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Mick L (Leicester UK)

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Fear In the Town of the Living Dead
Fear In the Town of the Living Dead

1.0 out of 5 stars Very poor, 13 May 2013
The proper title is actually City of the Living Dead. The soundtrack for this film is much sought after - it has previously been released by Beat in Italy and there is a very rare US cd of this and The Beyond.

However what Amazon does not say is this is a CDR release with poorly printed cover (mine had not been aligned so the title of the CD could not be read on one spine and half way off the other.)

Despite this I would be happy if the CD was the same as the one released previously but it is missing big chunks of the music (including the main theme) and has four tracks that seemed to have sneaked in from another film (maybe Cannibal Ferox.) Like me you will probably want this so you have some sort of CD release until Beat get their finger out and reissue it but you should be aware of how poor this is.

Halloween 2 [Blu-ray] [1981] [US Import]
Halloween 2 [Blu-ray] [1981] [US Import]
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £13.17

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terror in the Aisles info, 25 Feb. 2012
Just for your information regarding the extra on the US Blu Ray. I watched Terror in the Aisles last night on the blu ray and was delighted and surprised to see that it appeared to be the first cut that was graded an x by the MPAA and was replaced by a softer second version that got the R certificate. The second version is the one that was released by Palace Video (in one of their cool video boxes that were unlike any other company boxes) on VHS years ago and those of us who bought that will find the 1st cut quite different. There is more material from The Thing, The Shining, Videodrome, Halloween 2, The Brood, Suspiria and others.

Sadly the footage from Vice Squad and Night Hawks is still in there (seems to be a common mistake by idiotic people who confuse violence with horror - horror can be violent but so can other genres.) Also sadly, and moreso, footage from Dawn of the Dead is still absent despite the film being namechecked on the end credits.

Picture for Terror in the Aisles is variable - it mostly looks good enough as it is high def but some of the source materials were less than good (some VHS in there even?.) The sound mix is 2.0 virtually mono. However having this on a digital format of any kind is nostalgically nice and as Halloween 2 is the main feature this is a very welcome extra. It leaves me wondering if Universal will manage to come up with something similarly interesting for the Halloween 3 release they have planned.

Halloween 2 looks good but stick with the stereo mix rather than the "processed" 5.1 which is naff.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 26, 2012 1:52 AM BST

Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale: The Final Chapter
Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale: The Final Chapter
by Russell T. Davies
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.58

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most enjoyable books I have read, 4 July 2010
Russel Davies' book on the writng of Dr Who from series 4 to The End of Time is amazing. As a heterosexual man I can probably never understand the meaning for Russell in what he has done personally with Dr Who but I genuinely believe his era with Crhistopher Ecclestone and David Tennant is the greatest we have seen (started watching the show with the Pertwee story Frontier in Space if you were wondering.)

I avoided this for ages but I have to say if you like him at all when you see him in interview you should read this as his charm and enthuisiam for Who come through clearly.

Watched End of Time 2 again today and the skill of his writing is tremendous - my wife said "none of the others got a reward" and my answer was none of the other writers either thought of it or would have got away with it. It gets me angry to see rubbish like the Dr Who Episode Guide within which Time & The Rani and Curse of Fenric get the same score and End of Time is considered poor because the master's plan is ludicrous (so what) and it takes ages for Tennant to regenerate. As time passes we will come to appreciate the qualities of Davies to celebrate all that we cherish in our heroes and why we love this progranme.

Under the Dome
Under the Dome
by Stephen King
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than meets the eye..., 24 Feb. 2010
This review is from: Under the Dome (Hardcover)
I have read King since The Shining was publised in the seventies and he has been my favourite author for a long time. I had all but given up on him though as his books post Dark Tower seemed like the writing of a spent force. And I had low hopes for this book, despite claims it was a concept he had years ago it stills seems a lot like the basic plot of The Simpsons movie.

Initially I was not impressed - I read for a couple of hundred pages and thoroughly hated the book - it seemed that nasty characters juist did nasty things to service the plot. Then it dawned on me that King was writing in a new way for him - the book if viewed as a parable to the seizing of power by Bush jnr and co and their manipulation of the 9/11 events to increase their power base, is a fascinating read.

If you doubt this then I would point out that King even mentions Bush early in the text as a clue and follows up later with references to torture that was acceptable to the Bush administration in Iraq - the horrendous act of waterboarding prisonoers until they said what was wanted by the interogator.

If you missed this go back and have another read. Consider the many conspiracy theorie that have arisen since 9/11 and the events depicted in the book to burn down the newspaper to increase Rennie's power under the dome. Leave it with you to consider further.

Dario Argento's Four Flies on Grey Velvet [DVD] [1971] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dario Argento's Four Flies on Grey Velvet [DVD] [1971] [US Import] [NTSC]

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keystone to all of Argento's Films, 26 Mar. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Like others at long last I can review Argento's "lost film."

I was not expecting much. Art of Darkness provides a poxy 2 page review by the usually reliable Kim Newman that does nothing to excite. Alan Jones' Profondo Argento has a bit more background but as it was from the period before he wrote reviews for Starburst, there was no review of the time as there is for the later Argento films in the book. DVD Delirium Vol 1 mentions this film in passing in the review of The Cat O'Nine Tails DVD but merely says that it was a more difficult film. All in all it seemed impossible to watch this film and those who had were not saying much of interest about it!

SPOILERS AHEAD. I watched it last night for the first time and whilst it did not stun in the way that the first viewing of Deep Red, Suspiria, Inferno or Tenebrae did, my first reaction was that it reminded me how good Argento was before falling from grace. I continue to buy the likes of Phantom of the Opera, Jenifer, Pelts and Mother of Tears in the hope that Argento will show what he is capable of but here is a film that contains all the elements that made his work so attractive in the 70s. The only failing it has is in its lack of jaw dropping violence that we expect from Argento.

What it does have once analysed is links to most of his subsequent films and so watching this now with hindsight allows us to appreciate his development as a director.

For example, the maid awaits a meeting in a public place and Argento uses cinematic distance in varying shots displacing us from the camera, the screen and the distance between objects onscreen as he did so successfully with the murder of John Saxon in Tenebrae. The build up here is just as unsettling.

Then we have the use of a dummy by the murderer as an object to mystify just as Argento would return to in Deep Red and Nonhosonno. Flashbacks to memories of an asylum appear early on and the gender and sexuality confusion of the murderer are themes that he examined so well in Tenebrae also.

Hereditary mental illness appears here for the first time as the murderer's mother was also in an asylum. Argento returns to this theme in Phenomena (mother and the criminal father of the maniac) and Deep Red (unbalanced son with maniac mom.)

Whilst the murders are tame we see strangulation with a cord as he used in Cat O'Nine Tails and returned to in Tenebrae (cord still), Phenomena (chain this time) and Trauma (device that strangles then decapitates!)

To balance the warped sexuality issues of the murders Argento invests the most sympathy for the homosexual character in the film, the private detective who continually fails to solve cases. Argento would also explore such characterisations in Deep Red and Tenebrae, of both homosexual men and homosexual women respectively.

Visually the film excites. Jump cuts are used superbly in the opening stalking when looking at the doors to the theatre. One victim hides in a wardrobe and is lit by a vertical streak as she looks out, an image he would return to equally well in the opening train sequence in Nonhosonno.

At the climax the apparent murderer runs from the hero to be caught in a tragic vehicle accident that kills her, an event repeated to Carlo in Deep Red.

An element explored here that we have not seen repeated is the element of dream imagery. Throughout the film Roberto dreams of a middle east execution as described by a character early on. This is then repeated in the stunning car death of the murderer at the end, with a similar decapitation as shown in the dream. These dreams are the key to Four Flies as the whole film runs in a dream like state - at the beginning we have the stalking of the stalker and the stalkers apparent murder and its photographing by the unknown dummy like person. The maids death is partcularly nightmarish with the inspiration of Mario Bava's Blood and Black Lace appearing when characters literally vanish within the camera shot and the maid realises she is alone. Suddenly darkness falls and the nightmare continues. Argento would return to nightmare cinema in his masterpiece Inferno (my own favourite, along with Opera.)

So for all of you Argento fans what are you waiting for? This is a greatest hits by a director at a point in his career when he was beginning to shine. Easily the best of the animal trilogy.

We live in hope that one day Five Days in Milan will surface with english subtitles.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 18, 2013 3:00 PM BST

Miami Vice [DVD] [2006] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Miami Vice [DVD] [2006] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Price: £7.84

12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning - visual story for persons capable of reading film - if you need exposition to explain the plot, don't bother, 5 Oct. 2008
Stunning film making from Michael Mann. I have discussed with others and this film is going to be one you love or hate - I was the only one in 5 people or so who loved it so be wary.

The film opens in a deliberately disorientating fashion - it initially appears to be showing us a police exercise in a night club but almost immediately pulls us out as an informant telephones Crockett & Tubbs to report the trouble he is in. This draws the two into a drugs tale that is told through visuals and whilst complex and stimulating is not complicated. Hence my confusion at the viewers moaning that they did not understand it and who want everything laid out on a plate for them and presumably to switch their brains off when watching a film. If you want to be challenged get this and enjoy, otherwise go and buy something that shows you the plot, explains it and then explains it again.

Stylistically the film appears to be documentary hand held in nature but this is deceptive - look closer and note the stylism in the opening sequence through the lack of car sounds when the white range rovers drive up to the night club. Clearly there is an intelligence in the direction that requires analysis by the viewer to understand the intentions of the film maker. Several viewings will be required to get to grips with this and serious film theory thought on meanings within the meanings. If you are not prepared to spend some time on this film then don't bother.

For the more action orientated fans there is a stunningly filmed sequence in a trailer park that demonstrates the type of talent that Mann brought to Heat and Manhunter.

Maybe it would help you in choosing to buy by knowing I never watched the TV series. Maybe if you did not either then you will find a film of great interest here. Hopefully this short set of notes will help your decision on whether to buy or not.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 29, 2011 9:52 PM BST

Outside The Gate
Outside The Gate
Price: £6.42

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forgotten & unfairly maligned classic, 6 May 2008
This review is from: Outside The Gate (Audio CD)
There is much dislike for this album. Joke fans will know that it was meant to be either a Jaz Coleman solo album or Coleman/Walker album but the record company insisted on it being released as Killing Joke due to the high production costs. However, Killing Joke lovers should not disregard this CD as it fills an important dvelopment gap between Brighter Than A Thousand Suns and Extremities.

Brighter is for me Joke's worst album - dull eighties twaddle with songs that are hard to distinguish between (although the new CD with the proper mixes on it is superior to the previous release.) All of the eight original Gate tracks are different in style to each other and very interesting to experience.

"America" kicks off the album and Coleman's left wing sympathies shine through in this critique of US values and attitudes. "I can survive the rat race honey" he declares in a repeated verse and the song finishes on "Showbiz and Hollywood still shouted out - America." Such a song points towards Age of Greed on Extremities in which Joke take this anger to the logical conclusion. There was little on Brighter Than A 1000 Suns that signposted any such intentions.

"My Love of This Land" is a beautiful song of nostalgia for the England of youth; "Memories of gentlemen and cricket fade away in the hot summer" evokes in the mind times gone by when, as children, we had beliefs in our nation that have been since soured by world politics and cynicism.

Yes, "Stay one jump ahead" has rap (and yes it is Wham style rap rather than Tupac) but this lasts for about 20 seconds and in terms of the album flies by. Attacks on paying for healthcare and the encouragement to own property are dealt with in a way that makes up for any shortcomings in the track elsewhere.

The other two stand out tracks are Obsession and the title track Outside the Gate. The former is an upbeat almost dance style track that itches in the memory and has much replay value. Outside the Gate is now one of my favourite Killing Joke tracks, period. Working on several levels and open to the interpretation of the listener, I find it works best as a song trying to encourage the holistic view rather than our narrow insular way of keeping ourselves to ourselves.

As with the other reissues there are remixes and unreleased material rounding the CD to 70+ minutes.

Overall, yes, the guitars are a minor element of the album and the keyboards are brought to the forefront. There is some great bass work from the late, much missed Paul Raven, especially on My Love of This Land. However the lyrics are open to what you bring to them which is how all the best music should be.

If you love Killing Joke and have avoided this CD because of the negative comments think again - it's cheap enough to take a risk on and you may well find yourself pleasently surprised like I was.

Kane & Lynch: Dead Men (Xbox 360)
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men (Xbox 360)
Offered by FUN-N-MORE
Price: £4.92

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best shooting game on 360, 6 Feb. 2008
This game is the best game on 360. I can't believe how good it is. If you like shooting games, you like this. It is a bit different in style to most other shooting games, but it makes a change to have something different after COD 4 and Halo games, being almost the same, jsut with different settings and storylines. Plus this game has 1 of the best onlines ever.

Spider-Man 3 (Xbox 360)
Spider-Man 3 (Xbox 360)

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars its ok.. for a bit, 9 July 2007
i was playing game for weekend, almost non stop, from the saturday afternoon, to the sunday night. But the game gets way 2 reppetetive. you start to realise that it is just button crushing. It deserves alook at, hence the 3 stars, but probarbly not a £40 purchase

Creepshow [DVD]
Creepshow [DVD]
Dvd ~ Hal Holbrook

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Release delayed for special edition, 13 April 2007
This review is from: Creepshow [DVD] (DVD)
According to the fangoria site this disc was pulled at the last minute as Universal were offered the opportunity to do a special edition including commentary, documentary etc. They should be releasing this before Halloween 2007 for those interested.

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