Tag Archive | "Review"

No booze, no problem?  A look at Non Alcoholic Beers

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No booze, no problem? A look at Non Alcoholic Beers

Posted on 12 January 2018 by Chris Ford

Around this time of the year, not only is everyone a bit broke, but people embrace something called Dry January where they abstain from booze for the month after the excesses of Christmas and New Year.

One thing that goes alongside Dry Jan are non-alcoholic beers and in recent years they have become massively popular to the point I know a fair few people that enjoy low or no alcoholic beers on a regular basis.  Having never tried one before I thought I’d take a look at what’s out there in the supermarkets and most important of all how do they taste?*

Budweiser Prohibition

From Budweiser’s website it says Prohibition is brewed in exactly the same way as regular Bud, with exactly the same ingredients but without the alcohol – but does it taste the same? Well I’d say this was my least favourite of the four, very thin-tasting like something is missing (yeah I know the booze! ).  Saying that this was my girlfriend’s favourite out the bunch so it obviously isn’t terrible. Again the Budweiser taste is there but I wouldn’t rush back to try it.


San Miguel 0.0%

San Miguel is one of those beers that tastes great on a hot sunny day and I associate with many a Spanish summer holiday on the beach, but will it live up to that memory? The first thing I noticed about this one is its very sweet, there’s certainly that San Miguel taste there and I’d say the most beer-tasting out of the four I sampled. While it isn’t as full flavoured as regular San Miguel there’s certainly flavour there unlike some of the others that taste really thin.


Heineken 0.0

I drank a lot of Heineken in my youth so I know it well, and the Heineken 0 0 is a great non-alcoholic beer!  There’s a slight malty taste here, which isn’t unpleasant, I think this one is the closest tasting to its regular counterpart. My only complaint it was quite gassy compared to the others.  I was actually torn which I preferred the San Miguel or this it was really close.


Brew Dog Nanny State

Well first off if you are into Craft Beer or not a lager drinker and looking to go No Alcohol then this is the obvious choice.  Looks and smells like beer, has a tamed hoppy taste with some of the floral fruity notes you might expect and slightly bitter. My one criticism would be it does seem to leave a slightly artificial after taste, which can be a bit off-putting. To be honest I’m really surprised with this one as I thought it would be my favourite, I don’t think I’d drink it again. So not for me but I think some would get on well with this, especially if you don’t drink lager.




So in conclusion if I had to go down the Non Alcoholic beer route it would certainly be either San Miguel 00 or Heineken 0.0 – both are close enough to the original to have a pleasant enough drink and not feel left out.



*I was sent all these beers  on the basis that I’d give an honest review which I have.

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Retribution DVD Review

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Retribution DVD Review

Posted on 12 January 2015 by Chris Ford


With Retribution we have Breaking Bads Aaron Paul staring in this supringly low buget movie considering at the moment he is on top of the world with his success in Breaking Bad, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t a great movie, far from it.
Paul plays an alcoholic grieving husband trying to bring up two sons when he can hardly look after himself. I think to say much more about the plot other than that would in a way spoil your natural enjoyment of the film and the supurb acting displayed with that age old tale that your actions always have concquencies sometimes for you and others.
I will say this is a really watchable engrossing film with Paul really stepping out of his comfort zone and it’s a real shame this wasn’t his immediate follow up to finishing Breaking Bad instead of the dross that was ‘Need For Speed’.
Paul’s career has taken off, appearing in award-winning films and holding his own alongside star-studded casts including Christian Bale, Pierce Brosnan, Dominic Cooper, Sigourney Weaver, Sir Ben Kingsley, Toni Collette and of course Cranston. From 12th January, 2015, Paul will star alongside Juliette Lewis in the white-knuckle thriller Retribution, which comes to DVD courtesy of Signature Entertainment. Here is a look at Aaron Paul’s exceptional 2014…

Retribution (2015)

Originally released as Hellion in cinemas, Retribution tells the story of an emotionally unavailable father and rebellious teenage son (Josh Wiggins), set against the high-risk world of motocross. Obsessed with heavy metal music and constantly venting his teenage anger, 13-year-old Jacob (Wiggins) finds release in the exhilarating world of motocross but his increasingly reckless behaviour threatens to affect those that matter to him most. Paul plays Hollis, Jacobs’s hard-drinking father, who struggles to get him back on track before he does something he will regret forever. Paul delivers a typically heart-wrenching performance alongside Juliette Lewis in this dark, exhilarating thriller.

Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)

In cinemas now is Ridley Scott’s latest epic blockbuster Exodus: Gods and Kings, which tells the story of Moses, who is charged by the Hebrew god to lead his people to freedom from their 400 years of slavery under the Egyptians. Whilst Christian Bale leads in this hyperbolic biblical story, he is supported magnificently by Paul as the slave Joshua, Joel Edgerton as Egyptian pharaoh Ramses, Sigourney Weaver as Tuya and Sir Ben Kingsley as Nun. Paul delivers a convincing performance and holds his own amongst this star-studded cast.

Long Way Down (2014)

Long Way Down is the heart-warming story of four mismatched people from very different walks of life who meet on a rooftop on New Years Eve in their attempts to commit suicide. After persuading each other their lives are not worth throwing away, they sign a pact to make it to Valentines Day without killing themselves. The four form a surrogate family and help one another battle against the difficulties of their lives. Paul plays the washed out musician JJ, alongside an unlikely ensemble of Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette, Imogen Poots and Sam Neill.

Need for Speed (2014)

Paul shone in one of his first leading performances in last year’s Need for Speed, which was inspired by the popular street-racing video game. Paul originally auditioned for the role of Dino Brewster (played by Dominic Cooper), although director Scott Waugh and DreamWorks head Steven Spielberg decided against that and cast him as the lead.

Choking Man (2006)

Prior to Breaking Bad, one of Paul’s first breakthroughs came in the Choking Man, the independent drama by famed music video director Steve Barron (A-ha – “Take on Me”, Bryan Adams “Summer of ’69”, The Human League “Don’t You Want Me”). The film portrays the social anxiety of a morbidly shy Ecuadorian dishwasher Jorge (Octavio Gomez Berrios) working in a Queens diner in an intense and strange blend of drama and magical realism. Paul plays Jerry, the main antagonist to Jorge, bullying him at work and thwarting his romantic interests. Choking Man encapsulates the contemporary immigrant experience in America, whilst providing a platform from which Paul was able to launch his career.

BoJack Horseman (2014-2015)

Paul continued his successful 2014 into the New Year with the second season of BoJack Horseman, the animated comedy exclusive to Netflix. Bojack Horseman (Will Arnett), the washed up star of 90s situation-comedy ‘Horsin’ Around’ lazes around Hollywood complaining about everything, wearing colourful sweaters and a smart-arse attitude. Paul plays BoJack’s freeloading roommate Todd Chavez, who combines with BoJack’s financial resources to devise outlandish schemes and plans that often result in the pair starting questionable business ventures, such as a Halloween store that exclusively opens in January. The series also stars Amy Sedaris as BoJack’s agent and on-off girlfriend, and Alison Brie as BoJack’s third-wave feminist, hipster ghostwriter.
RETRIBUTION is released on DVD on January 12th courtesy of Signature Entertainment

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Stickerbomb Skulls – Book Review

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Stickerbomb Skulls – Book Review

Posted on 06 August 2014 by Chris Ford

Stickerbomb Skulls_3D

Stickerbomb Skulls is the latest book in the Stickerbomb series, featuring peelable art illustrations of skulls by a mix of international artists. Skulls are a highly stylised and extremely popular visual icon that are used extensively in the worlds of fashion, jewellery, graphic design, music, street art and tattoos.

Stickerbomb Skulls_Spread_1

When I was asked to review this book I couldn’t believe my luck. I collect skulls and love street art, so reviewing a book about skull stickers done by some great artists was a gift

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From the cover to the stickers, this book oozes quality. Top quality production and materials make this a sure fire collectors item. The stickers can be removed from the sheets , or actually pushed out keeping the back intact enabling you to take them with you to tag or bomb

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Some of the images are pure works of art ,some comedic others quite serious studies. Skulls are used in modern culture extensively today so this book will appeal to not only skull and sticker collectors , but to followers of design , especially those interested in street and contemporary art

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With sticker collecting being at a high , this book can really do no wrong

From it’s perfect size and format , to it’s high quality production , I implore anyone interested in this culture to buy this book

Stickerbomb Skulls is available now from Amazon currently at £11.16

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Out of the Furnace – Review

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Out of the Furnace – Review

Posted on 03 June 2014 by Chris Ford


When I saw the cast they put together for this movie, I really couldn’t wait to see it. After The Mechanic and Batman, Christian Bale really can’t do any wrong in my book , and Casey Affleck in my opinion is one of the best actors of the day. The movie is a slow and violent portrayal of two brothers living in a hard depressing steel town . While one serves time in prison , the other serves time in Iraq . Casey Afflecks portrayal of a war veteran fighting his demons while bare knuckle fighting his way out of debt really catches the mood of this wrong side of town story. When told to take a dive by the massively vindictive and money driven Degroat (played by a superb Woody Harrelson) and still getting murdered for it , it’s left to his older brother to take it into his own hands. Throw in a police force who don’t want to know , captained by Forest Whitaker and his Uncle played by Sam Shepard this moody , brooding story comes to it’s violent conclusion.
An all star cast , of which Bale shines , really make this tale believable , this could be any small struggling town and it’s people , all slowly heading to a harrowing end.


Out of the Furnace is out now on Blu-Ray and DVD

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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


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.


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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The Acer A1 Tablet

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The Acer A1 Tablet

Posted on 01 January 2014 by Chris Ford


The Acer A1 my first ever experience with a Android tablet and its been a while since I have used Android at all, being a Apple convert I am a IPhone and Ipad man and really couldn’t see myself changing if I’m honest but took this tablet in to review purely out of curiosity and I’m so glad I did!


First of all the price point, its more towards to the budget end at $149 and the dimensions are the same as the Ipad in a 4:3 as opposed to most Android tablets that are a widescreen shape coming from a Ipad though it felt very familiar and I think this shape suits a tablet.


The tablet itself is quite thick compared to the most modern alternatives but at this price point its hardly worth complaining about and if anything adds a feeling a sturdiness to the tablet that feels good in the hand especially when reading kindle books.

The screen is very responsive and totally on a par with my Ipad2 in fact I really have little to complain about with the A1 I think its fantastic value for money, if I were to really stretch for something to pick holes in I guess it would be the built in speaker which isn’t up to much but in reality how often do any of us use them anyway?

All in all if you are looking for a 7” tablet I would seriously give the Acer A1 a look it offers fantastic value without compromising on performance and features.

You can buy the Acer A1 now from Amazon here or check out more independent Acer Iconia A1 reviews here.

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Netatmo Weather Station

Posted on 09 December 2013 by Chris Ford


Do you remember the weather stations of old? all wood and brass large grand affairs… well welcome to the next generation of weather station, The Netatmo Weather Station.

This rather fantastic piece of kit measures the Temperature, Humidity, Barometric Pressure, indoor CO2 concentration and also has a inbuilt Sound Meter. All of this information available on your smartphone or tablets screen, logged so you can even look back and see for example what the humidity was this time last year.

You may wonder why would you want to know all these things? well for lots of reasons, one maybe not so obvious one I can relate to due to family suffering are people with breathing difficulties who need to monitor air quality, temperature, humidity etc in several rooms, and outside for that is product is ideal with cold air and humidity being asthma triggers this product can help manage the condition greatly.

Also well some people just like to know !

I myself this last week have been using mine to measure the temperature and humidity in my tower cigar humidor, both things are terribly important to make sure your cigars are stored correctly the same is true if you collect wine.


The software is very simple to use and can be used for both Apple and Android Devices.

I suppose my one only gripe is the outside sensor appears not to be waterproof which I find bizarre, I created a makeshift cover for it with a plant pot which seems to do the trick.

Netatmo’s Personal Weather Station is now available online from www.netatmo.com or Amazon.co.uk for £139

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James Bond 007 Ocean Royale

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James Bond 007 Ocean Royale

Posted on 23 May 2013 by Chris Ford

Whether we like to admit it or not we all one the quiet fancy ourselves as being a bit of a James Bond,  but have you ever wondered how James Bond smells?   errm no me neither but I was recently send the new Bond Ocean Royale fragrance to try and I have to say I have been pleasantly surprised how nice it is.

Ocean Royale is the second in the series of Bond scents, its a very summery fresh scent that really reminds me of lazing by the beach sipping a cold beer, or in Bonds case a Vesper Martini?

At £24.50 for a 50ml bottle its very competitively priced but don’t be fooled into thinking this is a cheap cash in as it genuinely does smell great and the scent seems to last quite a while too, I thoroughly recommend all you budding spys check it out.


To check out Ocean Royale head over to www.thefragranceshop.co.uk for more info




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