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Mens 6 Pairs Fairtrade Cotton FiveG Socks Plain Beige 7-11
Mens 6 Pairs Fairtrade Cotton FiveG Socks Plain Beige 7-11
Offered by Sock Snob Ltd
Price: £7.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comfortable and Hard Wearing Ethical Socks, 19 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Time for another lot of these socks. The first set have proved their worth, by keeping their shape and not shrinking in the tumble dryer, like my last batch of supermarket cheapies, so it's time for another colour.

The world of Fairtrade clothing is a confusing place at the moment, and to be honest some of us cannot afford the sort of prices that our clothing probably should command. But for me the point of Fairtrade has always been to do what you can, in order to rebut the idea that ever decreasing wages (and ever increasing profit margins) are the only way an industry can progress. It has worked with coffee (McDonalds and Starbucks now serve Fairtrade) and chocolate (some of Nestle and Cadbury's main ranges now sport Fairtrade logos) and now it's is starting on clothes.

I'm glad there is a mainstream brand of Fairtrade socks now that you can get without breaking the bank. Now what I need is some good Fairtrade boxers...


Man Ray
Man Ray
by Manfred Heiting
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great introduction to a famous and influential Photographer, 19 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Man Ray (Hardcover)
This book is a great introduction to the work of Man Ray, containing a selection of Portraits, Self Portraits, Ray-o-graphs, found object photographs and more. While I doubt it is comprehensive, it does give you an insight into the contribution he made to photography and at this price does not break the bank. The book is a large hardcover with dust jacket, and good reproductions of the photos. They are presented well, complementary works on opposite pages, etc. Clearly a lot of thought went into this. There is also brief biography that puts the works in context.

So if you are getting into photography you should give this a look.


In the Night Room
In the Night Room
by Peter Straub
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Characters that step off the page..., 17 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: In the Night Room (Paperback)
Peter Straub was a recommended to me for his meta narrative tricks. Timothy Underhill appears in a number of his books, but often as a different character. Each book is another interpretation of reality. In this story Timothy Underhill was the writer of Lost Boy Lost Girl, but the dead man he cast as a murderer in his book has returned from the spirit world for revenge. Now Timothy Underhill has to find out what really happened to the little girl and set the record straight, with only his dream woman for company.

This is a clever book, maybe too clever and if you enjoy the Dean Koontz/Stephen King brand of 'spiritual triumph' over horror stories you will like where this goes. I get the impression that this story would get more nuanced the more Straub books you read. Lost Boy Lost Girl is a real novel, but in this story, it's a fictional version of the events in this book. Eventually one would experience a multiverse of Timothy Underhills all living parallel lives. As a stand alone it's good spooky fun and enough to get me to look out for more Peter Straub.


Case Logic GPSP2 Molded Eva Foam and Nylon Portable Electronics with GPS Protect - Black
Case Logic GPSP2 Molded Eva Foam and Nylon Portable Electronics with GPS Protect - Black
Price: £13.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tough and convenient protection, if only it had a space for the sucker, 17 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This case has protected my Garmin Sat Nav for two years now. They are great for protecting your electronics and why skimp if you are going to spend good money on them. They also have handy pockets for cables and such. So you have a convenient package you can throw into a bag or glove box and you know your electronics are protected.

I wish they had a way to include the sucker attachment in the case, but it would probably be about double the size. At least the delicate screen is protected (by nice furry padding) and the charger is always with it. Just make sure you measure up and you'll be fine.


Black Case Logic QHDC-101 Hard Drive Case
Black Case Logic QHDC-101 Hard Drive Case
Offered by DiscountDiscs
Price: £7.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Tough little cases, 17 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have had two of these cases now. One for my Sat Nav and one for my external hard drive. They are great for protecting your electronics and why skimp if you are going to spend good money on them. They also have handy pockets for cables and such. So you have a convenient package you can throw into a bag or glove box and you know your electronics are protected. Just make sure you measure up and you'll be fine.


Amazon Artist Lounge EP
Amazon Artist Lounge EP
Price: £3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Acoustic Versions of the New Material, 17 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Boasting stripped back acoustic versions of the first two songs on the Where You Stand album as well as a nice version of The Invisible Band hit Flowers in the Window, there's no reason for a travis fan not to pick this one up. The first to songs are a marked contrast to the versions on the album, showing just want good song writers Travis are. The bones of the song are just as entertaining without the sonic trickery. How refreshing.

Moving and Mother are both great tracks. Heartfelt life affirming lyrics with a catchy acoustic arrangement (the album versions are basically the same but layer in feedback and delay atmospherics making the tracks feel richer). Hit and fan favourite Flowers in the Window is performed with lively good humour here.

Download this and check out the new album which is awesome.


Much Ado About Nothing [Blu-ray]
Much Ado About Nothing [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Amy Acker
Offered by Quality Media Supplies Ltd.
Price: £14.49

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "And Master, sir, do not forget to specify, when time and place shall assert, that I am an ass", 14 Oct. 2013
Shot in black and white, with an indie pop soundtrack, modern dress and props, this is probably never going to be your definitive reading of Shakespeare's play. But it is a lot of fun. The words are the bard's, but the action is modern, with amusing physical gags, such as Beatrice falling down stairs when she overhears the news of Benedick love for her, and the dozy watchman Dogberry getting his partner's undersized jacket.

The cast are Josh Whedon regulars, from Firefly, Dollhouse, and the like but they are clearly having a ball here. Nathan Fillion steals a few scenes, perfectly cast as Dogberry, shown here wondering around in dark glasses like someone pretending to be a secret agent. But frankly it's a whole cast affair with Alexi Denisof and Amy Acker sparkling as Benedick and Beatrice, Sean Maher playing a menacing Don John, while Fran Kranz and Jillian Morgese are sweet as the lovers whose romance is derailed by a lie.

The modern dress is played cleverly, guns for swords, maglights for lanterns, and modern zip-tie cuffs for the prisoners chains. Josh Whedon's house stands in for the palace (hell, it is a palace, I must start writing my own cult sci-fi series) and it all hangs together remarkably well.

I don't know why so many people are protesting the black and white. Critics have said it recasts Much Ado as a 1930s screwball comedy. I just think it brings out textures and gives this already anachronistic film a sense of timelessness. The picture is crisp and bright, and the blu ray allows a little extra dynamic range that shows of the pleasing contrasts.

I guess it will be mostly Whedon fans who give this a chance, which would be a shame, as it's a very entertaining movie, and a nice place to start if the idea of watching Shakespeare seems more like a homework assignment than an fun evening in. This version is light and sparkling in it's wit, dark in it's tragedy, with a genuinely moving ending.


Ink [DVD]
Ink [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jessica Duffy
Price: £5.30

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Visually arresting but the reality of Ink falls short, 13 Oct. 2013
This review is from: Ink [DVD] (DVD)
An early scene in Ink shows busy father, John, who is too serious to play with his daughter, Emma. As an `invisible monster' drags her off and she begs him to save her, we wonder whether he recognises just how important it is to engage with her or is he entirely crushed by his own sense of self importance. This is really the theme of the whole fairytale, in both its fantasy and real world sections.

The great thing about Ink is the way its fantastical story ties into the real life lesson of living for yourself or loving and forgiving others. As with all fairytales it's what you do when you come back from fairyland that counts. The story even manages a great twist at the end (if you can accept the ontological paradox implied.)

The visuals and lighting are a sharp and digital, not the glossy Hollywood style we are used to. However, a carefully spent effects budget carries the story well. As the people in the dreamworld fight the things they smash reassemble themselves, their actions have no effect on our world. They pop into other worlds with a rippling effect that literally looks like the pop of a bubble and the battle in dimly lit hospital corridors at the climax of the movie is intense. The Incubi are genuinely one of the most creepy movie villains I have seen for a while. They have screens that cover (or possibly display) their faces, with too wide grins and oversized glasses that make them seem like horrible facsimiles of people. They evoke some of Terry Gilliam's creations in his feature films.

The worst thing about Ink is the script. The after a big setup in the opening scenes the Storytellers don't seems to have much to do. At first it seems the story will be about their ongoing battle to feed hope into the minds of sleeping people, rather than the despair spread by the Incubi. But their sections drag, and we long to get back to little Emma and the monster Ink. Jacob in particular is given to sub-Yoda mystical ramblings, while Allel's subplot as the warrior who let Emma get snatched from her bed flounders entirely. Jacob takes some cruel potshots at her failure, and she clearly feels guilty, but by the end of the film she doesn't seem to have either come to terms with or redeemed her failure. In fact the story has moved on from her. Perhaps this is just as well, or Ink might have become an X-men/Power Rangers retread.

The strongest parts are with the storyteller Liev and the girl Emma journeying though the world of dreams with Ink. Had this section made up the whole movie, and been explored more fully, it might have been truly special. Jessica Duffy is confident and kind as Liev. Ink is sometimes as mysterious and conflicted as the story needs him to be, but is occasionally reduced to roaring in pantomime rage.

The reality of Ink falls short of our dreams. At its best it's a visually arresting take on territory covered by better films like the Neverending Story, Spirited Away or Mirrormask but it never quite reaches the levels to which it clearly aspires. On the other hand it is a lot more fun and has a bigger heart than a dozen by the numbers sequels and remakes. Comparisons to Dark City or Brazil are misleading, this film doesn't belong in such lofty company. Few do. However it is a promising independent feature that shows lots of potential, as well as a good evening's entertainment.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 29, 2014 5:52 PM GMT


John Barry: The Man with the Midas Touch
John Barry: The Man with the Midas Touch
by Geoff Leonard
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written biography and discography, 13 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This excellent hardback book tells the story of John Barry's career from pop music, to Bond movies to Oscar winning epic scores. It also includes a complete discography that is bound to be useful to collectors and lots of photographs from the time, in both colour and black and white. This isn't really the gossipy sort of biography, as it focuses the music industry at the time and John Barry's hard work on various films. At the same time it give a balanced take on issues like the authorship of the Bond theme and some of the films that were less than pleasant to work on. The full text of the 'Mickey mouse music' quote is very enlightening and it shows how Mr Barry put himself in the shoes of his audience, working to create music that supported the experience of watching the movie. If you are a fan of Bond movies or John Barry, and how could you not be, this is well worth a read.

It's also a snapshot of the music and movie industries of the 60s and 70s where John Barry made his name. The book doesn't try to present every recording as a lost gem, but accepts that there was a production line mentality to 60s pop music that drove composers to write by formula and focus on big sales and huge audience. By the same token not all the music created for movies was used the way it should have been. It left me reflecting that the life of a professional artist is about balancing commerce and art as commerce on it's own will eventually suck the life out of the very thing it's trying to sell. A thoroughly researched and informative book.


Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters - Extended Cut [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters - Extended Cut [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Jeremy Renner
Offered by THE MONSTER BOOKSHOP
Price: £6.36

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A sweet little tale... but too much sugar is bad for you!, 13 Oct. 2013
This one had a promising premise. After their traumatic experience in the forest, Hansel and Gretel, grow up to be professional witch hunters. Hansel is the oafish but charming heavy, and still suffering Type 2 diabetes from his overeating in the Ginger bread cottage. Gretel is the smart and sexy brains of the outfit, orchestrating the mass slaughter of witches as a revenge for what happened to their family. With silly slow motion action movie effects, steampunk weapons and only moderate regard for the original text, it should have been a delightful romp.

But somewhere in the middle of this movie I started to feel a bit uncomfortable. It took me a moment to put my finger on it. It wasn't the ludicrous plot, which left several key elements dangling, or the confused idea that someone can be a Grand Witch by birth. (Which would imply magic is a natural talent not something you learn. So are they all X-men or something? In witch case (ha) Hansel and Gretel are the equivalent of Colonel Striker. Oh no, I got morality in my action movie, now it's ruined.)

It was that, despite the PC set up with `the girl as the smart one', Gretel seems pretty helpless. While Hansel gets knocked about, stabbed, dropped off broomsticks into trees, etc., he emerges unscathed with a charming quip, like some fairytale James Bond. Gretel is repeatedly knocked on her back, kidnapped, has her weapon taken by her attacker and is the victim of some quite explicit sexual threat. In one particular scene I felt like I wanted to say to the film makers, `Look this isn't the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, lets keep the tone light here.'

Perhaps I'm taking this very silly movie too seriously, but there was a strong sense throughout the movie of Gretel being regarded as an object of desire, whether for a lonely witch-hunting geek, a Troll, or a nasty gang of bad guys. While I sympathise with anyone who desires Gemma Arterton, we have seen more balanced portrayals of women an action movie roles (particularly from Joss Whedon). A stronger character for her, to match Jeremy Renner's, would have made raised this movie up a level.

Another thing that would have raised the film up a level was a really good villain. Clearly Peter Stormare should have been the queen of the witches (he is definitely the scariest thing in the movie). Famke Janssen does her best, but I found myself longing for Angelica Huston in the role. If they could have had her magnificent child hating performance from Roald Dahl's The Witches [DVD] [1990]...

On a technical note the blu ray picture was sharp, though a few special effects look a bit ropy, and the sound was good. Only watched the 2D version but I imagine that the 3D version will fling spiky things into your eyes as effectively as all the others.

At the end of the day, this one is worth a rent if you aren't put off by 19th century gender stereotypes.


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