Monday 30 April 2012

Today's Review: Mardi Gras: Spring Break

Yeah, I wasn't expecting too much from that poster either.

Mardi Gras: Spring Break is a movie for the American Pie generation. By which I mean the post-original American Pies that were pretty awful. We have the regular roster of characters, I mean horny guys. We have the timid one who everyone wants to get laid, the guy in a relationship who is the level headed one of the group, and of course the obnoxious fat guy who thinks everyone loves him for some reason.

So our three college guy heroes set off to New Orleans to attend Mardi Gras and hopefully get the aforementioned timid guy laid. While there, they meet Carmen Electra, because she's always in all of these movies for some reason, and get up to all sorts of gross out hijinks while looking at boobies and drinking alcohol.

Sounds like a glowing review from me, I know. But in all fairness, it's not that bad. Sure it's juvenile and shameless, but I wasn't expecting any less, and it wasn't as unbearable as others in the genre that I've seen in recent years. It's pretty bad, just not that bad.

My rating: 2/5

Sunday 29 April 2012

Today's Review: Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol

There have been four Mission: Impossible movies over the span of 16 years, and I can't say I've kept up to date with them. I tried to catch up before watching this one, but I only got as far as the first. Needless to say the leap in the technology and gadgets they use was pretty huge.

Ghost Protocol picks up some time after the third movie, with some characters that I didn't know reuniting with Ethan Hunt to embark on a new IMF mission. Before long, however, things get complicated, and Ethan and his team are cut off from any assistance and forced to use anything they can gather in order to stop a crazy bad guy from launching nukes all over the place.

Compared to other spy movies of late, I was quite pleasantly surprised to find that the plot of Ghost Protocol was quite simple, yet effective. Of course, there are a few twists and turns along the way, but it's not complex enough that you'll get lost, and the focus is mostly on the action sequences and gadgets. Speaking of which, I know technology has vastly improved since 1996, but some of the tools these guys use are pretty ridiculous. It's all in the name of fun though, and the gadget sequences are great at keeping the suspense up. They certainly kept me entertained.

Ghost Protocol is, in all, a very stylish movie. The characters and performances are nothing particularly special, but this movie manages to rise above it all with a tight, straight forward plot, and some great ideas employed in the form of action sequences and gadgets to inject a little freshness into the espionage genre. Ghost Protocol is just a fun movie.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday 28 April 2012

Today's Review:'s Visual Representation Of Pi

What the hell man, I can't read this. Even so, I doubt I could memorise all 500,000 digits, so good thing they're preserved here, along with every other digit up to 4,000,000. Thank you internet, that's just what I needed. There's even a search option where you can locate any number up to six digits, and the option to purchase a panel with your birthdate highlighted. So yeah, good job. I'm sure I'll find this useful at some point in the future. But for the moment, it's just tremendously nerdy and cool

My rating: 4/5

Friday 27 April 2012

Today's Review: The Avengers

Yes, I know it's called Marvel's Avengers Assemble over here, but I don't like that name, so The Avengers it is. But yes, this is what we've been waiting for. The culmination of five movies released since 2008, The Avengers a massively ambitious project to transfer the Marvel Universe of the comics to the big screen.

So here we have The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow and newcomer Hawkeye, all brought together under the direction of Nick Fury. The movie starts off after the conclusion of each characters' separate stories, which did a pretty good job in themselves of establishing the individual characters and bringing them into the company of S.H.I.E.L.D. So there's none of that dull dragged out characterisation going on during The Avengers.

We do get something similar though. Since these characters are completely separate and have been in different situations with different enemies, there are obviously going to be some kinks to work out when they're brought together for the first time. Tony Stark's ego clashes with Steve Roger's courage and patriotism, Tony Stark's ego clashes with Thor's godlike powers... Yeah, let's just say Tony Stark isn't exactly a team player at first. But with an impending war from an unknown enemy on the horizon, our heroes eventually have to learn to play nice.

On that note, all the stars in this movie do a fantastic job of carrying their personas over into this new situation. All their characteristic (good or bad) are used to full effect to enhance the relationships building throughout the whole team, with some learning some important lessons about teamwork. We also get to see Nick Fury finally break out of his advisory role in the shadows and start to kick some ass himself. Satisfying.

So yes, there is a fair amount of character building in the first half of the movie, but it isn't anywhere near as dull as it can be when looking at one hero. Since everyone has their own kind of super power, the characters often resort to violence when they quarrel, and the results are some awesome pairings with damaging and sometimes hilarious results. The quarrels are perfectly paced alongside progression of the plot, and although towards the end I was worrying that they would be taking time away from the impending final battle, the end result did not disappoint.

This whole movie is just awesome. The effects are wonderful, the pacing is great, the cinematography is at times utterly amazing, especially at certain points during the final battle where we see all of The Avengers in action. Sent chills through my spine it did. Joss Whedon has performed a miracle, taking several heroes from different franchises and jamming them all into a well directed movie with a tight script. I wasn't sure if it could be done, but my excitement was well justified. This is the mother of all superhero movies, and hopefully this is just a taste of things to come. So come on Fox, and Sony, get the X-Men and Spiderman in on this, you know how awesome that could be.

My rating: 5/5

Thursday 26 April 2012

Today's Review: Dairylea Dunkers With Ritz Biscuits

Man, what a combination. There's not really much I can say about these. It's a bunch of Ritz biscuits with some Dairylea to dunk into. If you're not already salivating then I guess these ain't for you. But man, that's some good stuff.

My rating: 5/5

Wednesday 25 April 2012

Today's Review: Keeping A New Pair Of Converse Clean

I bought some new Converse today, which always fills me with a lot more excitement than it probably should. These ones in particular are to replace my uncomfortable work shoes, so I was happy springing around in my nice furry lined comfy shoes.

But the excitement doesn't last for too long. It's probably this way with everyone who loves their shoes, but with Converse, for me, it's so much worse. It's those damn white tops that cover the toe area. I love how shiny they are when they're first bought. But before long, there's a little smudge on top, which I can easily wipe away with a bit of spit on the finger. But then there's another, and another. After a while it takes a little help from a baby wipe to get them all white again, before long it's a daily routine.

How can the tops of my shoes get so dirty? I have no idea, but eventually those specks of dirt evolve into scratches, which compound more dirt, and more scratches, all along the way my commitment to cleaning them regularly waning. It's a losing battle, and I am clearly losing, until one day I just stop cleaning, and they are now just a pair of well worn sneakers.

So as good as Converse are, keeping them pure white and clean would probably be a full time job. It's an inevitability that they will lose their shine, and it's only a matter of time before you stop trying. At least it's good while it lasts.

My rating: 1/5

Tuesday 24 April 2012

Today's Review: Mr Simms' Pineapple Nougat

How curious. Yes, Mr. Simms is a good place to go for strange flavoured treats, and of course all the good import stuff. Here we have pineapple nougat, which is, quite simply, pineapple flavoured nougat. With pineapple chunks in.

I can't say I've eaten an entire block of nougat before, so I'm probably not in the best position to review a differently flavoured block of it, but this stuff is quite nice. There is a certain chalky consistency to it that prevents it from getting full marks, but the pineapple flavouring is pretty nice, and the chunks add a certain amount of juiciness to the equation. I couldn't eat a whole lot of it in one sitting, but it's certainly not bad.

My rating: 3/5

Monday 23 April 2012

Today's Review: Prototype 2

Prototype was a fun game. While many have compared it negatively to Infamous (perhaps for good reason), there's no denying that the ability to leap across New York buildings in a single bound and slice and pulverise hundreds of enemies was just plain gory fun.

Well, now Prototype has returned, with players taking the role of James Heller, a soldier whose wife and child have been murdered now that the mysterious infection has returned to New York. With the blame placed on Alex Mercer, Heller hunts him down, but after a particularly one sided fight finds himself infected in the best way possible, that being the way that lets you grow massive blades out of your hands and jump tens of feet into the sky.

The first thing you'll notice about Prototype 2 is that it's a lot more simplistic than the first. Mechanics are introduced slowly, and there are a lot less upgrades to be gained. I was ready to call it an inferior sequel, but as I worked my way through the game and more mechanics were slowly unlocked, I began to see it more as a streamlining process. Instead of the hundreds of thousands of points needed to unlock a certain upgrade, you only need one point, which can be earned through doing side missions or finding collectibles, much like the first. The only difference is that you don't pick up experience from just plain killing enemies, so I guess it's gone the way of Mass Effect in that sense. Still, despite making the process a lot more manageable, the lack of upgrades is pretty noticeable, and there don't seem to be anywhere near the number of special moves that were in the first game, although I only got about halfway through, so there could be more to come.

Another noticeable aspect is that the movement is a lot more refined. Often when playing the side missions in Prototype I'd find myself jerking all over the place at the slightest touch of a button while trying to reach markers, but Prototype 2 allows for much more precise movements while airborne, which you'll need to be quite a lot to escape soldiers or pick up collectibles. Speaking of which, the collectibles are also few and far between compared to the first game, but I see that as a good thing seeing as Prototype had 250 orbs lying around with no hint at where to find them. I don't normally like many collectibles in games, but Prototype 2 turns them into nice little side missions, expanding the story and giving specific upgrade points for finding everything. It also helps out by giving you a general area to search on the map.

The graphics are pretty good. Blood, guts and limbs fly off all over the place, bodies fly apart at the slightest provocation from your blade, and there's no slowdown at all when the screen is full of infected citizens, soldiers, tanks and monsters. The character models nicely detailed, although it can be hard to tell when they're being dismembered in a mist of blood.

Prototype 2 is a fun game. While it's not as in depth in its collectible or upgrade system as its predecessor, in most ways this can be seen as a good thing. It's a more streamlined experience that doesn't require you to fill your head with combo buttons in order to progress. But that also hurts it a little in my opinion. For those gamers more serious about pulling off some awesome acrobatic combat movies, there are just less options available. Still, it's a fun game.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday 22 April 2012

Today's Review: Rocky: Fizzy Cola Flavour

How odd. With Club biscuits rolling out their limited honeycomb flavour, I guess it was up to rival biscuit Rocky to roll out a flavour too. But apparently they couldn't come out with honeycomb, or raisin or something. No, they brought out a fizzy cola flavour.

It tastes like you'd probably expect, like if someone spilled some cheap Cola all over a chocolate biscuit, which I can only assume is how someone came up with the idea. It certainly is a weird taste, perhaps a little too strong on the cola. While it certainly mellows out to a tangy chocolatey taste, the cola is overwhelming on the first bite. While it's not the most awful biscuit in the world, it's just a weird idea, and it's certainly a weird taste. Think I'll stick with the regular flavour next time.

My rating: 2/5

Saturday 21 April 2012

Today's Review: The Temperature Control On My Shower

We had our shower control replaced a while back, and until now I've always had it at a comfortable temperature. In fact, the dial stops turning at just that comfortable temperature. But there is a little push button that allows you to turn it up further.

Gee, thanks, I'd love a 50 degree shower. Why does it go up this high? Why do they let a shower get so hot that it burns human flesh? Is it some kind of niche market self immolation shower? Absolve your sins while cleaning your body. Well, I suppose it's nice that you have a choice of getting rid of your existing skin layer.

It's like how they make toasters with settings that burn toast. Why? Perhaps there are special kinds of bread and bodies that can survive these conditions, but I certainly won't be turning that dial so high again.

My rating: 0/5

Friday 20 April 2012

Today's Review: Grave Encounters

Wow, it's a paranormal themed movie, shown from the perspective of handheld video cameras. That's never been done before! Ha, I jest. Grave Encounters is somewhat original I guess, in that it follows a group of people while they film for their ghost hunting TV show. After the usual build up of mythos by the happy-go-lucky crew and the people they interview, they are locked inside for the night while they attempt to get some paranormal footage. But their light heartedness soon turns into terror as they discover that there actually is some weird stuff going on in the place.

Despite the original aspects thrown in to Grave Encounters, there's really not that much to distinguish it from any other movie of the genre. It follows the same kind of formula, from little gusts of wind and noises to full blown demonic jumpiness. The characters are just there to scream and probably wee themselves a little, although the guy who plays the host of the show does a good job of lampooning his real life counterparts.

So if you're after your next Paranormal Activity kind of fix, then you'll probably want to check this out. It's nothing special but it certainly isn't bad either. It has some decent jump scares, some good atmosphere and a few nice ideas thrown in on top.

My rating: 3/5

Thursday 19 April 2012

Today's Review: The Divide

The Divide begins with the end of the world. Well, at least with the end of New York. With explosions rocking the city, residents of an apartment block retreat to the basement and seal the door. Once inside, it becomes evident that they'll be there for a while, especially after some men in biohazard suits arrive to stir things up a bit. In the end, it's clear that going outside is not the safest option, so it's up to the group to survive on what little food they have left. But can they trust each other? More importantly, can they trust themselves to remain civilised?

Well, of course they can't, we don't want to see a post apocalyptic movie where everyone sita around drinking tea and deciding to mutually and gracefully run out of food. Instead, The Divide is a pretty gruesome and visceral portrayal of the deterioration of civilisation. As tempers rise and hierarchies change, violence starts to rear its ugly head and the whole place devolves into chaos, with some pretty intense and gory scenes.

Of course it can't be pulled off without some good performances. Of note especially are the character Josh and Bobby, played by Milo Ventimiglia and Michael Eklund, who really take a turn for the worse and end up menacing and crazy. Iván González does a great job at playing the spineless "clown" of the group, succumbing to the pressure put upon him by the rest.

The Divide is pretty gruesome, and very intense a lot of the time. It's somewhat reminiscent of The Mist, but much more visceral. The movie wonderfully explores the relationships between the survivors and their respective downfalls, but the side plot introduced when the men in suits turn up is soon abandoned, and left me wanting more. Still, this movie surprised me, but it's certainly not for the faint hearted.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Today's Review: The IKEA UPPLEVA Announcement

I'm a little bit in love. I have many pieces of IKEA around my place, in fact my TV is sitting on top of an EXPEDIT. But now we have the UPPLEVA, which is a Smart TV, Blu-Ray player and furniture all in one. Great wire storage too, in an age where I'm scared to look behind my TV. Shut up and take my money.

Well, I guess it's not too perfect though, The fact that they've thought to include Blu-Ray and internet features in the TV itself shows that IKEA are really thinking about the longevity of the product, and the wireless speakers are an awesome touch. But for a technophilic sunuvabitch like me who has 3D and 5.1 surround it doesn't quite hit the mark. But hey, perhaps that's a good thing. If they ever presented me with the whole package I wouldn't be able to stop my credit card bursting out of my wallet. Just look at the thing. It's so sexy.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday 17 April 2012

Today's Review: Dicloflex

It's small, it's round, it's eerily brown. It also took me over an hour's wait to get these. Thanks, NHS.

Still, they stop my back pain, for a while at least. I would have some nice pain killers, but apparently if I compound them with the pain killers I already have I'd pretty much fall asleep. But these will do I suppose. They seem to do the trick.

My rating: 4/5

Monday 16 April 2012

Today's Review: Dream House

Ooh, creepy children, that's scary right? Dream House stars Daniel Craig as Will Atenton, a man who finally quite his high pressure job in order to write a novel and spend more time with his wife Elizabeth (Rachel Weisz) and his two daughters in the new family house. But there's something not quite right going on in the new place. Strange people are sighted, and eventually the house's traumatic past starts to become uncovered. Can Will get to the bottom of it all and get back to living the good life?

First of all, let me tell you to never read the Wikipedia article or watch the trailer before you see this movie. I missed a little plot point early on, and wanted to catch up by looking at the plot on Wikipedia, only to have the movie's biggest twist given away in the first paragraph. Kinda ruined it for me. I just watched the trailer though, and they give it away too, so I have no idea what people were thinking. If I hadn't known about the twist I may have enjoyed the movie more, but while it is a neat idea that is reasonably well executed, a lot of it doesn't make much sense. You'll see what I mean.

Still, the twist is given away halfway through Dream House, or perhaps before you even see it, so there's got to be something to fill the rest of the movie. This is where it turns from a below standard thriller to something with some promise, but in the ened it just falls flat to bland acting and a last attempt at surprising the audience that feels all too anticlimactic.

There's a neat idea behind Dream House, but the marketing was clearly approached from the wrong angle, and what we're left with is an okay thriller whose main plot point is shoved in your face the first time you try to find out anything about it.

My rating: 2/5

Sunday 15 April 2012

Today's Review: Throwing Your Back Out On A Bouncy Castle

I went on a bouncy castle yesterday, for all of a few minutes. The bouncing, or lack thereof due to lack of inflation, somehow gave me a lasting pain in the spine.

I don't even know how it happened. It must be because I'm over 25, and any attempt at child like fun will be rewarded only with pain. One thing is for sure, it sucks.

My rating: 0/5

Saturday 14 April 2012

Today's Review: The Ledge

Gavin (Charlie Hunnam) is on a ledge. Why is he on a ledge? He'll tell you why he's on a ledge. Well. actually he'll tell Hollis (Terrence Howard), the detective assigned to talk him down. But you see, this is no ordinary suicide bid. There's a reason Gavin is on the ledge, and it has a lot to do with girl next door Shana (Liv Tyler), and her husband, fundamentalist Christian Joe (Patrick Wilson).

Yes, The Ledge is billed as a thriller, but in reality it's not too thrilling. What we have here is Gavin perched on a ledge, recounting a quite ordinary story to another guy. The "twist" at the end is really more of the logical conclusion to the plot. There's even a side story thrown in for Hollis, but it has nothing to do with the story on the whole, other than affirming the moral message that's tacked together at the end.

You see, this movie isn't about a ledge, the two male leads are so adamant about their religious beliefs, or lack thereof, and take every opportunity to explain why the other is an asshole. Obviously it's more biased towards the atheist side, and in all Matthew Chapman seems to have been really eager to wave his viewpoint in everyone's face, tacking a substandard romance thriller plot into the mix.

For some reason The Ledge seems to me like what The Room would have been if slightly more competent people had made it. Live Tyler drifts through in monotone like Lisa, Charlie Humman is clearly a better actor than Johnny Wiseau, but not too much. His character is still an obnoxious asshole who I could not even force myself to like. The whole plot is simplistic, but dressed up by stretching out the narrative and introducing plot points that go nowhere, again, much like The Room.

So yeah, The Ledge is not great. The performances range from bland to obnoxious, the plot is either dragged out or quite pointless. Still, it's better than The Room.

My rating: 1/5

Friday 13 April 2012

Today's Review: Fury (A.K.A. The Samaritan)

This is a weird one. We got this in as an exclusive rental yesterday, but it's not even out at the cinema in America. Plus it's got two different titles. Named Fury in the U.K., sadly it is not an origin story of Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury in the Marvel movies.

In Fury Samaritan, Mr. Jackson plays Foley, an ex-grifter who's served the least amount possible of his 25-to-life sentence for killing a dude. Now he's on the outside, he's determined to stay clean, but Ethan (Luke Kirby), the son of the man he killed is intent on partnering up with him to perform a grift on his boss. Foley tries to brush him away despite the fact that he left Ethan fatherless, but Ethan has a few cards up his sleeve to persuade Foley to do the job, mostly in the form of a young girl named Iris (Ruth Negga).

Yes, Samaritan Fury has a few twists and turns, and there's one in particular that's quite surprising. But with the twists in the plot, there's also a few twists in the actual characters. While Ethan regularly does things to make Foley want to smash his face in, there are scenes towards the end of the movie where they're getting along like good friends. It kills the suspense a little bit, but at least the plot remained entertaining enough for me to keep on watching.

Fury The Samaritan is a bit of a slow burner. There aren't many all out action scenes, although there are a few quite gory instances. The suspense certainly builds up, and the characters face some tough moral choices, but there are just a few problems with pacing and characterisation that makes the plot feel a bit too juddery. It's a decent enough movie though.

My rating: 3/5

Thursday 12 April 2012

Today's Review: Pizza Hut's Hot Dog Stuffed Crust

A new Pizza Hut menu landed on my doorstep this morning, advertising an idea so amazing I went ahead and ordered it for lunch. Hot dog stuffed crust. If that doesn't get you excited, then you probably just don't like meat as much as me or something. But either way, the person who thought of this is a genius.

What we have here is a series of hot dogs squeezed into the regular stuffed crust base all around the length of the pizza. So when the topping is devoured, there's still a meaty treat to be had in the crust. While they are just standard hot dogs, they complement the dough pretty nicely, and it all comes with a complimentary mustard drizzle. I don't normally like mustard, but this is quite smooth, not too spicy, and I certainly didn't mind drizzling it over the entire pizza.

The only problem is that they took the cheese out of the crust. I'm sure they couldn't put the normal amount of cheese in due to space contraints, but I would've loved to have both meat and cheese in one orgasmic crust. Everything is better with cheese. Still, as it is, it's an awesome idea, and actually very well executed.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday 11 April 2012

Today's Review: The New Extra Light Sour Cream Doritos Dip

It was just an average day, filling up the food at work. Suddenly, nestled among a pack of sour cream dip we found what I can only assume is a sample pot of a new extra light version of the dip. It's just like the regular dip, same packaging design, sealed and everything, but the wunderkinds at Doritos have managed to extract the colour, and apparently every form of matter. I can't say much for the taste, as I didn't open the jar, but my guess is it tastes just like the real thing, if you believe hard enough.

So grab your lightly salted chips, and make like you're dipping into a full jar of sour cream, scooping up an amount that would be considered obscene for covering just one chip. With this new lighter version you won't put on the pounds, and no one will judge you for taking too much. They'll just worry for your mental health when they see you dipping into the empty jar you just bought.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday 10 April 2012

Today's Review: Creme Egg McFlurry

Holy crap! Easter's over and McDonald's are still selling Creme Egg McFlurrys (McFlurries?). Well, maybe they're just clearing out the dregs of their syrup, but at least it was there for me to sample.

I have stated before that I'm not too big a fan of Creme Eggs, there's just too much filling in contrast to the chocolate. The McFlurry fixes that though, the addition of ice cream balances out the flavours to create a much nicer experience. Still, it's not perfect. Instead of the standard fondant yolk, the McFlurry contains swirled in caramel, and there's just a little too much of it. If they were to substitute a bit more chocolate instead of this excess, we'd be onto a real winner. It's a nice addition to the McFlurry range, but it just needs a bit of tinkering to earn its rightful place among the best.

My rating: 4/5

Monday 9 April 2012

Today's Review: Honeycomb Club

If you like a lot of chocolate on your biscuit, join the rather exclusive Club. But now the club is open to a new member, the honeycomb flavour. But how do they add in the twist of honeycomb without compromising the staple biscuity texture?

The answer is by layering the biscuit with a honeycomb flavoured cream. It's a unique approach, and one that almost certainly maintains the integrity of the unique Club flavour, but it is a little strange. Yes, the cream and the biscuit mixed together provide a satisfyingly honeycomb flavour, but the creaminess is what is most noticeable. It's nice, just a little bit off. Certainly not as good as the other Club flavours, but it's a good effort.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday 8 April 2012

Today's Review: Easter Eggs

Hey, it's Easter. A time when everyone can forget about Christ and indulge in chocolate eggs instead. In my opinion it's the tastier option. But how good are Easter eggs really?

We all know everyone goes crazy for eggs, when Easter comes around, and even way before, the shelves are lined with them. But let's think about it. Easter eggs are hollow. The chocolate is thin. Unless you capitalise on special offers you're really not getting much bang for your buck. So why do we like them so much?

The answer is that they just taste better.. Maybe it's the psychosomatic response to them being different and limited, similar to the hysteria surrounding the return of the Wispa. Perhaps it's the architecture that somehow makes them nice. Nah, it's gotta be psychosomatic. But I fall for it like everyone else. Easter eggs ate awesome. But Wispas are better, and they're here to stay now. Hooray.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday 7 April 2012

Today's Review: Play-Doh Sesame Street: Cookie Monster's Letter Lunch

Here is one of Alex's most awesome presents this year, although my opinion is somewhat skewed by my previously mentioned love of Sesame Street. Look at this guy, so adorable. What we have here is a series of food shaped moulds for your Play-Doh. Cookies, fruit and whatnot. There are also individual letter stampers, so you can cut out your favourite words, mix them in a big bowl with foodstuffs, scoop them up with the provided cutlery and shove it in the Cookie Monster's face.

Yeah, maybe I should have moulded some shapes, but you get the idea. Once his mouth is stuffed, just tap the top of his head, and...

Holy crap, where did it go? (Here's the best part)

Why, it's in his butt of course! Scoop out the Play-Doh poop, roll it up and do it all over again. Endless fun, in the form of a blue monster's digestive tract.

It's a great set. There's a good amount of Play-Doh, and loads of utensils, including a spaghetti maker, that sadly only makes a small amount of spaghetti. You know what would have made it perfect? Sound effects. I don't know if there are problems with putting electronics in Play-Doh toys, but I would love to push down on his head and hear the signature "Om nom nom". Still, a great toy.

My rating: 4/5

Friday 6 April 2012

Today's Review: The Smell Of A Brand New Plastic Laminated Backpack

There are many "new" smells that a person can relate to. A new book, a new car. Mostly they fill us with delight, and one can't help but have a good old sniff, even though it makes them look weird. There's a new Thomas backpack in my hallway, and I couldn't help but pick up the scent on the way past.

It is quite strange though. While it unmistakably has that wonderful new smell, it's just a lot more plasticy in nature, it doesn't feel right somehow. Perhaps it's because the same smell came from a brand new pencil case, and they always signalled the inevitability of returning to school.

I can't say that a new backpack doesn't smell quite good, but it just isn't as good a smell as other brand new things.

My rating: 3/5

Thursday 5 April 2012

Today's Review: The Son Of No One

Wow, that's quite a few big names. How come I'd never heard of this movie? Probably because it's not great.

Channing Tatum stars as Jonathan White, a policeman who has been transferred to the precinct of the crummy Queens neighbourhood he used to live in. Trouble is when he lived there he accidentally killed a couple of dudes, and now someone is threatening to dig up the whole situation, despite the case being closed back then with no arrests. Who can Jonathan White trust? There's corruption in the police force and a journalist eager to expose the truth behind the murders.

The movie kind of falls flat by revealing that Jonathan did it all right at the beginning. The climax at the end of the movie is just not worth the build up, because we pretty much know all the characters' secrets through flashbacks. Basically it just coasts along trying to act like a thriller, but seems to mistakenly show you all the cards before it gains any momentum. Despite the large array of talent involved, all the acting just isn't that great, probably because the characters are so one dimensional. The best performances come from the young Jonathan and his friend, and that's probably actually the most interesting part, but every time something took place in the present day it just didn't interest me. If you like police thrillers, feel free to give it a go, but there's really not much to it.

My rating: 1/5

Wednesday 4 April 2012

Tuesday 3 April 2012

Today's Review: Lexus Crackers

You know how to make your product sell? By naming it after a sports car and selling it in questionable 99p stores. Anyway, they certainly caught my eye.

Lexus is billed as "The sandwich calcium cracker". How healthy sounding. This variety has chocolate cream in the middle though, so I guess this isn't the lightest version available. This one is a weird mix though. The cracker isn't as sweet as you'd expect, and is actually quite salty. It's kinda like putting some chocolate cream between a couple of Tuc biscuits. That stuff peppered on the top there? That's not chocolate or anything, it's some kind of herb. I have no idea what's going on with this snack.

Still, once you get used to it the taste isn't bad. Just a little too salty for my liking. All in all it's just a weird foodstuff, and I'd probably recommend going for anything else.

My rating: 2/5

Monday 2 April 2012

Today's Review: Lucozade: Caribbean Crush

Yay, another flavour of Lucozade. I can't say there's any flavour I don't like, even the original Glucose ain't too bad. Well, I could say there was no flavour I didn't like. Until today.

Caribbean Crush is a mixture of a few tropical fruits and coconut. I'm not a big fan of coconut, so I probably should have given this one a miss anyway, but the coconut is pretty overwhelming compared to the rest. I went in especting a nice blend, but ended up drinking something like fruity coconut water.

If you like your coconut, this will probably float your boat. But if you don't, there's a far nicer tropical flavour you can get hold of anyway. For me, this is not great.

My rating: 1/5

Sunday 1 April 2012

Today's Review: 8 Bit Google Maps

Best April Fools joke ever. Well, perhaps not ever, but certainly this year. There was some tough competition though. We had YouTube's new DVD catalogue mailing service, Firebox's Tentanic, but the ad accompanying this awesome new Google Maps layout is awesome, with all the excited Japanese kids planning routes with their Famicoms. 

But while Google have certainly delivered by allowing you to select the overlay on the Maps website, I would've loved to have the sound effect and 8 bit music while I was searching for my low res landmarks. Oh well, maybe I'll have to wait for the Google store to start selling the cartridge. That's gonna happen, right?

My rating: 4/5