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Nick D. "Historical novel fan" (London)

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Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines [1965] [DVD]
Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines [1965] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Stuart Whitman
Offered by Quality Media Supplies Ltd.
Price: 3.29

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great value family entertainment, 17 May 2008
I've waited for years for this film to come out on DVD and now that I've bought it can happily say it was worth the wait in gold! it is an airborne version of the Wacky Races and must have surely inspired this entire genre.

The film is packed with character actors from 50s and 60s including inimitable and much missed greats such as Terry Thomas, Robert Morley, Eric Sykes, Benny Hill and Gert Frobe. They all clearly had fun making it which means there are plenty of laughs.

What is extraordinary is that the film was made long before the clever special effects we take for granted today, so many of the stunts and flying sequences are real and breathtaking. The film is chock full of classic scenes like the hot air balloon duel and the plane landing on the train.

I would be lying if i said it wasn't a bit dated, and its rampant pro-Britishness is a bit toe-curling at times, but on balance, it is a fine piece of entertainment and the kind of movie that is all too rare these days: one that the whole family can sit down in front of and enjoy together.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 29, 2009 10:25 AM BST

Michael Clayton [DVD]
Michael Clayton [DVD]
Dvd ~ George Clooney
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: 2.76

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A film that stays with you long after the credits have rolled, 7 May 2008
This review is from: Michael Clayton [DVD] (DVD)
I loved this movie.

George Clooney is a fine actor. He really makes you see his character in full technicolour. The direction is tight and well measured. And Tilda Swinton? Sends shivvers down your spine.

Very thoughtful, very well written exploration of an issue that is much more real than we imagine: the lengths big corporations will go to protect their profitability.

In a world of increasingly violent action films, this is a thriller that seduces with its sheer cleverness. Vastly under-rated when it was released, despite ample praise from the critics, a truly worthwhile film.

Emotional Unavailability: Recognizing It, Understanding It, and Avoiding Its Trap
Emotional Unavailability: Recognizing It, Understanding It, and Avoiding Its Trap
by Bryn C. Collins
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.51

61 of 61 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A curate's egg: good in parts, 7 May 2008
Fundamentally, this is an interesting and useful book, because it provides a very descriptive overview of the personality types that are emotionally unavailable. My problem with it, however, is that there are better books on this subject available.

When we encounter relationship issues that seem as inexplicable as they are frustrating, we need help in understanding the true nature of the problem. Often, we also need to see that a partner's dysfunctional behaviour may have nothing to do with us. So this book does a good job of explaining what you're up against. In that sense, it will make many people feel a lot better and stop them blaming themselves for something that isn't their fault.

While many, if not all, of the personality types listed exist in some form or another, the reality is that you cannot categorize everyone who exhibits certain character flaws into a set range of groups. It is too simplistic. In the final analysis, this classification only helps you understand the problems rather than providing effective strategies for dealing with them.

What you may really need is help on is evaluating the seriousness of the flaws we are exposed to. What often motivates people us to read books such as this is the need to determine whether a relationship can be salvaged or whether, for our own sake, we need to cut and run. The danger of the generalised profiles in this book is that they can lead us to form an exaggerated perception of flaws we encounter, or, conversely, to normalise behaviour that is totally unacceptable. So, don't rely on it alone.

When we are the victims of unreasonable behaviour, we need to evaluate whether the perpetrator has one of three things:
1. A character flaw or psychosis that can relatively easily be addressed through therapy
2. A true personality disorder that may or may not be helped by sustained therapy over time
3. Serious mental illness that may never be overcome

At the end of the day, we're all human, so we're all flawed to a lesser or greater degree. So what this book fails to provide an adequate continuum of behaviours across each personality type in order to help you evaluate the extent of certain the seriousness of certain signatures behaviors.

I wish the book did more to help the reader address the problems. For instance, what are effective communication techniques to engage someone with serious issues? How should you set and maintain boundaries in such situations? What is an appropriate response to unacceptable behaviour? Another minor gripe is that this book seems aimed more at women than men. But men can equally be the victims of emotionally unavailable women.

I don't want to be too hard on this book, because it has much to offer. Above all, it could be the catalyst you need to start taking control of a difficult relationship problem instead of being a victim.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 5, 2012 9:58 PM GMT

They Who Dare [DVD]
They Who Dare [DVD]
Dvd ~ Dirk Bogarde
Price: 11.70

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Classic British War Film, 15 April 2008
This review is from: They Who Dare [DVD] (DVD)
I rather disagree with the previous reviewer. This is a classic British War movie that features two great actors. Their performances alone make it well worth watching. What gives it entertainment value is that it is extremely descriptive of a bygone age. I think it provides a useful insight to the values and characters of Britain at that time. It is easy to forget that the outcome of WW II was far from certain until January 1945. It took a certain national pride and bravado to win the day. This film exemplifies it. of course, it is a bit dated and perhaps the script could be tighter. The bottom line is, if you like Dirk Bogarde, then you'll probably like this movie.

Apple MacBook Air 1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo/2GB/80GB
Apple MacBook Air 1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo/2GB/80GB

35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer brilliance, 25 Feb 2008
The MacBook Air has a full-size screen and a full-size keyboard. So ignore the fact that it is an ultraportable, most of the time when you're actually using it you'll forget how thin it is and simply focus on whatever you need it to do. The MacBook Air's 1.6 Ghz chip may not be quite as fast as the latest Core 2 Duo processors, but it is no slouch either.

While this Apple is a stunning piece of industrial design, it is not until you use it that you truly realise what a great achievement it is. The LED screen is amazingly bright and visible. The aluminium body is beautifully crafted, has magnetic latches and feels solid and strong. In short, iit is a full-size laptop in an ultra thin package. You know this already, so let me give you a user's perspective on the criticisms levelled at it:
1. Lack of removeable battery - Have you honestly ever replaced the battery on a laptop? In 15 years of using laptops I haven't. I really think this is a non-issue.

2. Lack of ports - An extra USB port would have been useful, but the lack of two USB ports and an Ethernet port should not be seen as a disaster. If you need to an Ethernet connection, simply use the specially designed USB dongle. If you need to print, simply attach a local printer directly via the USB port. If you need wireless connection because you have no Ethernet or WiFi network to connect to, simply attach a USB 3G data card. The point is you will only ever need one of these items at any one time and almost never will you need all three at the same time. (Admittedly you may need to print and use a 3G data card, but it is likely to be the exception rather than the norm.)

3. Lack of DVD drive - When we all start renting movies via iTunes, we'll forget this was ever an issue. In the meantime, you can buy a DVD drive which attaches very easily via the USB port. Apart from loading software - which is a good reason to have it - you'll seldom ever use it.

4. Small hard drive capacity. The 80 Gb capacity on the 1.6 Ghz model is not enough by contemporary standards and the 64 Gb capacity of the SSD (Solid State Drive) equipped model is pathetic. THIS IS THE ONLY REAL DOWNSIDE to the MacBook Air. By September, however, new larger-capacity 128 Gb SSDs with no moving parts will arrive, and so capacity should no longer be an issue. Be in no doubt, however, SSD is the future - very quiet, very robust and very fast access times make these drives a natural choice for laptops. If you buy either version of the MacBook Air, swapping the existing drive a larger drive in September should be relatively easy.

Apple's new Time Capsule, which is essentially a WiFi enabled hard-drive, is the perfect companion for the MacBook Air, not only because it provides a fast connection speed that gets round the problem of Ethernet and 3G cards usage and a single USB port, but also because it provides back-up via Time Machine, the back-up facility which is a part of Mac OSX (10.5.2).

Can you use the MBA as your only laptop? In my opinion the answer is for most of the time "yes", notwithstanding the trade-offs discussed, it all depends on what you use your computer for. I would certainly say that for 99% of home computing consumers screen size, keyboard layout and battery life are all optimised in this Apple machine.

Add Apple's almost perfect operating system, OSX Leopard, and the roadwarrior has everything she or he could possibly need. In other words, I have no hesitation in recommending this machine. I think it is sensational. You won't be disappopinted.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 20, 2012 4:57 PM BST

Norton Antivirus 11, Full Edition (Mac)
Norton Antivirus 11, Full Edition (Mac)

10 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple, reliable and effective insurance for your Mac, 21 Feb 2008
Macs don't get viruses, right? Wrong.

The issue is that historically most virus writers have only focused on producing malicious code for Windows-based systems not Mac OS X. This is starting to change as the Mac gains market share. The increasing popularity of Macs (moving towards 10%) makes them a natural target. This means it is only a matter of time before a major virus attack causes widespread chaos in the mac World. Are you going to wait until you experience an unexpected hard drive meltdown? Maybe it doesn't matter if you lose all your data or have to spend days and days reloading your CD collection back into iTunes.

But there's another reason to consider getting anti-virus protection for your Mac. Office 2008 for the Mac finally provides a seamless connectivity between documents and files produced in either Windows or Macs. This means people can more easily send files via email, work on them, send them back and so on. So it is quite possible to receive a file that corrupts your other office data. You could also receive an infected file which you then work on and forward onto someone else without you knowing it contains a virus. In other words, if you receive windows files regularly you could be a virus carrier who exposes other people to the risk of infection.

Based on these reasons, now is a good time to start thinking about virus protection for your Mac. In case you are not familiar with anti-virus software, Norton is the best name in the business. I have used Norton AV for years on Windows machines and have always found it easy to use, ultra reliable and extremely effective. In its Apple incarnation, NAV has lost none of these virtues. Most of the time you'll never notice it is there. Unlike a condom, this is the kind of protection that doesn't get in the way of the experience when you use it.

So I heartily recommend Norton AV for the Mac. The peace of mind it provides makes it a worthwhile investment.

Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.6 Retail
Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.6 Retail
Offered by Beta Macs
Price: 82.00

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leopard's starting to roar, 15 Feb 2008
Apple's Leopard 10.5 has to rate as one of the most successful operating system launches of all time. It is a truly stunning piece of software which enables you to maximise productivity: using your mac to do what you want it do straight out of the box. Simple, intuitive and with easy to navigate menus, the visual environment is the best I have encountered and infinitely better than any Windows OS. The real joy of Mac OS X, in fact the real joy of all Apple systems, is that you don't have to spend days or months studying manuals before you're up and running.

Any major release of a new operating system is always bugged by initial gremlins. When you think of all the possible commands and multiply them by different applications, printers, digital cameras and other add-ons, the potential for problems is massive. Actually, this latest release of OS X was remarkbly stable and bug-free from day one. (Microsoft's Vista, by contrast, still isn't stable or bug free after more than a year in the wild.) Of course, there were inevitable glitches with Lepoard that needed to be addressed. Apple released the first patch 10.5.1 before Christmas and then this week (February 14th, 2008) they issued 10.5.2 which fixed all major issues. The latest update now makes Leopard as reliable as you would expect. So you should now feel free to buy it with total confidence.

Once you have loaded Leopard onto your machine, Apple will automatically download the latest software updates at no extra cost.

Anyone who is using an intel-based Mac should purchase this upgrade. Everything about it will enable you to store and work with documents and programs better than you ever have before. In summary, then, this is a fantastic achievement. if you're not already a Mac fan, you soon will be after using this.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 22, 2008 11:59 PM GMT

Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs [1937] [DVD] [1938]
Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs [1937] [DVD] [1938]
Dvd ~ David Hand
Offered by cult_stores_ltd
Price: 59.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Disney movie of all time, 31 Oct 2007
This is the movie that established Walt Disney's reputation as the master of children's cartoons. Even by today's exacting standards, the animation is top notch.

Perhaps the best test of Snow White's enduring charm and beauty is to sit a variety of children between the ages of 5 and 10 in front of it and watch how they become spellbound by it. Visually there is so much to see and enjoy. The detail is stunning. A collection of hugely talented and imaginiative people have vividly brought a stunning array of characters to life in a magical way - magical is truly the perfect word to describe this work of genius.

Of course, adults can enjoy Snow White again and again too. One of the joys of this movie is seeing your sons and daughters enjoy it as much as you did, when you first saw it. And, when you see it again after a gap of 25 years, its power still amazes you.

You could describe this movie as a rite of passage, something that every child should see, and why not - we all love a well-told story, which this unquestionably is. This is film that connects one generation to the next. Perhaps the only other movie that does this is "The Sound of Music".

My only gripe is that Disney releases it so rarely to preserve its value. So next time it comes out, I recommend you buy two copies because younger children will quickly damage the DVD in their eagerness to watch the film umpteen times.

What else can I say but thank you, Walt. It is a masterpiece.

Black Book [2006] [DVD]
Black Book [2006] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Carice van Houten
Offered by streetsahead
Price: 4.29

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great cinema, 31 Oct 2007
This review is from: Black Book [2006] [DVD] (DVD)
I bought this film thinking that it might be little more than "Storm Troopers" instead of "Starship Troopers", but no it was a classy movie.

The story is fascinating and unfolds very well. In this sense, it is a great thriller. There is lots of action, but fortunately the violence isn't overdone.

Carice Van Houten delivers a star turn. You really identify with her character a develop an affection for her. She injects real empathy and humanity into the role.

I didn't think the nudity was gratuitous or overdone. It just shows how even the most powerful men fall for a pretty girl, when she flirts with them.

The period is very well observed. I found few details were incorrect and since I am a bit of a WW2 history fan, I know what I'm looking for.

In the final analysis, this film is a worthy discussion of the sacrifices we are required to make in wartime. It reminds that we live in great comfort and security compared to our ancestors. Though it reminds also of Nazi brutality, it also shows that not everyone within the Third Reich was a monster - something we forget.

So I do recommend this movie as a thriller, as a great story, as a history lesson and simply as an entertaining piece of film making. Enjoy.

iMac 20"  Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz,1GB,320GB,SuperDrive
iMac 20" Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz,1GB,320GB,SuperDrive

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect desktop computer, 25 Oct 2007
Having just bought one of these machines for my family, I am think about buying them for my whole company at work!

This machine has four very good things going for it:

1. It has the most user-friendly, visually-appealing and stable operating system out there. OSX Tiger was always a cut above Windows XP let alone Vista, but OSX Leopard is even better. So for the computing envoronment alone, this machine is a must.

2. The all-in one design is practical and simple. It makes the whole process of using a computer easy and enjoyable while leaving the workspace where you use it clear and uncluttered without un-necessary boxes and wires. The iMac fits just about anywhere, making it an ideal family computer to sit in the kitchen or a kid's bedroom.

3. The design isn't just cool, it is a work of genius. Yes, it looks attractive, but everything about its operation has been carefully thought out. I particulalry like the new keyboard. Ignore people who say it isn't good for writing long documents etc. It is fine. Do you honestly think Apple would release a keyboard that was ergonomically inept? I don't think so. Key feel and travel is on a par with any other top end keyboard out there. It just seems a little weird at first because it breaks the mould and itsn't what you expect. Also ignore criticsims about the reflective screen too. Just make sure the ambiant lighting is directed straight at the screen.

4. The technical specifications make this machine ideal for 99% of all uses and applications, including downloading music, managing photos, school pojects, MS Office, and surfing the web. It will also run games, although I have to say, as a parent, this was never a priority in buying such a machine for my family.

I was never an Apple fan until I started using a Mac Book Pro at the beginning of this year. Ultimately, my choice of system was driven by the operating system. Apple's OSX is quite simply mind-blowing. If you are not familiar with it, then you need to try it. It doesn't take much getting used to and is just so intutive, clever and a delight to spend time with. The fact that Apple also creates machines with very attractive and totally practical industrial design to go with their operating system is just a bonus.

Finally, having bought an iMac recently, I don't think I'm going to need to buy another computer for quite some time, which is more than I can say for last year's Dell, which is now little more than a useless piece of scrap plastic.

So, yes, fellow Amazonians, I thoroughly recommend you take a byte of the Apple!

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