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A film directed by M. Night Shyamalan and starring Mel Gibson (Graham Hess) and Joaquin Phoenix as his brother Merrill a failed baseball star. The film in places is a little bit slow but builds up the story to a great ending. Gibson plays the part of a grief stricken father of two who is haunted by the death of his wife and because of this has also lost his faith in his religion. His children played by Rory Culkin (brother of Home Alone fame Macaulay) and Abigail Breslin (Bo) who steel the show. Abigail very much plays a similar part to the little girl in Poltergeist with her very deadpan phrases 'There's a monster in my room, can I have a drink of water?' Some very good acting by such a young actress. The film is very much an emotional roller coaster with a variety of drama and comedy scenes which once the film got going was gripping. The film is basically about the crop signs that we now see all over the country and how Shyamalan links these to be signs left by alien ships prior to their attack on the world. Rated at PG-13 my twins of twelve watched the film and though roughly enjoyed it. The language is no worse than normal cartoons and there is a lot less violence in this film with suspense being the driving force. If you want a film with horrific bug-eyed Aliens this is not the film for you as its some time before you actually see an Alien but if its suspense you require then this is the one. A film that I thoughrouly recommend you to go and see.
A long time ago in a Galaxy far far away......... I must admit I was a bit sceptical about this game as I feel Lucas Arts have milked the market so much but then when I see it was developed by Raven House who did 'Soldier of Fortune ' then I knew it couldn't be to bad. The Graphics are fantastic and pushed to new levels. In several levels if you suffer from acrophobia then you find the game intimidating. Lip sync is the best I?ve seen in a PC Game with the cuts scenes being awesome. The lightsaber duels are out of this world whilst you flip and turn through the air. On the whole the rest of the weapons are standard, although killing storm troopers is an amazing buzz using any weapon. They can be hard to kill when you get a few at a time attacking you and your health just drops. Also with time you get to use the force to grip and push stormtroopers. There are four levels with Jedi Master being the most difficult but I would stick to Jedi to start with, which is the normal difficulty level. Many missions require jumping and puzzle solving and once you meet up with Luke you get minimum powers. This improves as you complete the levels. There is also as well as single player option a multi player option and if you like lightsaber duels with your mate then this is the one for you. A great game that has given me many hours of entertainment. Can?t wait for the expansion packs. My favourite game of the year.
Opening up with a 'Mission Impossible' spoof and a number of cameo appearances 'Goldmember?'goes from laugh to laugh that only Mike Myers could get away with. Beyonce Knowles plays the part of Foxxy Cleopatra who Myers brings back from the seventies after his farther played by Michael Caine is kidnapped by Goldmember and taken back to the seventies. Myers arrives at the aptly named club 'Studio 69' in a time machine disguised as a pimp machine. His entry into the club in hat, fur coat, cane and six inch platforms ensure that he blends in with the background. Goldmember is Dutch and double jointed and has some fancy dance moves as he is introduced, some that made me wince. You can guess why 'Goldmember' is given his name he lost his 'wedding tackle' in a smelting accident and now has the trademark of painting his enemies tackle in gold. Mini Me played by Verne Troyer has a rather large part (for a small chap) and finds himself being edged out by his half brother and turns sides and joins Myers. He takes a number of tumbles and probably plays the best laugh parts with Myers when he is discovered in his hotel room. I think this is the best out of the three films but it may now be the time to go out on a high. The four characters played by Myers are excellent with nobody really having a bad part. Some of the jokes are just repeats of previous and quite pathetic but I still found myself laughing along. Its worth staying on at the end to see the out takes where 'The Osborne's' make prats out of themselves and Britney Spears asks Mini Me why they call him tripod. Well worth a visit for the varied music and great cars - British of course.
Its been three years since the release of Episode one and I must admit there seemed to be a lot less hype for the release of Episode two. Although I enjoyed Episode one I never really rated it as a Star Wars film and looked forward to the release of Episode two. The theory in the papers was that Lucas was setting his pace and not peaking too soon. This was shown with the release of Episode two which to me was a big step in the right direction. At last the story lines seem to tie up and you can see how it all fits together with the original Star Wars Trilogy. The story starts with assassination attempts on Senator Padame Amidala and gets who gets assigned to protect her, why Obi-Wan and Anakin of course. It becomes obvious before long that a serious bounty hunter has a price on Senator Padame and Anakin is sent to escort and protect Padame whilst Obi Wan goes after the Bounty hunter. Obi Wan ends up at the planet Kenobi that has mysteriously been wiped off the Jedi database. When he arrives there he finds that a long dead Jedi Knight has created a clone army for the republic. This also leads him to the Bounty Hunter Jango Fett and his son Bobba. In the mean time Anakin gets premonition in a dream that his mother is in serious trouble and travels from Naboo to Tatooine to look for her even though he is endangering the Senators life by taking her along. I wont spoil the film by telling you more other than to say that some of the scenery and battle scenes are breathtaking. The film has cameo parts by Jar Jar and co from Episode one. A number of items to watch for :- · A great Asteroid chase that makes you sick, very similar to Empire strikes back but modernised. · Count Dooku tells Obi Wan the truth but Obi Wan refuses to believe him, · Stormtroopers are the good guys, · Yoda I think should loose his disability allowance, · The love story and better story line. <br> All in all a vast improvement to Episode one, I can't wait three years for the next one. Call me old fashioned but I love the Star Wars series. Ten out of ten for pure entertainment.
Panic Room is a sinister and imaginative film based in New York. If you suffer from claustrophobia this is not the film for you. The film centres around Meg Altman (Jodie Foster) who has recently separated from her husband and is looking for accommodation with her young daughter Sarah (Kristen Stewart). They find a lovely big house (bit large for their needs but never mind) and as they are being shown around see that the previous room had a 'Panic Room' attached. The 'Panic Room' is a high tech, high security, cement and steel lined interior shelter reinforced against intruders with a bank of television screens, which survey every room in the house. Meg Altman is not very keen on this room and finds it rather spooky that someone was that frightened of break-ins, yet still decides to take the bedroom next to the 'Panic Room'. You can guess what happens next three men break into the house but they expect it to be empty. Of course Meg sees them before they realise that she is there and just about scrambles into the 'Panic Room' with her daughter. What follows next is a catalogue of attempts by Mega and Sarah to contact the outside world especially as what the crooks want is being stored in the 'Panic Room' for safekeeping. This soon becomes a battle of wits between them and the crooks especially as Sarah is a diabetic and goes into shock. Anyway I wont tell you any more of the story as it will spoil it for you except to say that if you enjoy a good thriller you'll enjoy this. Jodie Foster gives the film one hundred and ten percent as per usual and to some extent you know that she'll either be rescued or die in the attempt. David Fincher as Director also makes a good thriller and is a good struggle between good and evil. A scary film well worth a watch on a Friday night in front of the fire as the wind whistles outside.
Having seen Worms World Party in the PC Budget Games Range for nine ninety-nine I decided to give it a go. Basically you have an army of worms that using a multitude of zany weapons have to negotiate a number of wacky landscapes to get from A-B, basically a strategy game with a difference. Although it says on the cover that the Graphics have been enhanced they seam to me pretty much the same as the old worms games and my spec of PC is fairly high hence it is not a lack of a graphics card. The focus is on the 2-D graphics and the cartoonist nature which make the games fun, must admit its more for my Kids than myself. The sounds are OK with the silly voices and explosive sound effects, the background music is a bit repetitive and got on my nerves after a while. The game on the whole is just Worms Armageddon repackaged and I think that the Team 17 team needs to look at giving the game a total facelift or this game will spend most of its time in the bargain basement. With the graphic capabilities that are available nowadays then big steps could be taken. Worms has got a big following and there are worms conventions etc where you can play against each other and I think this game is aimed at those die-hard fans.
I had heard various reports about this film before going to see it but I'm very much in the camp of what a great film. Staring Jeff Bridges as Dr. Mark Powell and Kevin Spacey as the alien (or is he) from K-Pax - Prot. Prot is found wondering around Central Station and taken to the local mental Hospital once he tells everyone that he from another planet. The story line then builds up around the bond between Dr. Powell and Prot and how he wins over the other patients at the hospital. Dr. Powell becomes obsessed with Prot and believes that he is from earth but is hiding something, which is why he insists that he is from another planet. He tries hypnosis on Prot, which slowly reveals a dark past. The doctor then needs to find out what his past is as Prot then announces that he is going to go back to K-Pax and that he will take one of the inmates with him. The inmates then fall over themselves to get Prot to take then with him and leads to some funny parts. Spacey's performance to me is excuse the pun but 'out of this world' he gets what could be quite a boring film moving. His one-liners and facial expressions are great and had me thoroughly glued to the screen. Bridges plays his normal demonic self and plays the part of the doctor very well. If your looking for an action film this is not the one for you but if you want a film with a good bit of acting and a couple of nice twists then this is the one for you.
We seem to be having a bit more of a chance to go out of late and decided to go to the 'La Braseria' in Swansea. La Bras as its know to locals is a Wine Bar at the bottom end of Swansea's busiest night life street in Wind Street. Parking is easy enough as there is a 'pay and display' parking lot opposite and is only free on a Sunday so be aware. When you enter the door have a look at the display cabinet on your left where there is a vast selection of the more expensive selection of Wine from £30 odd pound up to £250. Too much for me although I love red wine but worth a look. Be warned they do not serve any larger or beer (not even in half's) only wine and spirits. When you enter the décor is very much as my previous review of Eleos in wooden beams and floor. I had tried booking before coming into Swansea but was told that they do not take bookings other than for large parties. Therefore when we walked in at 8:30 we could see that all the tables were booked and a number of people were waiting for tables. On talking to the head waiter we were told that we would only have to wait possibly for half an hour, which wasn't bad, so lets have a bottle of the house red as we wait. Half an hour turned to three quarters of an hour, which turned to an hour when every one seamed to leave at the same time. The company was good so the wait wasn't to bad but this was the only bad point as I would have rather the Head Waiter would have been honest although I appreciate it must be difficult to gauge. Having been shown to our table we were then asked to go to the cold counter to see what was on offer, as they do not have a menu. My mind was made as soon as I got to the counter I was going for the Ostrich, which looked lean and was meat I had never tried before. The selection was very varied with downstairs having mainly a selection of meat and upstairs having mainly fish although you could
choose from either. The meat was different cuts of beefsteak, venison, ostrich, lamb etc. The fish was also very attractive with the biggest tiger prawns that I have seen in the UK, but also there was monkfish, swordfish, tuna, bass etc. We all went for either garlic mushrooms or prawns as a starter, which was OK although a bit expensive for what it was. My main coarse came with a piece of Ostrich that was about a centimetre thick and covered in a sauce. The meet cut like a hot knife through butter and I don't think I have ever tasted such lean meat in my life. The meat tasted like very good steak but with none of the chewy ness. The others had either beefsteak or swordfish or venison and everyone seemed quite content. The main coarse came with a choice of boiled potatoes, chips or a Jacket and there was plenty of whichever you ordered. The meal came to £87, which was not bad considering we had two bottles of wine in that price. I'll be going back again and definitely looking out for Ostrich in the local butchers.
I've been the Project manager for the wiring systems on this car for three years now and never thought of writing an opinion on the car till today. The Agila is a joint venture between GM and Suzuki with Suzuki having the overall design authority. Due to space restrictions in Japan these Mini People Carriers are very popular and come in all sorts of colors and models. The Agila is made in Gliwice in Poland whilst the Suzuki version the Wagon R is made in Mor in Hungary. At present for the year 2002 there will be seventy eight thousand Agila?s made with the majority of those being LHD for the Eastern European market and GM hope to increase this to approximately one hundred thousand next year depending on the purchase of Daewoo or not. The Agila is being sold because of its generous interior room and has a height of 1.7metres. But whilst high it is only 3.5metres long and very easy to park with the standard power steering. The bodywork is galvanized to protect against corrosion with a six-year warranty. Standard features are a RDS stereo radio cassette player and a number of storage features such as storage shelves and drink holders. The seating system allows for the rear seats to be folded completely flat leaving a large space for storage and the tailgate opens high enough so that you don't bump your head. The car comes with the option of two engine types a one litre and a one point two litre, which gives a low insurance rating of 2E for the one litre and 3E for the one point two litre. Whilst giving good petrol consumption on average 44mpg for the 1.0ltr and 43mpg for the 1.2ltr I personally would only buy the 1.2ltr, as the 1.0ltr engine is very sluggish with a 0-60 of 17 seconds. The shape takes a bit of getting used to and has been likened to Postman Pats van but no car is perfect. I have seen these cars being built and driven the 1.ltr and 1.2ltr and I find they are well built and ideal as
a second car. At approximately eight thousand pounds for the basic model it's reasonably priced and competes with the other vehicles in this range. Whilst we tend to see more of the Suzuki Wagon R in the UK due to the 1.4ltr engine the Agila is getting more popular here and I'm sure if you keep an eye out you'll be surprised how many are about. This is just a basic insight to this little car if you want more specifics drop me an e-mail or leave a comment.
I must admit I did not like the first Blade film and had some reservations going to see the sequel but off we went anyway. Staring Wesley Snipes and Kris Krisstofferson the film gets off to a bang with plenty of action from the opening scenes. Blade the half human half vampire is asked by his enemies the Vampires to kill the Reapers who are a strain of vampire who thrive on their own as well as human beings and are seen as a threat to the Vampire nation. Blade is asked to lead a team of Vampires in the hunt for the Reapers a team that has been training for two years to hunt and destroy him, so naturally from day one there is a slight bit of animosity between the group. Whistler plaid by the ancient Krisstofferson seems to be in the background all the way through the film till the final scenes when of course he comes to Blades rescue. The Reapers are a cross between vampires and Alien with a masterpiece of computer generated effects where their lower jaw unfold and a Alien type tongue shouts out to suck the blood from their victims, a bit gruesome in places. The film very much retains its comic book feel and to some extent you need to leave your brains at the door but if you are into well-choreographed fighting scenes, loads of blood and gore then this is the film for you. A far better film than the first one still not really my type of film but I quite enjoyed it, six out of ten.
A new Comet has opened in Llansamlet, Swansea and as I was moving house decided to purchase a new fridge freezer - old one would probably not survive the trip. Anyway shopped around a bit and decided on a Beco fridge Freezer that was the Managers special (frost free and Energy efficient group A) at just under £300 although then we were stung with a fee of £14 for delivery. OK we were set to move on the Tuesday so we asked Comet to deliver on the Tuesday preferably afternoon, no they would deliver Tuesday but they could not say when which meant someone in the house all day. The Fridge freezer arrived in the afternoon and after a lot of huffing and puffing managed to get it into the Kitchen. They advised leaving it for 12hrs for the gases to settle and we ended up leaving it for over 24hrs due to work commitments. I started the freezer up after 24hrs and followed the step-by-step instructions and although very quite things seemed to be cooling down. Therefore off I toddled to Swansea that evening for some late night shopping to fill the massive freezer compartments. When I got back from work the following lunchtime I fancied an ice-lolly and surprise surprise the damn thing was soft in the freezer, on checking everything else they were also soft after defrosting. I was bouncing and got on the phone to Comet immediately, they told me to try the fast freeze to see if that made a difference. I went back to work and came home later to the same mush. Then the fun and games began, after phoning four different numbers offered by Comet I was told that they would get a engineer out the following Tuesday as it was a 'Bank Holiday' to confirm that it was not working. I then started getting rather heated explaining that I had five children in the house and could not wait a week for an engineer to come out and explain something that I already knew in that the fridge freezer had packed up. In the end they agreed that if I went
back to the branch (15 miles away - had to drive as nobody picks up the phone!!) and explained to them the problem they could authorise a replacement. OK that happened and we were even given a contact name of 'Ben' who would get his supervisor to ring us back that evening before closing giving an exact delivery time and date. Come six o'clock I still had not received a return call and therefore phoned the 'Customer support Centre' once again to be told that the supervisor would phone before eight and that every thing was logged on the system, Ben was unavailable as he was on break. Guess what by five to eight no phone call. I phoned up again to be told that I would have to go in to the shop once again and explain the situation to them or they could get an engineer out next Wednesday (all Tuesday slots now taken) as there was nothing on the system and nobody called Ben worked there. I blew my top and demanded to speak to the Supervisor but was told she was unavailable; I offered to hold but was told that I was wasting my time, as I would have to go back to Swansea the following day. I took her name and went and sat down. The following day 'Good Friday' I was working therefore my partner went down to Swansea. They tried the normal well send an engineer out or we will send a replacement next Tuesday or Wednesday. My partner refused all options and eventually was offered Sunday between Twelve and Three pm. We settled for this and was I surprised when at nine am on Sunday morning I was got out of bed by the driver delivering our new fridge freezer. When they arrived they took the old freezer out treating it like a bag of spuds making numerous dents and if it did not work before it would most certainly not work now. The new one was put in its niche and we were told we only had to wait 4 hrs this time for the gases to settle. Well we have now put the fridge freezer on and it
seems to be working OK (touch wood) but I will not be buying from Comet again especially after reading other peoples opinions. I will also be putting a claim in for the food lost, telephone calls and petrol wasted out of principle, I'll let you know the outcome of all that. Update 11/04/02 -------------------- You'll never believe it but after all that the Fridge has packed up on the second Fridge Freezer. Once again we phoned Comet and they said they would send out a service engineer a week later. After a lot of arguing they sent the engineer out two days later and guess what he said 'This fridge is not working we need to replace it' - that really took a genius. I went straight down to Comet and demanded my money back, which they did after a bit of discussion. We then went to Currys and ordered a new Fridge Freezer, which is being delivered today. Still one outstanding moan guess what Comet want to pick up the old fridge freezer this Sunday do you think they can give me a time - if it's a nice day they'll have a wasted journey. Still awaiting a reply regards the claim for wasted food, trips to Comet and telephone calls, will keep you up to date.
When terrorist struck America on September the 11th several films due for release were postponed and one of those was Collateral Damage. Released on February the 8th in the UK director Andrew Davies was said to rather optimistic about the delay. Myself I think they should have revisited the film and had a good look at the plot, as this is one of Arnold Shwarzeneggers worst films. Basically here's a rundown of the movie without giving too much away. Arnie plays the part of a fireman who sees his wife and child blown up by Columbian terrorists and when he hears political figures dismissing the deaths as collateral damage i.e. innocents killed in war circumstances he naturally goes into a rage and decides to take on the terrorists single handedly!! There have been a number of single-handed revenge movies and many of them have been great but they have all had different views, they have been unique in they've been fun. Collateral Damage is just running around in the Columbian Jungle shooting and explosions basically what Arnie did in 'Commando' and 'Predator'. The detail of the shooting I also found poor and I think they must of used a stunt double that did not look like him in the scene where he drops in the river as the view is very blurred and unclear. Basically until the cast return to America from Columbia the film is very slow and uninteresting but wait for when they get back to the CIA headquarters where there is quite a twist as to whom the terrorist really is. Because of this I'll give the film six out of ten but I left with the feeling of a B rate movie with a need to find a better approach to terrorism.
We decided to go somewhere different for 'Mothers Day' and decided that Eleo's on the Kingsway in Swansea. Firstly parking was very easy as there is a car park with Camera coverage right behind the restaurant. Although it's a council owned car park and pay and display I felt safe leaving the car there. A short walk to the front of the restaurant and up a set of wooden stairs surrounded by a number of pictures and curiosities. At the top of the stairs we were met by the headwaiter that took us straight to a long wooded table at the windows. The table was solid and the chairs reminded me of older solid chairs that you expected Knight's to sit in. There is no menu as such you go to a cold counter that has a variety of meats and fish that are on the menu. There was a very varied menu and I will list a few of my favorites below: - Meat A variety of Beefsteaks from Sirloin to fillet and all very lean, Pork in a Mexican sauce, Lamb chops in a mint sauce, Lamb on a skewer or Pork pieces, Fish Monkfish (my fav fish of all time) Tuna steaks, Swordfish steaks, Salmon, The above is just a small selection there is also a salad bar and a number of starters, from chicken wings to garlic mushrooms, the normal but be aware they are large portions. I ordered the lamb on a sewer which when it arrived was hung up on a hook from the wooden beam above. Some garlic butter was placed at the top and then you just removed the pieces as and when you were ready to eat them - different!! The meal came with a choice of chips, new potatoes or a jacket potato. Jackie ordered the Mexican pork, which came on a salsa bed, and she ordered new potatoes to go with it. The meal she felt was very bland no real bite to the sauce which being Mexican you would expect. On the whole a reasonable meal in nice settings, not over price
d but not cheap either. Be advised its bet to book on the weekend because by 8:30 they were turning people away even though the restaurant holds approx. one hundred people.
Yep I'm another one who has succumbed to Friends Reunited.co.uk and it's the best fiver that I have spent in a long time. I read a number of opinions on Dooyoo before actually going on to the site. When you enter the site you have to register your details against the school of your choice, which in my case was Llandysul primary and grammar schools. You then have the option of leaving a short message on yourself and if you join for the fee of £5 you have the option of people contacting you by e-mail unless you leave your e-mail address in the short description!!! I started off the section on Llandysul Primary School but did not think of doing the Grammar school till I bumped into an old school friend whilst in Asdas in Swansea who told me to check the site once again. I was very surprised to find hundreds of people now affiliated with Llandysul Grammar School including a number of people that were in my same year in school. Straightaway I was e-mailing old mates all over the world. It's amazing how many people have landed in great jobs but are dotted all over the UK and Europe. The only real sad factor seems to be that the majority of people are divorced which I guess is a sign of today's culture. The good outcome is that we are now trying to arrange for a reunion in September of next year, which is thirty years exactly since we were in the first year of Grammar school. The site on the whole is very easy to navigate and I spend some time most days back and forth looking that's joined and receiving e-mails from old school mates. A very simple idea for a site but one that's given me many hours of joy especially as I do not live in Llandysul anymore. Join up and revisit the past.
From one of the best directors Ridley Scott a harrowing review, which makes me extremely glad that, I am not in the armed forces. On October 3rd, 1993, an elite team of more than 100 Delta Force soldiers and Army Rangers, part of a larger United Nations peacekeeping force, are dropped into civil war-torn Mogadishu, Somalia, in an effort to kidnap two of local crime lord Mohamed Farah Aidid's top lieutenants. When enemy forces shoot two of the mission?s Black Hawk helicopters down, the Americans committed to recovering every man, dead or alive and stay in the area too long and are quickly surrounded. The ensuing firefight is a merciless 15-hour ordeal and the longest ground battle involving American soldiers since the Vietnam War. In the end, 70 soldiers are injured and 18 are dead, along with hundreds of Somalians. Staring Josh Hartnett as Sgt Matt Eversmann, Tom Sizemore as Danny McKnight and Ewan McGregor as Grimes. The film centres on the firefight and what once again becomes an American disaster. To me it was frightening as to the passion that the Somalians attacked the Americans and although the cause of the Americans being in Somalia was for a Civil War the hatred for the Americans was more intense. The acting is average and the effects good but the story line is what makes the film. The Americans expected to be able to kidnap the local crime loads with very little effort and did not even let the local Pakistan peacekeeping authorities know what was going on. A little bit far fetched in places still very enjoyable. Anyway without giving too much away some very good filming and a story that keeps you at the edge of your seats. The acting was once again very American but I must admit I enjoyed. Billed as the greatest war film ever I would not bill it as that but worth a viewing. Band of brothers on TV is much better. Score - 3.5 / 5