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Northern Warrior "Northern Warrior" (Swindon, England)

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Frankenstein's Army [DVD]
Frankenstein's Army [DVD]
Dvd ~ Karel Roden
Price: £3.70

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So Bad, It's Just... Bad, 12 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Frankenstein's Army [DVD] (DVD)
This is an utterly awful film. Even if you can stomach the gore, violence and the constant steadicam it just hasn't got anything going for it. An interesting premise let down by poor script, non-existent acting and production values a school play would be ashamed of.

The premise is quite good but what should have been something akin to Wolfenstein The Movie just never happens. Disregard any comparisons to Outpost (or even Outpost 2 & 3) as they aren't even on the same (low) level as this third rate garbage.

Can I have 81 minutes of my life back.

Calvary [DVD] [2014]
Calvary [DVD] [2014]
Dvd ~ Brendan Gleeson
Price: £5.00

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Miss For The Irish Film Industry, 29 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Calvary [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
There have been some brilliant films come out of Ireland in recent years - Perrier's Bounty, The Guard - even Grabbers - but sadly Calvary isn't one of them. As other's have already commented, the film is marketed as a Black Comedy, but just ends up being Black. A dour village populated by an equally depressing collection of oddballs. Whereas The Guard had the blarney and cutting wit, plus the "international" cast represented by Mark Strong and Don Cheadle playing off against the Irish culture but there's none of that in Calvary.

The storyline has already been summed up by others, but just to recap - Gleeson's traditional if generally well meaning Father James becomes the target of a person seeking revenge for sexual abuse at the hands of another clergyman years previously. However instead of developing into a cat and mouse thriller with comic overtones, we are treated to 90 minutes of plodding drama as Father James does his rounds scrutinising his parishioners for the likely assassin, a plot element which is somewhat debunked as it seems by the end he knew pretty much all along who was making the threat. None of the supporting characters are particularly likeable whether Father James' suicidal daughter (yes, apparently he was widowed before being ordained), to the flamboyant rent boy and the fallen Celtic Tiger high flyer. Without posting a spoiler the final denouement while logical in the context of the plot arc is way too passive and makes you wonder even more why you just spent 95 - 100 minutes watching the previous events. Ultimately none of the filler makes any sense, in some respects they might just as well have cut from the confessional to the beach and been done with it.

Gleeson tries hard with the role but he is cast against type and at times you can almost see Menelaus from Troy, Reynard from Kingdom of Heaven or even Mr Perrier trying to get out. Recycling much of the support from The Guard doesn't help either.

In conclusion only watch this if you are a fan of dour drama, with little real story and an ending that makes you think WTH.

DC-6B Legends of Flight (PC DVD)
DC-6B Legends of Flight (PC DVD)
Offered by Fuzion
Price: £21.78

3.0 out of 5 stars A Bit Flawed..., 29 July 2014
I purchased the JF DC6 pack as having returned to the FSX scene, after a few weeks of flying jetliners I was craving something a little different from just clicking a few buttons and flying virtually (no pun intended) from take off to landing on autopilot.

The DC6 per se is a magnificent beast and on paper well suited to flying longer routes slightly slower than a jet. Have Just Flight and their developer managed to catch this essence here? Well, yes and no.

The pack includes a large number of DC-6B variants and numerous liveries to choose from. External modelling is good and there are a large number of internal views including those from the passenger cabin. There's a virtual cockpit, which one tends to go to by default as the 2D cockpit has no panel in view, but many of the auxiliary panels and systems need to be accessed via pop-ups or changing to other views, which is where some of the problems start. Sound set is okay, though purely IMHO the engine note seems slightly higher pitched than one would expect from a heavy propliner.

Flying the bird is where the flaws start to show. The first and most off-putting bug is that changing screens and views, as one must to access the various systems, seems to result in FSX locking up. This can happen after a couple of minutes or half an hour in, may well be a conflict within FSX itself but it doesn't happen with other aircraft. Some of the "clickable" controls don't seem to respond to player action - in particular the cowl flaps don't seem to want to open. Not many people about these days have probably flown on let alone been PIC on a DC6, but the physics are very dubious. Despite the real DC6 being able to fly at altitudes over 25,000 feet, this model struggles to get above 20,000 feet without dropping the tail and eventually stalling. It also struggles to maintain a decent crusing speed - at FL200 and full throttle (with mixture adjusted) I am struggling to get more than 190 - 200 KIAS out of the bird.

At the moment I am perservering as there aren't many other DC6's available for FSX (the only freeware DC6/DC7 I downloaded crashed the sim) but this seems to be another example of a Just Flight inexpensive but sadly "ain't quite right" add on.

5 x Standard Glides/Stoppers for an Office Chair (1 Pack of 5)
5 x Standard Glides/Stoppers for an Office Chair (1 Pack of 5)

5.0 out of 5 stars Cat Saver!, 18 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
After a couple of near misses with our cat having crept up and laid behind the computer chair almost getting run over, I decided to check and see if there was something with which to swap out the casters and found this product.

Eureka! Little to say really, except that fitting was simply a case of clicking the old casters out and pushing the new ones in. Took about 45 seconds. The chair is now firm on the carpet and can only be slid by a great deal of effort or standing up, either of which would give the dozy cat warning to get clear.

The Hooligan Factory [DVD]
The Hooligan Factory [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jason Maza
Price: £5.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Occasionally Funny, 15 July 2014
This review is from: The Hooligan Factory [DVD] (DVD)
Well it's funny in places but if, like me, you were expecting something in the vein of Lock Stock or Cockneys vs Zombies, it's not quite in that league. Danny Dyer and Tamer Hassan are in the prologue for about two minutes - in a scene that doesn't quite gel with the rest of the story - but after that largely a cast of unknowns.

Seems written to appeal to the element being lampooned, SWMBO didn't find it very funny not helped by minimal female characters - Dex's wife a stereotyped Essex chavette and assorted topless "extras" in strip clubs.

The sort of production that one time would have been considered as a one off show on C4 or C5 but these days qualifys for a low budget movie release.

In summary not a total loss but doubt I'll watch more than once.

L-1011 TriStar Jetliner (PC DVD)
L-1011 TriStar Jetliner (PC DVD)
Offered by zoverstocks
Price: £29.10

4.0 out of 5 stars Trijet For FSX, 14 July 2014
Reasonable add on, though not much choice if you want a Tristar for FSX!

Several liveries and variants included in the box, both civilian and military variants.

Visuals are good, though no wing view for those who like to take a break in the cabin. Flight model seems reasonable, albeit take off somewhat quick off the mark. By default the aircraft loads with the somewhat archaic INS system for navigation, if you want to use GPS then this has to be set via a separate utility in the Just Flight section of your Start Menu. NB: the changeover switch from NAV/GPS is on the actual Garmin display, rather than the main control panel.

Seems a bit sticky while taxiing requiring constant up and down on the throttle to keep moving.

Sounds are okay once airborne, settle into a subdued roar, but I thought the spool up sounds a bit shrill, not the melodious rumble you would expect from RB211's.

So overall very good, if not quite in the same league as Level D or PMDG.

In The Blood [Blu-ray]
In The Blood [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Gina Carano
Offered by HarriBella.UK.Ltd
Price: £3.55

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not A Tropical Paradise, 21 Jun. 2014
This review is from: In The Blood [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Kind of a cross between Breakdown, Taken and with a distinct nod to the Far Cry 3 game this "action" film takes far too long to get going. Carano and Gigandet make for a less than convincing couple on their honeymoon, with little on-screen chemistry. There is supposed to be some "history" behind their relationship (possibly drug addiction) but this has little or no bearing on the main plot. We also have frequent flashbacks to Mrs Grant's borderline abusive father who taught her intensive mortal combat, again for reasons largely unexplained, but again largely to justify Ms Carano's martial arts skills which she runs amok later on.

The sequence of events leading to Mr Grant's disappearance is rather implausible. Do people really just take to a complete stranger, who forces themselves into their company at a restaurant table, or go off at their suggestion to indulge in extreme sport? After the disappearance the movie plods along fairly predictable lines with various B movie Latino actors trotted out to deliver by turns a surly or hammy performance. To continue the FC3 comparison, the main antagonist when he finally appeared immediately put me in mind of Vaas. Despite the star billing, Danny Trejo is on screen for about 5 minutes of the total running time.

The fact this film doesn't even have (at the time of writing this review) its own page on Wikipedia sums things up. You would probably have more fun playing Far Cry 3.

The Machine [Blu-ray]
The Machine [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Toby Stephens
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £9.34

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Low Key Borderline Sci-Fi, 19 Jun. 2014
This review is from: The Machine [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
As others have noted this is a very low key, low budget production. Slow paced, the majority of action is dialogue between the principal characters. While the story does develop it never really grips you or takes off.

Comparisons to Blade Runner are at best a bit misleading - there's a couple of sections where characters are given aptitude tests but that's about it.

Most of the action comes in the last 15 - 20 minutes or so, but the limited budget shows - I Robot it ain't. (And on that subject, where were the three laws?).

In another timeline this would probably have been released as a TV drama or play, rather than a film - a common trend these days.

Robocop [Blu-ray] [2014]
Robocop [Blu-ray] [2014]
Dvd ~ Joel Kinnaman
Price: £6.00

20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Another Deadpan Remake, 11 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Robocop [Blu-ray] [2014] (Blu-ray)
Robocop is the latest in a long line of remakes/reboots as Hollywood seemingly runs out of original ideas. Unfortunately unlike Dredd, which was pretty good this is more akin to Total Recall (albeit without the lip sync problems).

In fairness to the writers and producers they did try to make the new Robocop not a direct re-telling of the original, but that is to some extent where they went wrong. Samuel L Jackson's right wing opinionated TV host gets far too much air time and the opening segment, showing the deployment of US robot troops and drones in Iran (!) has little direct connection to the rest of the film. As for the rest of it, without giving too much away...

Michael Keaton is no Ronny Cox as the main protaganist. The original did have the malevolence of Cox's Dick Jones offset by the still devious but well meaning "Old Man" (Dan O'Herlighy) but none of that here.

Gary Oldman dials in his Inspector Gordon persona as the put upon scientist.

Total lack of gore.

Total lack of any humour (no "Mind if I zip THIS up?", or "guns, Guns, GUNS!" moments).

Far too much screen time devoted to the relationship between Murphy and his wife/son. In fact the whole premise of the film seemed to revolve around the mutual angst whereas in the original this element was relegated to a minor segment.

No charismatic police partner. Just an injured guy who spends most of the film in hospital.

No charismatic villain! Just a merc type guy with a beard.

The Blu-ray quality in terms of picture and sound is good enough, though with all the cgi being used hard not to get that part right.

If there was anywhere left to rent discs these days I'd recommend you do so before buying. Otherwise might be worth watching via streaming or Sky before splashing out money on this lacklustre title.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 27, 2014 5:04 PM BST

101 Track Plans for Model Railroaders
101 Track Plans for Model Railroaders
by Linn H. Westcott
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.13

4.0 out of 5 stars Venerable Old Planning Book, 7 Jun. 2014
I actually purchased this in the 80's and is now extremely dog-eared having been well read and thumbed over the years.

All sorts of ideas here from tiny table top layouts to pikes which would struggle to fit in a village hall. As with the later 101 More Track Plans, there is some doubt as to how accurately many of the plans actually reflect North American railroading, but they do demonstrate how to pack a great deal of track and operational scope into the available area.

With a little adaptation, many of the plans could be made to suit UK, European or Oceanic type railways. While it;s unlikely many of these plans were ever built in real life, there is always the option these days of taking one of the train sim programmes to build a "virtual" railway and try it out in that.

As an armchair modeller for the last 25 years this book has served me well and will do so for many more years to come.

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