Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Enter 2015 - happy new year world!

The 2014 has come to an end, welcome 2015!

My new new years resolutions is to eat less fried food and go to the gym regularly again.

I plan to change my career so hopefully I'll have some good vibes :-) stay kawaii guys and remember you have to make things happen and not wait for it to fall in your lap. Things don't work that way :-p


Thursday, 25 December 2014

Best Mince Pies 2014

I have never been a Mince Pie fanatic and that is true still to this day. However come Christmas comes the madness of food shortages especially when it comes to Mince Pies a staple to any Christmas meal. SO on the road to Christmas I have sampled and recorded my thoughts on all the mince  pies I devoured.


LIDL - Snowy Lodge - Deep Filled Mince Pies

Lidl have been branded student shopping but over the years have expanded to branded goods and high quality food with a purse friendly price tag

The box had 12 mini mince pies for the price of just £1.89 with the lowest calorie count of 192 calories, 17g of sugar and 7.6g of fat per pie. But I normally eat two because of the size.

First Impressions

Small but nicely presented with cute holly pattern on top with light sugar dusting on top and brown edge. With a rich shortcrust smell as soon as you open the box.

The Taste


One bite into this pastry and you'll be asking for more! I was so impressed with the mince meat texture. The pastery was not too thick or thin  and had a great buttery ataste teamed with some double cream this makes my perfect dessert for xmas or not. The only fail was the size but great for dieting.

4.5 / 5
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Tesco - Christmas - Deep Filled Mince Pies

Tesco's own brand have always been hit and miss with me but lets see their standard for 2014.

These seem to be no different to previous years. Same box art and nutrition of 255 calories, 19.8g of sugar and 9.4g of fat.

First Impressions

As these pies are machine made, and looked a bit woky and two out of the box had mince seeping out. There is a great amount of sugar on top. The pie appears cooked evenly.

The Taste

Very crumbly and very sweet, I needed liquid to swallow. overall very indifferent about nthis pie. Didn't hate or love and definitely underfilled.

Overall tastes like a budget mince pie. More testing needs to be done before mass production Tesco.

2.5/5
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 Aldi - Holly Lane - Deep Filled Mince Pies

Rivaling Lidl will I get the same or a better result?

The first thing you notice is that the box is much smaller than the usual mince pie box and it's also not very Christmas themed. These have 236 calories, 22.1g of sugar and 8.3g of fat.

First Impressions

No sugar on top and the pie in general looks ugly, bumpy brown texture, and as you try to remove it from foil and edges break off.

The Taste

Despite the ugly pastry, it tastes soft, ie stale which can be fixed if you put in the oven but I certainly don't have time for that sort of nonsense. The box says there is lemon inside which I definately don't taste but there is a hin tof apple inside.

Overall

I preferred Lidl's by miles but my mother liked this humble and overwhelming pie but she normally preferrs over sweetened things which this wasn't also she drowned hers in double cream... The presentation let the pie down accompanied by a bog standard box with a lame product inside.
1.5/5
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 Mr Kipling's Exceedingly Good Mince Pies

I couldn't not try test one of the most popular cake brands out theree available in most shops and only for £1 for 6 pies.

The box boasts about having 100% natural flavours, no artificial colours and are all baked in Britain with 100% British wheat flour. At 253 calories and 9.2g of fat per pie, it is about average for a mince pie.

First Impressions

Well, this was a sad pie, there was hardly any filling inside the festive box.  There is a small amount of sugar sprinkled on top which didn't help the chewy taste. The edges of the pie are well browned and broke off.

 The Taste

The first bite was as expected, the pastry is crumbly but it stays intact. There is a buttery taste but that was lost in all the chewing to bit the pastry off which leads me believe it was undercooked I tried two pies from the same batch warm and cold and had the same disappointing result.

Too crumbly on top, undercooked at the bottom with chewy insides. An exceedingly bad pie.
1 / 5

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Sainsbury's Deep Mince Pies



This is my first time trying Sainsbury's brand  Mince Pies.

 This is another average pie at 259 calories and 9.5g of fat. These are "Butter enriched shortcrust pastry cases with a mincemeat filling". The pastry is stated to be 52%, mincemeat at 47% and sugar at 1% which sounds like a nice even ratio.

First Impressions

This looks nothing glamorous,  a little brown around the edges and mistletoe diesign on pie. It looks like a solid, well filled mince pie.


The Taste

Now, this one is a nice mince pie. The buttery shortcrust pastry is lovely, and a good amount of moist filling helps this go down easily.

The filling wasn't too sweet which balanced out the sweetness in the pastry. Next time more thought on the look of the pie would help.


3 / 5

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Sainsbury's Fresh Bakery

The fresh bakery stuff is something you get tempted into by smell and sometimes special over this by no means was cheap £3 for 4.

First Impressions

With no calorie or fat content you just dove in to the pie. It was flat and with a layer of icing sugar on top the plain supposed deep filled pies.

The Taste

Probably the driest mince pie of all.  It disintegrated into my plate and their was no sweetness in the pastry crust or the filling for that matter. I have no idea what I bit into but I left this pie half way.

My taste buds feel robbed.

0/5

Friday, 19 December 2014

What if Lego made a Pokecentre set?




So what if Lego made a Pokecentre set? It would probably be the best set ever and make millions in pounds due to the massive fanbase. Builder Savath_Bunny shared superb-looking Pokémon center on LEGO Ideas and filled it with the main characters, Pokémon starters and all the gadgets you can find in the games.

'Pikachu's Pokemon Center Visit' includes the following:

5 Minifigures:

Ash Ketchum
Misty
Brock
Nurse Joy
Professor Oak





5 Starter Pokémon:


Pikachu
Squirtle
Charmander
Bulbasaur
Eevee

This is an idea that may have come to life depending on the votes from fans. However, despite having 1,000+ votes the set will not be put into production. The Lego officials statement regarding it explains:

"We've looked into the possibility of producing a set based on this licensed property (Pokemon). Since the property is owned by a competitor, we've decided it’s neither a brand fit nor a strategic fit for the Lego Group to pursue a license, and so we will not consider Pokemon projects on Lego Ideas further," the toy company said. "We're sorry to be the bearers of this disappointing news."

Perhaps this is a good move, made the design can be worked on and characters can match the anime series or game characters. Either way it looks like independent creators have a better chance of making bespoke sets that bigger companies due to licensing. Though I never saw Nintendo as a competitor of Lego?

At least we can see the possibilities through the Lego ideas site.


Thursday, 18 December 2014

Review: Action Jackson


Action Jackson probably the worst named Bollywood movie of 2014 (also copying an American movie) is an action 'masala' film directed by Prabhu Deva, who would recognised from Tamil movies and is a choreographer and is famous for his crazy dancing.

It features famous stuntman come actor Ajay Devgn in a double role, alongside Sonakshi Sinha, Yami Gautam and Manasvi Mamgai as the female leads. Kunaal Roy Kapur appears in a supporting role with Anand Raj portraying the main antagonist. Other reviewers have commented on the poor dialogue and excessive violence as I am now about to :-p

Vishi (Ajay Devgan) is a small time crook who would do anything for money. He is attracted towards Khushi (Sonakshi Sinha), and lots of toilet jokes ensue which i think were pointless and verging on cringe worthy than sexy.  Later Vishi's lookalike Jay is beaten up mistaken for Viski or Aj, I am still confused by this silly plot as they are both goons, nothing really differentiates them for each other apart from one has a Chinese tatoo. The tatoo is only there to include silly shirtless scenes and to showoff Devgan's body - which I'd expect no less from a stunt man. 

Vishi freaks out on seeing his lookalike but Jay reveals his real identity. In a flashback Jay reveals that he is a professional assassin AJ, who used to work for Bangkok based Don Xavier (Anand Raj). Xavier's sister Marina (Manasvi Mamgai) is been kidnapped by his rivals from where AJ single handedly rescues her. Marina falls for AJ but he rejects her as he is married to Anusha (Yami Gautam). Angered, Xavier tries to kill Anusha twice, which leaves her brutally injured. AJ escapes to India and get her treated.

In present time AJ requests Vishi to go to Bangkok disguised as AJ to fool Xavier and his sister, meanwhile AJ gets time to get his wife operated who is expecting a baby. Vishi agrees to help and goes to Bangkok along with his friend Moosa (Kunaal Roy Kapur). They manages to fool everyone for few days, but Xavier gets suspicions. Marina tortures Moosa to find out the truth. They later kidnap Anusha and her new born baby and calls AJ. It is then revealed that AJ and Vishi had already switched places and the person at Bangkok is the real AJ. In the climax AJ kills Xavier, Marina and their gang. He rescues Anusha and their baby before returning to India.

The music was done by Himesh which was shocking as most of the music was ok but nothing really catchy apart from Keeda which was filmed in Austria with Elvis impersonators for reasons unknown LOL! They introduced new actress Yami Gautam playing Anusha, AJ's giflfriend who has the cutest dimple on her face and is soft spoken and suit the role perfectly of being battered to a pulp.

Not a family friendly movie lots of brutal killing scenes and terrible dancing - I think a simple idea was ruined with flashy unnecessary special effects and awful dialogue. Glad mum paid for this ticket - I cannot get those 2.5 hours back of my life...
3/10


Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Review: Happy Ending

Happy Ending is a 2014 Indian romantic comedy film directed by Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K. The film is produced by Illuminati Films and has an allstar cast including  Saif Ali Khan, Ileana D'Cruz and Govinda.

Since my mum has retired the only source of amusement apart from her daytime Indian/Pakistani dramas she insists we make the most of Orange Wednesday codes and watch a movie a week. That's nice 'she get's to see a free movie with her mum awwww.' NO NOT AWWW especially when you have to watch the mediocrity spewed from India.

In the 80's 90's my childhood was blessed with cinematic legends like Sholay, Kalia, Shaan, Bobby, Kuch Kuch Hota hai, Kubhi Kushi Kabhi Gham but now we have Westerneised trash - they aren't even copied properly thought he Indian version of Leon was pretty awesome, instead of the plant you had a scorpion and it was called Bichoo.

Nowadays we have nakedness, inappropriate top less scenes and awful comedy sequences. HOWEVER Happy Ending is not one of them. i had low hopes as my mum said it 'flopped' in Indian cinemas but I gave it a chance becuase of the trailers  - there was at least one redeeming song for me to mong out in - Haseena Tu Kamina Mein <3 p="">



Story

You follow writer Yudi (Saif Ali Khan) who wrote a best selling novel five and a half years ago but he is still living it up off that old fame and not a lot of money in LA. He hasbn't honoured his book deal and has his car repossessed and can't hold down a relationship as he likes casual flings. He parties with married friend Montu (Ranvir Shorey) making us assume he has no long term relationships including friendships. He also zones out and discusses life with his fat, bearded inner voice Yogi (also Saif). Suddenly, he is replaced by romance writer and hack Aanchal (Ileana D'Cruz), visiting from Mumbai.

The only work Yudi now gets is from Bollywood single-screen superstar Armaan (Govinda) who insists he copies Hollywood movies and writes a multiplex-style rom-comedy.- ha ha sounds like my opening paragraphy abou the Indian movie industry. Meanwhile, Yudi's dentist and once-girlfriend Vishakha (Kalki Koechlin) is pursuing him obsessively and he realised he is in love (at last) with his competitor Aanchal.

I have to say as a writer I related to this movie well and enjoyed the comedy as it wasn't too cheesy and liked all the cameo roles including Kareena Kapoor (Saif's real life wife) and Preety Zinta as his female best friend. I'd rate this film as a 7/10 as Govinda always delivers even if his role was small his dancing was great. Rent this online or buy it as it was only in the cinema for a week.


Monday, 15 December 2014

Eastside stories: Love Strikes



Where: ICA London/ Belfast/Bristol/Dundee/Edinburgh/Newcastle upon Tyne/Nottingham/Sheffield
When: 31 January to 27 March 2014

Set one year after the drama series 'Moteki'. Hitoshi Ohne's romantic comedy, based on a hugely popular manga and TV series, became a massive hit in Japan and was selected for the Top Films of 2011 by The Japan Times, Kinema Jumpo and Eiga Geijutsu. The Japan Foundation chose this film to be part of their East side stories: Youth culture touring film festival.

Set one year after the conclusion of the Japanese drama series 'Moteki', the film Love Strikes! continues to follow 31-year-old Yukiyo Fujimoto. Following Yukiyo’s feelings remaining somewhat unresolved after the mini series. Love Strikes! retains the elements of comedy and honesty that were present in both the manga and drama series, all the while delving deeper into the emotional obstacles faced by the protagonist Yukiyo.

Yukiyo, a man with no aim in life starts a new chapter in his life by working as a writer for a news site. Suddenly, Yukiyo experiences 'moteki' – a period when a man becomes suddenly popular with woman. Magazine editor Miyuki, who he talks to on twitter, one day initaites a meet up. Miyuki turn's out to a be woman rather than a geeky bloke. Then Miyuki's friend Rumiko, beautiful shop assistant Ai and beautiful, but tough co-worker named Motoko all become interested in Yukiyo. He tries to calm down, but is shaken by the interests of these women.  So many women but who is the one for Yukiyo?

The idea of one man simply attempting to lose his virginity is hilarious. Director Hitoshi Ohne brings the same charm as he did from the series. Using elements of musical sequences, slapstick moments, and some tense scenes of Yukiyo’s interaction with women. The film pokes fun at Yukiyo’s circumstances as well as showing his gradual growth as an individual, with each womanly encounter he begins to understand people better.

Mirai Moriyama holds the film together, without his exceptional acting as well as flamboyant dancing to rival or better that of guest star's Perfume. he encompasses the sexually frustrated Yukiyo perfectly. His execution of internal dialogues really make the film brilliant. Considering the length of the film you get a glimpse into the love affairs he has. Nagasawa’s character of Miyuki is cute, and mysterious giving Yukiyo mixed signals constantly. Whereas Aso’s character of Rumiko is shy and confident at the same time.

Love Strikes! presents a hysterical look into one man’s journey to find that special someone whilst dabbling in moteki. The Japan Foundation did a great job with the selection and getting q&a's with the directors and actors.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

The Little Prince Animated Movie




The Little Prince was originally a French novella published in 1943 by aristocrat, writer, poet and pioneering aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900–1944).

The novella is both the most-read and most-translated book in the French language, and was voted the best book of the 20th century in France. Translated into more than 250 languages and dialects (as well as braille). It is one of the best-selling books ever published!

The narrator explains that, as a young boy, he once drew a picture of a boa constrictor with an elephant digesting in its stomach; however, every adult who saw the picture would mistakenly interpret it as a drawing of a hat. Whenever he explained the drawing people would tell him to give it up drawing and so something else.

Now an adult himself, the narrator has become a pilot, and, one day, his plane crashes in the Sahara desert, Here, he meets a young boy whom he refers to as "the little prince". The little prince asks the narrator to draw a sheep. The narrator first shows him his old picture of the elephant inside the snake, which, to the narrator's surprise, the prince interprets correctly.

Over eight days stranded in the desert, the narrator attempts to repair his plane and draws pictures for the little prince while he recounts the story of his life. The prince begins by describing life on his tiny home planet.

After many adaptations it is being adapted into an animated film, this time by Kung Fu Panda director Mark Osborne.

It releases in October 2015, France. Watch the trailer below.





Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Suikoden I & II releasing on Vita in USA



The cult classic JRPG game that hit the Sega Saturn but got noticed on PSone Suikoden 1 &2 has finally been re released in America. After years of petitioning to Konami and the with the help of the Suikoden Revival Movement. 

Game company Konami who have brought out legendary games such as Metal Gear Solid and Yu gi Oh series have always avoided porting Suikoden but never explained why. Today December 9th it has been released on PSN for the vita in USA and hopefully the EU will follow.

Suikoden Series

Originally created by Yoshitaka Murayama, he based it loosely on the classical Chinese novel, Shui Hu Zhuan by Shi Naian. Shui Hu Zhuan pronounced is centered around politics, betrayal and revolution. Mystical crystals known as True Runes are dispersed in the world and whoever posessed one of them is considered "108 Stars of Destiny".


Though the Suikoden games do not follow a sequence of events, some are set in the past in different region and some far ahead in the future. The entire series (except for Tierkreis and Tsumugareshi Hyakunen no Toki) takes place within the same world among continuing and overlapping histories where you even bump into a few characters along your journey. In some cases, several characters appear in multiple installations which is very rare including Jeane the Blacksmith and Viki the ditsy teleporting magician - both integral to the story and team.

These 108 stars possess powers to be used inside and outside battle as Jeane is not always a playable character but makes and upgrades weapons in your castle/headquarters as such. Viki can teleport you to places you have traveled to in the past to save time and can also teleport pots and pans to attack the enemy at random (which sometimes backfires.)

Also by gathering all 108 stars of destiny you can change the threads of fate and unloack a happy ending, will you save one of your loved ones? The politics aspect initially put me off but the art work grabbed me and you get so engrossed with the development of characters it becomes something of a mission to train characters learn joint moves and making the most of different possible conversations and unlocking special scenes.

Tekken 7: New characters


The latest new character to be announced for the most anticipated fighting game of 2015, Tekken 7, is a break-dancing catgirl called Lucky Chloe.

During the Tekken 20th anniversary celebrations in Japan, Tekken chief Katsuhiro Harada revealed another new character to the roaster called Lucky Chloe. She has been added to the line up with Katarina, Claudio and Kazuya Mishima’s mother Kazumi.

There is very limited information on the characters at present but I will update when Harada -san discloses biographies. There is also an Middle Eastern character not named but wearing Arab attire.

Find out more about the controversy of Lucky Chloe on Ukanifest.













Kazumi

Monday, 8 December 2014

Glitter pills to give your poo some sparkle


Want to poop gold? I mean, LITERALLY? Just swallow one of these glitter pills and all your glittery doo-doo dreams will come true. This product is totally for real-real and not just for play-play. The pill capsule will set you back $425, is filled with 24-karat gold leaf and dipped in gold.

It’s brought to us by Tobias Wong and Ju$tAnother Rich Kid. Their inspiration is the man who has absolutely everything. Yes, the man who has everything… except for glittery shit. The rest of us? Well, the rest of us are trying to make ends meet and hoping to poop as discreetly as possible.

However for the bargain hunters you can find good deals on Etsy: 

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/122801349/glitter-pills

Setting you back £6.26 for 6 great for the festive season - make your janitors happy after that hardcore christmas party ! Any one tried it, leave me comments pleeeasse.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Fight the Dragon RPG Early Access -25% Off on Steam.


3 Sprockets’ multi award winning game Fight the Dragon (www.FighttheDragon.com) exits Steam’s Early Access program today, making it one of the select few games that entered early access, delivered the promised features and well beyond, and is now ready for full launch. Fight the Dragon is the premier action/RPG hybrid entirely comprised of community created adventures, over 4,000 of them so far, providing hundreds of hours of gameplay.  Players create these levels using the in-game Adventure Construction Kit, allowing complex levels to be built quickly and beautifully. Fight the Dragon is available on Steam at http://store.steampowered.com/app/250560/

Fight the Dragon is a single player, couch co-op & online co-op action/RPG hybrid where players adventure across realms created by other players, collecting loot, gaining levels, and acquiring tickets to fight the mighty dragon. Each time the player fights the dragon they have a chance to win great prizes as well as do permanent damage to the dragon that carries over from fight to fight. In this way the heroes will eventually overcome the mighty beast, though can expect many failures along their way.

The crown jewel of Fight the Dragon is the Adventure Construction Kit. From within the game players construct entire adventures from a vast array of provided textures, props, enemies, traps, events and triggers. By utilizing the triggers system they can create complex cascade reactions and puzzles. Players can also create NPCs and NPC dialogue, allowing for story development within the levels themselves or even between levels if players choose to create campaigns that run in sequence. The game automatically scales the levels created to match the level of the players attempting to conquer it. Information on the ACK can be found at http://www.fightthedragon.com/#s2

Join in the fun of online co-op with up to four players, 2 player couch co-op, or single player adventuring.  Explore the realms of your friends, or strange lands made by strangers.

Find out more at www.FightTheDragon.com or on Steam at http://store.steampowered.com/app/250560/

About 3 Sprockets

Based in Melbourne, Australia, 3 Sprockets is a small indie game studio that specialises in cross platform games that focus heavily on user generated content and online multiplayer.

Find out more at http://3sprockets.com


Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Muji's Sleep app causes a snore


The company MUJI, founded in 1980, is a Japanese based brand that brings simplicity to quality products at a lower price. From  high quality clothing and environmentally friendly products such as recycled books. They are known for avoiding wastage of products.

There supply of travel pots aren't just for consumers, companies buy in bulk to use for samples too. MUJI has developed their products from clothing, shoes, stationary, skin care, tights, bags, travel, and now an unusual phone app.

MUJI Sleep app was released on July 22nd, 2014, to help people unwind and sleep comfortably. The MUJI Sleep app uses binaural microphones recording various regions of Japan and using to make the person feel at home and ease. The sound transports the listener to different places. The six nature sounds that are included in the app: ocean waves, birds chirping, crackling bonfire, river, trees, and a waterfall. The Ayugaeri waterfall and the well-known ocean waves from Enoshima are well known sites included. In Japan, MUJI Sleep app is free to download and one of the most popular apps available.

For stressful lifestyles this app would come in handy, it only requires 22.09 MB space so I downloaded the app on my android phone (also available on apple store). You swipe the screen to begin and swipe the screen to move between the sounds - so if the cherry birds are on the verge of making you explode move over to relaxing fireplace crackling.


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