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William Templar (England)

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Get Smart [DVD] [2008]
Get Smart [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Steve Carell
Price: 2.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very funny spoof., 9 Mar 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Get Smart [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
Most reviews here seemed to be pointlessly based in assumption circling around the attributes of the original series.
Not this one, I never knew a series existed.

I bought this on a whim, It looked funny, the cast looked good, the story sounded amusing as a spy spoof.
And I was most pleased with my purchase!

It's essentially Johnny English by the Americans, and they did it very well in my opinion. I won't run the storyline down as you can all read that above. What this film sets out to do it does very well indeed, it's a spy spoof. It's full of slapstick humour, prat-falls, and some pretty good action, stunts, and special effects.

It's not a serious film so there are incongruities in direction, character building, and continuity. But that's not why you buy a comedy, you buy a comedy to laugh at it. And this supplies the laughs, some subtle, some more extrovert. Steve Carell delivers and oddly amusing dead-pan style of comedy which seems to suit well. I'm usually not a fan of this type of humour but he made me laugh out loud. The supporting cast are good, not all that well defined as characters, but pretty well delivered. But again this isn't a period drama so you can look past it. The action is also very good for a comedy, better than I expected. Sometimes the pace can get bogged down, but it picks up nicely generally in the tail of a subtle joke.

If you are looking for a no-brained comedy spoof for a light evening in this is as good a buy as any. What it delivers it delivers well, it doesn't redefine or try to be anything it's not, it's silly, it's slapstick, it's worth watching.

Basic Physics: A Self-Teaching Guide (Wiley Self-Teaching Guides)
Basic Physics: A Self-Teaching Guide (Wiley Self-Teaching Guides)
by Karl F. Kuhn
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.48

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Basic physics - complicated subject matter, 3 Mar 2012
The physics in this book maybe of a basic level, as in it's not quantum mechanics or general relativity.
But thats about where the "basics" end.

The book leads you in nicely with force and motion, and I'm sure everyone is somewhat familiar with v=d/t, it moves onto newtons laws, and then conservation of momentum. All this is explained in a fairly easy to understand way, and the equations are simple, even if you missed secondary school algebra.

But then it all gets complex, and in my opinion; ceases to be so "basic". The book moves on to gravity and reveals the subject to you using the usual algebraic equations, but without decent explanations of the notation and new symbols used. if you missed advanced algebra and mathematics at school or have forgotten it; good luck.

Many of the equations displayed as answers to the "test yourself" section delve deeply into algebraic notation that wasn't even covered on the chapter it pertains to, I can only assume Karl F Kuhn PhD assumes we all have a PhD in math. Later it moves into trigonometry and more advance maths. This is compounded by the lack of explanation to the problems as well. The appendix sections are also as equally unhelpful at explaining things.

What makes this more laughable is that fact that it clearly states on the back cover "requires no math - mathematical treatments are included in optional sections". If you decide to miss the math, you miss 95% of the contents of the book, and will learn virtually nothing.

The basis of the book is good for the first few chapters, and some of the less mathematical ones, but as a basic introduction? I'm no maths genius, nor am I an F student, but it just got way to deep way too quickly and without warning or explanation. If you're going to buy this brush up on your A Level maths, trig, calculous, and algebra, because you're gonna need it.

Basic? Not so much.

Physics For Dummies
Physics For Dummies
by Steve Holzner Ph.D.
Edition: Paperback

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars NOT for "Dummies", 3 Mar 2012
This review is from: Physics For Dummies (Paperback)
Unfortunately if you are a "layman" looking to expand your interest with no prior, or only a very basic level of knowledge in the subject field. This book may not be for you.

I have a keen interest in physics, I have no prior education in the subject, and really can't remember much maths from school either, and this where it fails. Physics is based in mathematics and algebra to explain equations. This book dumps the "Dummy" in the deep end with almost no prior explanation of the equation it used to explain passages of text.

It will say something like; "we can relate speed and distance of fall with this D=(Vo t)+(1/2aT2)" what it won't do is explain what all that means. I only understood what I did of the book because I also bought the Karl F. Kuhn "teach yourself physics" book. (somewhat better but not by much). Both books assume an A Level level of algebra and maths, and I have been out of school for a long, long time. So too will most people who will buy this book I imagine. I found myself constantly having to explore the Internet to decipher this books explanations and equations.

Certainly not a guide for dummies then. It assumes too much of the reader. Even if it assumes something, it should at least have a little refresher/explainer section in the beginning for those returning to the maths and for those with no prior knowledge. This is supposed to be for "Dummies" after all.

Reader beware, or look elsewhere.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 5, 2013 1:10 AM BST

Johnny English Reborn [DVD]
Johnny English Reborn [DVD]
Dvd ~ Rowan Atkinson
Price: 3.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Johnny English re-bored..., 1 Mar 2012
This review is from: Johnny English Reborn [DVD] (DVD)
It it weren't for the budget and cast of this film headed up by Rowan Atkinson, this would have never made it to the cinema.
This is a feeble effort to make a sequel to the first film, which wasn't amazing, but was so much better than this.

Where this film fails in it's it's comic delivery. Rowan Atkinson does what he does best, and does it just as well as before. But for some reason the screen writing and directing didn't seem to cut it, and produce the comedy timing needed to make the film as funny as it should have been. Johnny English as a character seems to have been diluted somewhat, instead of being a cleverly combined and funny combination of idiot and agent, he is one or the other; at one time a brilliant agent displaying clever skills, the other time a blithering moron. There is no continuity between the two sides of Johnny English.

The storyline is actually one worthy of a more serious film in my opinion, and introduces plot twists and devices that wouldn't be out of place in a real Bond film. To turn this into a laughing fest was obviously too much for the director and writers, and it shows.

English aslo lost his right hand man "Bough" from the first film, I was hoping to see him return. Which wasn't too bad, but they also didn't serve up a worthy replacement for him either. Instead they cast another person in the role who wasn't a bad actor, but lacked the onscreen 'feel' and chemistry with English as a character. Supplying what could be called a faily solid but equally dull performance.

Johnny English Reborn isn't a terrible film. But it leaves so much to be desired and I feel if you enjoyed the first one as I did so much, you will be sorely disappointed by this.

Horrible Bosses [DVD] [2011]
Horrible Bosses [DVD] [2011]
Dvd ~ Jason Bateman
Price: 3.00

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Murderous to watch, 1 Mar 2012
This review is from: Horrible Bosses [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
I had high expectations for this film, considering the tale that the cast possessed. Jennifer Anniston, Colin Farrel, Kevin Spacey, and Jamie Foxx are by no means 'new' or 'inexperienced' actors. But this film fell flat for me.

It supposed to be a comedy, but where were the jokes? Where was the humour? More than anything it was uncomfortable to watch, not because of the acting, but because of the horrific delivery of the story, and the "jokes".

Firstly the three protagonists are complete and utter morons. They are not funny, their characters are underdeveloped to say the least. And one played by Charlie Day was so irritating I wished they'd kill him instead of the Horrible Bosses. He added no humour, and it was like watching two 30 year old babysit a 5 year old for most of the scenes they shared.

The movie never took off after the initial story building section in the beginning, it just remained stupid, flat, un-funny, and pretty boring until the credits rolled up. There was no story evolution, no character development, and nothing seemed to happen in the end. The trio of idiots didn't even kill their respective bosses, one boss killed the other and got arrested and the last in was essentially blackmailed.

The good actors that graced be screen were wasted to say the least. If you really have to see it, rent it, borrow it, but I would waste my time or money to be honest.

Stargate Atlantis: The Complete Second Season [DVD]
Stargate Atlantis: The Complete Second Season [DVD]
Dvd ~ Torri Higginson
Price: 26.02

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Raising expectations?, 24 Feb 2012
Atlantis surfaces smoothly, leading seamlessly from the events of the end of season one in it's second outing.

Not much has changed in the sunken (or not so sunken as it happens) city of the ancients, at least not aesthetically.
Needless to say the evil enemy of the first season were duped out of their victory by the ever resourceful Atlantis team, and as usuall; just in the nick of time. Who'd have thought.

In season two the dynamic of the show hasn't changed atall, but a new character breathes life into the flat show of the last season, and things begin to pick up as previous narratives are picked up and expanded on. This gives a good sense of depth and gives the isolated Atlatis team and season two some firmer roots with which to grow from.

The new character mentioned goes by the name of Ronan Dex, portrayed excellently by the larger than life Jason Mamoa. Apparently hired for simply being 6 foot of dreadlocks and arms. But none the less he does well to deliver what can only be decried as the strong silent type. For those who know SG1; Atlantis' answer to Teal'c. A stranded warrior from a destroyed world, who joins the good in the fight against tyranny. It certainly peps up season two as Ronan doesn't so much straight talk, as get straight to the point, which makes the flannel of the other team members more bareable. If you become irritated with McKays speed talking, or Shepherds "blah" attitude, Ronan will surely stride in and punch someone, or stick a knife in a table to make a point. What a breath of fresh air.

As mentioned before the team are back to their usual antics, exploring worlds, fighting the wraith and other enemies, and generally making a nuisance of themselves in the Pegasus galaxy. Old enemies return as old storylines are dug up from season one, and others are referenced with a sometimes comic appeal. This is nice as it really feels like there is now growth.

The acting has improved as well as the characters and actors seem to have bedded down nicely into their parts and the writers are not so haphazard with the stories. Even the flat charimaless character of Dr. Weir seems to have finally been brought to life by Torri Higginson who played her so lifelessly in the first season.
This season feels more rooted but some of the storylines do feel a bit like you have seen them before, quite similar to season one in some ways. But then there are episodes that are completely different, so there is some balance.

If you are game for more SiFi adventure then Atlantis fits the bill nicely, maybe not feeling as rooted as SG1 did in it's second season, but it's certainly becoming seasoned nicely. And delivers another great cliffhanger to go into season three with. All in all - very enjoyable, but by no means perfect.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides [DVD]
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides [DVD]
Dvd ~ Johnny Depp
Price: 3.00

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Stranger tides indeed., 20 Feb 2012
Having loved the previous films, but also sensed that they were becoming more and more ridiculous, I was skeptical of this latest release. Rightly so it would seem.

This film leaves much to be desired, and seems to have been made for one reason, and one reason only; money.

Firstly the characters: this is what makes the POTC films, a ragged bunch of rum soaked pirates. With larger than life, almost pantomime type characters. Look back to the first one, Jack and Barbossa are the quintessential pirates. In this what's left of the cast has been so far diluted that it's just the bare bones of the characters that still exist. Barbossa has lost his witty wiley edge, and Jack Sparrow seems a shadow of his former self. Pintel and Ragetti are nowhere to be seen, and Gibbs shows up now and again. Blackbeard is bought in as the menacing villain but just doesn't cut it, the ship is impressive but the character is shallow and lacks the menace that even Barbossa had in the first one. Poorly cast; possibly. Poorly acted; definitely.

The locations: un-memorable. What ever happened to tortuga and the likes in the Spanish main. All the new sets seem to be dark, moody, and dingy. Even the final set of the fountain of youth seemed far too dull and lifeless.

The sorry: what story? It's so far fetched and ridiculous it really is unbelievable. I know there's little believable about undead pirates it fish men, but at least they were delivered in a decent manner and enjoyable. This story seems to follow it's own tail as opposed to weaving a tale of piratical conquest. There are mermaids, and Blackbeard, and some-other characters which were so unmemorable I cant remember their parts. They cast Penelope Cruz as a sort of anti-Jack but there was no chemistry between the two. In fact there was no chemistry between any of the characters. It was flat, formulaic, and lifeless the whole way through. Because of it's indirection and disjointed story it also felt like it went of for hours, younger viewers I feel would be bored by the half way point.

I suppose it's what you should expect making a film series based on a theme park ride. When it comes down to it It grossed $1bn at the box-office, and thats all they care about these days.

But as for us the fans, a very poor effort. Terrible film.

Fast & Furious 5 [DVD] [2011]
Fast & Furious 5 [DVD] [2011]
Dvd ~ Dwayne Johnson
Price: 5.00

4.0 out of 5 stars More of the good stuff, 20 Feb 2012
Fast 5 a brilliant example of where to go with a street racing series of films. They couldn't keep on making the same old racing type films, it wouldn't have worked. People would have become bored.

The branched out with "Tokyo Drift" which made a change, and it was a good film. Fast 5 also removed itself from the cop-undercover thread of the 1st and 4th films, and didn't pay homage to the street racing scene at all.

But everything it did differently, it did excellently.
Fast 5 is a heist film with cars as the unique selling point.

Basically the old team are back, with characters from nearly all of the other films brought together in Rio to take on the resident drugs barren who runs the favelas. The hatch a far fetched plan to make him stockpile all his hard cash in one place so they can steal it with ease. This they effect pretty well, and then they tow, yes tow, the safe with all the cash to freedom.

Dwayne Johnson is brilliantly cast as a larger than life CIA or FBI bounty hunter, brought in to thwart the gang of street racing miscreants and bring them to justice, and him and Vin Diesel's character Dominic Toretto have a pretty epic fight. The film as a whole is more serious than the others, and leads on from the vein of the 4th one where they break Toretto out of the prison bus. The whole feel of the film is different, but all the key elements remain; nice cars, original cast, good acting, and a good (if not outrageous) storyline.

For fans of the FF films this is a brilliant addition. For those who have never seen a Fast and Furious film, this is a great film in it's own right if you enjoy a good action/heist film.

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor [DVD] [2008]
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Brendan Fraser
Price: 2.94

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What happened?, 20 Feb 2012
The Mummy 1&2 showed us what a good honest adventure action film should be like. Likeable characters, great cast and story, and fun to watch.

In this the 3rd instalment, something went wrong. It lacked the energy and life of the first two, it felt hollow and dead compared to them. This leads us to a bit of a contradiction; if you've seen and enjoyed the first films this one is terrible. If this is the only Mummy you have seen, this isn't a bad film. That's just it, as a stand alone film the Tomb of the Dragon emperor isn't all that bad. Michelle Yeow, and Jet Li, don't give their best performances but certainly suffice. Brendan Frasier and the rest don't do an awful job, it still brings action, and humour to the screen.

But as a part of the Mummy Trilogy, this film is far from good. The first mistake was re casting the part played by Rachel Weisz, the new woman just didn't play the part well at all. Brendan Frasier seemed to have lost his energy and delivered a pretty flat performance. The son from the second one grew up into an American, which was odd because he was British, and the only reference to the last two was a bar named "Imoteps". It just didn't tie in with the others in any way, shape, or form.

It looks like they tried to do something new, but in doing so they forget the roots of what made the Mummy films great; energy, delivery, and fun. It all seemed very serious in this film, the witty banter and jokes weren't there anymore. The cast wasn't believable in their deliveries and didn't seem to commit to their roles. It was a very poor effort.

Not one I will watch again if I can avoid it.

Mind, Body And Kick Ass Moves [DVD]
Mind, Body And Kick Ass Moves [DVD]
Dvd ~ Mind Body and Kick Ass Moves
Offered by babsbargains *** WORLDWIDE SHIPPING ***
Price: 19.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Bite sized martial arts., 20 Feb 2012
Chris Crudelli does a brilliant job in this BBC production of bringing the sometimes enigmatic world of Martial Arts into the light.
He uses his own knowledge and unique style to produce a brilliant series that appeals to the non-martial artist. Those who don't understand Chi and what "Kung Fu" really means.

In this he has managed well, to make it interesting, informative, and enjoyable to watch. For the well versed Martial artist, and the casual viewer alike. His street Martial Arts could be compared to David Blaine's inexplicable skills, but this time done by someone with personality, from Birmingham. And he approaches the subject in a respectful, light hearted, but honest way.

Definitely a good watch, nothing to take too seriously, but certainly leaves you with something to think about.

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