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A. Weaver "Thing Witch" (Somewhere in England)

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Ravensburger Disney World Map 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle
Ravensburger Disney World Map 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle
Price: £11.48

5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of fun and some challenge, 23 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Me and my girlfriend enjoy making jigsaw puzzles together and she is a big Disney fan so this was an obvious purchase. We've just stepped up from making 500 piece puzzles and this 1000 piece puzzle was an adequate challenge, particularly the areas of the world map without Disney characters present as you're basically just trying to match up various shades of green and brown.

The artwork is nice and we had a good time spotting all the different Disney characters, especially on the world map part as some of them are very tiny and we were't quite sure what movies they were from initially. All the pieces were present so no worries there, but a few pieces were a little bent so had to be hammered into shape a bit. But overall well worth a buy if you're into jigsaw puzzles.

Screen Cleaner KIT + Fine Microfiber Towel - All Natural - MADE IN UK, GREEN PRODUCT, NO AMMONIA AND ALCOHOL, Cleans All Dusts and stains, Best for LED / LCD / Plasma / Laptop, iPhone, iPad, Computers, Touch screens, CD's and Vinyl Records without harming the coating etc.
Screen Cleaner KIT + Fine Microfiber Towel - All Natural - MADE IN UK, GREEN PRODUCT, NO AMMONIA AND ALCOHOL, Cleans All Dusts and stains, Best for LED / LCD / Plasma / Laptop, iPhone, iPad, Computers, Touch screens, CD's and Vinyl Records without harming the coating etc.
Price: £14.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, 23 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've had my current monitor for a couple years now and tbh had never actually cleaned it. Bought this because I was fed up with barely being able to see anything whilst playing games with a lot of dark lighting. Despite the fact that my monitor was truly filthy this stuff did a great job cleaning it up and my monitor is pretty much like new now. The cleaner did leave some small marks itself so it's not perfect, but for the price I do not hesitate to recommend. This is a very good product.

Ichiroh!: Vol. 1
Ichiroh!: Vol. 1
by Mikage
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.24

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A solid comedy manga that does nothing too unusual, 19 Sept. 2010
This review is from: Ichiroh!: Vol. 1 (Paperback)
Ichiroh is a tasty little four-panel comedic manga about some cute Japanese girls who fail to get into university, forcing them to start attending a prep school in order to improve enough to be able to go next year. It's not exactly the most original idea anyone's ever come up with but it does what it does very well and other than lack of an original idea Ichiroh doesn't do anything wrong in particular. It hits far more often than it misses with its attempts at comedy, and though its line-up of characters may seem more than a little familiar to anyone who's been around the manga-block a few times (video game addict, anime-obsessed otaku, ditzy teacher) there's still a lot of satisfaction to be gained from picking this book up.

The near all female cast has Nanako as its level-headed star, while Akane and Shino are her two best friends, both it seems desperately in love with her for no apparent reason. Shino is the only one who seems to have an actual sexual attraction to Nanako, but this certainly isn't Yuri and most of the time their vying for Nanako's affection is no more than fuel to get the comedy going. More disturbingly it also seems that Nanako's older brother feels the same way, which is a little strange, sure, but it all feeds into the well done comedy and I found myself laughing out loud several times by the frank bizarreness of the situation.

While the characters are well drawn, both in terms of characterization and actual pencil-to-paper quality, and the gags are often very funny, the one thing that comes off as being a tad lazy is the background art. Though it's not a huge deal and to be honest you could make the same complaint for 90% of manga out there, but I guess as usual it's just a little irritating to sometimes see just empty white spaces behind characters, or simple grey shapes, or dots and bubbles. It just happens to be something I often notice as a difference between western comics and manga, though you could make the argument that in a 4-panel comedy like this too much emphasis on the art would be superfluous to the direction of the book.

Overall this is good manga, and I greatly enjoyed my read of it. I very much want to find out what happens next to the characters and am eager to pick up the next volume. I think that speaks of the solid quality of this first volume and I hope that as it goes on the comedy can stay at the high bar set and even improve.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 21, 2011 9:30 AM GMT

Avatar: The Burning Earth (Xbox 360)
Avatar: The Burning Earth (Xbox 360)

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only achievement addicts need apply, 3 May 2010
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
Only two types of people are even aware this game exists; people who enjoy the Avatar cartoon and are interested in playing this dreadful game based on said cartoon, and people who want 1000 gamerscore in less than one minute. It actually takes longer to load the game than it does to reap the number-enhancing benifits of this waste of programming. And I suppose that was a sad concession on the part of the developers who knew their product wasn't noteworthy enough to resonate with the customer in any other way. Apparently once upon a time this game did have real achievements, or at least that's what I've heard.

When I rented this game (seriously, don't buy it) I swore that I would actually complete it after I got the points that I so desperatly craved. That way at least I would be giving back some sort of respect to the men and women who created this game and the publishers who gave up the neccesary funds to release this product. Completing the game would also help alleviate some of the shame I felt for tainting my precious Xbox 360 with this evil, innocent up until Avatar was delivered in that familiar Love Film packaging, now a downtrodden wh*re willing to let any old disc into bed with her, as long as the achievements are easy.

But then I actually played some of the game, and well, it frigging sucks. It is a bad game and the people who made it should feel bad about making it, and THQ should feel bad about publishing it, and anyone who bought it should feel especially bad about that. Particularly if you only bought it for the thousand points. What were you thinking? My advice to any gamerscore addicts out there is to rent this game from Love Film or somewhere else, if you want you can just get it from the free trial and then cancel the account. Though, if you are willing to stoop this low for numbers, there are plenty more studs lining up around the corner to get in on the action.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 29, 2013 3:02 PM BST

Dark Void (Xbox 360)
Dark Void (Xbox 360)
Offered by passionFlix UK
Price: £4.86

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars They should have left it in the dark, 27 April 2010
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dark Void (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
In 2003 Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge was released for the original Xbox. It was not a game that sold very well, but a game that reviewed very well and is considered to be something of a cult classic today. Flash forward seven years and Dark Void is released by Airtight games, a group comprised of many of the same people who developed Crimson Skies. The one thing that you can say about both Dark Void and Crimson Skies is that neither of them sold very well.

Okay, so this game is not very good. The combat is mostly unsatisfying and has little weight to it, and irritatingly there's often not enough ammo to last you through some of the lengthier gun fights, occasionally forcing you to venture out into gunfire to pick up enemy weapons. This problem is particularly noticeable for The Oppressor, the primary gun you'll be using (the basic machine gun is rubbish), which can only hold 130 bullets or so, which is simply too low. And you can also only carry two weapons at once, which while good for some games just doesn't do Dark Void any favours, especially with the ammo problem. The game has too few varieties of enemies, with only one noticeable mini boss type enemy, though an extremely cool final boss, but the majority of the basic foot soldier designs are too similar to liven up what is already a bland canvas for on-foot combat. And they are nothing but irritating when in their flying versions. Many of the guns simply do not fire fast enough and too much leading is required.

Dark Void does have a trick up it's sleeve though, and that is the hover pack that's added a few chapters in. This adds some spice to the combat that helps lift the game above some of the competition (thank you, thank you), but that doesn't make it necessarily better, it just has a hover pack in it. The controls for flying are functional but most of the areas in the game are just a little too enclosed to take full advantage of this mechanic, and in the end I spent a lot of the game playing it like a regular cover-based shooter, which is when the game is at its worst. Some levels have you fighting enemy ships, which you can hijack if you want, and these parts of the game tend to be a bit more fun, though the repetition and overall dullness still carries over. Though the most frustrating problem with these segments is that you close on your enemies too fast, and at close range your manoeuvrability is extremely limited, meaning that one of the only viable tactics is to fly as far away from the enemies as possible and then close in on them taking as many shots as you can before repeating the tactic. This is especially true for the final boss and can getting fairly maddening.

This is a game I would argue is a casualty of the post Gears of War world in which we live that forces every other game made to be a 3rd person cover-based shooter. Dark Void does it's best to change things up with the hover pack and air-based shooting, derived of but not better than the developers previous work, an interesting but insubstantial vertical cover system, and it's ever so slight steam punk feel. But this game is disappointing because it could have been so much better if it wasn't for the curse that Gears of War has laid over gaming in the last few years. This game, like many others, would be much better if it didn't try to be Gears so much. It plays as if more than half a game is missing from Dark Void, with story elements spread too thinly, and numerous glitches and bugs still prevalent. The game presents some interesting ideas and for the most part manages to establish itself within an interesting universe but so much more could have been added, and I assume a lack of money and time is to blame.

On the plus side Nolan North provides the voice of the lead character, always a plus for any game. And the musical score, written by Battlestar Galactica composer Bear McCreary, is actually pretty good and probably the most accomplished aspect of the game. An 8-bit version of the main theme plays over the credits which is a neat idea.

I'll be honest here, I wasn't expecting this game to be any good, and only rented it for the achievements. And though I feel it had some potential, anything and everything this game could and should have been was lost early in development, and I would actively discourage anyone from buying it. Rent it if you must; the game is very short and not that difficult, only slightly frustrating in some spots, though I feel that is more because of the dodgy game mechanics than actual difficulty. Another Gears of War clone at its worse, albeit with a hover-pack to occasionally brighten things up, makes it's way onto store shelves and sells poorly, reviews badly, and yet people are still making more games that follow the Gears formula when they should deviating from it. Leave Gears to Epic, game developers need to start thinking outside of the box again, because cover-based shooting is quickly getting tiresome. Maybe if it had been an open world RPG this game would have been better? With a quest system, full on exploration of the void, and a more extensive weapon customisation system. But all we have is an average game at best, and an overly short and dull romp through the halls of what-if at its worst.

Reign In Blood
Reign In Blood
Offered by dsales13
Price: £8.98

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best that there is, 19 Feb. 2010
This review is from: Reign In Blood (Audio CD)
Reign in Blood is an unremitting juggernaut of an album that excels in pummelling the listener to death with every single song. There are no breaks in the action, no lame ballads that often ruin other metal albums, and there are no concessions to the mainstream with watered down lyrics. Every single song is pure thrash, faster than Enterprise warp speeds, and deals with Satanism, serial killers or concentration camps. If you can accept the Satanism as mostly tongue in cheek and the concentration camp references as nothing but facts without a given opinion, there is no reason to be offended though.

But in all honesty the lyrics are mostly throwaway, though that doesn't mean they are bad or not cool to hear. It's just that what's more important is how they are sung, and vocalist Tom Araya puts on a magnificent show. A long piercing scream near the beginning of first song `Angel of Death', in my opinion the greatest metal song of all time, establishes firmly the confident and highly charged performance he gives throughout the album. For me he is one of the top singers in thrash, wielding a voice I much refer over Metallica's Hetfield.

The bulk of my enjoyment from this album comes from the guitars though, Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman being probably the most technically skilled rhythm guitarists in pretty much all music. Definitely in metal. Their playing is so fast, so aggressive and just so damn brutal on every single track it stuns me that they can play even two songs live and not have their hands cramp so bad they have to be taken off stage in tears. Riff wise this is the metal album of all time, in my opinion. The mosh breakdown on Angel of Death, one of the most famous riffs in history, has yet to be bettered by any metal group, and the rhythm parts to that song, along with `Alter of Sacrifice', `Jesus Saves', `Criminally Insane', `Epidemic', `Postmortem' and `Raining Blood' are up their with the entire oeuvres of other metal groups.

I could never forget to mention the drumming on this album which still holds up to anything any other metal drummer can do this days. In fact it's still better. I have yet to hear the speed at which Dave Lombardo plays the double bass pedal bettered. But beyond that he also knows how to write decent drum parts, not just play fast and do blast beat for every single song, and that matters much more. His drumming is always spot on and never distracting like bad drumming can be.

This album has everything needed to be regarded the greatest in its genre: it's got the compositions, the technical ability, the classic songs, the innovations, even the fricking cover is awesome. This album is the greatest metal album of all time, and for that reason alone it deserves a place amongst any list of the greatest albums, whether that list already has The Beatles, Coltrane, or Mozart on it. This album is an important, powerful masterpiece that should be recognized more-so, not just by people into metal, as one of the greatest albums of all time.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 8, 2011 4:44 PM GMT

Lick My Decals Off Baby
Lick My Decals Off Baby

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is lick my face off music for only the most hardcore, 30 Jan. 2009
This review is from: Lick My Decals Off Baby (Audio CD)
Lick My Decals Off, Baby (lets shorten it to Lick) came one year after the groundbreaking Trout Mask Replica (TMR) and follows that album about as much as it leads the listener away from it. This is quite hard to explain but Lick does and does not sound like TMR. The songs are shorter overall, as is the album at only thirty nine minutes compared to TMR's seventy nine minutes, and the fifteen songs are in general more polished than what's on TMR. They have a greater sense of structure to them, though don't take that to mean they've all got versus and choruses. A lot of the draw of this album is that The Magic Band took what worked well on TMR and honed it to a finer degree, trimming away anything that wasn't absolutely essential. Personally I still prefer TMR to Lick but this is an extremely close second. There isn't a single bad track on the album and a lot of the songs are much better than the bulk of TMR. But it just doesn't have the same impact as TMR in terms of feeling like you just entered another universe, which obviously no other album could emulate, or should attempt to for that matter, and I guess that's why I still prefer that album to Lick.

It opens up with the title track, a song that is both instantly catchy (a lot of this album could be said to be catchy) and fantastically strange. `Lick My Decals Off, Baby' is a wholehearted cry to let go of the decals - or labels - of society and embrace an unrestrained way of living and the power of sexuality. The captain sings `I wanna lick you everywhere it's pink n everywhere you think' in a low glassy voice that's just freaking lush. His lyrics on Lick are as unrestrained and humerous as ever. Later on the album, during the song `I wanna find me a woman that'll hold my big toe till I have to go' (great title) he sings beautifully about a yearning to find a companion in life and be around nature till he dies. A fair few of the songs on Lick talk about love and sexuality, though the vast majority deal with themes of enviromentalism.

There are three instrumental songs here, with `Peon' being my favourite, though it took a couple of listens for it to click with me. `Peon' is one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written, a duet between guitar and bass that takes the listener on a journey (for me anyway) through old wild west towns and a lost American way of life, evoking the hard lot of Peons before and after the civil war. According to Beefheart it's a love song to his wife, Jan, but whatever. The last track on the album, `Flash Gordon's Ape' is probably the most intense piece of music captain Beefheart ever wrote in his life. Like big band free jazz numbers there are numerous instruments playing at once, including multiple saxophones, clarinets and horns, along with the usual guitars, bass and drums, as well as rocking marimba solo. The left speaker plays one song, all jazz, while the right speaker plays another, rock as Beefheart knew it. This resulting mix, not forgetting of course Beefheart singing straight down the middle, parting the sea as it were, makes for incredibly tough but rewarding listening. As far as I can tell the song is about modern life, evolution, and the human race growing more technologically powerful before we should. Beefheart sings `Take to your trees, there's no escape, the leaves are getting faker everyday, Flash Gordon's ape your too day'. It's wonderful and almost certain to clear the room of everyone but the most musically adventurous. Though at times i do wish the guitar and bass parts on the album were a little louder.

Lick isn't actually available to buy on CD, unless that is you are willing to pay over a hundred pounds for a new copy on Amazon marketplace, so you'll have to do what I and most other people have done, and that's download it free off the internet. Don't feel bad about it though, if it was available to purchase on CD we all would. This album is stunning, one of the greatest ever made, and should be heard by everyone. Go download it right now, it'll take no more than five minutes.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 21, 2014 9:40 AM BST

Price: £10.37

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Waves of music, 30 Jan. 2009
This review is from: Ascension (Audio CD)
This review refers to Edition Two of Ascension.

Listening to Ascension is like listening to Trout Mask Replica. Well, I suppose as Ascension came first I should actually say that listening to Trout Mask Replica (TMR) is like listening to Ascension. Never mind though. The reason I'm drawing a comparison between the two is because for the first few songs of TMR and the first five or ten minutes of Ascension I didn't really know what to make of them. Just as TMR completely changed what I thought pop music could be, Ascension changed (albeit to a lesser degree) my assumptions about jazz. Ascension starts off by blasting you in the face with alto saxophones, tenor saxophones, trumpets, bass, piano and drums all playing together in a hellish and cacophonous manner that took me completely by surprise. It's very jarring the first time you hear it, and looking up at the time left on iTunes and seeing that there's forty minutes it's quite intimidating as well. This boil of racket and noise went on for about three and a half minutes before the first solo of the piece, by Coltrane himself, came in and everyone but Elvin Jones on drums backed off (I think, I can't remember exactly) to let the great man play his beautiful music. Coltrane's solo is filled with high pitched notes, twisting runs and gratuitous amounts of genius. It manages to pull it all right back down to earth. I should mention now, before I forget, that Elvin Jones' drumming on Ascension is just incredible. He plays almost non-stop for the entire forty minutes with only one break during McCoy Tyner's brilliant piano solo. Jones' drumming is so good it puts heavy metal drummers to shame. It really is just awesome.

The entire album follows a strict structure of ensemble playing followed by solo, followed by another ensemble piece followed by another solo, etc, for the full forty minutes, though the music is anything but strict in any sense of the word. Each musician, with the exception of Jones, gets to play a solo and they had complete control of them, except that each one had to finish with a crescendo. This loud quiet loud quiet dynamic of ensemble solo ensemble solo gives the album a sense of journey, literally an ascension to some higher musical plane of existence. During the third ensemble piece it all clicked together for me, the many noises and many lines of music fitting like pieces in a puzzle, sounding like an ocean now, and whereas it was hellish before it was now whatever the opposite of that is. Of course, it still sounds completely cacophonous, like it should. Every solo sounds like a monolith on a beach, playing to the sea as the waves rush forward to drown the beach during the next ensemble piece. It is strikingly beautiful, even when it doesn't seem to make sense, when there are too many voices all playing at once to be able to hear each one individually. It is always beautiful.

I haven't read any of the other reviews here so I don't know what other people are saying, but if you are unsure whether to buy this album, defiantly like jazz, and have heard at least some other Coltrane albums, then I absolutely recommend you purchase this album. It is a masterpiece and one of the greatest albums ever written. It is intense, fiery, bombastic, puzzling, rich, epic, heavenly.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 19, 2014 3:49 PM BST

Granny [1999] [DVD]
Granny [1999] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Sava Popovic

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little piece of me dies every time I watch a movie like this one, 29 Jan. 2009
This review is from: Granny [1999] [DVD] (DVD)
The first awful thing about Granny is the DVD's menu system, one of the most atrocious to ever flutter before my eyes as my finger moved to press the enter button on the remote. I pressed the button and nothing happened. I scratched my head in confusion, puzzled as to why the film wasn't starting. I pushed the button again. Still nothing happened. Then I realized that the reason nothing was happening was because there was no marker next to the play film text. In fact, none of the text was highlighted or had some sort of circle near it like menu text normally does. I actually had to wait, yes you read that right, wait about five minutes for the menu to fully load so I could watch the movie. It was a serious shock to someone so used to DVD's simply working straight away. But to be honest with you, if that sort of thing puts you off buying this nightmare of bad filmmaking, then the Granny experience really isn't worth buying in to.

I don't know anything about the history of this film, or the actors who are in it, and I don't want to look that info up. I don't care. All you need to know is that this film is one of the worst ever made in all history, and if there are other civilisations out there, on other planets in this galaxy or galaxies trillions of miles away, this would be one of the worst films ever made on their planets too. If we showed them this film it would probably insult them so much they would obliterate the entire population of Earth, and for unleashing this permanent imperfection on the universe they would be right to do so. During this film I welcomed death. The acting is abysmal, the directing is non-existent, lighting and sound are awful, the script is an insult to the dictionary, nothing usually considered a good idea to have in a film is in this one.

But like all films that fall into this odd category of art, and this film absolutely is art in the most raw way it can be, there are many redeeming qualities that make it worth wasting your money on, even if overall it's still not going to give you the satisfaction an actual good movie would. But who cares. When a film has death scenes as funny as this one, for example the scene where a girl is stabbed dozens and dozens of times by granny, this act alone eliciting riotous laughter from me and my sister, and then the girl is still alive afterwards, who needs Oscar winning films or WGA award winning scriptwriters. But then again this film isn't as funny as Troll 2 (still the best there is in the category of so bad it's good), Plan 9, robot Monster or Manos so if you don't own those films you should get them before this. Granny can be very funny but it can also be very dull, something Troll 2 and Plan 9 never are in my opinion. If you do buy this, just make sure you watch it with friends.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 30, 2011 9:09 PM BST

A Nightmare On Elm Street [DVD]
A Nightmare On Elm Street [DVD]
Dvd ~ Robert Englund
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.96

2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mostly this is crap, 28 Jan. 2008
Nightmare on Elm Street. The title of the film has the word nightmare in it, so, before watching this film I was sort of expecting to be scared by it. See how many stars I've given this film, though? Go on, take a wild stab in the dark and have a guess concerning how scary I thought this film was. Not even a little bit. Any time it actually starts to get a little spooky, Freddy shows up and he is one of the silliest most laughable bad guys ever created for a horror film. He just isn't scary. When he says "Watch this" before cutting off one of his fingers I just started laughing. How is that scary? Then there's the music. It sounds like an orchestra of keyboards playing bad eighties gothic pop. Not exactly scary. Heck, most of Hail to the Thief is creepier than this film. The DVD menu music for Twin Peaks is scarier.

But there must be something good about this film, right? Well, like I said before a lot of it is completely hilarious, so much so that it becomes so bad it's good. Wes Craven may be an accomplished director but he can't write a script to save his life. Some of the conversations between the female lead (Nancy I think) and her alcoholic mum (no fricking idea) had me rolling around with laughter. Like "Did you ask daddy to have that hat examined" to which the mum later replies "That's just not reality", followed by "its real momma, feel it" after which I erupted into laughter. Also, I loved the brilliant cliché of having some creepy looking kids sing a ridiculous song about Freddy, going one two... blah blah blah, three four... blah blah blah etc. That was creepy. Real creepy.

So, final thoughts. Despite the fact that I have a fear of the dark (yes, I'm aware that's quite pathetic at my age) this film still failed to scare me. I do mainly watch horror films to laugh at them though, so maybe I'm not the best audience for this film, but most of this film just put me to sleep. And I certainly wouldn't have minded Freddy slashing me to death just to save me from this piece of trash. I'm still gonna watch the rest eventually, but that's just because if this one is supposed to be the best, I can't even imagine how bad the others are.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 7, 2010 9:06 PM GMT

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