Profile for Sam Woodward > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Sam Woodward
Top Reviewer Ranking: 182
Helpful Votes: 3169

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Sam Woodward (UK)
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
Judge Dredd Day of Chaos: Fallout
Judge Dredd Day of Chaos: Fallout
by John Wagner
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting change of direction. Sadly, the writing is inconsistent, 11 Nov 2014
PLEASE NOTE - Amazon seem to have messed up the reviews, bless them, & many of the reviews on this page seem to be for the previous volume (Endgame) & not Fallout. This review is of Fallout.

Fallout is an interesting volume which deals with the aftermath of the Chaos Bug. Mega City One is in ruins. The Judges have been decimated & have a huge clean-up job to contend with, so the Space Corps are drafted in to help maintain order. All in all, it reminds me of the stories which followed The Apocalypse War, as the landscape of the city changed to one dotted with radioactive areas. But this is far more drastic. So it's a fascinating change of direction for the series.

When it comes to Dredd, that which isn't written by Wagner himself usually falls way short of his level. And most of the short stories which make up this volume aren't written by Wagner. Nevertheless, I was very impressed by newcomer Michael Carroll, who seems to 'get' Dredd's world & its humour better than most writers. However, he introduced a supporting character in his first story who he went on to over-use. It's as if he was intimidated by writing about Dredd himself & felt more comfortable writing about this person. But there's great potential there for the future - although at this rate, Dredd may soon find himself single-handedly policing a population of 5!

There's some interesting, new ideas in here. Sadly, the writing isn't always up to par as Wagner deservedly seems to be taking more of a back seat. I was torn between giving it 3 stars or 4.


Anker® Astro Mini 3200mAh Ultra-Compact Lipstick-Sized Portable Power Bank Pack External Battery Charger with PowerIQ™ Technology for iPhone 6 Plus 5S 5C 5 4S, iPad Mini, Samsung Galaxy S5 S4 Note, Nexus, HTC, Motorola, Nokia, PS Vita, Gopro, more Phones and Tablets (Black)
Anker® Astro Mini 3200mAh Ultra-Compact Lipstick-Sized Portable Power Bank Pack External Battery Charger with PowerIQ™ Technology for iPhone 6 Plus 5S 5C 5 4S, iPad Mini, Samsung Galaxy S5 S4 Note, Nexus, HTC, Motorola, Nokia, PS Vita, Gopro, more Phones and Tablets (Black)
Offered by AnkerDirect
Price: £39.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Top quality!, 11 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This external battery is reassuringly solid. When Anker say it’s made from quality materials, they clearly mean it!

Please note that when I first plugged a device into it, I thought it wasn’t working. Then I realised that the LED doubles up as an on-off switch which has to be pressed before the green light heralds that your device is charging. I suspect that a good number of the reviews which say they received a faulty item have failed to spot this.

Having USB & MicroUSB sockets is a great feature, as I can top up both my Samsung SmartPhone as well as my iPad. Incidentally, the specs only state that it can charge Samsung mobiles from the S3 onwards but I tried it with an S2 & it charges fine.

This is an affordable, quality product which is great for keeping my SmartPhone topped up. I’m very happy with mine.


Anker® 40W 5-Port High Speed Desktop USB Charger with PowerIQ™ Technology for iPhone 6 Plus 5S 5C 5 4S, iPad Air 2 Mini 3, Samsung Galaxy S5 S4 Note Tab, Nexus, HTC, Motorola, Nokia, PS Vita, Gopro, more Phones and Tablets (Black)
Anker® 40W 5-Port High Speed Desktop USB Charger with PowerIQ™ Technology for iPhone 6 Plus 5S 5C 5 4S, iPad Air 2 Mini 3, Samsung Galaxy S5 S4 Note Tab, Nexus, HTC, Motorola, Nokia, PS Vita, Gopro, more Phones and Tablets (Black)
Offered by AnkerDirect
Price: £49.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Very handy!, 11 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having used this item daily for about 3 months, I wouldn’t be without it now. I’m impressed with every aspect of this genuinely useful device. Resembling a USB hub with a small form factor, it feels sturdy & has a quality build. The USB sockets are perfectly spaced-out, too. Being able to charge up to 5 devices from one wall socket is incredibly useful – particularly since my room has only 2 mains sockets. It’s also much neater & more compact than a 3-pin multi-socket extension hub would be.

I use it to charge my mobile, tablet, Kindle, camcorder & external battery – sometimes individually, sometimes some or all of them at the same time. If plugging in multiple devices at once affects the charging time, then I haven’t noticed. Nor is it noticeably slower than charging them all with their supplied mains chargers. Anker claim this is down to their PowerIQ system, which enables each port to identify popular devices & adapt to their specific recharge rates. All I know is that I don’t know how it works – but it does!

This handy item performs well & has freed up my wall sockets. It does the job & it does it well!


Cannibal [DVD]
Cannibal [DVD]
Dvd ~ Antonio de la Torre
Price: £9.70

5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating, leisurely paced film, 11 Nov 2014
This review is from: Cannibal [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
While the leisurely pace will no doubt bore many viewers, I found Cannibal to be a truly captivating film. This charismatic & subtle portrayal of a psychopath took me on an unpredictable & beautifully shot journey which will stay with me for some time to come. There's echoes of George A Romero's 'Martin' but Cannibal is a more modern & much less heavy-handed film, with superior psychological insight. Everything about it is understated, which works fantastically.

In terms of DVD features, there are none. In a way, that's a good thing for Cannibal, as certain aspects of it will strike different viewers in different ways, so it's nice not to have the director offer an implicitly definitive opinion. The subtitles on my review copy are English only & transposed onto the film so that they cannot be switched on or off. This may not be the case on the retail version but I wanted to make buyers who care about such things aware that it's a distinct possibility.

Cannibal is one of those films which I want to lend to my friends so I can discuss it with them!


Forgotten Men [DVD]
Forgotten Men [DVD]
Price: £12.30

4.0 out of 5 stars Dated, yet surprisingly poignant in places, 10 Nov 2014
This review is from: Forgotten Men [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The film started with a pro-establishment disclaimer which made it immediately obvious that this was not going to be anything like objective. And tone this remained throughout - unlike more modern documentaries, there's no hint of any wrongdoing by the British & they can't resist the occasional dig against the Germans, such as "[they] value dignity more than humour." Then General Sir Ian Hamilton appeared on the screen in his outdated uniform. I must admit that his old-fashioned style & delivery immediately put me off - but then I listened to what he said & my prejudices were nudged aside. This man had fought in other wars prior to WW1 & strongly emphasised the more impersonal nature of this more modern war.

The presentation style continued to make it difficult to get into - the way of speaking, of dressing, all reminded me of the Harry Enfield sketches which parodied black & white films. But the content of the interviews & the documentary footage of actual conflict kept me interested. Ironically, the reserved nature of the soldiers made their testimonies all the more moving - that they had seen true horror & despite wanting to put their message across, also wanted to spare the more unseemly details. They clearly were not lacking in backbone. The documentary footage was even more striking, demonstrating the callousness & suffering of war, including footage of soldiers being killed (always from a distance & not in gory detail) & German film of a British bomb attack, which ends abruptly, we are informed, because the cameraman was killed.

The reserved nature of the participants means that this documentary perhaps says more about the societal values of the time than it does about the war itself - but it still has plenty to say about that. Modern documentaries may contain more facts & analyses but by showing the participants & documentary footage of the front lines themselves, this one has a more human element to it. It's very different from what most modern viewers will be used to but it's still worth watching - even if it is rather repetitive.


Mindfulness at Work For Dummies
Mindfulness at Work For Dummies
by Shamash Alidina
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.59

5.0 out of 5 stars An incredibly useful resource, 10 Nov 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is an excellent resource of Mindfulness. Indeed, it's introduction sums up Mindfulness very well, so it's even a good read for anyone not previously familiar with the concept.

Firstly, in regards to Mindfulness in general - for me, it's been an incredibly effective tool for combating low self-esteem, depression & negative self-image. I attended a Mindfulness course earlier this year & the difference it made to my life in just a few weeks has been incredible. I'm much more confident & self-loving now - which enables me to open up & show my love for others more. However, I must emphasise that as excellent as this book & others like it are, they are no substitute for going on a course & being taught the skills properly while interacting with like-minded people. Nevertheless, the authors of this book go into more detail than would be possible on a course & has the space to include many more exercises & suggestions.

Mindfulness is essentially a collection of positive mental habits to get into, & like all habits, the more you do them the stronger they get. At first, it's difficult at times to remember to incorporate them into our lives, so I have taken to reading this book at work during my lunch break & fitting the exercises in over the course of the day. It's been incredibly helpful in this regard.

Personally, I have found it even more helpful than 'Mindfulness For Dummies' & 'MBCT For Dummies', as excellent as these titles are. It has just the right amount of theory & lots of practical tips & exercises to choose from.


Ultrasport Men's Running/ Biking Jacket Stretch Delight - Black/Red, Large
Ultrasport Men's Running/ Biking Jacket Stretch Delight - Black/Red, Large
Price: £26.99

4.0 out of 5 stars we're fortunate enough to have a cycle path which runs along ..., 10 Nov 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Here in Swansea, we're fortunate enough to have a cycle path which runs along the coast. As beautiful as it is, on most days cyclists & runners are subjected to heavy crosswinds, sea spray & rain - which I thought would be an excellent test for this jacket. Typically, however, its delivery heralded a singularly dry summer. So I guess the nice weather is entirely my fault - sorry about that. However, November has seen the weather in one of the UK's wettest cities return to normal, so I've finally had the opportunity to really put it through its paces.

And yes, it does keep my upper-body warm & dry during wind & rain. Unfortunately that does not extend to my head, though. My previous jacket had a hood which could be rolled up & Velcro-ed out of the way when not needed; this one does not have a hood at all. On the other hand, the separate hole in the sleeve for your thumb is great for keeping your hands warm.

The black & red colour scheme is certainly much more stylish than my previous yellow jacket! Even when I'm not cycling/running, I've taken to keeping it in my rucksack on the off-chance it rains when I'm out & about in just a t-shirt (always be ready for rain in Swansea!). I'd feel too self-conscious to wear my old, bright one around town. The flip side of this is concerns about visibility. These were somewhat allayed when I shone a torch upon the grey stripes along the front & back & found them to be highly reflective. They are still rather thin, though, so it would be nice if they could make one with more stripes on it - perhaps in a pattern of some kind.

In addition, this jacket is a more generous fit than other brands I've used. I'm broad-shouldered & have accumulated a bit of a bulge over the past few years, so when it comes to t-shirt sizes I'm sometimes a Large & sometimes an Extra-Large. With this jacket, the Large was an excellent fit & not too tight around my middle - other jackets make me resemble Daffyd from Little Britain or a brightly-coloured party balloon but this one was fine.

This jacket is very comfortable & keeps rain & wind at bay. The only downside is the lack of a hood. Otherwise, it's an excellent product.


Smartphone Troubleshooting And Repair
Smartphone Troubleshooting And Repair
Price: £15.36

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear..., 16 July 2014
In fairness, there's actually some very useful info in here. But the 'editor' has blatantly just copied & pasted numerous vaguely-related articles & reviews from t'internet & is charging 15 quid for it, without even spell-checking it first. Bit cheeky, that.

This can be seen just by reading the sample which comes up when you click on Amazon's picture to 'look inside'. You may spot that in "PART 1 Introduction: How Cellphone Works" the writing style suddenly switches to 'engrish'. There's the line "click here to learn about network protocols for Smartphones" which isn't a link that has clearly been left in by accident. And the paragraph headed '3GS' is clearly misappropriated from a review of an iPhone 3GS (the 'editor' clearly does not understand that while '3G' is a network protocol, '3GS' is merely the name of a phone).

Yet the first paragraph has the cheek to state that "all material in this book is copyrighted & may not be reproduced". I wonder if the websites he's cribbed said the same thing?


Sort Your Brain out: Boost Your Performance, Manage Stress and Achieve More
Sort Your Brain out: Boost Your Performance, Manage Stress and Achieve More
by Jack Lewis
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.79

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting info, poorly presented, 16 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I picked this up because I enjoy popular science books. Unfortunately it turned out to be written in the style of a 'self-help' publication, which really grated on me. When one of the authors stated 3 times on the same page that this book is intended for "everyday people", it felt like I was being talked down to. It felt like they tried too hard to keep things simple & cut out way too information because each time it started to get interesting, the subject would abruptly change & I would be left with many unanswered questions. Moreover, the 'putting it into practice' aspect felt rather weak since the advice given isn't exactly ground-breaking - get more sleep, exercise regularly, drink enough water & go out in daylight "for at least 5-15 mins every day".

It's a fast read, having the generous line-spacing typical within the self-help genre but while it piqued my interest in places, it ultimately left me unsatisfied & a lot less wiser than I would have hoped.


Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy For Dummies
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy For Dummies
by Patrizia Collard
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.59

5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent, informative introduction, 19 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As someone who has struggled with depression & very low self-esteem for my entire adult life, I would thoroughly recommend Mindfulness as a means for developing emotional stability & quieting that overly-harsh inner critic. And I would thoroughly recommend this accessible introduction to the topic.

Collard outlines the various techniques which come under the Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) umbrella by describing, one stage at a time, what is taught during eight-week MCBT courses. This structures her book in a way which is ideal for beginners & subtly emphasises that while there is enough information here for readers to start putting the techniques into practice, going on a course is the best way to learn.

I read this book while attending such a course myself (at the time of writing I've got one session left to go) & it was a great companion & expansion on what I was being taught. At 39 years old, I wish I had studied Mindfulness years ago, as it has been by far the most effective means I've found for conquering my inner demons. It's not that negative thoughts & emotions don't come up any more but mindfulness techniques are by far the most effective means I've found for dealing with them quickly when they come up. I hope that one day they teach it in schools.

Until that happens, this book is an excellent, practical introduction which avoids any esoteric language or ideas.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20