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slugfilm
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Member since: 10.06.2009

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      10.07.2009 22:40
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      Effective skin care at its best

      This is an incredibly good value premium grooming product. Designed for acne sufferers and those with mild breakouts and oily skin, it is a miracle worker.

      The main challenge posed by spots is that they are caused by oily skin, but stripping away all the oil simply causes the skin to replenish it faster. This foam is a perfect compromise. It removes excess oil, but leaves some of the necessary natural oils in place. The result is skin which does not feel tight, but feels clean too.

      The foam is unfragranced which is good for allergy or dermatitis sufferers, and also allows the unchallenged use of a cologne. The formula also contains salicylic acid which is an excellent antibacterial chemical exfoliant which knocks spot-causing bacteria into orbit!

      The dispenser is a sensible pump cylinder, and an average use requires three full squirts which should be gently massaged into the face and neck with circular motions. For the price, this tube lasts for a long time.

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      • Clinique Face Scrub Men / Skin Care / 4 Readings / 2 Ratings
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        10.07.2009 22:33

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        A no-nonsense skin solution

        This is one of the best face scrubs available for men on the market today. The bottom line is it leaves your skin feeling renewed, supple and clean.

        The scrub itself is a very thick paste which contains pleasingly small exfoliant grains (including crushed rice). You apply a one pence piece amount and rub it into wetted skin with gentle circular movements. The scrub is not overly abrasive, but is by no means a feeble exfoliant. It also contains salicylic acid which is an excellent chemical exfoliant - it tingles slightly, but has great antibacterial properties, which reduces the occurrence of blemishes.

        It is unscented which is great not just for those with sensitive skin but also those who like to wear a cologne, as it avoids clashing fragrances.

        The packaging is the signature Clinique for men grey - it is a tube with a hinged plastic cap. It's not the best dispenser (a more solid toothpaste-style button cylinder would have been nice), but it reflects the no-nonsense efficiency of the product.

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        22.06.2009 13:13
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        Better than many products designed solely for dry or oily skin.

        Clarins claim this is a face wash suitable for all skin types. I have combination skin (oily T-zone and dry cheeks) so I feel I am a good litmus test.

        Overall, I think this is a good wash. It left my cheeks feeling slightly dry, but my face felt oil free and yet not tight.

        The fragrance is a mild slightly floral scent, which is not overpowering. This is helpful if you prefer to wear aftershave or eau de toilette.

        The soap does not lather very much (although I live in a hard water region), but I don't think that's a problem in itself, as the end results were good.

        The face wash also soften bristles brilliantly resulting in a really comfortable and smooth shave afterwards.

        On the negative side of things, it is insanely expensive. I recommend going to a department store and asking for a tester sample to try before you buy. Also, the packaging is throughly uninspiring.

        However, it leaves your skin feeling clean and well balanced in terms of moisture. I would follow it with a good shave and some balm.

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      • Pecorino Romano / Cheese / 7 Readings / 5 Ratings
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        20.06.2009 20:36

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        A good alternative to parmesan

        Pecorino is a delicious and versatile cheese.

        From the north-eastern region of Italy, this is a cousin to Parmesan (or Parmagiano Reggiano as it is properly called). It is less expensive than parmesan, and has more uses.

        In Italy, pecorino is sold according to its age. The younger pecorinos are chalky, but slightly creamy, and softer. The older the cheese is, the harder and darker coloured it becomes, and it develops a nuttier flavour. Sadly, most supermarkets in the UK typically only stock one variety, but if you explore specialist delicatessens you should be able to find some of these different aged cheeses.

        The younger pecorinos are delicious as an eating cheese, and a perfect marriage with quince jelly or figs. The older pecorinos are ideal for grating over pasta dishes, shaving over asparagus spears, or using their rinds to enrich a bean stew or soup.

        I love pecorino because of it's salty taste and firm texture.

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      • Sony SRS A212 / PC Speaker / 9 Readings / 8 Ratings
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        20.06.2009 14:18
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        If you don't mind the masculine black finish, these are a good solution

        Overall, I think these are very good speakers.

        They are a medium size for an average desk, standing just over 21 centimeters tall. The sound quality is excellent: it has quite rich bass, and is rarely tinny sounding. I use these to watch DVDs on my laptop, and they are solid performers; the stereo is crisp and well defined. There is also a second 3.5 millimeter input jack which is ideal for quickly connecting temporary devices such as dictaphones or iPods.

        However, there are several drawbacks. They are made from glossy black plastic, which is borderline cheap looking. The Sony brand name is printed in grey capital letters on the front of each speaker which is also a little tacky. The volume control is a wheel imbedded in the lower left hand side of the left speaker, which is annoying if you want to place it against a wall or on a book shelf. A remote control, or even a wired volume dongle would have been better.

        Considering the price, these are very good value with no-nonsense performance, but a few flourishes missing.

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      • Teacher's / Spirits / 15 Readings / 10 Ratings
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        15.06.2009 20:49
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        It's not peaty, but it's rich

        Teachers is a very competent blended whisky.

        It is in the upper mid-price range: more expensive than Grants and Bells, but cheaper than Famous Grouse, and certainly cheaper than malt whiskys.

        Its defining characteristic is its smoothness: perhaps that's why it's described as "Highland Cream" (which I think is a delightful description). It has a silky, slightly sticky viscosity which coats the mouth rather than washes through it.

        However, for all it's velvety smoothness it has a fire to it as well. Teachers is not a peaty whisky, but it is certainly a malty one. you can really taste the barley.

        I prefer to drink it on the rocks (with ice), but you could happily have this neat or indeed with a mixer (I like dry ginger ale). However, I would not recommend serving it with a twist of lemon as the flavours clash. Teachers is not zesty - it's rich. I love it!

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          15.06.2009 20:35
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          Only get it if you can pay it off fully every month

          I got this card following a recommendation from Money Saving Expert.com

          As a student (without fixed annual income) I was pleased that Tesco accepted me (albeit with a small credit limit), since my application for the Nectar Amex Credit Card was rejected.

          I can confirm that it does pay out plenty of club card points, but there are a few things to note. First, only get this card if you are able to PAY IT OFF IN FULL EVERY MONTH! I can't emphasise that enough, because otherwise the rates are extortionate. However, Tesco make it easy for you to manage this card. The internet website is really clear and easy to use, so you can make payments to it and see your balance very efficeintly. also, you can set up a monthly direct debit to pay the card off in full automatically - I recommend this for ease.

          you only get one extra clubcard point for every £4 you spend, but as they say - every little helps. especially if you convert your points into Tesco Deals vouchers worth 4 times as much.

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        • Marley & Me (DVD) / DVD / 8 Readings / 5 Ratings
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          15.06.2009 20:26
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          Nothing groundbreaking, but moments to remember

          I reluctantly saw this at the cinema and was pleasantly surprised.

          This isn't a great movie, but it isn't as shallow as you might imagine.

          Based on a real journalist's novel, the plot is simple, revolving around the life of a golden labrador retriever called Marley. So there's no denying that being a dog lover is something of a prerequisite for enjoying this film; there isn't a single scene without a dog in it.

          However, it also focusses on the refreshingly turbulent relationship between Owen Wilson and Jennifer Anniston, as the begin a family together. At times you feel a real sense of unease for the welfare of Marley as a baby is born and the dog is neglected.

          There are plenty of powerful moments (like when Marley saves a girl who's being attacked), and a few belly laughs too (Marley's toilet antics on the beach spring to mind).

          The music is not particularly memorable and the cinematography is simple. But the Florida backdrop is beautiful, and it fills the viewer with sunshine-fueled optimism.

          Overall this isn't a particularly new or exciting premise, but the story is sweet.

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            15.06.2009 18:27

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            It's good, but might as well get the Sims 3 now!

            I bought this as an electronic download from a site called "Direct 2 Drive". I paid £25 which, at the time, seemed fair (considering I didn't get a physical disc).

            Anyway, it's a good little game, but some aspects are just not as good as the original Sims. The graphics are totally different as the game is now fully 3D. You can zoom in and out to an impressive scale, and the whole screen is rotatable 360 degrees on three axis. So that's impressive. However, I think it requires substantial computer power to be able to view it smoothly without stutters or delays.

            In terms of gameplay, a new addition is a system of short term and long term desires and ambitions. For example, your sim may want to listen to a pop song, or indeed get married. If you secure either of these goals, you are rewarded with points which you can spend on special items.

            However, I think overall the game has departed from the quasi-accurate lifestyle simulation that was the original Sims, and become a more fantastical sci-fi adventure where martians and man collide.

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            15.06.2009 18:18

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            See it but don't buy it

            My feelings about this film are split in two:

            On the one hand it is a melancholy story, told in a protracted and often tedious manner. On the other hand, it is certainly a curious tale which is often beguiling, and the filming is competent and sensitive.

            The special effects used to age Brad Pitt are incredible - you just can't tell what is real and what is artificial. There is also a spectacular WW1 naval action set-piece which had me on the edge of my seat.

            The soundtrack is reminiscent of James Horner's music from "A Beautiful Mind", and adds a dash of historical magic.

            However, the acting is not sensational (but nor is it weak). It is competent. Equally, the screenplay is verbose and sometimes plain dull. And I think that is the feeling that lingers. It has a few amusing moments, a few tears, and a few yawns.

            This is definitely a film to watch, but probably not one to own.

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          • Acer AL1916ws / LCD Monitor / 6 Readings / 5 Ratings
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            15.06.2009 11:27

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            Well worth a look...

            This is a very competent monitor with only a minor drawback.

            On the up side, it is suprisingly large for a 19 inch monitor because of its widescreen aspect. this makes it perfect for watching DVDs and streaming video (such as iPlayer from the BBC).

            the refresh rate is fast (8ms) which means it can cope with most newer games, although diehard gamers will probably want something higher spec. the max resolution is 1440 x 900 (i.e. WXGA) which is extremely generous for the price!

            the monitor comes with a simple (and pleasingly compact) desktop stand, although the back of the screen has connections to enable wall mounting (providing you buy a compatible kit).

            the screen also has a good auto-adjust button - one press and it will fix itself perfectly.

            on the down side, it doesn't look very special. it's all plastic - no metal or glass - which makes it look a bit cheap. however, for the price you can't complain.

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            14.06.2009 18:18
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            A must see

            I first saw Michael McIntyre on Live at the Apollo (hosted by Jack Dee). He had me on the floor with laughter, and I promptly bought this DVD to enjoy more.

            The DVD itself is a recording of McIntyre's final live performance last year, and is cracking. I won't spoil it but highlights include his musings on agressive motorists and "the man drawer".

            It also has some excellent extra features, including the full recording of the aforementioned Apollo performance. Since this is currently retailing for under £7, you get approximately 10 solid laughs per pence. That is unbeatable value!

            McIntyre is a brilliant comedian for three reasons:
            1. He is gently spoken, with a good nature and oodles of enthusiasm;
            2. He doesn't swear gratuitously (often a sign of comedic weakness); and
            3. He is an amazingly accurate oral caricaturist.

            In many ways he is the polar opposite of Jack Dee, who is a deliberately pessimistic, cynical and downbeat comic. Don't get me wrong, I think Dee is great too, but it is pleasantly refreshing to watch Mc Intyre's infectious grin.

            This DVD really shows a cross section of his talents, and is a worthy investment which is thoroughly re-watchable.

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              14.06.2009 00:56

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              A soaring epic soundtrack

              This is a spectacular album, not just because it made the film great but also because it is perfect for standalone listening in its own right.

              The movie is an epic civil-war masterpiece focussing on the tensions between Native Americans and the United States militia. It's a gruelling film at times, but is interspersed with serene moments of beauty, and John Barry's score reflects these fluctuations perfectly.

              From the racing drums of "Pawnee Attack", to the soaring strings of the "John Dunbar Theme", this score delights the listener with its poise and variety. My favourite track is "Journey To The Buffalo Killing Ground" which lays powerful french horns over rich cellos: it is a truly dignified accompaniment to America's indigenous culture.

              There are 18 tracks on the album, providing just shy of an hour's music. I feel this represents good value for money. Also, the CD insert is full of stunning photographs from the film.

              I heartily encourage you to try it.

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            • Slumdog Millionaire (DVD) / DVD / 4 Readings / 1 Rating
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              14.06.2009 00:37

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              Enjoyable but a victim of over-enthusiasm

              I saw this when it was first released and very much enjoyed it. But the trouble is there has been so much hype surrounding this film that it has become elevated in the public consciousness to something far more special than it actually is.

              The premise is simple: it who wants to be a millionnaire meets bollywood with a predicatble formula. police station - emotional flashback - studio question - police station - emotional flashback - studio question and so on and so forth. that's fine: hy be over complicated for the sake of it?

              however, the story is unashamadly manipulative and preys upon gauche sentimentalisation to the point of being mawkish.

              still, the acting is top notch and it has a cracking soundtrack. the indian landscape and scenery is not perhaps used to its full potential, but then it does have a somewhat gritty tint to it.

              don't get me wrong - it's a great film. but it's not perfect.

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              14.06.2009 00:27

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              A classic addition to your gaming library

              This deluxe edition includes the original C&C "Generals" as well as the "Zero Hour" expansion pack that followed.

              For those who have never played Generals, it is perhaps best describe as a more serious 'grown-up' version of its sister "Red Alert" franchise.

              The main difference between Generals and Red Alert (as well as older Command & Conquer titles) is the switch from two opposing forces (such as allies versus soviets or GDL versus NOD) to a choice of three opposing forces: China, USA and the GLA (a sort of middle-eastern 'terrorist' pastiche). This tripartite power balance provides a far more convincing and engaging story, not to mention some unpredictable gameplay. For example, your squadron of expensive, high-tech American battle tanks might be moving in for the final offensive against the Chinese defences when a GLA suicide bomber might run into their path and obliterate them!

              The gameplay tends to focus on numbers rather than strategy - you need to generate more money than your opponents more quickly. This enables you to build twice as many units so that you can blow them off the map. It may sound one dimensional, but it is addictive.

              Although the graphics are a little dated by today's standards, the sound effects make up for it: frenzied battleground explosions are layered with adrenaline pumping beat-music.

              The expansion pack provides a few new units, but nothing noteworthy. However, the new story and missions are good.

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