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Carl Spencer "Carl" (UK)

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Retardex  10.4ml Oral Spray (Pack of 3)
Retardex 10.4ml Oral Spray (Pack of 3)
Offered by Dental Direct UK
Price: £9.93

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Effective Bad Breath Solution, 17 Mar. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've got to be honest, I've never used a fresh breath spray before in my life. It all seems a bit American, 90210 for me. You can fix basic breath issues quite well with a couple of extra strong mints, a polo or a piece of Extra gum.

Retardex (a shockingly bad brand name) claim that their bad breath spray is clinically proven to not only deliver fresh breath, but also to kill bacteria responsible for causing tooth decay, plaque and gum problems. In reality, that isn't really saying too much since Extra gum claims to achieve the same thing and it's impossible for us to actually judge whether it's at all true.

So, the only thing you can really judge the spray on is its bad breath beating skills. On that front, it is impressive. A couple of quick sprays feels like biting into three or four polo mints at once. The taste quickly subsides, so won't leave an aftertaste if you're eating or drinking, but the mouth does feel cleaner and fresher.

Given the fact that you get three sprays, and you only need one or two sprays at a time, these should last you a long time and are good value at £4 or £5. If you're just after a minty sensation, probably best to stick with the mints or gum. But for a proper, strong bad breath solution, this is the product to choose - and no chewing required.

Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Next Level (Blu-ray) [2012] [Region Free]
Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Next Level (Blu-ray) [2012] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Patrick Stewart
Price: £8.75

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Class Treatment, 4 Feb. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was very excited when I found out that Star Trek: The Next Generation was being converted into blu-ray, and even more so when they revealed how meticulous the conversion will be. This sample gives you a taste of what the brilliant Okudas, and everyone else at CBS/Paramount, are capable of doing. It includes three episodes - Encounter at Farpoint, Sins of the Father, and Inner Light - but it's worth noting that you're actually getting four since Farpoint is a two-parter.


First, a quick word on the episodes. Encounter at Farpoint obviously isn't one of the strongest TNG episodes, but watching it again after quite a long time made me realise just how big a foundation this episode built for the characters (and story direction) we would all come to love over the following seven seasons. Sure, the pacing is a bit scatter-brain and the premise is very TOS-esque, but otherwise it's a joy to watch just for the memories it invokes.

Sins of the Father is, in my opinion, the strongest of the three. TNG did so well to turn the Klingon Empire from pantomime villains to a fully fleshed Alpha Quadrant species and this episode is just one example of it. Picard and Worf always had their best moments in these episodes, and there a fair few tear-jerkers here. Finally, there's Inner Light, which tends to be one of the most lauded TNG stories. Personally, I did find it emotionally devastating the first time around, but it isn't one that I would choose to watch again and again.


Wow, there just aren't enough words to describe the video quality of the episodes... amazing, phenomenal, incredible and mind-blowing would be just a few possibilities. The clarity of the image, vibrancy of the colours and quality of the special effects are all top notch. Sure, there are a few problems now and then, such as a little over-saturation of colour, some graining and blurring (particularly on Farpoint episode), but that doesn't prevent this release standing lightyears above the standard definition episodes we normally watch. The video also allows you to spot intricate details that you won't be able to see normally, and some weaker elements which are less welcome (for example, Data's very obvious stunt double on the holodeck in Farpoint).

The one (very minor) setback is that the newer the episode is, the less you notice the difference. With seasons 1-3 we are bound to be blown away by the difference from our memories of the episodes, but from season 4-7 the quality of the special effects and video generally tended to gradually improve. This means that, although the video is undoubtedly incredible and the special effects will remain a pleasant surprise because we've not seen them that way before, I don't think the difference will be so big as to justify a blu-ray double dip for those later seasons (although most fans will obviously buy them anyway!).


The surround sound is another great success. The hum of the Enterprise engines is ever-present in the ship scenes and beautifully balanced for immersive effect. The other sound effects are equally impressive but the stand out winner is the musical score, which has always been one of Star Trek's strongest elements and really brings the stories to life. A tear came to the eye as old McCoy and Data walked down the Enterprise corridor and the music piped up.


There aren't any except a couple of trailers, but it doesn't really matter.


You might be questioning the true value of paying for a few episodes if you're thinking about buying the full sets anyway. The obvious answer is that these full season blu-rays are not going to be cheap, especially given the the money CBS/Paramount has invested in converting the show and re-doing the special effects. Therefore, it's best to be sure it's worth the dosh... and this release proves beyond any doubt that it most definitely is worth it. For a few quid, why not watch these few episodes in all their hi-def glory, and revel in how amazing it's going to be to sit down and watch the rest!

UltraDEX Oral Rinse 500ml Mouthwash
UltraDEX Oral Rinse 500ml Mouthwash
Offered by Dental Direct UK
Price: £7.83

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good, Effective Mouthwash, 23 Jan. 2012
Despite the rather unfortunate name, this mouthwash is probably the best that I've tried. The ability to choose whether or not you add the flavouring is a simple but clever twist. Without the flavouring, you barely notice you have the rinse in your mouth, which I'm sure some people will prefer, although I kept on wanting to swallow the stuff. The mint flavouring makes a subtle but nice difference, so I think it's worth adding.

The problem with most mouthwashes is that they are too strong, violently attacking your mouth while you swish them around, and then leaving a faint burning sensation behind. Retardex is nice and gentle but the cleaning effect is very noticeable afterwards, without the nasty taste or smouldering mouth. An added bonus is the tongue-cleaning effect - as an office worker, I drink my fair share of tea during the day, which can leave a serious layer of staining on the tongue. Retardex goes a long way to helping keep my tongue clean - far more so than any other mouthwash I've tried.

Trollied - Series 1 [DVD]
Trollied - Series 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jane Horrocks
Price: £6.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average Simple Comedy, 16 Dec. 2011
This review is from: Trollied - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It is a truth universally acknowledged that 99% of Sky's original programming sucks... game shows, talent shows, drama and now comedy - they've tried it all and it's all been pretty bad.

As a former employee of Tesco, I was always quite surprised that there hadn't been a comedy about supermarket life since it does tend to involve a wide variety of (sometimes crazy) characters from all walks of life. Now Trollied has come to fill that void but instead of offering a 'The Office' style mockumentary (one of the show's executive producers was Ash Atalla, of The Office fame) the show leans more towards a Little Britain-esque satirical view.

A lot of the comedy is crude and most characters are caricatures - loosely based on real humans but hopefully not actually found interacting with customers in our country's supermarkets. That said, it's these characters that are the funniest and most interesting.

The show picks up as the episodes progress and, all in all, this is a solid first-effort from Sky in comedy. If they keep it up, I'm sure they'll land on a good comedy formula before too long. In the meantime, Trollied is worth a watch, although I would begrudge paying as much as £11.00 for it.

No Title Available

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious, 14 Nov. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I had to post a review for this product since I'm not sure whether the other reviewers have been drinking the same thing. I've always been very picky about hot chocolate - I either love it or hate it - so it was admittedly a bit risky to buy 80 discs, but the good news is that I absolutely love the Cadbury hot chocolate.

The drink is definitely more creamy and milky than chocolately (I know that's not a real word) but that's fine by me since I find the stronger chocolate drinks can be too overpowering and 'dry'. It's nice and frothy on top and there's a good quantity in the mug for your buck. It has a lovely sweet taste to it and doesn't need any extra sugar.

I've had hot chocolates in a couple of good pubs and restaurants since buying these discs and none have been nearly as good as the Cadbury hot chocolate. If you prefer the creamier, lighter type of hot chocolate, this should suit your tastes!

HoMedics NMS-2TAB Snuggly Bear Neck Massager
HoMedics NMS-2TAB Snuggly Bear Neck Massager
Offered by Super.Deals
Price: £8.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent travel cushion, 24 Oct. 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
When I saw the picture for this product I told myself that it could go either way - either the cushion would be delightfully soft and cosy, or it would be cheap and cheerful. Face to face, it is definitely the latter.

Instead of being fully padded, the cushion is filled with beans, making it a little uneven and less comfortable than it could have been. The outer material is nice but, again, is a little thinner and tougher than it could have been for a truly relaxing experience. Still, we all know how important a decent neck and head rest can be for long journeys - plane, train, car or coach - and this cushion would certainly make a great travel companion.

The baffling part of the product is the inclusion of the 'massager'. Needless to say that, if you're not on a coach journey when you turn the massager on, you will quickly feel as though you are. It is violent and not at all relaxing - far better to save the AA batteries for something else and use this just as a cushion!

Sure Maximum Protection Cream for Men 45 ml (Pack of 3)
Sure Maximum Protection Cream for Men 45 ml (Pack of 3)

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Does the job, 25 July 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have never been a huge fan of roll-on antiperspirants. They generally seem a little unhygienic and, for men (most of whom have hairy armpits), can be a little sticky and uncomfortable.

Sure Maximum Protection is different than cheaper roll-ons as it's a cream that you push up through little holes and apply to the armpits. It doesn't really stick, or make the hair go `clumpy'. The fragrance is simple but pleasant - it smells "clean" but not too chemical and soapy.

To be honest, I didn't follow the instructions and apply the night before since I have my showers at night rather than in the morning (not much choice in a house of 3 women) and don't really feel a pressing need to have nice creamy clean armpits whilst I'm sleeping.

The selling point of the cream is it's 48 hour maximum protection. I concur with another reviewer in saying that you really shouldn't have to be putting it to the test, but the good news is that it does keep you feeling dry and fresh throughout the day.

I'm not a profuse sweater, which is lucky since I wear a shirt and tie all day. However, I do tend to notice when my Lynx deodorant is starting to lose the battle against the heat. That hasn't been the case at all with Sure Maximum Protection - it has continued to work tirelessly throughout the day and in hot conditions - and sometimes you can even catch a whiff of the fragrance, just as clean and clear as it was first thing in the morning.

The conclusion then, is that Sure Maximum Protection certainly does what it says on the box. Whether that is enough to make you part with the convenience, relative cheapness and `manliness' of the traditional spray, will depend on individual preference. Personally, I still haven't made up my mind.

Harry Potter - The Deathly Hallows Part II
Harry Potter - The Deathly Hallows Part II
Price: £6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Magical Music, 23 July 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This soundtrack is not bad - it is generally very good. BUT, like the last few by Nicholas Hooper, it just isn't quite powerful or substantial enough. The track lengths are fairly good - including a few which don't seem to have been in the movie - but it's a mixed bag and doesn't always satisfy on its own as it does on screen.

The best compliment that I can give to Alexandre Desplat is that his music in this soundtrack is better than that in Part 1. He manages to hit a few striking notes - particularly with Lily and Snape's themes and the Battle theme - but these beautiful musical moments are too few and far between.

A telling sign that Alexandre Desplat's work really isn't meaty or powerful enough for the most epic or emotional moments is the very heavy use of John Williams' compositions throughout the film - Harry's unveiling to his friends; Snape's banishment from Hogwarts; and the final shot of the trio, amongst numerous others. Of course, this is never a cause of complaint. Hedwig's Theme is used to amazing, rousing effect. Every single time it played in the film, I got goosebumps and shivers down my spine.

Nicholas Hooper's Lily theme also makes a welcome appearance in the film during Snape's memories. Oddly, this moment is missing from the 'Snape & Lily' track, as are a few of the Hedwig's Theme moments. The biggest injustice is that the entire track from the Epilogue is missing - I know it was John Williams' music from the first film but this is meant to be a soundtrack of the MOVIE and it is a glaring omission.

This soundtrack is certainly good, hence the 4 stars, but I still lament the fact that John Williams was not available to score the movie. I can only dream of what moments such as the battle, the revelation of certain deaths, Harry's reunion with his parents (which was particularly lacking any musical punch), and the finale of the movie, would have been like if he had been on board.

Even so, this soundtrack is essentially a testament to Harry Potter's story and to the contribution of every composer involved throughout the series. Alexandre Desplat can count himself among those privileged few and certainly makes a healthy contribution but it is John Williams - as with many other great movies - that we will always remember most.

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, Part 2[Blu-ray] [2011] [Region Free]
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, Part 2[Blu-ray] [2011] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Daniel Radcliffe
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £3.79

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fitting End, 19 July 2011
The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 picks up the story where Part 1 left it. The trio have been rescued from Malfoy Manor, along with Luna, Ollivander and Griphook. Dobby (a free elf) has been buried after dying to save his friends. Meanwhile, Voldemort has broken into Dumbledore's tomb and taken the Elder Wand from his cold, dead hands.

From here, the plot accelerates quickly as the trio break into Gringotts to find another horcrux and, through Harry's scar-vision, discover that Voldemort knows what they are doing and has another horcrux hidden at Hogwarts. This sets up the grand finale of the series - The Battle of Hogwarts - which fans have patiently waited for for years.

The time gifted to the Gringotts break-in was less than I had expected. There really isn't much hanging about or lengthy dialogue, especially once they're in the bank. Although I shared most people's desires to get back to Hogwarts as quickly as possible, I would have liked a few more minutes devoted to these scenes.

In any event, the trio soon escape with a cup in hand and, after a swim in a lake which looks remarkably like one of their camping locations in Part 1, they are headed for Hogwarts!

Their time with Aberforth was brief but well executed. I actually liked Ciaran Hinds' Aberforth more than Michael Gambon's portrayal of Albus Dumbledore. However, this scene was the perfect place to finally resolve the (admittedly poor) setup surrounding Dumbledore's past, his father's crimes and his relationship with Grindelwald. Unfortunately, this is all glossed over and never brought up again - one of the biggest injustices of the movie!

Moving onto the battle build-up, there is really very little criticism to be made. Harry's unveiling to his old class-mates is simple but brilliant; Alan Rickman is perfect as Snape; and Maggie Smith is delightful as McGonagall and, although we didn't see her riding tables, she did have some incredibly powerful moments.

The cinematography was stunning, from the school itself, to the marching of the suits of armour, to the erecting of the shield. My one little gripe, which I just refuse to let go, is that infernal bridge! Point in fact - there has not, at any point, been a bridge to the main entrance of Hogwarts in these movies. To insert a bridge for this final film seems nothing more than lazy film-making, especially since David Yates had known what was coming at least as far back as Half-Blood Prince and could have at least made it a consistent feature back then.

The battle itself is visually impressive, although we don't get to see enough of it. Unusually for David Yates, who portrays the characters so superbly, there are virtually no character moments for the supporting players as the battle plays out and the deaths of some of Harry's closest friends is given mere seconds of screen-time.

Snape's death and memories will undoubtedly go down in history as a top movie moment. Unfortunately, once that has played out, the movie never quite finds its pace again.

Harry's march to death is virtually as it is in the book, although the appearance of his loved ones wasn't nearly as powerful as it could and should have been. Indeed, Goblet of Fire did it far more successfully (I think the music had a lot to do with it). Hagrid's random appearance was baffling since he was nowhere to be seen either before or during the battle (same goes for Trelawney's "blink and you'll miss it" appearance). The King's Cross scene is, again, a fair adaptation of the book but missing emotional punch (blamed on Michael Gambon's Dumbledore and the missing backstory).

The final act - Battle Mark II - is a disappointing, missed opportunity. My criticisms of it include (but are not limited to) - 1) the failure of the house elves, Slytherin students, Hogsmeade residents, centaurs etc. to come charging to help; 2) the random and unnecessary inclusion of Harry and Voldie's flight fight, very similar to the recent X-Men: First Class sequence (even though it may have been filmed well beforehand); 3) the brevity of the fighting in the Great Hall, including the shockingly poor exchange between Mrs Weasley and Bellatrix Lestrange; 4) the fact that Harry and Voldie's final showdown occurred outside, rather than in the Great Hall; 5) the complete and shocking lack of any sort of fanfare (come on folks, the greatest dark wizard of all time was just destroyed, let's hear a cheer!!).

So, the `present day' story ends in an unfortunate whimper rather than a celebratory punch. The Epilogue finishes the film on a sweet note and embodies David Yates' ability to express the spirit of the books and characters that we have come to love. There were a fair few giggles around the theatre at certain actors' ageing (and not for the right reasons...) but that doesn't detract from the message conveyed in these final moments and our last shot of the trio, still stood side-by-side 19 years after their ordeal - Hedwig's Theme playing beautifully as the screen fades to black.

Harry Potter will be sorely missed. Critically speaking, this is an imperfect ending to an imperfect franchise, but the film does many things well and most definitely does service to the story and, most importantly, to its characters.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 28, 2011 11:47 PM BST

The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (Extended Edition) [Blu-ray] [2011] [2001]
The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (Extended Edition) [Blu-ray] [2011] [2001]
Dvd ~ Elijah Wood
Offered by Tooboon
Price: £128.95

626 of 664 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Picture (almost) Perfect, 28 Jun. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that everyone reading this already knows a good deal about the Lord of the Rings trilogy, so I won't discuss the quality of the movies in detail. Needless to say that there really is no competition between the theatrical and extended editions so far as the experience is concerned. The Extended Editions feel much more whole and complete and generally far more satisfying than the abridged theatrical version. Equal love and attention is put into the special features, which are immensely detailed and entertaining.

The main topic of debate over this release has been the quality of the video, the use of 2 discs per film, and the use of DVDs for special features as opposed to blu-ray discs.


Fellowship - The discontent with the theatrical blu-ray for Fellowship is no secret, leading to the new transfer for this boxset. There have been videos showing the high green levels in the transfer, which has led many to write off buying this release. The bad news is that certain scenes do indeed look a little too green - weathertop and subsequent scene when Arwen arrives; Mines of Moria and a few others. There is also a higher level of orange than I remember in other scenes (i.e. Rivendell). The good news is that these are brief little bumps in the road for an otherwise brilliant video. The film finally looks high-definition with beautiful clarity and detail but without looking over digitised. It looks natural and impressive.

Two Towers & Return of the King - There is no major improvement in these films but one thing I did feel when watching the theatrical blu-rays was that the picture, though impressive, was flat somehow... although that may be my imagination. If it wasn't my imagination, then the issue has been addressed as the video seems to have more depth and warmth.

Audio - The unquestionable champion of this set is the audio quality. I had enormous expectations for Howard Shore's soundtrack, which has left me in tears on numerous occasions, and was not left disappointed (or dry eyed). The audio is incredibly detailed and dynamic. You can literally hear the brush of the leaves and trickle of water, along with the perfect soundtrack and crystal clear dialogue. Multi-layered sound effects are used appropriately and never overstated - they will highly reward any good surround system. Every aspect of the audio track is a great success, especially the dialogue, which I had always found difficult to understand in particular scenes but could understand perfectly here. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute spent with each of these terrific soundtracks.


This issue never really bothered me, although I've always disliked the way in which the split was handled. It's not too bad for Fellowship, with disc 1 ending on the founding of the Fellowship of the Ring - a perfect mid-point. However, both Two Towers and Return of the King cut-offs are sudden and inappropriate, killing the mood and tension slightly. Unfortunately, this hasn't been fixed for this release, which is a shame but not lethal.


Again, this is not something which really bothers me. Whilst it would be nice to have a complete set of blu-ray discs and enjoy the special features in high-definition, there is nothing which really suffers from being on a DVD. Considering the time and money that would have to be put into the transfers, I think it is best that they have been left on DVDs.


Considering I have had nothing but praise for this set, you might wonder why I have only given it four stars. The reason is simple - the US release of this boxset was virtually identical, except that it also included digital copies of the films whereas ours does not. However, both sets are a similar price, or ours is a good £15-20 more expensive if you compare Amazon's prices. While this may have been acceptable before digital copies really came over to the UK, it is now commonplace for the more premium Blu-Ray releases to include digital copies of the film and, for the price tag, we should have been given the same treatment as our American counterparts.


General opinion is that this boxset is still holding back a little and the full deal will be released in the next couple of years to support the release of The Hobbit movies. I obviously cannot predict whether or not that will happen but feel that, for now at least, this boxset is the best we are going to get and it is certainly 100% better than the theatrical blu-ray set. If you loved the extended editions, or haven't had the chance to see them yet, then this set shows them in all their audio-visual glory and should not be dismissed as a half-effort (lack of digital copies aside).
Comment Comments (33) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 11, 2013 2:50 PM BST

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