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Andy Sweeney "music was my first love" (Brighton, East Sussex)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

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Field Punishment No.1 [DVD]
Field Punishment No.1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Fraser Brown
Price: £7.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good film about men of principles, 12 April 2015
This review is from: Field Punishment No.1 [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I very much enjoyed Field Punishment No. 1. The film handled the subject matter of conscientious objectors in World War One with the sympathy they deserved and showed that, very far from cowards, these people were principled and prepared to endure terrible punishment for holding such heartfelt beliefs. It was based on a true story and, as such, gave the film a little more gravitas than something made purely to support a cause, but the only thing stopping me from awarding it full marks is the sound. The dialogue was sometimes muffled, sometimes distorted and, occasionally, the music is overwhelming. As such, it gives the film a disappointingly "low budget" feel which does the actors, as well as the director and scriptwriter, a disservice, because it is, otherwise, very good indeed.

Field Punishment No. 1 sometimes had the feel of "soap box" preaching for the cause which was all well and good for someone like myself, a pacifist, who agreed with the main characters' views, but others who may not be as convinced that being a conscientious objector was a particularly noble stance may find the dialogue a little pious and irritating. Still, anybody who knows anything about history will understand that World War One was a particularly unjust fight for those who actually did the fighting, where working class people were sent to spill blood for what was primarily the cause of the ruling elite. One thing at the end of the film that bothered me (spoiler alert): we were informed that one of the main characters' sons was a conscientious objector in World War Two. This was announced during the summary before the credits and, to be frank, I'm not sure how I feel about this fact, as the two World Wars were undoubtedly fought for very different reasons. Personally, I believe that fighting the despicable values of the Nazis was a more noble cause than the one promoting non-violence against your fellow human being. Some things you have to stand against, no matter how you feel about warfare. Again, this is my own view, but that little bombshell was one of the last pieces of information imparted on me just before I finished watching the film, and it both played on my mind as well as undermining some of the sympathy I felt for the blanket cause of being a conscientious objector.

That minor technical criticism and the ethical dilemma aside, this is a very worthy film and certainly cannot be accused of not making the viewer think about the issues raised. Even by today's desensitised standards, many of the scenes are genuinely harrowing and you feel yourself stirred by the principles of these New Zealanders, even going so far to view these supposed cowards as heroes. Man's inhumanity towards his and her fellow man has been well documented in film over the last half century and, whilst Field Punishment No. 1 falls short of being a classic, it is a film that anyone who watches it will remember. It's not an easy film to watch, but I would definitely recommend it to people who appreciate a film about war that doesn't tell the same cliched stories.


Oral B Vitality Plus White and Clean Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush
Oral B Vitality Plus White and Clean Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush
Price: £32.30

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb electric toothbrush... I'm all smiles!, 12 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm probably WAY behind the times here, but this is the very first electric toothbrush I've ever owned. I don't know why, specifically, only that they've always seemed a bit expensive and I've been using a good old fashioned toothbrush my whole life and have managed to keep my teeth pretty well. However, Amazon vine offered me this electric toothbrush to try and review, so I thought, "Well, why not". I have to admit, I wish I'd made the switch before because going from a manual toothbrush to an electric toothbrush is like going from a child's scooter to a motorbike. They are worlds apart and the lovely clean feeling I've got in my mouth after a few minutes with this Oral B Vitality Plus toothbrush lasts for much, much longer than the old fashioned toothbrush which relied upon elbow power.

It comes with a recharging station which plugs into a two-pronged shaving port (important to know, as not everyone has them in their bathroom), which keeps your toothbrush ready for action at all times. It also comes with two toothbrush heads, so that when you've worn the first one out, you have another ready while you order/buy replacements. There is a built in timer (two minutes) which lets you know when you've brushed your teeth for the recommended minimum time, but - if you're anything like me - you will still want to keep going a bit longer anyway.

Apologies for those prior electric toothbrush owners who want a review to contrast and compare models; this review is more about the revelation of going from manual to electric than the fineries of electric toothbrush ownership. I would, however, urge anyone considering a switch from the old fashioned way to an electric model to take the leap. The difference is amazing.


Braun Silk Epil 7 7-561 Wet & Dry Cordless Epilator with 6 Extra Attachments
Braun Silk Epil 7 7-561 Wet & Dry Cordless Epilator with 6 Extra Attachments
Price: £84.49

4.0 out of 5 stars A very good epilator, with only one or two reservations, 2 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As a male who is quite happy to be hairy, I didn't get this product for myself; it was for my wife, who has kindly reviewed it:

"The Braun Silk-Epil 7 is a nice looking device in white with a glittery detail, with a clear, simple dial to switch it on/turn it up. It is comfortable and easy to hold and use, if a little heavy.The built in light is very helpful for seeing the hairs more clearly.

As somebody who is new to epilating, this may not have seemed an obvious first choice, but it comes with several different attachments and heads so this is actually ideal for covering everything you could want in an epilator and also an electric razor and trimmer .

It's common knowledge that epilating is rather uncomfortable and this is no exception but the massage head definitely helps with the discomfort and is ideal for use on legs. There are two narrower heads for using on more delicate areas such as the bikini line and the face.

I found the facial attachment very easy to use but it was certainly rather uncomfortable and as a result I decided not to try anywhere more delicate than that!

The razor and trimmer works as you would expect & is great for a quick once over if the hair is a bit to long to epilate.

This epilator can be used wet or dry which is really convenient all round. It's easy to clean - you can pop the cap off to rinse it while wet or use the little cleaning brush when it's dry.

It comes with a handy little carry pouch which fits all the attachments and the charging lead comfortably in it. It would easily fit in a regular handbag or wash bag.

My only gripe is that it didn't come with a regular plug adaptor, just an electric razor type two prong attachment."


Bakers Dentacrunch Chicken and Country Vegetables Dry Dog Food 1 kg (Pack of 4)
Bakers Dentacrunch Chicken and Country Vegetables Dry Dog Food 1 kg (Pack of 4)
Price: £11.80

4.0 out of 5 stars Two happy canines heartily recommend it!, 23 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As far as enjoyment goes, I can't fault this dry dog food at all, as my two dogs (a labrador and a lab/collie cross) absolutely love it and, judging my the noise they make when eating, it's certainly very crunchy. Their stomachs reacted well (hardly reacted, in fact) when changing from their regular wet food and mixer to this dry kibble and they eagerly polish off every little last piece in their bowls at every meal time. OK, it's not exactly top quality food, with only a small amount of actual meat used and there are the animal derivatives (you can only imagine what they are), but unless you have the kind of budget to spend a small fortune feeding your four-legged friends (most people don't), this Bakers Dentacrunch is pretty good value and quality for the money you spend. Also, I don't think it is just my imagination, but their breath has seemed to be a little bit better since switching to Bakers Dentacrunch but, I have to admit, pretty much anything smells better than their favourite Butchers' tripe!


Panasonic ALL8 Wireless Speaker System (Black)
Panasonic ALL8 Wireless Speaker System (Black)
Offered by ASK
Price: £284.95

6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating and, at the moment, completely useless, 23 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
OK, I have given up. I've downloaded the full manual, followed the instructions to the letter, downloaded the app for my iPhone, checked the WiFi signal and the stupid thing won't play. "Cannot play a song" is the message that is repeated over and over again (but the song plays over my iPhone speakers, so it's not the song itself). I was already slightly peeved that this speaker doesn't have Bluetooth capabilities, plus it doesn't support the streaming service I actually use on my iPhone (Amazon Music), but all of that is purely academic, seeing as the damned thing just won't work. There doesn't seem to be any way to connect your PC to it, either, as the app to control it is only available for iOS or Android devices. I have wasted three hours trying to get this thing to work and, let's face it, there's something really terribly wrong with that. Technology is supposed to make things easier, not more difficult and frustrating. I didn't exactly expect to be able to "plug and play", but the ease of set-up, in my experience, is diabolical and I'm usually reasonably good with technology. I've admitted defeat: it's going back in the box until I have a little more time and patience, because it has pretty much ruined my afternoon.

If all else fails, I guess I can invest in a jack to plug my iPod into it directly, but what a terrible waste of technology.

Update: 26th March, 2015: We have managed to get it working using the android app from my Stepson's smartphone. The speaker still refuses to speak to my iPhone, but seems to like the android app better. Seeing as he will be able to get more use out of it, it has been gifted to him. The sound, when it's working, is really quite good, however, because of the very negative experience and the limitations, I still can't bring myself to award this anything other than the lowest rating.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 27, 2015 10:15 PM GMT


Igenix IG2807 Manual Microwave 700 W - 20 L, Silver
Igenix IG2807 Manual Microwave 700 W - 20 L, Silver
Price: £58.30

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, basic, easy-to-use microwave oven., 6 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As my microwave was getting a little old, I was looking for a smart, basic model to replace it. The Igenix IG2807 fits this description perfectly. It really is a no-frills, get the job done model, with a dial for the time, five heat settings and an oven space which can fit a reasonably large plate inside. At 700w, it is relatively low powered compared to a lot of other ovens, but the additional cooking time is only marginal compared with my old 800w model, so it's not that much of a problem. I've only had a few meals from it so far, but it heats things as well as a good microwave can be expected to.

If you use a microwave oven often and rely upon it heavily, perhaps this isn't the model for you. There are some really good ovens out there with built in grills, lots of pre-sets for different types of food, etc., which make this model look extremely limited, by comparison. However, as I don't really use it very often at all, as I much prefer cooking using the hob and conventional oven (but, in all honesty, wouldn't be without a microwave for occasional reheating of leftovers), a very basic model is perfectly fine for our household. It may also be ideal for people who shy away from technology and for whom lots of buttons and options are a hindrance, rather than a help. As for as ease of use goes, they don't come any easier than this microwave and there's even a good, old-fashioned satisfying "ding" to let you know it has finished cooking.


Dettol Power and Fresh Citrus Zest Spray 750 ml (Pack of 3)
Dettol Power and Fresh Citrus Zest Spray 750 ml (Pack of 3)
Price: £10.47

5.0 out of 5 stars Top quality all purpose cleaner!, 13 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
For something called "Power and Fresh", it actually lives up to its prominent claims, as this is a very effective all-purpose cleaner that leaves behind a citrus fresh smell that just radiates cleanliness. Sorry if I sound as if I'm actually writing an advert for this product, but I've tried lots of different all-purpose sprays and anti-bacterial cleaners, but the cleanliness of my kitchen is very important to me (as it will be for the vast majority of people, I hope!) and there aren't very many that (a) actually work this well and (b) have such a pleasant and fresh scent. Even food which has been burnt onto the ceramic hob came off with ease after leaving this spray on it for a few minutes. Nice one, Dettol!


Philips InfraCare HP3643 650 W Infrared Lamp Half Body Treatment
Philips InfraCare HP3643 650 W Infrared Lamp Half Body Treatment
Price: £181.13

4.0 out of 5 stars Short-term warming relief for muscular and joint aches and pains, 13 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Since receiving this lamp a few weeks ago, both myself and my wife have been using it regularly. My wife suffers from chronic joint and back pain and she has been very complimentary about the short-term benefits of using the lamp whenever she has needed a bit of relief. I drive for a living and have had problems with my lower back for the last couple of years, so have also enjoyed the effects that fifteen minutes with this warming lamp can provide. I remain sceptical as to whether it really does much more than warms the muscle through and provides the same kind of relief that a heat pack does, but we are assured that there is actual science behind this, so perhaps I should keep my scepticism muted. It's certainly a pleasant feeling and gives some short-term easing of muscular pain, but as for cumulative long-term effects... I remain unconvinced. However, for anyone who is absolutely desperate for relief from pain (and, believe me, I've been there), this may just be the gadget to give you some respite.

It's sturdy, has a nice heavy base for stability, is easy to manipulate into whatever position you need it to be in and is very easy to assemble out of the box. The lamp itself has 500 hours life, so that's enough for 2,000 fifteen minute sessions (the maximum recommended time under the lamp - it automatically powers off after this time). If you're using it once a day, it will give you many years of use. Four times a day (the maximum recommended usage), with additional people in your household making use of it... well, you may just be contacting Philips for a replacement bulb a lot sooner than you think. All-in-all, it is something that we would both recommend for anyone struggling with muscular and/or joint pain who needs a little help getting through the day.


Finish All in One Max Original Dishwasher Tablets (Pack of 74)
Finish All in One Max Original Dishwasher Tablets (Pack of 74)

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top notch dishwasher tablets, 4 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
We usually use premium all-in-one dishwasher tablets and have tried many different varieties, settling on Aldi's own brand as the best, cheapest default when no other tablets are on offer, but, given the chance to try these respected branded tablets, we certainly weren't going to say no. These Finish All in One Max tablets are good stuff; they clean effectively and leave the plate and glasses shiny without causing any noticeable scratches or blemishes. The smell, afterwards, is just a nice, fresh "clean" air, unlike some scented brands whose selling point is a particular fragrance. Like all dishwasher tablets, they can't work miracles, and things that have "welded" on baking trays still require some extra work after they've been through the dishwasher, but they work just as well as the best dishwasher tablets we have used before.


Webbox Dream Bone Chicken Small, 100 g, Pack of 12
Webbox Dream Bone Chicken Small, 100 g, Pack of 12
Price: £30.43

5.0 out of 5 stars Happy dogs recommend the dream bones!, 4 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
These small treat bones were well and gratefully received by my two dogs (a labrador and collie/lab cross) with lots of appreciative tail wagging and asking for more afterwards. They are rawhide free, consist mainly of cereals, and don't actually smell too unpleasant for the human handling them in the first place. They were obviously quite chewy because it took my labrador, who makes short work of most things, a good five to ten minutes to consume it, with the collie/lab taking about five minutes more. I would certainly buy these again for my dogs, at the right price.


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