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tez2k007

tez2k007
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Member since: 19.08.2008

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      26.11.2008 15:44
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      A look at some of the things you will only see on television.

      Reading several other reviews on this topic it looks like a lot of people have strong views when it comes to the influence television has on people. It appears some people have strong opinions on such things as the influence of violence and the influence of crime also.

      This is all fine as its all about different people's opinions but I want to take a different approach on this matter as I also know television is a way of learning stuff. I am not just talking about educational programmes and children's programmes but things like television shows and movies themselves.

      I posted a blog on my MySpace site a few years back and since then some of these have been popping up in a few places so I figured I would compile a list on here about all the things we have learnt from watching movies and television soaps. Please note that the following is based purely upon what I have seen and learnt from watching television shows and movies.

      1, During every police investigation it is usually a requirement that you will need to visit a strip club at least once.

      2, No matter which building you are travelling to it will always be possible to park directly outside of it.

      3, An electric fence that is used to contain dinosaurs will have no lasting effect to you should you decide to touch it.

      4, You will survive any battle in war no matter what the odds are unless you make the mistake of showing someone a photo of your family back home.

      5, All brown grocery shopping bags will always contain one breadstick sticking out of the top.

      6, A mother will cook eggs, bacon, sausage, waffles and toast every morning for breakfast but the father and children will only have time to bite a piece of toast before rushing out the door.

      7, Every single woman has a cat. Some have two.

      8, Anyone who has been involved in a family member loss especially those that involve fire's or boating accidents will keep newspaper clippings in a scrapbook of the events that occurred.

      9, If there is a deranged killer on the loose then its very likely this will coincide with a thunderstorm that will bring down all the power in the area.

      10, Film stars hardly ever need to use the toilet.

      11, Every telephone number in America starts with 555.

      12, If trying to break into a room that contains sensitive information, Don't worry about needing a key as a credit card will do just fine.

      13, No one involved in a kidnapping, car explosion, volcanic eruption or alien invasion will ever go into shock.

      14, Honest and hard working policeman who always do things by the book will usually get shot down three days before retirement.

      15, In school, teachers will usually always be interrupted during mid sentence by the school bell.

      16, Secret agents such as James Bond cant drown as they have special lungs that allow them to breathe longer under water than any one else.

      17, Being a counsellor at a summer camp is a guaranteed way of signing your death sentence.

      18, When paying for a taxi there is no need to actually look into your wallet. Just reach in and pull out a note as this will always be the exact fare needed.

      19, A detective will only ever solve the case once he has first been suspended from duty.

      20, When stopping in a strange haunted house, women will always investigate strange noises in just there underwear.

      21, A man will show no pain when getting beat to an inch of his life but will cry out when a woman attempts to clean his wounds.

      22, Anyone can land a 747 passenger airline plane as long as there is someone in the control tower who can talk them down.

      23, Cars and trucks that crash will always burst into flames no matter how small the crash is.

      24, Any person who is having a nightmare will suddenly wake and sit upright and pant heavily.

      25, Dogs can always sense who is bad and evil and will always bark at them.

      26, Don't worry if you ever need to find a chainsaw as there is always one nearby if you ever need one.

      27, Any computer whether it is a desktop in your parent's basement or a laptop deep in the jungle will be able to hack in to the governments most secure files.

      28, You can always escape from handcuffs as long as you have a paperclip handy.

      29, Don't worry if you ever need to reload your gun. You will always have extra ammunition in one of your pockets.

      30, When a person is knocked out cold by a blow to the back of the head they will never suffer concussion or brain damage.

      31, If you have been framed for murder and are being hunted down by the police who you have been evading don't worry as you will be let off if you manage to track down the real bad guy and kill him.

      32, Super villains prefer to kill their enemy's using complicated devices and machines which always give the good guys at least 20 minutes to escape from.

      33, No matter what your mission is you will always be equipped with the latest gadget which is always what you need to complete a mission and it will work ever time.

      34, All zombies have usually only been bitten once or twice yet when you see a zombie attack someone they will tear them limb from limb.

      35, A single match is sufficient enough to light up a room the size of a football stadium.

      36, It does not matter if you're outnumbered in a fight which involves martial arts as your enemy's will never attack you all at the same time. Instead they will stand around and wait for you to take care of one before moving on to the next.

      37, When driving down a straight road it will be a requirement to turn the wheel left to right constantly.

      38, If you are ever being chased through town you will always be to take cover in a passing parade.

      39, Once applied, a women's lipstick will never rub off. Even when deep under water.

      40, If a killer is hiding in your house the easiest way to find him is run a bath and relax. He will come to you.

      41, One man firing at 40 men has more chance of success than 40 men shooting at 1 man.

      42, Action heroes will never face charges such as criminal damage or manslaughter despite leaving a trail of bodies and leaving entire cities in waste.

      43, All bombs will contain an electronic timer which has big red numbers on it so you know exactly when it is about to go off.

      44, You can punch someone 20 times over and they will still keep coming back for more. The next day their bruises and wounds will have healed dramatically.

      45, No matter how much shopping you get it is always the right amount to fill two brown paper bags exactly.

      46, Most laptops will be powerful enough to override alien technology.

      47, If you ever find yourself needing to defuse a bomb then don't worry. Even without any training just cut any wire. It will always be the right one.

      48, A super villain will always reveal his master plan to the good guy before leaving him to die. This is usually the time where the good guy will escape and foil his plans.

      49, If you are being chased by zombies it does not matter how fast you run. You can run super fast and even though they can only walk they will still be able to keep up with you.

      50, No matter how fast you run through the woods a killer will somehow manage to teleport ahead of you and you will trip and fall over just in front of him.

      As you can see I decided to take a more humorous look into the insight of the effects of television. I am sure that reading through the list you will see something that you can relate to and have noticed yourself when you have been watching shows and movies. Only on television will you ever witness any of these as lets face it all of the above mentioned would never happen in the real world. Television is blamed for a lot of things but I think it has a lot to do with the individual rather than the shows that have influenced them. I thought Anthony Hopkins was excellent in Silence of the Lambs but I don't see myself going out and cutting off peoples faces. There is a fine line between fiction and reality and although you're always going to get the notion that someone has been influenced by someone or some other thing I think the individual's character tells the story.

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      • More +
        25.11.2008 12:00
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        Smackdown is back to its best.

        After the disappointment we went through after last year's addition to the Smackdown series it would have been way too easy to leave this year's version alone and go for something else. I myself was considering giving this a miss as from what I had heard it didn't seem like there was going to be much difference.

        After a tough decision though and the fact I have bought every addition since the first one on the Playstation, I decided to take a gamble and give it a shot. To compare this game to last years game is a big mistake. After playing for less than 60 seconds you can tell that the game plays and looks a lot better than its predecessors.


        Game play

        The game plays pretty smooth and the moves and controls are very easy to get to grips with. The big bonus is that you can manually change focus to different opponents which is something that was missed out of last years game and was a massive downfall to the game. The different styles have been removed from the game and instead each individual has been giving a few special abilities. For example playing as Shawn Michaels gives you the ability to kick up for one last flurry after you have been really badly damaged and the end of the match is near. Others such as Randy Orton can perform dirt pins in which they will put there feet on the ropes to give extra leverage when attempting a pin fall. There are a lot of special abilities which change from character to character and they work a lot better than the different styles that were in the last game.

        The main focus of the game has been put into tag team matches. Now I have never been a fan of the tag team matches as so many times you have beat your opponent down and attempted the pin only for his partner to run in and break it up. Time and time again this would happen and it was so annoying. However this year the tag team match has been giving a total revamp. The first thing to note is that when you nail your opponent with your finisher, your partner will immediately run in and attack the opposing partner therefore stopping him from breaking up any pin attempt you are about to make. You can now also perform double team finishing moves depending on which team you pick and what moves they have available to them. Pick Matt and Jeff Hardy and you will see Matt hit the Twist of Fate before Jeff hits the Swanton Bomb. They look really good and they are really easy to perform.

        The biggest addition to the tag match though is the 'Hot Tag' which is something you see week in week out on TV. You see one guy getting beat down so much by both of his opponents that when he finally makes the tag to his partner the crowd go nuts and his partner comes in like a house on fire. The game adds this feature and it works a treat. If you're the guy standing on the apron then holding up on the D-pad will result in your Superstar playing to the crowd to get your momentum up. Once full your superstar will call for the tag and once received he will enter the ring. From here a sequence of button presses is needed to get a successful string of attacks together that if done at the correct time will result in performing your finisher and usually getting the win. Be warned though that you can only perform the hot tag once during a match.

        In addition to tag team matches you can expect to see all of the other matches that you have seen in previous games such as Ladder match, Table match, Hell in a Cell, Cage match and the Elimination Chamber. They have also added a couple of new matches which now includes the Inferno match in which the object of the match is to win by setting your opponent on fire. Now don't worry its not as bad as it sounds and you don't see the guy burn to a crisp or nothing like that. There is enough matches there to keep you going for a good while and with much better controls than the last game you can play them over and over without having to moan about how THQ have done a poor job of messing up a good game.


        Graphics

        The graphics themselves are really impressive and if you're using a HD television you can't help but be impressed. From the life like looks of the superstars themselves to the beads of sweat running down their faces you can tell that the game does not hold back when it comes to looks. One of the best things to highlight its looks is the entrances for all the superstars. All entrances are unique and resemble those that you see in real life and they really show off the great looks of the game.

        The different arenas resemble those that you will have seen over the past year and you can even take the fight to Iraq and compete in the 'Tribute to the Troops' event if you wish to do so. The crowd for this event is full of soldiers cheering on the action. The crowd themselves are pretty good and react in a more realistic way. Say for example you have two baby face superstars fighting each other then the crowd will be split down the middle and will hold their signs up and chant his/her name while side by side the remainder of the crowd are doing the same for their favourite.

        Smackdown has always looked pretty impressive looks wise and this year's addition is no exception. With a lot of focus being put on how the game looks it would have been easy for them to repeat what they did last year and forget about the game play but I am happy to say they have got everything right this year.


        Sound

        The sound in the game is pretty decent and is well showcased in the RTWM modes. The voice acting has been done very well and stays in tune with events that are occurring. Many of the superstars have borrowed their voice to add more realism to the game and it works well.

        The entrance themes are the usual quality with everyone's individual theme thrown in there along with several custom sound tracks. You do get the option to upload any of your own tracks to the game which is always a bonus when creating a superstar but sadly you won't be to take your tracks into online play.

        The crowd chants play very well and add to the atmosphere of the match but once again the only quarrel I have with the sound is that from the commentators. After several additions to the Smackdown series I am still hearing the same commentary as I did 3 years ago. The only difference this year is that they have updated the commentary team to include the ECW crew. Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler still spout out the same nonsense they have been saying for the past several games and in my opinion I think in the next game they need to take a look at this and finally get it changed.


        Game Modes

        Road to Wrestle Mania

        This is easily the most fun and enjoyable mode on the game. RTWM lets you take control of a selection of superstars and guide them through a 3 month quest to get to Wrestle Mania and fulfil their destiny. You can choose between Triple H, CM Punk, The Undertaker, Chris Jericho, John Cena and the tag team of Batista and Rey Mysterio. Now although the list is limited it may leave people a bit disappointed but rumours are going around that THQ will have downloadable content available for this game and they will include further downloadable RTWM stories for other superstars.

        The 3 month quest is individual to each character and includes different choices and different paths that you can take to get to Wrestle Mania. The stories are very fun to play and unique to each character with voice over's and backstage story lines in between matches. Because there are multiple paths in the stories you will probably want to play them a couple of times over to see how it differs to the first time.

        The tag team RTWM lets you team up with a friend to go through the story mode. This is something many fans have been wanting to see for a long time and although it wont last long and only gives you the option to choose between 2 superstars, it is at least a starting point. You can decide between Batista and Rey Mysterio although if you were to ask me I would have preferred the tag team story to feature a proper team such as The Hardy Boys. Once you play through the story however you will probably understand why they chose who they did. You can also play the tag team story alone if you wish and you can choose either of the 2 giving superstars.

        Career Mode

        In career mode your basic goal is to win every single title available and be inducted into the hall of fame. For this you can choose any individual or you can play as your created superstar. The game mode has no story involved with it but rather sets it focus on putting on good matches. You will start out on a selected career path such as the Intercontinental title, and you target is to achieve a certain number of stars in order to get a number one contenders match. Usually the target is 12 stars and you can choose who you wish to fight and depending on what occurs in the match you will get a star rating at the end of it. After a few matches and enough stars to challenge the number one contender you are then put in a special match and if you win you get a title shot. Once you win the title then a new career path will open up and you will need to repeat the process.

        Altogether there are over 10 title paths that you must complete in order to reach your goal. The lack of story makes this mode repetitive and very time consuming and it's not a mode I have played much after completing it the first time. The option of being able to have multiplayer may have helped here but no such joy I am afraid. Even once you have completed the mode you can choose to play on and defend your titles but there is not much point as nothing really develops after this.

        If you're playing as a created superstar then after every match you will gain experience points which can be used to raise your stats and help learn special abilities. Most of the abilities can actually be learnt by carrying out certain things in the matches themselves. Learning the hardcore ability will require you to use a weapon at least 20 times during any of your matches while the Kick Up ability will require you to beat 5 opponents who have this ability already. Although this adds a little bit more to the game mode it's not enough to keep you playing unless of course your one of those who must have 100 for every stat available.

        Create Mode

        The create mode is what it says in which you can create a superstar or entrance whichever way you like. Like all of the past games you can customise your look and suit him up with all the in ring gear he will need to look good and play to the fans. You can create their move set and give him an entrance video and entrance song to finish him off. There is a host of tracks to choose from but you also have the option of importing your own should you wish to do so.

        The biggest new feature of the create mode is the 'Create a Finisher' in which you can create a unique finishing move for your created superstar. You can have up to 10 motions involved when creating your finisher and it's very easy to set up. You may wish to have the first motion include a move in which you grab your opponent by the head and then your second motion may involve playing to the crowd before you pick your opponent up high and deliver him down hard to the ground. There are a lot of different options you can have and you will have fun messing about with the different motions and moves.

        Multiplayer

        Not a mode that I play often and I will tell you why. Over the years the Smackdown game has been and still is the best wrestling game on any platform. Even after last years failure there has not been any other game to get even close. This year's game is back to its best but once again the multiplayer is really bad.

        Its not that its bad as in it does not play good its just that trying to connect to a game is annoying and even once you are in a game the amount of slow down just makes it unplayable. It's like watching a slow motion replay in which you are constantly amazed of how good the moves look but at the same time constantly angry that it's your guy the moves are being performed on.

        Unless they change the servers and fix the amount of lag that is involved with online play it's not going to be a mode that I play very much. If you do play it I suggest you turn your microphone off as there are way too many young kids out there who truly believe they are Triple H and John Cena and will have no problem quoting you sayings and putting on bad impressions for you.

        Extras

        THQ announced that for the first time, the game would include downloadable content. Although they were not specific on the details it appears such things as extra costumes and extra superstars will be made available to download via Xbox Live. No date has been confirmed for these either so we will just have to wait and see but my guess would be around Christmas time and the reason I say this is that I seen a couple of leaked pictures on the internet of some Diva Christmas outfits.

        One big bonus for this year's addition is that early next year there is a new Legends game being released and THQ have said that you will be able to transfer up to 40 Legends over to your Smackdown game which sounds pretty impressive. This probably also explains why no legends were included in this years release.


        Summary

        Smackdown vs Raw 2009 is by far 10 times better than last year's addition. It's back to the game that many fans loved to play with its easy to pick up and play feature. The RTWM is a welcome addition to the franchise and one that I am sure will be expanded on in future games.

        Those who played last years game may be put off thinking this could be a repeat performance but I can tell you its nothing compared to the previous game. Die hard fans will no doubt have bought it already but for those that are still sitting on the fence I suggest you check it out and maybe even rent it first so you can see for yourself.

        THQ have put together a solid game that is a much needed improvement after the last disaster and hopefully from now on they will listen more to the feedback from the fans themselves and make improvements that are needed rather than add on stuff that is really quite pointless. I believe they now have the base to work from for future games and if they keep it similar to this with added quality improvements in the next game then it will most certainly be on my list.

        I was going to give it 5 stars but I know it wont appeal to everyone and the annoying commentary has forced me to give it 4. Great game none the less.

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        • Zombies & Voodoo / Discussion / 82 Readings / 78 Ratings
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          07.11.2008 14:37
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          A Must Have Survival Guide

          After watching that programme on E4 the other week called Dead Set I thought it would be a good idea to give my take on what to do and what not to do if a zombie outbreak ever occurred for real. Yes I know its very unlikely but as an old saying goes its better to be prepared.

          Like I say, after watching Dead Set I just sat there spotting all the mistakes and errors that were being made in relation to surviving the invasion. Below is my Survival Guide to surviving a zombie attack if we were to ever come across one.


          What Do We Know?

          First off I doubt anyone actually has any hands on experience with dealing with the un dead so let's take a look at what we know from books and movies. The most important thing is the behaviour of a zombie. Watching old films such as Night of the Living Dead led us to believe that zombies were slow and stupid and that walking at a quick pace would be enough to evade them should you be caught out on the streets with them. However George A. Romero threw the rulebook out the window with his films such as Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead in which the Zombies somehow had learnt how to run making them a much more deadly enemy.

          There is many different ways which we have seen how an outbreak can occur but what differs from book to book and movie to movie is the way in which the infection is spread. The original concept in earlier films was that a bite or scratch from a zombie would be enough to turn any human into a member of the living dead after a set period of time. Those who have seen the film 28 Days Later however will know that coming into contact with infected blood is all it takes to spread the infection. Now in my opinion I thought that film was more or less about an infectious outbreak which turns humans in to savage vile uncontrollable killers rather than members of the un dead but for this survival guide the concept is the same.


          Where To Go

          In the event that an outbreak was to occur you can count yourself lucky that you're still alive after finding out exactly what is going on. Just being aware of what is actually happening means you have survived longer that what is expected. An outbreak would likely spread faster than the plague and it's very likely it would take 2-3 days before authorities and news broadcasters spread the word about the full facts that were going on. Chances are it would take no more than 1-2 days for it to be a nationwide infection.

          So unarmed and afraid, your first instinct will be to run and hide. In the short term this is your only option but for this guide we are taking into consideration your long term survival and the fact the zombies look like they are going to be around a bit longer than just the weekend.
          I guess your first thought will be to get indoors and maybe you think you will be safe at home. This is a mistake as chances are you are taking too big of a chance to get there as you certainly cant hold out there, and there is the fact that if you have family then they will most likely already be infected and could be waiting for you. So lets again look at the long term plan. You're going to need food, shelter, supplies and somewhere safe away from the zombies. My advice is you get somewhere above ground but somewhere you have access to get food and shelter when you need it. Your local supermarket or mall is an ideal place but take into consideration that these are populated areas and there is a high chance the zombies are already wandering around nearby. If you manage to get lucky however you should consider blocking off the entrances and exits and heading to higher ground just until you can get your bearings.


          Defending Yourself

          Although avoiding confrontation is 100% recommended there may come a time when you have no choice but to leave your new camping spot and seek out supplies. Zombies will attack on site so you're going to be in trouble. I have read many forums on the internet about what weapons would you use in a zombie attack and let me tell you its easy to say what you would do but the cold hard truth is that you need to be realistic. I have compiled a list of the various types of weapons I have seen people mention and give reasons why it would be a bad idea to use them. Starting with the more realistic ones to the more advanced ones.

          Baseball Bat - This is a big no no as lets face it your not going to do much damage with this are you. Assuming the only way to kill a zombie is via decapitation then your would need to have some swing to take their heads clean off and there is also the fact its not going to do you much good if your up against multiple enemies.

          Knife - An obvious choice but only a stupid person would try and fight a zombie with a knife. We are trying to avoid confrontation with them and keep ourselves at a distance so trying to fight them with a knife is not recommended. Throwing knives is just plain ridiculous and close quarters combat with one is just suicidal. Remember that we are taking into consideration all methods of infection so blood spills would need to be avoided.

          Golf Clubs - Again like Baseball Bats they are not going to be much use to you unless you plan on doing a couple of holes on your local golf course.

          Chainsaw - Many people said this would be an ideal choice. Yes I agree it's an ideal choice if you want to get yourself killed. First of all these are heavy so they will slow you down. Secondly you will need fuel to power them unless they are electrical. And the worst thing about them is that you once again will need to be up close and personal with the zombies. Yes you will do some major damage and remove some limbs and organs but remember there will be lots of blood flying everywhere resulting in infection. Avoid using this.

          Pistol - Ah we now get to the guns. You will probably feel a lot more safer carrying a gun than what you would a knife but they wont save your life. Assuming you don't have much training with guns they are not very accurate and wont do a lot of damage to zombies apart from slowing them down.

          Shotgun - Many peoples first choice but a wrong one and I will explain why. Considering it's a pump action shotgun you have to take into consideration the reloading times. Reloading at the wrong time could cost you your life. Add the fact that they are only really effective at close range means there is a chance you will get hit by infected blood. A powerful weapon but one which carries risks.

          Assault Rifle - Do you work in the army? Probably not so these won't be easy to come by but are pretty effective none the less. Unless your getting head shots you probably won't be killing many zombies but you should be able to stop them and slow them down. Having this gun is something. Finding ammunition for it is something else though.

          Sniper Rifle - Get real you won't find one let alone know how to use it effectively.

          Molotov Cocktails - Probably the most efficient thing you will be to use due to the fact you can use a bottle of vodka, a napkin and a lighter. Very effective for groups of zombies but just be sure to not drop them near yourself.

          All of the above weapons are things many people have said they would use but as explained it shows why sometimes the best weapon against a zombie is just get the heck out of there. It's easy to say you would go up against them and blow them away but I think the saying of he who fights and runs away lives to fight another day is a good choice of words in this situation.


          Top Tips For Survival

          1, If you discover more survivors, make sure to check them for cuts and bites. Unfortunately if they have come into contact with infected blood you may not be able to tell so just make sure you watch them closely.

          2, If you come across any survivor who has the symptoms mentioned previously then kill them immediately. Trust me the longer you wait the more danger you put your self in.

          3, If you happen to be in a group of about 5 or 6 people and there appears to be a lunatic in your group who seems to have a death wish then kill him. He will most likely end up leading your group in to trouble or attracting zombies to your location.

          4, Be careful when carrying out tip 3, as killing another human who has not been infected will make you look like the lunatic in your group and the others might be thinking its time to get rid of you.

          5, Ration food and eat in order of expiry date. You could be in for a long haul so it makes sense to eat the food that goes out of date first and keep the longer lasting stuff for later.

          6, If you catch any of your group smoking near your camp then warn them or take more aggressive action. You don't want them setting the place alight and attracting zombies to your location.

          7, Always keep you mobile phone on vibrate. A ringing mobile at the wrong time is a death waiting to happen.

          8, Never try to be a hero. Its not a movie so don't treat it like one. Never argue over who is going on the suicide mission. If the guy next to you is adamant that it should be him then agree that yes it should be him.

          9, Limit your activity during the night. Zombies may be hard to spot when its dark so keep things quiet during the night.

          10, You can't trust survivors any more than you can trust Zombies. Remember that food close by will start to run out. That's when people turn on each other.

          11, If you get scratched or bit then kill yourself quickly. The alternative is much worse.

          12, If you and another survivor are being chased and you both have a gun. Shoot him in the leg so you can get away. Don't feel guilty as he was probably thinking about doing the same thing to you.

          13, Remember guns are hard to come by but ammunition is even harder.

          14, Never check to see if a zombie is dead. I can tell you now he is a zombie so he is already dead. If he is down and out its most likely he will get back up. Get out of there while you can.

          15, Never waste medical supplies on cuts and bites. This is a waste as death is the only cure.


          Summary

          As we have not actually faced a zombie invasion its hard to actually advise on any tried and tested methods but with a bit of thought and planning and the use of this guide you should have enough to give you a slim chance of survival. Of course this will only apply to a small percentage of the population as its very likely most of us would not survive past the first day.

          We have seen the movies and read the books and I am sure we have all sat there and said you wouldn't catch me doing that or going there. It's easy to say when you're observing but the truth is unless you're in a situation you have no idea how you would act. I am pretty sure that a real outbreak would cause many people to break down and hide in a corner but on the grand scale of things this is only going to lead you to becoming one of them.

          The sooner you realise your not superman the better and the more chance you give yourself of making it through the night. Panic will set in with other survivors and people can become erratic and do some stupid things. The best tip I can give anyone in this particular situation is keep your zombies close and your survivors closer.

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          • Surviving The Game (DVD) / DVD / 76 Readings / 71 Ratings
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            23.10.2008 16:31
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            A very good movie definently worth a watch

            Surviving the game is a film that has been around for a few years but one which I had only managed to watch recently. Its one of those movies that after you watch it you will be wondering why you have never watched it previously.

            Surviving The Game is directed by Ernest R. Dickerson and is based around the plot of cat and mouse, in which a group of hunters pay a fee in order to hunt down their prey in the wilderness. The only difference with this hunt is that the prey is human. The hunters themselves range from an ex CIA agent to a Wall Street tycoon. Thomas Burns (Rutger Hauer) leads the hunt and is responsible for arranging the prey and the game. He targets homeless men who have no ties with the outside world and who people won't ask too many questions about should they go missing one day.

            Ice T plays the role of Mason as the homeless penniless bum who after blaming himself for his family's deaths, has turned his back on society and has taken to the streets. He lives by the attitude that if society doesn't care about him then he doesn't care about society or anyone else for that matter. He has learnt to live life the hard way and it's the only way he knows. After he is offered an opportunity to turn his life around and start making some money, he figures at first there must be a catch but after a brief meeting with Burns and a series of tests to prove his fitness he soon realises this could be his chance to make something of himself. After his meeting with Burns he is somewhat optimistic but also cautious of what he is being offered. After being told that he will be paid a good sum of money by acting as a guide on hunting expeditions he thinks that its all to simple and considers it easy money. His cautious side however makes him wary that it could be too good to be true and why out of everyone in the city has this opportunity landed in his lap. Mason takes the job and gets the impression that Burns is a man who really wants to help him and is being very generous to him. As Mason and Burns head off to a remote cabin located in the Pacific Northwest they are soon joined by several other hunters ready to join in the game. As the group settles in for the night before the big hunt, Mason has a couple of heated moments with a few of the others. He gets the impression that they don't like him very much but puts it down to his lifestyle and his background.

            As Morning approaches, Mason is awoken to a hostile reception. He firstly thinks it's some kind of joke but as Burns soon reveals the terrifying truth of the game, Mason knows that he is the hunted. With a 30 minute head start he runs off into the forest with the instructions that should he make it to civilisation then he gets to live. From this point on he must use all his survival skills that he has learnt from his time by living it rough on the streets. As the group begin their hunt of him however it's not long before Mason realises that he is not getting out alive and that he must somehow turn the tables in his favour. Its soon unclear as to who is hunting who and just maybe on this occasion the hunter becomes the hunted.

            Rutger Hauer (Burns) plays the role that he was born to do and just like several other of his films I have seen him in, he once again plays the role of the evil bad guy. Early on in the movie we get the impression that he is just like any other wealthy businessman but with a real determination to help those in need. After Mason lands on his doorstep it looks as though he is interviewing him for his skills and what he can offer to the job. After the truth is revealed later on though it's obvious that he was really trying to figure out if Mason would be able to last the pace and provide a worthy opponent in which to hunt.

            Burns organises the hunt and offers a service to anyone who can afford to play. A fee of $2500 is required to participate in the most thrilling hunt on earth. After he arrives at the cabin he introduces Mason to the rest of the team which includes Cole (Charles S. Dutton), Doc Hawkins (Gary Busey), Hank (Jeff Corey), Griffen (John C. McGinley) and Derek Wolf (F. Murray Abraham) and his son Derek Jr (William McNamara). As introductions are made, Burns tells the group to settle in for the night before the big hunt begins. As the sun rises, Burns reveals everything to Mason explaining that he is the star of the show and tells him that if he wants to live he only needs to make it back to civilisation. Burns knows that they are out in the middle of no where and that task is easier said than done. As he leads the team on the hunt it seems like any other hunt he has ever been on until a number of events occur which were not part of the schedule. Burns soon realises that Mason is not like any other man he has hunted before and along with the rest of the group, knows that on this particular hunt he is certainly getting more than he bargained for. Determined to hunt down Mason whatever the cost however, he uses all his tracking and hunting skills in order to get a final showdown with Mason. Burns has no intention of letting Mason survive and knows that it's only him or Mason that can make it out alive.

            The plot of the movie in my opinion was one that is right up my alley in terms of enjoyment. Its an action packed thriller which has you on edge from the start and Ice T plays a great performance as Mason, and one in which you feel for his character and have reason to actually care. The movie itself has a similar plot to what I have seen in the Jean Claude Van Damme classic named Hard Target. That movie stared Lance Henrikson as the hunt leader where he would give a homeless person a belt filled with money and told that if he can make it to a certain point then they would get to keep the money. Surviving The Game is a similar sort of movie but holds its own and in my opinion had a better story and a much better cast. The rest of the cast played their parts really well but Ice T and Rutger Hauer by far give the best performances in the film. Ice T is actually a better actor than most people might give him credit for and his portray of Mason was brilliant and one that viewers could form an attachment to. I don't really need to say much about Rutger Hauer as lets face it he is who he is and always gives a brilliant performance. If you ask anyone to give you a list of any actors who play the part of the bad guy better than anyone then I am certain his name would be up there at the top.

            I don't really have anything negative to say about the movie as I did really enjoy it. If I had to pick at anything I guess it would be that as the movie went on it was a bit predictable to see how the outcome was going to turn out therefore removing the elements of surprise and shock. It didn't lower my enjoyment of the movie one bit but the movie critics out there they would probably make a big deal out of it.


            Cast

            Ice T as Mason
            Rutger Hauer as Burns
            Gary Busey as Doc Hawkins
            Charles S. Dutton as Walter Cole
            F. Murray Abraham as Derek Wolfe
            John C. McGinley as Griffen
            Jeff Corey as Hank
            William McNamara as Derek Wolfe Jr.


            Summary

            This is a movie which I would recommend easily to anyone out there who likes a good action film with a gripping plot. As I said earlier it was not a movie that I had heard of or knew much about until being told from a friend that I should check it out as I would enjoy it. After watching the movie I certainly wasn't disappointed although was confused as to how I had never come across it until now.

            I always find it more enjoyable when you watch a movie that you have no knowledge of therefore you have no expectations of what to expect, meaning it makes it even better after you have watched it and realised how good it is. I remember thinking the same when I first seen From Dusk Till Dawn as believe it or not when I first seen that movie I had no idea what it was about. I think I was just flicking through the channels one night and thought I would see what it was all about. By the end of it I was thinking that certainly wasn't what I was expecting but what a great movie. Surviving The Game had the same impact in terms of I had not read anything about it or the fact that I was not really expecting much from it so after it was all said and done it was more satisfying and amazing at how surprised I was.

            Like myself I doubt many people will have heard of this film or even if they have they may have let it slip by them. If you do manage to get a chance then I suggest you give it a try as it is a good film and one that doesn't rely on thousands of pounds worth of special effects to make it successful. I seen it on Film 4 a few weeks ago and if you have sky then you will know they often repeat things, so the chances are this will make several more showings over the next few months.

            A really good film and definitely worth a watch.

            Genres: Action/Thriller
            Running Time: 1 hr. 36 min.
            Release Date: May 15th, 1994 (UK)
            MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence/strong graphic images,
            Distributors: New Line Cinema

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            • General / Discussion / 75 Readings / 69 Ratings
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              16.10.2008 12:07
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              Me

              1. Which do you prefer - shower or bath? And why?

              Shower, Quick and refreshing. Helps wake you up on a morning.

              2. What do you swear you'll never do?

              Go to prison and pick up the soap.

              3. What's the most embarrassing thing you ever done?

              Stole Westwoods chineese. (Pure accident). Also had a pretty embarrising moment at the drive through at mMcdonalds recently.

              4. What is your favourite quote?

              Got quite a few. How about "If your not fast, your last".

              5. What was your favourite holiday? And why?

              Turkey. Not really a favourite actually as I was in middle of an earthquake. Worst thing was I had just finished my jigsaw.

              6. What was your favourite childhood toy?

              He-man figures. Wrestling figures (I had tons) Super Nintendo.

              7. Do you have any pets?

              Yes. 2 Guinea pigs. Freddy and Jason

              8. Savoury or sweet?

              Sweet but I can do both.

              9. Hot or cold?

              Hot.

              10. What's your favourite drink? - Alcoholic and Non-alcoholic

              Vodka and Redbull.

              11. What's your favourite food?

              Chineese

              12. Who do you hate the most?

              People who talk constant rubbish to make themselves look good.

              13. Do you have a crush on someone? If so, who?

              Nobody

              14. What is your favourite colour?

              Blue

              15. What did you do last night?

              Played football. Scored a screamer from about 30 yards. Not even 2 keepers could have saved it.

              16. What's your favourite thing to do?

              Chill out. Play some Xbox Live and watch Dvds.

              17. Favourite movie, T.V Programme, Book?

              Top Gun, 24, The Surgeon.

              18. Who's your hero?

              Dont really have one.

              19. Favourite song of all time?

              The Verve - Bitter Sweet Symphony

              20. Have you ever had a supernatural experience?

              Not that I am certain of but I once seen a strange light in the sky when I was younger.

              21. Favourite Sound?

              Lol what kind of quetsion is that.

              22. Favourite Smell?

              No idea.

              23. Favourite place to be?

              Not at work.

              24. Happiest moment in your life?

              My daughter being born.

              25. Saddest moment in your life so far?

              When my Grandad passed away.

              26. What is your dream job?

              Little work with big pay. Something in the entertainment industry.

              27. What would be your idea of a perfect date?

              Good food, good movie, few drinks then who knows.

              28. What's your favourite Newspaper/ Magazine?

              Nuts

              29. Which celebrity do you like the most?

              Dwayne The Rock Johnson.

              30. Do you have any siblings?

              Younger brother. He needs a hair cut.

              31. Have you ever been in hospital? If so, why?

              Quite a few times. Tore my ankle ligiments playing football. Pretty painfull.

              32. Have you ever broken a bone or had stitches?

              Stictches in my head after a accident involving a swing.

              33. Do you believe in Angels/Ghosts/Demons?.

              Yes. There is definently something out there.

              34. Are you superstitious?

              I think so sometimes.

              35. What colour eyes do you have?

              Green

              36. What colour hair do you have?

              Brown

              38. If you could change 1 thing about your appearance, what would it be?

              Not really sure to be honest. I like the way I am.

              39. If you could change 1 thing about your personality, what would it be?

              Nothing. Everyone should have a friend like me. Its a laugh a minute.

              40. What is your biggest fear?

              Being buried alive.

              41. Do you have any regrets? If so, what are they?

              Everyone has things they wish they could change at some point in their life.

              42. Have you ever been in love?

              Yes

              43. What's the most important thing to you in the world?

              Family and Friends.

              44. What is your most treasured possession?

              My Xbox 360

              45. What's your job?

              Work for Hewlett Packard.

              46. What's the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?

              My partner Claire has done too many to name.

              47. What's the worst thing anyone has done to you?

              Not sure off the top of my head but I am sure they will get theirs eventually.

              48. Dream car?

              Ferrari Enzo

              49. Favourite celebration?

              Christmas

              50. Where do you hang out?

              My place, Friends, Pubs,

              51. What School did you go to?

              St Edmund Campion

              52. What/ Who annoys you?

              People who talk too much nonsense and all about themselves. Yap yap yap...get a job. I cants stand wanna be celebrities either. People especially like those who go on big brother. I think next time they need to throw in a couple of convicts or a serial killer. That should give them some fame.

              53. Do you recycle?

              Sometimes.

              54. What's your favourite sport?

              Football. Best sport in the world. Newcastle United.

              55. Who was the last person to upset you?

              My boss. He would not let me have any pizza at work.

              56. What are your hobbies?

              Football, Xbox, Watching movies, Chilling.

              57. What was the last joke you heard?

              Not sure. I am the one usually telling them.

              58. What is the best joke you've heard?

              Like I said its usually me telling them.

              59. What's the worst joke you've heard?

              Too many to list.

              60. Name 3 places you have been on holiday:-

              Romania, Wargate, USA

              61. Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?

              I never think that far ahead.

              62. Favourite Season?

              Football Season

              63. What's your favourite website?

              Soccermanager.com, Facebook, Skysports.com

              64. What's your favourite shop?

              HMV

              65. What's your worst habit?.

              Being lazy

              66. What's your favourite animal?

              A shark

              67. What is your ultimate fantasy?

              Show me the money!

              68. Can you cook?

              Yes Im really good.

              69. What is the last lie you told?

              See previous question.

              70. Favourite flavour ice-cream?

              Mint

              71. Favourite take-away?

              Chineese or Indians.

              72. What do you hate doing the most?

              Going shopping when its packed and getting stuck in traffic.

              73. What do you like doing the most?

              Playing Xbox 360. Other things I cant say as its before 9pm.

              74. If you were a Super Hero what would your name be?

              The Sleeper

              75. What is your porn star name (take the name of your first pet and your mother's maiden name and put them together)

              Jack Ward.

              76. If you were an animal what would you like to be?

              An Eagle.

              77. What would your animal name be?

              What????

              78. If you could go back in time, what time would you go to?

              The good old western days.

              79. Any person alive or dead - who would you meet?

              Bruce Lee. So he can teach me his skills.

              80. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

              Florida.

              81. Tea or coffee?

              Tea

              82. What was/is your nickname?

              Depends on who is talking to me. Tez or Tezza usually.

              83. Have you been to college?

              Yeah. Easy days.

              84. What is the wildest thing you've ever done?

              No idea to be honest. My head hurts thinking of all these answers.

              85. Can you play an instrument?

              Does Guitar Hero count as I am the man on that.

              86. What's your favourite Disney Character?

              Mickey Mouse. Kind of hard not to be when he is on 24/7 in the house.

              87. Favourite theme park?

              The second one for the Sega Megadrive.

              88. What size feet are you?

              9

              89. If you were King/Queen for a day what 3 changes would you make to the world?

              Decrease taxes.
              Bring down fuel prices
              Have Chavs Abolished

              90. What is your favourite Night Club?

              Not too sure

              91. Name one thing that most people don't know about you?

              Not too sure. What you see is what you get.

              92. When was the last time you cried? And why?

              Not sure. Im hardcore.

              93. If you could have 3 wishes, What would they be?

              Unlimited wishes (haha I know its cheating)
              Unlimited money.
              Super Hero Powers

              94. Would you ever have plastic surgery? If so, where?

              Never thought about it.

              95. What are you most ashamed of?

              The things I have done to loved ones over the last year.

              96. Thongs or Knickers/ Boxers/ Pants - on you/ on someone else

              Boxers.

              97. Blondes/ Brunettes or Red heads?

              I currently have a partner who changes her hair colour more than I swithc the bedroom light on and off so all colours.

              98. What do you find sexy?

              Jessica Biel

              99. If you could have a super power/ ability, what would it be?

              The ability to mimic others. Like the girl from Heroes season 1.

              100. Did you enjoy doing this quiz?.

              Yeah it was ok I guess.

              Comments

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              • FIFA 09 (Xbox 360) / Xbox 360 Game / 110 Readings / 110 Ratings
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                09.10.2008 18:13
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                Takes the top spot from PES. Best football game to date.

                Any one will tell your that when it comes to football games your either a Pro Evolution Soccer player or your a Fifa player. You cant be both as it just does not work like that.

                For years the battle has been ongoing between Electronic Arts and Konami for who could produce the best football game each year. For many years it seemed like Konami had the upper hand as their game was more playable and user friendly compared to the Fifa titles.

                I have been a loyal Pro Evolution fan myself over the years but just like everything else in life things change and so do games. After being a bit disappointed in last years Pro Evolution, I constantly had my friends on at me to make the jump to Fifa. I admit I was hesitant but I had sort of made up my mind that I wasn't going to buy Pro Evolution this year anyway. After being assured I would not regret buying Fifa, and after reading good things about it I thought it sounded good so I decided I would give it a shot. I could not have been more wrong. To say the game is good is an understatement, as let me tell you now its absolutely amazing. This is a fine example of how a next generation console should present a football game.

                From the minute you put the game into the tray and you see the intro you just know its going to be something special. The one advantage Fifa has always had over Pro Evolution is its looks and the fact it has the official license so you do actually get to play as Manchester United and Chelsea rather than Man Red and London Blue.

                If anyone has played any of the recent Tiger Woods games then the menu layout is practically identical to what you would see on them. Before getting into the menu's themselves you go through a few quick set up steps such as setting your control type and difficulty. Once you get to the main menu you can do several things. The obvious things include jumping straight into a quick game with pre set teams or setting up a tournament which includes most of Europe's top leagues and cups.


                Quick Match

                This is basically what it says in which you can jump right into a game without going through lots of settings and selections. You can pre set the two teams at any time and save them for future use as well as other settings such as weather and length of game. Once these settings are saved they will be stored for future quick match games meaning you can jump straight into the game.

                Tournament Mode

                As previously stated this is the normal mode which you can use to compete in one of many competitions. You can compete in the English Premier League to the Italian Serie A, as well as The Champions League and even international tournaments such as The World Cup. There is even an option to create your own tournaments meaning you could have a league or cup consisting of all the best teams from around the globe.

                Manager Mode

                One of my favourite modes, as not only do you get to control your favourite team but you get to make the decisions you wish real managers would make. You can take your team through a normal number of seasons fighting for silverware and even improving your team along the way. Michael Owen not performing for you? Well how about diving into the transfer market to find a replacement. You can buy and sell your players to how you see fit and you can change the currency to whatever suits you.

                Be a Pro Mode

                The newest feature to the series and by far the most addictive and entertaining of the lot. In this mode you start off by creating a custom player who you will control in your quest to rise up the ranks and break out onto the national scene. You do get the option to control your favourite player such as Ronaldo, Ronaldinho etc. However the main challenge is building up a player from scratch. The first stage is creating your player's look which includes facial design as well as his overall look. You get to choose if you want your shirt tucked in or out as well as what football boots he wears. There is a wide selection of official boots to choose from so you will have more than enough options available to you. You also need to put in some data information such as how your name appears on the back of your shirt and how the commentators refer to you. This is a cool feature which lets you select a surname from a long list and means during a game the commentator will actually call you by your name when your on the ball.

                The concept of be a pro made revolves around your one player and the fact that he is the only controllable player during the match. The camera is good enough so that you can see everything around you so you always know where to run and who to pass to. It would be tempting to just run all over the pitch like a headless chicken but the game rewards you for being more tactical. If you have chosen to play as a central defender you will find that drifting up front and moving out of position too often will affect your match rating. The object of the game is to pull in consistently good match ratings so you can advance your career, so playing as a one man team is not the way to do it. Sticking to your position, completing passes, tackles and dribbles will all get you boosts to your overall rating, where as drifting out of position, mis timing tackles and failed passes will all count against you and drag your rating down.

                As your career progresses you will slowly move up from the reserves and into the first team. Play really well and you may even find yourself leading the team on the field on a regular basis. Once you have the captain's armband a whole lot more options become available to you. You are able to tinker with tactics as well as set piece takers and certain roles for different players. Although your still only controlling one player throughout the game it does feel like it gives you extra control of things. Being able to change tactics during the game is a big help in killing teams off or helping to come back from a negative score line. Of course the biggest achievement you can hope for is that you break on to the international scene and that is just what happens if you manage to pull in good performances week in week out.

                This mode is a great new feature to the franchise and is very similar to what I have seen in the Madden NFL games where you also take control of one player and guide him through his career. It's a fun addictive mode to play and you can even have one or two of your friends join in the fun and play alongside you as they also take control of a player of their choice. The only gripe I have with this mode is that you only get to play 4 seasons. This in my opinion is a bit disappointing as its sort of forcing you to start all over once the time is up rather than just continuing to play. I don't think a time frame was required for this mode and although you may get a congratulations by the end of it there should have been an option to play on. On the plus side though once your finished you can restart with another player and try out a new position.

                Whichever mode you play your treated to some brilliant visuals. The game has always been the better looking of the football titles but this year's next gen console version sets the bar for all other games to follow. Stadiums look brilliant as well as the playing surfaces themselves. The shadows look realistic too and those from certain stadiums which have stands with roofs will reflect down on the pitch making some areas more darker than others. The players themselves look much better compared to previous games. Some of the faces still could do with a bit of work but all in all it's a minor detail when you take into consideration all the other positives. Even the fans look more realistic and there are a lot more individual fans that do their own thing compared to many games where you will see multiple versions of them sitting in seats next to each other.

                Sound in the game is brilliant also. The soundtrack is really good and includes a few good songs that I am sure you will recognise no problem. The commentary in the game is the Sky Sports crew of Martin Tyler and Andy Gray, and in my opinion they do a much better job than the Pro Evolution commentators. They never fall behind the action and give good information with regards to how the game is panning out. As I mentioned earlier when your playing as yourself they will even call your name as you make passes and take shots. Its really good to hear your name get a mention along with the top stars of football. The players are more vocal in the game also and will shout instructions at you during the match. Things from shouting for a foul after being hacked down, or shouting for the ball to be played into space so they can advance on goal. The atmosphere of any real football match though comes from the fans themselves. The fans in Fifa are superb and are vocal through out the match. You will hear them cheer and shout as your team moves up field and they will even sing out to famous club chants. If you go to regular football games you can expect to hear most of the club chants and songs that you would hear coming from the fans in Fifa. It really makes the game more realistic and gives you the feeling that the fans are really behind you wanting you to put on a show.

                The controls in the game can be altered to what suits you best but the basic controls are very simple. The main buttons include pass, through ball, cross and shoot and the shoulder buttons give you access to sprinting as well as the basis to perform tricks. Tricks are ever present in this game and they are easily done if you can pull them off. Most of the tricks can be performed by moving the right analogue stick in different directions. The more complex the trick is then the harder the movement will be on the stick. A simple side step may require a flick to the left but several step over's may require several directional combinations on the stick. Don't expect to be able to pull off tricks left right and centre though, as like real life the game recognises that not every player can do them. Several step over's and flicks may seem easy when in control of someone like Christiano Ronaldo, but try doing it with someone like Robbie Savage and I guarantee you the outcome will not be what you were hoping for. Only the better players in the game will be able to perform the more complex tricks, but most players will be able to do a simple side step. Don't think for a second that you will be to pull off tricks from box to box with a defender and stick the ball in the net. The computer A.I is much improved and more aware of what's going on around them. The game makes you play tactically rather than direct. You will usually be forced to put passes together and build up to an attack rather than go direct down the flanks running at full speed. If you do manage to beat your man, you wont be able to just lose him as he will stay on you and try and close you down as best he can. This is a great feature which is what has made Fifa so popular. Pro Evolution always got the vote when it came to game play but it seems that this time Electronic Arts have nailed this one and got it spot on. Everyone will remember the times when you could take a defender from one end, and do multiple tricks all the way down the middle of the pitch and score at the other end. In Fifa 09 this will be near impossible as it plays to a more patient and realistic approach giving you the greatest football experience to date.

                The movement of the players is the most realistic you will see ever in a football game. Players call for passes and point to where they want the ball played. This is a big help for picking out killer passes to break down the opposing teams defences. Even the goal keepers are vastly improved and react much better than in other games. They will rush out and dive at the player's feet in an attempt to close you down quickly and stop you from scoring. The biggest drawback to any football game is once you play it time and time again you can usually learn which the best positions are to score from. Lots of football games have sweet spots which when you shoot from will almost always result in a goal. Fifa on the other hand is the opposite. You can score from many different positions including screamers from outside of the area but just because you score from a position once will not guarantee the same outcome again. This is one of the best things about the game which prevents it from being repetitive. I personally got bored of playing football games and winning every game 8-0 with all goals looking exactly the same as the previous. As you play the game more you will realise that you will play an even number of plays from the wings as you will from the middle, as there is an even chance of creating a goal by both. There is nothing sweeter than hitting a 30 yard screamer and although you wont get them constantly, you will try them more than often in hope of beating the keeper to the top corner.

                If you have Xbox live you can hook up for some really fun online play. All the basic game modes are there as well as a 10 v 10 mode in which every outfield player can be controlled. I have not tested this mode myself yet but I think it will definitely be one worth trying. As long as its not jumpy and its not a case of all 20 players chasing the ball at once then it could be a really good feature. On a lot of EA games I have played however in the past the servers always seem to suffer and run slower with the more players you have, so I will refrain from commenting until I have actually tested it.

                The developers are also adding downloadable content via the market place which will include stat updates. As the real life season's progress and players go in and out of form, the developers will update their stats so that you can download them and keep you game up to date constantly. This I think is a great little thing which will mean that your rosters are always up to date and that they mirror the real game themselves.

                Overall if you like football games then you will love this game. Even the die hard Pro Evolution fans will find it hard to argue with the facts this year. Having heard some not so impressive things about the new edition of Pro Evolution I would not be surprised if like me, more and more people make the switch.

                The game plays fantastic, it looks great and the sound is superb, so what more can you ask for in a football game. EA have certainly hit the jackpot this year and stole the top spot from Konami. Konami are going to have to produce something pretty big in next year's game as this year's does not seem to be much different from the last. Fifa may have been criticised heavily in the past but the developers have went away and had a long think. The end result is a game that is enjoyable and fun to play while giving you a realistic gaming experience.

                Top marks to EA for finally getting it right. The best football game to date.

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                • Mindhunters (DVD) / DVD / 90 Readings / 87 Ratings
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                  03.10.2008 14:54
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                  A great movie full of twists and turn which will have you on the edge of your seat.

                  This is a film that I knew nothing about and had no idea who was in it. Its one of those films that a friend persuades you to watch guaranteeing that you will enjoy it. I gave it a shot and was very surprised at how good it was.

                  Mindhunters was directed by Renny Harlin and stars a host of names including Jonny Lee Miller, Val Kilmer, Christian Slater, LL Cool J and Kathryn Morris. They are a group of FBI profilers who are sent to a remote Island in order to partake in a training simulation which will determine if they make the grade or not. As the team arrive on the Island though, things soon take an unexpected turn and it seems a killer is among them. With the group pointing the finger at each other it appears that one of them is hiding the truth and so begins a fight for survival. The team includes a man who has a talent for fixing things. A wheelchair bound ex police officer who never goes anywhere without his gun. A smoker who has been attempting to quit for a while, and a un confident woman who is petrified of drowning. As the team become suspicious of each other they realise they can only trust themselves if they are to survive.

                  Sara Moore (Kathryn Morris) plays the un confident FBI profiler who seems to struggle with the physical side and field duties of being a profiler. All the rest of the team are aware of this and they are encouraging to her and try their best to support her and assist her. Jake Harris (Val Kilmer) however is more critical of her performances and challenges her every move in an attempt that she will slip up. He is doubtful she will make it through but Sara is hopeful and determined to prove him wrong. After an accident when she was younger she has admitted to the rest of the team that she cant swim and is terrified of the water.

                  J.D (Christian Slater) plays the head of the team. Although Jake is in charge of how things are done and is responsible for their training, its J.D who leads the team out in the field. He is always the first on the scene and the first to give input on his findings and investigating. His coolness and calmness in the field is the reason why the rest of the team have never doubted him and for this reason he is well trusted by the rest of them.

                  Lucas Harper (Jonny Lee Miller) plays the edgy ultra intelligent member of the group. Its revealed early on that his parents were killed when he was a child and its for this reason he has grown up to live without fear. It seems that nothing fazes him even when dealing with the fact that one of the team is hiding a dark secret. He has a liking for Sara but with her vulnerability and lack of confidence, she has problems letting anyone in too close. Lucas is sometimes frustrated at this and try's to get her to let her guard down for once instead of being over cautious all the time.

                  LL Cool J plays the part of Gabe who has been added to the team at the last minute by Jake in order to observe the rest of the team. Nothing much is known about his background early on and the other characters you can see are uneasy around him. When things start going wrong its an easy option for the team to be suspicious of Gabe for the reason that they don't know nothing about him. He never stated much about himself and being added to the team so late on and unbeknownst to the rest of them gives major cause for concern.

                  Jake instructs and controls proceedings from a remote terminal and acts as the eye in the sky so to speak. He has cameras dotted all over the island so can see every move each person makes. After the team lose radio contact with him however he soon like every other member of the team becomes a suspect. He was the one who sent them hear after all so that alone is a reason to be suspicious.

                  Not a lot can be said about events that occur as its one of those films where the slightest thing can be too much information. Trust me when I say that the information I have give about the characters is in no way a spoiler to any of the movie.

                  The thing I enjoyed most about the movie was its ability to draw me in right from the get go. Like I previously said I was not familiar with the film so had no idea what to expect. Its one of those films that will have you guessing from the start and how its done is brilliant. Its not just a case of throwing in a few characters and have them hunting for a killer just for the sake of it. Each character appears to be linked in someway and as things start going wrong it appears that events unfold in connection with each characters personality. Again I cant really elaborate on this too much but its tense and full of suspense from start to finish. Its one of those films that has you on the edge of your seat, and just as you think you have worked it out you soon realise you couldn't be any further from the truth.

                  I cant really say much towards the downside of the movie apart from that its probably not that well known. Like myself there are probably many others out there who had or have not ever heard of this. It didn't get much coverage when it was released in the UK and for this reason it can easily be missed. I know myself after watching it I have asked other friends if they have ever seen Mindhunters and I usually get a blank stare followed by a response such as "what is that?" or "I have never heard of it". I said the same thing myself at the time but was really pleased I took the advice and gave the film a try.


                  Cast

                  LL Cool J as Gabe Jensen
                  Kathryn Morris as Sarah Moore
                  Jonny Lee Miller as Lucas Harper
                  Val Kilmer as Jake Harris
                  Christian Slater as J.D. Reston
                  Will Kemp as Rafe Perry
                  Eion Bailey as Bobby Whitman
                  Clifton Collins Jr as Vince Sherman
                  Patricia Velasquez as Nicole Willis


                  Summary
                  Mindhunters is a brilliant and well done film that I highly recommend to anyone out there. If you like a film with a gripping pull you in type story line full of twists and turns then this is a film you will probably enjoy.

                  For a film that not many people might know about it contains quite a strong cast of characters. I am not really a fan of Val Kilmer to be fair but he gives a decent showing as the top man. Compared to seeing him in other movies though I get the impression he has been having a few extra takeaways from time and time again. When you see him you will know what I mean. Christian Slater is actually a better actor than what most people give him credit for. Although Mindhunters probably wont go down as his best performance he gives a good showing and he is an instant recognisable actor to most viewers. Jonny Lee Miller was the actor I was most impressed with in this film though. I have seen him only in a couple of films including one called Hackers in which he played a slacker teenager who had an incredible gift for being able to use a computer like no one else. In Mindhunters he plays a more older mature role and his character is probably one of the best in the film. Early on he spends most of the time in the background whilst Christian Slater and LL Cool J seem to hog the spot light, but as the film advances his presence becomes stronger. His story is one that involved his parents being killed early on in his life so he is an easy character to latch on to and gives you a reason to actually feel something towards him. His performance overall was very good and definitely worth a mention in my review.

                  Mindhunters is one of those films that I have seen several times and even though I have previously seen it I would watch it again if it happened to be on television. If you can manage to get your hands on it then its well worth the watch. I told others about it after I seen it and after they watched it themselves they were confused as how they had never seen it before and agreed it was a really good film.

                  Brilliant stuff.


                  Genres: Action/Drama/Thriller/Mystery/Horror
                  Running Time: 1 hr. 46 min.
                  Release Date: May 12th, 2004 (UK)
                  MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence/strong graphic images, language and sexual content.
                  Distributors: Dimension Films

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                    02.10.2008 15:17
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                    Another great season to a great TV show

                    Buffy returns for a third season and brings along the usual gang as well as a few new characters who are introduced to the show.

                    This season is all about the build up to graduation day where the students are set to finally graduate from high school. Richard Wilkins is the mayor of Sunnydale, but he has bigger plans than just looking after the well being of the town. Buffy herself is still distant from her friends after events in season 2, and a new slayer by the name of Faith (Eliza Dushku) arrives to offer a helping hand but is soon caught between the sides of good and evil. As Giles lets personal feelings come between his job and Buffy he soon finds himself on the receiving end of backlash from the council.

                    After the ending of season 2, Buffy couldn't bear to face her family or friends and had no interest in keeping up her slayer duties. She took off from Sunnydale in hope of starting a new life. It didn't take long for her return though and although she was happy to see her friends and family the reunion was not how she was hoping. It seems her friends had got used to coping without Buffy and deep down they were still upset that she took off without telling them. Keeping the truth hidden about Angel it seems as though her mind is not fully focused on the job at hand. As she is soon introduced to a new slayer it becomes clear that her attitude is starting to change and she seems to become more rebellious and daring under the influence of Faith. After a turn of events happen for the worse however she has a wake up call and tries to distance herself from Faith. As she regroups the old gang back together they learn that mayor Wilkins is planning an unforgettable graduation party. Its not just any party though as it turns out that the students won't be making it past graduation alive. As Buffy prepares to put a stop to his plans she crosses paths with Angel who somehow has returned from hell and her emotions once again begin to spiral out of control.

                    We learn that Angel had been forced to live in a hell type dimension for centuries although the average earth day would equal to several months. He is disturbed after the torture and torment he has endured but Buffy is the one person he has vague recollection of. As he battles to regain his strength he comes face to face with Faith who attempts to kill him due to him being a vampire, and under influence from the mayor himself. After he is saved from Buffy he sets out to help but makes the decision it will be the last time as he knows that if Buffy is going to get on with her life then he needs to distance himself from her. Its soon decided that after graduation he will disappear out of her life regardless of her approval or not. Is this the last we see of Angel? Probably not but he feels he can do good elsewhere without the distraction of his feelings towards Buffy.

                    Mayor Richard Wilkins has only one plan for Sunnydale and it involves the students themselves. He seems an intelligent well spoken individual but you soon learn he has a dark demented side to him. After Faith goes rouge and becomes wanted by police he takes her in under his guidance. Using her at first to carry out his dirty work he soon takes a strong liking to her and his feelings grow strong. Treating her as the daughter he never had he gives her everything in return for her loyalty and respect. As the two conspire to retake Angels soul it's a task that is easier said than done as a certain other slayer doesn't take to kindly to their actions. As he orders Faith to take care of Buffy, he prepares for graduation day where he plans to complete the ritual known as the asencsion, in which he will transform into a serpent like creature, slaughtering all the students in a massacre.

                    Faith herself arrives early on in the series and turns heads left right and centre. She is more than equal to Buffy but her outgoing personality and rebellious attitude gets attention from the rest of the gang. As Buffy becomes jealous of Faith, its apparent from the beginning there will be tension between the two. After Giles assigns them to work slayer duties together it seems as though Buffy is picking up some bad habits from Faith. As Faith spirals out of control not even Buffy can make her see sense. Faith soon goes on the run where she seeks refuge in the hands of the mayor who orders her to kill Angel. Attempting to kill Angel however puts her at the top of Buffy's hit list, and as it appears Sunnydale can only be big enough for slayer then the battle of good against evil will face off head to head. With Faith more than capable of handling Buffy its clear that words can not solve the situation and only one of them will make it out alive.

                    As for the rest of the gang, they seem to be handling themselves pretty well in the absence of Buffy. When Buffy cry's out for attention and support the gang are hesitant to give it to her. Xander tells Buffy that it was her decision to take off and she never thought about them and how they were feeling. Willow, Cordelia, Giles and even her own mother agree with Xander on this occasion. As their attention is focused on the new slayer its not long before old friendships are amended though as they prepare to formulate a plan to get them through graduation.
                    Relationships take a heavy burden in season 3 and its not just between Buffy and Angel. After a brief awkward moment between Xander and Willow, tensions rise and as they struggle to explain to both Oz and Cordelia. It appears that one of them is more forgiving than the other.

                    Like previous seasons I have to say one of the highlights for me was some of the individual episodes. There is always the main focus of the plot but the show gives you some great individual episodes in between the action. One of my favourite episodes of the whole series was the episode entitled 'The Wish'. After a spell is cast upon Buffy, she is transported to an alternative reality in which vampires rule. Her best friends Willow and Xander are actually blood sucking vampires who are servants of The Master himself. I thought Willow was brilliant in this episode playing a more evil type character with a cocky and bad attitude. So much different from her usual role which we have been accustomed to.

                    The inclusion of Faith was also one of my favourite moments. I said in my review to season 2 that there is only one slayer in my eyes, but unlike Kendra who appeared in that season, Faith gives a much better showing. She is a much better actor and her character is one of the best in the show. She is a slayer with the understanding that she is above everyone else. She has the powers of a slayer and does not feel the need to hide them. Her run and gun attitude is what gets her into trouble but is what makes her unique in her own way rather than showcase her as another Buffy.

                    As for the negatives, unfortunately I don't have any to say about this series. Apart from series 7 this is my favourite season of the lot. I suppose the only thing I don't care much for is the character of Joyce (Kristine Sutherland) who plays Buffy's mother. She is in most of the seasons though so its nothing major. I have never really cared much for her character as I find her quite annoying and boring so any episodes where she doesn't make an appearance gets a thumbs up from me.


                    Season 3 Episode List

                    Episode 1: Anne
                    Episode 2: Dead Man's Party
                    Episode 3: Faith, Hope and Trick
                    Episode 4: Beauty And The Beasts
                    Episode 5: Homecoming
                    Episode 6: Band Candy
                    Episode 7: Revelations
                    Episode 8: Lovers Walk
                    Episode 9: The Wish
                    Episode 10: Amends
                    Episode 11: Gingerbread
                    Episode 12: Helpless
                    Episode 13: The Zeppo
                    Episode 14: Bad Girls
                    Episode 15: Consequences
                    Episode 16: Doppelgangland
                    Episode 17: Enemies
                    Episode 18: Earshot
                    Episode 19: Choices
                    Episode 20: The Prom
                    Episode 21: Graduation Day, Part 1
                    Episode 22: Graduation Day, Part 2

                    Although I didn't find any series in particular quite weak, I would say that this is easily in my opinion one of the strongest.

                    It followed on from events in the previous season and with the inclusion of Faith it excelled upon its predecessor. Season 2 was a great season with most of the focus based around the character of Angel. Season 3 was a way to introduce a new character who happens to appear in further seasons and episodes further down the line. Eliza Dushku played the role of Faith really well. I have seen her in other many other things including films such as Wrong Turn and Bring It On, to even True Lies where she was a hell of a lot younger. Her role as Faith however will always be where I remember her best.

                    This was the season where Angel would say his goodbyes and leave the cast of Buffy The Vampire Slayer but he would star as the lead character in the show called Angel. For obvious reasons the show would be named after himself and a few other cast members would join him along with Buffy regulars turning up on occasions.

                    Season 3 is a really good season which lives up to the hype of the first two. If you liked the first two then you will more than likely have already seen season 3 and will have your own opinion. It's the season where the cast are finally growing up and although there characters are similar to those in earlier seasons it is quite clear to see the differences and contrast between them as each season passes.

                    A brilliant season which keeps the franchise as strong and popular as ever.

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                      30.09.2008 16:38
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                      Brilliant season following on from previous one.

                      After the huge success of the first season, Buffy and the gang return, this time for a full length season.

                      Unlike the first season in which it slowly introduced us to the characters, this season wastes no time in getting into the action and also drops in a few new characters along the way. The focus of the story is heavily based around Buffy and Angel with regards to their feelings for each other. We learnt in the first season that Angel is a vampire with a soul and its in this season that we finally meet Angelus (Angels alter ego) who unlike Angel is determined to put a stop to the slayer once and for all.

                      After the fallout from the first season it appears as though Buffy is struggling to cope with recent events. Visions of a return from The Master continue to torment her and with her friends pre occupied with their own lives the only person she can turn to is Angel. As the pair grow even closer its seems as though feelings have went beyond friendship. Buffy ends up spending the night with Angel but awakes early, only to find Angel gone. After she finally tracks him down it appears he is no longer himself. Its soon revealed that Angelus is now in control and the only thing he wants from Buffy is her life. Angelus torments Buffy, playing with her emotions and feelings. It seems he will do anything to bring the slayer down including hurting the people she loves the most. As Buffy searches franticly for a cure to bring Angel back it becomes obvious that the only solution may be to kill Angelus which would result in the death of Angel also. With her friends dealing with their own problems and Giles busy dealing with the council she soon realises that without Angel she is more alone in the world than she has ever been.

                      Angel himself is a major character in the second season. As we learnt in season one, he is a vampire who had his soul restored to him after a gypsy placed a curse on him. The curse was that he would live an eternity with all the memories and feelings of all the evil that he has done throughout the centuries. Legend has it that only a moment of true happiness would banish his soul and resurrect the demon inside of him. After his feelings grow stronger for Buffy it is obvious his feelings have gone beyond friendship for her and turned into love. After spending the night with Buffy he soon realises something is wrong and runs off in order to protect her. With Angel gone and Angelus reborn he flees to the underground and is soon joined by Spike (James Masters) and Drusilla (Juliet Landau), two new vampires who have just arrived at Sunnydale.

                      Angelus does not waste any time in hatching his plan to unleash hell on earth and take care of the slayer in the process. With a new evil attitude and sporting a new set of leather pants he begins tormenting Buffy and plays off of her emotions and fear. As he attempts to open a portal to a demon dimension though it appears that not all is good and well amongst the ranks of evil. As he prepares to go head to head with Buffy herself it seems as though someone else within his camp is rooting for the slayer in order to move up in the ranks. As tension rises among evil, Angelus soon reveals that the only way to stop him is to kill him and he knows that Buffy is not strong enough to do so.

                      Willow meanwhile is going through a few changes in her life. Unlike the first season she seems to be growing in confidence. She begins looking into witchcraft and feels she can give more to the team and help fight the cause of good. Her confidence also seems to be attracting the attention of a new student by the name of Oz (Seth Green). Oz has taking a shine to Willow and the two soon become more than just friends. All is not as it seems however as it appears Oz is hiding a dark secret of his own. As Willows suspicions grow, her investigation soon leads her to a confrontation between the one thing that Oz was trying to protect her from.

                      Meanwhile it seems as though Xander is also having relationship problems of his own in the form of Cordelia Chase (Charisma Carpenter). Unlike Xander she is the most popular person in school and the two of them couldn't be any more different to each other. After a life and death moment though the two share a kiss and soon their feelings for one another become apparent or so it would seem. Alone everything seems ok but in public Cordelia continues to treat Xander like he doesn't exist despite feeling guilty about it. She really likes Xander but figures if people knew she was with him that it would affect her popularity around school. Like Willow, Xander is too busy dealing with his own emotions to even realise what Buffy is going through and the difficult times that she will soon be facing.

                      The rest of the cast including Giles play their respective roles but the focus of this season revolves around Buffy and Angel/Angelus. A new slayer by the name of Kendra (Bianca Lawson) arrives in Sunnydale to help Buffy but her presence is short and brief and its not long before Buffy is once again alone in her fight against evil. Spike and Drusilla make appearances throughout the series but play major roles in following seasons. Spike especially becomes a bigger character as this season grows. He is your typical vampire who believes that humans are nothing but food and he doesn't take too kindly to being told what to do. He hates the slayer but he dislikes Angel also. The two have history together and the tension between the two becomes apparent as the plot develops.

                      The thing I loved about season two was that despite the main story line being present throughout the series there were some brilliant individual episodes. One of my favourite episodes in particular is the Halloween episode in which an old friend and enemy of Giles casts a spell on the residents of Sunnydale. The spell itself transforms the residents into their costumes making for some interesting moments. You have people dressed in skeleton costumes and zombie costumes meaning the dead begin to run wild around the streets. My favourite though is Xander himself who dressed up in a military outfit armed with a plastic machine gun. As he is transformed into character he begins moving an acting like an actual soldier and the plastic gun he had is now firing real bullets. I found his scenes in particular very entertaining and fun to watch.

                      I would probably be at a loss to think of anything I didn't like about season two but If I had to choose something it would be the part of Kendra as the second slayer. I can understand why a second slayer was brought into the show and how it happened but I just didn't care much for the character. Her voice was pretty annoying and compared to Buffy she just didn't seem to get the whole slayer thing. She could fight don't get me wrong but she had no personality and her character was quite plain. I have never seen her in any thing pervious to Buffy so whether this was the actress herself or the character she was asked to play I could not be sure. In my eyes there is only one slayer and there is a reason the show is called Buffy the Vampire Slayer.


                      Season 2 Episode List

                      Episode 1: When She Was Bad
                      Episode 2: Some Assembly Required
                      Episode 3: School Hard
                      Episode 4: Inca Mummy Girl
                      Episode 5: Reptile Boy
                      Episode 6: Halloween
                      Episode 7: Lie To Me
                      Episode 8: The Dark Age
                      Episode 9: What's My Line, Part 1
                      Episode 10: What's My Line, Part 2
                      Episode 11: Ted
                      Episode 12: Bad Egg's
                      Episode 13: Surprise
                      Episode 14: Innocence
                      Episode 15: Phases
                      Episode 16: Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered
                      Episode 17: Passion
                      Episode 18: Killing By Death
                      Episode 19: I Only Have Eyes For You
                      Episode 20: Go Fish
                      Episode 21: Becoming, Part 1
                      Episode 22: Becoming, Part 2

                      If you watched season one then you probably have no choice but to watch season two as overall in my opinion this was a brilliant series.

                      This was the season that brought Angel into his own and we got to see Angelus and witness how evil he was. The story follows on directly from the first season so you know exactly where you are and what's going on. The cast are brilliant once again although their characters start to develop a lot more in this season. The main story has been written really well and each episode builds up brilliantly to an explosive final episode which leaves you hanging for the next season.

                      There wont be many people who watched the whole of season one and didn't bother with season two. The show is one of the best to be seen on TV over the past ten years although it may not be every ones cup of tea. If you have heard about it and always thought about watching it then I really hope you do check it out. There are a lot of shows where you could get away with just watching any particular season but with Buffy The Vampire Slayer I advise you watch it from the beginning. I have also reviewed season one previously, so if you like the sound of it then check it out if you wish.

                      It would be easy to list all the positives of the show and being a big fan of the show it would be biased not to list any negatives. Unfortunately even when trying to think from a neutral point of view though I just don't have any thing bad to say about the show. Its well written and every episode is very entertaining.
                      Unlike the first season it's a full 22 episodes which is double than its predecessor. At no point does it feel over run or too long.

                      Every episode tells a story and every episode keeps you watching.

                      Overall a brilliant season which helps develop the character of Angel.

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                        25.09.2008 17:34
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                        Brilliant show. Must see

                        Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a spin off from the movie itself. The movie in my opinion was pretty poor but the series itself was brilliant and well written.

                        I watched all seven series' of the show and have the full set on DVD which is a brilliant box set packed with hours worth of episodes.

                        Buffy the series was created by Joss Whedon and follows Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) who is the latest in a long history of young women chosen to battle the forces of evil including vampires, demons and other forces of darkness. All slayers are guided by a watcher, and Rupert Giles (Anthony Head) is giving the task of watching over her and preparing her to face what ever evil comes her way. Unlike past slayers however Buffy is joined by a group of close friends who discover her secret and help her in her fight against the forces of evil.

                        Buffy Summers of course is the main character in the series and after arriving in Sunnydale she is soon taking under the watchful eye of Rupert Giles, who wastes no time in reminding her that she is the chosen one and that it is her duty to be the slayer. Buffy just wants to fit in and shortly after arriving at her new school which just happens to be atop of a Hellmouth, she meets two friends Willow (Allison Hannigan) and Xander (Nicolas Brendon). After its clear she is never going to be able to play the normal school student she picks up her slayer duties and its not long before her true identity is revealed to her new friends. With the help of her new friends and the assistance of Angel (David Boranez) a vampire with a soul, she prepares to face her toughest test of all. Throughout the first series we learn allot about Buffy and her past. Unlike past slayers she wants to have friends and knows she is the slayer but acts on her own terms. Knowing what lies ahead she struggles to deal with what's going around her as well as having to face her fears of facing off against "The Master" vampire who plans on opening the hellmouth and unleashing hell on earth. Her slayer duties become even more complicated after she gets closer to Angel as the series draws on.

                        Xander is your typical nerdy type guy who lives in his parent's basement. He becomes close friends with Buffy throughout the series and while being the first to admit he has no powers, he would be the first to stand by Buffy no matter what the consequences. Xander grew up with Willow and the two of them have been really good friends from the beginning. Xander is immediately attracted to Buffy and becomes insanely jealous of Angel's presence as the series goes on. The person who he can always rely on is Willow but most of the time he never notices she is there.

                        Like Xander, Willow forms a close bond with Buffy. She is a total book worm and spends most of her time studying rather than hanging out with friends. She soon befriends Buffy after she learns that she wants her help with her school work and needs a study partner. After Willow learns of Buffy's secret and powers she soon wants to help the cause of good. She assists Giles with the research part and leaves the fighting to Buffy herself. In this series we learn about the close friendship between herself and Xander and the strong feelings that she has towards him despite knowing he does not feel the same way.

                        Angel is a vampire who is also known by many as Angelis, the vampire with the Angelic face. After his soul was restored by a gypsy curse he has been forced to relive all the evil that he has caused. Living the later part of his life in torment he is giving a mission to watch over Buffy and help her in her quest against evil. Angel is immediately drawn to Buffy and it is soon obvious both characters carry strong feelings for each other. Angel appears throughout the different episodes in series one but its not until series two that he has a major role. As Buffy struggles to cope with the responsibility of being the slayer, Angel helps her and guides her in the right direction. Early on he must overcome the hostility shown by Buffy mainly because she is a slayer and he is a vampire but as they grow closer together its clear their friendship is heading in a different direction.

                        Giles is a watcher who has been giving the duty of watching over Buffy. He soon realises she is not the typical teenage girl he was expecting and must juggle his duties of watching over her while also keeping an eye on her friends who of course know her secret. The relationship between watcher and slayer becomes more than just a title as Giles soon grows fond of Buffy, and as each series passes by, the relationship between himself and Buffy resembles that of a father daughter type relationship. Time and time again Giles defends Buffy's actions in front of the council who don't always agree with the way things are being done. Giles knows however that no matter what or how he feels about Buffy, his main purpose is to prepare her for a fight to the death with The Master himself.

                        The thing I enjoyed most about the show is its one of those shows where you can watch an episode and immediately be hooked. I watched this from the very beginning right up until the end and if someone was to tell me they were going to be rejoining to do another series then I would be very happy. You never know maybe they will. I watched the movie recently and when I look back and compare it to this its quite shocking. The show had everything from great characters to brilliant story lines. There was always the main plot to deal with but the show kept you entertained with each episode by giving you unique side stories. Although Buffy is the main character in the show there were plenty of episodes where she was not the main focus. The rest of the cast were not just added to make up the numbers but to have their own major role in the show, and this was shown in numerous episodes throughout the series. Early episodes slowly get us used to the characters and their behaviour while later episodes concentrate on involving them heavily in story lines.

                        The show is addictive and entertaining throughout every episode and although in some episodes they stray away from the main plot to focus on other side story's, there is always references throughout which remind us of the bigger picture and what is going on.

                        The only downfall I have for this season is that unlike the others there were only 11 episodes. Rumour had it that producers were not sure how the show would be perceived by viewers so making a full series would not have been wise. The show received huge positive reviews however and Joss Whedon soon began work on a full length second season. The story itself although short is very well done and makes sense with regards to introducing us to the characters and giving us an idea of what lies ahead for Buffy.


                        Season 1 Episode List

                        Episode 1: Welcome to the Hellmouth
                        Episode 2: The Witch
                        Episode 3: Teachers Pet
                        Episode 4: Never Kill a Boy on the First Date
                        Episode 5: The Pack
                        Episode 6: Angel
                        Episode 7: I Robot.... You, Jane
                        Episode 8: The Puppet Show
                        Episode 9: Nightmares
                        Episode 10: Out of Mind, Out of Sight
                        Episode 11: Prophecy Girl

                        Overall the show is a must see if you have not seen it already. I admit I am a big fan and not afraid to say so. There will be many people out there who brush this aside as another silly supernatural teen show but its allot more than that.

                        The show was so successful that after the reaction from viewers after the first season a further 6 more seasons would be released, all brilliant and addictive and well written. A spin off was also created after season 3 entitled 'Angel'. As the name suggests it was a show based solely on the character of Angel himself. The show featured some of the cast from Buffy and there were even several cross over episodes in which the cast of Buffy would appear on Angel and vice versa.

                        Series one of Buffy The Vampire slayer is a really good series and looking back now after watching the later seasons you can really see how the characters have changed over time. Some of the episodes are brilliant and my favourite of the lot excluding the final episode is The Puppet Show. Anyone who has ever seen movies and read books about puppets coming to life probably wont like this episode but its probably my favourite of the series. The final episode is brilliant and gives you one of those moments when you rooting for the good guys to go kick the bad guys into the middle of next week.

                        The show has a really catchy them tune which is played at the beginning and end of each episode throughout every season. It is also played during the final episode of this season in order to capture the moment building up to the final battle. This works brilliantly in my opinion.

                        If you have never seen Buffy The Vampire Slayer then I suggest if you can get your hands on it then try and do so. It really is a great show which can easily be overlooked due to many seeing the original movie and perhaps thinking the show wont be much better. Trust me if I had the ability to abolish the movie then I would as it doesn't even compare to the TV series.

                        During a recent reunion of the cast and producers there were rumours passed around that most of the cast including Sarah Michelle Gellar would rejoin the Buffy franchise should the right script pop up. It was said it could be in the form of a new movie or even a new series. I am not sure how a new movie would work but a new series would be very interesting as long as they could recreate the brilliance they produced in the previous seasons.

                        All in all a top show and worthy of top marks.

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                        • Breakdown (DVD) / DVD / 116 Readings / 113 Ratings
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                          17.09.2008 17:15
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                          A good film that shows Kurt Russell can play a more serious role.

                          Breakdown was one of those films that I had never seen or heard about so when I got around to watching it I had no incline as to what it was really about, apart from what I read on the back of the cover.

                          Breakdown was directed by Jonathan Mostow and stars Kurt Russell in one of his more serious roles along with Kathleen Quinlas who plays his wife. After their jeep breaks down along the Arizona highway his wife accepts a lift from a trucker (J.T Walsh) in order to call for a recovery truck. After the jeep starts up again though, Jeff (Kurt Russell) drives to the diner to meet his wife but she is nowhere to be found. What's even worse is he bumps into the trucker who claims to have no knowledge of ever meeting him or his wife. What follows is an old fashioned style chilling story as Jeff fights to locate and rescue his wife.

                          Kurt Russell plays Jeff Taylor in the lead role, so much of the plot and story revolves around him. As Jeff realises his wife was not where she was supposed to be and the trucker denies any knowledge of ever seeing him or his wife he soon realises something is a miss. He is later attacked by a group of locals who threaten to kill his wife unless he comes up with one million dollars. Of course Jeff doesn't actually have one million dollars so as he heads off the bank he must think fast in order to save his wife. Knowing he can't return without the money he gets what he can and heads back off. As he returns to one of the kidnappers Jeff soon realises that if he does not try and take control of the situation then his wife is as good as dead.

                          Kurt Russell is one of if not my favourite actors. I think he is very under rated in the eyes of some people and never gets the credit he deserves. A lot of people can't take him serious in films as they are too used to him appearing in films such as Escape from L.A and Big Trouble in Little China. Breakdown is a classic example that Kurt Russell can be asked to play in any role and pull it off with ease. I have seen him in many movies over the years and let me tell you he is more than just a action, comedy type actor. His role in Soldier was brilliant, and Breakdown is another film that shows what he can do. Most recently he appeared in a film called Death proof which a lot of people were calling a disappointment apart from the performance of Kurt Russell.

                          In Breakdown he gives another great performance of the desperate husband going to all lengths to save his wife. With much of the story focused around him only you might think it would get a little boring and slow but its far from it. Kurt Russell has an ability for fitting into any role and play it to his best, and as Jeff Taylor he keeps you on the edge of your seat wanting to know what he is going to do next as he hurry's around town trying to find a resolve. The story at the beginning is a bit slow but this is just a way to introduce you to his character and get an idea of the kind of man he is. As the film draws nearer towards the end we see a different character to the one that we were watching earlier in the movie.

                          Its quite a chilling moment when the trucker actually turns around to Jeff and says he has no idea who he is or who his wife is. J.T Walsh was not an actor I had ever seen much of but he did a good job as Red Barr. After offering to give Jeff's wife a lift we don't see him again until Jeff confronts him later on asking where his wife is. After denying all knowledge and telling the same to the local Sherriff he heads off again leaving Jeff confused and worried. As its soon revealed that Red Barr has a bigger agenda we get the idea we have not seen the last of them. It appears as though women going missing in this town is a common thing with none of them ever being seen again. After revealing the secret behind his wife's disappearance and giving his demands to Jeff he assumes its just going to be another job like the rest. The mistake he makes however is underestimating Jeff and soon realises its not going to be as straight forward as he imagined.

                          J.T Walsh looks like your typical cowboy style trucker. From the first impressions of meeting him you get the feeling he is a nice guy and a kind person who is nice enough to offer a lift. As the story unfolds however you see a darker side and the true colours shine through. Finding the balance between the two personalities is sometimes a tricky thing to do but Walsh does it very well. There could have been any number of people who played the part of Red Barr but Walsh does actually give the look and feel of a real trucker and you do get drawn into to his sinister plot.

                          The thing I enjoyed most about the film is the fact I had never even heard or read anything about it, so it was one of those films that you watch and think, wow how come I have never seen or heard of this before. It was a really good on the edge of your seat film which has you wondering what was going to happen next. I have read some of the other reviews on here about the movie and I think most of them are a bit too negative and one of them even says they were poor B-Cast actors. Kurt Russell is not a B-Cast actor I will tell you that now. The longer the film goes on the more the plot is revealed and the more your thinking, well I didn't see that coming. There are some great suspenseful moments all throughout the movie which keep you focused on the film. As soon as you realised what exactly was going on it was one of those films you had to keep watching until the end. Other people have said they were bored, or they did not think it was all that good but I think they either never watched the full movie or they are being too critical.


                          Cast

                          Kurt Russell (Jeff Taylor)
                          J. T. Walsh (Warren `Red` Barr)
                          Kathleen Quinlan (Amy Taylor)
                          M. C. Gainey (Earl)
                          Jack Noseworthy (Billy)
                          Ritch Brinkley (Al)
                          Moira Harris(Arleen Barr)
                          Rex Linn(Sheriff Boyd)
                          Kim Robillard (Deputy Len Carver)
                          Jack McGee (Belle's Bartender)
                          Helen Duffy (Flo)
                          Vincent Berry (Deke)


                          Summary

                          Breakdown is probably going to be a love it or hate it type movie. If you have never heard of it like myself then you should definitely give it a shot as I think you will be in for a surprise. If however you have heard from others not to bother then your probably best leaving it as that, as already your mind is made up that its not going to be that good.

                          If your looking for a tense film full of suspense then Breakdown is definitely for you. There have been a lot of high budget movies shot over the years that have been advertised as the next best thing. 9 times out of 10 however they are over hyped and fail to impress. I'm not saying Breakdown is a smash hit but its a really good watch and one that will keep you hanging until the end.

                          You will certainly be left thinking that if ever your in that situation you certainly wont be accepting help from strange truck drivers.



                          Genres: Action/Drama/Thriller
                          Running Time: 1 hr. 35 min.
                          Release Date: May 22nd, 1998 (UK)
                          MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence/terror and language.
                          Distributors: Paramount Pictures

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                          • The Condemned (DVD) / DVD / 56 Readings / 53 Ratings
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                            17.09.2008 12:59
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                            Good action movie staring Steve Austin and Vinny Jones

                            Please note this is the movie only review and not a review about the blu ray version.

                            After getting my hands on The Condemned I was sort of in two minds about the film. On the plus side it had Steve Austin in the lead role who I was interested in seeing how well he could perform. On the down side though WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) had their name all over the film.

                            The condemned is based around 10 of the most brutal convicts from around the globe who are chosen by a rich television producer to compete in a battle to the death. Basically they are to be transported to a remote island where they will fight to be the last man standing. The winner will receive his freedom as well as a big cash prize. If that is not enough incentive then they all have remote timers attached to their ankles which will detonate in 30 hours if the game has not been completed. The battle will be shown live to the whole world via access to the internet. The film is sort of an American style version of the classic Japanese film Battle Royale which involves a group of school teenagers being made to fight to the death against their friends in order to be the sole survivor.

                            Jack Conrad (Steve Austin) is the leading actor in the movie and the story focus's around his character. Unlike the rest of the convicts on the island he was actually sent to prison for protecting his country and hasn't actually committed any real crime. After being forced to compete in the game however its clear that winning the game is not high on his priority list. After making a uneasy friendship with one of the other convicts he reveals that the show must be being broadcast from the very island they are on and figures that there must be a radio somewhere. You get the impression he is going to try and call for help but he reveals he wants to make one last call to his girlfriend who he has not seen since being thrown in a foreign prison.

                            As events unfold however it is clear that the other convicts are willing to fight in order for their survival which means to do so Jack will need to be taking out. As Jack realises that he is indeed in a game of survival he must use all his military training skills to defend against the murderous convicts who are after him.

                            If you can separate Steve Austin from wrestling then you have a guy who plays a really good part. I was actually pretty surprised as to how good he actually performed. If he wants to star in any more films then this type of genre is definitely one that could work for him. His presence was pretty good and if you can look past the violence and plot then Jack Conrad is a character you can actually care about. At no point does he make or do any references which associate him to WWE. Being his first lead role in a movie he does a pretty good job of portraying his character and gives viewers a reason to keep watching.

                            Ewan McStarley (Vinny Jones) plays a brilliant part as the main ruthless convict who shows no remorse with regards to the other convicts. After arriving on the island he persuades a Japanese convict by the name of Saiga (Masa Yamaguchi) to team up in order to get rid of the remaining convicts before fighting it out between themselves. As supplies are air dropped onto the island and always near his location it appears that he is gaining an unfair advantage against the rest of the convicts from the producer himself. As he gets his hands on weapons such as crossbows and shotguns its clear that the show have already picked their winner before its actually finished.

                            I can finally say that I have finally seen a film and role that Vinny Jones was meant to do. Since his part in Gone in 60 Seconds he has appeared in too many films which have not suited his character. His role in X-Men The Last Stand as Rhino was shocking and having him play the football hero in Mean Machine was just terrible. Vinny Jones got his reputation as a footballer for being a hard man and running down his opponents. This is what people know him for so we don't want to see him in films where he is the good guy and hero. He was meant for the typical bad ass style roles and his performance in The Condemned was one of his best performances I have seen. He portrays the cold calculated mean killer who is only interested in claiming the money as well as his freedom, but there are a few parts during the movie where he throws in a couple of funny one liners that gives another dimension to his character. The film is a typical all out action movie so it was nice to add a little humour every now and again without making the movie look cheap. He represents Britain on the island and is easily the most interesting character, but because of his actions throughout the film it gives you reason to root for the American.

                            Apart from the above 2 the only other cast member worth mentioning is the character of Brekel (Robert Mammone) who plays the rich, slick television producer. Brekel is the man behind the whole show and for obvious reasons has decided to broadcast the whole show via the internet. The show has not been sanctioned and therefore he has the FBI themselves looking for him to shut him and the show down. His main goal is to profit of the millions of viewers who subscribe to watch. He is that confident in himself that he sets a goal of matching the 40 million viewers that tune in every year for The Super bowl. As the show gets closer to the end he must not only evade the FBI but also must make it off the island to escape the winner who is not letting him get away that easy.

                            Robert Mammone is not an actor I know much about so for that reason as well as the character he plays I didn't really care much about him. In fact he plays the part of the guy which will have viewers thinking I hope he gets what's coming to him in the end. He doesn't care about the morality of the show, just the amount of money he can make from it as well as the power he has over all the internet viewers.

                            The rest of the cast are more or less there to make up the numbers and none of them are really worth mentioning.

                            The thing I enjoyed most about the movie was the fast pace of it all. You could be forgiving for thinking a movie with a relatively basic plot and cast could be something off a bit of let down, however the fast paced action keeps you entertained from start to finish. There is no shortage of action during the film and the fight scenes themselves are well done and pretty impressive. All the convicts are from different parts of the world and therefore they all bring their unique fighting styles to the table. Some viewers may find some of the scenes and violence a bit to much but the general action fan will enjoy.

                            The soundtrack in the film is pretty impressive and fits the movie perfectly. From artists such as Nickleback and The Prodigy, the music fits in well with the action sequences and pace of the movie.

                            Before seeing the movie I would have said the major downside would have been the fact that the movie was licensed by WWE themselves. Apart from that though there is no affiliation between the two apart from Steve Austin himself. However where the movie is let down to me was its predictability. From the start its obvious how things are going to pan out and end. I was sitting watching thinking maybe it will throw a surprise at me but it never happened. Also for any fan who has seen Battle Royale then you will probably think its just an American style rip off of a classic film. If you can look past the predictability though you do actually have a really good action movie.


                            Cast

                            Steve Austin as Conrad
                            Vinnie Jones as Mcstarley
                            Robert Mammone as Brekel
                            Tory Mussat as Julie
                            Manu Bennet as Paco
                            Madeline West as Sarah
                            Rick Hoffman as Goldy
                            Massa Yamaguchi as Saiga
                            Luke Peglar as Baxter


                            Overall I really enjoyed The Condemned and it was good to see Steve Austin taking a more serious approach compared to what many have seen over his years in the wrestling business. It wont win any Oscars but its still a good action movie that is worth watching. Steve Austin and Vinny Jones are the leading roles in the movie and both give a good accounting of themselves. I have heard many people giving mixed reactions of the film but I'm going to side with the positives.

                            Although predictable its my type of action film from violence and fighting to special effects and explosions. The fight scenes are done really well and the film runs at a good pace keeping you interested. This is the kind of role I want to see Vinny Jones in more often and as for Steve Austin making more movies, well as long as they keep him to the action genre then he should be fine.

                            Despite its linear plot I am giving it 4 out of 5 as its still a really good film worth watching.


                            Genres: Action/Thriller
                            Running Time: 1 hr. 57 min.
                            Release Date: March 24th, 2008 (UK)
                            MPAA Rated R for pervasive strong brutal violence, and for language.
                            Distributors: WWE Films

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                            • More +
                              16.09.2008 15:38
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                              A great show which stands true to the original Terminator films

                              I originally planned to watch The Sarah Connor Chronicles during its first showing on sky. After missing the first couple of episodes though I decided I would just wait until I could watch it from the beginning. After the season finished on FX they started showing the repeats on Bravo so I figured this was a good time to finally watch it.

                              Terminator, The Sarah Connor Chronicles was created by Josh Friedman and follows on from events in the first two Terminator movies. The series follows Sarah Connor (Leana Headey) and her son John Connor (Thomas Dekker) who are now wanted fugitives on the run after events in Terminator 2 (Judgement Day). After a Terminator (Summer Glau) is sent back from the future to protect John it is soon revealed that Judgement day is inevitable and that they have only delayed it.

                              Sarah Connor is the main character in the series as you would expect. Linda Hamilton did a fantastic job in the original movies and to most people will always be seen as the real Sarah Connor but Leana Headey gives a very strong performance of her own. Sarah is the mother to John Connor who we know one day will become the leader of the human resistance that will do battle against the machines themselves. Although a loving and over protected mother to her son, she is seen as a deranged psychotic fugitive by the authorities themselves who are determined to track her down. Sarah gives up her romantic relationship with a paramedic and takes to being on the run again with her son John. After she learns that the machines are back and realising how frustrated their life on the run is to her son John, Sarah decides its finally time to go on the offensive against skynet. As Sarah uses her wit and skill to track down the source of skynet she crosses paths with Derek Reese (Brian Austin Green) the brother of John's father Kyle.

                              The Sarah Connor character has been replicated as much as possible to the original that was played by Linda Hamilton. Creator Josh Friedman said the most important thing was getting someone who could portray Sarah Connor in the way that new viewers and fans of the original movies could relate to and follow. How that person would fit the character was more important than who the person was. Headey admitted to watching the original movies growing up and conceded she didn't want to be seen as the new Linda Hamilton as she felt that nobody would ever be capable of doing so. She wanted viewers to embrace what she could bring to the series in keeping true to the Sarah Connor character while giving viewers a fresh approach.

                              Sarah Connor is the main character in the show but the character of John Connor is of the most importance to the entire series. After John is once again dragged to a different city he repeats the whole process of taking on a new identity and starting a new school. After befriending Cameron (Summer Glau) and realising she is a Terminator sent back to protect him, he pleads with his mother to finally make a stand rather than run away. While Sarah is off in search of skynet John continues to go to school, but his curiosity gets the better of him and he revisits his past unbeknown to Sarah. With Cromartie, (Garath Dillahunt) The Terminator sent back to kill John begins closing in, its not long before John meets his uncle Derek. Unbeknown to Derek of John's status to his brother and after strict orders from Sarah not to reveal the secret John struggles to hide the truth while in turn growing a close bond with himself and Cameron.

                              Thomas Dekker was actually cast after Lena Headey and there was a lot of controversy surrounding his role in the series. After being told he was playing the role of John Connor his management team wanted to pull him from his other role in the series of Heroes. Knowing the role of John Connor was a much bigger opportunity for him they thought that after people seen him in heroes that he would come across as nerdy and gay which is the total opposite of the John Connor character. They thought going through with Heroes would jeopardise the final casting and his role in the series. He ended up going through with Heroes and still got the part of John Connor. Thomas Dekker as John Connor is similar yet at the same time different to the John Connor of Terminator 2. His character is closer to the John Connor we saw towards the end of the movie rather that the one we seen early on. We do get glimpses of the rebellious side of him from time to time but following on from the movie we see more of the confused caring side of John. He is still struggling to come to terms with who he is and what he will become. While some people at his school are preparing to graduate he is preparing to lead the resistance. Quite a big responsibility to anyone.

                              Although I was not a fan of him in Heroes', mainly because his was not anyone of any real significance I have to say he does a very good job in the role of John Connor. John Connor is portrayed as someone who you actually care about and who you can feel for after all he has been through. Dekker gives a performance to match that of the character and the audience can relate to this.

                              Apart from the roles of Sarah and John, the role of The Terminator sent back to protect John was a major and difficult choice to make. Summer Glau plays that role and is refereed to as Cameron Phillips throughout the series. The name Cameron is used as a tribute to James Cameron who was the star behind the original movies. Cameron befriends John during class at school and after Cromartie attempts to take his life she fends off Cromartie and rescues John in the process. While being treated with caution from Sarah she reveals the truth about Judgement day and explains what must be done before they jump to the year 2007. She is a more advanced model than the normal T-800 models and is able to mimic human actions more accurately and seems to have a bigger learning curve. She is even able to eat food which is a first for any Terminator. Despite all of this however she still is a Terminator and when she is needed to protect John against danger she is willing to give her life to make sure he survives.

                              Being cast as The Terminator instantly guarantees immediate pressure as you have one big pair of boots to fill. Everyone knows that Arnold Schwarzenegger will always be The Terminator with his on screen presence and his famous one liners. I admit when it was first apparent that Summer Glau was the Terminator I was a bit surprised. However I was not expecting Schwarzenegger either so I figured I would give her a chance. Although she does not have the physical presence that you would expect in a Terminator I was totally surprised by her performance. Her actions and the way she gives the impression that she in fact a machine is simply brilliant. Glau admitted during casting that she was wary of accepting the role as she had never seen the movies and felt she didn't have the Terminator look. On accepting the role she stated that it was a very difficult role to play as she found it hard to find the balance between the machine and human characteristics. However difficult she found it I thought she did a brilliant job. There is parts during the series where you cant help but laugh when she is struggling to understand human emotions and actions. There are a lot of parts during the series which resemble the part in Terminator 2 where John is trying to learn The Terminator how to be more human and that he needs to start acting more human like.

                              The thing that I like most about the show and the reason why I have enjoyed it so much is that its based upon events from the first 2 films. It could have been a whole new show completely which started from the beginning and made the mistake of changing things and doing things in a different way. Terminator 2 is quite possibly one of the greatest movies ever made and no matter how many times any one tries they will never be to replicate how good it was. The producers did the right thing using the old saying if it ain't broke then don't fix it. We didn't need a series that remakes the films as we already know what has happened. The producers knew this too and instead gave us a series that would follow on and keep us interested.

                              The show does stay true to the original movies and the famous Terminator theme is present throughout the series and with each new episode we get a prologue of the future and what the fight is for.

                              My only downside to the series is that there are only 9 episodes. No sooner did I feel I was getting into it and enjoying it that it was all over. The reason there is only 9 is due to the writers strike that occurred which effected quite a lot of shows as well as this one. It just felt like it ended with you needing to see more and wasn't long enough. The show was granted permission for a 2nd series however in which it was advised this time would be a full length season.

                              Season 1 Episode List

                              Episode 1: Pilot
                              Episode 2: Gnothi Seauton
                              Episode 3: The Turk
                              Episode 4: Heavy Metal
                              Episode 5: Queen's Gambit
                              Episode 6: Dungeons and Dragons
                              Episode 7: The Demon Hand
                              Episode 8: Vick's Chip


                              Overall I think The Sarah Connor Chronicles is a really good show and I urge anyone who was a fan of the originals to check it out. Its very easy to disregard it especially those loyal to the movies but the series itself stands up to the pressure of the films. Its not in anyway a remake of what we already know but gives us the story of events after Terminator 2. The cast are brilliant and easy to follow and the action is superb. At no point during the series was I sitting around thinking I wish something would hurry up and happen.

                              I have heard many people saying its a really good show which you have to see for your self and I totally agree with that statement. Its a series you cant switch on thinking if I don't see Schwarzenegger then its not going to be worth it as you cant look at it that way. Besides he appeared in terminator 3, so ask yourself was that really worth it? I think not. The second season has already started in the U.S and after being left wanting more of the first season I cant wait to see it over in the U.K.

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                              • More +
                                15.09.2008 15:28
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                                Who are chavs and where are they.

                                Please note that before I get right into the thick of things in explaining what a chav is and what a chav does, that I do not intend to offend anyone by this review.

                                This review is based upon my own personal knowledge and experiences with chavs. Most of it which is not very good but I will try to remain neutral as much as possible.

                                There are many different types of chavs which are now appearing all over the country. More commonly in the North East of England the word charver is used more often but both mean the same thing. There are several different types of chav out there at the moment and they usually depend on their lifestyle and background. Chavs are mostly assorted with the likes of drinking cheap cider, getting up to mischief and hurling abuse at other locals. Chavs will never be alone for long and they usually form part of a group in which there is usually one or two head chavs.


                                Recognising the Different Types of Chavs.

                                The Common Street Chav

                                This is the most commonly seen chav and the most populated. They range from the age of 12 to 18 and can be seen on most council estates and local shopping areas. The common street chavs are very primitive and won't often venture outside their local boundaries. There favoured spots include standing outside the local shopping areas where they target the locals in order to get them to buy their supplies from them. Since the new law of having to look older than 21 to buy alcohol has come into play it has had a massive impact on the chav population. You will find they cannot enter shops for the simplest things either as they have more than likely been barred from the store owner. If you happen to be approached by a chav requesting to go in the shop for them then one of two things will happen. The first being that you will be seen as 'Sound' or 'Canny' should you accept but should you refuse then the alternative is to be called abusive names that you will probably struggle to understand.

                                The common street chavs also feel the need to wear very cheap jewellery whether it be silver or gold chains. This will usually turn green if they stop out in the rain too often. The common street chavs will all more or less look the same with regards to dress sense and hair style. The street chav hairstyle usually consists of a simple £4.80 short back and sides on the lowest cut and brushed forward. Chavs will never wear any hair products as it's much quicker for them to wake up in the morning and leave their house without brushing their hair. All street chavs will usually be dressed in tracksuit pants along with Rockport shoes and white socks. Please be advised that tracksuit pants must be tucked into the white socks at all times. Because they spend allot of time standing in the one spot during all weather conditions they will be suited up with burghouse coats which range from the bright red to dark blue colours. A new trend has been seen over the past year which now has some street chavs walking around in workman boots. This is seen as odd as it's more than likely that the common street chav has never done a days labour in his life but obviously thinks it makes him look manly.

                                In every group of street chavs there will always be one or two group leaders. All chavs will be act tough when in their respective group but when alone and singled out they will become very whimp like. Rival chav groups will not be welcomed into each others territory also and such occasions can cause rival street chavs to feud with each other. Also be warned that because the common street chavs are locals they will know where you live so take this into consideration before trying to get the authorities onto them.


                                The Mafia Style Chav

                                The lowest of the lowest and the most dangerous of all chavs. These chavs are always found in groups but can be sent out on solo missions in order to gain respect from fellow chav members. Unlike the common street chav they will always be on the move and always try to go un-detected by local authorities. The mafia style chav will usually be fitted with baggy jeans that are 2 sizes too big, and hoodies that are usually fastened up even during summer heat waves. Burberry style threads are also common including baseball caps and sweaters. The mafia style chavs rely solely on their rough and intimidating looks and gain pleasure in seeing fear in the locals. They will not take kindly to rival mafia style groups in their area and this will always result in a rumble between the 2 groups.

                                These chavs are usually very badly educated and usually always high on some illegal substance. Their main goal is to gain money in order to pay for their illegal products so that they can feel the buzz as they like to call it. There main areas of interest when making their money include visits to stores such as Boots, HMV and Woolworths.

                                There is only ever one leader per group with mafia style chavs and should a member step out of line with the leader then he may face the wrath of the entire group. Avoid at all costs if possible.


                                The Boy Racer's

                                The boy racer style chav is usually aged between 16 and above. They have actually made an effort in order to find a job and grow up however on the inside the chav style remains. He may have a job but this just helps him buy slightly more expensive sports wear and clothing which may include stripy jumpers. These chavs always have cars and the ones that don't are always passengers of the ones that do. You can usually spot them driving around in their 1.1ltr Vauxhall corsa car which will be equipped with alloy wheels, a body kit, tinted windows and an exhaust that is 5 times too big for the car. Boy racer chavs will have little knowledge about cars and it's for this reason that they think by having a large exhaust their car is now 5 times faster than it previously was. Chavs will think they are cool because of the cool sound that their car makes but to the average person it sounds like a broken down lawn moor being dragged across a car park.

                                Boy racer style chavs thrive on showing how fast they are, and will annoy other drivers by overtaking them in populated areas and revving their engines at traffic lights resulting in the burning of their clutch. Most of these chavs will often be left looking stupid as their tiny engine that they have been revving struggles to pull away whilst the posh business executive in the lane beside them in his 2.8ltr bmw whizzes off in the distance.

                                The boy racer chav will always have his car as low to the ground as possible. Although cool to the chav its not always the best idea due to the area he lives in just happens to have speed bumps on every road. The boy racer chavs can be seen driving around populated areas with their windows down and their music blasting. Sometimes they will meet up with other boy racer chavs in car parks in order to compare each others rides. The main goal of a boy racer chav is to make his ride better than the rest in order to impress the chavettes.


                                The Chavettes

                                These are the female version of chavs and can range from any of the already specified categories. How this is determined usually depends on which category their chav boyfriend is in.

                                The chavettes seem to have the worst vocabulary and fashion sense than any of the other chavs. Most chavettes especially the mafia style ones will often purposely become pregnant in order to receive a free house and benefits from the government. They have no intention of ever working and if they feel they need more money then they will have another child so they can claim even more benefits. The common street chavs may often get pregnant themselves but will receive help from their families and will actually attempt to raise the child. They can be seen often pushing their child around the streets and parks showing him/her off to other chavs.

                                Most chavettes will have bleach blonde hair and will be sporting an orange tan as well as wearing as much jewellery as physically possible. The newer generation of chavettes must be equipped with neon socks and wrist bands. They must never have only one pair as it is essential to wear multiple colours at one time. The most common look is to be wearing one pink and one yellow. Chavettes are often the first ones to shout out abuse to locals and will expect their respective chav boy friends to stand up for them should the locals respond.

                                On the odd occasion there will be the odd posh chavette who seems to do well in school and have a good family life yet just seems to be in with the wrong crowd. Either she will end up like the rest of them or she will be converted back to a normal life if she meets a nice normal lad with common sense.


                                The Posh Chavs

                                These are generally the quieter rich kids who just seem to have got mixed up in the wrong crowd. They still like to dress the same as the common street chav but will wear more expensive designer clothes and usually find it easier to get a girl friend that has a slightly better class than most of the others.

                                The Posh chav will come from a rich family and fortunately for the public they will be quite quiet in nature and less confrontational. They may even do well in school and will use their rich backgrounds to buy supplies for fellow chav members which will gain them respect within their group. The posh chav will usually wear designer sports clothes such as Fred Perry and Lacoste. He will still sport the look and act like the common chav but may eventually grow up and make something of his life. The posh chav is the smarter of all chavs and knows when to act and when not to. For example a posh chav will never race at traffic lights even though he has the faster car. The posh chav recognises that he is by far the superior on this occasion and feels he has nothing to prove by racing.

                                Posh chavs are will get jobs in order to treat their chavettes and buy clothing and accessories.


                                The Behaviour of Chavs

                                The behaviour of a chav really depends on the type of chav that they are as it varies from the common street chav to the mafia style chav. Chavs will often try to stare you out most of the time which can result in further confrontation if you give eye contact for too long. They also have introduced a whole new vocabulary which seems to be understood only by fellow chavs.

                                Some chavs may not be that intelligent but they are very good in the use of electronics especially with regards to mobile phones.
                                Chavs will often record their insults and confrontations with the public in order to show it to other chavs to gain respect and a laugh in the process.

                                A chavs main interest will once again depend on the type of chav they are but the most popular choices include, drinking, fighting, stealing, racing, smoking and claiming benefits. Most of them thrive on causing as much mayhem and discomfort as possible to the public.


                                The Chav Vocabulary

                                Over the years since chavs have become more present it seems that they have adopted their own native language. Although nobody seems to know the nature of where the language originated from, some of it has been deciphered over the years. The following phrases are examples of the vocabulary that chavs will often use.

                                Fogs on that can like. (Can I be first to have a drink please)
                                Jonny got grassed like (Someone reported John to the police)
                                E're what ya deeing ya radge (Your crazy you are)
                                What a waxa (That's great that is)
                                Thats taxed that like (Is that Stolen?)
                                Urr who ya looking at man (Why are you staring at me)
                                What a belta (Thats pretty good that is)

                                The list can go on and on but these are the more common phrases that you will hear. Note the over use of the word like within each sentence also as chavs use this word allot. A chav will usually include about 5 swear words into a normal sentence no matter what he is talking about.


                                Summary

                                As I stated at the beginning I am not meaning to offend anyone out there and this is just my personal opinion on what I have seen over the years. I did mention that not all chavs are trouble makers and some of them can grown up to make good of them selves however what I have witnessed these numbers are far and few between.

                                Its a strange world in which we live in these days where people are scared to go to their local corner shop for a loaf of bread or a pint of milk in case they are hounded by chavs hanging outside the shop.

                                In a lot of cases they are usually just hanging around doing nothing but to many people its an intimidation thing. Chavs thrive on making others feel weak yet without their numbers they are nothing.

                                I have come across instances where people will cross over to the other side of the road just to avoid walking past them. Many people say that the parents are to blame and most would not disagree. Some of them will eventually grow up and look back and think how did I do what I used to do but most of them will probably end up in the life of crime or committing benefit fraud.

                                Although there probably is those that are just mis-judged just because the way they dress I still don't care at all for them. If they had any sense they would be their own individual person rather than dress and copy everyone else just because they think its cool.

                                If you ask me then if your going to go around dressing like a chav, acting like a chav and speaking like a chav then you deserve to be seen and treated like any other chav.

                                Hopefully I have explained in a bit more detail about the different types of chavs there is and how they are slightly different. The best advice is just to ignore them if possible as they thrive on confrontation.

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                                • Iron Man (DVD) / DVD / 51 Readings / 49 Ratings
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                                  14.09.2008 21:36
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                                  One of the best comics to be turned into a movie

                                  When I first heard of Iron Man being made into a movie, I thought great. This is a movie which could be really good if its done right. There have been a lot of comic book movies released over the years but I think only half have really been successful.

                                  X-Men and Spiderman set the bar for comic book movies in my opinion and many others have failed to reach the heights that these 2 have reached. Take The Hulk for example which I think is one of the worst films ever made.

                                  When Iron Man was announced it was definitely one which could go either way. After finally seeing the movie I am happy to say that this is up there with the best of them. From the story to the cast themselves the producers have done a really fine job of finding the balance between a great super hero movie and a believable script.

                                  The Iron Man suit looks spectacular and stays true to the original style of the comic books whilst sporting a few new additions to bring it in to the 20th century.


                                  Cast

                                  Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man
                                  Terrence Howard as Lt. Colonel James Rhodes
                                  Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane / Iron Monger
                                  Gwyneth Paltrow as Virginia Pepper Potts
                                  Shaun Toub as Dr. Yinsen
                                  Faran Tahir as Raza
                                  Paul Bettany as JARVIS (Voice of Stark's personal AI)

                                  Robert Downey Jr plays the role of Tony Stark, a billionaire industrialist and chief CEO of Stark Industries where he manufactures next generation weapons for the U.S military. We learn early on in the movie that Tony built his first circuit board at the age of 4 and his own engine at the age of 6. After his parents deaths, he inherits the company and eventually becomes Iron Man after his own life was almost lost and realises the effects of what his company has been doing to the world around him.

                                  Director Jon Faverea stated that he did originally intend to cast an unknown for the role but eventually opted for Robert Downey Jr because he felt that his life resembled that of Tony Starks, in the contrast that his best and worst moments of his life have always been portrayed in front of the public eye. Favreau also felt that Robert Downey Jr was the only one capable of portraying the Tony Stark character as a arrogant, cocky, full of himself character in the early parts of the movie but one that would eventually win over the audiences after his emotional story and journey as the movie went on.

                                  With every super hero you need to cast a super villain and Jeff Bridges is that villain. Bridges plays Stark's second in command but whose greed gets the better of him and wants control of the company for himself. After learning that Stark plans to retire from manufacturing weapons he steals blue prints from Stark and begins to create his own exoskeleton suit. Favreau declared that Bridges read the comics as a child and liked the script that was put in front of him. Bridges also said he got to shave his head and grow a beard for the role which is something he had been wanting to do for a while anyway.


                                  The Plot Outline

                                  During a routine business trip to Afghanistan to demonstrate his companies latest weapon invention, Tony Stark's military convoy is attacked. Tony is left wounded after an explosion which leaves pieces of shrapnel embedded into his chest just shy from his heart.

                                  After Stark is taken captive by a terrorist group known as the Ten Rings, he along with fellow captive Dr Yinsen (Shaun Toub) begin work on a miniature arc reactor which acts as a electromagnet placed in Stark's chest to prevent the shrapnel reaching his heart. The terrorists demand that Stark build missiles for them to which he reluctantly agrees but has different plans in his mind. Stark creates an armoured suit without detection so that he can break free and escape. Stark manages to escape but the suit eventually smashes to pieces.

                                  Arriving back home Stark holds a press conference where he announces that his company will no longer manufacture weapons for the military but learns soon after that his decision has been blocked by the board of directors.

                                  Stark soon retreats to his living quarters and out of sight of the public eye where he intends to work on a new and improved suit. After learning that it was Stane (Jeff bridges) who had blocked his decision to close down Stark Industries he sends Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) to investigate and find evidence as to what is going on. Stark soon learns that Stane has been dealing under the table with terrorists and slowly trying to take control of the company for himself.

                                  Before Stark can expose him, Stane steals the blue prints for the exoskeleton suit and begins work on his own bigger version. With Stane's version of the suit designed for evil, Stark powers up and becomes Iron man as he prepares for a winner takes all confrontation between his old friend and enemy.


                                  Performances

                                  After the problems Robert Downey Jr has had over the years many were a bit surprised that he was cast as the lead role for such a movie. What a comeback however as his performance as Iron man but more importantly Tony Stark was nothing short of brilliant. He brings two sides to the Tony Stark character which we see throughout the movie. In the first half of the movie we see the rich, arrogant, fast talking, cocky side of his character which to many others is very intimidating. He has success and power and he knows it and doesn't hold back in letting others know. As the movie advances though we see a different side to his character. While still keeping up with his cocky self he portrays a more caring side especially towards Pepper Potts who we get the impression he has just used and treated her as nothing more than his servant over the years. As Tony struggles to deal with his own mistakes Pepper is there to help him through the hard times and Tony he see's the wrongs he has done and makes the effort to put things right.

                                  Although he never completely changes his personality he does take into consideration how his actions are effecting those around him and this is what makes his character so easy to follow. Robert Downey Jr actually gives the character a meaning and gives audiences a reason to actually care. You could be forgiving for not thinking much of Tony Stark but then think well at the end of the day he is still Iron Man so it don't really matter if I don't like him. Robert Downey Jr gives a performance however that actually gives you reason to care for the character. You may not like him but you do actually care as to what's happening with him and what's going on. Its for this purpose that in my opinion the Tony Stark character is of more importance than the Iron Man character.

                                  As for Jeff Bridges he does a great job in the role of Stane. From the beginning of the film you can kind of work out that he is influencing Stark into making decisions and taking actions. Its not that surprising when you realise that he wants the company to himself. I have seen him in other movies but I have to say that in Iron Man he seems to have more of a physical presence about him. There is a few scenes in particular where he is standing beside Robert Downey Jr and he looks twice the size of him. Now either Downey Jr is really small or Bridges has put on some extra pounds of muscle I do not know. But after learning that Robert Downey Jr spent hours doing weight training and martial arts classes I am going to say its the latter. Bridges wants the power and will do anything to get it and his performance shines through.

                                  Gwyneth Paltrow is not an actress that is high up on my list but I can accept her in this film. We all know what she can do and I am not taking anything away from her its just she is not really one of those who stand out. Perhaps that's a good thing though as producers perhaps didn't want any attention taking away from Robert Downey Jr. After his performance though there is no chance of that happening no matter who else was in the film. Paltrow plays Pepper Potts, the quiet, soft spoken assistant of Tony Stark. All through out the film we see how she is always on hand for Tony yet he never seems to notice she is there. Its not until later on in the movie where the 2 share a couple of brief romantic awkward moments that we see just how much she does actually care for him. She cares for Tony and just wants him to respect and acknowledge that she is around. She helps Tony through his transformation and they grow closer to each other. For this movie I can accept her in the female lead role.


                                  Summary

                                  If you haven't already seen the movie then I suggest you add this one to your list. I only seen it recently as it was one that I missed when it was released at the cinema.

                                  There has been so many hit and miss comic movies over the past years with the likes of The Hulk, Ghost Rider, Spiderman 3 etc and this could have easily been another one but its safe to say this one is just simply great.

                                  The action sequences are brilliant especially the one in particular which has Iron man trying to escape from two F22 Raptors. The special effects have been done really well and make the movie look realistic and good without going over the top.

                                  The Iron Man suit itself looks the business. When you see his first suit early on after he escapes from the terrorists you think well that's not the Iron Man I know. Its not until he creates the Proper Iron Man suit later on that you take notice and thing now that's what I'm talking about.

                                  The thing I enjoyed most was the performance of Robert Downey Jr. I can't say enough about it really but he makes the role his own and practically guarantees a repeat performance if they decide to make a sequel which I am sure they will do. There is parts during the film where I just could not help but laugh at him. If you have seen the film they you will know about the part where he is first testing out his boots but it doesn't quite work the way he had hoped. This part had me laughing for a good while.

                                  A lot has been said about actors performances in movies especially over the last year. I went to see The Dark Knight at the cinema and I agree with everyone that Heath Ledger stole the show. Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark is something I urge anyone to check out as to me he gives just as good of a performance than anyone. When they announced him to play the role it would have been easy to say it was a strange choice but it turned out to be the right one.

                                  Overall one of the best comics to be turned into a movie.


                                  Genres: Action/Adventure
                                  Running Time: 2 hr. 6 min.
                                  Release Date: May 2nd, 2008 (UK)
                                  MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, and brief suggestive content
                                  Distributors: Dark Blades Films

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