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Biorb Cleaner Pump
Biorb Cleaner Pump
Offered by Fish-4-u
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars excellent item, 13 Sep 2010
This review is from: Biorb Cleaner Pump
Just a quick review to say that this product does everything it should very well. It is very easy to use, quickly moves water out of / into your tank, and can suck up dirt in the tank while you use it. Makes the chore of changing the water in an aquatic tank so much simpler.

Forgiveness Rock Record
Forgiveness Rock Record
Price: £9.06

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars BSS back on form.., 14 April 2010
This review is from: Forgiveness Rock Record (Audio CD)
My first impressions of this long awaited album (5 years!) from Broken Social Scene is that is a clear improvement on their previous, self-titled one. The real question, however, is whether it can reach the heights of You Forgot it in People (YFIIP)

This album features less contributors than the self-titled album; and as a result many of the songs feel that bit leaner and less bogged-down than its predecessor. In my mind this is a good thing.

One thing did did strike me was that a large number of the songs are quite melodic and accessible, with the vocals clear and up-front in the mix, for example the first single 'World Sick' (possibly too long for a single, although it will no doubt be chopped up for a 'radio-edit'), 'Chase Scene' and 'Forced to Love'. These songs for me are more reminiscent of YFIIP than their self titled record.

'All to All' is more of a departure for the band, and is also excellent - drum machines and a nice string-section is the backdrop for new band member Lisa Lobsinger's magnificent vocals. This is a highlight on the album for me, along with 'Forced to Love'.

While there are many enjoyable individual tracks present on this record; there is quite a diversity in the songs, which is probably the inevitable result of the number of strong contributors to it. While this is always the case with BSS to a degree, with this one I have not got the feeling that the whole things works as well together as either YFIIP or indeed Feel Good Lost did. I think there is something of a balance missing, with some tracks meandering on for too long, and others not quite fitting in with the tracks preceding or following them.

As to the earlier question - can it stand up to Your Forgot it in People? In my opinion, after not very many listens, I would have to say No. But don't let that put you off - this album shows that Broken Social Scene are still a band worth listening to. While it may not be album of the year, Forgiveness Rock Record will I think be fairly well received by long-standing BSS fans, and is most definitely worth a few listens for those not acquainted with the band.

One final thought - hate the cover art!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 15, 2010 9:46 PM BST

White Hunter Black Heart [DVD] [1990] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
White Hunter Black Heart [DVD] [1990] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Clint Eastwood

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Underappreciated gem from Clint, 30 Mar 2010
In White Hunter, Black Heart, Clint Eastwood reaches close to his creative peak, both as an actor and a director. A penetrating, highly involved movie, loosely based on the true story of John Huston travelling to Africa to film 'African Queen'.

Eastwood plays the central character - a self-centered, megalomaniac movie-director, who sacrifices everything and everybody around him during a trip in Africa, just to fulfill his own ambition to shoot an elephant. Along the way he faces up to some moral and ethical dilemmas, and battles his own personal demons in the excellent climax.

As an actor here, he displays a depth that is not often found in his more traditional western films (which I also loved!). As a director, I believe it is the beginning of a run of films where he rarely makes a false step, and was his creative peak.

White Hunter, Black Heart seems even more impressive today than when it came out, and certainly didn't deserve its fate as the biggest box-office disaster of Eastwood's career. The film is superbly acted, edited, and is perhaps the best looking film Eastwood has directed. Check it out.

Shallow grave
Shallow grave

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended, 10 Mar 2010
This review is from: Shallow grave (MP3 Download)
Whenever a folk artist reaches a moderate level of success, comparisons with Bob Dylan seem to be inevitable. And Kristian Matsson, releasing this album under the moniker 'Tallest Man on Earth', is the latest in this long line.

However, it could easily be argued that Matsson has proved to be a much more accomplished musician than Dylan was at a similiar age. He presents every song here with an infectious energy, and has an excellent ear for melody. This is also accompanied by some excellent, uncomplicated guitar playing.

I will concede that his voice is somewhat unorthodox, and may grate with some. It is his voice, in fact, that makes any Dylan comparisons more accurate, as there is a certain raspy quality which is similiar.

Overall, this is a very promising release, and I will certainly be giving his soon to be released follow up 'The Wild Hunt' a listen as soon as possible.

The Man in the High Castle (Penguin Modern Classics)
The Man in the High Castle (Penguin Modern Classics)
by Philip K. Dick
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting Reading, 10 Mar 2010
The Man in the High Castle is a very important novel in the history of science fiction, from Philip K Dick, the prolific master of the genre. It raises some critical questions about the nature of history and of historical writing, and of memory. How do people know - or remember - the history they think they remember?

Set in 1962, Dick presents an alternate history of the world, - one in which the Axis powers had won the second world war, and the US was carved up between Japan and Germany.

In the midst of this is a character called Abendsen, a writer of a book within a book, which contains an alternate reality to that in which the other characters are living, where the Axis powers had actually lost WW2. Abendsen, and his book 'The Grasshopper Lies Heavy', are central to this novel.

The anticlimactic and ambiguous ending may leave some disappointed, but this is a novel which will reward repeat readings. It is a subtle, complex, and thought-provoking work, which will stay with you long after you finish it. A compelling read.

The Fatal Eggs (Modern Voices)
The Fatal Eggs (Modern Voices)
by Mikhail Bulgakov
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to Bulgakov, 24 Oct 2009
This is a very short novel, more a novella really, that is one of Bulgakov's lesser known works. Like most of his books, this was seen by the Russian government as dangerous to their regime, for obvious reasons. There are clear parallels in the plot to the Russian Revolution of 1917, and between the protagonist Persikov and Lenin.

Like most people, I would not regard this work as highly as other Bulgakov novels, it is not even on the same level, for example, as his masterpiece The Master and Margarita. Nonetheless, I would recommend this book as it is a very well-written satire, and the perfect introduction to Bulgakov and Russian authors in general.

The plot is very similiar to one referenced in the text, which is Well's 'The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth'. It takes the basic ideas of this and transplants them to Moscow, late 1920s. There are also echoes in it of another Well's novel, War of the Worlds, particularly in the ending.

The plot revolves around a 'Ray of Life' which professor Persikov has invented, and the disastrous consequences when it gets into the wrong hands.

I would advise any fans of Bulgakov's who have not picked this up to do so, even if only to get a complete picture of his writing. And for anyone who is interested in Russian literature, this is the perfect place to start.

Teach Us to Outgrow Our Madness: Four Short Novels
Teach Us to Outgrow Our Madness: Four Short Novels
by John Nathan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Stories, 20 Oct 2009
Kenzaburo Oe is a highly rated Japanese author, and the only other thing I read by him was his much acclaimed 'A Personal Matter'. For some reason, I did not enjoy that one too much, and considering it is his best known novel, was not expecting too much from this.

I found it to be a very good selection of short stories however - each one was obscure, abstract, and eccentric, yet also very entertaining and they certainly offer a good insight to the mind and experiences of Oe.

'Teach Us to Outgrow Our Madness' in particular is excellent, and has obvious echoes to Oe's own life. It deals with the father of a mentally defective son, and painfully portrays both the agony and trauma experienced in their relationship with each other.

This is not an easy read, but it is well worth the effort. It is beautifully written and constantly challenges you to think about what you are reading.

Would definitely recommend.

The Fight (Penguin Modern Classics)
The Fight (Penguin Modern Classics)
by Norman Mailer
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, 19 Oct 2009
This was the first Norman Mailer book I read, and as such did not really know what to expect. It is certainly clear right from the start that he has a very keen eye on the sport. His description of the fight is like no other you will ever read or see, and thus would recommend this book to any fan of boxing or even sport in general.

Once you reach the fight itself, this is a gripping read.

There is also some very interesting insights into the characters and personalities on the scene, like Drew 'Bundini' Brown in Ali's corner who provides much amusement with his 'tête à têtes' with Forman's crew in the hotel lobby. You will also not see a better portrait of Don King in all the years since this was written. I also felt the portrayal of Ali interesting - rather than merely hero-worshiping him, the book deconstructs some of the myth which had grown up around him.

It would be wrong to say that this is simply a book about the fight, however. It would be better described as Norman Mailer's trip to Africa for the fight. Somewhat irritatingly, he writes himself a starring role in this story, and refers to himself in the third person throughout. For me at least, this device only serves to add to Mailer's clearly excessive ego, and is wholly unnecessary for the story itself. In fact, I am only giving this 4 stars instead of 5 because it annoyed me so much.

In short - this is definitely worth a read, but try to tune out for Mailer's constant egotistical and 'philosophical' ramblings as much as you can.

Mad Men - Complete Season 1 [DVD]
Mad Men - Complete Season 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jon Hamm
Price: £10.00

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best US TV series since the Wire, 5 Oct 2009
In a TV world which is dominated by dumbed-down, reality tv, MAD MEN is something smart, fresh and seriously addictive - a character-driven show with stellar acting and writing.

It is one of the most beautifully designed shows you'll ever see. Although I was not alive during the 60s, Mad Men paints a vivid picture of them, so much so that it is hard to imagine the 60s being anything else. This is how it had to be, right?!

I have had friends say that it moves too slow, and I can see where they are coming from to a point. It doesn't have the kind of explosive violence or drama of the Sopranos, for example.

Instead it wanders along, slowly crafting its whole universe to the smallest detail, and is driven by a fantastic script and some great acting. In particular, Jon Hamm as Don Draper really excels, having being plucked somewhat from obscurity to star in this show. The whole support cast is, without exception, excellent as well.

It is also very entertaining seeing the difference in culture between then and now, - even though I don't smoke, I find myself having urges to chain smoke in the office while enjoying a nice whiskey. One great scene involves Draper's manager after quite a number of drinks stumbling out of the house, drink in hand, and going to the wrong car while Draper just laughs and corrects him.

This show definitely deserves all the accolades and awards it receives, and I would not hesitate to recommend it to any fan of good TV.

Set filter pads for 2213 "classic"
Set filter pads for 2213 "classic"
Offered by FishAround Ltd
Price: £7.79

4.0 out of 5 stars good purchase, 17 Sep 2009
This review is from: Set filter pads for 2213 "classic"
Very handy to be able to get these at such a reasonable cost. They are perfect for replacing the media that comes with the Eheim canister filter. No complaints at all.

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