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The Mission: Silver (2DVD & CD)
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It's taken a long time but The Mission's original members of Wayne Hussey, Simon Hinkler and Craig Adams have got to back together for live shows across Europe. This package celebrates the original members albums of The First Chapter, God's Own Medicine, Children and Carved in Sand.
This is a beautifully packaged and well thought out boxed set with two DVDs recorded at Cologne and Frankfurt and London Brixon Academy. The recording is warm and very intimate that makes you feel as if you are in the front row. The extras are amazing and gives a real insight into the band and how these live shows came about. The package is further enhanced with a live CD.
This is a true celebration of 25 years of The Mission and worth every penny. As Wayne said on God's Own Medicine, "the faith has been kept".
Skyline (With Lenticular Sleeve)
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I look back at watching this film when it came out at the cinema and cry "why". The ideas are good, the effects are amazing, but it doesn't work. Effects do not make a film, it's far more than that.Sorry, but dreadful film to the degree I regret spending the time watching it.
Play.com / 8GB / USB Flash Drive / Ready Boost Enabled
Have had one of these for about one month+. This is a really nice device with lots of memory. I have used it to share photographs, home made movies etc. After a week I have deleted files and replaced them with new ones.
I have not experienced any problems. Well worth the money and highly recommended.
iPod Nano Car Trip FM Transmitter
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I bought this device the same time I bought my first ipod. This is a device that has two functions it transmits the music from your ipod on an FM frequency so that you can play it in the car. It also charges your ipod which is a big bonus.
This is a simple device that you plug in, tune your radio into the frequency it transmits on (which is shown on the bottom of the device) and go ... it's that simple. So 10 our of 10 for ease of use.
You now have your ipod library at your fingertips. Not just in your car but any car. So 10 out of 10 for practicality and adaptability.
There are two issues with this device. If you go on a long trip the free frequency you are using may become "live". If this happens you can hear interference in the backgound. This can be eliminated by changing the frequency the ipod trip transmits on.
This brings me onto the second issue. The ipod nano car trip is designed to stick straight out of the dashboard. To change tracks/albums you have to take your eyes off the road as it's not designed for the driver to easily see the ipod display. This also applies to changing frequency.
Because of this I have to give it a 0 out of 10 for safety as it doesn't work with the new road traffic laws or changes in the highway code. However, if you can get around this issue then it is a nice gadget that works well.
I also have to give it 10 out of 10 for value for money. Worth every penny.
Die Hard 4.0: Live Free Or Die Hard (2 Discs) (4)
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This is obviously the fourth film in the Die Hard franchise. So lets get this out of the way ... I loved Die Hard and Die Hard 2 (but didn't like Die Hard 3). So I consider myself a fan.
Die Hard 4.0 brings the francise bang up to date with a technological edge. You still have the full on action film with the terrorist threats but it's more around the technology that we take for granted every day that makes it so 2004!
This is a bit of a weird film because you have characters that shouldn't be there, but this is what makes the story so good. Let me explain ... John McCleane is back, he's an anologue man that doesn't do technology (in Die Hard 2 he couldn't use a fax) but as usual he's the wrong man in the wrong place with the philosophy that it's better to do something than do nothing at all. Then you get the technogeek that he drags through the film, very 2004 but is happier in front of a computer eating cold pizza and debating cyberspace issues. You can see it can't you! This is going to work and work really well!!
This is the special edition that is slightly different from that shown at the cinema. I am not going to say where as if you went the cinema it would spoil it and if you didn't you probably don't care!
This is an excellent action film. Fans of the francise will be buying this. If you love action films then you MUST get this as well. Just watching McCleane take out a helicopter with a car is incredible.
Diana Krall - Live In Montreal
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Sometime ago I got a new neighbour and we discovered we both like to play the guitar. So he tried to get in interested in jazz guitar with the hope of playing live. He introduced me to this DVD which I subsequently bought.
This performance shows Diana Krall at her best. Her well known songs are all here along with my favourite "East of the Sun (West of the Moon). Diana has an amazing voice and so talented on the piano. The only let down in the performance is the double bass player. There are times (especially during the bass solo on "East of the Sun" that he sounds flat).
The filming of this concert is brilliant. Although this is at the Montreal jazz festival in front of a large audience it feels really intimate. The photography has been done by someone who is very sympathetic to the musicians (and this really shows). I really like this DVD when your feeling tired but not quite ready for bed. You put it on and just relax to this superb live performance.
If you are a fan of Diana's, jazz fan in general, more into visual entertainment than aural or just like a good live performance I would highly recommend this DVD.
The Space Race
I remember watching the space launches when I was at school. We were all hauled into the assembly hall and made to watch the TV. It was all very exciting but I was too young to really appreciate it.
This book came out when I went to Cape Canaveral whilst holidaying in Florida. The nostalgia washed over me and I bought a copy. And all of a sudden the event I watched on TV thinking "this is a bit of fun" became something a lot darker ...
Did you know that at the time America and Russia were battling it out for superpower status, America was paranoid of all things "communist" and the cold war was at it's height, the launch of sputnik had pushed Americas paranoia into overload believing they could be bombed from space; the race was on for ownership of the moon. America was so concerned they shelved their principles and employed an ex nazi war criminal to help develop space flight! The space rockets were so thin you could punch a hole through the side with your fist! And there is more comuting power in a casio watch than there was on the space rockets!
Behind the scenes there were hundreds of lives lost and some horrific accidents. Russia was set to dominate the western world until an accident set them back decades. How? Why? You will have to read the book!
This is an incredible piece of history that could not have been written until now. This is due to data protection and a lot of government papers being available to the public for the first time.
I would have liked to see this as a larger book, with a lot more photographs. If you have an interest in the subject or just like me it's a bit of a nostalgic ride then you have to read this. It would make one hell of a film ...
Amy Winehouse: I Told You I Was Trouble
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If you are contemplating purchasing this then the chances are very high that you are an Amy fan. If you are new to Amy then read on ...
This is an impressive live performance filmed in London. The director has been very sympathetic to the live performance making it feel very intermate. Tracks are from both of Amy's albums "Frank" and "Back to Black". The live sound and musicianship is excellent. This performance shows Amy at her best; she is very loose and interacts with the audience. If you are more of a visual than just audio person and want to see one of the finest jazz performances then you have to get this.
For the fans: The documentary with this performance is excellent. It has interviews with people closest to her including her father and includes audition clips with her record company. It also has lots of clips of her live from small clubs to Glastonbury (where I saw her on the pyramid stage). It is professionally done and shows how Amy arrived from a teenager to star of "Back to Black" One of the highlights for me was hearing Amy and her father talking about her trip into rehab. You can see where all the lyrics to "Rebah" came from. So personal it's unbelieveable.
Well worth the money.
Eragon: Special Edition (2 Discs)
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I hate to read reviews from the die hard fans of books. Lets face facts and accept any film will NOT beat the book (especially if you loved it). A book lets your imagination go free and what is in your head can hardly EVER transfer to the big screen. So what is Eragon? It's an adaptation based on the book keeping the story, events and characters as close to the book as possible.
The story is exceptional (remembering that this is the first part of a trilogy, with the last book still being written), the casting is spot on especially the part of Eragon himself and the special effects bring the whole thing together.
There is a danger with these types of films that the special effects can take over the film and leave it without any real human interaction. But the story has been so carefully written that this is not the case. The scenes with Saphira (the dragon) are astounding especially in the battle scenes where she is breathing fire.
The key parts of the book are ALL here. Although some bits have been cut it does NOT detract from the story. It did take months to get from one location to another but do you want to watch a film that long? When did dragons have feathers? I think they were feathered scales more than feathers but why not! Is this not fantasy designed to push our imaginations.
A superb film. If you enjoy fantasy adventure then this is for you. Give it a try and you may well end up reading the book.
The Time Traveler's Wife
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This has to be one of my favourite books of all time. At the heart of the book is a romance, but with an unusual twist. The central character Henry unwillingly travels backwarks and forewards in time (but only within his own lifetime). He has no control over when it will happen and no idea where he will endup.
The characterisations are so good that you can't help but feel a part of the story. As you progress through the book all the little bits start to pull themselves together to a climatic conclusion. This isn't Mills and Boon, you don't even need to be a romantic at heart to enjoy this. But you do need a sense of adventure to enjoy the ride.
I can only suggest that you read this book. It won't change your life, but it could enhance it. After all, what have you got to lose ...