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MrGrumpie

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SolarCentre Durham XT Solar Post Light
SolarCentre Durham XT Solar Post Light
Offered by SolarCentre®
Price: £34.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not fit for purpose, 24 Nov. 2015
I have 4 of these which I bought some time ago, and I have them fixed into my garden decking. To start with these all worked well, but I'm staggered that these generally have 5 star reviews because after a few months they simply stopped working. To be honest I was really impressed to begin with (and I would have given this a 5* review too); the light was bright, the posts look good (if a bit flimsy), and they did the job perfectly.

However, less than one year on I now have just one light working, and even then the light is poor and flickers.

Some of the problems include:

1. These are not watertight. Every single post has water collecting in the bottom of the acrylic white tube.
2. The screws/metal parts where the batteries sit eventually rust.
3. Even in a south facing garden, at this time of year the light output is next to nothing.

In short, if you need lighting you're better off buying either a different make, or biting the bullet and running some mains lights.


Lebanon: The Soldier's Journey [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
Lebanon: The Soldier's Journey [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Oshri Cohen
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £8.98

2.0 out of 5 stars Disjointed and unbelievable..., 18 Nov. 2015
Oh dear, very disappointed with this one.

I just didn't buy it, either the main events or the rapid mental disintegration of the tank crew (over 24 hours? Eh?). Plus, they never even got out of the tank once?

The whole movie felt disjointed and unbelievable, and a waste of 90 minutes. The bluray is nothing to write home about either; the image is quite grainy and dull for the most part, with lots of black crush; audio is more in your face, but it feels a little unbalanced.

4/10


Kingsman: The Secret Service [Blu-ray]
Kingsman: The Secret Service [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Colin Firth
Price: £8.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Violent, occasionally funny decent action movie..., 17 Nov. 2015
Firstly, this movie has got the best and most realistic skydiving sequence since Point Break - well kind of, as it's still utterly stupid and far fetched, but I love it regardless :) Otherwise I thought it was a violent, occasionally funny, good but not great action movie, full of promise but which didn't quite deliver for me.

I liked the humour and the cast, and the first proper set piece made me think "ooo this is going to be good"...but it never quite reached the heights I wanted it to.

7/10 from me, will possibly watch again in the future but it will be a while :)


No Escape [Blu-ray] [2015]
No Escape [Blu-ray] [2015]
Dvd ~ Owen Wilson
Price: £8.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A relentless gut churner..., 17 Nov. 2015
No Escape is simply an edge of your seat, grind your nails down with your teeth thriller which starts off slow but then turns into a relentless gut churner.

I say this as a parent, because I'm not sure I would feel quite so strongly about this movie if I didn't have kids. As it happens I spent most of the movie not-really-enjoying-it but being captivated at the same time.

There were a couple of "d'oh!" facepalm moments when characters don't do what you think you would, but otherwise it's a really solid piece of filmmaking. I thought the kids especially were great, and some of their reactions to situations was spot on.

The image was a tad soft in places, but the soundtrack was blistering on the BluRay. Plenty of surround action, great use of bass and just the right mix to immerse you in the action.

Noticed this has 7.1 on IMDB, but also some scathing meta-critic critic reviews. Some laughable reviews about this being racist (wake up, just because it's about a white family trying to escape a meltdown in a foreign country...doesn't make it racisct), and some comments about imperialism but hey...this really isn't about any of that, it's about two parents trying to keep their children safe.

Highly recommended. 8/10 from me on first viewing...
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 11, 2016 4:23 PM GMT


Horrible Bosses 2 [Extended Cut] [Blu-ray] [2015]
Horrible Bosses 2 [Extended Cut] [Blu-ray] [2015]
Dvd ~ Jason Bateman
Price: £7.99

3.0 out of 5 stars A cash in, but an enjoyable one all the same..., 17 Nov. 2015
After the fantastic first movie, in all honesty there's very little in this one which relates to horrible bosses, and it really feels like a cash in. Jennifer Aniston plays a bit part, as does Kevin Spacey...but they're both welcome bit parts all the same. Christoph Waltz plays himself - and I'm beginning to re-assess being a fan of his as he really is the same character in this as he is in every Tarantino movie so far - and Chris Pine just looks like he's having a whale of a time.

There's lots of banter - and lots of people talking over each other - so if you have a "lively" room acoustically you might struggle with some of the dialogue. The characters are all caricatures, and it's really quite childish. It's crass, it's based on a lower common denominator compared to the first movie...yet I still enjoyed it.

We both laughed, and cringed a bit (although probably nowhere near as much as Aniston reciting those lines :laugh: ) , and enjoyed it despite it being a cash in.

Not a patch on the original, but worth a watch all the same.

Film - 6/10
Audio - 7/10
Video - 7/10


Slow West [Blu-ray]
Slow West [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Michael Fassbender
Price: £8.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but a watch once movie, 17 Nov. 2015
This review is from: Slow West [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Interesting western this. It certainly lives up to the name as it's very slow, despite coming in under 1 1/2 hours long. It feels relatively insubstantial, but there was something about it that I liked. The movie has an almost dream-like quality about it and this, combined with the simply stunning cinematography, made it an easy watch, even if the plot is quite straight forward.

In contrast to the dream-like journey, the violence - when it happens - is very matter of fact; it's not glossy, it's not styalised..it just is. The acting is low key but matches the mood perfectly (Fassbender in particular makes this movie very watchable), and overall this has the air of a Coen brothers movie...albeit a subdued one.

I must mention the cinematography again, which is stunning. Very stylistic in choice with lots of colours (it was actually shot in NZ I believe?), I couldn't help but lament the framing choice. It's certainly an odd one at 1.66:1, so even narrower than 16:9, and whilst I understand perhaps what the director was trying to do (make it more intimate?), those vistas were screaming for a scope presentation.

Regardless, an enjoyable 90 odd minutes, but not one I would probably watch again. Oh and I really liked the ending :)


Chappie [Blu-ray]
Chappie [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Dev Patel
Price: £7.00

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tonally all over the place..., 17 Nov. 2015
This review is from: Chappie [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Much has been written about this movie, most of it being negative from what I've seen, so I was curious to finally sit down to watch this myself. I'm a bit of a fan of the director - I loved District 9 and rather enjoyed Elysium too, but for me, Chappie really didn't hit the mark. In fact, there were far too many misses than hits in Blomkamps third outing, and although I didn't hate it, there were far too many moments which had me shaking my head in disbelief, or just switching off from the movie.

Tonally, this really is all over the place. It doesn't know what it wants to be. I've seen mention of this being a cross between Short Circuit and Robocop, and I'd have to agree. There are parts which seem quite kiddyish, so when dismemberment occurs on screen it's completely jarring, although this is the least of the problems.

The rap duo. Ugh. Regardless of whether people think they can act or not, I just found them irritating. Sigourney Weaver is wasted and Hugh Jackman just looks like he wishes a. he wasn't sporting that mullet and b. he hadn't signed up for the movie.

Dev Patel? Actually quite good, but sadly none of it quite hangs together. There's some good moments in the mess, but I didn't really believe any of it whatsoever. Like I say I didn't hate it, but I wouldn't rush to see it again. If it was consistent in tone with a 15 certificate movie throughout, and if the annoying rappers weren't in it, then this could have been a good movie. As it stands, unfortunately it one of those irritating messes that annoys more than it entertains.

Audio on the bluray was solid, and the image looked great for the most part :)


Eden Lake [Blu-ray]
Eden Lake [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Finn Atkins
Price: £6.00

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nasty? Mean? Pointless? Maybe all three, but it's certainly powerful., 17 Nov. 2015
This review is from: Eden Lake [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I've been delaying watching this movie for several years, in part because of what other people have told me about it, but I've remained curious despite my head telling me "don't do it" (I'm still scarred by the experience of Kill List). As part of my October/Halloween viewing I finally gave this a spin and wow...the anecdotes about this really didn't prepare me for what unfolded onscreen.

So, what did I think? Well it's another of those movies where I can't decide if it's a masterful piece of filmmaking or something which shouldn't have been made! Either way, I loved it and hated it in equal measure, and on reflection the morning after it's grating on me more and more.

Firstly, this really is a mean movie. It's relentless, it's intense, and it's utterly terrifying because you can almost see some of these things happening. I was tired having sunk half a bottle of wine (and a couple of G&Ts), and at this point I'd usually just fall asleep on the sofa. But Eden Lake grabbed me by the throat and wouldn't let go.

I cannot remember a movie in recent memory where I've been screaming inside my head for characters to die a horrible death, and in this way it's a powerful piece of film making. I utterly despised some of the characters, and when a film is able to elicit these kinds of emotional responses you need to tip your hat to the director. Yet I hated it.

I hated it because I'm one of those people who think that movies should serve a purpose, and while that's primarily to entertain, this isn't a movie which entertains. Thus, it needs to do more, and I didn't feel this delivered at all.

.

Some of the plot points beggar belief, where characters do stupid things, whilst other events are far too convenient. Yet it's still a gripping piece of film making which feels real, and is all the more terrifying for it.

From an AV perspective the image is soft and grainy and there is some black crush, but it doesn't detract from the experience as it's a down and dirty journey we're going on. The audio didn't really stand out, except that the brooding soundtrack serves to raise the tension and instill a sense of unease in the build up to everything going off the proverbial cliff. And as I sit reflecting on the movie the morning after, I still don't know what to make of it.

Nasty? Mean? Pointless? Maybe all three, but it's certainly powerful.


Silver Linings Playbook [Blu-ray]
Silver Linings Playbook [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Bradley Cooper
Price: £5.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great feelgood movie, 17 Nov. 2015
I still don't know why I ended up choosing this movie. It struck me as a bit of a chick flick from the cover, but it came highly recommended by my wife so I settled in, expecting the worst. And in truth, I was really - and pleasantly - surprised.

Dealing with mental illness and just people, the quirky characters are conveyed perfectly by Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, and even De Niro dials in a reasonable performance (that says a lot for his output these days). The script is competent, and somehow two hours just flew by. It's a heart warming story about relationships and opening your eyes to what's in front of you, and even if the setup premise in the third act is contrived, this works really well.

Some of the side characters are underdeveloped, but in many ways this doesn't matter, as this is Cooper and Lawrence's movie. IMHO Lawrence is superb in this, and it was easy to forget her as Katniss Everdine.

Overall a decent feel-good movie, and thoroughly enjoyable to watch with the other half or when you're just not in the mood for an action movie.


Cop Car [Blu-ray] [2015] [Region Free]
Cop Car [Blu-ray] [2015] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Kevin Bacon
Price: £5.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Taut little thriller that's worth a rental, 17 Nov. 2015
A lean indie film, this one has a very simple premise. Two ten year old boys are bored and wandering around, and they stumble across a seemingly-abandoned police car among some trees. It's not entirely abandoned though as there's a fresh bottle of beer on the hood, but after mustering up the courage they go and touch the car, and then they open one of the doors, and then they get inside...oops.

This has echoes of the Coen brothers work for me; there's something in the stark, bleached landscape and the functional, taut script that really reminds me of them, and functional/taut really sum the whole execution of this piece.

It's not a long movie, it's not a particularly complicated one, but it works well. Kids are notoriously difficult to get right on screen (George Lucas, I've never forgiven you for Phantom Menace), but the boys in this really make the movie work. Even if you sit there thinking "no no no, don't do it, don't do this or that..." when the kids do stupid stuff, even if some events do stretch the suspension of disbelief, it's still ultimately believable because they are acting like 10 year old's conceivably could.

Combined with Kevin Bacon's efficient turn as the cop, you have a movie that delivers what it says in the tin. It's not going to set the movie world on fire, you'll probably never watch it again, but it's still worth a watch.

6.5/10


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