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Christopher Garfield Allen

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The Eagle [Blu-ray]
The Eagle [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Channing Tatum
Offered by Champion Toys
Price: £10.79

3.0 out of 5 stars A good Roman epic marred by plot inconsistencies - not as good as 'The Centurion', 19 Sep 2014
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This review is from: The Eagle [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Based on the 1954 novel: 'The Eagle of the Ninth' by Rosemary Sutcliff, this 2010 film is an entertaining Roman epic, a historical drama set in 140 AD, twenty years after the unexplained disappearance of the entire ninth legion in the Scottish Highlands. Channing Tatum stars as Marcus Aquila, a young centurion who arrives to take command of a garrison, just south of Hadrian's Wall, intent of solving the mystery and restoring the honour of his family; his father-the commander of the first cohort of the ninth-has been held to be responsible for the loss of its standard, a golden eagle which symbolizes the honour of Rome.

The Eagle is an uneven film which starts off well with a well staged battle but subsequently falls foul of a screenplay-including a miraculous surgical procedure enabling him to regain the use of his leg-which contains a series of unlikely plot developments which stretch credibility beyond breaking point. It also has a mediocre and unmemorable conclusion although it has to be said that this ending is not quite as bad as the alternative shown in the extras.

Marcus's companion- his British slave Esca (played by Jamie Ball)- as the centurion heads off into the wilds of the bleak Scottish mountains in search of the Eagle of the Ninth seems to possess extraordinary geographical knowledge and linguistic skills as well as the remarkable ability to conjure up about twenty survivors from the original massacre in the nick of time. The final battle scene is as predicable as it is silly after which the 12 rated film degenerates into a buddy movie which is obviously intended for teenagers.

'The Eagle' disappoints; it could have been so much better. It does not compare very well with grittier 'The Centurion' which came out at the same time. The latter directed by Neil Marshall, shows the imagined fate of the Ninth Legion in AD117. I recommend seeing the latter movie first to set the context but bare in mind that neither film is historically accurate and in the case of 'The Eagle' noticeably so.


The Objective [DVD]
The Objective [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jonas Ball
Offered by HarriBella.UK.Ltd
Price: £2.69

4.0 out of 5 stars A gripping, well crafted supernatural thriller in the documentary style of 'The Blair Witch Project', 18 Sep 2014
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This review is from: The Objective [DVD] (DVD)
'The Objective is a gripping, well crafted supernatural thriller which I have seen twice and which definitely improves on a second viewing. Written and directed by Daniel Myrick and made in the same documentary style by the team that created 'The Blair Witch Project', this movie is set in a remote tribal region of Afghanistan in 2001, shortly after 9/11 and before the US led invasion. When reconnaissance satellites pick up a radioactive heat signature, the CIA fears that Al-Qaida has acquired a nuclear weapon. Enigmatic agent Ben Keynes (effectively played by newcomer: Jonas Ball) is sent to investigate the phenomenon supported by a highly skilled team of US special forces operators. Keynes conceals from the other members of his group and most especially from its chief (played convincingly by Matt Anderson) that there is a hidden agenda behind the mission and the threat may originate from an alien force infinitely more powerful than human.

Casualties mount as the team closes in on its objective in a series of well staged fire fights that have an authentic look and feel to them. As is revealed in making of 'The Objective' extra, great care has gone into ensuring a high level of military accuracy in its production ... and it shows. Filmed in similar terrain in Morocco, the film also succeeds in displaying the pitiless nature of the Afghan desert and why it has been a burial ground for invading armies since the time of Alexander the Great.

As matters come to a highly unnerving head, Keynes finally admits to the few survivors of his party that his concealed objective all along has been to locate what is really there emitting the energy signature and-via a satellite linked video camera-to record and provide hard evidence of what happens when he eventually does. This has been effectively a suicide mission all along and one in which he has been prepared to sacrifice his life.

Recommended but you may need to see 'The Objective' repeatedly to fully appreciate it ... and don't expect any easy answers.

Chris Allen is a Technical Author and writer with the following books available through Amazon:
The Beam of Interest: Taken by Storm
Hypnotic Tales 2013: Some Light Some Dark
Call of the Void: The Strange Life and Times of a Confused Person: 1


In Search of the Miraculous: Fragments of an Unknown Teaching
In Search of the Miraculous: Fragments of an Unknown Teaching
Price: £3.87

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most interesting books on Esoteric Philosophy ever written, 17 Sep 2014
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'In Search of the Miraculous' is one of the most interesting books on Esoteric Philosophy ever written.

Its author: Peter D Ouspensky was born in Moscow on 5 March 1878 and grew up among the Russian intelligentsia of his day. He became a successful journalist and travelled extensively in both Europe and the United States between 1908 and 1912, during which time he appears to have undergone a profound mystical experience, a sensation so powerful that it was to influence the rest of his life. He rose to celebrity status after his book, a philosophical treatise: `Tertium Organum' was published in 1912; it became a best seller. His reputation was further enhanced by `A New Model of the Universe' which appeared in 1914 and a compelling autobiography written as a novel: 'The Strange Life of Ivan Osokin'. In the same year, he realised his ambition to travel to India. Ouspensky seemed intent on finding an esoteric school of `real' philosophical knowledge and a master teacher. He finally appeared to have succeeded upon returning to Moscow in 1915 where he met up with Gurdjieff.

Ouspensky subsequently studied the Gurdjieff System under the latter's personal supervision for a period of some ten years until 1924 after which they separated when Gurdjieff founded his Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man in France. Ouspensky, for his part, set up his own organization in London: The Society for the Study of Normal Psychology which subsequently became known as the Study Society.

This book interweaves three elements: the ideas of the Gurdjieff system itself, an account of the many conversations between the two men including extensive quotes and the back story of the dramatic events in Russia connected with the emerging revolution.

The authority and quality of Ouspensky's writing has made a major contribution to the spread of these ideas. One should not be put off by Gurdjieff's view of Cosmology; much of it is not intended to be taken literally, most especially in the context of 'food for the moon' in which case the moon symbolizes the Unconscious.
Highly recommended.

Chris Allen is a Technical Author and writer with the following books available through Amazon:
The Beam of Interest: Taken by Storm
Hypnotic Tales 2013: Some Light Some Dark
Call of the Void: The Strange Life and Times of a Confused Person: 1


Mylo Xyloto
Mylo Xyloto
Price: £6.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Not their best, but a very good album nonetheless., 17 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Mylo Xyloto (Audio CD)
Although not their best, this is a very good album which includes memorable songs including one featuring Rihanna.
Recommended except for Oasis fans

Chris Allen is a Technical Author and writer with the following books available through Amazon:
The Beam of Interest: Taken by Storm
Hypnotic Tales 2013: Some Light Some Dark
Call of the Void: The Strange Life and Times of a Confused Person: 1


Centurion [DVD]
Centurion [DVD]
Dvd ~ Michael Fassbender
Offered by Helen's Goodies
Price: £10.49

5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent action packed pursuit movie filmed on location in the Scottish Highlands, 17 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Centurion [DVD] (DVD)
Directed by Neil Marshall, 'Centurion' is an excellent action packed pursuit movie filmed on location in the Scottish Highlands. It is set in AD 117 and concerns the fate of the legendary Roman ninth legion which, according to myth, was wiped out in an ill fated attempt to quell the Picts. The latter prove themselves throughout to be a most formidable and elusive enemy, adopting guerrilla tactics. Michael Fassbender, playing the role of centurion Quintus Dias, having been the sole survivor of a raid on a Roman fort, has the great misfortune of running into and then joining up with General Virilus as the latter leads the legion northwards.

In a scene reminiscent of the classic 'Spartacus', the 9th marches into a deadly ambush in which they are attacked by rolling fireballs and an overwhelming force of Pict warriors. Virilus is taken captive and Quintus is faced with a desperate struggle to keep his small party of survivors alive behind enemy lives as, showing commendable loyalty and fortitude, they attempt to rescue their commander from the Pict leader Gorlacon. This leads to a devastating chain of events culminating in dramatic confrontation between the centurion and the revenge hungry Pict warrior Etain, played with remarkable intensity by Olga Kurylenko.
Highly commended but not for the squeamish; this is bloodbath on a par with 'Ironclad'.

Chris Allen is a Technical Author and writer with the following books available through Amazon:
The Beam of Interest: Taken by Storm
Hypnotic Tales 2013: Some Light Some Dark
Call of the Void: The Strange Life and Times of a Confused Person: 1


Captain Phillips [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]
Captain Phillips [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Tom Hanks
Price: £9.32

5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent, superbly made movie, a rollercoaster of tension, 15 Sep 2014
This is an excellent, superbly made movie, a rollercoaster of tension, all of the more convincing because it is based on the traumatic experience of Richard Phillips, an American merchant mariner and author, who served as captain of the MV Maersk Alabama during its hijacking by Somali pirates in April 2009.
The director: Paul Greengrass does a superb and factually accurate job of showing how the crew sinks the pirate speedboat shortly after the boarding by continuously swinging the rudder of the Maersk Alabama, thus swamping the smaller boat. As the pirates board the ship, the crew members lock themselves in the engine room. The crew later overpower one of the pirates and attempt to exchange the captured man for Phillips. The crew drop a lifeboat and meet the pirates to switch prisoners and boats The captured pirate is released, but the pirates refuse to release Phillips.The four Somalis then leave with Phillips in the lifeboat which carries ten days of food rations, water and basic survival supplies.
Tom Hanks is superb and totally believable as he struggles to survive in the claustrophobic environment; his captors become increasingly irrational as US warships close in to effect a rescue. Matters come to a dramatic head when the Navy Seal team is compelled to take action to save the captain's life.
There is an added dimension of realism to the film in the form of a portrayal of the taut situation from the point of view of the pirates - poorly educated and desperate men who claim that they have lose their livelihood as fisherman - which indicates that that they were as much victims of circumstance as Phillips himself.
Highly recommended, probably Hanks's best movie and that says a lot.

Chris Allen is a Technical Author and writer with the following books available through Amazon:
The Beam of Interest: Taken by Storm
Hypnotic Tales 2013: Some Light Some Dark
Call of the Void: The Strange Life and Times of a Confused Person: 1


Moon+ Reader
Moon+ Reader
Price: £0.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Free App for redaing e-books, 13 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Moon+ Reader (App)
I found and installed this free App on my Kindle Fire HD having found it when searched the Apps store for the Kobo App for reading their e-books as opposed to the Amazon equivalent for reading e-books in the Kindle Store. The Moon+ Reader appears to be an OK product but I'll probably end using the Kobo App instead which is downloadable form their web site.

Chris Allen is a Technical Author and writer with the following books available through Amazon:
The Beam of Interest: Taken by Storm
Hypnotic Tales 2013: Some Light Some Dark
Call of the Void: The Strange Life and Times of a Confused Person: 1


Microsoft Office Professional 2010 (2 PCs, 1 User)
Microsoft Office Professional 2010 (2 PCs, 1 User)
Offered by Perks
Price: £479.00

4.0 out of 5 stars No problems whatsoever, 12 Sep 2014
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I encountered no problems whatsoever in the installation and use of this set of Microsoft Applications. Recommended but, of course, superseded by 2013 product.

Chris Allen is a Technical Author and writer with the following books available through Amazon:
The Beam of Interest: Taken by Storm
Hypnotic Tales 2013: Some Light Some Dark
Call of the Void: The Strange Life and Times of a Confused Person: 1


Mysticism and the New Physics (Arkana)
Mysticism and the New Physics (Arkana)
by Michael Talbot
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.59

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most remarkable books I have ever read, 12 Sep 2014
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Mysticism and the New Physics is one of the most remarkable books I have ever read. It left a lingering impression since I encountered the first publication early in the early 1980's and the power of this work has not diminished in the least in the updated version, revised in 1993, which I re-read quite recently.

Chris Allen is a Technical Author and writer with the following books available through Amazon:
The Beam of Interest: Taken by Storm
Hypnotic Tales 2013: Some Light Some Dark
Call of the Void: The Strange Life and Times of a Confused Person: 1


Kirstie's Homemade Home
Kirstie's Homemade Home
by Kirstie Allsopp
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars My wife thinks it's great!, 11 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this book as a Xmas present for my wife; she thought it was great. I'm not so such a fan of Kirstie's myself but I had a quick flick through it and it does seem to be well written and lavishly illustrated, offering heaps of tips on how to completely change the look and feel of your home on a limited budget. All good innocent fun and recommended unless you're looking for something with a big body count.

Chris Allen is a Technical Author and writer with the following books available through Amazon:
The Beam of Interest: Taken by Storm
Hypnotic Tales 2013: Some Light Some Dark
Call of the Void: The Strange Life and Times of a Confused Person: 1


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