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Bogus Photographer (London, UK)

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Moon Gem 2.0 Front Fully Rechargeable Light - Black, 5 x 3 x 1.6 cm
Moon Gem 2.0 Front Fully Rechargeable Light - Black, 5 x 3 x 1.6 cm
Price: 17.21

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great! - until it rained. Fair weather occasional use only., 14 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Moon GEM 2.0 Front Light (Sports)
It's a small light, but fairly bright and the mount is robust and intelligently designed.

However, in wet weather (heavy rain) the unit failed almost immediately.

The mini USB port on the back is covered by a camera style bubber cap which is water resistant to a point.

If you have a full set of mud guards then perhaps your experience might be better, but finding yourself in torrential rain in complete darkness on busy trafficky roads proves to me this light is meant for no more than occasional fair-weather cycling.

Today, I've just forked out for a Lezyne 200 lumin lamp - the charging USB part is protected by a screw on rubber sealed cap and far more robust. The Moon was still short circuiting and randomly coming on up to a few minutes ago. If it ever works again, I'll use it as a rear light protected by my saddle. At least with a standard battery powered unit, you could remove the battery and dry everything out. With this, it's sealed almost impossible to fix.

Regular cyclists look elsewhere - that's my advice.

The Low Down [DVD]
The Low Down [DVD]
Dvd ~ Aidan Gillen
Price: 4.25

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Failure to connect, 4 Jan 2012
This review is from: The Low Down [DVD] (DVD)
After I read the other reviews of this film that passionately defended it, I thought I'd bagged a gem. Perhaps it's because I watched 'Persona' several days before, but this film made no great shakes. Yes, I've been there and met the people. I've seen 'that' life and I got that the eye-level camera work described character dis-interestedness or an act of looking etc. The problem is the characters are dull and I never believed their friendships or relationships. I just sat back watching something puzzling being played out waiting for something to make me care either way. Trying to put my finger on it, I think their lack of anything to say for themselves, to connect with each other or themselves really blows the engagement of the audience. People are not as dull and are more colourful than this. Still, it's not all awful - the impression of their lives in London rings true even if the outlines haven't been filled in. Perhaps that was the deal - to not allow the fiction to overwhelm the experience you bring to it. Unfortunately, it means you are underwhelmed by what it has to bring to you.

The Unbelievable Truth [DVD] [1991]
The Unbelievable Truth [DVD] [1991]
Dvd ~ Adrienne Shelly
Offered by speedia-media
Price: 12.30

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 5 star film. 3 star dvd, 17 Mar 2011
Superb film by Hal Hartley. Sadly as previously reviewed, the DVD transfer is rather poor (looks like it has been transferred from tape rather than film). However, if you watch it on a computer you can adjust the brightness/contrast settings to improve it. Why bother? Because it's a wonderfully poetic film that does that lovely Hartley thing of playing the everyday against abstract ideals. Blue collar working class life, its language and beliefs are turned to tragicomic ends. In this way his use of repetition reminds me of Harold Pinter, but instead of conveying aggression, the results are light, absurd, mysterious and beautiful. The cinematography gets close to some William Eggleston stills. The film itself feels more fluent than his later work, although it definitely has a direct relationship with Henry Fool (man commits a crime, is somewhat aloof, wears an overall with a name badge sewn into it etc. etc.). There's something for Hal Harley and indie fans alike. Definitely one of my faves.

Rome - Season 1-2 - Complete [DVD] [2007]
Rome - Season 1-2 - Complete [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Kevin McKidd
Price: 19.86

32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars See Rome from a new perspective, 10 Jan 2011
This series has everything - great characters, superb acting, wonderful sets. It's just a pity the BBC couldn't sustain the co-funding for more than these two wonderful series (hence time passes more quickly in series two). The series does a great job of painting a picture of Roman life lived by Roman values - values often opposed and in stark contrast to the Judo-Christian ideas most in the West live by today. Hence their attitudes to life, death and sex are completely different. These are alien people in a sense, who lived by a religion (we call myth) that was as alive as Hinduism and Judaism (who were also contemporary). I loved the parallels with India (the way women dress, the idols, the markets and bright colours). I went there in the past and never really considered Rome could have been like those bustling streets in temple towns (particularly in the south). However, this series really helps you see the Romans from a new perspective. That really is some achievement.

Moonwalk One - The Director's Cut [DVD]
Moonwalk One - The Director's Cut [DVD]
Dvd ~ Neil Armstrong
Offered by The Attic Room
Price: 11.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A curious take on the first moon landing, 29 Dec 2010
Moonwalk One is a curious take on the first moon landing and is very much a film of its time. While modern documentaries are often 'people stories', about the emotions of the protagonists and provide exposes on politics and problems behind a public image, this film is rather impersonal and seems to be about seeing the moonwalk within different frames of reference (time, space, culture, the everyday etc.). As such, it's not a narrative, but all about images and textures juxtaposed with sound and a very interesting avant-garde sound track. This approach may be in line with the film making process of the time and the results are finely wrought and carefully produced (see the story boards in the extras). However, for my taste, I would have liked the cameramen to talk to people instead of having them represent 'Americans' or 'Africans'. One omission is seeing Werner Von Braun at the Saturn V launch, with the narrator saying it could be seen as the work of human beings over the past 2500 years. The film mentions Robert Goddard, inventor of the liquid fuelled rocket, but Von Braun is the big Nazi elephant in the room so doesn't even get a mention. He comes across as rather furtive, shifty even - the result is enigmatic. What it does capture well is the massive cooperation the effort required. Particularly fascinating are the space suits and the women describing their thoughts and fears if 'their' part of the suit failed (one of the times we do get to hear the people involved). The Apollo computer also gets a mention - apparently called 'disky'. The fact disky overloads and Armstrong has to pilot the LEM himself isn't mentioned. You get a sense of how short the first 'EVA' was. The bulky suits, urine collection and 'diaper' seem to show man reduced to an infant, forced to learn to walk again in an entirely new environment. I can see the film aimed for a sort of modern sublime and feeling of being redefined as a passenger on spaceship earth, but because of its contrived nature fails to convince. It's idealistic universalising ideas and faith in the 'direction' of history are very much old hat today - like manifest destiny they come across as being very American. A snapshot of a superpower as much of man on the moon then.

Deep Water [DVD] [2006]
Deep Water [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ Louise Osmond
Price: 6.81

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best documentaries I've seen, 28 Dec 2010
This review is from: Deep Water [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
Incredible story, that if like I you know nothing about, will creep up and totally surprise you. I was expecting a tale of extreme sailing adventure, but the common thread with touching the void is the strange places the mind goes when under extreme circumstances. I found it very easy to feel for Crowhurst, a man that looked surprisingly vulnerable at 35. You got a real sense everything was converging for him, the time in his life, time to still do something 'great', money worries and the fear of letting people down. Perhaps also the fear of not being the person he thought he could be - and coming to know the disconnect between that aspiration and reality. All of this gets played out in a round the world voyage that was doomed from the start. The 'remedies' for his own problems became incredible traps, with a precise but with a seemingly inescapable logic. The result is very sad but simply compelling. It's a tale that is impeccably told which a documentary style that reminds me of the best of Errol Morris, particularly in the use of music, intimate interview, sweeping close-ups of text and use of archival material. One of the best documentaries I've seen in some time.

Deadwood : Complete HBO Season 3 [DVD]
Deadwood : Complete HBO Season 3 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ian McShane
Price: 17.82

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A least I now know why they killed it off, 23 Sep 2010
Season three could be described in two words 'awkward' and 'drifting'. The coherence of the first season (each episode a gem in itself) gives way to ever more clunky dialogue and almost comically bad soliloquy. The script becomes strangely more formal, as though more and more writers are thrown at the story and so 'imitate' the previous format rather badly and end up saying nothing with it. Each episode seems to flow into the next, without much to note. It's as though they failed to even realise the potential of the characters they had so carefully created in the first two seasons.

They all seem to end up waiting around and not really sure what to do or saying anything that makes sense, becoming rambling Calamity Janes, talking to dead Indian or moose heads, perhaps hoping for some sort of answer 'Oh producer, please take my character somewhere'. Poor Joni Mitchell just seems to float around, somewhere near a school, along with a fat guy that too needs a refuge from the script. No wonder she ends up putting a gun to her head, no doubt in frustration.

Even the drama troupe add no comic relief or form any sort of basis to represent events (as a drama within a drama). The careful handling of themes and people in earlier series ends up becoming a torrent of characters that are either boring, pointless, tiring, seem weakly connected to the story (and so on).

It's a pity it ran itself into the ground, but let's have no illusions, that's what happened to Deadwood.

Even though I tried to attribute the mess it became to the arrival of the telegraph and the fragmentation of modern life, it really isn't that deliberate.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 20, 2010 12:33 AM GMT

23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism
23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism
by Ha-Joon Chang
Edition: Paperback

125 of 136 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lucid and fun to read! - a book by an economist that's intelligible to human beings, 16 Sep 2010
The financial crisis has sparked renewed debate about the free-market orthodoxy of the last 30 years, particularly in the so called Anglo-Saxon economies (US and UK), but also through international institutions like the WTO and World Bank. The crisis has even brought the debate to popular science magazines, asking if our current economic models should be torn up and re-formulated in exactly the same way as any other scientific theory doesn't agree with the results. Climate change is forcing us to face up to the unintended consequences of industry and consumption, forcing us to consider the 'true costs' of our activities and their effects on the wider environment. Many people are left to wonder if complex financial instruments created by hedge funds and banks, have ended up doing more damage to the real economy they were meant to benefit. Capitalism, in the form encouraged for three decades, appears to have turned on itself.

Ha-Joon Chang's book, brings these issues into lucid focus. This however isn't a socialist pamphlet - Capitalism is argued to be the least worse economic system we have invented (he doesn't trumpet for its superiority or inevitability). Like Nassim Taleb's 'Black Swan', the tendency is to go beyond 'what they tell you' (theory) and wish to explore what's really happening.

The 23 things brilliantly de-mythologize tenants of 'free market' ideology, through wonderfully lucid examples and lively discussion of the issues. The style isn't cold or academic (he's actually quite an amusing writer), so it's a lot of fun to read and lands its punches with strong arguments over slogans or empty rhetoric. He's not saying we shouldn't have a market, but he is saying our ideas about their development and nature are often idealised, lead to the opposite of what we wish to achieve, or don't match the facts.

The puritanical conversation about capitalism we have suffered from up to now is wonderfully dispelled in this book, leading to some startling conclusions and eye opening historical examples. My feeling having read it is of optimism, as it seems we finally have economists that can write books for mere mortals to read, but also have a more sceptical and perhaps practical outlook on our economy (on what works and what demonstrably doesn't, the limit of markets and of governments, with an eye on greater social aims and values).

It's a book that more than makes up for its unpromising front cover. I can't recommend it enough.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 10, 2014 8:58 AM BST

Source Clear Bladder - 2 litre
Source Clear Bladder - 2 litre
Offered by Runmarkt
Price: 25.51

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent bladder and good value for money too, 30 Aug 2010
I bought a cheap water bladder in the past and paid for it with a leaky valve and poor tasting water. No such problems with this one. It's very well made, very tough. The bite valve is well designed and has a cover. The bag is made of a plastic material rather than silicone, so the water tastes fine.The only issue I had was with the screw top - you have to be careful to get the thread on straight otherwise you'll get drips down your back. All in all, paired with the right bag, this is a superb bit of kit for the money.

Man On Wire [Blu-ray] [2007]
Man On Wire [Blu-ray] [2007]
Dvd ~ Philippe Petit
Offered by Helgy
Price: 6.26

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly structured film - read the book to get the full story though, 30 Aug 2010
You have to give it to James Marsh, for creating a documentary with such a brilliant structure. The switch between the heist and flashbacks into the past drive the film forward making it extremely gripping. However, there are problems, which only come out if you read 'To reach the clouds' - Petit's book that inspired the film. For one thing, you really feel Marsh almost glosses over the walk itself, stopping it from being sublime before whisking you into his arrest etc. This is a real shame. The other issue is what happens after the walk. In the book you learn darker aspects to do with 'Albert' and a sketchy situation about photos he took of Petit's walk being sold to the press (only Jean Louis was supposed to take pictures) - this I imagine is to get Albert to tell his story at all. More important is Petit's daughter who died as a child. Petit describes the wire walk as a kind of web with her somehow connected to it. I was profoundly moved by this - the end of this film seems to portray him as all about fame and some sort of success. The end of his friendship with Jean-Louis is also strangely handled. In the film it's portrayed as something mysterious that can't be discussed. As Marsh holds back on quite a few things in this movie, I don't quite buy it. Although exhilarating, somehow I think this film doesn't quite satisfy completely.

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