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S. Morris "Shamus" (Staffs, UK)

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The Company Men [DVD] [2010]
The Company Men [DVD] [2010]
Dvd ~ Tommy Lee Jones
Price: £4.71

5.0 out of 5 stars Best movie that I've seen for quite a while, 12 April 2014
This review is from: The Company Men [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
There are not many movies that I become personally tied up in but I could relate to the main characters of this film on so many levels from the denial of what was happening through to the tough life changing decisions that needed to be made.
I bought this in the blockbuster closing down sale along with dozens of other DVD's. Some have proven to worth little more than coffee coasters. Others such as this film made a real impact on me and 24 hours after viewing it I still find myself thinking about the fundamental messages at its core.
Basically that we need to live for the future, not live on the assumption that our past achievements somehow give us a right to walk into an equivalent role.
Ben Afflects character goes from high powered executive to builders labourer and on his downward journey you can feel the denial at each stage.
In part of the film he travels hundreds on miles to an interview only to find that the interviewer had forgotten about it and told him to come back in a week. I've had something similar and Ben Afflecks acted reaction was perfect to the reality of the scenario (In my case the interviewer was there but I was told at the end of the interview that he was simply practicing interviewing but I would have got the job if there had been one!!! Unbelievable).
I know its a cliche but if you are a recently unemployed executive you really need to watch this film as it will show you the hard reality of your situation that you would be wise to take notice of as everything in this movie is very close to reality.
Well acted, well filmed, characters that you can relate to, good story... Basically a movie thats made it onto the lost in translation shelf of movies that I could watch on repeat.

Red Tails [DVD]
Red Tails [DVD]
Dvd ~ Cuba Gooding Jr.
Price: £4.40

1.0 out of 5 stars Really... Average four stars, 12 April 2014
This review is from: Red Tails [DVD] (DVD)
Call me a cynic here but I'm seeing an awful lot of one line five star reviews. Sure thats absolutely nothing to do with marketing and is genuinely a review from people who have actually seen this film.
There are a lot of great films out there on this subject matter... To my mind this is not one of them.
You will feel no attachment to the shallow, two dimensional characters who seem to regard this as a blacksploitation movie rather than a film about the second world war. The dog fights are really nothing to write home about and the Black Jesus fixation seems to be a homage to Family Guy.
If you want to see a truly great film see, ignore the films age, it really stands the test of time (unlike the dambusters). Or, if its particularly the American presence in the war over Europe try which is a film where you do actually get attached to the characters who fly a daytime bombing raid in a B52.
Sorry Mr Lucas. I'm really, really not impressed with this movie. I expected so much more from the Hollywood great who brought us Star War.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 12, 2014 9:34 AM BST

Tools For Success: A Manager's Guide
Tools For Success: A Manager's Guide
by Suzanne Turner
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

3.0 out of 5 stars skim read the whole book in under 30 mins, 28 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is not a bad book. Its the sort of easy reading that you could dip in and out of.
There are two pages for each tool discussed. On occassion I found myself disagreeing with the book as sometimes it doesn't credit the right theorists such as with the BCG Matrix where no mention is made of the Boston Consulting Group.
The tools are covered to a very basic level, the descriptions are too brief and the coverage of the tools does not prepare you to use that tool. Its more of an acknowledgement that the tool exists.
One of the good things about the book though is that you can go through it thinking, don't need that, don't need that, don't need that... Oh, that one's useful now where can I find more information about it.
Some of the tools are obviously filling (what is a pie chart is given as much space as Porters five forces analysis!). Many common tools are missing (Where's regression analysis? demand curves? Performance Prism, Building blocks model? Performance Pyramid? SSADM plus many others where space is given over to describing pie charts, histograms and scatter graphs which are so simple that they are a waste of space to include in the book).
That sounds like a complaint but its not. If you can get this cheap enough then its worth a read (I would categorise it as toilet break reading material) but do not expect this to be the book to give you the answers, this is the book that may direct you to the book that will have the answers.

Level II Certificate in Manual Bookkeeping - Kit: Level II (Icb Bookkeeping Materials)
Level II Certificate in Manual Bookkeeping - Kit: Level II (Icb Bookkeeping Materials)
by Icb
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.20

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars flawed but good, 13 July 2013
please note that I do not own this book but I have been asked questions in relation to it by student bookkeepers. The question that has given some issue is Q10.
The box 5 figure in the answer should read £10,873.71 (not £7006.71 that is the figure from the book).
Additionally total purchases should say £27,731.46, not £27,731.45. Its only a penny but might still cause people to be scratching their heads at their own sums.
I am told that there are also issues with information missing from Q15 but I have not worked through that one myself yet.
At this level students feel that the book is correct and that they must be wrong.
There are 62 questions in the book. All good quality questions for this level (although in the real world the assumption that everything has the same VAT rate is seldom correct).
I was torn over the stars due to the errors but after some deliberation I give the book four stars as whilst there are issues with some of the answers the questions are of a good level and even the issues with the book cause students to review their work and get to understand things better than if the errors were not there.
Hope the above helps someone who has purchased the book and is left scratching their head.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 13, 2014 4:56 PM BST

G.I. Joe: Retaliation [DVD]
G.I. Joe: Retaliation [DVD]
Dvd ~ Dwayne Johnson
Price: £5.00

4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars All action, no story, 1 July 2013
This review is from: G.I. Joe: Retaliation [DVD] (DVD)

Well, we watched it to the end but more out of morbid curiosity than enjoyment of the movie.

I was never expecting a lot by way of story line but the story in this film makes the plot of the first GI Joe movie look like Shakespeare by comparison.

I admit, I was not the intended audience but my boy after watching the first film umpteen times and having all of the tie in figures REALLY wanted to see it.

From the discussion after the movie I'm guessing that he's not looking to buy any more GI Joe figures.

First up, just about all of the characters from the first movie have gone (there went his existing collection of figures). Then we have lots of set peice action but very flimsy storyline tieing it together

The icing on the cake really was that London gets destroyed (best mney shot of the film) but North Korea gets saved by the Joe's with one second to spare... Really? Is that really what the writers felt that the audience wanted to see.

Actually, I think that the entire auditorium actually wanted the bad guys to win and see all of the various cities around the world destroyed so the Joe's really disappointed there!

All in all, neither my boy nor I felt the story at all. If you really want to watch a movie of this type far better films of this ilk from the same stable are the last transformers movie, battleship or the previous GI Joe movie.

Taxation: Finance Act 2011
Taxation: Finance Act 2011
by Alan Melville
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars And a note for those studying P6, 16 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I am a qualified practicing accountant.I have all versions of this text back to FA06 as to my mind it is an essential text for all tax professionals.

This review is meant to be non Finance Act version specific. The book is the same high standard every year.

Other books have more but nothing can beat this one for excellent up to date coverage in an easily readable and understandable way. With test questions covering every conceivable scenario.

Sad Muppet that I am each year I read this book cover to cover and do all of the exercises to ensure that I am always sharp on taxation essential knowledge.

If you are studying ACCA paper P6 then this is a great book to bring you back up to date with the information that you will have learnt under a different finance act at F6.(Note that in June 12 much of the P6 exam was brought forwards F6 knowledge).

My full recommended reading list for P6 studies would be :

- This book to bring you back up to date from F6
- BPP I-learn P6
- Kaplan Study Text for P6
- Kaplan Exam Kit for P6

Note that in many area's the Melville text goes into much more detail than the official study texts and the examples given go deeper than the P6 material... But, P6 is wider and covers much more than the Melville book does so do not expect this text to be a one stop sollution (note that the book does not profess to prepare you for P6, only F6 and even then I think that you also need the Kaplan text)

Good luck in your exams and your career.

Bookkeeping For Dummies
Bookkeeping For Dummies
by Jane Kelly
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.39

65 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much more than a guide for dummies, 12 Sep 2012
I am reviewing this book from the perspective of being a practicing accountant and the resident expert and moderator of the book-keepers forum.
I was asked to review the book by the author but am receiving no remuneration for such and there is no link between myself, the author or the publisher.
Also, my sites readership would lynch me if I gave a good review to a bad book!
This book is very easy to read with excellent practical examples throughout the text that try to put the reader into real life situations.
The text is very much written for the UK market with referral to UK tax and Payroll forms so a very nice change from the many books out there that try to accommodate both the UK and US markets often failing to accommodate either properly.
Throughout the text one feels as though one is learning bookkeeping as it would be used in the real world rather than rote learning of bookkeeping theory.
All book-keeping and accounting terms used are well explained assuming no prior knowledge of the subject matter yet written for adults rather than in any condescending manner.
The index and glossary are both comprehensive and correct (a current failing with many professional body study texts).
Well thought out and placed regular examples and questions reinforce the readers knowledge retention.
This is perhaps the first book that I would recommend for those starting their own bookkeeping practices due to the practical nature of the text.
Other books that I have recommended previously whilst excellent at conveying theory do not match this one for getting the readers mind into the right mindset for a career in this field.
I would not say that the book is in itself a one stop solution and would recommend that everyone considering bookkeeping as a career amounts a small library.
I will say that this book achieves what it sets out to and I would recommend it to all as the first book that one reads on bookkeeping.
The CD that comes with the book doesn't really contain very much which is a pity as there is a lot that would have been nice to see on the CD such as engagement letters, Money laundering forms and basic free cashbook software. There's Open Office plus a few excel templates which didn't really need to be put on a CD so all in all the CD doesn't need to be included with the book.
That said, the book itself is excellent and I would recommend anyone thinking of bookkeeping as a career to have it as the first in the set of the following five books (in the order given):
Bookkeeping For Dummies
Business Accounts (Accounting & Finance)
Mastering Book-Keeping: 9th edition
Computerised Book-Keeping
Mastering Accounting Skills (Palgrave Master S) (Palgrave Master Series)
The most important of the above selection would be the first two.
If you are only thinking of entering this career then reading those first two will set you back around £35 rather than £100's or even £1000's in training provider costs only to decide that the career path is not for you.
The book alone will not make you a bookkeeper but it is currently the best starting point that I can think of replacing the third and last of the above recommendations.
I hope that the book proves a useful purchase and look forwards to chatting with you on the BKN forum.
kind regards,

Applying International Financial Reporting Standards (Jacaranda)
Applying International Financial Reporting Standards (Jacaranda)
by Keith Alfredson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £41.57

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank goodness for this book, 24 Feb 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Due to changes in the syllabus I am currently changing from ACCA UK stream to ACCA IFRS. Unfortunately this has come at the P2 rather than F7 stage of my studies so I needed a book that would help me convert streams quickly but with still giving me depth and insight.
Purely on site star rating recommendations I purchased A Student's Guide to International Financial Reporting Standards hoping that such could give me the knowledge to move forwards but that book proved totally unsuitable for this level of study.
On personal recommendation I purchased this book which is twice the price, three times the size, twenty times the content and I really could not be happier with my purchase.
Every standard is covered in depth with regular examples. The book is very readable, unlike some of the drier reference texts such as excellent but hard going PWC manual of accounting books (Manual of Accounting - IFRS 2010).
For the ACCA P2 paper I would actually put this book as an essential along with the Kaplan study text (P2 Corporate Reporting CR (INT/UK) - Complete Text (Acca)).
Good luck with your studies whichever books you purchase.

A Student's Guide to International Financial Reporting Standards
A Student's Guide to International Financial Reporting Standards
by Clare Finch
Edition: Paperback
Price: £23.16

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not what one would expect, 24 Feb 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The book comes from Kaplan publishing, the publishers of excellent study texts for supervisory bodies such as the ACCA.
From this heritage I was expecting an offering at a higher level, offering insight into the detail of the various International Financial Reporting Standards, however, I was quite disappointed in this book.
It is very glossy and quite well laid out but is aimed firmly at the GCSE market and comes accross very much as the Ladybird book of IFRS with short descriptions and lots of pictures and diagrams and colour coding... Not really the sort of approach one expects for this type of subject matter!
Note, this is definitely not a book for those studying for professional qualifications. I'm currently doing ACCA P2 and it is not at all suitable for that level of study. It does not go to the level that I needed to study at F7 but it will cover everything that is needed as an introduction to IFRS at F3.
I was going to give give this book two stars rather than one as for very basic knowledge of understanding which standard does what it is a sound introduction. Users will come away from this knowing the names of the standards. They will not however be prepared for higher level exams which require people to read the detail of standards.
However, is it just me or has anyone else noticed that all of the people giving this 5 star reviews have reviewed only this book? I could be wrong but I feel that some of the 5 star reviewers may not be as independant as they at first appear.
Although twice the price, if you are serious about learning IFRS go for Applying International Financial Reporting Standards (Jacaranda) which still puts things in an easy to understand manner but contains at least twenty times as much information (I bought it on recommendation after being disappointed by this book and really wish that I had gone straight for that in the first place).
As mentioned above. If you are doing GCSE accountancy and just want a very basic knowledge as to which standard does what then this book is fine.
If you want to understand the standards or if you are studying for higher level qualifications then go for Applying International Financial Reporting Standards which is more than worth the extra investment.
Good luck with your studies regardless as to whichever book you eventually purchase.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 24, 2011 11:07 PM GMT

Firefly - The Complete Series [DVD] [2003]
Firefly - The Complete Series [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Nathan Fillion
Price: £14.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sci Fi Western perfection, 22 Jan 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As always I looked at the one star reviews first for this series. Big mistake on my part as I didn't actually buy the series on the basis of the negative Buffy comparisons.
At Christmas I purchased the series as a pressie for someone however, turns out that they already had it and went on to rave about how great it was.
Rather than return it to Amazon I decided to have a look myself and I'm so glad that I did as it's the best series that I've watched since the Sarah Connor chronicles.
The series has the feel of a western due to excellently worked expanding frontier of human kind backdrop to the series which also lends a feeling of moral and technical ambiguity to the storyline.
There are direct comparisons to the confederacy in the crew of the Serenity with them being from the losing side in the war.
The series itself follows their adventures in trying to make enough money (both legally and illegally) to survive and keep their patched up old ship in the air.
What I really like are the little touches where Joss Whedon is very logical in his story telling. For example. in the episode where they do the train job towards the end the head honcho of the bad guys who is now a prisoner is being asked to take back the money that was paid up front for the heist. However, he states that he will track the crew of the Serenity down and his knife will be the last thing that they see... So they throw him into Serenity's engine! How many series are spoilt by stupid moral judgements about letting someone go who is sworn to kill them.
The whole series is full of these little gems.
The complex character interactions are put across perfectly.
From the very first episode one is always engrossed in every self contained but interlinked story.
The only question mark really has to be why oh why oh why do Fox keep canceling these fantastic series (Firefly, Sarah Connor Chronicles, Dollhouse... Your list of shame is a long one Fox).

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