Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop Cyber Monday Deals Week in Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Listen in Prime Shop now Shop now
Profile for Sebastian Fernandez > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Sebastian Fern...
Top Reviewer Ranking: 55,148
Helpful Votes: 2872

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Sebastian Fernandez (Tampa, Florida United States)

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
Microsoft Office 2007 (Standard Edition) (PC)
Microsoft Office 2007 (Standard Edition) (PC)

74 of 82 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do not uninstall Office 2003!, 3 April 2008
When I got a copy of this new version of Office I was eager to try it out, but luckily I was cautious enough to select the install option that keeps 2003 live in your computer. The results of using 2007 were atrocious, and the only program I did not have an issue with was Outlook (by the way, you can't keep Outlook 2003 if you are installing 2007), and I did not see any real improvements with it either.

There are three huge issues with the new version of Office. First, performance goes down big time. You will feel like your PC is crawling and even though I doubled my RAM to 2GB I still experienced issues with this. I was also affected by frequent fatal errors that caused the programs to close, especially with Excel. Second, backwards compatibility is a joke, both PowerPoint and Excel files are messed up when saved in the old format and opened with 2003. A clear case was an Excel file that I saved in 2003 and sent to a client, and when discussing over the phone he mentioned that the scale was off. I opened the file from my Sent Items (using 2007) and everything looked OK, but when I did the same with 2003, the chart was all screwed up. Also, if you paste a chart as an image in an email using 2007 and send it to someone that has 2003 they will just see a black rectangle. Finally, your productivity will be cut in half, because Microsoft completely changed the layout of the menus, and to tell you the truth, these are less intuitive than before. They have a more "futuristic" look, but that is just about it.

Bottom line is that after a couple of weeks of trying to make it work, I decided that I was not going to make the effort. I will put it off until I absolutely have to move to the newest version. Microsoft basically made these programs harder to use and limited their performance. Just a horrendous effort on their part!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 30, 2008 11:57 AM BST

Lush Life
Lush Life
by Richard Price
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sorry to put it this way, but it bored me to death, 26 Mar. 2008
This review is from: Lush Life (Hardcover)
I really do not recall ever having such a hard time trying to get into a novel. This book starts out with so many small portions of the story, so many characters that are not described properly and a complete reliance on dialogue, that it is almost impossible to figure out what the author is trying to achieve. Every day for a couple of weeks I would sit down with this book and try to go a little further, but the result was always the same, utter boredom after a few pages.

I don't think that what turned me off this book was the slow pace, since I have enjoyed many novels with this characteristic. The lack of proper descriptions and the poor construction of the story are much more noticeable problems. I can see the similarities between many of the dialogues in this book and the ones in the TV show "The Wire". The reason why the show was enjoyable for me is that the visual aspects of it provided the information that the author is missing in his writing.

I am extremely disappointed with this effort, since I was looking forward to having a great time and found myself felling as if I was being punished instead.

MotorStorm (PS3)
MotorStorm (PS3)
Offered by Bridge_Records
Price: £14.93

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Amazing graphics and fun to play...until you reach level 3!, 15 Mar. 2008
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: MotorStorm (PS3) (Video Game)
Here is what happens with this game: the first couple of days I thought it was excellent, the graphics were unbelievable and it was really fun to play. But then the issues begin. First, the tracks start repeating themselves way too much; the concept of the game is that the tracks have different paths you can take, and some work for some vehicles and not others. But the biggest issue with this game is how ridiculous gameplay gets when you reach level 3. While before this point, your opponents would try to make you crash, it was all within reason, and they were still behaving in a way geared towards winning the race. In Level 3, all your opponents will try to make you crash no matter what. I even saw that when I am in third, the racer that is in second will slow down until I get near and try to push me off the track. Absolutely ridiculous! It would have been much better if in order to increase the difficulty they had used trickier tracks, but it seems that this was too much work!

Another problem with this game is that you cannot race against a friend, unless you do it online. I believe that getting a split screen for two players could not have been all that difficult, so I am not sure what they were thinking. On the plus side, the online play is fun though and since the game was bundled with the PS3, there are a lot of opponents online ready to battle. As I mentioned, the graphics are outstanding, and it is fun to see the crashes, with people flying through the air. The fact that the vehicle retains the damage until you destroy it is another big plus. As to gameplay, the way in which the different vehicles react to the commands is very realistic. This provides for a lot of entertainment, since you will have to get proficient at handling bikes, ATVs, buggies, rally cars, mud pluggers, racing trucks and rig trucks. Also, the fact that you will need to figure out which route to take with each of these, adds an element of fun to the action.

I am confident that we will see a MotorStorm 2 game in the near future, and I hope that it addresses the issues that made the first version only an OK game for me, since the potential is definitely there.

Black Blood Brothers 1 [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Black Blood Brothers 1 [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by beaches_music_canada
Price: £5.13

4.0 out of 5 stars "Jiro, grief cannot be erased by a sword", 15 Mar. 2008
Many anime series take a few episodes for the viewer to get into. This one is not like that at all. Episode 1 already leaves you eager for more, especially after meeting Jiro, a vampire with a grudge against Cassa, a female master vampire who betrayed Jiro and his beloved. But if this series was just that, maybe I would not have been drawn to it. There is so much more.

I really liked the fact that even though this is based on vampires, the creators decided to forget many of the generally accepted principles and establish their own rules. For example, many of these vampires can be outside during the day and not be affected by the sun. This may put some people off, but I think that most viewers will welcome the change.

There are also complicated relationships between vampires, Black Blood, and humans, Red Blood. There is an organization, called Order Coffin Company, that is supposed to be an intermediary between the two groups, but that instead has been focusing on exterminating vampires. There are many other interesting features of this series, like the fact that there are "good" and "bad" vampires. Among the latter, we find the Kowloon Child, who are infectious vampires, turning humans into Black Blood by biting them and turning other vampires into Kowloon by the same mechanism.

There are many interesting characters in this series. We meet a couple of children vampires, and an interesting woman that acts as intermediary between Black and Red Blood. But above all, the character of Jiro is fascinating. He portrays the image of an avenger; one that has impressive powers, unusual weaknesses, and a silver sword that when in action can only be defined as COOL. The graphics are crisp and with an astounding level of detail. The plot and characters lead me to think that this would be a great fit for a game. Imagining the graphics and action in the PS3 with 1080p definition, makes me hope that this happens sooner rather than later. In the meantime, the anime is a great way to help ease the wait.

Element: Yoga for Beginners [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Element: Yoga for Beginners [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by supermart_usa
Price: £6.06

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Looking for the perfect intro to yoga? You found it!, 15 Mar. 2008
There are countless options for products geared towards Yoga for beginners, but this is the first DVD I watched that has all the elements that I think should be present in a product like this. In many other cases, I have found that the asanas are too elementary, and after a month of following the lessons you are ready to move to something else. This DVD has a very nice flow, starting with a few minutes of breathing exercises and then moving on to your typical Yoga 101 asanas, setting up the next step. The pace starts to increase a little and there are some slightly more difficult poses, transforming this into a yoga flow practice, with poses that will challenge you for a while.

For the absolute beginner, there is a very brief intro before the practice starts, mentioning the benefits of Yoga and the way in which it should be practiced. The only fault I found is that there is no mention to the fact that you should not eat in the couple of hours before a session (unless it is a very light snack). And then, there is the setting! The spirituality of yoga is partly lost when you get a DVD with people practicing in a bland studio. In this case the beautiful scenery definitely helps with the mood. As does the fact that instead of talking and demonstrating the poses simultaneously, the instructor is just focusing on the practice and we get her voice-over with the commentary.

The advice on how to do the postures right is clear and to the point, and even though some beginners may be challenged as the DVD progresses, I think that in a couple of weeks you should be able to follow the flow of the lesson with no major problems. This is an excellent choice to get into yoga, especially if you are looking to increase your overall well-being, as well as your tone and flexibility. I recommend this product without reservations!

Dressed For Death (Formerly released as The Anonymous Venetian )
Dressed For Death (Formerly released as The Anonymous Venetian )
by Donna Leon
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Surely those shoes and that dress were not the sort of thing a middle-aged banker wore to the office", 15 Mar. 2008
In this novel, also published as "The Anonymous Venetian", besides delivering a tantalizing mystery, Leon deeply explores another aspect of Italian culture: the firmly rooted concepts of "macho" and proud males. When the body of a man is found with his faced bashed in, in a woman's dress, and with makeup and shaved legs, many in the police force decide that the crime is not worth their time. However, those readers that know Commissario Guido Brunetti and his ethical thinking, know that he will put as much effort in solving this case as in any other. Even if the case belongs to another jurisdiction and gets assigned to him shortly before he plans to leave with his family on vacation, Brunetti approaches this with the respect and seriousness he always shows.

The investigation takes Brunetti through a very interesting underworld, where Leon shows her ability for depicting fascinating characters. The twists and turns may be limited in this novel, but the writing style and side aspects are so good that the overall quality of this work is outstanding. As is usually the case in this series, we get to witness a good portion of Brunetti's family life, and his interactions with his witty wife and teenage son and daughter. There is also a side plot that has to do with Patta, Brunetti's supervisor, and the problems he is going through with his wife. These make him the topic of conversation in the police department and will provide the reader with a couple of laughs, especially those that have hated the way he has treated Brunetti in the past.

The food still plays a major role in this novel, and it is very effective in conveying the lifestyle of the main characters. Every time I read one of these books I feel like booking a ticket, going to Venice and experiment these delicacies myself. Those that enjoy mysteries with well-developed and likable characters, plus good depictions of places and cultures, will find this series to be their perfect fit.

Memoirs of a Geisha [Blu-ray] [2006] [US Import] [2005]
Memoirs of a Geisha [Blu-ray] [2006] [US Import] [2005]
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £13.04

4.0 out of 5 stars "What do you think? A geisha is free to love?", 14 Mar. 2008
I have not read the novel by Arthur Golden, but after watching this movie I think that I will have to. This is the story of the life of Chiyo, a woman that as a child was sold by her father, and separated from her sister. She ends up in an okiya, a geisha house, facing even tougher challenges, such as being hated by the "star" geisha of the place. When she was bordering despair, and ready to give up, the kindness of a stranger motivates her to become a geisha, which she sees as a stepping stone for bigger and better things. After that we witness a journey that is full of emotion, suspense, deceit and even redemption. To tell you the truth, it feels like an epic story.

I was impresses with the enormous amount of information that this film delivers regarding Japanese culture and uses. Even though I am familiar with several aspects of it, I was surprised and challenged while trying to take all the nuances in. The wardrobes and environment are beautifully recreated, and the cinematography is impressive. Even though the transfer to blu-ray was not as good as others, it really helped to accent the breathtaking and colorful landscapes and wardrobes.

People that enjoy learning about different cultures and that have a knack for epic stories should consider picking this one up. I have a final comment on the acting. I was really impressed by Ziyi Zhang, the actress that plays the role of Chiyo as an adult, and I am happy to say that I could clearly understand her English. Being a non-native English speaker, this is not always the case for me when exposed to Asians talking in this language.

Hellsing - The Collection [DVD]
Hellsing - The Collection [DVD]
Dvd ~ Hellsing

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "So, you shoot because I'm not human?", 10 Mar. 2008
I have always had a tendency to like stories involving vampires, so picking this one up was a no brainer. What I found was an anime with very good graphics, really great action, mesmerizing characters and a highly addictive storyline. The fact that the anime does not follow the manga closely was not a big issue for me. There are some differences here and there and considerable deviations in terms of the order of presenting events, but I thought that the final product in the anime was very good.

One of the main things I liked about this anime is its "cool" main character. Alucard -I still can't believe the translators in the subtitles went with Arucard! Is it that hard to spot the anagram of Dracula? - is a powerful vampire that works for the Hellsing organization, helping solve issues with the undead. He carries a slick weapon and dresses in a very peculiar way. He has a great sense of humor and enjoys facing challenging opponents. On top of that, several of the characters he interacts with, such as Seras Victoria, the police officer turned into a vampire by Alucard, or Integra Hellsing, the measured but ruthless head of the Hellsing organization, provide added interest to the series.

Next, I am going to follow this up with the new set of OVAs released under Hellsing Ultimate, which are supposed to follow the manga more closely and have improved animation. If the original is any indication of the quality of this improved version, I am going to have one hell of a time!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 16, 2013 11:24 AM BST

by Michael Robotham
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, but not without details to improve, 9 Mar. 2008
This review is from: Lost (Hardcover)
There are critics who decide if a book is worth reading after a few pages, and thus use this to improve their chances against the old adage: so many books, so little time. These people would definitely have to keep on reading this novel, since Robotham catches our attention right from page one, with Inspector Ruiz on the verge of death after being shot in the leg and staying in the Thames for some time.

Ruiz's problem is not only the shooting, but also the fact that he lost all his memories regarding the event and the things that led to it. Thus starts a quest to find out what happened and how he got there. This is not an easy one, since he has to deal with superiors that suspect him of foul play, an old case involving the disappearance of a little girl, and some ruthless gangsters that will not back down, no matter what.

The process by which Ruiz starts remembering the past is extremely interesting, and this is helped by the first person narration in the novel. The involvement of a psychologist also helps uncover aspects of Ruiz childhood that are troubling for the inspector and help the reader understand this character better. There are a couple of points in which the novel comes up short though. Having an inspector that is close to retirement age, and with a wounded leg, involved in fights with younger people, chasing suspects, squeezing through sewers, and evading snipers, is a little too unrealistic for my taste. Also, I felt that close to the end of the novel, the intensity of the plot drops abruptly and this leads to a contrived solution.

Nevertheless, the negative points are more than outweighed by the good ones. This is a very good read and I recommend it to lovers of the psychological thriller genre.

The Brothers Grimm [Blu-ray]
The Brothers Grimm [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Petr Ratimec
Offered by Quality Media Supplies Ltd.
Price: £20.01

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining fantastic tale with a nice dose of satire, 9 Mar. 2008
A few days ago I finally decided to get a new TV. I went for a 1080p LCD and a Blu-Ray player to go with it, and as soon as I got these I wanted to get a movie to try out the 1080p definition. This film seemed like a good choice, since I thought that the colors and characters of a fantastic story would allow the player to showcase its qualities. I really did not expect the plot to be all that great, but that was not what I was interested in at the time.

The quality of the image was absolutely breathtaking, and superior to a couple of other Blu-Ray movies I have watched afterwards. But what was even more surprising was that the story was actually pretty good. The film immerses us in a town in the Germany of the early nineteenth century. But this is a fictional Germany, which is occupied by France, and in which we find a town next to an enchanted forest. The brothers Grimm are con artists that go from village to village feeding people's fears and charging them for eliminating the evil spirits. Running into the real thing is a rude awakening.

If you enjoy fairy tales, this movie will keep you entertained throughout its duration, with an amusing story, satiric elements connected to famous fairy tales, and beautiful scenery. The performances of Damon and Ledger are actually pretty good. Even though it is hard to play roles that are a little "silly", these actors do a decent job at it. That is not the case with Peter Stormare, who plays the role of Cavaldi, an evil torturer who has a change of heart after meeting the brothers. Stormare is absolutely outstanding in his role, and leaves a long lasting impression.

I highly recommend this movie to adults that enjoy fairy tales. But beware; this is not a movie to watch with your small children, mainly because in the same vein as the actual stories from the Grimm brothers, there are some scenes that may be too scary for little ones.

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