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William Templar (England)

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The Royal Road to Card Magic
The Royal Road to Card Magic
by Jean Hugard
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great content, badly presented., 19 Feb. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The content of this book is inspiring, learn the sleight of hand needed to fool even those closest to you with baffling and seemingly amazing card tricks.

The book takes you from the very foundations to complex trickery, in chapters which are structured like mini courses. Great stuff.

But the book fails in it's delivery of said information. The writing is lengthy as it has to be to describe the actions used in creating these tricks, and I would be much further through the book if it wasn't for this. As the lengthy descriptions are not very well backed up with step by step illustrations, there are a number of line drawings but these are few and far between.

In the first chapter for instance you are taught how to hold the deck correctly, this goes on for a page and a half, with only one, not very detailed drawing to illustrate it. When in realism the technique to the untrained hand is pretty awkward to start off with, in this a number of pictures from differed sides of the hand would aid in the description.
There are many other instances of this.

Like I said the content is very good indeed, and from a knowledgable source on the matter. But the delivery and descriptions are extremely lengthy without pictorial backup, and a thousand words is worth one picture. Especially in this, a most manual of subjects.

Night At The Museum [DVD] [2006]
Night At The Museum [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ Ben Stiller
Offered by Jasuli
Price: £2.67

2.0 out of 5 stars Maybe if you like Ben Stiller...., 19 Feb. 2012
I am not a fan of Mr Stiller, I find his take on humour to be far too dry and most of the time uncomfortably unfunny.
So how he cast for lead in a kids film is beyond me, if you are writing for kids you need exstrovert humour and slapstick, not Stillers brand of dull and so subtle it's nonexistent humour.

The story is a good one, everything in the museum comes to life after dark, the supporting cast is good too; Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, it's all good from the cast perspective. But Stiller doesn't lead it well, he doesn't create the jokes that should be there, he doesn't have a screen presence or a particularly believable delivery. This just starves the film of what it needs, especially as it's aimed at a younger audience.

The special effects are good, the story is nice, and the supporting cast it good, but it dies on it's ass because of Stiller. Such as shame as the film premise has so much promise of creating a magical tale kids will love. Maybe Robin Williams should have scored the lead, I think then it would have been something special. Sorry Mr Stiller, you still don't quite cut it for me.

Sanyo EM-S3597V 23 litre 900 watt Solo Microwave Oven, Silver
Sanyo EM-S3597V 23 litre 900 watt Solo Microwave Oven, Silver

3.0 out of 5 stars Not amazing, certainly not the worst either., 19 Feb. 2012
I bought one of these recently for my new flat, I wanted a commersial microwave but didn't fancy forking out £800 for one, so I settled for this, which offers 900watts of cooking power, and in a fetching red colour too...

The microwave serves it's purpose well, the QuickStart function is good, one push of the button raises the time by 30 seconds; nice and easy. But you cannot alter the time once it has started, which is a bit annoying. (but maybe that's just me used to commercial microwaves). The rest of the buttons are inside, hidden behind the door, which is very odd, and somewhat annoying as you tend to close the door before inputting times, and then realising you need to open the door again.

The build quality seems sound, not the greatest, not the worst. The old style push pad for the door is dated though, they tend to go wrong before the machine does. The 12 hour digital clock is a minor thing (I prefer the 24hr format). Also it is a fairly small microwave, so heating a great deal of food for a family etc would be a nusance.

All things considered, it does it's job to a satisfactory level and does offer 900watts of power. A very mid-range machine. Nothing great, nothing terrible...

Texas Hold' Em Silver 100% Plastic (Red)
Texas Hold' Em Silver 100% Plastic (Red)
Offered by DMJS Premier Branding
Price: £6.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Very good jumbo index poker cards, 19 Feb. 2012
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:2.0 out of 5 stars 
A superb addition to any poker players home game.

These 100% plastic poker cards are as good as indestructible, I tested this by giving one of the jokers to my 3 year old daughter, even her busy little hands couldn't damage it. (needless to say I didn't get it back...) but be proof was evident when i found it in the bottom of her toy box a week later, surprisingly undamaged, and still playable.

The cards are of superb quality, feel, and thickness. They play well on most surfaces, and begin to handle better with time. Being plastic they can also be washed to remove finger muck and stickiness than can sometime accumulate over time.

Great cards, worth every penny.
Poker proof and child proof.

Victorinox Straight Boning Knife
Victorinox Straight Boning Knife
Offered by Winware
Price: £22.68

5.0 out of 5 stars Great knife, 19 Feb. 2012
Victorinox in the Cheffing world are viewed as a base range of entry level knives for young aspiring chefs who don't have a disposable income. I think they are more than this.

Victorinox knives offer a level of quality far above their lowly price tags. They take and hold an extremely good edge and will last as long as any Global, Sabatier, or Wustoff blade if looked after.

This boning knife has excellent characteristics as not only broad rigid boning knife but as an all round utility type knife. The balde is of good proportion and the handle is solid, hygienic, and offers great grip even with wet or dirty hands.

A knife worth more than it's price then.
A good buy for the chef or the home cook.

Henckels Four Star 8'' / 20cm Cooks Knife
Henckels Four Star 8'' / 20cm Cooks Knife
Offered by Kaleido.Shop GmbH
Price: £54.72

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine blade, 19 Feb. 2012
As a professional Chef I demand a lot from my equipment. I demand precision, handling, and an edge capable of the finest julienne cut.

This knife fits the bill. The steel is excellent German Solingen, the town of that name has been making swords for hundreds for years and is globally recognised. There is a good reason for this.

The knife is perfectly balanced at the bolster and offers a sturdy solid handle and a blade of excellent proportions and functionality. With practice this blade will serve you for many purposes utilising the different parts of the blade from the tip to the bolster end. It takes a razors edge and will hold it for a long time, it is easily sharpened back to life as well.

I have been using mine in busy restaurant kitchens for over a year now, and it is like the day it was bought. Worth every penny for the Chef or the serious home cook. An invaluable tool for any kitchen, anywhere. Superb knife.

Assassin's Creed Revelations (Xbox 360)
Assassin's Creed Revelations (Xbox 360)
Offered by Game Trade Online
Price: £14.31

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More of the same, not in a good way., 19 Feb. 2012
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
Assassins creed returns with "Revelations" the odd thing is it doesn't deliver any revelations in story or gameplay.

This to me is just a fast rehash of old game concepts repackaged into a quick money making scheme.

The story is umemorable, it starts promisingly with Ezio on Altairs trail in environments from the first game, that drew me is as I have played the series from the get-go, but it just never went anywhere with it. Everything felt rushed and underdeveloped, it was actually worse than Brotherhood. Shouldnt it be better?

Nothing has moved in the assassins creed world since number 2, they haven't even reworked the combat system, the graphics, or the gameplay in any way, and now it shows, badly.

The story is dull as ditch water after being stretched so thinly over four games it has lost its appeal completely, I found myself pulled into the world of Desmond, Altair, and Ezio in the first two games, and moving to Rome on the tail of the Borgia in brotherhood was still exiting. But now all this is done, revelations has no drive to it, no underpinning story, it didn't even recreate or introduce any new or memorable characters. The devices like puzzles and glyphs, were not included, neither was Leonardo DaVinci which isn't too bad, but no one replaced this character as Ezios right hand man either.

It felt trite and tired, Istanbul just felt like Rome but repackaged, the same old devices were used. They just remodelled it a bit. Hey tried to add new 'mini games' such as "den defence" but even that felt unfinished, frustrating, and somewhat pointless. All the guards, their activities, weapons, and tactics haven't changed since the first game. I found myself just rushing it to see if anything happened; alas it never did, and it was over as swiftly as it started.

Assassins Creed Revelations is a huge let down. It doesn't nothing new, it offers nothing to the series. Even Desmonds "memories" which you explore as three dimensional platform type puzzles, serve no real purpose, and feel unfinished.

The series has lost all direction and purpose. And seems to have dumbed down a lot and resided itself to online multiplayer. Assassins Creed once offered an interesting story steeped in history with vivid characters and original gameplay. Now it's just a cheap cash cow for Ubisoft.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 6, 2012 12:19 PM GMT

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa [DVD]
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ben Stiller
Offered by streetsahead
Price: £3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the first, by a long way., 19 Feb. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I did not enjoy the first Madagascar that much. So naturally I was skeptical about this one.

But wrongly so, it would seem.

Where the first film never seemed to go anywhere or be particularly funny, this film removed itself from that with a definitive storyline and developed the characters much better than before. Even the irritating King Julian became an integral part of the fun.

It felt much more like the Dreamworks films I enjoy so much, with their individual style, offering something for adults with subtle humour and references and plenty for the kids with their wonderful animation and great comic timing and slapstick. Infact you might say that the later Dreamworks films are catering even more for the adults watching with their kids.

This Madagascar offers a direct lead on from the first, having the ever resourceful Penguines fix up an old crashed plane, to fly the stranded zoo animals back to New York. They end up crash landing in Africa where they are all originally from, so obviously they all hook up with their native species and find out what like is like in the wild. Alex the lion meets his dad (voiced by the late great Bernie Mac), and accidentally mistakes a fight for a dance contest and gets his family banished, oh, and has to wear a silly hat.

Meanwhile the Penguines hatch a plan to rebuilt the now twice crashed plane by hijacking tour jeeps, with hilarious consequences, the brave granny who beats up Alex the lion in the first film is back, and stranded after her tour jeep is hijacked by the Penguines creates a primitive colony of her own with the other tourists.

It's all very outrageous, and very good fun. Usually I cant stand Ben Stiller (the voice of Alex the Lion) but in this his talents seemed well disposed, and his delivery brought a smile to my face.

This film is a vast improvement over the first, it's funny, witty, has great comic timing and style, an easy to follow story, complete with hilarious side narratives and the return of the well spoken chinpanzee, which adds to the Penguines comedy routine.

A great family watch, something for everyone.

The Michael Jackson Treasures: Celebrating the King of Pop in Photos and Memorabilia
The Michael Jackson Treasures: Celebrating the King of Pop in Photos and Memorabilia
by Jason King
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £23.20

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A pinch of salt, a stars life in words and facsimile., 19 Feb. 2012
Firstly this book was bought for someone who is a huge fan of MJ, so naturally they thought it was the bees knees. I mist admit that the style and construction of the book also led me in as well, as I poked around the many envelopes and slits where "treasures" such a recreated concert tickets, and the designs for his famous gravity defying shoes hid.

The book is of superb quality and presentation. A real treasury of information. But one thing about information is that it should be taken with a pinch of salt, especially when concerned with a character such as MJ, and the many conspiracies, and tabloid stories that surrounded the legendary man. I have not read a great deal of the text, but have looked in on his life from a young child to the King of Pop, and one thing i can be certain of is that I will never know the real truth because I was not there.

Many authors have their own agendas and egos that need satisfying and realistically the only man capable of putting rumours and musings of overactive minds to rest is at rest.

What we can be sure of no matter what the books say, is that Michael was an incredible performer and musician, a legendary figure in the face of music, everyone knows Michael Jackson when they hear it. He was benevolent, kind, and died sadly before his time. Though some might say he had more than his share of it, but nearly all of which he spent pleasing others with his music.

This book is another testament to his acheivements and fame. It is produced in a brilliant style, and offers something different than just the text explaining the letter, or the the ticket, you can actually hold them in your hand, and look at them.

A must for any MJ fan, and dangerously interesting to anyone who is not as well. Brilliant book.

Round the Bend
Round the Bend
by Jeremy Clarkson
Edition: Hardcover

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Duped again., 19 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Round the Bend (Hardcover)
As a huge TopGear fan, I love Jeremy Clarksons irreverent style. I like his tone and the way he describes things sometimes in the most inconceivable ways. Humour mixed with a message. Great stuff.... Usually.

This book does contain his irreverent and unmistakable style for sure, it is Jeremy Clarkson who penned it originally. But this unfortunately is just a mash if his Sunday Times peices thrown together for £20. Not exactly Best-seller material. To top it off, most of the cars mentioned are out of date by today's standards, some articles date back to 2008, some 4 years ago (at the Time of writing this).

It seems a shame that such a man, with such a way with words, and knowledge of all things automotive, would sign off on this, which in all honesty is a fast money maker and not much else.

Shame on you Mr. Clarkson, your fans deserve better.

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