Archive | May, 2014

Gnorman The Gnome

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Gnorman The Gnome

Posted on 28 May 2014 by Chris Ford

With the World Cup only a few weeks away we are starting to see a mass of England themed things hit the shelves, one of the more fun things Ive seen is Gnorman the Gnome from Asda, now I admit I didn’t read the press release properly when I asked if I could be sent one so imagine my shock when I received the massive 3ft tall Gnome last week!

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Yes I was a expecting a normal gnome but what a pleasant suprise Gnorman is! and hes certainly a talking point when people come over.

If you would like your own Gnorman the Gnome they are available in ASDA stores now and online at direct.asda.com for £25 each

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RoboCop Competition

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RoboCop Competition

Posted on 27 May 2014 by Chris Ford

With the fantastic re-imaging of 80s classic RoboCop out on DVD on June 9th STUDIOCANAL have kindly provided us with 3 copies on DVD and 3x Tshirts to give away, for your chance to win a DVD and Shirt all you have to do is email us RoboCop’s real name to enterthecomp@gmail.com by June 9th

3 winners will receive a DVD and T-shirt each

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If you aren’t lucky enough to win our competition you can still buy RoboCop 2014 on dvd for only £10.00 from Amazon which is a bit of a bargain.

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NatWest T20 Blast Cricket

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NatWest T20 Blast Cricket

Posted on 27 May 2014 by Eddie

On the 17th of May I had the pleasure of losing my cricket virginity; I went to see the NatWest T20 Blast – Lancashire v Worcestershire with my girlfriend alongside to explain what is going on. For those not familiar with this format of cricket it consists of 20 overs for each team. It is fairly relentless with no breaks for tea and cucumber sandwiches. Due to fact they only have 120 balls to get the score from there was very little evidence of defensive play and a lot of big hits.

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Rather than the boring and stuffy cricket we know, there is a more modern and fun twist, between most balls and certainly after every significant moment there were snippets of tunes played as you’d hear at an ice hockey or basketball match, my personal favourite being when one of the away batsmen was caught out, the PA system sprung to life with “Bye Bye Baby”. This is clearly a sport that even though played by top flight sportsmen doesn’t take itself too seriously.

My girlfriend did well at explaining the rules to me, but to help you keep track of what is going on there are many scoreboards which as well having the score, also popped up with player stats after a bowler / batsman change. Just like you’d have at home on the TV. It seemed less complicated than test cricket too.

Another modern twist to this sport is the ‘Dance cam’ like we have all seen on the American TV shows to encourage the spectators to get up and jig and liven things up during breaks in play. Before the match there were live bands and a fair ground, which means you can have a nice family day out or romantic date with your other half. Looking at the rest of the fixtures they are either on a Friday or Saturday evening and run for around 3 hours, this is deliberately to allow you to go after work or a day with the family and watch a complete match.

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In summary: This is a great evening out whether you are a cricket fan or not. It’s a good social evening with plenty to keep you excited. There is a great atmosphere, the only thing I feel is missing are cheerleaders, but that may be one step too far and some may say “it’s just not cricket”. I’m looking forward to going to another match through my choice and not just because my girlfriend wants me to.

Girlfriend comment: Happy he now understands the rules of cricket, role on the Ashes, he might actually agree to watch it with me next year. Now to nag him till he gets me more tickets for the final of the NatWest T20 Blast!

For more information and to purchase tickets for a NatWest T20 Blast game near you visit www.ecb.co.uk/natwestt20blast

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Top 10 Michael Keaton Films

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Top 10 Michael Keaton Films

Posted on 26 May 2014 by Chris Ford

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Hes often forgotten but Michael Keaton was a massive deal in the late 80s and early 90s and has appeared in some absolute classics movies, if you are younger than thirty some of these may of passed you by so with his role in the new Robocop sparking our interests in all things Keaton again we thought we would bring you a list of our all time top Michael Keaton movies

Night Shift (1982)
It was Keaton’s work alongside James Belushi in Working Stiffs which led to a co-starring role in Ron Howard’s comedy film Night Shift. Playing the fast-talking schemer Bill “Blaze Blazejowski alongside Henry Winkler, Keaton’s was the acclaimed role and this subsequently led to further comedic performances in films including Johnny Dangerously and Gung Ho.

Beetlejuice (1988)
His seminal performance in Tim Burton’s horror-comedy classic Beetlejuice, alongside Geena Davis, Alec Baldwin and Winona Ryder, was the film which truly pushed Keaton to Hollywood’s A-list. Originally turning down the role, the actor now deems Beetlejuice to be the favourite film he has done perhaps realising that he provided the world with a character for the ages. A confirmed sequel is in the works, with Keaton in talks to reprise the role.

Batman (1989)
Re-teaming with Tim Burton to star as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Keaton’s career was given a further boost. Burton cast the actor due to thinking he was the only actor who could portray somebody with the darkly obsessive personality that the character demands, his casting was met with hostility from the die- hard fans, preferring somebody who fit the physicality displayed in the comic books. Eventually, Keaton won audiences around, as well as critics, leading Batman to become the biggest hit of the year.

Pacific Heights (1990)
Here, Keaton played Carter Hayes, a tenant in the exclusive Pacific Heights neighbourhood who turns nasty when he is asked to leave by a newly-married couple (Matthew Modine and Melanie Griffith). In this role, Keaton displayed a disturbingly tense side he had yet to show audiences he could play with ease.

Batman Returns (1992)
A sequel to Tim Burton’s Batman was inevitable, as was the opportunity for Keaton to don the cape and cowl once more. Met by even more critical acclaim despite its darker undertones, Keaton did well to stand firmly amidst more memorable turns from the supporting cast, including Danny DeVito as The Penguin, Michelle Pfeiffer as Selena ‘Catwoman’ Kyle and Christopher Walken as millionaire industrialist Max Shreck. When Burton departed the franchise ahead of the third outing, Keaton also left the juggernaut franchise, a sign of respect to the director who had guided him to superstardom.

Jackie Brown (1997)
Another role in which the actor has reprised, Keaton starred in the Quentin Tarantino film Jackie Brown, as Agent Ray Nicolette, a beloved character who crops up in Elmore Leonard novels. With orders to intercept Pam Grier’s Jackie Brown in order to capture criminal Ordell Robbie (Samuel L. Jackson), Keaton also popped up as Ray Nicolette for a cameo in Steven Soderbergh’s critically-acclaimed Out of Sight in 2000.

Jack Frost (1998)
Turning in a performance in festive family film Jack Frost was next on the list, starring as a family man who dies in a car crash and comes back to life as a snowman. Despite not being well-received, it was a film which showcased the actor’s willingness to broaden his horizons having starred in comedies, blockbusters and thrillers.

White Noise (2004)
..and next on the list was horror, with White Noise referring to the electronic voice phenomena (EVP) where voices from ‘the other side’ can be heard on audio recordings. Keaton played architect Jonathan Rivers who, upon his wife’s disappearance, discovers recorded messages from Anna through EVP. Despite poor reviews, the film was a sleeper hit.

Toy Story 3 (2010)
After a slew of performances in family film Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005), Chick Hicks in Cars (2006) and a rumoured appearance in a little TV series called LOST (he was originally slated to play Jack Shephard for one episode before the writer’s decided they wanted Jack to a regular…), Keaton provided the voice work for Ken in the long-awaited and much-loved trilogy closer, Toy Story 3 – a hilarious role which inevitably led to another comedy role (akin to those which launched his career) in The Other Guys (2010)

Need for Speed (2014)

Car-racing thriller Need for Speed featured an eccentric performance from Keaton as Monarch, a reclusive and crazed host of an underground supercar race competition which features the main cast (including Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul). Drawing on many of his past influences, Keaton takes something that appeared miniscule on the page, but turns in a hugely memorable role. All in a day’s work.

RoboCop (2014)
Keaton plays the role of Raymond Sellars in an off-kilter and reserved manner, the CEO of OmniCorp covering up the corruption that is infesting the company which comprises most of America. Taking his marketing team, as well as scientist Dr. Dennett Norton (Gary Oldman), with the creation of this new law enforcement product – a robotic policeman comprised of cop Alex Murphy, killed in the line of duty. Pushed to the edge and willing to do anything to prevent his corporation from crashing down around him. Keaton plays Sellars with an air of unpredictability and ruthlessness, remind audiences why the actor is always a welcome presence in films.

RoboCop
is released on Limited Edition Blu-ray Steelbook, Blu-ray and DVD on June 9th 2014 from STUDIOCANAL

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Martin Kemp & Leo Gregory Interview

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Martin Kemp & Leo Gregory Interview

Posted on 19 May 2014 by Chris Ford

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Top Dog the new British crime thriller based on the acclaimed novel by Green Street writer Dougie Brimson. Produced by Jonathan Sothcott (Vendetta), directed by Martin Kemp (The Krays, EastEnders) and starring Leo Gregory (Green Street, Cass), Ricci Harnett (28 Days Later, Rise Of The Footsoldier) and Vincent Regan (Clash Of The Titans, St George’s Day), s released Monday 26 May on Blu-ray and DVD through Universal Pictures (UK).

Top Dog tells the story of Billy and his football gang as they take on the local protection racket, maybe not quite thinking through the consequences of doing so!
I thoroughly enjoyed Top Dog it’s a well made well acted British crime movie and if that sort of movie is your bag I’m sure you will love this.

I managed to speak to director Martin Kemp and Actor / Producer Leo Gregory last week and they gave me a great insight into the making of the film check it out below.

Top Dog is released Monday 26 May on Blu-ray and DVD through Universal Pictures (UK).

You can Pre Order from Amazon here

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Merrydown Cider’s new Blackcurrant flavour

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Merrydown Cider’s new Blackcurrant flavour

Posted on 13 May 2014 by Chris Ford

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Im a big fan of cider especially in the summer there’s nothing more refreshing, but Ive never really ventured away from the traditional Apple cider despite the trend in recent years for lots of new cider flavours out on the market.

So when I was sent a few bottles of the new Blackcurrant cider from Merrydown a couple of weeks ago I wasn’t sure what to expect really, but surprisingly the Blackcurrant really works, its just as refreshing as the apple variety and just a nice change really. With a hot spell supposedly coming up this weekend I would highly recommend you stock up on some to refresh under the sun.

While on the subject of cider Merrydown have supplied us with a few recipes utilizing some cider goodness

PORK, APPLE & CHEDDAR BURGERS WITH SPICED CIDER AND APPLE SALSA

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Tasty and full of apple and Merrydown cider flavours these easy to make burgers are perfect for a summer barbeque.
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

500g pork mince
1 Cox or Braeburn apple, peeled & grated
4 spring onions, finely chopped
1 egg, beaten
Fresh sage or parsley finely chopped
40g Cheddar cheese, cut into four even pieces
4 ciabatta or burger rolls

Spiced cider & apple salsa
3 Cox or Braeburn apples, cut into small cubes, not peeled
150ml Merrydown medium cider
1tbsp cider vinegar
½tsp ground cinnamon
2 spring onions, finely sliced

Method:

• Mix together the mince, grated apple, spring onions, beaten egg and herbs. Form into patties, placing a piece of cheese in the middle of each one. Place in the fridge for approx. 20 mins to firm up.
• Meanwhile, make the salsa. Place the cubed apples in a small saucepan with the cider, vinegar and cinnamon. Cook over a gentle heat until the apple has softened, add the finely chopped spring onions, cool.
• Barbeque or griddle the burgers for approx. 7-8 mins on each side until cooked through. Serve in the rolls topped with the salsa with a green salad and a glass of chilled Merrydown cider.

CHICKEN & PEPPER KEBABS WITH A CIDER GLAZE

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Perfect for summer entertaining, these delicious kebabs with their zesty cider glaze can be made ahead of time.
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

4 chicken breasts
3 peppers mixed colours, cubed

Cider glaze
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
3tbsps clear honey
300ml Merrydown medium cider
3 spring onions, finely chopped

Method:

•First make the marinade by mixing the garlic, zest and juice of the lemon, honey and cider together.
•Cube the chicken, place in a bowl and spoon in 10tbsps of the marinade, leave for at least 1 hour covered in the fridge. Reserve the remaining marinade.
•Thread the chicken and peppers onto kebab sticks. Barbeque or griddle for 7-8 mins each side until cooked through, basting occasionally with the marinade.
•Whilst the kebabs are cooking heat the reserved marinade in a small pan, boil until reduced and syrupy, pour over the kebabs and serve with a green salad and new potatoes.

Look out for the great new 500ml bottles of your favourite Merrydown cider, now on sale at Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons, ASDA and Booths.

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Sixpoint brewery UK exclusive at Wetherspoon’s

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Sixpoint brewery UK exclusive at Wetherspoon’s

Posted on 08 May 2014 by Chris Ford

Craft beers are the new cool kid on the block errm beer wise and what does cool usually mean? that’s right expensive! Ive recently like many acquired a taste for a good IPA and other decent craft beers with lots more flavour and taste than my usual lagers so I was quite excited when I heard Wetherspoons have agreed to an exclusive deal to bring over three of New York based Sixpoint’s best offerings.

The Six Point Cans currently being offered come in choices

The Crisp – a 5.4% Pilsner , but not your usual pilsner this one has a lot of bite to it.

Sweet Action – a 5.2% cream ale , fruity and goes down a little too easily!

Bengali Tiger – a monster 6.4% IPA, this is deliious but be warned this one really does sneak up on you! I was staggering after three cans of this stuff!

and the most exciting thing? as of today Wetherspoons are offering all Sixpoints cans at only £1.99 a can which is a complete bargain!

as you can see I rather enjoyed The Crisp last night, all in the name of research of course…

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Downhill – a great British comedy

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Downhill – a great British comedy

Posted on 08 May 2014 by Chris Ford

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British comedy films can be a bit hit and miss, lately there have been lots about weddings and stag dos it seems a format that I feel has been milked to death so I wasn’t sure what to expect when I went to see Downhill recently.

Downhill’s premise is a fly on the wall documentary which follows four old school friends as they attempt a coast to coast walk from one side of England to the other, I know it doesn’t sound too exciting but this film was genuinely the funniest thing Ive seen in the cinema for a long while, the characters felt real, each one of them had their own little heart ache they were hiding whether it be money troubles, the prospect of aging or sexuality it’s all there and treated with a dark humour that works very well here.

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There are no major stars in this, but you will recognise most if not all the cast from other things and they all put in sterling performances.

If you are looking for something funny yet heart-warming then I would suggest Downhill fits the bill perfectly.

Downhill is released on DVD and digital platforms on 16th June 2014

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Gigaset SL930A Android Dect Phone

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Gigaset SL930A Android Dect Phone

Posted on 07 May 2014 by Chris Ford

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The Android operating system only came out a few years ago but it seems like its slowly taking over the world, Android is in mobiles , tablets, TVs, media boxes and lots of other things too, well now Gigaset have brought out their home DECT phone that uses the well known software.
So whats it like? Well Ive been using the Gigaset SL930A for a few weeks now and well its basically exactly what you think it would be, it’s a touch screen smart phone connected to your land line.

Smart Features
At first I did question how much I would actually use the smart phone features of the Gigaset, afterall my mobile phone is always close to hand isn’t it? Well the answer surprisingly is no! a lot of the time its sitting charging somewhere or left somewhere around the house, the beauty of the Gigaset is you know where it will be in its in docking station and when you want to google a actor in Game of Thrones or something its right there near my armchair ready to be used.

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The big plus though is when I want to order a takeaway or call somewhere I don’t have the number for, so I google say Dominos Pizza Ealing … not only does it give me the number but with one click I’m calling my order in! very handy to have in a land line.
The other main thing I use the Gigaset SL930A for is Skype, with friends in the USA and Spain I can leave the app on the phone and they can call me anytime they want , I cant do the same on my smartphone as the Skype app would drain my phones battery, with the SL930A this isn’t a worry, I really use this feature the most.

Looks
The phone looks absolutely stunning, very high end, with its chromed finish on both the handset and dock I get many enquires about it from visitors, most saying how cool it looks.
So all in all I would give the Gigaset SL930A a big thumbs up, it looks great, works well and is an asset to my household.

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Head over to Amazon and pick yours up now !

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