Profile for Grr > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Grr
Top Reviewer Ranking: 3,266
Helpful Votes: 630

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Grr "Gumbo" (England)
(VINE VOICE)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
A Companion to Michael Haneke (Wiley Blackwell Companions to Film Directors)
A Companion to Michael Haneke (Wiley Blackwell Companions to Film Directors)
by Roy Grundmann
Edition: Paperback
Price: £29.25

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative, cerebral and huge, 24 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Michael Haneke is a Seventy plus year old Austrian director who, over the twenty odd films he has made, has challenged audiences sympathies and sensibilities like few other film makers in the current era. With no sign of slowing down with age, his output has been more prolific this millennium and, arguably, more controversial and divisive.

This enormous and exhaustive critical tome covers his career up to 2009’s ‘The White Ribbon’ which won him his first Palme d’or at the Cannes film festival. Sadly, the book does not go on to cover his 2012 film ‘Amour’ – his second Cannes triumph and his finest achievement in my opinion – but it does cover his exceptional run of the late 90’s and 00’s with such films as the terrifying ‘Funny Games (1997)’ and it’s odd but effective American remake (2007) as well as the fantastic ‘The Piano Teacher’ (2001) and ‘Hidden (also known by its original title Cache)’ (2005). Certainly it’s a collection of films worthy of in depth analysis and critique.

I haven’t read this whole book from cover to cover yet. It is over 600 pages in length after all and, whilst very much a fan of his work, I can’t bring myself to do this in one sitting! Thus far I have read a few of the critical essays contained within and Haneke’s own essays and the interviews he has given. Probably about 40% of the content and with my obvious bias towards the ones that tackle the films I am most familiar with. I will certainly dip back in and read the rest over time however as he is a worthy subject of such a meticulous exploration.

The essays I have read thus far have tackled a varied range of topics from the broadly cinematic and thematic to the more specific allegories and sub-textual implications his films contain. Violence, Sex and European values against Hollywood values all feature fairly heavily as you may expect! The Essays vary in style and tone and, naturally enough, some have been more enjoyable personally that others but it’s fair to say that I’ve not read anything poor or sub-standard within this book yet and don’t expect to if the same degree of care and thought has been put in throughout. A well earned doff of my cap to the editor Roy Grundmann in respect of this.

Clearly this is not a book for a casual fan. In fact, whilst I enjoy Haneke’s work and own several of his films, this is possibly a heavier read than I would normally have tackled. That said, I am pleased to have been given the opportunity to read it and have found it very interesting. Film academics, I have no doubt, will lap this up.

If you are reading this you probably know all about Haneke’s films already. If not, please seek out ‘The White Ribbon’, ‘Amour’ and ‘Funny Games’ immediately. They are wonderful and provocative pieces of cinema and are worthy of your time, investment and interest.


Philips GC2086/30 EasySpeed Plus Cordless Steam Iron with Compact Smart Charging Base, 2400 Watt, Purple
Philips GC2086/30 EasySpeed Plus Cordless Steam Iron with Compact Smart Charging Base, 2400 Watt, Purple
Price: £69.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Any old iron........or not!, 21 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
When I do my weekly pile of ironing I do find I get myself into a bit of a mess with cords at times. I am not sure if this is due to the fact I am left handed (I am aware that ironing boards and irons should be suitable for both hands but I do get tangled now and again) or just the fact that I am a little bit of a clumsy fool but this cordless iron is great and stops me getting twisted up. I find this iron is light enough to move about easily but without the tether that a cord brings. I can get to different angles in clothes more easily and find it is generally a quicker job.

The iron itself has a ceramic base which means it glides well over clothes, it is light and charges quickly, though as some reviews have mentioned 6 seconds is a little bit optimistic if you run the charge down. That said if you get into the habit of replacing the iron every time you pause then you really don't notice that it needs to recharge. The iron steam function is powerful and easy to use, it is also quick and simple to refill when the water runs low. The temperature gauge is a basic dial but it works well and it is easy to set to where you need it. Being able to lock the iron to the base for storage is a very useful feature meaning that the two parts do not get separated and it is always easier to put away one item than two.

One big plus of this iron being cordless comes along with having small children (and I would imagine pets too). Although the base is corded this is extremely light and as such should a child pull on the cord while you are doing your ironing there is a much smaller chance they will end up with a hot and heavy iron falling towards them.

Overall I love this iron. It really makes the job easier and with two small people charging about all over the place I find I feel safer using it. A well designed, user friendly product!


Disney Sleeping Beauty Dryer Set
Disney Sleeping Beauty Dryer Set
Price: £12.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Princess Product!, 15 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a great little hairdryer set which comes in a nice compact box and with a tiara and door hanger. As you would expect from a product designed around a Disney Princess it is extremely pink and has a picture of Aurora on the side.

The hairdryer itself is small and lightweight meaning smaller children will be able to use it (with adult supervision) without difficulty and as it folds in half it can be tucked away for easy storage. The airstream is produces is constant and powerful enough to get through even thick hair. There are two power settings and the nozzle has an attachment to help concentrate the flow and keep it aimed where you want it to be.

The dryer comes with a metal tiara which is of a reasonable quality - certainly better than I had expected and our toddler loves wearing this. The door hanger supplied is part of the box and needs to be cut out. It is a pretty flimsy addition to the set and given that the Amazon page boasts about this being part of what you get I would really expect something a little better.

Price wise this is a little expensive for what you get and as an other reviewer mentioned I do wonder how much of this is simply because it has the Disney brand. That said children do adore Disney and if you have a little Princess (or indeed Prince) who wants everything themed around their favourite character then this is a great idea.


Ultrasport Men's Auckland Tennis Polo Shirt - White/Red, Small
Ultrasport Men's Auckland Tennis Polo Shirt - White/Red, Small
Price: £17.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Comfortable quality, 5 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a lovely polo shirt. It is a high quality piece of clothing which fits well and seems true to size. It feels soft on the skin - including the collar. It is mostly cotton but has some elastic to it as well which gives it a certain amount of stretch.

It is a pure white shirt with flashes of red on the trim, has three buttons at the neck and there are no brand markings which is a refreshing change. It seems to wash well and the few times I have put it in the machine it has come out looking brand new.

Overall if you want a nice quality shirt without any branding then this is for you. Comfortable, well made and breathable. It is quite expensive, but no more so than many named products.


Maclaren Nurturing Bath Milk
Maclaren Nurturing Bath Milk
Price: £15.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A little pricey but a lovely bit of luxury, 8 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a great product marketed at expectant mothers but anyone can use it - though as another review has noted you really shouldn't use it during your first trimester. It has a lovely fragrance that is not over powering and makes your whole bathroom smell like a spa! It doesn’t foam like many bath milks instead it turns the water a little cloudy but does leave my skin nice and soft. I really liked the fragrance and it doesn't linger too long on your body meaning it won't clash with and perfumes, moisturisers etc you might want to apply after bathing.

I think it's a little expensive compared to the other bath products available but it does seem to work wonders on my skin so the extra spend is worth it for the results. It also has a large number of organic ingredients which is always a positive in my book.

The product itself is well packaged and looks classy with a nice cover on the glass bottle to add a bit of safety in the bathrooom. Should the bottle get dropped into a bath or sink it is unlikely to break due to the covering and if it does the protective layer will help prevent it shattering. That said it did take some time to actually open the cardboard tube it comes in as it fitted together so tightly no air could get in. I solved the issue by puncturing the top to ensure no vacuum was created but worth noting as it really did stick!

Overall I enjoyed using the bath milk and will keep it on hand whenever I feel I need to treat myself at the end of a long day but due to the cost it won't be used more than weekly.


Thomas & Friends Take-n-Play Percy Engine
Thomas & Friends Take-n-Play Percy Engine
Price: £6.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Durable, fun and robust, 5 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Take-n-Play Thomas range has long been a hit in our household. My son (rapidly approaching his third birthday) has quite a collection of these trains and adores them now as much as he did when he first starting getting them well over a year ago. Other toys have fallen in and out of favour over this time but the Thomas toys have never been allowed to rest for long. His friends too have these trains and they enjoy playing together with them.

They are not cheap and, at first, I was very reluctant to spend such sums on these small trains but have to admit that they are very well made toys that are able withstand the terrifying onslaught that is rough toddler play. we actually have a decent number of these trains which have been thrown around outdoors and in, shoved down slides, kicked and bashed and not a single one has broken, in fact aside from scratches and chips to paintwork, they still work as well as they did on day one.I cannot say this about many other ranges of toys.

The trains have magnets at the front and rear and can therefore be joined together with other trains and/or carriages - a feature my son has always enjoyed especially. As at least one other reviewer has noted, the toys can also be used in educational play - colours, numbers etc - and we have often used them for this. There is also a bit of sentiment that has to be applied - how many generations have now loved these characters? I love to see my child playing with toys that would have recognised when I was a child. Thomas is also a gentle programme, no guns, violence etc and only nominal 'bad guys' - as such its as toddler friendly as it gets for imaginative play.

As for Percy himself? Well, after Thomas he's probably the 'must-have' - being Thomas's best friend and a kindly, if timid, fellow. He features heavily in the orginal and newer books and is a central character trhoughout all incarnations of the television series. This toy's face is easily recognisable as his and his fans will be delighted by it.


The Breath Co Fresh Breath Oral Rinse - 500 ml, Icy Mint
The Breath Co Fresh Breath Oral Rinse - 500 ml, Icy Mint
Price: £6.50

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Tasting and Effective, 5 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
At £12.99 for a 500ml bottle, it’s fair to say that this is not a cheap mouthwash. I suspect that those who are considering spending that amount are probably those who suffer with a dry mouth or halitosis on a regular basis. Thankfully I don’t have these issues (or at least no-one has told me that I do!) but I do use mouthwash twice a day as part of my regular dental routine so I was interested to see what this can do.

It’s a very flavourful wash, the ice mint being sharp and punchy without becoming overbearing. Its lack of alcohol means there is no ‘burn’ sensation – something I’ve oddly always quite liked about my Listerine – and it would be suitable for those with sensitive mouths. The flavour certainly lingers for a long while afterwards, noticeably longer that other washes, and it can therefore be labelled a success in this regard. I would be confident it can handle most challenges for clean smelling breath.

It’s worth noting that for all the wonders it works on your breath, this is not a wash that purports to do anything more. It doesn’t suggest that it removes plaque or tartar for example, nor does it offer any cavity prevention. This is not a criticism, the product does what it claims to do and can hardly be disparaged for not doing things it makes no promise of. It is worth noting however that you may want to use a different wash for this purpose on top of this one.

Overall, it’s a pleasant tasting and effective breath freshener which I suspect will be very effective to those who have issues with such things but it may be a touch on the costly side for those with more prosaic requirements from their mouthwash.


Cosatto Koochi Sneaker Stroller (Ticket)
Cosatto Koochi Sneaker Stroller (Ticket)
Price: £90.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Sturdy, strong and easy to use but not as lightweight or compact as many!, 29 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
When we received this pushchair there were two things that I immediately noticed about it. The first is how long it is and secondly how heavy it is. Our previous pushchair was extremely lightweight so it came quite a shock when I lifted this one out. It is quite a weight in comparison with others - but this does mean it is extremely sturdy a great plus point for any pushchair considering the battering they tend to get. It is also longer than I anticipated which means it has to be put into the boot of our Fiesta diagonally and will not lie flat in the boot. Neither of these things is bad as such but it is worth noting them especially as it is marketed as a lightweight stroller and I would say that this claim is pushed.

The chair is easy to open up and once open the seat back can be easily adjusted using the strap at the back. One plus point I have found is that there is a plastic piece at the end of the seat adjusting strap which means that you can always easily lower and raise the seat back. On one of our previous chairs the adjusting straps did not have a buffer so you had to be careful or the seat could get stuck in the lie down position which was a huge pain.

The fabric of the chair has a nice wipe clean surface and should be easier to keep clean than some. There is also a rain cover which can be folded to a compact size in order to keep in the storage basket. The sunshade is great and is easy to put up and down.

The chair is easy to push and the wheels move really well. It steers easily and can manoeuvre around objects with little effort. The storage basket underneath is spacious but due to the design of the chair it can be a little tough to get into especially if you put larger objects in there. There are easy to operate brakes at the back and the front wheels can be locked in the forward position and left loose to swivel.

It can take a little time to get used to folding the chair as although the closing mechanism is simple it requires a little coordination. There is a really useful carry handle on the side so when it is folded it is easy to just pick up and take with you.

Price wise this is in the mid range but of a very high quality. Overall I have given 4 stars as the weight, length and slight issue getting things out of the storage basket mean it is not quite perfect for us, but it is a very good little stroller and well worth investing in - especially if boot space is not an issue!


Toni & Guy Classic Shine Gloss Serum - 30 ml
Toni & Guy Classic Shine Gloss Serum - 30 ml
Offered by 24hr Bargains Galore
Price: £4.50

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A little goes a long way!, 28 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a small bottle of hair serum designed to smooth hair, make it look shinier and stop it being so dry and I am pleased to report it delivers on all counts.

The serum itself is easy to apply, you simply pump out a small amount onto your hands - usually 1 or 2 pumps depending on your hair type and length and smooth through the mid lengths and ends of your hair. It is best to avoid the roots as this can cause them to look greasy but I have found that this is not a huge issue immediately. The serum smells nice and I noticed a difference in the feel of my hair straight away. It felt lighter and easier to pull my hands through. Looks wise I was pleased to see that my hair was sleeker and had much less frizz than usual. My hair looked healthier all over.

It's also worth noting that the bottle this comes in is small enough to tuck into a handbag so is nicely portable so you can apply whenever you need to.

Overall this is a great product that really does make a difference to help smooth dry hair and tame the fuzzy ends of wilder hair. It is a decent price and as you only need a small amount for each application it should last a fair while.


Panasonic ALL3 Wireless Speaker System (White)
Panasonic ALL3 Wireless Speaker System (White)
Price: £211.39

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A great sounding but awkward product, 22 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
First things first, the positives: this little monster of a speaker has a surprisingly crisp sound. It delivers real wallop of bass and is well balanced and clear. This is vital as there is no option to vary the sound settings so a mistake in this would have been fatal for the product.

I used a few faithfuls to test its capacity – Handel’s Water Music, AC/DC’s Highway to Hell, The Cramps’ Songs the Lord Taught Us and Radiohead’s The Bends. It handled all of these very well; even the notoriously muffled production values of the Cramps album were fairly well sidestepped. All told, the device plays music rather well and has quite a fearsome top volume.

Aesthetically it’s a rather simple and minimalist looking thing, not in the least ostentatious or imposing, so it would likely work well with most room decors. It’s quite heavy, akin to a couple of bricks, so feels substantial enough and does have the feel of quality you would expect from a Panasonic product.

However, the start rating at the top of this review suggests that I didn’t love this product and that, regrettably, is true. It doesn’t deliver some of the basic features I would expect for a unit that sells for the current retail value of around £230.

Simple things like a remote control are not present for example, I also personally prefer to be able to fiddle with different audio settings and this won’t let me do so.

I notice the product proudly proclaims it works with Spotify. Not entirely accurate, it works with Spotify PREMIUM, a service which costs around £10 a month to subscribe. If you use Spotify for free or have a basic account (as I do), then this is not supported by the product and it won’t play the music. This seems a bit strange and backward as it limits the usefulness of this feature for many. I like Spotify but have no desire to pay for a Premium service as I wouldn’t use it enough to warrant it. (I will note that 6 months of Spotify Premium does come with the product – if you are one of the first to review it) It also does not work with the Amazon Player, not recognising it at all. Again, I can’t understand why it hasn’t got this capability.

I also had some frustrations setting the speaker up. It’s incredibly fussy about what it will or will not connect to. Whilst I don’t pretend to be a technically savvy whizz, I am certainly competent enough to connect all the other wireless products in my home without much trouble but this speaker tried my patience. It didn’t like my Samsung Galaxy for some reason; it didn’t support the software in an Archos Tablet we own, my partners HTC worked but only after a lot of trial and error. The only thing is linked to comfortably was my Toshiba laptop, but even then this has been a bit temperamental (I've also only managed to connect this by ignoring the intructions andfinding my own way around it). I also simply do not understand why it doesn’t seem to have Bluetooth functionality? That’s got to be a standard for wireless items these days surely?

A last, brief, word on the App you need to use to run this off a Smartphone, I'm in agreement with the other reviewers that find this a bit clunky and cumbersome. Not disastrous but frustrating to use.

As I stated at the outset, once it’s playing music it does a great job but it does seem to come with a lot of ‘buts’ and a stubborn refusal to work with lots of different things.

Personally, I like my tech to be as compatible as possible with my other items and the more barriers and caveats it puts up, the less enamoured I will be with something. This is the case here. A promising product let down by poor and/or limited functionality.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20