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Taliesin_ttlg (Lancashire, UK)
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Ulysses (BBC Radio)
Ulysses (BBC Radio)
by James Joyce
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £33.10

4.0 out of 5 stars A well-made dramatization, 20 Mar 2012
This review is from: Ulysses (BBC Radio) (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I tried James Joyce, I really did, many years ago. I tried to read Finnegans Wake. Anthony Burgess' introduction to the edition I read probably didn't help as he took many, many pages to explain the nuances of one paragraph! I still think I did really well to get through thirty pages.

Okay, perhaps to some that makes me a philistine (if a honest one) and even if you don't agree, what it did do was make me wary of Ulysses. I never tried to read it but, seeing this dramatization, I decided to gird my loins and step into Joyce's prose once more... but this time read to me.

What a wonderful experience, helped by the fantastic performances of Stephen Rea and Sinead Cusack. Was it enough to have me try Finnegans Wake again? No... but it was enough to make me think I should settle down with the paperback of Ulysses in hand at some time in the future and held me enthralled for the eight hours running time - you can't ask for more than that.


Urban Explorers [DVD]
Urban Explorers [DVD]
Dvd ~ Nathanlie Kelley
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.72

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's a shame really, 20 Mar 2012
This review is from: Urban Explorers [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
So, Urban Explorers - a slasher come torture film, which is a tad gory but not too bad compared to many a modern horror film - a film that should have been better than it was.

Don't get me wrong, as I watched it, the film was kinda fun (and there were a couple of toe-curlingly cringe worthy moments, but if you think about it - in film or (even worse) afterwards - it fails to satisfy).

One of the big problems was it broke a basic screenplay rule... you know the one, never show a gun in the first act unless you're going to use it by the third. For instance, our intrepid explorers are looking for a Nazi bunker, which they find, but then all Nazi aspect is lost (and the antagonist is an East German guard, but this isn't built on either, really. A shame as the character could have been really interesting, perhaps a classic horror movie baddy with a little more work). They meet some criminal types but they just vanish and never come back into it.

Probably one of the biggest faux pas in the film is there are four explorers (and a guide). The American and his Venezuelan girlfriend are the focus. However the Korean girl and French girl are actually built that little bit more as characters (not too much, they are all paper thin, but more than the main two) and yet vanish off to become little more than a punchline later.

The film is badly structured, unfortunately, and yet - as you watch it - you can take your brains out and enjoy it for what it is (so long as you don't engage brain) hence getting three and not two out of five.


Sexton Blake: The Vampire Moon and Other Stories (BBC Radio)
Sexton Blake: The Vampire Moon and Other Stories (BBC Radio)
by BBC
Edition: Audio CD

4.0 out of 5 stars Some great OTR, 19 Feb 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I had never heard of Sexton Blake but I am a fan of old time radio (otr) and so the chance to give Mr Blake a go with these adventures produced by the BBC couldn't be missed.

I see that he has been called the poor man's Sherlock Holmes but he was certainly more modern and hip. Perhaps a spattering of noir in there as well. Indeed the three main stories proved all worth a listen. The Vampire moon was a tale of Chinese villains looking to overthrow both the Chinese Government and the rest of the world, First Class Ticket to Nowhere was a tale of drug trafficking by the most imaginative means and, by far the best story was The Fifth Dimension, a tale of murder and mystery worth any detective fan's time.

The additional short from the 30s, Murder on the Portsmouth Road, was unrestored and, I felt, a pointless exercise but I'm betting long time Blake fans would enjoy its presence on the set. Great fun.


AVG Anti Virus 2012 2 PC, 2 Year Licence (PC)
AVG Anti Virus 2012 2 PC, 2 Year Licence (PC)

4.0 out of 5 stars Reliable internet security, one little glitch, 25 Jan 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have always found AVG to be effective and to work unobtrusively in the background, and have long been a fan of the programme.

I did find an issue with this very recently, however, and it is one that PC gamers need to be aware of. I have never really had a game problem with avg before but recently steam needed to update (you know, one of those pesky moments when the game you've bought won't install until steam updates). The problem was steam kept failing to update, a google and then a blast around the steam forums led me to the problem... avg... I had to switch the virus protection off to update steam... not a good situation... however, other than this it has been unobtrusive with regard games but either steam or avg need to sort that little issue out (whose problem it is I don't really know).


FX Factory 1 Amp USB Mains Charger for iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, HTC, Kindle, Tom Tom, Navman
FX Factory 1 Amp USB Mains Charger for iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, HTC, Kindle, Tom Tom, Navman
Price: £5.37

3.0 out of 5 stars Do you come from the land down under?, 23 Nov 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I like this product and wanted to give it 5 stars. At the Amazon price it should be a must have and it does what it should, charges my usb chargeable devices, kindle, phone, MP3 player all have been charged via it but...

The socket I use is raised, which means I can use the product but the port is on the underside not the top. It is awkward enough for me but for any user whose sockets are floor level or close to it, the unit would be useless (at least without adding it into an extension). This is an absolute design flaw.

For me good - for you... it depends on your sockets. Hence a 3 out of 5.


Breville VBL050 Intelligent Blender
Breville VBL050 Intelligent Blender

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The easy blender, 23 Nov 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It's difficult to think what to say about a blender, either it blends or it doesn't. However, being somewhat kitchen appliance slow in general, to have easy to use buttons that do what I want it to do with no complex programming is marvellous. This certainly has that. I liked the rubber seal design, I haven't had the same problem another reviewer had but perhaps I haven't filled it that high, and I found it easy to clean. All in all a good kitchen addition.


Vampire Horror!
Vampire Horror!
by Various Authors
Edition: Audio CD

4.0 out of 5 stars Tales of the night, 7 Nov 2011
This review is from: Vampire Horror! (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
"Vampire Horror!" is a professionally read audio book containing four stories. Two are classics of the vampire genre. Polidori's "The Vampyre" being the first English language vampire prose, excellently read by Bill Wallis, and F. Marion Crawford's "For the Blood is the Life" is a sublime little tale read by John Teffler.

The other two stories are by M R James and their part in the vampire genre is debatable. At the beginning of "Wailing Well" narrator Anthony Head informs us that this has vampiric overtone (as does, he alleges, the other M R James story in the set). "Wailing Well" has a welcome humour around it, within the style and content of the short but, when it comes to the monsters, the skeletal creatures show little to no vampiric trait - other than the ability to create another like them, which is not vampire-unique. However they do exsanguinate their victim.

Cornelius Garrett reads the James' story "An Episode of Cathedral History" and again there is little vampiric in the story of a tomb found in a cathedral, in which something exists. However James did end the story with the quote "Ibi cubavit lamia", which is from the Vulgate edition of the Bible, Isaiah xxxiv verse 14, and a quick online research reveals Rosemary Pardoe suggesting it translates as "there shall be the lair of the night monster". Pardoe connects the night monster to a witch or vampire and the lamia is often associated with the vampire genre.

I should say, however, that the two James stories are well read and immensely fun, just not really a vampire story with regards the first or explicitly so with regards the second and this may lead to some disappointment given the title of the set. Nevertheless a good audio set.


The Dead [DVD]
The Dead [DVD]
Dvd ~ Rob Freeman
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £4.85

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Shambling along like a good'un, 6 Nov 2011
This review is from: The Dead [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Dead is a shambling zombie flick, and I have to say it is a welcome return to the shambling zombie. Whilst peril is certainly higher within the running zombie/infected genres there is a tension in the inexorable creep of the undead masses and this flick does not disappoint in that department.

The zombies are mindless barrels of appetite, reacting to stimuli (sight or sound) and shuffling their way towards the target. The targets, in this case, are American engineer Brian Murphy (Rob Freeman) - a man who failed to make the evacuation out of zombie plagued Africa when his plane went down - and local soldier Daniel Dembele (Prince David Osei). Okay, some of the acting is less than brilliant... but it's a zombie flick and I have seen much worse, believe me. The main star of the film, however, is the location, By moving the zombie apocalypse out of the normal city based locale and placing it in the African plains the film achieves a notable distinction to its rivals.

In the end, if you want a shambling zombie film then it is worth your time, you know what you are going to get and you get it in a setting unusual for the genre and rather beautiful. The only complaint would be the final scenes, where the filmmakers seemed to fizzle out and not be sure what they wanted to do. So, why only three stars? Because you are getting a shambling zombie film, it won't redefine the genre, make you wonder about the meaning of life or move you to tears or laughter. It will, however, make for an evening of zombie entertainment.


Cyberlink PowerDVD 11 Standard (PC)
Cyberlink PowerDVD 11 Standard (PC)

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Without the annoying oem pop-up, 13 Oct 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It's very difficult to know what to put about powerdvd 11. Most of us have used powerdvd as it comes bundled all over the shop. Indeed I can't remember a time - since dvd-r technology - when my system hasn't had one oem incarnation of powerdvd or another installed.

So why spend money on it? Well there is more functionality and you don't get the annoying pop up that every previous incarnation of the software I have used delivered, asking you each time you run the programme to upgrade.

The bells and whistles are all well and good including home and social cloud linking but, I suspect, most just want to pop a DVD in and play it, bells and whistles be damned. The picture quality is excellent - better than free rival vlc. However there is one aspect missing, that aforementioned free software can do...

It does not play as a region free player. Honestly, why the developer wouldn't just turn regions off is beyond me, many of us refuse to be shanghaied by the industry's self-imposed cash cow and the maker of the software should recognise that. Lose a star.

Beyond that, parting money really depends on whether you want the bells and whistles that the full software provides. If so, then it is a quality bit of software.


Dear Vampa
Dear Vampa
by Ross Collins
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.67

5.0 out of 5 stars A Halloween delight for children, 17 Aug 2011
This review is from: Dear Vampa (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Dear Vampa is aimed at a definite younger market and could be described as a perfect starter to get your child (or grandchild) into vampires at a young age. Interesting illustrations contrasted colour with black and white between the Vampas and their new neighbours the Wolfsons fill each page and the story plays with many standard vampire tropes in a way kids will enjoy.

There is a twist, which I am sure the adult readers have already guessed but that should delight readers of the target audience. Perhaps this could be a treat for Halloween, though I would say it is a year round children's book. Excellent stuff.


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