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Nurse Jackie - Season 1 [DVD]
Nurse Jackie - Season 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Edie Falco
Price: £11.70

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius, 14 Mar 2010
A brilliant series. Blackly comic, but also moving and dramatic with an absolutely superb performance from Edie Falco.

At half an hour long the episodes feel nicely paced with plenty of laugh out loud moments, but the slow burning story lines keep you hooked and let you get really invested in the characters, making it rewarding and compelling watching by the end of the series.

The show stands on the strength of its writing and acting and actually credits its audience with some intelligence. Each character feels really original and three dimensional - every one is different but lovable in their own way. If you're looking for a good quality character drama with a wicked sense of humour - look no further!


Humbug
Humbug
Price: £10.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An experiment with mixed results, 27 Aug 2009
This review is from: Humbug (Audio CD)
If their debut seems like it came together with the help of Haribo and WKD, Humbug sounds like it was written on a diet of pot and cornflakes. The whole album, has a very laid back, hazy feel, only occasionally exploding into life. The tracks almost seems to run as one continuous piece, which is both a good and bad thing, in that it may be their most complete work to date, but there are arguably no stand out songs. If there are highlights, in my opinion they'd be Crying Lighting, Secret Door (which could have been lifted from The Last Shadow Puppets album), Cornerstone and All the Pretty Visitors and it's no coincidence that the first three are amongst the album's more melodic moments. I'd have to say this is my least favourite of their three releases, but it does represent a move forward and you can definitely hear the influence of other bands, which again I feel is a mixed blessing. I appreciate their desire to experiment, and Humbug seems like it's been an interesting odyssey but the ability to create catchy tunes that people can sing back to you is not something to be sniffed at. The strange choppy rhythms and song structures plus the lack of memorable hooks mean that at certain points it almost becomes background music or like the soundtrack to a film. I've got a feeling it'll be a grower, and it works as a piece to really get lost in, so in time, the `star-age' might be upgraded from a 3. They've proved across the three albums that they're hugely talented so I've no doubt that the Monkey's will be back with something even better next time.


Toshiba  HDDR320E03E 320GB 2.5-Inch Ext USB Hard Drive
Toshiba HDDR320E03E 320GB 2.5-Inch Ext USB Hard Drive

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as pretty as they make out but good value., 12 July 2009
If you're buying this based purely on the looks, I'm not sure I'd bother. It looks OK, but given Toshiba seem to be trying to market it based on appearance, it's not exactly anything special. Plus, I wonder why they chose to make one in grey. Obviously I chose the drive based on capacity, not colour, but it's a shame they couldn't have chosen something a bit more interesting, considering the others are much brighter. It's also slightly bigger than I expected, not really pocket sized, unless you've got particularly massive pockets.

Besides the looks, it seems to work OK. The USB is short, but I didn't find that a problem, I mean how far away do you really need to stretch it. It was fairly easy to use, but you need to know what you're doing because there's virtually no instructions and nothing to prompt you on screen at all.

All in all, it's fairly cheap and seems to work OK, so pretty good value.


The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook
The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook
by Tarek Malouf
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £5.00

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite as good as the real thing..., 1 May 2009
Having visited the Hummingbird Bakery a couple of times and being very impressed with their delicious cupcakes, as soon as I heard they had a book coming out, I had to have it.

The layout and design of the book is very clear and attractive and each recipe is accompanied by a picture, which is very helpful when it comes to getting the look of the cakes just right. There are several sections including pies, cakes, cookies and muffins (both sweet and savoury) and Hummingbird's famous 'Red Velvet' cake does make an appearance.

Some people have criticised the recipes, so far I have only made the chocolate and red velvet cupcakes, but I found them very clear and easy to follow. The red velvet however turned out nothing like they are in the bakery. The recipes are quite unconventional and particular and I think the key might be to follow them very carefully and trust them against your better judgement. Sometimes the mixture might not seem quite right, but my cakes turned out OK in the end. I also reduced the temp of my fan assisted oven by 20 degrees. (It is suggested you address this in the front of the book). I don't however think they are quite as 'to die for' as the ones you buy from the shop, I haven't made any of the other recipes in the book yet, but you might find yourself thinking they aren't THAT special. If you practice getting the look of the cakes right though, you can still produce some impressive results.

Just to note, the 'particular' instructions I referred to include using an electric beater, I haven't tried making them by hand, but that may also be detrimental to the results. I originally gave this book 4 stars but would now downgrade it to 3 (if the website would let me) as whilst it produces nice cakes they bare little resemblance to anything from The Hummingbird Bakery.


Pulling: Series 2 [DVD]
Pulling: Series 2 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Sharon Horgan
Offered by MediaMerchants
Price: £15.89

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Underrated British comedy., 26 April 2009
This review is from: Pulling: Series 2 [DVD] (DVD)
This is the second and in my opinion better series of BBC 3's British sitcom Pulling. The programme revolves around three single women and their love, work and social lives. Despite this it is not a Sex and the City style chat fest - it has a distinctly British feel and I think it has the potential to appeal to both men and women. The humor can sometimes be quite near the knuckle; it can also be dark and bizarre, although always agonizingly well observed.

I don't think it will be everyone's cup of tea, so I wouldn't quite give it that five star classic status, however if you do get it, it's a real treat. Sharon Horgan who plays self centered Donna and Tanya Franks as drunken lush primary school teacher (yes, primary school teacher), Karen, put in great performances. (Horgan actually won a British Comedy Award for this role.) I think this show has failed to take off as it does not have the loveable character types of Friends and isn't off the wall and cultish like the Mighty Boosh - It has already been inexplicably cancelled by the BBC with just a 1 hour special to come.

Like I said, it's not for everyone, but it's fresh, funny and at times quite poignant; if you do decide to stick with it, by the final episode you will be totally invested. If you're not easily shocked, try this straightforward but very contemporary comedy.


Apple iPod touch 16GB - 2nd Generation (discontinued by manufacturer)
Apple iPod touch 16GB - 2nd Generation (discontinued by manufacturer)

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most exciting, beautiful MP3 on the market, 31 Dec 2008
I got the 16GB Ipod Touch for Christmas and so far I am thoroughly satisfied with it. Firstly, it looks beautiful, is nice to hold and a pleasure to use.

The menu layout is very simple, you just tap what you want! The option to place shortcuts - maybe straight to albums for instance, would be even better. (It doesn't to my knowledge have this, but I might be wrong.) It pretty much does everything. You can watch TV shows, movies etc and the picture quality and screen clarity are pretty good. It can link up to your Nike+, providing playlists, statistics and feedback for your workouts; but only if you buy the separate attachment for your trainers. You can also display photos, read email, sync with your computer's calendar, contacts and more. You can also download infinite applications from the App Store straight to your Pod. These include games and musical instruments amongst other things - some are free, others aren't. Some are good...and others aren't!

The Safari internet browser is surprisingly useable, although it can be difficult to get a connection. The best thing about the wireless connection is the ability to download music straight to your Ipod. Wherever you have a WiFi connection you can add music (though disappointingly not video) to your collection. This is great if you're on the move and can't get to a computer.

It of course plays music, and displays the album artwork beautifully. Any complaints about sound quality can be remedied by purchasing a better quality pair of headphones such as Sennheiser or Bose for example. It also has an external speaker; the sound quality of this isn't brilliant but it serves a basic purpose. In order to store video, music and apps without worrying, I would recommend the 16GB version. This is plenty for me.

You will probably need a case or at the very least a screen protector, as it does pick up fingerprints and I'm guessing scratches, very easily. Like I said, there are a few issues with the wireless connection, and I have had some of the artwork icons disappearing on me, however for me there are barely any negatives to this great player. If you want no nonsense volume of storage I would go for the Ipod Classic, if you are concerned about size go for the Nano. If you want, to quote Apple - "the funnest Ipod ever", it has to be the Ipod Touch!! You won't regret it!


At The Apollo [2008] [DVD]
At The Apollo [2008] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Arctic Monkeys

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A real insight into an Arctic Monkeys performance, 28 Nov 2008
This review is from: At The Apollo [2008] [DVD] (DVD)
This is a pretty good live DVD. The director (Richard Ayoade - star of The IT Crowd) has clearly tried to create a concert film rather than just a live recording. Almost the whole of the show is shot in close up and mid shot. This is great in some ways as you get to see the performance in real detail, the blood sweat and tears of Matt Helders on drums and the cheeky facial expressions of Alex Turner. I think some longer shots, crowd shots for example would have given the film more atmosphere, it almost feels like they are performing to an empty room. Plus it would have been great to see more of the lighting effects for example which are normally pretty good at Arctic Monkeys gigs. There are little tricks such as split screen used and this also follows through into the extras where you can see different angles and focus points.
All the best songs are there, except Mardy Bum (which I get the feeling the band may now exclude due to it's mainstream popularity) and they are all played brilliantly. This is despite the fact Alex Turner is completely wasted throughout, which is a little annoying. There's also a guest spot from Turner's Last Shadow Puppets band mate Miles Kane.
If you are a fan, you will know they don't release much official merchandise, so this is one to cherish. It's kind of a low key affair though so don't expect a rip-roaring party spectacular.


ER: The Complete Twelfth Season [DVD] [2008]
ER: The Complete Twelfth Season [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Maura Tierney
Price: £10.70

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back on track, 26 Sep 2008
After a transitional period, the twelfth season of ER is one of the best in recent years. The main storylines revolve around Luka and Abby getting back together and some life changing decisions they have to make. After the departure of Carter and the reduced role of Kerry Weaver, it also sees them come to the forefront as the show's lead characters. There are also some big developments surrounding Michael and Neela and his decision to return to the army. There seems to be a bit more stability in this series as characters such as Ray, Sam and Morris begin to bed in.
There are some great guest appearances from Kristen Johnson as Nurse Manager, Eve, and John Leguizamo as the troubled Victor Clemente.
Amongst the stand out episodes are All About Christmas Eve, I Do and The Tragic Hero and the Gallant Victor. However, there are others, and I feel it's a fairly strong season overall. There is also a brilliant cliffhanger of a season finale, one of the best, which is sure to leave you dying to see the next episode. Unfortunately not in this box set!!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 19, 2012 2:45 AM GMT


Ally McBeal - Season 4 (M-Lock Packaging) [DVD]
Ally McBeal - Season 4 (M-Lock Packaging) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Courtney Thorne-Smith
Price: £13.45

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The beginning of the end for me., 30 July 2008
The two star rating might seem a bit harsh, but for me, this is not a patch on the previous seasons. During the first two this was one of the best shows on TV: innovative, funny, moving; and the third just about made the grade. However, by the fourth season a lot of the original characters have started to move on and the show just doesn't have the same spark about it.

One of the positives is the introduction of Larry (Robert Downey Jr.), he's a really appealing male character something which I always found to be a bit thin on the ground in Ally McBeal, however due to the actor's personal problems his character was brought in and out of the show in a way that really messed with the narrative. Apart from this the new characters brought in just weren't as carefully crafted. Some of the story lines were a bit weird, such as Mark dating a transvestite and some of the episodes were just horrible - quite a few on this DVD are completely forgetable or even skipable.
Oh, and for some reason, for the first few episodes they have a voice over for Ally which is completely lazy and superfluous and doesn't fit in, as they'd never had it before.

So, I wouldn't necessarily recommend getting this series as I got the first three and held off on this one for a while. In the end, as I loved the first three so much I decided to go for it, but after watching the whole thing I kind of kicked myself for not sticking to my gut instinct.


Wii Fit (Wii)
Wii Fit (Wii)
Offered by JSP online
Price: £53.98

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not really a game, but great for keeping fit., 9 July 2008
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Wii Fit (Wii) (Video Game)
I just recieved my Wii Fit today. Your best bet for getting hold of one is to visit a stock alert website whcih will let you know as soon as there are any in stock. Don't get sucked in to paying more than £69.99, you will find one for the right price eventually.

I think the initial excitment and novelty of Wii Fit does die down quite quickly. It's not really a game and around half of the excerises aren't actually fun - but then they're not supposed to be! However Nintendo have put a lot of effort in to making sure there is a depth to this game and that you feel you are being guided through each exercise. You are consistently told whether you are doing well or not and whether you are doing the exercises properly.

There are four different exercise sections: Yoga, Aerobics, Muscle Toning and Balance. There is something for everyone, whatever you want to work on and you are guided through the yoga and muscle toning by your virtual personal trainer. The Aerobics and Balnce sections are more fun, and some game play and incentive has been introduced in that the more you play the more excercises you unlock.

I think Wii Fit is best for people who actively want to lose weight as when my BMI was assesed at the start, it said I was in the 'ideal' section and that I should maintain my weight and fitness rather than setting a goal - how exciting (!) But like I said, there is something for everyone.

If you are genuinely looking for a tool to help you keep fit then I would definately reccommend this game.


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