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KAT "tatethegr8" (Kettering Northants)

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The Babysitter 2: No. 2 (Point Horror)
The Babysitter 2: No. 2 (Point Horror)
by R. L. Stine
Edition: Paperback

2.0 out of 5 stars A babysitting book II many, 20 Aug 2011
I agree with the previous reviewer that book was dissapointing and predictable, and to be honest I would have preferred it to have just been kept to the one book 'The Babysitter' which I enjoyed, and would definitly read again. However, I disliked this book for a few reasons mainly because of how the characters have been changed. I.e Chuck, who came across very well in the previous book but who for some inexplicable reason has been turned into a monster by R.L Stine. I also disliked the way he was treated by Jenny, and this made me less sympathetic to her own plight.

I think the book would have worked, had all the previous characters bar Jenny, not have dissapeared completely nor had a complete personality transplant. I will read number three, as I like to know the full story, but I prefer number one as a stand-alone book, and in my opinion, it should have been left as such. For me, Babysitter II was a book too far.

Mini Shopaholic: (Shopaholic Book 6)
Mini Shopaholic: (Shopaholic Book 6)
by Sophie Kinsella
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A shop too far., 20 Aug 2011
I have read (and loved) all of the previous 'Shopaholic' books, from the first 'Dreamworld of Shopaholic' to the predecessor of this one, 'Shopaholic and baby'. But this book is the only one that I didn't thoroughly enjoy, and I hate saying that, because as a series, they are really rather good. Mini Shopaholic, as the title would suggest focuses on Becky and Lukes daughter Minnie who has now grown up into a petulant, spoilt 2-year-old worthy of a visit from Supernanny (or in the case of this book Nanny Sue). Minnie is a proper chip off the old block, her favourite word is 'Miiiinnnne' - and Becky, in her usual form, finds it hard to say no over anything. In this installment of the story, Becky and Luke are still living with Becky's parents, and are on the verge of finally moving out when the recession hits and Bank of London collapses. Luke is talking about seriously cutting-back, but can Becky bring herself to buy absoloutly no clothes for 9 whole months?

In order to distract herself from her no-more-clothes-buying promise to Luke, she sets about organising a surprise birthday party for him behind his back, however, even that turns into a complete saga, with everything that can go wrong going wrong, although as usual Becky manages to style it out, and some parts of this book really do raise a laugh. However, given the title of the book, I had hoped the story would be more-or-less about Minnie, and it does start in good faith, however as the story develops Minnie takes a back-seat and Becky's drama's take over.

Don't get me wrong, the book itself is good, but after reading the previous 5, I think it should have ended with Minnie's birth. I was also upset that one of the characters (not an integral one I might add) had been killed off, and not thoroughly explained. Just 'they were was ill' and 'they died' - that was it really. All in all, I was dissapointed with this book, and it pains me to say this, but I really hope this is where it ends. I can't see that there is much scope left for another one. I also think, as the books go on, Becky's character traits go from scatty and endearing (the first couple of books) to irresponsible and down-right irritating. It seems she can see no wrong in any of her behavour and sometimes you just want to give her a good slap to wake her up to the realities of the real world. I really, really hope there isn't another book, because I really don't want to end up hating a character I loved at the beginning. A Book 7 would the death-knell for Becky Brandon and the whole Shopahoic Franchise I fear.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Blu-ray + DVD) [Region Free]
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Blu-ray + DVD) [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Johnny Depp
Offered by Magic Movies Ltd
Price: £6.28

61 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Missionaries, Mermaids and more Madcap Mayhem, 10 Jun 2011
I've seen Pirates of The Carribbean 4: On Stranger Tides, twice now at the cinema (once in 3D and once in 2D) and I have to say I love it. I know not everyone will agree, but for me, Pirates 4 is my favourite out of all of its predecessors. I didn't rate 2 much, and 3 was a bit too complex, but this installment more than makes up for the dissapointment of the last two. In this installment, you have not 1, not 2, but 3 notorious Pirates, all bidding for the same thing; to the find the passage to the Fabled Fountain of Youth. For Jack Sparrow, who is as hilariously mad, 'evil' and funny as ever, its the thrill of the search, for Blackbeard, its all about saving his soul from the one-legged man who is phophesised to kill him, and for Barbosa, now a Privateer in the Kings Navy, its all about extracting revenge on Blackbeard for taking his beloved Pearl - and his leg. With two crews, three pirates, plus the Spanish, all racing to get to the fountain first, there are many hilarious high-jinx and mad-cap mutanies along the way, and Sparrow as usual, finds himself forced to swap sides during the course of film, resulting in much mayhem and mirth.

But before they reach the fountain the crew have to precure one vital ingrediant - the tear of a Mermaid. Easier said than done as it turns out that the Mermaids,(One of whom is model and actress Gemma Ward), far from being mythical and magical, are vicious and deadly, and who will slay the skin from any Sailor who crosses their path. With he help of unwitting Missionary Philip Swift (The gorgeous Sam Claflin) they finally manage trap a Mermaid, and proceed to the Fountain. With Penelope Cruz as Blackbeards daughter and Sparrows old flame, Angelica, also aboard, their mission can only spell trouble, especially as they don't bank on Phillip falling in love with the beautiful Mermaid, Syrena (The stunning Astrid Burges-Frisbey). Eventually reaching the fabled fountain, Blackbeard comes face to face with his old advasary Barbosa, and a fight to the death ensues, with Sparrow as usual manipulating and twisting the eventual outcome to his own hilarious advantage.

The film ends yet again, on a bit of a cliff-hanger and you just know there has to be a number 5 to tie up all the loose ends. Although Keira Knightly and Orlando Bloom are not in this film, I didn't really miss them much to be honest, and Sam Claflin and Astrid Berges-Frisbey as the stalwart missionary and the beautiful Mermaid do a great job of replacing Will and Elizabeths previous romantic element in the film. In fact, I was dissapointed that their touching little love story didn't get more air-time as it was one of my favourite elements of the film. I can only hope that if a 5/6 does materialise (as rumours suggest they will) that we get to see a full exploration of their characters in the next installments.

This film is deliciously dark and scary in places, but retains its wonderful wit and humour along the way. It looks spectacular in 3D (Johnny Depp in 3D = Yum) but is just as good in 2D. I can't wait for this to come out so I can buy it. There is also an added scene at the end again, if you wait for the credits to end, which more than paves the way for a number 5 to materialise. Please Disney - Give us more Pirates - I for one haven't had my fill yet.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 10, 2012 10:20 PM BST

Doctor Who - Series 5, Volume 4 [DVD]
Doctor Who - Series 5, Volume 4 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Matt Smith
Price: £6.14

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Finale, 27 Aug 2010
I know not everyone has taken to Matt Smiths 'New Who' - and honestly, that is up to them, they are entitled to their own opinion. But this is mine - The Finale of Doctor Who absoloutly rocked!!! I was expecting a CGI/special effect extravaganza, but in actual fact I was pleasently surprised, and I liked how the red-herrings cleverly scattered throughout the series were neatly tied up through the Doctors mononlogue to little Amelia (truly heartbreaking!!!) - while all the time keeping the 'silence will fall' element still hanging in the air.

I have to admit though, that while I did enjoy 'The Pandorica Opens' and 'The Big Bang' the real heartbreaker-tearjerking-crying-by-the-end episode was 'Vincent & The Doctor' - so cleverly written and thoroughly sad but heartwarmingly lovely all at the same time. Particularly that hearbreaking monologue at the end by Professor Black on why Vincent Van Gough was the greatest painter that ever lived. Tony Curren was amazing in his portrayal of the tortured genius and I really believe Richard Curtis who wrote the episode brought Manic Depression and Insanity to the forefront of the story in a way that made it understandable for the younger viewers. So wonderful and poignant was this episode that it stuck in my mind for days after and I couldn't get it out of my head. Definitly the new 'Blink' episode of Series 5.

The two finale episodes were also very good and equally poignant. Amy Ponds final 'Something old, Something New, Something Borrowed...Something Blue'[Cue TARDIS arrival] when she finally remembers The Doctor actually sent a shiver down my spine. I also liked the whole idea of the Pandorica housing the most dangerous thing that ever lived; 'The Monster Soaked in the Blood of a Thousand Galaxies'. But I believe it was blatantly obvious from the get-go who the most feared being in all the cosmos would turn out to be! I also liked the idea of all the Doctors greatest enemies standing united to see him imprisoned in the Pandorica - however, I believe they could have been utilised a lot more, it seemed to be a case 'blink and you miss them' and the fact that you only saw them for about 5 minutes was slightly dissapointing - I would have liked to see a lot more action from the old enemies, and in the end it seemed pointless in bringing them all back.

'The Lodger', the other episode on this DVD kind of pales into insignificance behind 'Vincent and The Doctor' and the two final episodes, and kind of felt like a filler episode to me - much in the same way that '42' and 'Love and Monsters' did in the previous series - although the storyline itself was much better than the previous filler episodes and James Corden was great!

For me though, Matt Smiths first series of the show went out with the 'Big Bang' that it deserved, and I'm sure (and hope) he has succefully proved a lot of his doubters wrong. If he hasn't then its a shame, and you don't like him thats fine, thats your perogative. But I think both him and Karen Gillan as The Doctor and Amy Pond (not to mention the hilarious Rory Williams) have breathed new life into Doctor Who - and I for one can't wait for the next installment of their story.

Doctor Who - Series 5, Volume 2 [DVD]
Doctor Who - Series 5, Volume 2 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Matt Smith
Price: £6.20

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three of the best so far!, 14 July 2010
Judging by the 'Marmite' reception that this series has recieved, I know that this review won't be popular with everyone. Oh well, here goes anyway. These three episodes, including the later episodes of Amy's Choice and Vincent and The Doctor, were my three favourites of the series - and why? Because in two of the three episodes the scariest Who enemies of the modern revamp are back - Move over Daleks - The Weeping Angels are back!

Episode 1: The Time of Angels; The Bazantium space ship has crashed to earth and the returning River Song (reprised by the fantastic Alex Kingston)and her army of Soldiers need the Doctors help. Trapped in the cargo hold of the Bazanthium is the last of the Weeping Angels. When Amy is left inside the control room, she is given one instruction by the Doctor - Don't Blink - but little does Amy know that not blinking at all could leave her in even deadlier peril. As the trapped crew search desperatly for a way out, they realise that their only hope is through the terrifying Maze of the Dead. With the trapped Angel causing havoc, the Doctor suddenly realises that the simple stone statues that surround them are not the long-dead population of the planet - they are The Weeping Angels themselves! Hemmed in and surrounded by a terrifying maze of decaying Angels, how will the Doctor and his companions survive this terrifying ordeal? The Doctors spine-tingling "One thing that you should never put in a trap" speech at the end of this episode was the moment that Matt Smith officially became the 11th Doctor for me and was only hampered by that bloody animated Graham Norton dancing across the screen! Agggggh! (And No - I was not one of the hundreds of people who complained to the BBC about it either)

Episode 2: Flesh and Stone: Still trapped inside the Maze of the Dead and with half his team wiped out by the Angels, The Doctor is determined to get the remaining crew out alive - only it now seems that the Angels have possessed Amy's mind. Can the Doctor save Amy's mind from the evil of the Angels and get everyone else alive? And exactly what secret is the myserious River Song hiding from the Doctor?

Episode 3: Vampires in Venice: The Doctor returns to earth to pick up Rory, hoping that having her fiance onboard will quell any of Amy's future romantic notions towards himself. Deciding to take the two lovebirds on a date to Venice, their well-intended trip doesn't turn out to be the romantic date that the Doctor had hoped. The House of Calvierri is recruiting beautiful girls into their 'school' - but they never come out again. Infilterating the school by using Amy as a potential 'student', the Doctor soon realises what is really happening behind the walls of Calvierri castle. The Countess is turning the girls into vampire-fish. Determined to restore her home planet Saturnine, which she claims fell into the 'crack in time', the Countess is planning on flooding Venice and returning her 'daugters' to the 10,000 'sons' she has waiting in the water. The Doctor must stop her from turning the Earth into Saturnine Mark II but will Rory and Amy prove more of a hinderance than a help? And what is the meaning of the Silence that the Countess claims she saw through the Crack?

In my opinion these episodes are three of the strongest (and scariest) stories of the season. I am so glad to see the Weeping Angels make their triumphant return, and in just as scary circumstances (even though they still scare the bejesus out of me!) All in all, I loved these episode and I think they really showcased the acting talents of the two main stars. Matt and Karen may not be liked or accepted by everyone, but in my opinion they have done themselves proud with these three spine-tingling stories. I will definitly be buying these episodes to watch again and again in comfort - And without Graham Norton in attendance!

Doctor Who - Series 5, Volume 1 [DVD]
Doctor Who - Series 5, Volume 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Matt Smith
Offered by produXa UK
Price: £3.58

7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As a Matt-er of fact..., 14 Jun 2010
As a self-proclaimed Tennant Worshipper I was adamant that New-Who Matt Smith would have to pull out a miricle to surpass or even equal my darling David as the new Doctor. And here is the bit where I eat humble pie (or in the Nu-Who's case Fish Custard) because Matt Smith is as a matt-er of fact really rather brilliant.

I cannot quite put my finger on what 'It' is that he has, but he has the complete knack of seemlessly blending the war-hardened-wisdom of the old Time Lord with the excitement and energy of a young boy. And he has such an expressive face. His animated expression and boundless energy are a joy to watch, and he interwindes humour and horror perfectly. He has me screaming with laughter one minute, and tears streaming down my face the next. He also seems to encompass a little bit of each previous incarnation of the Doctor into his new version. We are two episodes away from the big finale at the point of writing this review, and I am already impatiently waiting for the next series. Is he as good as Tennant? I'm not quite sure at the moment - in some aspects yes, and in others not quite, but he is certainly giving him a run for his money nonetheless! I think Matt Smith has proved a lot of people wrong - he has proved that 'Who' did not Die when Tennant stepped out of his Converse trainers, but can evolve, and dare I say it, even improve with another albeit, much younger face at the helm. Karen Gillan who plays the sassy and fiesty new companion Amy Pond to perfection is also wonderful in the role and I believe there are many more dynamics to Amy that have yet to be explored. I must applaud the producers and casting directors who could not have chosen a better pairing in my opinion. The chemestry between the Doctor and Amy is tangible, and both have made this series a joy to watch both together and in totally individual ways.

Of course a new writer is also at the helm, and although I thought the first three episodes shown on this DVD were a little lacklustre (hence the 4 stars) Steven Moffet more than made up for it with the later episodes, particulary the Weeping Angels double-bill and 'Amy's Choice'. It almost seemed with these first three episodes that he was breaking us in gently, getting us used to the new faces, before hitting us with the biggest and best stories of the season.

In Episode One - 'The Eleventh Hour' the series arc - namely the Crack in the Wall is introduced and is a very interesting arc indeed. There have been so many subtle hints and clues, and red herrings, and other quite obscure moments that don't make sense scattered across the episodes that my head hurts from trying to find and anayse them. Everytime I think I've got it worked out, the next episode goes and proves me wrong! I think Steven has been very clever in planting these clues amongst the episodes, meaning you have to second guess the big reveal all the time. All I can say is, the two last episodes will have to be amazing!

So all in all a good watch, and although these episodes aren't the greatest opening Who episodes ever, Matt and Karen more than make up for what the plot may lack. I am also still combusting with excitement over the fact that I am from the same County as Matt Smith!!!!(As I never tire of telling anyone who will listen!) I have possibly walked in the footsteps of the Eleventh Doctor!!! But, excitement aside, I believe this a good start to the whole Nu-Who - and long may it continue! In the words of The Eleventh Doctor himself "WHO DA MAN!"
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 23, 2010 3:45 PM BST

Home: A Memoir of My Early Years
Home: A Memoir of My Early Years
by Julie Andrews
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practically Perfect in every way, 18 Jan 2010
I've loved Julie Andrews ever since I saw Mary Poppins and the Sound of Music for the first time as a little girl, so I was delighted when I received this book for Christmas. This open, honest and completely frank memoir charts Julie's life from her early childhood right up until she is cast as the worlds most famous Nanny by Walt Disney himself. Beautifully written, Julie's prose is as practically perfect as its author and washes around the reader much like the music she has made so memerable. Throughout this book Julie comes across as wonderfully warm and polite, and is much too nice to exploit those who have hurt her in the past. Her eloquent and sophisticated manner of speech belies a troubled past, and despite what the unwary might think of the woman, given her perfect pronunciation and seemless elegance, she was not born complete with silver spoon. Instead Julie's early years were fraught with pain and misery, from her mother walking out on her husband and children to marry Julie's stepfather, known as 'Pop' - to the agony of a teenage Julie discovering that the father she had adored all her life was not actually biologically related. Reading this story made me weep at times, but Julie, while being honest and thorough in recording her memoirs, is good enough not to exploit her catalogue of hurts and betrayals, despite the fact that it must have caused her great deal of emotional agony to relive them. The fact that Julie is so good and philosphical about what has happened to her over the years is remarkable and would have left lesser people bitter and vindictive - and with good reason. Although this book is imaculately written, Julie does prove she is human by using a swear word in the book - which although mild by most peoples standards still shocked me when I read it I have to say!

The book takes you on journey from her humble beginnings as plain old Julia Elizabeth Wells, to singing on the vauderville stage, and appearing in musical's all around the world, from Eliza Dolittle to her role in Camalot. There is her stories of war-ravaged London, musical career, marriage - and a baby along the way too, and the book ends as Julie is about to embark on her biggest challenge - Disney's 'Mary Poppins'

Anyone with an interest in Julie's early years should read this book - its a wonderful insight into one of the worlds best loved and most talented stars. In the words of Mary Poppins herself - "Its supercalifagilisticexbialidocious!" Thank You Dame Julie for allowing us into your 'home'.

Ooh! What a Lovely Pair: Our Story (Ant & Dec)
Ooh! What a Lovely Pair: Our Story (Ant & Dec)
by Ant McPartlin
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Oooh what a lovely pair indeed., 4 Jan 2010
I've always been a fan of Ant & Dec right back to their PJ and Duncan days. Even if I was only still a kid back then, I can still vaguely remember them as singers, but I have followed their presenting career from day one. I've waited a long time for this book, and now its here I can't say I was dissapointed. This book was everything I thought it would be, a light-hearted take on life and celebrity from the gorgeous geordie duo. When I was reading this book (which took me three days to finish) I could hear their voices in my head as if they were reading the story with me, and each of them give their own take on the story on the same page (Dec in bold, Ant in Italics) as if you are privvy to a real conversation happening between the two. The book is full of their special brand of humour, bickering and bantering, and the two come across as real and as down to earth as they are on TV. I wouldn't recommend this to people wanting insider gossip on celebrities they have met, worked with and interviewed, its not like that at all, its more of a light-hearted memoir on their achievements so far. Throughout this book Ant & Dec are completely honest about the negative things that have impacted on their careers in recent years, i.e the phone in scandal that dragged their shows through the mud, and the comedy award mix up that meant they claimed an award that should have gone to Catherine Tate.

Their jovial natures shine from out of the pages of this book, and after reading it from cover to cover, I felt I had a real insight into their lives. Although anyone looking for an indepth read of all their most scandelous secrets and innermost feelings will be dissapointed, this a light-hearted look back on a career spanning 20 years. Reading this book makes you realise why and Ant and Dec are as famous and popular they are today - because what you see is what you get. The only reason I witheld the final star is because this is the type of book that I probably won't read again for another year or so, once you've read it, you probably won't go back to it for a while. Although, like all my books I will keep it and eventually read it again. This book is no literacy masterpeice but then what do you expect from Ant & Dec, but it is a must-read if you are a fan like me. You won't be dissapointed.

Lee Evans - Big - Live at the O2 [DVD]
Lee Evans - Big - Live at the O2 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Lee Evans
Offered by Discs4all
Price: £4.45

5.0 out of 5 stars Good Evans this is funny., 12 Nov 2009
I don't know how to put this any more plainly. Lee Evans is HIL-AR-IOUS! I am VERY very hard to please when it comes to stand-up comediens, but Lee made me laugh until my sides almost split. What is so very ingenius about Lee Evan's comedy is that he uses everyday occurences and observations and turns them in to gags. More than once did I sit there thinking "That is so true" or "I do that all the time" Lee is right on the button when it comes to everyday simple events that he can turn into a laugh. But what I like most of all, is that Lee doesn't need to get down into the gutter, nor scrape the bottom of the proverbial barrell to make his audience laugh. He doesn't need to offend other races, religions or creeds to get a laugh, nor does he have to make a mockery out other peoples misery like some comedians I could mention. His comedy is good and honest - I won't add clean because he does swear and make sexual connitations a lot throughout but he IS positively clean when compared to some of the other comediens out there. But everybody who is anybody from anywhere can identify with Lee's observations.

What I also love is how well he comes across as a person. He comes across as very humble, honourable and genuine, and seems to be totally unassuming when it comes to how popular he is. He doesn't come across as concieted or egotystical in the slightest, and he's the sort of bloke you'd be happy to share a few pints (and laughs with) down the pub. I also think he comes across as very kind, sensitive man, who loves his family deeply. Although he takes the mick out of his wifes whims and fancies during this epic comedy show he tells the audience at the end just how much she really means to him, and how much he loves her and his daughter.

All in all, this DVD is definitly worth a watch, even if it is over two hours long, and Lee's sweat is very off-putting. This DVD certainly brightened up my dull rainy wednesday evening. I don't think I'll ever tire of Lee or his hilarious gags, and I'd happily watch this DVD all over again many more times. Deffo worth the money, and the rating. I'd love to see him live and I certainly hope to one day. That would definitly be money well spent.

The Girls' Guide to Losing Your L-plates: How to Pass Your Driving Test
The Girls' Guide to Losing Your L-plates: How to Pass Your Driving Test
by Maria McCarthy
Edition: Paperback

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One 'L' of a Life-Saver!!!!, 21 Oct 2009
If I could give this book 10 stars believe me I would - and then some! I brought this book in desperation after failing my eigth driving test. I skipped the first few chapters about booking lesson and picking an instructor becasue they were irrelevent to me. I went straight to the chapter on tips for passing your driving test and I have to say - it saved my life, my dignity and my sanity!Three hours ago I passed my driving test on my 9th attempt, just weeks after buying this book. Of course it would be stupid to say that this book passed me my test - but it definitly helped put my mind into the right perspective for my test and I looked at it in a whole new frame of mind - and bingo 'Congratulations - you have passed! the 4 words I never thought I'd ever hear.

The best thing about this book is that the author Maria McCarthy doesn't patronise you with her tone, nor does she use fancy jargon and rhetoric. She speaks to you through the pages as if she's your best friend giving you encouragement and advice and seems to really understand what it feels like if you don't pass. There is even a chapter dedicated to how to get over it! (which believe me I am an expert on!) But Maria doesn't just stop at passing your test, she continues with chapters on how to handle your first time driving alone since passing which I know will come in really handy. This book is very uplifting, and does make you feel much more confindent and calm. I can honestly say I wish I'd bought this book 4 years ago when I first started driving - I'd probably have got through it a lot sooner. It truly has been one 'L' of a ride (No pun intended!)Also, this book is full of anecdotes from women who have also struggled with every different aspect of driving, they tell their stories with full and frank honesty and it's nice to realise that you really aren't alone.

I'd recomend this book highly to anyone in my position who has numerous failures behind them and even better, young girls just learning to drive. The advice in this book is invaluable and I'll definitly keep it for many years to come. Maria McCarthy - Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 9, 2012 6:51 PM BST

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