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Lone Survivor [DVD]
Lone Survivor [DVD]
Dvd ~ Mark Wahlberg
Price: 7.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Wow, 17 Jun 2014
This review is from: Lone Survivor [DVD] (DVD)
I'm not going to say much about the story, it's already been said here ad infinitum.
One point though, just a small one; the four man team of the film was not sent in to kill or capture the bad guy themselves. Their job was to confirm, or otherwise, that the target was present then the main force were to arrive to finish the job.

Nearly everything from the book is here, and a few scenes have been changed a little. The needs of fitting a story into a movie dictates such things. The night that Luttrell spends alone is omitted, along with the shootings of that night. The time he spends being sheltered outside of the village by the villagers is missing too. Also, his face-to-face with the target is changed completely for the film, along with a few other minor points. This does not detract from the dramatic events at all, though. The action is very tense, and quite accurate to tactics employed in real life. The stunts are just incredible, and almost knock the wind out of you. Oof!

On BluRay the extras amount to one hour and ten minutes. While this may not sound much nowadays, all the extras are well worth watching and there seems to have been no fleshing out the minutes just to make it more attractive to buyers. There is even an explanation of the code of Pashtunwalai (more precisely Lokhay Warkawal), which is a good touch sadly lacking in other films of this genre.

In summary, beautifully filmed and executed, even though I got so involved watching it, the two hours was up in no time at all. I only give it 4/5 as another half hour would easily have been possible with the events described above.


Operation Snakebite: The Explosive True Story of an Afghan Desert Siege
Operation Snakebite: The Explosive True Story of an Afghan Desert Siege
by Stephen Grey
Edition: Paperback
Price: 11.41

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Personal and the bigger picture, 25 July 2013
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You can always tell immediately that a book has been written by a journalist, rather than a serving or ex soldier. The proof readers must have it easy. Although journo's are more observers than participants they still get across the thoughts and emotions of the men involved. There is also the benefit of their prose and grammar.
This book reminded me a little of Al Santoli's To Bear Any Burden in the way it's composed: it reads like a collection of diary extracts in places, but is none the worse for it. I interrupted another book to read this, but not for long as I kept picking it up. It mainly tells the story of a, largely, British protracted operation to retake and restabilise the town of Musa Qala, and the restrictions that were mostly self-imposed on the senior officers who didn't just want to occupy the town, but to rebuild trust and deny the town to the enemy in the long term by making it an Afghan move.
It also deals with the short sighted lack of planning for Afghanistan and the lack of cohesion between the various ISAF countries in the way they operate, and their ideas on what they are doing there.
Particularly telling are the opinions of all the service personnel, on their strategic mission, their equipment at the time, and their lack of enough boots on the ground to do what is expected of them, and not to have to repeat missions because they cannot stay around in most towns to prevent the enemy's return.
There is also the question of the Afghan leadership, and their personal agendas which are having a negative effect on operations and have undoubtedly cost lives. This is discussed here also, in a way which sounds informed.
But it's the personal accounts which are, as ever, the most absorbing. Nobody is blowing their own trumpet here, but the bravery, fear, confusion of war, and emotions are all here laid bare.
I cannot see how this book could disappoint anyone, no matter what opinions they may already have on this campaign. Soldiers like to know why they are fighting and dying, and they don't always know in this war, but here they all seem to want the best for the civilians who are often caught in the crossfire, military and political.
A very interesting and informed account of one region's difficulties, which we can expect is repeated elsewhere in this tribal land.


Boker 01BO037 Cera-Tac Ceramic Knife
Boker 01BO037 Cera-Tac Ceramic Knife

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very nice, 11 July 2013
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This is one helluva quality piece of kit. The graphite coloured blade was razor sharp otb, and is very light in weight. It still feels very sturdy though. There is zero flex at the hinge and the handle is very tactile. The thumb stud is for right-handers only, which makes it awkward for me to open one handed, I will just have to do this with my right hand instead. With a little careful practice it can easily be closed one handed as there is no 'snap' just before it closes fully. The belt/boot clip is flexible enough to be easy to use, and can be mounted at either end of the handle. It arrived in a nice box, and there was even a decent cleaning cloth included.
With the obvious advantages of a ceramic blade, I can see this becoming my 'go to' knife. Worth every penny.


Bomb Hunters: In Afghanistan with Britain's Elite Bomb Disposal Unit
Bomb Hunters: In Afghanistan with Britain's Elite Bomb Disposal Unit
by Sean Rayment
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.19

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 6 Dec 2012
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This is one of the best books I have ever read, and I read a lot. The book is not huge but due to the small print there is plenty to keep us interested for quite a while. I wasn't expecting to be stunned, but the way we are told a story about an individuals actions is astounding, then after, say, twenty pages getting to know someone we learn of their death. This stopped me in my tracks several times. The text has plenty of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, and the author repeats himself a lot, but this matters not one iota. This is a book that doesn't hold back. Buy it.


Medal of Honor Warfighter (PS3)
Medal of Honor Warfighter (PS3)
Offered by Turbotrance
Price: 6.51

27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, 29 Nov 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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I'm going to try to do this review without mentioning any other FPS games (you know what I'm talking about), because this is a game in it's own right. First, let me say that I have not completed the campaign, nor have I progressed a great deal in multiplayer (I'm 43 years old, and just not that good at live gaming). Having said that, there is nothing more fun than a good MP game against actual humans. The campaign mode is fairly linear, as has been said elsewhere, but it IS involving. What I mean is this; I'm actually fighting for/with my squad because that's what soldiers do, fight for the man next to them. That sounds daft, but I'm finding it more fun this way. After reading reviews that said the campaign was far too short, I decided to play on 'hard' setting right from the start, and I think this is the right choice.
Ok, multiplayer then. This is a little more of a thinking man's game, and not a 'run 'n' gun' arcade shooter. The maps are a little bigger and more open than you would expect from the R&G games, but not on a scale with the more complex/intelligent shooters available. I'm particularly liking Basilan and Shogore Valley, though I am struggling on the jungle map. The level of interaction with the scenery is superb, though only in small detail like barricades and the like. This is down to the excellent Frostbite2 engine that creates it. There are a few annoying spots where you would expect to be able to walk, but the game will not let you go there even though it might look clear. Map edges should be more clearly defined. At the moment there are only eight maps to play on, but there is almost certainly some DLC to come. One thing I don't like is the inability to explore a map on my own without being shot at. If you enter an empty server, you can do nothing but spin on the spot. I want to look for the good firing-points for later use as I'm not Chuck Norris.
A new idea to this genre of game is the buddy system, and I like it. You get teamed with another online player for the duration and I am definitely seeing better results when we work together. If one of you dies, and you will, you respawn on your squad mate, if you chose to. Running around flat out on your own is going to get you nowhere but the next respawn point, so this is an original idea that works. The thing I don't like is the complete lack of choice when you first play MP mode. I'm unlocking characters, countries and classes every time I play, so as I'm only on a low level anyway, some choice could have been available from the start. I looked online and read lots of reviews before buying this game (already available here 25% cheaper than release. Just don't forget, if you buy second-hand you are likely going to have to buy a new online pass @ 7.99 from the online store), and noticed a pattern emerging. All the industry reviews panned this game, and most the individual gamer's reviews are good. Bear in mind that these are the same industry reviewers who, every November, say the latest run 'n' gun rehash is wonderful when it brings absolutely nothing new to our consoles, so it doesn't really help our choice. I felt I was taking a bit of a chance when I ordered this game, which is their fault. Their awards of 4/10 and 5/10 seem grossly unjustified to me, and probably have lost this title lots of sales. If you are worried, rent it first, but I am happy with my purchase and am going to go online again today for another session. On the basis of my incomplete assessment, I would award it 8.5/10 so far. I will update this review in a week or two, when my eyes need a rest.

1 week on, and PSN is down tonight, so it's update time.
I am thoroughly enjoying this game, both campaign and multiplayer online. Not everything is good though; the MP menus took me ages to figure out, and I still find them a little confusing and awkward to navigate; picking a nation in MP right at the start of a career is a bad idea. I chose based on weapons stats., which vary between nations, and it now means I cannot play as British forces in this class until I unlock it! Not fair; also the lack of variation in my primary weapon early on is a little annoying, but really not much different to other FPS games. Things I do like then; The MP maps are very good, and vary somewhat in different game modes, which is new; weapons skills are more accurately recreated here, which will not go down well with young avid gamers, but I like; the various classes are the most balanced I have played with and against. There is no great advantage or disadvantage to any class; the buddy system has lots of benefits. Play it right and stay within 20 metres of each other and you will get some points for things your buddy does, and vice versa. Not sharing points, but getting some for being in the area is all it takes.
I have also been reading more reviews and forums on this game, and it's quite polarized. The main criticisms seem to be about the realism and the personal aspect in the game. It seems a lot of gamers don't want things like recoil etc., nor do they care about forces personnel's stories. Hmmmn I didn't expect that. Most people who are enjoying this game seem a little more, shall we say, mature. So I am aware that this game is not for everyone, but I would be on it now if the PSN was working tonight.
Oh yeah this helped with the MP a lot. Medal of Honor: Warfighter Official Game Guide #Prima Official Game Guides#

Final update. I'm really having fun with this one. A couple months later and I'm still having great fun on MP and revisiting the campaign on 'easy' to earn the trophies I missed first time round. There have been two DLC maps (8 in UK in total) and both are awesome! Both are set in Pakistan, and one is a compound complete with crashed helicopter. If that sounds familiar, it also does to the Pakistani government who have banned this game. I also enjoyed the campaign more than the other fps titles, particularly the last mission where you get to 'do' an obvious OBL type character, and earn the trophy called 'let him rot'. This is not the only mission based on real events as you will see if you follow the news.
Lastly, EA have announced they have suspended the MoH franchise to concentrate on Battlefield4. I don't know what this means really but it doesn't sound good. I can only hope that they will continue to support existing MoH titles with DLC etc.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 26, 2013 3:23 PM BST


Manhunt: From 9/11 to Abbottabad - the Ten-Year Search for Osama bin Laden
Manhunt: From 9/11 to Abbottabad - the Ten-Year Search for Osama bin Laden
by Peter Bergen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 16.00

4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, 13 Nov 2012
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This book took me no time at all to finish, I got sucked in and kept losing track of time. There is plenty here which was new to me, and I do follow such current affairs. Despite it chopping back and forth in time, it is an easy read too. I would have liked more photos, but this is an opinion and not vital to my enjoyment. I think later accounts will probably be more detailed, but this is enough for most people, I would think. Peter Bergen's opinions (ie his ideas on the increasing ineffectiveness of Al-Qaeda) are intelligent and informed. Well worth reading.


Agents of Innocence
Agents of Innocence
by David Ignatius
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Slow to get going, 3 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Agents of Innocence (Paperback)
I bought this on the strength of customer reviews and having watched the film 'Body of Lies'. Initially I thought I'd made a mistake. The first thirty or so pages failed to draw me in, and I contemplated putting it away at that point. I'm more used to the Tom Clancy habit of getting the reader hooked in the prologue, but I continued reading and, to my pleasure, found that it got better and better and better. The characters are so well described that I cannot see Russell Crowe as Hoffman now, as in the BofL film, they appear so different. Very descriptive and a great plot tied into real events. Buy it and stick with it and enjoy.


FULL SIZE 120L PLCE BRITISH DPM CAMO BACKPACK/RUCKSACK
FULL SIZE 120L PLCE BRITISH DPM CAMO BACKPACK/RUCKSACK

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, 22 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
First, I've got to say, this is a serious bit of kit. The volume is massive, I can believe it genuinely is 120 litres! The fabric is very rugged indeed, and would need more than sharp thorns to penetrate it. The main compartment is one 'hole' only, there is no optional divider inside. This is no problem though. At the opening is a very generous snow-collar. The two side pockets, as stated, zip off and can then be attached to the separate yoke (included) either together or just using one of them. The zips are rugged throughout, and therefore not the easiest to use. This, however, is normal 'squaddie-proof' design. The shoulder straps are comfortable, and although the back-length is not adjustable, they can be set to place most of the weight on the hips, as is recommended. The first time I used this it teemed with rain, and it remained waterproof until I got inside and in the warm. A raincover would be useful, but these are readily available elsewhere. Lastly, there are plenty of attachment loops all over, and loads of PLCE buckles, including some spare female squeeze-buckles. The only downsides I can think of is: 1 the fabric is so tough it weighs considerably more than civilian type packs; 2 the daysack configuration is not perfect, and took me ages to figure out what goes where (there are descriptions on the internet, but the way I did it seemed better!). To summarise, this is a black-hole which should outlive me.


Iraq's Most Wanted Playing Cards(Research Division Report, #30)
Iraq's Most Wanted Playing Cards(Research Division Report, #30)
by Cards
Edition: Cards

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A piece of history?, 26 Mar 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As a collector of 'quirky' memorabilia, these were a no-brainer really. While I'm sure there were many of these made, I don't suppose many ended up in the UK. The price sounds high for a deck of playing-cards, but for a piece of modern history it's a snip. Arrived in perfect condition still in the sealed plastic.


No Title Available

3.0 out of 5 stars mixed, 26 Mar 2012
Initially these felt very comfortable, but after about 1 mile on the bike the crotch between thumb and first finger was actually hurting my hands! As I cycle over an hour each day for work, I can only hope they 'break in' and improve.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 4, 2012 12:07 PM BST


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