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Reviews Written by
M. Torr (Southampton, UK)

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Spaced - Definitive Collectors' Edition [DVD]
Spaced - Definitive Collectors' Edition [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jessica Stevenson
Price: £9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Isn't it about time publishers dropped this stupid protection war?, 18 Jun. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I know the content is great because I watched it when it came out, but I want to complain about the DVD protection. There is no longer any justification for copy-protecting DVDs, since the law in the UK now allows copies to be made for personal use. All I do with my DVDs is copy them to a hard drive so that I can stream them to my TV: there's nothing illegal about that, and it's for convenience only. And yet, because of the past actions of criminals, I am now backed into a corner, scrabbling around for software that can rip the latest security encryption so that I can actually watch my moves as I want to. The BFI also have titles out that my software cannot copy, and I have made a similar complaint to them.

I hate streaming services, and I don't see why I should use them when I have a perfectly good collection of DVDs that I want to watch. Why am I not allowed to do this my way? I've paid money for every single film in my collection. It's unfair, and it's about time someone pointed it out. I know the law does not require content publishers to remove DRM measures, but in my opinion they should remove them as a courtesy to paying customers. The stupid irony about this (and this has applied ever since copying began) is that actual criminals have ways to copy the material anyway: these people are laughing all the way to the bank, while we poor honest consumers are penalised for their actions.

If I'm lucky, I'll find a way to copy the discs, but otherwise, I will literally have to get my DVD player out of the *cupboard* and plug it in whenever I want to watch this title. That's LUDICROUS.


Fish 4 Ever Whole Sardines in Organic Tomato Sauce 135 g (Pack of 5)
Fish 4 Ever Whole Sardines in Organic Tomato Sauce 135 g (Pack of 5)
Price: £11.25

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tasty, not wastey!, 14 Nov. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Not only are these sardines responsibly sourced and fished, but they also taste delicious (based on one tin so far). At a rough guess they're about 70% more costly than the John West equivalent, but the quality appears to be much higher, and taking into account the avoidance of supporting bad fishing practices, I think it's well worth the price. Personally I'd prefer slightly more tomato sauce, but it's not a big enough issue to put me off buying these again, especially given the advantages I've mentioned.


No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars Certainly does the trick for my night photography., 24 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this unit for use with a dSLR camera when doing night sky time lapse shoots. It worked like a charm! The instructions look a little daunting at first, but once you've used it it quickly becomes intuitively easy to operate. The display has a brightness control too which was handy in the dark, since I like to keep all my equipment lights dim. The readout is extremely clear too.

The idea is that the optics are kept constantly a fixed number of degrees above the ambient temperature, which prevents condensation forming, and it works fine. I used a temperature difference of 5 degrees.

I'm also very impressed with the build quality: it seems quite rugged and when you plug the cables in you don't feel that there's any chance they might fall out or lose connectivity. Even the 12v power plug is one of the better ones I've encountered (they so often disappoint!).

In summary I'm really pleased with this unit and it kept my lens completely dry, leading to much nicer photographs. Highly recommended!


Icarus at the Edge of Time
Icarus at the Edge of Time
by Brian Greene
Edition: Board book
Price: £18.99

5.0 out of 5 stars I've never seen anything quite like this!, 6 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I didn't know what to expect when I ordered this book, and I took a chance - but I'm glad I did. It's a futuristic re-telling of an old myth and that's something that could easily have been mis-handled; but I think Greene has done a fine job (apart from one appearance of the non-word "anymore", which always bugs me, though it probably shouldn't... maybe I'm just a reactionary old fogey).

The book has a distinctive style, featuring pictures from the Hubble space telescope, and I think it's the kind of thing that could become a familiar treasure on a child's bookshelf. The story retains the elements of tragedy from the original myth but cleverly salvages hope, in a way which, incidentally, should appeal to any Transhumanist readers.


Poltergeist (25th Anniversary Edition) [DVD] [1982]
Poltergeist (25th Anniversary Edition) [DVD] [1982]
Dvd ~ Craig T Nelson
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.40

8 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I'm glad this was cheap!, 8 Sept. 2008
As this appears to be the only region 2 version of this film, I was forced to buy it. Like other reviewers, I love the film, but am completely unimpressed with the "25th anniversary edition" DVD, hence the one star (it would have had 4 or 5). I probably won't even watch the special feature (note singular) as (a) it isn't about the film and (b) I don't believe in ghosts anyway so it would probably irritate me.

There also seems to be a very odd cut at 32:48, though I suppose it's possible that was on the original print - but it really looks to me as if some footage was missing. Rather disturbing.

Grade D-. Could do a lot better :(
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 20, 2011 5:18 PM BST


Point [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Point [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gem, 20 Aug. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This will be a very short review, because the point is... well, "The Point" is... it's one of those rare things that I feel is so perfectly and uniquely self-contained and wonderful that any attempt to describe it would harm it in some way. It just has to be watched.

I know that's a bit Zen, but that's how this film makes me feel. I love it! I wish it were on Region 2...


Classical Mushroom
Classical Mushroom
Offered by MUSIC4SURE
Price: £15.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm infected, 29 July 2008
This review is from: Classical Mushroom (Audio CD)
I bought this CD a few months ago and at first I didn't give it a chance. I now realise this was because it is only really the second album in this genre that I've heard, and the first was Shpongle's Tales Of The Inexpressible, so that was one hell of a tough act to follow, to say the least.

Now that I've given it a few more playings, boy has it grown on me! I enjoy many types of music, and in this case I think my enjoyment derives from the intricacies of the sonic textures, and the way they are artfully controlled throughout each track. It is especially good if you listen on headphones, actually - in fact, I've been doing just that at work. I write software, and sometimes it's really hard to focus properly when there is noise in the office. So I pop the cans on and dial up the mushroom... and work at twice my normal speed! Who needs drugs? :)

Best track is definitely "Dracul". There are some awesome sound effects in there.


Gonks Go Beat [DVD]
Gonks Go Beat [DVD]
Dvd ~ Kenneth Connor
Price: £10.00

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An oyster harboring a musical pearl, 4 July 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Gonks Go Beat [DVD] (DVD)
Like the previous reviewer, I've given this five stars. The film, I agree, is quite astoundingly atrocious: however, it is one of my most prized possessions, due to the appearance (in Beatland) of none other than the Graham Bond Organization.

For me, it's worth owning this title just for that short segment, in which they give a typically mind-blowing rendition of "Harmonica" (unfortunately, and presumably under duress, whilst miming, but that's in keeping with the film of course). Graham is his usual larger-than-life self; the irrepressible Dick Heckstall-Smith (whom I knew as a friend and much admired) is looking cool in his shades; Jack Bruce is hilarious during the following scene where the teacher berates them for their playing style (he also tells Graham he isn't "beaty enough"); and Ginger Baker just looks totally bemused by the tackiness of the whole thing.

For those who know and love the GBO, this scene is a priceless treasure!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 22, 2009 8:00 PM BST


An American Ghost
An American Ghost
by Chester Aaron
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and emotionally rewarding, 26 Jun. 2008
This review is from: An American Ghost (Paperback)
My parents bought me this book over thirty years ago, and, incredibly, I've only just read it at the age of forty-three!

Set in frontier lands around the time of the American civil war, the book tells of the misfortunes and trials of a boy trapped in a house that has been swept away by a flood, who ends up sharing this precarious vessel with a mountain lion (the "ghost" of the title). It is a gripping piece of fiction that is both believable and relentless as the reader, similarly to the hero trapped on the river, is carried along by the unstoppable flow of fate; it's also about respect for nature, without being overly sentimental about it. I was gripped by this moving tale, which establishes the boy's resourcefulness and maturity from page one, and then proceeds to show how they develop as he is pushed to the limits by his situation.

Without giving too much away, the final scenes were both satisfying and a little disturbing too, as the boy's newly-moulded traumatised spirit finds itself at odds with the status quo to which he returns.

In a way, I'm glad I left it so long to read this - it's a book for adults as much as for older children. Highly recommended.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 7, 2009 2:02 AM GMT


Popular Lyric Writing: 10 Steps to Effective Storytelling
Popular Lyric Writing: 10 Steps to Effective Storytelling
by Andrea Stolpe
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is like a good song in itself..., 12 May 2008
...because in my opinion it's wonderfully structured, insightful and inspiring.

Andrea Stolpe leads the reader on a well-trodden path, but one that I found surprisingly fresh. I have spent some time writing poetry, and a few songs - and although I have some degree of instinct for what works, this book made it clear to me WHY it works, and introduced plenty of new tips and techniques into the bargain.

The book has a very accessible approach, with plenty of exercises and examples; and (best of all) a final chapter in which the author illustrates the techniques by writing a song from scratch and allowing us to follow the process.

I am just completing my own album, and for my next project I plan to find a vocalist with whom to collaborate (my voice isn't what I'd like it to be!). I'm confident that this book has taught me a lot that will facilitate that project, and I certainly recommend it to any creative person interested in finding a way to express their ideas through one of the oldest human arts: song.

Five stars!


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