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S. LEECH "evest27" (Manchester, UK)
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Battleground DVD
Battleground DVD
Dvd ~ Bryan Larkin
Offered by HarriBella.UK.Ltd
Price: £2.65

2.0 out of 5 stars Vietnam Veteran who has lost the plot. Along with the writers..., 7 Sep 2014
This review is from: Battleground DVD (DVD)
***Spolier Alert***

I say spolier alert, but there's not really a great deal to spoil.

I was expecting this film to be along the lines of a vigilante Rambo theme - with the distrungtled Vietnam veteran dishing out his own brand of justice to some wayward bank robbers. Well this did happen, however in most vigilante films you tend to be on the vigilante's side as they are basically still a good guy deep down. Well in Battleground, the Vietnam veteran is far from just disgruntled and certainly not a good guy. He is completely derranged lunatic and whilst killing all the bank robbers one by one in a variety of inventive ways, he also indesciminately kills anybody else he meets as well. There is break in this for him to play a game of russian roulette (a la Deer Hunter) with one of the robbers he has captured, shot and then brought back to life, so I guess he was a pretty good medic too.

So he must be the bad guy, presumably having suffered a mental breakdown from his time at war, although there is no real back story to this, other than the fact he was a combat soldier in 'Nam. That leaves us with the bank robbers, but surely they're not the good guys either - they rob banks and kill policemen.

The only other character of note is the random girl that appears in the woods, who really seemed surplus to requirements for the whole story other than to look scared witless. The film does later start to make you think she will have a role to play in the closing stages of the plot, but she just gets wiped out by the maniac veteran after getting lost in the spawling tunnel system he has inexplicably built and booby trapped beneath the forest floor. I guess they couldn't think of any more ideas for her.

The killer has also managed to stockpile a fairly large arsenal of weaponry - it would not have surprised me if he had a couple of tanks tucked away down there... So the fight goes underground, pitting him against the most 'military' of the bank robbers - 'Tex' - although he's a bit too porky to have seen much combat. Anyway, despite his best efforts to kill the killer in a Kamikaze blaze of glory, he fails.

So its down to he leader of the bank robbers, who finally tries to make good his escape in the killers truck which, naturally, breaks down only yards from his house (?) so he just get's taken out by a grenade launcher (and the killer has also blown up his own truck as well...)

The film finished with our derranged killer lighting yet another cigar and... roll credits.

So story-wise it really is a complete mess, which is played out by some pretty mediocre acting.

Overall - no real point to this film. if it was supposed to be yet another anti-Vietnam statement then it fails miserably - rather the war-link just provides a vehicle for the killer to have his skills and arsenal of weaponry. If it was supposed to be a horror, it wasn't very scary. If it was just intended to be a straightforward action shooter, it lacked any decent action. It wasn't a vigilante film either.

I gave it two stars because it actually started out quite well, but once it got into the cat and mouse game in the forest, the writers really did just lose the plot.


Extreme Door Gym Exercise Iron Man Bar Chin Ups Pull Ups Sit Up Fitness Home Workout
Extreme Door Gym Exercise Iron Man Bar Chin Ups Pull Ups Sit Up Fitness Home Workout

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent piece of kit. Grow Stronger., 28 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Let's be honest - you can spend hundreds of pounds on all sort of fitness equipment and DVDs and 90% of it is gimmicky cr@p. If you want to improve you upper body strength then a pull-up bar, on the other, has a simple, brutal honesty about it. It's one of a few 'pure' exercises, with nowhere to hide. There's no mercy from the bar. It's just you, your weight, and your strength.

I bought this to improve my chin-ups as I can simply bash out a few every time I go past it at home, slowly building up the overall volume I can do in a day/week, rather than only training when I go to the gym. It's very convenient in that sense and also, if you rest it on the floor you can use it for push-ups as well using the hammer grips. It says you can do leg raises on it too - but not really, unless you have a very high door frame to hang it off. As for sit-ups - nah! Don't bother, this really is just for pull-ups and push-ups. In any case, in my opinion sit-ups are better done without wedging your feet under anything.

Delivery - I chose standard 3-5 days. I received it the next day so very good.

Packaging - Box, cellophane. Fine.

Product - Solid construction, easy to assemble (10 mins). As with many of these home-use bars, the foam seems a bit thin so I'll see how I go. If it wears out, I'll just get some tennis racket grip and wrap it around the handles, or use exercise gloves. I couple flakes of paint near the screw holes came of it when I first put it under tension, but I'm not really bothered.

Use - When you first hang off it, it will flex a little as it takes your weight (although at 91kg I'm not far of it's max load capacity of 100kg), but it's fine once you begin to exercise. I'm sure the instructions said there were twelve types of chin-up you can do with this - must be some I've never heard off then! Clearly it works by bracing itself against the doorframe with your weight providing the force so it WILL leave black marks on your doorframe and it will leave dents if the wood is soft. I think most products like this do. I have modified mine with a couple of car-wash sponges and some gaffer tape - problem solved.

Overall - decent piece of kit and reasonable price.

All you have to do it USE IT!


Bettacare Pet Gate with Cat Flap Effective Barrier for Pets with Extensions Available, 75 - 84 cm/ 104 cm
Bettacare Pet Gate with Cat Flap Effective Barrier for Pets with Extensions Available, 75 - 84 cm/ 104 cm
Price: £34.49

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fairly good kit, 15 July 2014
Easy to set up and pretty sturdy.

Does the job to an extent, however if you have a new puppy it will be able to get through the cat flap for quite some time. We have a chocolate labrador and he could squeeze through until about 14-15 weeks old (and he is a fairly robust build). It is much more useful now that he can't fit through it. depending on how tall your cat is, they might find the cat flap a bit low - but you can raise the whole gate up an inch or two if needed.

The handle can be a bit fidly until you get the knack for it.

Otherwise, decent enough piece of kit.


Forced To Fight [DVD]
Forced To Fight [DVD]
Dvd ~ Gary Daniels
Offered by HarriBella.UK.Ltd
Price: £3.39

3.0 out of 5 stars Average, 13 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Forced To Fight [DVD] (DVD)
I've always liked Gary Daniels since seeing Fist of the North Star back in my early teens, and I'm sure many fans will agree that this was easily his best role.

In this film, the plot is nothing unusual and other people have already outlined it. Acting-wise, Daniels struggles to be honest, very wooden and there is harldy any chemistry between him and his on-screen wife and brother. The unimaginative script probably doesn't help.

The fighting element of the film is also very poor. We know that Daniels is literally the 'Brit Kicker', and he is in good shape and very impressive for his own part, but for some reason and with only one exception, his opponents are a bunch of progressively fatter east-european thugs (despite being set in USA). The only one who looks remotely menacing is the huge tattooed guy but he is relegated to being one of the minor opponents. The final-fight 'nutter' who is supposed to be an indestructable killing machine is some big fat guy who looks like he just finished a shift at a kebab shop and wandered into the arena!

As for Peter Weller - decent enough performance as the nefarious 'Danny G' and he arguably steals the show.

The DVD extras are very poor - a token effort at best of about five minutes worth of 'behind the scenes' but they don't feature Daniels or anything interesting.

It's a shame Daniels didn't have more success back in the late 90's when this genre was so much more popular. It was a great break for him being in the Expendables but his part was so minor that it hasn't really done that much for his career, as Forced to Fight clearly demonstrates. Three stars.


Transporter 3 [DVD]
Transporter 3 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jason Statham
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.22

3.0 out of 5 stars Running out of ideas..., 13 July 2014
This review is from: Transporter 3 [DVD] (DVD)
Transporter...
Mechanic...
Death Race...
Expendables...
Etc...

Well it's no secret that Jason Statham has a pretty limited range - moody geezer who is good at driving fast and fighting. I actually think he's gone backwards from the days of Lock Stock and Snatch. They were clever, imaginative films but now he seems destined to churn out predicatable and increasingly boring action flicks. Sure they have great production values and he will do very well out of them, so long as fans don't mind eating the same meal over and over...

As you woud expect there is plenty of decent car chases and fights, and lots of Jason Statham taking his shirt off - so if you like all that you'll probably enjoy the film. It was all going great until the underwater scene at which point the film lost credibility - partly because they stole the idea for the first part from James Bond 'A View to a Kill' and then because the second part was so obviously unfeasible that even a James Bond film wouldn't consider it.

In another nod to the older Bond themes, the film also tries to reinforce some old-fashioned sterotypes by having the only female cast member as a weak and vulnerable girl, who is obviously then sexualised by seeing the hero (topless, of course) dispatching his enemies with his 'ninja skills'. I guess it works for the intended audience.

I know films are supposed to suspend disbelief and have crazy stunts, but when when they get this silly it just ruins what is otherwise a pretty good franchise. It would have been more entertaining and interesting for the film to shed light on the past of our shawdowy hero - how did obtain his impressive array of skills, etc... (I think they're doing this in Transporter 4) But instead you just see him doing another predictable mission.

Overall, good enough for a saturday night home-alone, but I won't need to watch it again.


Mens Black Army Military Pilot Aviator Swiss Outdoor Sports Watch-Fabric/Canvas Strap 17-21cm-Decorative dial 4cm-Luminous Hands
Mens Black Army Military Pilot Aviator Swiss Outdoor Sports Watch-Fabric/Canvas Strap 17-21cm-Decorative dial 4cm-Luminous Hands
Offered by NutriBurn
Price: £4.08

2.0 out of 5 stars Ouch...ouch...ouch..., 25 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
That's the sound of me moving my hand, and feeling the lugs either side of the adjustment knob digging into my skin. That and the coarse, uncomfortable cheap wrist strap slow taking the skin of my wrist.

It is at least lightweight and keeps reasonable time. It looks the part, as long as you don't look too close.

The downside is that when you take it off in the evening, you may well be left feeling as though you've been abducted and tethered by the wrist all day.

I really must stop buying cheap cr@p...


2 ROLLS BROWN/BUFF PACKING TAPE, PARCEL TAPE
2 ROLLS BROWN/BUFF PACKING TAPE, PARCEL TAPE
Offered by PolyPostalBags
Price: £1.37

2.0 out of 5 stars It's cheap for a reason..., 25 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
And the reason is.... because it's s***.

It is thin and has very poor adhesive qualities, so just as well it's cheap because you'll need loads of it.


Fridge or Freezer thermometer with 70mm dial
Fridge or Freezer thermometer with 70mm dial
Offered by Cavalier Leisure Ltd
Price: £5.10

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cheap. Works. Buy one., 25 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I only put four stars because I couldn't bring myself to state that I 'love' my fridge thermometer.

It works fine, its cheap and it doesn't have some boring celebrity chef's name on it - all of these are reasons to just crack on and buy it.


500 Vegan Dishes
500 Vegan Dishes
by Deborah Gray
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £6.99

3.0 out of 5 stars The only compendium of vegan dishes you'll (n)ever need!, 25 Jun 2014
This review is from: 500 Vegan Dishes (Hardcover)
Perhaps the title is a little harsh, but I couldn't resist. The book is okay. I'm not going to rate it based on the meals I have produced, as my culinary incompetence is mostly to blame for the results and I acknowledge that no person is going to like every single recipie in any cookbook, as tastes vary. Of course, as I'm sure we all know - nobody in the history of home cooking has ever successfully replicated a meal that resembles the picture in the cookbook. This is known to be impossible.

Pros

Good information at the start, before you get to the main recipies - alternatives to various dairy products, useful items to stock up on - this is helpful for those new to vegan cookery.
There are some decent recipies from what I've tried so far - including variety options for different tastes.
Fairly simple instructions.

Cons

Several Index page reference errors
Some recipies instruct you to use ingredients not listed, so no idea what quantity to use
Some recipies list ingredient and then don't mention them in the instructions!
Despite some decent recipies, many of them are best suited for the weekend when ample time is available.

I bought it as I'm new to veganism and it is useful to flick through, but I often find myself then going on the internet for alternative recipies; and with so many recipies and forums available for free on the internet, save your money.


Samurai Sword - The Making Of A Legend [DVD]
Samurai Sword - The Making Of A Legend [DVD]
Dvd ~ John Wate
Price: £10.24

4.0 out of 5 stars Decent, solid documentary, 5 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
In terms of doing it 'what it says on the tin' this documentary delivers in superb detail the making of a 'samurai sword' blade. I won't get bogged down with the arguement over whether it is a katana, a japanese sword or a nihonto - I do understand these terms but I'll just stick with the title of the DVD for simplicity's sake!
It does focus mainly on the blade itself, from the smelting to the initial forging and onto the final polishing. It's a fascinating process and ones that also demonstrates the immense dedication and reverence that goes into making these swords. I would think that the sword featured in much of the film is one that would be highly sought after and very expensive. I'm sure that not every samurai would have possessed such a fine weapon and of course, many made these days are simple immitations made for aesthetic appeal.
The science behind the forging process is fascinating, as is the artistry and workmanship demonstrated - it almost easy to forget that the item being made is indeed a highly dangerous weapon!

The film also discusses the deep relationship between the sword and the samurai, which is also a feature that seems to be found only in samurai culture - more than simply a tool of the trade, this weapon was an extension of the warriors soul.

We are also treated to a number of demonstrations of training and also use of the sword in cutting practise. The comparison between the 'samurai sword' and a european broadsword was only ever going to have one outcome - else I doubt it would have been included in the film - however whilst some may argue that no superior cutting performance was demonstrated for the japanese sword, I must disagree. Whilst both blades were able to perfectly slice through the bamboo - the wielder of the samurai sword was able to do so with greater speed as less brute force was required. The heavier broadsword required a larger swing and greater force to make the cut - this also meant that the wielder took longer to recover from one cut before moving onto the next - surely this would be a disadvantage in combat. Therefore, in my opinion, in this respect alone, the demonstration did prove the samurai sword to be the superior wepaon.

The ridiculous excesses of Hollywood have done much to damage the heritage of the martial arts and so it was wonderfully refreshing to see a very dignified documentary that is both informative and entertaining whilst remaining respectful of the history and traditions of japanese sword making. Indeed, that influence is probably what make many of us so interested in the sword whilst forgetting perhaps that the samurai were also formidable archers.


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