cool. There are also a few rocks which you need to avoid when swimming. Lee Beach is a good cafe to head to right next to the beach for a light lunch or a drink when you are too hot. However, you will be spoiled for choice at night when Pefkos decides to come alive a little. Some of the places we ate included: Georges: Usual choice of Greek and International food and reasonably priced wine. Approx Cost of meal for two with wine 15 pounds Macedonia: Rooftop resteraunt with moody owner. Food reasonable but service poor. Approx Cost of meal for two with wine 14 pounds The little house: Small garden resteraunt. Delicious local dishes cooked in the traditional way. Be prepared to relax in the garden with a drink cos it takes them a while to prepare the food if busy. Approx cost of meal for two with wine 16 pounds The Coliseum: Excellent resteraunt with friendly quick service and delicious food and wine. Approx Cost of meal for two with wine 14 pounds. Enigma: Nice rooftop resteraunt with average service and good food and wine. Approx cost of meal for two with wine 15 pounds. These are just some of the resteraunts there. There are a good number with quite a bit of variation in the menus and these should be the focus of an enjoyable evening. There are a number of cocktail bars to head for before or after your meal. By far the best is The Peacock Bar which service huge cocktails for under 2 quid. You get lovely views from the rooftop garden and it gets quite lively later. P
efkos by Night is another good bar, which is probably the busiest in Pefkos. In summary, a great holiday for simply getting away from it all and relaxing. Not that much in the way of activities or nightlife but it was just my cup of tea. Give it a try sometime!
Oh you didn't realise? There is a new Crocodile Dundee sequel out at the cinema. It has kept quite a low profile but, having taking a couple of hours out of my life to watch it, I can see why. Mick's back (Paul Hogan), looking pretty fit for his age, yet still almost dead with his dialogue deliveries! And he has stuck with his previous co-star wife Sue (his real wife, Linda Kozlowski), living in a small village in the Australian outback. The novelty is their cute little son (Serge Cockburn). But as you can probably guess by the title, they dont stay in Australia for long! Sue gets a call asking her to work on a key reporting job in LA. Cue the stereotypical LA entertainments! Its theme parks, celebrities, and cowboy-themed gay bars!! Her story turns into an investigation of a suspect film company who keep making needless sequels (ring any bells?) in order to cover up their smuggling which goes on when the company films on location. Strangely enough, Mick starts hanging around with some of Holywoods elite and again becomes the star of the show through his Aussie ways. The Australian naivety jokes can only be taken so far, however. There is the dubious 'skunk bomb' incident, the inevitable gay bar scene and, worst of all, they repeat the mugging gag of Crocodile Dundee II (except its even less funny). But wait, there is worse to come, there is a guest appearance from Mike Tyson added in for good measure. Tyson also 'acted' last year in James Toback's Black and White. This time his job is to teach the Dundee's to meditate, with his delicate soft manner. I can hear you in stitches already. Maybe some will be taken by the simplicity of the film and the obvious gags, giving it the dubious tag of 'mindless fun'. But I say you have to draw the line somewhere, and the line goes right through the middle of this one. Overall, the message i
s so simple that Mick Dundee could understand it - stay away!!!
The Herald (or Glasgow Herald as it used to be known) has been my broadsheet of choice for a good few years now. As suggested by its former name, it is a Glaswegian paper but it is widely distributed across Scotland and even the rest of the UK. It has World and British news stories in conjunction with more specific Scottish and Glasgow news. The main reason I like this paper, apart from the quality of writing, is the balance it makes between the aforementioned news. It provides me with the latest World and British information in a similar style and manner to most broadsheets in the UK, yet has the advantage of providing me with the service of a more local paper with stories closer to home. The structure and appearance of the paper is very appealing, with clearly defined articles and an easily navigatable feel. Compared to other Scottish contempories such as the Press and Journal (Aberdeen) and even the Scotsman (Edinburgh), I feel this paper is ahead in this department. The coverage of events is top class, with excellent judgment on which stories to give priority to and which stories are dispensible or middle page news. The front page tends to have the well chosen main story in detail, with small snippets of information from other important news and where to turn if you want more information. The next 6-8 pages are full of predominantly British and Scottish stories which I have always considered as well-chosen and interesting. It does not dwell on politics like some papers and gives excellent coverage to areas which interest me, for example, science. Along the borders of these pages there is 'In Brief' news which are predominantly snippets of local information. I think that all British people could enjoy this paper, since the majority of the main stories are national news, with local stories taking a sideline. There then follows a section specifically on international news, which has a similar structure.
The following pages depend on the day of the week but tend to include specific features or sections on arts, theatre, health, cinema, comment, business and farming. The comment is always sensible and unbiased with a typical common sense approach. I would say the paper is reasonably central politically, but leaning slightly towards the right. However, dont quote me on this because politics has never been my strong point. There are a number of interesting daily features which I enjoy reading. I enjoy the humour of the columists Tom Shields and Ken Smith who tend to find the most ridiculous and odd news and add a typical Scottish humour to it. The letters chosen for publication are generally of good quality irrespective of viewpoint and there can often be some interesting debates between readers. The weather is a reliable and throrough local and world forecast as well as information about the last 24 hours. While the TV section is again well-structured and easily found on the second back page. The sport section is definately the best in any paper I have read - I am sticking my neck out on this one. Like all papers, the inevitable bias is towards football, but it is only slight and with an objective and factual review of the sport. It also gives other sports a fair bite of the cherry, with two of my favourites athletics and golf being well covered. Doug Gillen writes quality athletics articles which I enjoy reading thoroughly. I have very little criticism of the paper, otherwise I wouldnt be buying it. It perhaps has a slight Glasgow bias which is inevitable considering it is a Glasgow paper. However, I highly recommend the Herald for a well-balanced, thorough, informative, sometimes humorous review of current affairs. It costs 48p (although I get it for 20p as a student :-)) which is money well worth parting with - you will probably get more for a dooyoo opinion!!!
Despite the disgraceful performance of the Great Britain athletics team in Edminton this year, one athlete has consistently produced medals and records which we can all be proud of. Jonathon Edwards shot to fame with his outstanding world record of 18.29 metres in Gothenburg 1995 and, since then, he has won the Olympic Games and European Championships gold medals. He is also an excellent role model for aspiring young athletes in this country - his attitude is spot on! Edwards, the North-Easts first ever olympic champion, had been triple jumping for a fair while before he became a household name. He was competing internationally as far back as the 1988 olympics in Seoul. His first major medal came in 1990 at the Commonwealth Games with silver and he won the World Cup triple jump in 1992. He went to the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992 with high hopes of a medal yet failed to produce, an experience described by the man himself as his worst in athletics: "It was probably the worst period of my life in athletics. All my hopes and dreams had been blown out of the water." Yet he typified his dogged determination and spirit by bouncing back to win a bronze medal in Stuttgart in 1993 at the World Championships. He then repeated his Commonwealth silver in 1994 at Victoria. Yet with all these achievements behind him, nobody could have foreseen what was to come the following year. Edwards had been in scintillating form in the run up to the World Champs. He had already produced amazing performances which were well further than his previous bests. He knew himself that he was in great form but cannot fully explain why he jumped such an obscene distance. "I was running faster, I was stronger, I improved my technique but it did not add up to what happened. It was still a big surprise to me" No doubt, when Edwards sailed into the pit for his second world record in Gothenburg, he was thanking god f
or his achievements. He is a devoted Christian and has been since he was very young. His beliefs help him to keep his achievements in proportion and help him to continue even when he is having troubles. "I made a commitment in my relationship with God to serve him in every area of my life, including triple jump." There is little doubt that Edward's believes are critical to his athletic performances. He followed his 1995 success with a silver in the Olympics in 1996 in Atlanta. Although, for him, this was slightly disappointing, he managed to keep a positive outlook. He also lost out in the World Championships in 1997. However, he achieved one of his lifetime ambitions with a famous victory at the Olympics in 2000 in Sydney. He followed this with a superb gold in Edmonton this year, Great Britains only victory. So why does Edwards jump so far? Well, his major assett is his speed and elasticity. If you look at Edwards jumping he looks so much smoother than most of his competitors. This is ensuring the efficient tranfer of the speed and power he has generated on the runway to the next stages of the jump. With his amazing speed, this often results in jumps which leaves the spectators speechless - he is a joy to watch! With Edwards in his twilight years in athletics, you may think he has achieved everything there is to achieve. This is not far wrong, but he has never actually won a Commonwealth Games gold medal. It may not seem important in the overall scheme of things, but I am sure Edwards will be hungry to put that to rights next year. I think we should all make an effort to get to Manchester in 2002 and support this great ambassador for British sport!
Sorry for the depressing fact but we are one of the most unhealthy nations in the world. In general, we smoke and drink way too much, we take little exercise and our diet basically sums up the 'what not to eat' list. If people want to live this way, its their choice, but should you want to improve your quality of life, gain more self-respect and confidence, reduce your stress levels, have less illness and lose a little weight to boot, here are 6 (I went for 5 and thought of an extra one!) tips which will help you do that. 1. MOVE!!! Each day try to find ways to get your body to move. Take the stairs, walk to the shop, go out for a cycle ride or even mow the lawn. Even small changes can make all the difference to improving your fitness levels and reducing your stress levels. If you feel up to full scale exercise such as working out in the gym or going for a few miles jogging, thats great and you will reap the benfits! But take it a step at a time and listen to your body. 2. QUIT!!! Now surely everybody knows that quitting smoking is the one thing that will most decrease your chances of avoiding the major killers in this country which are heart disease, cancer and stroke. But just imagine how much better off your body will be without 4000 dangerous chemicals floating around in it. Apparently the measurable health benefits of quitting show up after only a few days, you will also be richer and you wont reek of stale tobacco. Remember that you only have to give up one cigarette - your next one! 3. EAT PROPERLY!!! I think most people know exactly how to eat for improved health but actually doing so is a different matter. Cutting down on your fat is a big must with fried foods and fatty meats to be kept to a minimum. But dont think carbohydrates are always the good guys. Many simple carbohydrates are nothing but mere empty calories so avoid things like biscuits, cakes, sweets, sugary drinks as much as possible. The real a
nswer lies in a balanced diet with adequate vitamins and minerals. One method almost certain to achieve this is to have at least 5 portions of fruit or vegetables a day in between varied meals. You will soon find that the old saying 'you are what you eat' has more than a grain of truth. 4. REDUCE STRESS!!! Another tip that is much easier said than done since stress comes in many forms. One recommended way to do this is to spend at least half and hour a day doing something YOU like! For example you could listen to soothing music, take a long bath, walk on the beach, etc. People often use the excuse that they dont have time, but your health is so important that you should make time, even if it means cutting back on something else. Also, make an effort to avoid situations where you know you get annoyed or stressed, and count to ten before losing your temper! 5. DONT BINGE!!! A lot of people in this country like a drink which is great! One or two glasses of wine or bottles of beer will do little harm and may even improve your health. The problem is that a lot of people in this country like many drinks in quick succession, ie binge drinking. Everyone knows about the health risks associated with this and a hangover is your bodys way of saying 'What the hell are you doing to me?!' Learning to say no is the difficult but only solution. If you cant manage it then break up your alcoholic drinks with water and drink slowly!! 6. BE HAPPY!!! If you have a positive outlook on life then your health is bound to be better. When you have a problem then put it in perspective with other people far worse off than yourself. Smile, sing, whistle, phone friends, crack jokes, watch comedy, count your blessings! It is very difficult to be unhappy while you are singing a song with a smile on your face!! So there you have it, 6 things which will leave you healthier, happier and enjoying an improved quality of life. Of
course, you knew most of the tips above already, but it doesnt hurt to be reminded once in a while, does it??!!
Nothing better than a cold beer to wash away the day's worries! Last night my worries were well and truly washed away! So you know Becks is a quality beer if I still want to review it with a lingering hangover!! HISTORY ******* Becks has been brewed since 1873 when a brewer Heinrich Becks and a couple of his mates decided to set up a brewery. It was only a year later that the pilsner won its first award for supreme quality. It remained with the Germans until 1886 when it was first exported. Despite breif interludes due to world wars, the public of up to 120 countries have been able to enjoy the clear, crisp and distinctive taste of one of the worlds most famous and popular pilsner beers. Recently, the company has been involved in many huge advertising campaigns, including the sponsorship of the Jaguar fomula 1 team. WORLDWIDE SUCCESS ****************** Interestingly, 3000 bottles of Becks are consumed every minute, across all five continents, which makes Becks Germany's most successful exported beer in front of some impressive opposition. It is brewed on the banks of the River Weser in the old Hanseatic city of Bremen (this may sound familiar since Bremen is mentioned on their bottles) and the output of the stuff is around 4 million hectolitres, which a veritable sea of the stuff. In a number of countries, it is the most heavily imported beer. There is also an increasingly popular non-alcoholic version which I have not sampled. THE BEER ITSELF ************* Becks has a crisp and fresh taste with a slightly bitter aroma. The reason for the distinctive and enjoyable taste, according to the manufacturers, is the traditional brewing methods and the ultra cool conditioning process. The alcoholic content is 5% which is a good strength for this sort of beer and about 1-2% stronger than most draught lagers. It generally comes in 275ml bottles in pubs and off liscences, although larger bott
les and cans are sometimes available to buy. The normal price for Becks in a pub would be about £1.80 and just over half this price in off-liscences and supermarkets. Despite the price, it is sometimes my beer of choice simply because the taste is far superior to most draught lagers. SUMMARY ******** One of the best beers on the market, with a crispness and freshness unrivalled among other popular beers. This is a result of more than a century of perfecting the world renowned product. But you dont need to think about the history and effort behind the beer, just enjoy the taste! I think I am off to the pub for a little hair of the dog!!
I couldn't find a category for this one on dooyoo, so by writing this I am suggesting that there could be one created. This film is one of this year's better comedies and worthy of a little attention! 'Heartbreakers' is a light-hearted American comedy about a mother and daughter con team who regularly prey on unsuspecting men to swindle enough money to fund their luxurious lifestyle. Jennifer Love Hewitt and Sigourney Weaver play the terrible twosome. They seduce their men by wearing dresses which barely cover what needs to be covered and low-cut tops which leave nothing to the imagination. But thats not the only reason you should watch it (!), there a few decent laughs and a fairly gripping story in there as well. Their game is simple - Max (Weaver) seduces and marries rich men before Page (Hewitt) tempts them to cheat on their new wife, after which there is a large divorce settlement. Max's latest victim is a dodgy chop-shop owner Dean (Ray Liotta), who finds Page's seductive charms irresistable. Weaver, Hewitt and Liotta all put a great deal of effort into these characters to inject some life into the film. However, the real fun starts when old favourite Gene Hackman enters as William B. Tensy, a tobacco giant who spends his life chain-smoking at his luxury home on Palm Beach, Florida with his dragon of a housekeeper (Nora Dunn). He wants everyone to take up his disgusting habit, despite the fact he can hardly walk down the street without falling over in a coughing fit. He says 'once nine and ten year old kids get over the vomiting, they cant get enough of the stuff!' Max moves into Tensy's life and attempts to improve on her 'record' of how long it takes for her to marry her victims. Weaver approaches Tensy as a wealthy Russion lady at an auction when she bids for a naked statue. However, when she is called up onstage at a Russian resteraunt, she runs into problem
s. Her response to this emergency is superb, and got the majority of the audience at this preview chuckling. There is also an amusing incident which ends their relationship with the aforementioned statue!! But meanwhile there is a problem, Page is forming a relationship with Jack (Jason Lee) who is the owner of a Palm Beach Bar. She sets out trying to con him, but (somewhat inevitably) ends up falling in love with him. You could see this happening a mile off - but with her mother desperately trying to keep her away from developing feelings for him, it becomes a very up-and-down romance. So that is the basic plot, without giving away too much since I do think it is worth watching. The direction was by David Mirki, who is known for charming romantic comedies such as 'Romy and Michele's High School Reunion' (1997). You would struggle to describe this comedy, with all the manipulation and greed, as charming. It also appears a little dragged out in places making the gags a little erratic. However, with such disastrous state-side efforts this year as 'Say it isn't So', this film is quite clever and certainly delivers enough laughs to leave you fairly satisfied that you havent wasted your money at the cinema this time. This has been a rarity this year!
Knowing me, Knowing you - Ah-hah! I admit to being an Alan Partridge fan and thought that 'I'm Alan Partridge' was one of the funniest comedies on the BBC this decade. So I rushed down to the cinema when I heard that Alan's actor Steve Coogan had released a film. Expectations were high! Unfortunately, 'The Parole Officer' did not quite deliver on these expectations. Inevitabily, it had a few laughs where Coogan's Partrige-isms shone through, but the overall film seemed like a patchwork of various sketches which was stretched to make a full feature. The plot involves parole officer Simon Garden (Partridge), who has the outstanding success rate of convincing 3 out of 1000 cons not to return to a life of crime! He witnesses a murder, where the killer is a senior Manchester detective (Stephen Dillane). The detective threatens to frame Garden for the murder and this convinces Garden he must find a way to clear his name. Fortunately for him, the murder was caught on security camera. Unfortunately for him, the tape from the camera has been removed by the corrupt cops and place in a security vault in a bank. So Garden gets together his successfully converted ex-cons for a carefully planned break-in to retrieve the tape. Coogan's support cast in the film include Indian film star Om Puri, comedian Ben Miller, Steve Waddington, Jenny Agutter and up and coming star Lena Headey. Together, they manage to pull off a limited number of amusing scenes, with a scattered humour approach. However, the overall film is somewhat disjointed and lacks a gripping storyline or lasting humour. Part of the problem is Coogans main character. He retains Partridge's ability to irritate everybody he meets, but loses a lot of his funnier qualities. The roller-coster scene is perhaps the most famous from this film. Garden somehow manage
s to be sick over a group of schoolgirls with horribly real and disgusting vomit. Perhaps the funniest moment is the art-gallery statue incident, which I will leave you to get a laugh out of if you see it. There are precious few and I dont want to ruin them!! I was left fairly disappointed after this film. I expected more after some of Coogan's eariler characters and performances. It could and should have been a quality British comedy filled with the awkward situations Coogan is so good at performing. As it was, it was a moderate story interrupted with the occasional chuckle.
Do we still need actors? This question sprung to my mind, with a half-seriousness, while watching 'Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within'. Thankfully, after watching the whole film, the answer remains fairly obvious, but in the future it may require a little more thought. The computer generated characters in this film are almost scary because they are so realistic. Aki Ross, the main animated star, is proof that computer simulation is again reaching new heights. She has the skin tone, the expressive face, the freckles, the glistening eyes, the movement, etc. It is by no means perfect, but it is getting there. But was the film, based on the 'final fantasy' computer game, worth anymore than a vehicle for displaying these new found graphical abilities? The plot is set in the relatively near future where most of Earth is a wasteland after having been invaded by aliens who are capable of infecting humans and of taking their souls. Humans now live in 'New New York city' which is levitating in space, while 'Old New York City' is a high-rise ruin occupied by the seemingly evil spirits. An army trained to contain and destory the alien spirits is led by captain Gray Edwards, who is voiced by Alec Baldwin. You might remeber, since he has been busy this summer in 'Pearl Harbour' and his voice as Butch in 'Cats and Dogs'. Aki, who's voice is supplied by Ming-Na, is your typical noughties heroine who is beautiful, clever, strong yet with a vulnerability. The film has an impressive look with a great deal of variation. While it is dull in places, there are interruptions of Aki's dreams where surreal landscapes are filled with hideous, loping creatures charging is a battle-like manner. Furthermore, the facial expressions on some of the animated characters are marvellous. It is fascinating just to watch and admire the effort which must have gone into studying and creating
these expressions. There is occasional coldness in their manner and their movement has lapses of unbelievability, but they are certainly the most convincing animations I have ever seen! The story unfortunately does serve somewhat as a vehicle for the visual achievements. The typical war-time characters with the noble soldiers, evil generals, and triumph in the face of adversity are all very old hat. It holds your interest most of the time, but there is nothing spectacularly new here. The surreal dreams which are a link to understanding the alien spirits are one of the most memorable set of scenes in the film. Also, the scenes where the souls leave the human bodies are fairly powerful and the stalking of the humans by the spirits are fairly tense and gripping. Overall, acceptable but no masterpiece! The attempts at realistic animation does not always work, somewhat thankfully. Right now, we can always tell that a film is animated. But how long before it takes a trained eye to tell the difference?