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Medisana Comfort Foot Spa with Infrared
Medisana Comfort Foot Spa with Infrared

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mmmmm Happy feet, 11 Nov. 2011
So, I bought this product as a gift for my wife, and on occasion I have been allowed to use it.

While one's feet are in the machine the sensation is very pleasant - a soft massage with bubbles and warmth (on one setting, for example). However, after finishing the 'session' is when the benefit is really noticed. Totally relaxed feet and a very content feeling.

A word of warning, make sure you know where your towel is, this product splashes a lot. It is also kind of noisy. And i'm not entirely sure what the benefit is of the Infrared. The instructions also suggest you cant use it for more than 15 mins in one go, which is a shame. However, these don't detract from the product which has the desired effect of some lovely relaxed feet!

Distraction Pieces
Distraction Pieces
Price: £12.87

5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly brilliant., 27 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Distraction Pieces (Audio CD)
Firstly, no other artist around today covers topics which Pip manages to. Politics, human nature, lazy journalism, love, death, social isolation, war, homophobia are all targets of Pip's wit.
Secondly, to cover these themes in a way which is profound, heartfelt, funny, clever and beautiful, takes something pretty special.

This album has slightly less of an electronica, beat-based feel than Pip's work with Dan Le Sac, with Pip opting to use heavier guitars combined with the hip hop beats, dropping Le Sac's glitch approach. Indeed, this solo effort from Pip has much more in common with his first solo work 'No Commercial Breaks' than it does with his work with Le Sac.

The major noticeable difference with 'No Commercial Breaks' is the vastly higher production and high profile guests. This is clearly the work of a successful artist. Deservedly so.

To (possibly mis-)quote Pip 'If your only goal is always to improve on yourself, then your quest is never over no matter how big your wealth' and boy, does he demonstrate he is still on his quest. At Pip's worst he is one of the best lyricists / poets around today, at his best he is hard to match throughout the history of popular music. Many lyric-focussing artists do so at the cost of musicality, but Pip proves that a pop record can still be witty and heartfelt, whilst delivering fantastic music over and over again.

We can only hope that Pip can inspire talented new artists to strive to be as intelligent with their lyrics and impeccable with their music as possible. Failing that, as Pip said, he's only planning on improving.

Price: £11.16

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very very good. But not quite genius., 26 Sept. 2011
This review is from: scintilli (Audio CD)
With 20 years under their belt, Plaid are showing that they are still able to make heartfelt, thoughtful electronica. Scintilli is Plaid's 6th album in the 20 years (excluding - perhaps unfairly - soundtracks / visual projects), and, while not a masterwork, is an extremely engaging and enjoyable listen.

Scintilli does not represent a huge progression for the duo, with the belief appearing to be firmly in the "it ain't broke, why fix it" line of thinking. And it certainly ain't broke.

The atmosphere of Scintilli does feel somewhat more sinister and perhaps mellower than previous Plaid works. However, fans will be relieved to know that the established Plaid formula is not drastically altered and from the outset it is clear to whose work you are listening.

The first track 'missing' introduces the album with the traditional Plaid discordant, beautiful cacophony of harpsichord, piano and harp somehow all combining to a tuneful introduction. The listener is thrown off-guard by the second track 'eye robot' with heavier, darker synths before being wrestled back to a state of the arhythmic uneasy comfort you would expect from Plaid. The rest of the album progresses in a very Plaid-like manner - with the possible exception of the fourth track 'unbank', which I challenge anyone to hear and not think of Dr Who

Scintilli is a comfortable and reassuring listen and has more 'hummable tunes' than on some previous Plaid works, although perhaps not ones which will embed themselves into your memory, such as on 2001's Double Figure.

While the idea of 'mellow electronica' conjurs up thoughts of bad beach bars, don't be fooled, this is not the disposable pop you find in these places. Put this album on in the background and you will find yourself paying much more attention to the album than you had expected. The epic yet claustrophobic soundscapes Plaid can trap you in won't surprise any fan, and newcomers will find many beautiful moments, contrasting with moments to dust off your rave socks for.

Scintilli, while not perfect, is a very good album, narrowly missing the 'brilliant' status of Plaid's wonderful Double Figure of 10 years ago. Scintilli is much less of a challenging listen than Greedy Baby (admittedly primarily a visual project) and will have a safe place on the playlist for a good while on.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 4, 2012 9:10 PM BST

Coffee And Cigarettes [2003] [DVD]
Coffee And Cigarettes [2003] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Roberto Benigni
Offered by westworld-
Price: £8.68

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful. Funny. Surprisingly powerful., 16 Sept. 2011
To start out with, this is not an action film. There are no thrills, car chases or explosions. Nor is it a film with any narrative as such. What Coffee & Cigarettes is, however, is essentially a beautifully depicted, slow moving sketch show, with cameos from some fantastically talented people.

Coffee & Cigarettes is a stunningly aesthetic film, despite no use of colours, each shot could easily be a photograph hanging on the wall of an expensive jazz bar.

The film is very funny, although understandably not to everyone's sense of humour - perhaps 'abstract' is the best way to describe the humour - attempting to strongly avoid the term 'weird' or 'quirky'. But also, surprisingly for a series of sketches, rather heartfelt and emotional. Coffee & Cigarettes manages to engage you in nearly every scene, producing a different feeling in each.

While there is no real narrative, Coffee and Cigarettes does tell a story in each sketch with the recurring themes. Unsurprisingly these themes include primarily coffee, cigarettes and how bad each are for you. Both are discussed at length, but with other recurring ideas, the idea that coffee makes you dream faster, unexpected scientific knowledge and music, the conversation never grows dull. Each scene, while having the very similar theme, is very different and each have a different purpose and atmosphere.

Coffee and Cigarettes is overall a visually beautiful, effective, and fun film and certainly one that is not easily forgotten. While I appreciate not everyone may 'get' the humour, or find the conversation interesting, or moving, one will at least be able to admire the aesthetics of the film. And I can understand people not enjoying this film. But I certainly did. Definitely worth a watch. If only to find out.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 15, 2013 8:29 PM BST

Sucker Punch [DVD] [2011]
Sucker Punch [DVD] [2011]
Dvd ~ Emily Browning
Price: £3.00

2 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Please. Don't watch this film., 15 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Sucker Punch [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
Lets start with the conclusion. This film is dreadful.

I have nothing against Zak Snyder, like a lot of people seem to. Indeed, I quite enjoyed his adaptation of Watchmen and 300 was acceptable mindless bashing. However, Sucker Punch is atrocious. To call it pretentious would imply that it tries to have a deeper meaning. The 'hidden meaning' or 'twist' is obvious and pointless.

Ok, some of the effects are quite impressive and the washed out palette gives an atmosphere which could be quite effective. However, this atmosphere is broken instantly by wooden acting and an inane storyline and script.

I'm not a film snob, I enjoy mindless action as much as anyone, possibly more. But even the 'exciting' action peices were not enough to keep any interest. They mean nothing, and this is not me missing the 'hidden meaning' - it's not hidden - it slaps you about the fact like a confused damp trout.

Elements of the sound track do manage to entertain. There are some impressive covers of well known songs. Which is what one would hope for given that this film is essentially a vastly over extended music video. A bad hip hop video with too much budget - with the cash to splash on actresses to jump around in underwear and to put big CGI explosions, scenery and monsters around them.

Please. Don't watch this film.

Lightning Bolt Design Belt Buckle (Pink/Blue)
Lightning Bolt Design Belt Buckle (Pink/Blue)

4.0 out of 5 stars Good. Issues but not products fault, 11 Sept. 2011
This is an insanely cool belt buckle.
The only disadvantage is that if you are at all chubby (as I am) the top part will really dig in to your stomach when you sit. Bear it in mind, depending on your overhang :)

Otherwise a good product indeed.

Wallpaper* City Guide Dubai
Wallpaper* City Guide Dubai
by Wallpaper*
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Good with some peculiarities, 11 Sept. 2011
I bought this book as my new wife and I are going to be travelling to Dubai in the next few months. Noting is going to dissway us from this, not even this book...

I have always been a fan of the Wallpaper magazines and city books. They are full interesting places, sights and hotels albeit often with some pretence, but even that is likable. This issue is no exception to this rule. The content is fantastic and nigh on every featured location / bar / shop / building / souq / hotel looks visually fantastic and worth visiting.

The only problem is, that this issue seems to have been written by someone who really doesnt like Dubai. Perhaps he was sent there against his wishes and wasn't allowed home again until he'd finished writing, perhaps he's an ex-pat out there who never wants to come home and doesnt want anyone else coming and spoiling it for him.. Either way, it seems the author does not want us to go to Dubai. I can only assume he didn't have a hand in which pictures are included in the book, as they all look fantastic and appealing.

This book is still worth reading as there are some pictures and tips that no other guide would include. Just don't do so before booking your trip as you might doubt yourself.

We're definitely still going.

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