Monday 31 December 2012

Today's Review: Doing A Puzzle On New Year's Eve

Everyone seems to be out getting drunk, and I'm just sitting here tesselating. Yes, it's New Year's Eve, and I'm doing a puzzle with the missus. The kids are in bed, there are some snacks to nibble on, it's quite nice really. Many people would think of it as boring, but we sure don't fancy a night of stumbling around drunk in loud, obnoxious night clubs. Sure, it would be nice to have some company, so we could start up a board game or two, but this is the life I have settled into. Cosy, nice and quiet. New Year's Eve is just another eve, after all.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday 30 December 2012

Today's Review: Accidentally Reviewing The Same Thing Twice

It was bound to happen eventually. Doing a review each and every day, it's only a matter of time before I forget every exact thing that I've reviewed and write about something a second time. I just did, in fact.

I wrote a review about PS3 install and patching times, something which annoyed me quite a bit tonight. But after publishing, I had a nagging feeling that it's probably annoyed me a few times in the last year and a half. Sure enough, the lovely search function on my posts directed me to my earlier review on the same subject.

Well, it's before midnight, so now at least I can put this review in its place. This is A Review A Day, and I will always strive to review something original each and every day. Some may not be fantastic, some may rely on cheap linguistic techniques and meta, but there will be a review of something different every time. I guess I'll just have to use that search function a whole lot more from now on, because reviewing that same thing twice has probably annoyed me more than the PS3 issue I was reviewing in the first place.

My rating: 0/5

Saturday 29 December 2012

Today's Review: Alpro Soya Light

I had never drunk soy milk before today. Why would I? I'm not lactose intolerant, nor am I vegan. But I've always wondered what soy milk tastes like, and today my curiosity met my thrifty nature when I finally picked up a reduced carton of Alpro Soya Light.

It would probably be better to try the original version, as the light version of anything is bound to taste worse, but it'll do. So, does it taste like milk? Surprisingly, yes, a little. It has a strange aftertaste, kind of like porridge oats sticking to the roof of your mouth, but it isn't an entirety unpleasant experience. No patch on the real deal, but if milk makes you go against your beliefs or keep you on the toilet for an inordinate amount of time, it ain't a bad substitute.

My rating: 4/5

Friday 28 December 2012

Today's Review: Rise Of The Guardians

Dreamworks are rising up in my esteem lately. With the excellent How To Train Your Dragon a couple of years back, and me not hating Kung Fu Panda 2, or even Madagascar 3, they've surprised me again with Rise Of The Guardians.

The movie follows Jack Frost, the winter spirit who has existed for more than 300 years without a purpose. After another day of covering everything in snow and ice, he finds himself nominated by The Man In The Moon to join the ranks of the legendary Guardians of children, consisting of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and the Sandman. The re-emergence of the Bogeyman has threatened to envelop the world's children in fear, quashing their beliefs, and thus weakening the powers, of the Guardians. It's up to Jack Frost and his new allies to keep the children's beliefs alive, and use their powers to put a stop to the Bogeyman once and for all.

Rise Of The Guardians certainly has an interesting premise, with the interconnecting lairs and responsibilities of the Guardians, and the belief system that provides them with powers and even visibility. No matter how much of a mishmash all the different characters seem to be, the plot does a very good job of bringing them together into a very effective team. Frost, sand, and various other powers are flung around during some quite spectacular battle scenes, it seems almost like an Avengers for kids (well, little kids).

The Guardians themselves are all fantastic. The inexplicably Russian Santa chortles along with his dual swords, the Easter Bunny is distinctly Australian, wielding a deadly boomerang and dry humour, and even the Sandman has oodles of character, despite the fact that he never talks. There are some great voices behind the Guardians, and the Bogeyman, and they all do a fantastic job at portraying the uniqueness of their characters and the camaraderie of the group.

Rise Of The Guardians is a fantastic kids movie. It looks beautiful, has a great cast of characters, and some quite intense fight scenes that really kept my attention throughout. I'll definitely be watching it again.

My rating: 5/5

Thursday 27 December 2012

Today's Review: Butterfinger

I certainly love a good piece of American candy. But expensive as it may be, there's a chocolate bar that's probably had me forking over the cash a lot more than others, in the form of Butterfinger. I never used to like nuts so much as a kid, but if you're going to be eating American chocolate ,you're gonna have to start liking peanuts and peanut butter.

Butterfingers certainly are nutty. They contain a plethora of ground peanuts blended in with a nice crispy base, smothered in chocolate. The flavour bursts out as soon as you take a bite, that unmistakeable taste of chocolate and peanut butter. The flakiness of the center means it crumbles in your mouth, but as you chew the flavour enhances, and it's quite possible that you'll get some stuck in your teeth.

I don't mind though. It's an awesome, crunchy, smooth, flavoursome experience. If you're into your chocolate and peanut butter (an acquired taste for us Brits, I'm sure) then this is the bar for you.

My rating: 5/5

Wednesday 26 December 2012

Today's Review: Zombies!!!

There's nothing like a good board game at Christmas, especially one that involves a zombie apocalypse. Zombies!!! Is a board game in which the players build the board. You all start out on a town square, and each player gets a new piece of the map, complete with any zombies or provisions that go with it. As all the streets become interconnected and full of the undead, players have to make their way to the later-revealed helipad, or kill 25 zombies to win the game.

You get 2 dice, one which determines how many spaces you can move, and one that gives you your zombie killing power. Roll a 4 or above to kill a zombie ad add it to your collection, but if you roll less you'll have to sacrifice your scarce bullets to make up the number, or lose one of your three lives. If you lose all your lives, it's back to the start, so be sure to stock up on provisions to safely clear the helipad and win the game.

So yes, it's quite competitive, but the real spirit of the game lies in the event cards you pick up. These can either provide weapons or bonuses, paralyse other players, or give you the ability to surround them with or move them into groups of zombies. These cards can be played at anytime, so just as someone looks like they're going to win, the tables can be turned quite easily.

There's a lot of fresh stuff here to lake this a novel and entertaining board game. Sure, the rules are quite complex, and it can take a while to get into the swing of things, but I'm coming to the end of a 2 hour session and the time has flown by. Zombies!!! Is a very refreshing experience compared to your regular Christmas board games.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday 25 December 2012

Today's Review: Christmas Rubbish

The presents are unwrapped, the food has been eaten, all that remains is a larger-than-normal amount of toys, and rubbish bags lining the walls. Rubbish bags filled with the wrapping paper, boxes and plastic ties that once so nicely held our gifts. Four bags, to be exact, which is normally equal to over a week's worth of this household's rubbish.

The trouble is, I live in a block of flats with a shared bin store, which contains a few large dumpsters. The bin men neglected to empty them last week, meaning they were already overflowing with rubbish before Christmas Eve. Now it's me and the residents of 60 other flats looking to dump our above average load in an overflowing bin store, and it makes me feel iuncomfortable. I can't imagine what it would be like if I lived in a solitary house with my own wheelie bin. If that overflows, it's trouble. So everyone who has bags full of wrapping, masses of empty bottles, and not to mention the mass amounts of food waste from the Christmas feasts, will have a hard time disposing of their rubbish this Christmas.

Christmas is certainly a holiday of excess nowadays, but it's never more apparent than with the amount of rubbish left behind, chunky black bags getting in the way of your sozzled Christmas conga. Quite frankly, it's a bunch of rubbish.

My rating: 1/5

Monday 24 December 2012

Today's Review: The Snowman And The Snowdog

The Snowman is a British Christmas tradition, though to be honest I'd rather have A Charlie Brown Christmas. The Snowman is basically about a boy who builds a snowman, which comes to life, flies him to a party and then melts the next day. The Snowman And The Snowdog is pretty much the same thing, but with a dog.

Okay, it's not as bad as I'm making out. The Snowman certainly has a certain amount of charm, nice animation, a good score, and the sequel actually manages to retain a lot of the feel of the original. The animation vibrates much like the first, and the music throughout was very fitting and well done. Even the original song playing through the flying scenes were quite good. Why some people have decried them not using "Walking In The Air" is beyond me.

The snow dog is quite a nice addition too. There was an obvious attempt at tearjerking with the boy's dog in the beginning, but while the snow version got up to a few antics throughout the rest of the show, there wasn't too much to keep me amazingly entertained. Still, I don't get particularly excited over the original, but the kids sure enjoyed both of them.

The Snowman And The Snowdog is a nice follow up to the original classic. The animation and score fit in perfectly, and while it does fall a bit flat overall, it certainly keeps up that Christmassy feeling.

My rating: 4/5 

Sunday 23 December 2012

Today's Review: Socks For Christmas

It's the ultimate dad present. The present you get when no one can think of anything else. It's normally considered a bad thing, but while in past years I would have scowled while unwrapping a pair of socks, lately my opinion has changed.

You see, I wear socks every day, and for some reason, getting older means my socks accumulate holes at a surprising rate, while the amount of times I actively go out and buy replacements is next to nothing. So when I unwrapped a nice pack of socks this afternoon, I was quite happy. No more searching for pairs of socks, no more running out in a particularly busy wash week. For now, my sock problems are behind me. Socks are a legitimately good present.

My rating: 5/5

Saturday 22 December 2012

Today's Review: Limited Edition Cigarette Packets

So yeah, I've started selling these at work. "Limited Edition" packs of cigarettes, with a new funky logo. Well, seeing as the original logo is a square, anything would be better I suppose. But why would you want to make a limited edition cigarette packet?

There is a certain market for limited editions, I know. Movies come with special versions, steelbook or alternate case art, postcards and the like. Video games have extra content, free figurines, and all kinds of other cool stuff. Stamps have new editions all the time, but stamp collecting certainly is a big thing. Hell, I even understand the limited edition bottles of Gordons we've been selling too, because I have actually heard of people collecting bottles. But cigarette packets? I've never heard of anyone collecting those. You know why? Because they're pieces of cardboard that, when devoid of cigarettes, are widely considered to be rubbish.

What are you going to do with your limited edition cigarette packet? Put it in a special shelf? Probably not. Perhaps it may be a brief conversation starter, with the most boring person on the planet. "Have you seen my cigarettes? Half of it looks slightly different than normal, although the other half is still warning me of my certain demise. Actually, that would be a good idea for the next set of limited edition packs. "Limited gruesome medical warning edition. Collect all 12 cancerous body parts!"

It just all seems a bit stupid. Though I suppose it doesn't do me any harm. Apart from the second hand smoke. Boom boom.

My rating: 1/5

Friday 21 December 2012

Today's Review: "The End Of The World"

Yes, I had to review the end of the world, because even though it hasn't happened yet, it might, and I sure can't write about it when I'm dead. I'm sure everyone who knows someone who's a bit happy with the "Share" button on Facebook the forwarding function on emails, or the real life equivalent of that, whatever that is (moronic bore perhaps?) has heard about this so called end of the world. Basically a bunch of dudes from long ago made a big ass calendar, and the 13th b'ak'tun is due to finish today, which means the start of a new world apparently. Obviously, this has led many people to believe that we're all going to die from a sudden obliteration or apocalypse on December 21st. Even though surely it would happen on December 22nd.

So here I am at 11:45pm on December 21st, and nothing untoward has happened, December 22nd has been happening for almost 12 hours in New Zealand, and they're not dead. What happened? Where's the apocalypse? I was so certain it was going to happen when all the misinformed people told me about it. We all love to share a good bit of drama after all, and what can be more dramatic than the end of the world?

You know what really happened (probably)? Dudes wrote a long ass calendar, got to a logical resting point, and thought "Hell, someone else can make the rest, this will do for a few thousand years" (It probably didn't happen like that). So people half read history books, misinterpreted information, assumed the worst, compounded the situation and posted it all over the internet for the whole world to share moronically. Maybe it would be good if the world ended, I wouldn't have to hear people talking about the latest superstitious crap that's definitely going to happen.

My rating: 0/5

Thursday 20 December 2012

Today's Review: Tesco's Dr. Fizz

It's not entirely festive, but it's a new drink in time for Christmas, so here we go. This is Tesco's latest addition to their cheap and cheerful carbonated drinks range, which is completely original and doesn't resemble a popular brand name drink.

It's touted as a "fruit flavoured" drink, much like the popular brand name equivalent might be. Not that I can tell exactly which fruits are contained within, but it doesn't taste much like fruit to me. Still, it does have that distinctive taste that a popular brand name soft drink with a doctorate might have, if just a little off. It's quite sickly, quite a bit more syrupy than the popular brand name version might be. But hey, it's under 60p for two litres, so it's not too bad. Just okay really. I'd much prefer a popular brand name version, if it existed. Dr. Paprika or something.

My rating: 3/5

Wednesday 19 December 2012

Today's Review: Christmas Stockings

Christmas stockings have to be one of the weirdest Christmas traditions. Hang up an oversized sock, and it gets filled with sweets and knick knacks? Who came up with this stuff? Apparently, we don't really know, all we have is a shady story of good old Saint Nick sneaking into a dude's house through the chimney and putting money in his daughter's stockings. That dude would be arrested and certifiable if he tried that these days.

But somehow it has become a tradition. Sure, I like the idea of filling up a nice little receptacle with some smaller presents, as a precursor to your big ones. Well, I certainly liked it when I was kid, anyway, now it's just extra crap I have to buy for my kids. So yes, the thought is there, and the excitement of the kids is nice to see, but why does it have to be a sock? Socks are awkwardly shaped, and stockings are even more so, because they look like the perfect caricature of a sock. the foot part poking out at an awkward 45 degree angle. So if you try and fit anything slightly large in there, you won't be able to tesselate for optimum maximum space usage. Why a sock? Why not a Christmas sack? Christmas carrier bag? But alas, it is ingrained, and it's not going away soon. It's not a particularly awful thing, the thought it certainly there, it's just a really stupid shape for something you want to load up with gifts.

My rating: 3/5

Tuesday 18 December 2012

Today's Review: Ben & Jerry's Winter Berry Brownie

New Ben & Jerry's flavour always get me excited, especially ones with fancy new ingredients involved, but especially when they're on offer. Half price at Tesco, don't you know. Anyway, here is a very festive offering from the ice cream lords, Winter Berry Brownie, being a vanilla ice cream swirled with blackberries and raspberries, mixed up with chocolate brownie chunks.

Sound like a weird combination? That's because it is. The fruity swirls are quite nice, though not as flavoursome as I've come to expect from other varieties. Perhaps it's because the taste of the brownie is a strange contrast, like the two flavours are competing for dominance. The brownie certainly wins out in that respect, the chunks are pretty massive. But while it does take a little while to get used to the brownie/berry combination, I must say this was a very tasty ice cream. Fruity, chocolatey and smooth. It'll get you right in the Christmas spirit, if you normally eat berries and brownies together at Christmas.

My rating: 4/5

Monday 17 December 2012

Today's Review: Happy Xmas (War Is Over) By John Lennon

Another Christmassy review? Sure, in fact, I might make it a Christmas review week. Everyone knows Christmas songs are an important part of the Christmas experience. There are many uplifting, mellow and happy tunes about Christmas, and then there is this crap by John Lennon.

Seriously, I have no idea why people like this song so much. How has it become a classic Christmas song when it's so depressing? I hate everything about it. It sounds like such a downer, trying to appeal to the nations of the world to achieve world peace by using children who can barely sing, and some shitty rhymes. "A very merry Christmas and a happy new year, let's hope it's a good one, without any fear"? This is master songwriter John Lennon we're talking about, how did this come out of him? "War is over, if you want it, war is over, nooooooow"? That doesn't even rhyme, and it doesn't fit in very well either.

I really don't get it. This song makes me cringe every time it comes on. It depresses me, it makes me long for The Beatles, or absolutely anything else. Why do people like it? Can anyone explain it to me? Anyone?

My rating: 0/5

Sunday 16 December 2012

Today's Review: Tinsel

There's a fair amount of tinsel surrounding me right now. On the Christmas tree, adorning my curtains, draped on the photo frames. but what is tinsel? Who made it? Well, Wikipedia has already told me all that. It was invented in Nuremburg, apparently, which does make some sense, tinsel for your tannenbaum and all that. What I didn't know is that tinsel is used to emulate icicles when placed in strands hanging down from the tree, probably because all my life I've seen people wrapping it around, probably because that's the cool thing to do. But, no matter where it is spread, it certainly does have that nice sparkly effect of ice, although I can't say I've ever seen ice that is blue, purple or green. Gawd, Christmas has been ruined, why can't people embrace the true meaning of tinsel?

Well, no matter which way you drape it, and what colour you have it, tinsel is an undeniable part of Christmas. If I were to make a Christmas display without tinsel, I can almost guarantee that people looking at it would say "Where's the tinsel?" Who wouldn't want tinsel, anyway? It certainly is nice to look at, all colourful and shiny, and it just helps to ease me into that Christmas spirit, as I'm sure it does with everyone (apart from those who are allergic to it I guess). It can be annoying at times, but tinsel is a nice thing to have around in the festive season.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday 15 December 2012

Today's Review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Oh lawdy, it's time to go back to Middle Earth. Nine years after the last instalment of The Lord Of The Rings, we are now being treated to the first chapter of The Hobbit, the first of three to be exact.

I know what many people, including myself, were thinking. The Hobbit is a significantly shorter book than the entirety of The Lord Of The Rings, how could they possibly stretch it out into three movies? The obvious answer is to make crap loads of money, but I had faith that Peter Jackson would deliver a nicely paced narrative. An Unexpected Journey is two and a half hours long, a length that we've come to expect based on The Lord Of The Rings, and there wasn't a moment during where I felt bored.

Indeed, there is a nice balance between character building, quieter, trekking scenes and some truly spectacular battles. The quieter moments are definitely helped by the fantastic cast. Martin Freeman fits into the role of Bilbo extremely well, and Ian McKellen is as good as ever as Gandalf. Many others return as well, Elijah Wood, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Andy Serkis. It's a realt testament to the success of The Lord Of The Rings that everyone was willing to come back almost a decade later. The new characters are pretty awesome too. The band of dwarves, while not particularly fleshed out character wise, have a great sense of camaraderie  between them, and their leader, Thorin (Richard Armitage) is especially noteworthy.

So yes, great actors, an evenly placed plot, some touching and funny moments thrown in too, but what we've all come to expect from Jackson is some fantastic battle scenes, and The Hobbit delivers many times. Trolls, orcs, goblins, our gang of dwarves (and a hobbit and wizard) encounter all these and more on their quest, and no effort is spared in making the creatures look amazing. The goblin lair near the end of the movie, especially, blew me away in terms of the detail and magnitude of what was portrayed on screen, and it was all enhanced with both the 3D effects and the higher frame rate at which the movie is displayed. Everything looks a lot smoother, a lot more real, and while my brain struggled to process a couple of scenes, in which everything seemed to be moving a lot faster than it should, I must say that this movie looked amazing.

So there you have it. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a fantastic start to a new trilogy. Spreading a smaller book into three entire movies may seem a bit iffy, but if this instalment is anything to go by, it will allow for greater attention to detail. This movie kept my interest throughout, with fantastic performances, awesome effects and fantastically choreographed battle scenes. I'm certainly looking forward to the rest.

My rating: 5/5

Friday 14 December 2012

Today's Review: Blackcurrant Lemsip

Well, it's winter, and that means it's time for my nasty cold to surface and make me feel like crap for a couple of weeks. Man flu? Possibly. But I'm not lying around and moaning, I'm going to work and doing other things, and moaning. But if there's a medicine I go to when the sore throat begins, it's blackcurrant Lemsip, because I don't like the lemon flavour all that much.

Just look at all that stuff it treats, just think of all the chemicals inside. All in a little tiny sachet. Every time I take a sip, my sore throat stops hurting. Only for a second, but hey, it's something. It tastes pretty nice too, like a cup of hot, healing blackcurrant squash. So before that winter cold hits you full in the face, fend it off with some nice cups of Lemsip, before you lose all hope and resort to snorting Olbas Oil straight from the bottle (other people do that, right?)

My rating: 5/5

Thursday 13 December 2012

Today's Review: KFC Gladiator Box Meal

If you think you were manly wolfing down a KFC Big Daddy box, now you have the chance to ascend to the rank of Gladiator with their latest offering. So what sets a Gladiator Box apart from a regular meal? Apparently the ability to eat one more piece of chicken than you normally would. Hey, if that's what Romans considered to be gladiatorial behaviour, I could probably reach the level of God with the amount of chicken I can eat.

Yes, the Gladiator Box is basically a Fully Loaded box with two pieces of chicken instead of one. You can opt to have the burger in a spicy variety, which I did, and that was quite nice. But overall I must say I was disappointed. You can get a Big Daddy box for £5.99 which gives you a towered burger with bacon, plus a large fries and drink. £5.89 for this here box only provides you a normal sized meal, and not even a towered burger. I don't really think that extra piece of chicken is worth it, and the fact that they decided to come up with a whole new name for it makes it seem like they're running out of ideas. Oh well, I still love your Big Daddy and your buckets, KFC. Just actually try something innovative next time. Or just give us the Double Down already, you know you want to.

My rating: 2/5

Wednesday 12 December 2012

Today's Review: Not Doing Something Special For My 666th Review

Yes, I wrote my 666th review yesterday, and what did I review? Cookie dough. Given the occasion I probably should have done something about the devil, or the strict satanist guidelines by which I live my life.

Oh wait, no I don't, and even if I did, 666 is just a number. Any number is just a number, we attribute emotions and importance to numbers willy nilly. Any number can be meaningful if you look at it the right way, so if I was going to write a special review for number 666, why wouldn't I write something special for all of them? So no, I'm not too bothered about not reviewing Satan, or whatever I would have done. I can do that any time. I'm not going to let my post number, or the date on my calendar, dictate what I'm going to write about.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday 11 December 2012

Today's Review: Tesco's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Cookies are a fantastic snack. You can make them in all kinds of different forms, with all kinds of things thrown into them. But what happens if you don't have time to bake them? Well, it turns out it doesn't matter, because cookie dough is delicious too.

It was many years ago that I first got hold of a supermarket brand pack of cookie dough, and I had since given up on finding it, figuring it had died a horrible death at the hands of health and safety, what with all the raw eggs and stuff. So when somebody told me Tesco are selling cookie dough, I made a special trip to grab some. 

It could be that this stuff makes delicious cookies, but I'm sure I won't find out, because I'll probably eat the whole lot raw. But it's okay, they're not just any raw eggs in there, these are pasteurised, which apparently means it's even safe for pregnant women to eat. So let the fun begin.

The first thing I noticed when opening the tub is that the dough smelled a lot like Play-Doh, and the consistency wasn't far off either. But a little thing like that wasn't going to dissuade me, I knew what goodness was waiting for me inside. Yes, it's basically like scooping up a lump of Play-Doh with chocolate chips in, but this stuff is good. You can certainly taste the brown sugar in there, it's sweet stuff with a grainy and heavy texture. It's sure to last a while too. I'm not entirely sure how many cookies it makes, but if you're eating it raw it won't take long to get a sickly feeling from all the dough you're filling your stomach with. 

This cookie dough is just as good as I imagined. Sure, it's a little heavy, and can get sickly quite quickly, but it sure is tasty. Besides, maybe if I shine an Easy-Bake oven at my ribs I can fill my stomach with fresh baked cookies. I'm sure that would work.

My rating: 4/5

Monday 10 December 2012

Today's Review: Frubes Shot Pouches

You know what's not really considered cool by kids? Yoghurt. But that's about to change. Because although yoghurt has tried to be edgy before, with all those bits you can tip in or tubes it can fit into, nothing has prepared children of the world for Frubes Shot Pouches.

Look at this box. Look how edgy and cool it is. The 'u' is wearing sunglasses! The "o" in "shot" looks like a gunshot or blood spatter or something. In fact, why are they even called "shot pouches"? Because the word "shot" sounds cool obviously. Look at that urban brick wall in the background. Look at how the space underneath the fruit in the bottom corner looks like a swordfish for some reason. This box is a masterpiece in mind-blowing, cluster-fuck edginess. The pouches themselves don't let up either.

Look at these guys. They don't care. They have their tongues stuck out at authority, or to eat delicious yoghurt, I'm not entirely sure. One only has a cross for an eye, but he seems happy enough. Even if he is sporting headphones with an aerial, while the other has apparently gotten hold of a sweet pair of Beats by Dre. 

So yes, the packaging is a bit in your face, but hey, the kids will like it, maybe. What they won't like is how awkward these things are to eat. You rip the corner off the top, obviously, but then what? Logic dictates you would pour the yoghurt out into your face, but it's too thick to do that. So you have to resort to squeezing and rolling the thing to get all the yoghurty goodness, but the nozzle is awkwardly positioned, meaning you have to squeeze all the contents into one small corner instead of straight up like in Frubes' tube counterpart. I don't know who designed this thing, but it's a bit of a mess.

The yoghurt tastes nice though. Smooth, flavoursome. But they had that down to a fine art when they put it in the first set of tubes. This step is just unnecessary. It's a nice yoghurt let down by some truly awkward packing design. I think it's time to get back to basics. I'll just have to go and make eating yoghurt with a spoon look real gangsta.

My rating: 3/5

Sunday 9 December 2012

Today's Review: Door Stops

Man, my door is pretty banged up. I should take better care of my door edges.

Anyway, the door stop is what I'm talking about here. A door stop does exactly what it says, it stops doors. Wedge one of these suckers underneath and your door will stay open, or prevent someone from getting in for a little while. Zombies or murderers after you? No need to drag cupboards or put a chair under the door handle, just grab a door stop. It'll keep them out, guaranteed (absolutely not guaranteed).

But in real life situations, they're pretty useful. My place has quite big fire doors that have closing mechanisms installed, so door stops do pretty well to make sure the door doesn't close on a cat or child who decides to follow me silently out of the room. There's not really a bad thing I can say about them. Sure, I just had to buy some new ones, but when you buy the cheapest you can find, you can't blame them for not working too well after a year. If you want to stop your door, in any direction, you can't go wrong with a door stop.

My rating: 5/5

Saturday 8 December 2012

Today's Review: Frijj Banoffee Pie Milkshake

I try to say I dislike bananas, but they're so damn versatile they're hard to ignore. A banana on its own, or clogging up my smoothies, sure, I hate that. But give me a slice of banana bread of banoffee pie and I'll forgive bananas for all their previous trespasses. So this banoffee flavoured milkshake was a bit of a risky try, seeing as I like banoffee but hate banana flavoured drinks.

Well, it's certainly nice and creamy, which I've come to expect from Frijj's shakes. The flavour is... distinctly banana. Sure, you can taste the hint of toffee in there, and I guess pie? But it's mostly banana. While in a normal situation I'd probably say it's not nice, the hint of toffee, the quality of the shake itself, or both, seem to have made this turn out alright. Sure, I'd probably choose any other flavour given the choice, but this is not a bad shake, especially if you go bananas for bananas.

My rating: 3/5

Friday 7 December 2012

Today's Review: Tropical Yop

I can't say that yoghurt is one of my favourite beverages, but I sure won't pass up a bottle of Yop when it's cheap. Forget those tiny yoghurt drinks with all that friendly bacteria they pump into you, I want Yop, because they had a cool advert.

Well, finally we have the flavour to match that smooth-ass reggae. Not that I know what this "tropical" consists of, there's no clue in the ingredients, and no attempt to tell us what it's meant to taste like. So when I took my first gulp, I was somewhat surprised to find it kind of tasted like apricot yoghurt. The apricot is not a tropical fruit, it is in fact native to areas with a continental climate. But I digress. I guess they didn't want to make it taste like apricot, even with that toucan perching on the logo, obviously meant to distract me.

Still, a nice drink. Maybe they should work on fitting in some more guavas and passion fruits and the like, but today I just did not feel that tropical vibe.

My rating: 3/5

Thursday 6 December 2012

Today's Review: Super Mario Sweets

Yeah, I found some Super Mario sweets. Dubious, perhaps, but there's a Nintendo seal of quality on the back, so I guess it's legit. Anyways, this bag is particularly interesting, because inside there are two kinds of sweets, a bag of crunchy ones, and a bag of jellies.

Too bad they're both not that nice. The only colour I had in the jellies bag was orange, and they're pretty big too. Not sure what the flavour was supposed to be. It didn't seem like orange, it was almost as if they forgot to add flavouring, it is that nondescript of a taste.

The crunchy sweets are slightly better though. Various small mushrooms and faces of a Love Heart texture, although harder. The flavours taste like the kind you get with Love Hearts as well. Not particularly any certain flavour. It could be fruity, but I'll be damned if I know what fruits they resemble. It's your standard, chalky, sweet flavours, although the chalkiness is more predominant with Mario here.

I don't know what I was expecting from a company named Au'some, creator of such well known classics as Ooze Pops and... Snerdles? Come on Nintendo, these guys are damaging your brand here. Give me a Cadbury chocolate Mario already.

My rating: 1/5

Wednesday 5 December 2012

Today's Review: How This Country Reacts To Snow

I woke up this morning, and looked out of the window to see a nice blanket of snow. Not that I had to look out of the window, all I had to do was go on Facebook and look at the last twenty updates, which all informed me which kind of weather had happened. This is the initial excitement that happens after snow, especially snow that wasn't preceded by tens of news reports informing us of the potential situation.

But then that excitement clears, as people realise that they have work to go to. You see, snow is only fun as long as it's snow, and within minutes of people walking or driving over the snow it gets compacted to unholy death ice. You see, in countries where snow is quite a common occurrence, they have measures to stop the roads becoming death traps. Snow ploughs, grit and the like, but apparently England forget about these every year.

When I walked into town this morning, it was like a scene from some kind of snow-pocalypse. Cars travelled slower than me, as one wrong move could send them sliding uncontrollably into any number of obstacles. The few pedestrian survivors struggled along like ice skating zombies. But mostly, there was a distinct lack of people. Because whenever there's snow, there is sure to be an onslaught of people who wouldn't even dare leave their house to run errands, or even go to work. Trains and buses are delayed and cancelled, the whole country comes to a standstill, because this slightly frozen water came out of the sky, as it has for millions of years, and screwed everything up.

Okay, I admit ice is pretty scary stuff to try and travel on, especially in massive vehicles. Hell, I've developed an irrational fear of ice skating after quite a bad fall on an ice rink, so I particularly dread the thought of slipping over. But should snow really be hindering us this much? Perhaps it's like this in all countries, but it seems like those that are regularly snowy seem to have their shit together. I can only say from my experience in this country that snow is bad news, game over. Seriously guys, we have evolved into a highly intelligent and resourceful human race with mind-boggling technology, but we comes to a standstill whenever some snow falls from the sky? It just doesn't seem right. Take some risks, take some precautions, do something. Well, I guess global warming is one solution...

My rating: 1/5

Tuesday 4 December 2012

Today's Review: Tesco Value Chicken Tikka & Rice

Tesco have been selling these value ready meals for a while now, for just 95p. For that price, it's hard to tell what the quality of the meat will be, or even how much of it is actually meat. I've been interested in trying one of these, and tonight I was on my own, so I thought I'd make a real bachelor night out of it. So, I unsheathed the meal, followed the microwave instructions (Oven? What do I look like, a chef?), and dumped the resulting slop onto the most unappealing and mismatched plate in my collection.

That's a 95p meal for you. Doesn't look particularly appetising, and it's quite small. It's good that I wasn't hungry, because this probably wouldn't fill me up in normal circumstances, and I don't have the money to shell out for naan bread and poppadoms and whatnot if I'm willing to pay less than a pound for the main event. Still, it didn't taste too bad, considering. The rice wasn't too crunchy, or mushy, and the chicken, while scarce, actually tasted like meat. The sauce left a little to be desired, not very spicy at all. Overall, I'd say my experience was okay. If you're poor and looking for something a cheap meal, you can't really go wrong with this. But if you can afford something better, like perhaps a £2 pizza, I'd definitely go for that.

My rating: 3/5

Monday 3 December 2012

Today's Review: A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas

'Tis the season, and what better way to celebrate than by watching a Christmas movie from 2011 that took a year to come out on Blu-Ray? This country is silly like that. Anyway, since I missed it at the cinema, now I finally had the chance to watch the latest instalment in the Harold & Kumar stoner movie franchise.

It's been a few years since we followed out intrepid duo through their last drug-fuelled adventures, and now they're living very different lives. Kumar is a depressed stoner living alone in his apartment, while Harold is expecting his wife Maria's family over to his extravagant house for Christmas. But when Kumar comes along and burns down the Christmas tree that Harold's father-in-law grew, they are forced to hunt down another in New York City.

Really, it's the same old Harold & Kumar formula, but that's by no means a bad thing. A load of drugs, immature sex jokes, over the top violence and Neil Patrick Harris all return, but this time they're presented in full, very self-aware 3D. Pretty much every puff of weed comes out of the TV, and various other violent and over the top set pieces are used to throw as much stuff in your face as possible.

There are a lot of great faces scattered throughout this movie too. Danny Trejo, Patton Oswalt, Thomas Lennon, and of course, Neil Patrick Harris all turn in great performances. It's an over the top slapstick adventure, which while lacking in character depth, is certainly entertaining. That's not to say I was laughing the whole way through. Some of the humour is quite immature, and is often hit or miss, but I certainly laughed a lot more than I was expecting to, and this instalment reminded me why I hold the rest of the series in high esteem. If you want a Christmas movie that's a little different, or just want to have a few dirty laughs, this is the one for you.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday 2 December 2012

Today's Review: Life Of Pi

Have you ever read a book and thought, "Man, this would make a good movie", and then they make that movie, nine years later? Well, yeah, that's happened to me now, and quite frankly I couldn't remember too much of the plot, but maybe that's a good thing.

Life Of Pi follows the misfortunes of Pi, an Indian boy who finds himself in the midst of a shipwreck when his family attempted to move their zoo animals to Canada. The ship sinks, everyone is lost, but Pi remains, floating on a life boat with some unlikely animal companions, most notably the tiger, Richard Parker.

Of course, it's not just about a boy and his tiger. Life Of Pi is a very metaphorical movie, that bases itself on religion. Pi establishes himself from the beginning as a spiritual person who follows many different religions, and the amount of allegories and metaphors throughout is clearly well planned, especially in the final scenes. So while we see an awe-inspiring tale of a boy struggling to survive in the ocean with a fierce tiger, this one will really leave you thinking after you've left, as to what was truly going on, and what the whole thing means.

Visually, Life Of Pi is pretty stunning. While the majority is spent looking at a boat in clear waters, they managed to throw in a lot of awesome visuals. The shipwreck itself looks amazing, and some of the phenomena that Pi encounters at sea are wonderful. The best thing though, has to be the computer animation built around the tiger. His actions are wonderfully created, giving him as much character as anyone else in the whole production. 

That is, perhaps, where the movie falls short though. The actor playing Pi had no previous acting experience, and while he does a good job, it certainly does show a little. Everyone seemed to pull in a good performance, but there was nothing that really left me thinking they had done an amazing job. This movie is all about the visuals, and the story, and it lays them on in bucket loads. While the 3D isn't too great, there is a lot of beautiful stuff to look at here, and the images and thoughts that Life Of Pi left me with will probably stay with me for a while. It's an epic, beautiful movie that, while not perfect, is definitely worth a watch.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday 1 December 2012

Today's Review: Not Being Able To Keep Your Eyes Open

I've been going to bed pretty early lately, I have certainly been more tired than usual. Tonight is one of those nights, it's quarter to midnight and my eyes are heavy. I can barely go a minute without my eyelids starting to close and my brain going foggy. But I still have to write this review. I know this, which means my brain knows this, so why is it trying to shut down my body?

Maybe the next time my brain is trying to be productive I'll jump off a wall or repeatedly punch myself in the face. That'll learn it for interrupting me when I'm trying to be productive. Sure, I should probably learn to do things during the day, but the fact remains that I want to do stuff right now, and I have to stop my brain from forcing my eyes shut the whole way through. Thanks brain, thanks body, hope you have fun with my closed eyelids. You've fought long enough to get them like that.

My rating: 0/5

Friday 30 November 2012

Today's Review: Mopping

I've touched upon how much I like having laminate flooring before. If I had carpets all around the place they'd be dirty and matted right now, but with laminate I can just sweep stuff up, or mop up any stains. It's all good stuff, apart from one thing: I hate mopping.

Sweeping is fine. There are bits of food, rubbish, dust, or whatever, you just sweep it up with a broom and dump it in the bin. But sometimes those things don't come off the floor. Sometimes there's a stubborn stain that won't come off, and then you have to bust out the mop. Not just the mop, but a bucket of soapy water that you will then wipe all over the laminate flooring, making it even more slippery than before.

Sure, running a mop over the floor a few times isn't all that bad, but it's when you get to those stuck on bits of dirt that annoys me. Once the mopping has been done, these little bits are free to roll around the place, taunting me with their "sweep me up now, bitch!" Then there's those stains that won't come off, you need to scrub over and over, and then probably get down on your hands and knees and pick it off anyway. Once I've hit enough of these annoyances in one room. I just want to give up. But even if I do that, the floor's wet, and it's all uncomfortable to walk on, so I'm left with a half wet, half dirty room with no desire to clean anymore. Mopping sucks.

My rating: 1/5

Thursday 29 November 2012

Today's Review: McDonald's Winter Warmer

HEY, THAT DON'T LOOK LIKE THA PICTURE! Well, no, it doesn't, but it still tastes like a burger, so I'll forgive it. Here we have McDonald's attempt at a festive burger, which isn't really festive apart from its name. It's all in the cheese really. We have smoked cheese, and a cheese topped bun, to go with the regular old beef patty, slices of bacon, lettuce, and not one, but two sauces.

Did I feel like Christmas when I ate it? No, I can't say I did, but that question doesn't really make sense. It's a nice burger though, the sauces make it quite nice and creamy, and the beef is certainly of a better quality than the Big Mac. It's just the name that I find a bit strange. It implies that this is the burger that'll warm you up for winter, which in turn would imply that all their other burgers are a bit on the cold side. I don't think that's really true. Still, if you're looking for a McDonald's experience above the value meal tier, you can't really go wrong with this one. A little bland for a special burger, but it hit the spot.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday 28 November 2012

Today's Review: Monster Slippers

Since I was entirely unsatisfied with my slipper purchase a couple of weeks ago, I was ecstatic to find a pair of chunky monster feet slippers in a charity shop for the measly sum of £4. Now my feet are wrapped in these awesome furry wonders, and are a lot warmer than they were with those stupid half slippers I had.

They're not perfect though, I have to admit. Since I now have oversized monster feet, I find myself kicking a lot of things when I'm walking around, because my feet are more than twice the width I'm used to. Sure, it's not painful to bash into things with my furry claws, but it certain;y disrupts my walking a little bit. Also, seeing as the top of the slippers are completely covered in fur, for some reason they have neglected to put any inside. If these babies were fur lined I'd probably never take them off.

Still, they're a nice, warm pair of slippers, the slippers I have been waiting for my entire life. I can get used to the added foot width, because now my real feet are saved from those cold winter nights. Thank you, monster slippers.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Today's Review: Board Game Themed Tissues

Have you ever been playing a game of Cluedo or Monopoly and thought "I love this game so much that I'd like to expel mucus into it"? Well, Poundland have you covered. Because now, instead of wrapping that game board around your face to catch the fluids streaming out of it, you can use tissues from these board game themed boxes instead.

Really, why would you want these? I guess it would be nice for when you're playing the corresponding board game. Like if you mercilessly beat someone at Monopoly, and they start crying, and then you offer them one of these, and you're like "Oooooh, burn!" But then you'd just be a douchebag.

So there you have it, board game tissues. For douches and people who want to murder Colonel Mustard in the nasal cavity with a giant bogey.

My rating: 1/5

Monday 26 November 2012

Today's Review: Galaxy Gift For You - Truffle

It's Christmas soon, well, in more than a month's time anyway. So obviously the Christmas themed treats are lining the shelves. Galaxy have stepped up the game from last year's caramel filled present, and provided us with a truffle version, which is good news for me because I love chocolate truffle.

Since the day the Galaxy Truffle disappeared from the Celebrations box, there has been a hole in my heart that only truffle can fill. But now I can tuck into it again, if only for the Christmas period. What we have here is a present shaped chocolate. One half is just plain old Galaxy chocolate, but the other conceals a smooth truffle centre that is just as good as I remember. I did feel a little ripped off at first, thinking they should have made the whole thing truffle, but having eaten one it feels like just the right amount. Any more would be quite sickly. This is definitely a delicious little treat, let the Christmas snacking begin.

My rating: 5/5

Sunday 25 November 2012

Today's Review: People Who Ask For A Buy It Now Price On My eBay Auctions

I'm not what you'd call a serial eBayer, but I do use it quite often. I tend to start my stuff off at 99p, because then I don't have to pay insertion fees, I'm cheap like that. But a lot of the time this seems to invite a few people to message me asking what the Buy It Now price would be, or would I take x amount if I ended the auction now.

Okay, okay, I often have a rough figure that I expect my stuff to sell for, but clearly if I wanted that figure I wouldn't have ignored the option that asked if I wanted to add a Buy It Now price. I have almost 400 feedback, it's not like I'm new to the site, I know what my options are. But still I get the questions asking me to add one. I don't like Buy It Now prices. They're normally too high, and I prefer an auction style where I can watch people battle it out at the last minute to increase my figure to a more than desirable level. Hell, the first thing I bought on eBay I ended up going about £50 over what I first wanted to spend, I want people doing that with my stuff. 

So no, people, I will not add a button to my auction so you can click it and give me whatever measly sum you are offering. I want to make you sweat, I want the person who buys my stuff to be the victor of a glorious last minute battle of the bids. Survival of the fittest. Or survival of the richest? Survival of the clickest. Survival of the guy who bids good.

My rating: 0/5

Saturday 24 November 2012

Today's Review: Holes In Clothes

There are currently holes in most of the clothes I'm wearing. I feel like a hobo, although I'm currently in my own home. Sure, ripped jeans can be something of a fashion statement, but if you carry it over to your socks and t-shirts it's not a good thing, and that seems to be what has happened to me.

Socks are easy to replace, sure. I tend to throw them away when I find a hole or two. But t-shirts are expensive, especially the ones I get sent from America. One little hole is not going to stop me from wearing it, or force me to drop £15-20 on a new one. But that doesn't stop me from hating holes. Why do they exist? Why do fabrics have to pull and tear, and wear out? In a perfect world we'd have indestructible clothes, but then I guess we'd have trouble putting them on, or we'd sweat a lot or something. So now we're stuck with lousy holes that appear as if from nowhere, and they suck. They ruin the whole clothing experience.

My rating: 0/5

Friday 23 November 2012

Today's Review: Prawn Crackers

Prawn crackers are strange things. You'd think they're crisps, but they're not, they're just prawns mixed with tapioca flour. They literally mash up prawns, add some starch, and leave them to dry for several days. That's some dedication to get a nice crunchy snack. But I have to say that they are tasty, so maye it's worth it. Despite being made from mostly prawns, the flavour isn't too overwhelming. As long as you eat them within a few hours of opening the packet, the crunch is pretty satisfying. Sure, there's probably going to be some grease involved, but all the best crisps leave some kind of residue on your fingers, why should prawn crackers be any different?

They're a perfect accompaniment to a Chinese meal, or as a standalone snack. Light, crunchy, and flavoursome, I definitely love me a bag of prawn crackers.

My rating: 5/5

Thursday 22 November 2012

Today's Review: Killer Joe

Chris (Emile Hirsch) is in a spot of trouble. He owes some money to the local drug baron, but can't quite afford the amount required to stop him being murdered. Thankfully, his mother has a life insurance policy that could get him out of this mess, and there's a man around town named Killer Joe (Matthew McConaughey) who can off someone with no questions asked. A deal is made, but Chris soon finds out that it's not too clear cut, and things don't always turn out rosy in murder and insurance fraud.

Killer Joe is a dark movie, and not just in terms of plot. It's physically very dark and murky to look at, in the few scenes with sunshine I felt slightly blinded. Still, the bleak visuals certainly match the tone of the film, with twisted characters and sadistically violent scenes. There's just a complete sense of anguish and foreboding that's present throughout the whole thing.

The performances are what make this though. McConaughey is great, drawling his way through his well crafted speeches, turning into a psychopath at appropriate intervals. It's a very different role from any I've seen him in before, he didn't even take off his shirt. Just kidding, of course he took off his shirt. Hirsch is also pretty good in the fact that he makes me want to punch his snivelling character in the face. By the end you kind of want everything to go right for Joe, because he's the coolest one of the bunch.

So yes, Killer Joe is a dark, violent movie with some really great characters, but it still feels a little empty. The plot isn't too complicated, and even at just over one and a half hours it still feels significantly padded. It really shows that it's based on a play, as while the dialogue is pretty good most of the time, it just goes on for too long. Still, I enjoyed the movie. It just didn't hold my attention at times when a lot of random conversing was going on. If you like your movies dark and dingy, this definitely fits the bill.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Today's Review: Rice Krispies Honeycomb Crunch Squares

While I have enjoyed Squares a few times in the past, I can't say they're one of my favourite snacks. But now there's a honeycomb crunch flavour, and I always have to try new flavours, especially when you can get some free with your Tesco shop.

There's a lot of stuff packed into this tiny bar. Not only does it have the Rice Krispies and marshmallow that give it the Squares name, but there's honeycomb, chocolate drizzle and crunchy bits thrown in for good measure. Still, the flavours all complement each other quite nicely. What's particularly good is that the honeycomb flavour is woven into the marshmallow itself, so there's an even spread of honey goodness. The crunch, on the other hand, just seems to be in the top half, but I'm not too sure how I feel about that part anyway. Squares are by nature soft and chewy, so to encounter a few crunchy pieces while eating is a little bit of a jarring experience.

Still, these Squares are certainly tasty, more so than the original variety I think. But hey, I'm a sucker for honeycomb. If you are too, give these a try.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday 20 November 2012

Today's Review: Facial Hair

I know I touched upon the subject of facial hair somewhat when I reviewed eyebrows a couple of months ago, but I really shouldn't have stopped there. Sure, eyebrows are weird, but you know what else is weird when you think about it? All facial hair. In fact, most bodily hair, but I'll just stick with the facial for now, because that's the weirdest.

I get the appeal of facial hair, really, I do. As men, or women with extra testosterone, we can choose to grow thick patched of hair all over our chins and under our noses. In the past, great men have found ways to use this hair to look distinguished or bad-ass, while women have used it to become a staple attraction in circus sideshows at the turn of the 20th century. Goatees, full on beards, swirly moustaches, erratic sideburns, the possibilities of facial hair styles are endless. But why do we have hair there at all?

I can't say I've ever felt that my chin or my philtrum have been too cold, nor have I been suffocated by runaway dust or dirt particles that have found their way into my face for lack of hair to ensnare them first. There seems to be no evolutionary reason as to the reason we still have facial hair, apart from the fact that some ladies go crazy for a well formed 'tache or a scratchy beard. It's just one of those oddities of the human body that I guess we'll be stuck with until the end of time.

But I guess it's not exactly a bad thing. I can appreciate how cool honest Abe looked back in the day. I for one am not a fan of facial hair, especially the stubbly phase, but it's nice to know that if I ever decided to grow a handlebar under my nose, I can.

My rating: 3/5

Monday 19 November 2012

Today's Review: Cadbury Clusters

While I have reviewed a few of these Cadbury bags on this blog, I haven't touched upon the good old fashioned line up. I picked up a bag of Clusters today in Poundland, and was instantly reminded of how awesome they were.

Yes, before pretzels and popcorn we had Clusters. It's a generous helping of that classic Cadbury chocolate, mixed in with cornflakes and raisins. The result it a bunch of misshapen chunks of various sizes, but the taste is awesome. It's creamy, crunchy, chewy and fruity all at the same time. The cornflakes may start to feel a little scratchy at times, but the raisins are on hand to moisten up the experience. They may look and sound like a bunch of random ingredients thrown together, but Clusters are delicious.

My rating: 5/5

Sunday 18 November 2012

Today's Review: Magnum Chocolate Ice Cream

Have you ever had a Magnum, and just wished that you could eat the same thing, but have it crushed up and put in a tub for you? No? Well, you can anyway, with tubs of Magnum ice cream. It comes in two varieties, your average vanilla, with chocolatey bits, or chocolate with chocolatey bits. I chose the latter, because you can never have too much chocolate. Or so I thought.

Don't get me wrong, it is nice, but it gets a little too sickly as you chow down. tHe Magnum chocolate bits are very generously heaped into the mix, so there's always a nice crunchy texture in each mouthful. The ice cream is nice too, it's just a little too thick and fudge-like in consistency for my liking. But maybe that serves me right for being too greedy. In smaller portions it would probably be more manageable. Still, a very nice ice cream, I'll have to try the vanilla next.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday 17 November 2012

Today's Review: Men In Black 3

I certainly enjoyed the first Men In Black many years ago. I also watched the second one once, but I don't remember much about it except that it kinda sucked. I wasn't sure what to expect from this third instalment ten years later, but it was certainly better than I thought.

We rejoin agents K and J (Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith) as they're still working hard at their job, keeping alien scum from destroying our planet. Trouble is, Boris (Jemaine Clement) an enemy from K's past has just broken out of prison, and is intent on getting revenge, even going as far as to go back in time to eliminate him. J wakes up in this altered future, and finds himself travelling back in time to 1969 to stop a young agent K (Josh Brolin) from meeting his demise.

Yeah, time travel. Everyone loves a bit of time travel. But Men In Black 3 doesn't really explain the mechanics and branching timelines and such, it just uses it as an excuse to show us a bunch of 60s people doing 60s things, including a retro MIB headquarters. There are some funky new gadgets too, which you'd expect from a Men In Black movie. There's also an excuse to weave the plot into historical events, and the final scenes in particular do this very well.

Probably the best thing about this movie, though, is the performances. Josh Brolin does a great job taking on K's role, but Jemaine Clement knocks it out of the park by playing a truly menacing villain. Boris ain't no cockroach, sugar water drinking weirdo, he's an evil, unrelenting killing machine, and when I found out he was played by goofy Jemaine I was pleasantly surprised.

So yes, I enjoyed Men In Black 3. It's not without its faults though, some set pieces and characters seemed too tacked on, and perhaps not enough of the plot was as fleshed out as it should be. But I certainly enjoyed it more than I remember enjoying the second movie. Here we have some great performances, some nice action sequences, all wrapped up in a wibbly wobbly timey wimey bow.

My rating: 4/5

Friday 16 November 2012

Today's Review: Slippers With No Backs

The other day I bought a new pair of slippers to replace my current deteriorating ones, further cementing my progression into old age. As I was looking at the selection available in Primark, I noticed something odd. None of the pairs had a back to them, you know, like normal footwear does.

But I didn't have much choice. I bought a pair, and as I sit here wearing them I definitely miss the lack of cover for my heel. Where once my heels were toasty and warm, they are now exposed and cold. Plus the backs of the damn things flip flop around when I walk. And why? For what purpose? Why is it so hard to add a bit of material to the back to provide total foot comfort? I don't know, but these slippers just feel inadequate.

My rating: 1/5

Thursday 15 November 2012

Today's Review: Cleaning The Oven

I cleaned my oven today. It's something I haven't done in a long while, because it never really crosses my mind that my oven is slowly being covered in filth and food splats from energetic cooking. But the doors were no longer quite as see through as they used to be, and who knows what kind of stains lurked on the dark interiors? I looked upon my task with the greatest apprehension. Surely I would be on my knees for hours scrubbing and getting covered in filth.

But it turns out the best way to make the job easier for you is to get a nice effective oven cleaner. I theorise that the best choice of cleaner is the one that warns you the most about how much it will fuck you up if you so much as touch it. With that in mind I chose a Mr. Muscles cleaner that advised me to run any contacted area under water for 20 whole minutes before seeking medical attention.

So once the spray was laid down, with the ventilation fan and an open window to make sure I didn't poison my entire family, I must say that cleaning the oven wasn't as bad as I first thought. Sure, the water I used to sponge it down was almost black, and I found my hands covered in all sorts of grime, but my oven is squeaky clean, and not in need of another scrubbing for a while. So yes, cleaning the oven is a disgusting job, but with a good layer of corrosive cleaning materials, it can be made a whole lot easier.

My rating: 2/5

Wednesday 14 November 2012

Today's Review: Grape Soda

Whether it's Welch's, Fanta or any other drink with the same flavour, grape soda is probably unlike anything you've had before. Especially actual grapes. I like to eat grapes from time to time, they have a nice juicy, fruity flavour that isn't too intense. Drinking a can of grape soda, however, is like being punched in the mouth by a grape clone gone wrong that has escaped from a sugary dungeon. I'm not sure exactly what grape soda tastes like, so I'll just say... purple. It tastes like purple. It's an intense, sugary hit, that almost seems syrupy in nature. While the cans of all these drinks insist that I'm ingesting grape soda, I don't quite buy it. Instead I'm getting the best that American excess has to offer, a drink pumped full of additives and artificial flavours that leaves my taste buds reeling. I certainly wouldn't drink it all the time, but on the odd occasion that I pick up a can I enjoy every tooth-rotting mouthful of the stuff.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Today's Review: Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World

What would you do if you knew the world would be destroyed in a few weeks? If you're Dodge (Steve Carrell) the answer would be to sit in stunned silence while your wife runs away without saying a word. So begins a countdown to the end of civilisation for our hero(?). With his wife gone, Dodge doesn't really know what to do with himself, until he has a random encounter with Penny (Keira Knightley), a girl who lives upstairs. She wants to get back to see her family in England before the end, and Dodge wants to seek out his childhood sweetheart, so they decide to help each other out and start off on a road trip to fulfil their final wishes.

But the world isn't exactly a normal place at the end of times, so Dodge and Penny find themselves up against many obstacles on their journey. This is very much a comedy drama, and the happenings in the first half of the movie regularly had me laughing. As the end approached, though, it took a more serious yet life affirming turn. It must be difficult to take a world on the brink of destruction and make it genuinely heart warming, but Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World succeeds. The chemistry between Carrell and Knightley is fantastic. Both have proven themselves to be great actors in recent years, and it certainly doesn't let up here, and they steal the show in amongst a plethora of quirky characters and events.

I liked the look of this movie from the moment I saw the poster, and the end product didn't disappoint. It's a funny, heart warming movie with a tight script and two great leads. The apocalypse has never been more wonderful.

My rating: 5/5

Monday 12 November 2012

Today's Review: Skyfall

Bond is back, and moodier than ever. The latest instalment in Daniel Craig's humanised Bond story is probably one of the most interesting that I've seen, taking the time to explore some of the past of some key characters in the franchise.

Instead of concerning a plot to take over the world, Skyfall presents us with the villain, Silva (Javier Bardem) threatening a very personal attack on MI6 itself. While seeming perhaps a little silly at first, Silva turns out to be a very formidable and cunning opponent who always seems one step ahead. Forget "I've been expecting you, Mr. Bond", there is some very unexpected stuff going on in this movie. But as brilliant as the movie was, it was hard not to make instant comparisons with The Dark Knight's Joker. If you watch it I'm sure you'll pick up on them too. It's not necessarily a bad thing, I still really enjoyed watching the plot unfold, but it does jar the experience somewhat.

As always, though, the meat of the movie lies in the action scenes, and Skyfall delivers perfectly in that respect. Taking place in several exotic locations, there are chases, gun fights, crashes, explosions, every action scene seemed different and exciting, and was always accompanied by some fitting Bond style music. Despite being almost two and a half hours long, I didn't find myself wishing it to be over anytime soon.

Skyfall is certainly a well made movie. There are some awesome action scenes and stunts, coupled with a well thought out villain and a Bond who isn't as perfect as he seems to have been over all these years. This movie does go to some length to bring certain aspects back in line with the Bond movies of old, but when the pieces fall together at the end, there's a sense that it's not quite the same. Now we have a more mature, broken Bond, and I look forward to seeing what happens in the coming movies.

My rating: 5/5

Sunday 11 November 2012

Today's Review: Oreo Dairy Milk

It's an almighty union of snack foods, it's an unprecedented chocolate achievement. Some glorious bastards have gone and put some Oreos in a Dairy Milk bar.

If that doesn't sound delicious right off the bat, then it won't be long before you change your mind. Under a nice thick layer of Dairy Milk chocolate lies a creamy centre of crushed up Oreos. While the cookie part is present, it's the cream that really takes over the senses, with the cookie pieces and chocolate combining to create a melt in your mouth chocolatey experience. It was over too soon. If I didn't have to pay £2.50 for just one bar I would definitely stock up on these bad boys. Oreo Dairy Milk is awesome.

My rating: 5/5

Saturday 10 November 2012

Today's Review: Wonka's Watermelon Laffy Taffy

The Wonka company have done pretty well for themselves. Instead of focusing too much on the chocolate aspect so associated with old Willy, they've managed to introduce some pretty delicious treats to the sweet market. Nerds, Runts, Sweetarts, all good stuff. But here we have Laffy Taffy, which I hadn't seen around before today.

Laffy Taffy is basically a bar of taffy. Much like the chewy Refresher or Maoam bars you see around supermarkets and newsagents in the UK, but a lot more stretchy and chewy. Laffy Taffy comes in a number of flavours, but I went with watermelon, as it's one of those American flavours that I love. The flavour is certainly very intense. Coinciding with that fact that the bar is mostly corn syrup, eating Laffy Taffy is a somewhat sickly experience. But the soft, chewy texture is nice and I found myself polishing off the bar with no problem. It's very nice, but a little too sickly to get full marks from me.

My rating: 4/5

Friday 9 November 2012

Today's Review: Pizza Cheetos

I like Cheetos. I like pizza. So by all accounts I should like Pizza Cheetos, right? Well, not necessarily. As is the case with a few flavours of crisp, it's not an exact science.

Here we have triangular Cheetos that taste slightly like pizza. They're still a little cheesy, but it's more of a herby taste than anything. They're quite nice, but not a patch on the originals. There's still that powdery texture and residue that's expected from eating Cheetos, but it's just not quite the same. Perhaps if they kept the regular Cheeto shape and consistency it wouldn't feel so alien, but this feels like a different snack altogether with the Cheeto name slapped onto it. They're good, but Cheetos can be so much better.

My rating: 3/5

Thursday 8 November 2012

Today's Review: Lipton Raspberry Ice Tea

I don't see Lipton Ice Tea in many places around here, after all, we're British, the only type of tea acceptable is hot. Leave this cold, fruity stuff to the Americans. Still, I'm not overly British, and whenever I find a bottle of peach Ice Tea I tend to snap it up. Today I found a raspberry version, so obviously I wasn't going to pass up trying it.

While I do enjoy the peach flavour, it does feel a little dry in the throat, which I guess is one of the side effects of effectively drinking cold tea. This raspberry flavour has the same effect, but it feels more at home here, as drinking most raspberry flavoured drinks leaves a little bit of a dry aftertaste. The raspberry itself is quite a bold and nice flavour, it's just the tail end which is isn't too great. Still, I think I prefer this to the peach version. It may not be completely refreshing, but it is a tasty drink.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Today's Review: Spilling Black Nail Polish

Nail polish is nice, when used properly. It can make your nails all kinds of pretty colours, with all kinds of pretty patterns. But if it doesn't stay between your nails and the bottle, you're in trouble, as I found out today when I managed to somehow snap the lid off a tiny bottle of black nail polish while looking through a basket full of them. It started off small, leaking from the bottom of the basket onto my bed sheet, but as I tried to stop the leak by digging through and finding the offending bottle, it went everywhere.

Soon my hands were covered, and any initial attempt to rub it just spread the darkness all over my fingers. Thankfully I soon deposited the basket in the sink and found the bottle and the snapped off top. But it was far from over. We have some nail polish remover in the bathroom cabinet, so I went to work pouring that over my hands and rubbing. Problem is, my bathroom has no windows or other means of ventilation, so soon I was gagging on the smell. So out came the cotton buds, and after 12 buds and minutes of scrubbing, my hands were in an almost normal condition. But I never want to touch the stuff again. Nail polish is nice to look at, but a bitch to clean when spilt. Plus it ruined my sheets, and my jeans, of course. Everything I spill ends up ruining my jeans.

My rating: 0/5

Tuesday 6 November 2012

Today's Review: The R2D2 Cookie Jar

I bought this a while back for £6 when my local comic book/merchandise store was closing down. Basically, it's an R2D2 cookie jar, and what makes it awesome is that it's an R2D2 cookie jar. It's ceramic, with some great details, and the head opens up to reveal delicious cookies, provided you've put them in there that is.

Probably the best thing is that it doesn't have to hold just cookies. At the moment mine has malted milks, rich teas and fruit shortcakes. You could put any kind of biscuit in it. I suppose you could put other things in there too, but that's just not right. This is a cookie jar, shaped like R2D2, and it deserves your respect.

My rating: 5/5