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musicdoesnthavetobeboring (U.K.)

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Rigor Mortis
Rigor Mortis
Dvd
Price: £3.49

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One for the converts, 23 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Rigor Mortis (Amazon Video)
Not as frenetic or bizarre as I'd hoped from the description; reasonably engaging and quirky all the same but nothing revolutionary. Has pacing problems common with a lot of HK movies, fun for aficionados of Chinese horror a la Mr Vampire but not punchy enough for mass appeal.


The Babadook
The Babadook
Dvd
Price: £3.49

2.0 out of 5 stars Forgettable horror has little to recommend it, 23 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Babadook (Amazon Video)
Disappointingly routine demonic nonsense relies solely on its struggling single parent slant to distinguish itself. Sadly there's nothing at all to distinguish the main plot and insufficient depth to the mother-child subplot to make up for it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 26, 2015 6:33 PM BST


The Maze Runner
The Maze Runner
Dvd

2.0 out of 5 stars In-credible but not in a good way, 23 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Maze Runner (Amazon Video)
Could have been a lot of fun but it's cursed with a pedestrian pace and cardboard characters. The young cast simply aren't credible; performances wouldn't be out of place in a school play. I gave up after just under an hour, very unusual for me (especially when I'd rented the HD version!).


Surfer Rosa
Surfer Rosa

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Play it loud and hit the road!, 23 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Surfer Rosa (MP3 Download)
I first listened to this back when it was released in 1988 (yes 1988 not 98 amazon!) while spending 3 weeks driving around western Texas and New Mexico. Listening to it all those years later still evokes images of rod-straight blacktop vanishing into desert plains fringed by distant mountains and dusty old Southwestern towns. For me THE quintessential road trip album :)


No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent practical child's road bike, 26 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you're looking for a sound road bike for a child this is it - so much better than the stuff you find on sale in the UK : hub gears (maintenance free, change gear when stopped), dynamo lights both front and rear, with on0when-stopped function on rear, full chain and mudguards and a versatile rack. These little bikes are better than 90% of adult's commuter bikes found in the UK! (where there's a preoccupation with style or irrelevant features over substance - who really needs 21 derailleur gears on a commuter bike? 7/8 speed hubs found commonly on the continent are ideal for city travel). Only minor negative is not even a true negative - the rear coaster (back pedal) brake is unusual for a UK bike but, children soon get used to it (especially if the recipient started out on an Islabikes Cnoc 14 which also has a rear coaster brake, or at least used to!).

I purchased this for my son, my daughter has been riding around on the girl version for a year now. Bikester, the German vendor, have proved very efficient and helpful.

Highly recommended.


London Teapot Company-Chatsford 10-Cup Teapot with One Brown Filter, Cream
London Teapot Company-Chatsford 10-Cup Teapot with One Brown Filter, Cream
Offered by Colanders FBA
Price: £24.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So simple yet so effective, 10 Jun. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Who'd have thought there'd be any real importance to the choice of teapots (except for the obsessive)? Turns out there is and these teapots are great little (or big) improvements on the classic design. As others have stated, they don't leak which is great and the removable leaf tea filter is an excellent idea. I liki em so much I bought my wife two for her birthday - a smaller one for just one or two and a large one for when we have guests (when we can also use the small one as a hot water top-up). The larger one has a grip on the front too to relieve strain on the handle, a welcome addition since our old teapot (a different brand I might add) broke when the handle cracked at the join. These may look expensive for 'just a teapot' but they're worth every penny....and that's coming from someone who mostly drinks coffee!


The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Xbox 360)
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Xbox 360)
Offered by Bargain Games UK
Price: £9.70

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceeds expectations by a wide margin, 16 Nov. 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
I've played all the other ES games and while they were all fun for a bit they all suffered from the onset of tedium sooner or later. Oblivion was not immune to this though it took somewhat longer than previous ES games. I almost decided against Skyrim on the basis of it being Oblivion+ (since I was bored of Oblivion) but the previews suggested that Bethesda had addressed the core shortfalls. I'm only level 3 so far so that remains to be seen but so far I have a positive impression. a quick summary -

Improvements:

- Environment : much mor striking and really gives a sense of expansiveness that always seemed missing from Oblivion despite its size. Clouds clinging to the mountain tops are a nice touch and weather effects are generally better.
- Dungeons : Only been in a few so far but each has been distinctly different as suggested by the previews. The importance of this improvement can't be overstated since the prefab nature of Oblivion's dungeons was the source of many a groan.
- Story integration : Most of your time in Oblivion seemed to be spent performing menial side quests which felt like they had little or not relevance to the overall story or any context in the game world history. Of course there are still many menial fetch n carry tasks which have to be done but these feel much better integrated into the whole and each one (so far at least) tends to reveal a bit of backstory.
- Traps : one of the big disappointments in Oblivion was the mundanity of its dungeons - apart form all looking much the same there was never really anything to do in them - no fiendish traps or other obstacles besides a few monsters. Looks like Skyrim will be better in this regard though I doubt there'll be any challenging puzzles or especially diabolical traps but certainly there are some entry level puzzles/traps to lighten the dungeoning.
- Map / Journal: this is greatly improved and takes a lot of the tedium out of managing your ten million concurrent side quests.
- Mining/smithing looks like a fun new addition though I have not tried it yet.
- Levelling up now looks a lot like The Witcher, which is a good thing in my book.

Unchanged:

Gameplay : for better or worse gameplay mechanics basically identical to Oblivion

Worse:

Nothing I've noticed so far. Up to now this is an easy 4* for me. If I'm still playing to the end without giving up from boredom I'll upgrade it to 5*.

Updating this review now I've played several more dungeons and side quests. The first major dungeon was a real wow - a delight of design and variety. While hardly a taxing affair it included some nice if simple traps and a neat if again easy puzzle (oh and a couple of 'secret' doors) - again things sorely missing from Oblivion. On completing this dungeon I stumbled across another and this also had a distinct identity of its own and was also very interesting to play (despite being purely a functional 'getting from a to b' cavern and not a plot dungeon at all). Have reports from a friend saying he's been in 60+ dungeons and they have all been distinctly different. I have yet to see a dungeon with much navigational complexity though, but give the diversity this early on I'm hopeful. Woolly mammoths are a great addition too - quite a majestic sight in the open plains.

Upgraded to 5*, if you like RPGs you'd be insane not to play this.


Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)
Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)
Offered by Game Trade Online
Price: £18.17

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Any sub 3* reviews can safely be ignored..., 31 Dec. 2009
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
I can see how someone might dislike the whole Nintendo wacky cartoony game universe and mark this down, or perhaps grumble because well it's YET ANOTHER Super Mario...but really, where's the gripe? I play many different types of games - only got a Wii recently (mainly for Wii fit), but I've been a gamer since the ZX Spectrum days. If I want 'complexity' or 'leading edge graphics' I go to my high end PC which nicely stomps on all consoles. However, most games found on the PC, 360 and PS3 share one thing in common: emphsasis on graphical detail above all else. I think Nintendo get something very right with the best elements of their Mario franchise (and Galaxy is one) : fun and gameplay are key. Galaxy looks absolutely lovely, 480p or not. The gameplay is classic Super Mario, which is hailed by many as the best arcade platformer ever with good reason.

In Galaxy, there's no gore, no real violence, no plot to speak of (the thin veneer of a 'plot' is only there to tie the levels together, as it should be on a game like this) and it's just innocent fun. I find myself extremely busy these days and spend a lot of time writing software so something like SM Galaxy is an ideal chill-out game I can dip into when I have 30 mins spare. The problem with many modern games is they're usually either not relaxing (which is fine when I'm in the mood; e.g. good RTS games or the best FPS shooters) OR require too much sustained effort to be worthwhile in short bursts (e.g. good RPGs). I like lots of different games but I think in terms of simple fun and accessibility Nintendo hits the nail right on the head. Galaxy may not boast cinematic visuals or a labyrinthine "mature" plot (mature - what a laugh, usually infantile tales about evil corporations, government conspiracies, obvious aliens or gangsters, big yawn there) but it's lovely to look at, easy to play, compelling and fun. Oh, and the music actually adds a lot to the game too, that's something you can't say often. So - I can understand people rating this a 3 because they just don't like the game, but there's no objective justification for any less because however you slice it up the quality of this game OBJECTIVELY is extremely high. Those rating it 1 are either children or dumb adults who don't understand what they have bought. Personally, this gets a definite 5 from me...and I look forward to getting my daughter to play it. That doesn't mean I'm a Ninentdo junkie though, I don't have a myopic view of games and can enjoy many different types (I'd like to give Assassin's Creed 2 a go when I get chance)...folks with feet in one camp or the other need to get a grip and be more open minded.


Sigma SD14 14 megapixel Digital SLR Body only
Sigma SD14 14 megapixel Digital SLR Body only

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Criminally underrated by ignorant hacks, 31 July 2008
Maybe at its original price this camera caused consternation amongst the Canon/Nikon/Pentax fanboys in the photo press. There were some issues with the early firmware I think which probably helped to feed an already baying crowd of naysayers. The SD14 lacks lots of important features (translation: pointless clutter) found on most competing cameras. It's also not as fast for continuous shooting as other cameras in the same bracket, but in the overwhelming majority of cases that's of no consequence. Apparently, according to some reviewS the noise above ISO200 is so severe as to make the camera unusable for high ISO shots. Odd then that I've used it indoors at ISO800 with no problem at all. Much of the controversy over this camera has been caused by reviewers simply not taking the time to understand the camera. The lack of extraneous guff makes it an extremely easy camera to use. Part of Sigma's philosophy with this camera was to give the user the data exactly sensor saw it with no in-camera processing at all - and so let the user decide what was best for their needs. Maybe this is where the noise complaints come from: professional observers have noted that manufacturers of traditional Bayer cameras include some in camera noise reduction even in RAW. In any event, it's perhaps fair to say that noise in the Sigma RAW files at ISO 800 is likely a little greater than a file from a competing Bayer camera at the same ISO - but in my lmited experience the noise is not so severe as to be a problem. In an 8x10 print it would be barely perceptible and can easly be eradicated altogether usng NeatImage or similar with no noticeable loss of detail. I haven't tried ISO1600 yet. Of course we should be trying to avoid such high speeds in any event snce turning up te gain on any sensor increases noise, it's just physics.

Where this camera shines is in the beauty of the images it can create and it's certainly true to say that ISO50-200 is where its at its best, though that's also true of any Bayer camera. I've only just started using it and it's been a long time since I retired my 35mm SLR so I'm somewhat rusty...but I'm struck by how effortlessly beautiful the results so often are with this camera. It's quite easily up to the challenge of photographing my highly unpredictable and energentic 2-year-old, so while it may not be the right choice for professional sports photographer or paparrazzo it's eminently capable or everything else. I tried it for macro photography for the first time at the weekend, with astounding results. The SD14 can produce images that will turn owners of much more expensive cameras green with envy...don't believe me, just do your research online and take note of some of the professional users who comment on it. If you're coming from a film background and always thought digital photography looks somehow flat and lifeless, this is the camera you've been waiting for - provided you're not a convenience junie. Using this camera is VERY MUCH like usng a film SLR (or you could get the DP1 if you want a compact with the same image quality - though that will get trashed in reviews too - no live LCD, no zoom etc etc).

In a nutshell if image quality is your paramount concern then certainly for the current price this camera is IT (and yes the raw files are only 4.7MP in pixel size...but you won't believe how much detail is in there - shows the 12MP Bayer cameras up for the lies they are). Why camera reviewers seem to attach equal weight to image quality and other attributes like scene presets is beyond me. Surely IQ should be the primary consideration...?

Go...buy...enjoy!


RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 (PC)
RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 (PC)
Offered by SC-WHOLESALE
Price: £6.99

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A game for supermarket managers perhaps?, 10 Oct. 2007
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
I fail to see what the fuss was about with this game. Silly me, I bought it on the recommendation of a friend who openly admits to liking even the most tedious trading / micromanagement games. Well it looks nice at least. If you're a hardened management sim fan then I'm sure this is great...for us regular folks it's just dull.


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