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AJ (Stoke On Trent , England)

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Secrets in the Walls [DVD] [2010] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Secrets in the Walls [DVD] [2010] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

3.0 out of 5 stars One for fans of the Haunting/My Haunted House TV series, 2 Jan. 2016
Caught this on Channel 5, as somebody seriously interested in the paranormal, I enjoyed it. Its got a very much made for TV feel but its not to its detriment. Jeri Ryan is very easy on the eye and its competently acted. There's no gore, little VFX and nothing even remotely scaring but it passed 90 mins well enough.

Its very like an episode of A Haunting or My Haunted House - just with the dramatization stretched to feature length and not purportedly based on real events.

If you like those shows, you'll enjoy this. Just don't expect the intensity of the Insidious franchise!!

Downton Abbey: The Finale [DVD]
Downton Abbey: The Finale [DVD]
Dvd ~ Hugh Bonneville
Price: £7.00

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Satisfying End To A Slice Of TV History!, 31 Dec. 2015
Right time for it to end; Ive enjoyed all of it against all my expectations and usually different taste but it was running slightly out of steam. Last couple of series weren't as strong.

Its success has no doubt been down to a combination of strong acting, addictive storytelling and mostly appealing characters. Plus a slice of (maybe not totally accurate) Social History.

I particularly enjoyed the issue of head butler - surely the biggest redemption I have seen for any character in a long time. Not every question was answered, the fates of Moseley, Baxter and Branson were hinted at but left to speculate.

Somehow though we may have the seen the last of the dowager (unless she's immortal) but I don't think we have seen the end of Downton.

Spinoffs and/or films are already mooted

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Limited Edition Dark Side Artwork Sleeve) [Blu-ray ] [2015]
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Limited Edition Dark Side Artwork Sleeve) [Blu-ray ] [2015]
Dvd ~ Harrison Ford
Price: £15.00

25 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Revisits all the original elements, reboots them and plays it safe; Its OK but must do better next time!, 31 Dec. 2015
Hmm, I thought it was ok but it didn't blow me away either.
Some great visuals such as the Tie fighters in front of the hazy sun, although I didn't think the Falcon looked anything other than obviously CGI.
I was dissapointed in the lack of actual space action & shots. Most of the dogfights are in the air so to speak as opposed to space. What we did get was impressive, the star destroyer particularly although the opening shot was not as good as in A New Hope. More space next time please!!

As a fan of the imperial side, I felt it was great to see interiors reminiscent of the original Death Star.

The main problem is Kylo Ren unmasked. He just didn't match up to the masked appearance and the distorted voice. Incredible Dark Side powers too; not even sure Vader or Sidious could trap a laser bolt and hold it in stasis mid air like he did, but unmasked he looked like somebody from a Twilight movie. The best scenes of him are undoubtedly earlier on before his reveal as a petulant youth
Should never have unmasked him! Then again would have been even worse if left until the final film.
I have the feeling he wont actually be the main villain, something darker will appear in the next movie. Overall he just about works but he's no Vader. He's not actually technically a Sith despite being a Dark Sider. The shadow of Darth Vader is omnipresent seeing as Kylo seeks to emulate the legendary Dark Lord. Without saying too much, it's fair to say his connection to DV is VERY personal.

Apparently Benicio Del Toro has been cast as the next movie's major villain.

Carrie Fisher was bloody useless. Totally redundant with a non acting performance. At least Ford pretty much delivered all as be fair though. Seriously showing his age now.
The other villains, General Hux and Supreme Leader Snoke, were poor imitations of legendary characters like Tarkin & Darth Sidious/Emperor Palpatine (my alltime fav character).
Strong rumours are that the non human Snoke is actually Darth Plagueis who was Darth Sidious' master. This would be great as it would acknowledge the backstory including the divisive prequels and connect all the dots.

Mark Hamill is good if you don't mind waiting 2 hours for 2 minutes worth and not a single line of dialogue either.
Safe to say he looks like he's the 'daddy' this time around.
As ever I despise C3PO, I actually prefer the new BB8 droid. Waaay less camp.

The two new characters Fin & Rey actually surprised me, they were decently written and the performances were good especially Rey. Good enough that we don't need the nostalgia trip so much next time around. Daisy Ridley as Rey is going to be a star for sure and she's naturally pretty so is quite easy on the eye but not in any way presented as eye candy. She would not have been out of place as one of the Wives in the superb Mad Max Fury Road (a much better example of how to simultaneously make a sequel and reboot a dormant franchise).

At least we got a lot and I mean a LOT of stormtroopers. Captain Phasma was a letdown though, great character but just like Darth Maul back in 1999, not enough screen time.

Death Star 3 (it is for all purposes) just isn't as iconic as its predecessors although the power of the weapon was impressive in taking out 3 (or was it 4) planets of rebel scum. Not sure about the name change to The First Order either. It's still basically the Empire in all but name so why confuse it? Actually they seem to have ramped up the fascistic element even further, complete with a visually stunning but cringe inducing dialogue wise Nuremberg style rally. The General Hux character is particularly weak here. Those legions of stormtroopers look great though and I swear they seem even more ruthless this time around! and as Ive said that first firing of the superlaser (that's powered by draining a nearby sun) is spine tingling. Although I prefer the earlier Death Stars, they don't have anywhere near the firepower seen here.

We also get the familiar lighting panels as seen in all the Death Star walls and reactor shafts, lots of grey steel and the stormtroopers feel more fleshed out too. There's the usual bottomless shafts and abysses too if you have vertigo! Including one that is more dizzying than the one seen at the climax of Empire Strikes Back. I half expected a key character to even swing across one!

Overall though it was ok and could have been far worse but must do better next time. 3 star seems a bit harsh but it just falls short of 4 stars. Probably 7.5 out of 10. At its core it plays it VERY safe and it is essentially a remake of a New Hope. Although I welcome the move away from excessive green screen & CGI, I have to say Revenge Of The Sith was a better film for me. Then again, it would be as it was the darkest and I love the Dark Side.

Looking forward more to spin off film, Rogue One and seeing Death Star 1 again. Plus hopefully Vader (Palpatine??) and the now confirmed CG resurrection of Peter Cushing as the inimitable Grand Moff Tarkin.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 13, 2016 12:04 PM GMT

Understanding Life After Death: An Exploration of What Awaits You, Me and Everyone We've Ever Known: Volume 1 (Afterlife Topics Books)
Understanding Life After Death: An Exploration of What Awaits You, Me and Everyone We've Ever Known: Volume 1 (Afterlife Topics Books)
by Cyrus Kirkpatrick
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.77

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book and I cant wait for his next..., 23 Dec. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This really is a superb work. I bought it as it was written by someone younger and self professed as secular so I thought it would be an interesting pov. This far exceeded my expectations. There is such a wealth of scientific & anecdotal data to be found and the author provided plenty of sources & youtube links to point the curious in other directions.

The beauty of this book is that it succeeds as an introduction to such an important topic and yet is refreshing to someone like myself who has read 50 plus books on the topic. If I had any criticism it is that he doesn't include past life (and life between lives) regression. Although the jury is out on this area of research, I would still say that the work of someone like Michael Newton is still very valid in a book like this. Cyrus focuses mostly on NDE, After Death Communication and Mediumship. He is particularly taken with the medium, Leslie Flint.

It also came as no surprise that the author pointed out how heavily censored Wikipedia is by the sceptics when it comes to paranormal topics. I had thought this myself when reading the site as it always seems to portray anything like this in a negative light. However he actually points out that there is a dedicated body of individuals who aggressively attack Wikipedia topics. It's a sad state of affairs that science has become so closed minded. If there is nothing really there then why are they so afraid?? Obviously they are afraid because IT IS REAL!!!

I also enjoy that the author presents a fully secular position without denigrating religion or faith. The planes and the nature of existence is of a natural design that isn't preconditioned by a belief in gods. He really goes into detail about things like physicality, having a body, the day to day life, things like eating and sex. He states clearly that we have a duplicate, astral body and a real, solid, objective reality.
And it's really great to not have to have karma and reincarnation constantly dropped on you unlike what you get with the likes of Amit Goswami & Deepak Chopra. Cyrus (easy to be on first name terms as his style is so relaxed) makes it clear as do the majority of other researchers that reincarnation is a CHOICE and that we retain our individuality & personality in the afterlife - or else whats the point?!

He also provides his own personal experiences of astral projection & OBE. He states quite clearly that these are in full waking consciousness, employ all five senses and are totally unlike the random, bizarre nature of dreams & even lucid dreams. For me these experiences as detailed here and in such works as by Jurgen Ziewe, William Buhlman & Bob Monroe are perhaps the most convincing data. Thousands of people through the centuries have experienced this and contrary to sceptical opinion, some of these experiences are verified through things observed that otherwise could not have been.

On a final note, the author has a follow up due in 2016; I for one cannot wait!!!

Star Wars: Tarkin (UK Edition)
Star Wars: Tarkin (UK Edition)
by James Luceno
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.83

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking novel of a well respected Imperial officer, 22 Dec. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Maybe its no longer canon but I still enjoyed it; interesting to see the early relationship between Tarkin & Vader.

Looking forward to seeing both characters resurrected in the upcoming Rogue One movie which is set just prior to A New Hope and heavily features Death Star 1.

The author is one of the best of the Expanded Universe; his Vader novel set just after ROTS is the business!!!

Destiny of Souls: New Case Studies of Life Between Lives
Destiny of Souls: New Case Studies of Life Between Lives
by Michael Newton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.99

5.0 out of 5 stars One Of THE best of the genre..., 22 Dec. 2015
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An excellent book; obviously of a more evidential nature.

Something about it ring's true - all these 100s of people from all different backgrounds surely would not all recall the same things?? Even if it were from the subconscious??

One of the best afterlife books if you are looking for more of an evidence baed approach as apparently you cannot lie under hypnosis!

by Greig Beck
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed it; Medusa here as an alien..., 22 Dec. 2015
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This review is from: Gorgon (Paperback)
Not bad at all. Nice to see The Gorgon of ancient antiquity represented here as a rather unpleasant alien entity.

This would make an effective movie.

Raven - The Complete Series [DVD]
Raven - The Complete Series [DVD]
Dvd ~ Patsy Rowlands
Offered by NextDayEntertainment
Price: £8.19

4.0 out of 5 stars Classic to go with The Changes and Children Of The Stones, 22 Dec. 2015
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Great series; reminiscent of Children Of The Stones and The Changes. Drags a bit in the middle but earnest acting, an interesting metaphysical plot and some basic but interesting fx pull it along to a satisfying conclusion. I like the whole Merlin meets modern day ecological threat angle.
It's one of my earliest TV memories too.

Plus it's got that really fit blonde in from angels ;-)

Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife
Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife
by Eben Alexander
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.79

4.0 out of 5 stars At the very least He ought to be dead and isn't so give it a fair go..., 22 Dec. 2015
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Slightly twee in places but still more substance than I thought. The jury is out for me on this one. I am neither convinced nor dismissive.
What he describes may be down to what you choose to believe but medical facts are that this guy should be dead 100% and he isn't so something miraculous certainly did happen.

Worth a read and make up your own mind.

by Bob Berman Robert Lanza
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Consciousness creates reality??, 22 Dec. 2015
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This review is from: Biocentrism (Paperback)
Interesting book, some interesting science here and relevant to my afterlife researches but not sure how strong his theory that the universe basically would not exist without living beings to observe it actually is.

Still worth a read though even if he's misinterpreting the Von Neumann–Wigner interpretation, also described as "consciousness causes collapse (of the wave function)", My feeling is that the interpretation is not totally wrong and in some cases such as post death our consciousness may create its own reality BUT the moon is still there even when we are not looking at it.

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