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Foxylock (Ireland)

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eerie stuff !!, 7 April 2009
The Crow and I Robot are probably two of Alex Proyas more well known forays into directing with the former possibly being the better one, all dark and malevolent. It's hard to tie this movie into a particular genre on the one hand it's all mysterious and suspenseful and just as you're becoming accustomed to this ....BANG ....it goes all actionny on us.

The opening scenes have a grey oppressive background but our focus is with the children drawing pictures of the future for a time capsule that will be opened in 50 years, the year is 1958 and one child is furiously writing numbers while the incessant noise of the whisper people invade her tiny mind. So determined is she to get the numbers out of her head that she scratches the last few digits on the back of a door. The capsule is buried and we take up the story in present time.

John Koestler is a rather tired looking astrophysicist doing his best to pick up the pieces of his shattered life following the tragic death of his wife. When the capsule is opened all the other children are given pictures but fate hands his son Caleb a sheet of numbers. That night with a whiskey in one hand and the ubiquitous numbers in the other John realises they are the details of every tragedy since 1958, but what are the three remaining sequences ? Now events speed up and we see our reluctant messenger on a frantic quest to avert the inexorable cataclysm.

Does this movie work ? I think it does, the action sequences are breathtaking and the suspense is built throughout to almost unbearable proportions. I haven't felt such a sense of impending doom since Brian Cowan took over as Taoiseach !! ( thats prime minister in case you're wondering ) Cage looks almost worn out which fits the part and is well supported by Rose Byrne and Chandler Canterbury. But one question remained long after the film had ended .........What the heck was Rhydian doing sloping around the woods handing out black pebbles to children ? Very strange indeed. Anyway it's well worth a look.

Veg Patch: River Cottage Handbook No.4
Veg Patch: River Cottage Handbook No.4
by Mark Diacono
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.48

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A vehement veneration of a veracious veggie vernacular, 6 April 2009
OK lets be serious for just a moment what we have here is the best book on veg growing that I have come across so far. Written by Mark Diancono teacher and head gardener at the River Cottage, this mans knowledge and passion is evident on every page. Backed up with some inspiring photography this manual / bible has become my new best friend.

All the veg you would expect to see are here with information on their plant group, when to sow and harvest, varieties, how to grow, how to harvest, problems and pests and how to eat. ( and no it's not obvious ! ) On top of this we have a chapter on planning your veg patch, creating your veg patch and maintaining it. finally a chapter of recipes are included none of which I've tried yet but the intention is there. This is just bursting with hints and valuable tips so if you're thinking of growing your own this book is essential reading. For the established gardener it will prove useful in pulling a lot of info into the one source and maybe adding some new stuff as well. I loved it.

Depressive illness-curse of the strong
Depressive illness-curse of the strong
by Dr. Tim Cantopher
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

530 of 537 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We shall overcome, 6 April 2009
Pull yourself together, just pick yourself up and get on with it, what could possibly be wrong with you, there are far worse off people in the world and they're not depressed !! I've had all these things said to me while I literally fought to stay alive. And the battle to survive is no exaggeration for depression is a life threatening illness. Depression is a lonely isolated place where the inhabitants just waste away with the life being sucked out of them by this most horrid of illnesses.

Tim Cantopher has a fine book here he purports that depression almost exclusively strikes a particular type of person and that is the morally strong, reliable, diligent but vulnerable to criticism and sensitive types. So what happens to this type of person when they become depressed ? They try to work their way out of it and continually beat themselves up for feeling the way they feel. How does Cantopher visualise a recovery ? Rest, take the time off your body needs to heal, you wouldn't try walking on a broken leg so treat your mind in a similar fashion. Depression takes away our energy so accept that we can't do the things we once could or attain the same high standards. Lets not be hard on ourselves, we need rest to aid our progress. And we will make progress however slow it may seem, gradually we will get back on track.

This is one of the better books I've read on depression, it's clear, concise and easily digested which is essential when concentration levels are down. The chapter on recovery is fantastic and the advice given throughout is excellent. The only negative for me was the author's remarks on anti-depressants, he appeared a little dogmatic and would give no time to those who have reservations about taking medication with such a wide ranging list of potential side affects. As someone with personal experience of this I found it a bitter pill to swallow ( pardon the pun ) However as a book on depression and how to tackle it this book is excellent. Add this to your arsenal of self-helpery and you will find it useful. But above all don't lose hope even when you're wearing the cloak of despair, choose light and life it's what I did and although life can be harsh it's worth living. Best of luck and take care.
Comment Comments (20) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 24, 2016 11:15 AM BST

Great Irish Speeches: Book and CD
Great Irish Speeches: Book and CD
by Richard Aldous
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Great, 5 April 2009
I have an interest in history and in particular the history of my own nation, the more contentious the era the more interesting it is. Now for a small nation we've had some extraordinary historical figures, revolutionaries like the bold Robert Emmet, Wolfe Tone and Padraig Pearse to visionaries like Michael Collins and Eamon de Valera. Lest we forget the holy trinity of Adams, Paisley and Ahern !! ( some say three stooges )

What Richard Aldous attempts to do here is to collect some of the most important speeches of Irish history provide some background information and a biography of the speaker in order to draw the reader into the passion of the moment and bring about a better understanding of the circumstances surrounding the speech. In my opinion he fails, while the featured figures are well known and highly respected I think the excerpts of the speeches are much too short and the information is provided in a quite mundane manner. To be blunt I found this boring and a tedious read in fact Aldous didn't manage to fan the flames of passion or even stoke the dying embers of interest !!

QI: The Book of General Ignorance (The Noticeably Stouter Edition)
QI: The Book of General Ignorance (The Noticeably Stouter Edition)
by John Lloyd
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.48

22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I nearly didn't make it to the end !!, 30 Mar. 2009
It started with cushions and idle threats but progressed onto more life threatening objects like shoes, a Mars bar and a candlestick !! I could only take so much as the facts started to build in my brain my face went red I felt dizzy and finally my mouth acted as the pressure valve and I blurted out " How many wives had Henry viii, Where is the highest mountain, Do marmots kill people ? Aaaaaarghhh !!" I ducked again as a another missile inexorably sailed in my direction. " Just put down the book I want to watch Desperate Housewives " cried my wife. But I couldn't.

That's the kind of book we have here it turns you into a royal pain full of fantastic knowledge for the duration of the read and then it fades back into the mists of obscurity and away. But take a fools advice and read it alone !!

A Lion Called Christian
A Lion Called Christian
by Anthony Bourke
Edition: Hardcover

54 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Lions Tale, 25 Mar. 2009
In 1969 two young Australians Anthony " Ace " Bourke and John Rendall visited London and on entering Harrods became enchanted with a young Lion cub, acting on impulse and with no previous Lion experience they immediately decided to buy him. They took possession of Christian some weeks later and moved him into their flat which had a basement under a shop, this was to become the lions home. Today this would be illegal not to mention unethical and would spark a public outcry. But we can't use today's morals to judge past decisions.

The lion from Worlds End soon grew both in size and popularity and his boisterousness caused quite a stir in the antique shop he called home. He also became an attraction and possibly boosted profits. But all good things must end and keeping a growing lion in the centre of London became untenable. Relief was at hand when George Adamson agreed to help Christian adapt to his new found home in Kenya and the relocation began.

I loved this story sure there are animal welfare issues and some severe naivete on the part of Ace and John, but one cannot doubt the genuine love and affection these guys had for this animal and vice versa. They stayed the course from cub stage right up to the release into the wild and continued to visit frequently thereafter. The reunion video on youtube is quite touching and indeed provided the spark for the reprinting and updating of this book. It's not an epic read by any stretch of the imagination but there is an honesty here that is truly touching and with an abundance of humour this tale will creep into your heart and spread warmth. Well thats what happened to me anyway ! If you're looking for a feelgood story this is definitely one to read..
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 27, 2009 4:23 PM GMT

Biggles in Australia
Biggles in Australia
by W. E Johns
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars By jove not the usual quality !!, 24 Mar. 2009
This review is from: Biggles in Australia (Paperback)
Someone has been agitating the natives, and I don't mean hiding their spears ! Biggles old adversary Von Stalhein is trying to instigate a revolt by Aborigine tribesmen in the remote Australian outpost of Daly's Flats. Murder and treachery abound and it's up to our hero and his trusty band of followers to save the day.

I didn't think this book is of the usual top quality we expect from W.E.Johns, the plot grows a little tired along the way and there is a distinct lack of action. It sort of trundles along and peters out at the end. Maybe the Captain was having an off day when he rattled this one off. So not great but all's forgiven !!


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What the deuce ??, 23 Mar. 2009
This review is from: BIGGLES AIR DETECTIVE (Hardcover)
While trying unsuccessfully to envision their post war civilian life Biggles and co get a unique opportunity to use their skills as airmen to help track down a dastardly gang of thieves. Two prototype aircraft are missing and Biggles correctly deduces that their superior quality is the trump card in the thieves hand. The trail leads him to Germany, Egypt and a host of other exotic and dangerous places, accompanied by Algy, Ginger and Bertie the flying detectives are never too far from trouble and it's only their quick wits that keep them in one piece. There are old foes lurking in the shadows and this tale is packed with suspense.

I enjoyed this book it's action from start to finish and the twists and turns will keep you guessing right to the end. Tally ho !!

Bruce Almighty [DVD] [2003]
Bruce Almighty [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Jim Carrey
Price: £2.10

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What about ya ole rubber face !!, 20 Mar. 2009
This review is from: Bruce Almighty [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
What could possibly be worse than giving Jim Carrey the power of God ? Well giving him the opportunity to film it I guess. However this film is somewhat of a pleasant surprise. Bruce has the reputation of being the funny guy always getting the quirky stories when his biggest desire is to be taken serious and be the anchorman. I could draw parallels with Carrey and his character, here I am laughing but inside I'm crying but I'll leave it at that.

There are laughs a plenty in this film and the supporting cast are quite impressive but the question beckons how long more can Jim Carrey do the over exuberant character and get away with it and if the wind did change would his face really stay like that ? The day will come when this cow can be milked no more, but until then what will we do with this rubber faced demented ego-maniac ? I suggest you sit back relax and enjoy for sadly all good things must come to an end.

Gran Torino [DVD] [2009]
Gran Torino [DVD] [2009]
Dvd ~ Clint Eastwood
Price: £3.08

7 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get off my lawn !!, 20 Mar. 2009
This review is from: Gran Torino [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
Clint Eastwood is the epitome of toughness, the embodiment of malevolence and with a hardness associated with stone he could change his name to flint and no one would bat an eyelid, who would challenge him ? with an icy stare that would make your blood run cold and a cavernous growl that would send the meanest of lone wolves scarpering for the womb there would be no takers ( well maybe Chuck Norris but thats a whole different argument )

Clint puts all this meanness and more into the portrayal of Walt Kowalski the ex army Korean veteran who has just buried his wife and soulmate. The neighbourhood has gone to pot with the influx of Hmong and Walt proudly flies the stars and stripes from his immaculate house while looking around with disdain as the surrounding houses crumble into dereliction. Walts immaculate Gran Torino sits proudly in the driveway as this once active man seems content to smoke and drink his way to the grave. When his car becomes the target of a gang initiation he becomes enraged and the full extent of his racism is laid bare. At this point in the film his attitude is both shocking and understandable and Walt finds himself at a fork in the road. Fortunately the theory that the way to a mans heart is through his stomach rings true here and Walt displays his softer side but still maintains his gruff exterior of course.

The way in which the relationship with his neighbours evolve from an uneasy truce to genuine affection is both endearing and inspirational, racist barriers are lifted and human nature is left to nurture friendships. Clint's supporting cast do a sterling job here and add depth to his character. Although Clint is somewhat of a one trick pony generally playing the stereotypical tough guy it's hard be critical, and if the rumours are true and this indeed is his swan-song then we can rest assured that he has fulfilled the stereotype once more by going out with a bang, this is one to be watched and watched again.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 25, 2009 10:30 PM BST

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