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Cartimand (Hampshire, UK.)
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Classic British Comedies The DVD Board Game
Classic British Comedies The DVD Board Game
Price: £21.17

4.0 out of 5 stars Great family game but I doubt if many 8 year olds would appreciate it!, 16 Nov 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Had a brief trial run with this game and intend to play it in earnest with the family together after Christmas dinner.

Given the age of the comedy clips, I would say this is aimed more at the 20+ age group and I can see younger players frowning in ignorance of much of the material and soon losing interest.

For those of us of a certain age though, Classic British Comedies The DVD Board Game works well as a light-hearted competitive game, as an enjoyable nostalgia kick and as a great tribute to the golden era of British comedy.

Given the limited number of video clips, the longevity of this game may be in doubt, but if it gets us through this Christmas with a few laughs, then it will have been money well spent!


Becoming the Perfect Gentleman
Becoming the Perfect Gentleman
by Zach Falconer-Barfield
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.48

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Has its heart in the right place, but somewhat disappointing and not what I expected., 16 Nov 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Given that the notion of the perfect gentleman conjures forth a somewhat anachronistic vision, I anticipated this being an entertaining book written in an ironically amusing manner.

Instead, I found a rather flat, uninspired and questionable account of the gentleman throughout history followed by numerous lists of dos and dont's covering such life situations as dining, dressing, romance, travel etc. Some of the advice I could certainly empathise with, whereas much of it simply came over as pretentious and downright snobbish.

Furthermore, I'm sure the perfect gentleman would have a decent command of his mother tongue and would not pepper his language with grammatical and other errors (you "lose your head" not "loose it" and inappropriate use of the apostrophe has always made me wince).

Finally, in a book intended for use as a source of reference, the absence of a comprehensive index at the back was inexplicable.

I almost awarded 2 stars but, on reflection, felt that would have been overly cruel, particularly as I found myself agreeing with the authors' overall objective in writing this book (and I did emit a brief "hurrah" when they lambasted the gross overuse of the word "like" in young people's conversations these days!). Employing a proof-reader and adding some witticisms and anecdotes to enhance the scenarios described, would have improved this book enormously.


El Nino [DVD]
El Nino [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jesús Castro
Price: £14.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great eye-candy in an otherwise rather formulaic thriller., 13 Nov 2014
This review is from: El Nino [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Two young men, el Niño (Jesús Castro) and his friend Compi (Jesús Carroza) are petty criminals always on the look out for ways of making more money. One day, pursuing a small job, they meet a young Moroccan, who mentions that his uncle - a serious drug trafficker, may have some extremely lucrative work for them. Most canny viewers will have a pretty good idea of what to expect from this point on.

Let's take the good stuff first; the Straits of Gibraltar and surrounding environs provide a splendid backdrop for this tale of drug-running, camaraderie, risks and consequences. The cinematography is admirable, often employing inventive camera angles. I played a couple of scenes back and thought to myself "how the hell did they film that?". The action scenes are certainly compelling. We also get to see life from both sides - cop and criminal and there's clearly a sub-text of social conscience at play here, exploring the motives that drive people into crime. Despite the slightly quirky subtitles, the dialogue was sometimes amusing and surround sound is used to very good effect.

On the down side, El Niño is very wordy and, at 136 minutes, threatens on occasion to overstay its welcome. I got the impression that the director thought "right, we've had this long conversation, so time to throw in a car chase. Or, better still, a helicopter chase!" Credit where it's due, the action scenes - particularly involving boats and helicopters, are excellent. That isn't enough in my book however to make El Niño a great movie. The cops' side of the story felt underdeveloped. The love interest struck me as rather tacked on and unconvincing (picturesque sex-on-the-beach scene though!) and Ian McShane, although billed as one of the stars, is criminally (ha-ha) underused in just a couple of cameos.

To summarise, the director has certainly ticked all the right boxes to make a competent thriller, with lovable rogue main characters, somewhat dysfunctional cops, action routines, a beautiful woman, a boo-hiss baddie etc. but it all seems a tad routine and lacking in any real tension. Anyway, just sit back, enjoy the spectacular scenery, action scenes and audio but you may well find your attention wandering a bit through the interminable conversations and I doubt if many viewers would bother watching this movie a second time.


PRO PLAN Cat Wet NutriSavour Junior with Turkey in Gravy 10x85g (Pack of 4, Total 40 Pouches)
PRO PLAN Cat Wet NutriSavour Junior with Turkey in Gravy 10x85g (Pack of 4, Total 40 Pouches)
Price: £18.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well received by a very fussy cat, 4 Nov 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Puss is still a young cat, although well out of her kittenhood. She is therefore not the main intended customer for this particular product. As she is a rather fussy eater though, I thought these pouches were worth a try. So far, she's had two, and clearly enjoyed them, as there was no wastage. The pouches are easy to tear open and the meat looks more appetising than Whiskers or Felix meat chunks in jelly.

Only criticisms? Well most cats like a bit of variety, so 40 pouches of the same meat may not be so well received after a couple of days. A variety pack would have been better. Finally, it has to be said that this Pro Plan food is rather expensive.

As a good quality food for your kitten or fastidious grown up cat, these pouches certainly get the thumbs/paws up.

UPDATE. Took a couple of pouches around for my sister's cats this morning and they wolfed this food down whilst purring. It does seem to be particularly high quality and I'd be interested to know if anyone has a cat who doesn't enjoy this.


Bitdefender Internet Security 2015 - 1 year - 3 users (PC)
Bitdefender Internet Security 2015 - 1 year - 3 users (PC)
Offered by Areema Online
Price: £22.25

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So far so good ..., 4 Nov 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I tried Bitdefender a couple of years ago and didn't get on with it at all. Installation took ages and was very problematical and the user interface felt quite chaotic. Luckily, it would appear that the development team has taken on board customer feedback, as Bitdefender 2015 was a doddle to install and its menus and controls are all laid out in an attractive and intuitive manner.

A full system scan was slightly quicker than with my previous AV software (Avira) and I can't say I've noticed any drop in system performance.

Obviously any anti-virus package stands or falls on how effectively it protects your system against threats and, if Bitdefender gets me through the next year without any problems, I will be more than happy. If it doesn't, I will post an update here!


Logitech Z213 Multimedia Speakers
Logitech Z213 Multimedia Speakers
Price: £27.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Adequate performance for the price, 30 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
But could have been so much better.

I ordered this to replace a Trust 2.1 speaker system Trust Raina 20W Subwoofer Speaker Set, Black - Frustration-Free Packaging and, whilst the bass is perhaps a little fuller with the Logitech and the addition of a volume control unit with headphone socket is nice, I'm not sure it merits well over double the purchase price.

As with a lot of the budget-end multimedia speaker systems, this one comes with ridiculously short cables out of the box. If you, like me, prefer your subwoofer to be somewhere down near foot level, whereas the main speakers ought to be up at ear level or even higher, then you will need to splice in extra speaker cable before using this system. Similarly, if you enjoy decent channel separation, you will need to place the speakers several feet apart. Again, that is impossible with this system without the addition of extra cable. Another slight irritation is that, whereas the Trust system was powered from one of your PC's USB sockets, this system needs a power socket to itself. Finally, the volume control unit does, indeed have a traditional headphone socket but, as most quality gaming headsets these days have a USB interface, this may not be of much use to you.

If the issues that slightly bugged me are of no concern to you, then this system does provide very decent audio output, especially the sub which, whilst it will never rattle your windows, gives a surprisingly full and rich sound. There are cheaper systems around which seem to be as good as this though.


RCA Audio Cable Adapter for XBOX 360 + Slim
RCA Audio Cable Adapter for XBOX 360 + Slim
Offered by TOPCITY
Price: £2.13

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential add-on for your XBOX 360, 30 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Came securely packed after one week, this adaptor simply plugs into the rear of your XBOX and allows you to connect standard audio cables, or far better, an optical cable to send audio to an external device. I've connected it to my Blu-ray player which then pumps the sound out through my 5.1 surround speakers. Alien Isolation now sounds as creepy as it looks!


AnySharp 1-Piece ABS Plastic Suction Cup Hanging Hook, Black
AnySharp 1-Piece ABS Plastic Suction Cup Hanging Hook, Black
Price: £3.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical and extremely versatile, 30 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This hook is beautifully designed to maximise its suction power, whilst making it very easy to release and reposition. It's just gone on the back of my son's bedroom door to hang his (extremely heavy) motorbike jacket with no problem whatsoever. In the home, garden shed, caravan, office etc. the possibilities are virtually endless and all at a very reasonable price too. Apart from possibly quibbling why don't they sell these in multipacks, I can't fault this clever little hook.


Airfix 1:72 RAF Benevolent Fund BAE Hawk Gift Model Set
Airfix 1:72 RAF Benevolent Fund BAE Hawk Gift Model Set
Price: £12.22

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun to build ...., 28 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
... but a real b****r to paint!

This took me back to building Airfix kits in my childhood (mainly tanks) and I thoroughly enjoyed the construction phase of project Hawk and the finished results were very pleasing. Be warned though that they do throw you in at the deep end a bit by making you build the cockpit first and some of its components (and decals) are absolutely minuscule! You get the option to construct your model either with undercarriage retracted or down (much more fiddly). Overall construction took me around 90 minutes.

The paint job, on the other hand, was far less straightforward and may prove rather too daunting for many a modeller. To get the colour scheme's sharp lines requires the application of small strips of masking tape and, even then, the results I got on one wing didn't look great. Also I would say the the acrylic paints provided do not cover as well as the old Airfix/Humbrol oil paints. I may abandon this fiddly paint job and go for a far easier all-over dark blue/grey, which the Hawk trainer is often finished in - just Google Hawk trainer pics.

Finally, a bit disappointed that there is no stand provided. If you want to suspend your model for that in-flight look or simply stand it on its undercarriage, you'll need to put a blob of blu-tack or similar in the front interior of the fuselage to prevent the model from being too tail-heavy.

Overall, this was an enjoyable kit, but the suggested paint job and some very tiny components definitely pushes it beyond skill level 1.


Watermark [Blu-ray + DVD Double Play]
Watermark [Blu-ray + DVD Double Play]
Dvd ~ Jennifer Baichwal
Price: £16.25

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The real Poseidon adventure?, 24 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
With its impressive cinematography occasionally approaching the stunning beauty of the Planet Earth: Complete BBC Series [Blu-ray] and its contemplative and respectful tone ringing faint echoes of Koyaanisqatsi+Powaqqatsi [Blu-ray], Watermark is a profound and informative documentary exploring humankind's relationship with water.

Directors Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky take us on a aquatically-themed tour around the globe, often employing stark contrasts to add to the dramatic effect. The mighty flow from a vast dam morphs into a parched desert valley whilst the beauty of a pristine lake and of curiously symmetrical irrigation features is contrasted with foul effluent flowing into a river in Bangladesh. One comparison which struck me as slightly cheap was the footage of pilgrims taking their devotional Kumbh Mela dip in the Ganges suddenly then cutting to a Californian surfing contest.

Extensive use is made of aerial filming, sometimes skimming along just above the water, then zooming out to extreme distance. It's not just visually gorgeous though. Surround sound is used to very good effect too and, if you have a quality HD TV coupled to decent home cinema audio, you are in for a treat.

But is the undoubted eye and ear candy enough to merit repeated viewings? Maybe not, particularly given that the commentary can come over as slightly preachy and dull at times. I thoroughly enjoyed Watermark once though and may have it playing in the background occasionally purely for its ambient therapeutic value. Should look terrific on an upscaling 4K TV!

Overall, 3.5 stars feels about right.

Poseidon himself would be proud of the scenes depicting water's thundering power and majesty.


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