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Film Buff (Nottingham, UK)

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Western Digital My Book  Essential 500GB External USB 2.0 Hard Drive
Western Digital My Book Essential 500GB External USB 2.0 Hard Drive

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mine's fine, so far, 11 Mar 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I notice quite a few people are complaining about the quality of this drive. All I can say is that I've had my drive for approx a year now & it's still working fine...

I agree with the comments that it is easy to use, looks good & is quiet. I've no complaints.

(By the way I have a 500Gb drive, a lot of people seem to be reviewing the 1Tb drive)

Rumble Fish [DVD] [2003]
Rumble Fish [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Matt Dillon
Offered by Games Heaven
Price: 4.10

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic cinematography, 29 Aug 2008
This review is from: Rumble Fish [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Rumble Fish is something of an undiscovered gem (not often shown on TV, but loved by those that have seen it)

The story isn't terribly original and follows similar lines to 50s teen movies such as Rebel Without A Cause (think alienated youths, alcoholic parents, knife fights, seedy pool halls, biker gangs etc)

But what makes this film special is the incredible cinematography. Almost every frame could be frozen and put on your wall (it really is amazing)

Add to that some very good acting, plus a real sense of atmosphere and style and you have a very good film, that you can watch over & over again.

The film is almost entirely shot in B&W (but there are just a few brief splashes of colour) This is partly, to evoke a 1950s feel, but also because Rourke's character is colour blind.

The picture has a very slight grain & mild green hue, but this again is intentional. Overall the picture quality is good, with solid black levels and no dirt or scratches.

The soundtrack also dips in out & out, to show how Rourke's character hears things (he's partially deaf as well) But overall sound quality is very good (no hiss or crackles)

The 5.1 mix doesn't have a great deal happening in the rear speakers, but there is some left/right action and a good deep bass. The music is effective and adds to the atmosphere.

If you have never seen this & enjoy 50s style films (or films that are a little different) then I strongly recommend giving this a try.

House Of Games [DVD]
House Of Games [DVD]
Dvd ~ Lindsay Crouse
Price: 7.02

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cult Classic, 16 Aug 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: House Of Games [DVD] (DVD)
I'm not going to say too much about the plot of this film, as I think the Amazon summary does a pretty good job (plus it's the sort of film, where giving too much away will spoil your enjoyment)

Let's just say that if you enjoy films like The Sting, or the BBC TV series Hustle then you will probably also enjoy this.

The plot has plenty of twists (OK the ending itself is slightly predictable & personally I don't think it's that good an ending, but up until that point it keeps you thinking and is a really strong story)

At times the direction does feel a bit like you're watching a film of a stage play. But this maybe due to the films low budget and the majority of the cast (particularly Mantegna) give very good performances.

The film has aged slightly (some of the clothes and hair styles look a bit dated) but I really wouldn't let that put you off watching what is something of a cult classic.

Picture quality is probably as good as can be expected for a film of this age. The image isn't quite as sharp as modern films & there is an occasional sparkle, but there's no noticeable grain, reasonable black levels and colours are vivid.

The soundtrack is just stereo, but as this film is very dialogue based, it really doesn't matter much.

In summary, an interesting/very entertaining film, with a strong story & some good acting, but slightly too many flaws to be an all time classic.

I can strongly recommend renting it, if you haven't seen it before & given it's low price you may want to just go ahead and buy it without renting.

30 Days Of Night  (2 Disc Special Edition) [2007] [DVD]
30 Days Of Night (2 Disc Special Edition) [2007] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Josh Hartnett
Offered by Quality Media Supplies Ltd.
Price: 2.67

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much better than I expected, 20 July 2008
I stayed away from this when it first came out, as it didn't get particularly good reviews & I've never found Josh Hartnet to be leading man material (plus I'm not that big a horror fan)

However, I am very pleased that I did eventually get around to watching this. Firstly, it's probably the best film I've seen Josh Hartnet in, but it's also one of the best new vampire or horror films that I've seen in recent years.

Much of this is down to a skillful director. Unlike many horror directors, he avoids just trying to make you jump, or having buckets loads of blood. But he gradually builds up the tension and paranoia, without letting the pace drag and also builds sympathy for the characters, so you care when they get killed.

Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of blood & gore in the film, but the director also knows when to "cut" and let your imagination do the rest (and this avoids you becoming de-sensitised to the violence)

The film isn't perfect, the end is almost an anti-climax and the very final scene would perhaps have been better left to the viewers' imagination.

Also some things don't quite make sense, or aren't fully explained (how did the vampires get to the town, how have so many of them survived without attracting attention)

But overall, this is a very entertaining and genuinely scary film.

Picture quality is everything you would expect from a modern release (clean, sharp, good black levels etc) Though, there isn't much colour, as most of the film takes place at night and/or in a blizzard.

The cinematography is also surprising good (considering this is a horror film) with some interesting images and good use of shadow and unusual angles.

Sound quality is also good, I listened to the DTS soundtrack and there was a lot going on in the rear speakers, with some good deep bass in places. The music also adds greatly to the atmosphere of the film.

I haven't yet watched any of the extras, so I can't comment on these.

Overall, a surprisingly good vampire/horror/action film, with good cinematography and sound. Well worth buying, if you like this genre (and don't let Josh Hartnet put you off)

I suspect this will become a cult classic in years to come...
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 24, 2010 6:23 PM BST

John Carpenter's The Thing [DVD] [1982]
John Carpenter's The Thing [DVD] [1982]
Dvd ~ Kurt Russell
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: 3.99

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beware - non-anamorphic picture, 7 July 2008
This is a classic sci-fi film and arguably the best film that John Carpenter or Kurt Russell have ever made.

To modern viewers some of the special effects may look dated now, but they were state of the art at the time. Regardless, there are still some genuinely tense/scary moments in this film.

But I can't understand why so many people have given it a "perfect" 5 stars when the picture on the DVD is non-anamorphic and this results in a tiny image in the middle of your TV screen.

Great film? yes, great DVD? no!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 12, 2008 8:20 AM BST

Microsoft Business Hardware Pack - inc Keyboard & Optical Mouse
Microsoft Business Hardware Pack - inc Keyboard & Optical Mouse

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Happy purchase, 24 May 2008
I chose this keyboard because:
- I wasn't happy with my Microsoft 500 keyboard
- It was wired (I dont like buying batteries)
- It matched my black PC

The keyboard is certainly a noticeable improvement over my Microsoft 500 keyboard (better quality keys & much more comfortable to type)

I've only had the keyboard two weeks, but so far no problems. I'm not saying this is the best keyboard on the market, but for a moderate usage/two fingered typist like myself, it's fine.

It also has both PS2 and USB connections, plus a number of function keys for acessing email, setting up favourites etc. (I suspect you'll either love these or never use them, but it's nice to have the option)

Appearence wise the keyboard is quite large (especially with the wrist rest fitted, but this can be removed) It is black, with a few silver buttons (so goes well with most modern PCs)

An optical/wired mouse is also included. This has a matching black/silver design.

It has five buttons, two on top, two on the side, plus a clickable mouse wheel (you can accidentally click the side buttons, but you can turn them off, if desired)

The buttons can be programmed with a variety of functions (which again, is a facility you'll either love or never use)

The mouse seems well built and has a smooth motion (certainly better quality than a lot of mice bundled with PCs) but maybe a bit bulky for people with smaller hands.

Overall, I'm happy with my purchase.

Creative Inspire T10 Multimedia Speakers
Creative Inspire T10 Multimedia Speakers
Price: 29.98

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, but not quite perfect, 15 May 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
OK, speakers of this price and size are never going to match your 500 floor standers (They just don't have the same warmth and richly detailed sound and can sound slightly muddy if you turn the bass right up)

However, given the price they are surprisingly good! Not only can they deliver plenty of volume, but (providing you leave the Tone control near the middle) then both the bass and treble are surprisingly detailed.

They also come with an iPod dock, so you can use them as both PC speakers or standalone iPod speakers.

Design wise, they are slightly bulkier than most PC speakers (but also deliver a bigger sound!) The front is a glossy "piano" black, whilst the sides are matt black, so they look good with a black PC or LCD TV.

I am very pleased with these speakers and they are great value for money, but I don't feel I can award them a "perfect" five stars, because:
- the iPod dock does seem a bit cheaply made
- there is no on/off push button, you have to use the volume dial (so lose your prev volume setting)
- the power supply/plug is a bit fat, so may take up two plug sockets on some extension leads.

But these are minor niggles and I would have probably given these speakers four and half stars if I could.

Microsoft Wired Keyboard 500 - Black
Microsoft Wired Keyboard 500 - Black
Offered by jobber1919
Price: 2.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, but not great, 15 May 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Given it only costs 7.99 and is the bottom model in Microsoft's range, I feel it would be harsh to award this two stars, so I'm giving it three stars.

The keyboard is functional, with light touch keys & seems reasonably sturdy (though I haven't had it long)

I also liked the fact it had a PS2 connection, so I didn't have to use one of my USB ports and it was wired (I get fed up with buying batteries)

The function keys to launch Explorer etc are also useful.

However, it lacks the "smooth" feel you get on a really good quality keyboard. The keys do feel cramped and the rear of the keyboard is only about 1cm higher than the front (so they keyboard lies almost flat on your desk)

As I result I wouldn't recommend this for large amounts of typing (especially if you have big hands)

In summary, if you're looking for a cheap keyboard & don't intend to do much typing then this might be fine.

But if you intend to do lots of typing, or want a top quality keyboard then I would look elsewhere.

Deep Cover [DVD] [1993]
Deep Cover [DVD] [1993]
Dvd ~ Laurence Fishburne
Offered by WorldCinema
Price: 29.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Undiscovered gem, 4 May 2008
This review is from: Deep Cover [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
Deep Cover is something of an undiscovered gem amongst 90s thrillers (I.e. Most people have never heard of it, but it's actually rather good)

I seem to recall it got reasonably good reviews on it's release, but suspect it didn't do that well at the box office, due to the lack of an A List cast (though Jeff Goldblum was more of a star then, than he is now)

This is a cool, slick thriller, but it doesn't glamourise drugs, or violence. In fact some scenes are very intense/graphic, which is perhaps why this film doesn't get more showings on TV.

In some ways, it's the film Miami Vice should have been (moody, intense and cool)

Admittedly, it has aged slightly (some of the clothes and hair styles look a bit dated) but overall it still works well.

The picture quality is OK/pretty good, considering the age of the film (there's slight grain in just a few scenes and also occasionally the black levels aren't quite right. Otherwise it's fine, in fact some of the close ups look incredibly sharp & detailed)

The soundtrack is only a stereo mix, but it's a pretty good stereo mix, with lots of left/right detail and the Rap style music still works surprisingly well.

In summary, a good/very good film, with goodish picture & sound. Well worth buying if under 8.

Blade Runner: The Final Cut (2-Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [1982]
Blade Runner: The Final Cut (2-Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [1982]
Dvd ~ Harrison Ford
Price: 3.98

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars At last!, 30 Jan 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Unlike a few of these reviews, I'm writing this after actually seeing the Final Cut 2 disc DVD.

I won't say too much about the film itself. The "Final Cut" is basically the Directors Cut (i.e. no voiceover) plus tweaked special effects and a few minor changes (it's been some time since I've seen the Directors Cut, so I can't give precise details, but it didn't seem drastically different) And "yes", the unicorn scene is there and the "happy" ending is missing.

The picture quality is probably as good as could be expected for a film of this age. Perhaps not quite as sharp as a modern release and some black levels are very slightly off, but overall a good picture, with no noticable dirt, scratches or grain.

The 5.1 mix is particularly impressive. Vangelis' soundtrack fills the room. There are also some nice ambient effects of rain etc, plus the rocket ships have real oomph and zoom from left to right speaker.

The documentary is also worthwhile (not the usual promotional stuff) and is certainly something you can watch more than once.

Overall, a classic film, with good picture, extras and very good sound.

Unless you're a sci-fi geek or completist, I'd opt for the 2 disc edition, rather than the 5 disc.

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