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T Uttley "T Uttley" (Leeds, UK)

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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pain from so much laughter � A true comedy., 24 July 2003
Reluctantly taking on board certain styles of humour, procrastination leaves me with the only option when I am faced by a film, which casts the arguably proclaimed legend of Slapstick comedy - Jim Carrey. I am surely not alone. Carrey has a distinct connection with 'Marmite', a product generating a split in society through a Love Vs Hate barrier. Ace Ventura; Mask; Cable Guy; Dumb and Dumber; Liar Liar; all left a lot to be desired in my opinion and yet I find myself encountered in debate with friends who obviously dislike Marmite (I personally love it!). Through the despite lack of enthusiasm I hold for Mr Carrey, I have noticed his style harvesting and maturing into something fascinating. We now see him taking on scripts, which I can't help think is something he truly feels connected with when the cameras are halted. Carrey wants to be internally taken seriously, but is often pushed aside because of his blinding appearance which perceivers view as a juvenile type character with ephemeral antics that are almost out of steam. "Truman Show" relates to my theory; Carrey taking on the more serious role and I agree, very good film plot, but Carrey was missing something and I can't put my finger on it, but he was far from spectacular. Until now of course...
Jim Carrey was born to play the character of "Brue Almighty", how often can you say that about an actor? Frustrated with what life brings him, a job, which could open the door to the pinnacle of success, but yet Bruce feels trapped. Feeling the unluckiest man alive, it is not surprising that Bruce finds comprehension a little hard to comprehend when confronted with God (Morgan Freeman). Luckily God has a sense of humour and will cast aside the many blasphemous comments Bruce has made to offer him a chance to play God. With every opportunity of changing all his bad luck to good, Bruce faces the undeniable truth that he is his own worst enemy and that is the very reason he has had bad luck for so long.
The elements that will surely make this film a success will not solely depend on Mr Carrey either. Tom Shadyac (director) will now certainly be taking seriously in the film industry after pulling off some cleverly placed camera shots. Another surprising performance was from Jennifer Aniston, clearly stamping down her mark on the film industry and has in my opinion been the most impressive out of the 'Friends' cast. Aniston has the calibre to play someone other than the character 'Rachel', unlike Matt Le Blanc and Lisa Kudrow respectively. Morgan Freeman is as outstanding as ever, applying his usual captivation of on-screen appearance and utterly distinguishing voice.
Bruce Almighty will undoubtedly cause a storm.
You'll Laugh. You'll Cry. A Classic.

by Mark Brandon Read
Edition: Paperback

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The luckiest criminal to ever live, 24 Jun. 2003
This review is from: Chopper (Paperback)
The autobiography of Mark Brandon Read ‘Chopper’ gives us a unique and seldom told insight into the criminal underworld of Australia, particularly Melbourne. The story begins by an infatuation with guns, explosives and military history crossed-wired with a young child who spent a lot of time drugged up in a psychiatric rehabilitation prison. Mix two vital ingredients together and you’re left with a dangerous man.
Probably the most sought-after criminal in Australia, Chopper acquired his enemies through his friends’ enemies and from robbing the bank robbers and other similar criminals. He’s killed plentiful, but protests “I’m no murderer…I’m a garbage disposal expert” and from a certain perspective, his tales hold a strong point of view. The only men he has claimed to kill are murderers themselves, drug dealers and rapists. Any other men he has killed may well have been innocent, but Chopper was acting purely in self-defence.
Spending most of his life behind bars, Chopper inevitably made friends with other inmates and also confronted his worst enemies. Cleverly thought out antics and plots to burn down prisons are just a range of things Chopper and friends would execute in an attempt to relieve boredom and pass time. Nevertheless he claims: - “It is a madhouse in prison – and twice as bad outside,”
Packed with hilarious non-chronological stories about imbecilic big shot gangsters; Close attempts to wipe out Chopper; And a world where criminals fear Chopper over the law; this book will keep you thoroughly entertained from start to finish.
In his own words; “You can fool some of the people all of the time, And you can even fool all of the people some of the time, but in the real world of blood and guts you don’t fool Chopper Read any of the time.”

xXx [DVD] [2002]
xXx [DVD] [2002]
Dvd ~ Vin Diesel|Samuel L. Jackson
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £1.27

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Apallingly apalling, 15 May 2003
This review is from: xXx [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
This film could really be summed up in one word "Appalling". Van Diesel plays the archetypical 'action hero.' Yeah you've got it, the one whose status is big muscles and has 'I can't act' written all over his face! The trailer for the film looked absolutely awesome, which is the only 30 seconds worth watching for the entire film.
I would love to explain in more detail the story of the film, but quite frankly I was too busy laughing at how pathetic the plot was to even remember.
If you are a Samual L Jackson fan don't torture yourself by sitting through the film, not even the master himself can do it justice. Nevertheless as taste is unaccountable I can only recommend you rent this film first from your video rental store or whomever!

The Art Of Shaolin Kung Fu: The Secrets of Kung Fu for self-defence, health and enlightenment
The Art Of Shaolin Kung Fu: The Secrets of Kung Fu for self-defence, health and enlightenment
by Wong Kiew Kit
Edition: Paperback

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A perfect appetizer into the wonderful realms of Kung Fu, 9 May 2003
Wong Kiew Kat provides the reader with a complete and full background into the depths of this wonderful art, clearly illustrating the fundamental differences between Kung Fu and other martial arts.
Those who are interested in learning a self-defence that does not concentrate purely on the physical and ‘external’ attributes but also on the mind, then Kung Fu along with this very book is the one for you. Kiew Kat elaborates the importance of attaining spiritual development from Chi techniques emphasising ‘Internal Force’ stressing that this is more important than knowing the sequence of moves.
For the student, Kiew Kat demonstrates how to continual improve self-development in Kung Fu and how to achieve skills quickly and effectively through objectives and aims also underlying the difference between the two. The book guides you through the many forms of Shaolin ‘hand’ shapes and stances that provide the foundations of Kung Fu. Combat sequences and combination sets along with vital illustrations create a more overall comprehensive guide into the physical self-defence and attack form. There is also a small section at the end on the various type of weapons used throughout the history of Kung Fu.
The content of the book has much more value than the cost, but to be an excellent book it lacks grammatically. The author spends far too much time using Chinese references that I could not help thinking were irrelevant to the content and made difficult reading.
The book is full of abundant wisdom that would be useful even for the non Kung-Fu practitioner. The exercises to develop strength externally are vigorously hard, yet effective; and the internal ‘meditation’ exercises will make you feel and be very powerful and strong-minded.
This book would mainly suit the beginner and those who have been practising the art for many years but feel that something acute is missing. It also provides insight into why people who have studied Kung Fu for many years have never been good enough to become a master.

Legally Blonde [DVD] [2001]
Legally Blonde [DVD] [2001]
Dvd ~ Reese Witherspoon|Luke Wilson|Selma Blair|Matthew Davis
Offered by Fulfillment Next Day
Price: £2.43

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars “Clueless with brains”, 14 April 2003
This review is from: Legally Blonde [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
This is not a fantastic film however it is much better than I predicted, only the elaboration of a very basic plot makes the film work.
It begins with Elle, (Reese Witherspoon) a college student who anticipates receiving a marriage proposal from her boyfriend Warner (Matthew Davis). Unfortunately Warner has bigger plans and wishes to study law at Harvard University and only has plans to break up their relationship. In order to prove that she is not just a stereotypical blonde bimbo with no brains, Elle successfully applies to Harvard whereby she attempts to charm over her ex-boyfriend by proving that she has the brains as well as the body.
Apart from annoying girls obsessed with shopping and beauty parlours (hence my connection with Clueless) and the part of Elle being overwhelmingly irritating the film does have some comical parts. During the film you can also play a game of spot the instantly recognisable B-list actor. You will find yourself shouting aloud: - “oh that’s the guy from ‘Titanic’” (Victor Garber) and “oh he’s from hmm can’t remember” (Luke Wilson)…and “oh wasn’t he in ‘Bring it on’” (Richard Hillman). “Oh, oh and she was in Final Destination” (Ali Larter).
Many have congratulated Reese Witherspoon on a splendid performance in this film, but I’m not quite entirely sure she was not just playing herself. I have seen her similar style of acting in American Psycho and one does have to wonder.
Nevertheless it is better than your average teen flick film but is not cracked up to be one to remember.

No Title Available

4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars �On a Blind Date with a Hitman�, 13 April 2003
Into the cinema I went without the faintest idea of what this film was about, which can sometimes work; er, but not with this on...
Supposedly a 'true story' the film is based on the 'unauthorised autobiography of Chuck Barris' one of whom you have probably never heard of, but have watched his concepts many a time on Saturday evenings with the lovely reputable Cilla Black. Yes I do mean Blind date.
The film begins with a middle-aged man who isolates himself in a flat away from the public, ex-girlfriend (Drew Barrymore) and moreover reality. Sitting at his typewriter, Chuck (Sam Rockwell) narrates how pathetic life is in general and the common thoughts of young hopefuls who dream that in ten years time they will be highly successful, but by the age of sixty, retrospectively analysing where it all went wrong. Five short minutes into the film I have already placed the film into the Drama bucket, until suddenly the camera cuts to a real-life commentary from some random woman, who obviously was acquainted to Chuck. This is shortly followed by commentary from the man himself Chuck Barris, looking like your average elderly man living next door. Somewhat bizarre, you have to give Mr. Clooney benefit of the doubt, this being his directorial debut you can hardly expect him to weigh up to the likes of Scorsese and Peter Jackson, and so I will turn a blind eye. I mean surely it cannot get any worse...
The plot lightens up later, with Chuck blagging his first job at NBC as a tourist guide, and I must say this is the first stage in the film that I become impressed with Mr Clooney. In one continuous shot, the camera centres on Chuck who is grouped with a bunch of tourists being shown around the works of NBC by a girl guide, with the camera swiftly moving onto Chuck now being a tour guide himself, showing a couple around the NBC building. The shot is worked wonderfully well and is clearly emphasised through the smooth movement between the girl guide and Chuck perfected by the scripted NBC dialogue of what both guides are saying simultaneously.
Chuck has bigger ambitions and in hope of sleeping with a woman at work applies for a promotion at NBC. Moving on from here, we see Chuck flying out with reality TV- Show concepts left, right and centre, all of which attract little attention from any TV producers. Chuck now laid off from work, with no one interested in his ideas for a television breakthrough is intruded by Jim Byrd (George Clooney) a CIA specialist in search of his next employee. Agent Byrd having studied Chuck all his life insists that he fits the profile to be a very good killer for the CIA and persuades Chuck to go to a special training camp, where he will learn the necessities of the CIA.
Being involved with the CIA is obviously top-secret classified information and so we have the joy of watching Chuck ducking and diving around in order to prevent anyone, especially his girlfriend, sussing him out. This becomes all the more cumbersome when an ABC executive finally decide that they want to run his show 'The Dating Game.' With the intention of quitting the CIA to solely concentrate on his TV show, Chuck is confronted by Byrd who delivers an irresistible proposition. The CIA will fund couples on 'The Dating Game' to holidays in Eastern Europe and whilst the fortunate couple are having a romantic time away; Chuck will be on his latest mission plugging European Communists.
The film then takes you on board a roller-coaster ride, bringing in the likes of Julia Roberts, lots of killings, terrible talentless people, freakish flashbacks of Chuck in his youth, two quick famous cameo friends of Clooney (I won't spoil it for you), and a clever little twist at the end.
From an overall perspective of the film, it's really not as bad as the first five minutes would suggest. Clooney experiments with the camera and does so quite well, Sam Rockwell, unknown to me before this film, is impressive and Drew Barrymore shows she is more than just a pretty face.
In time, 'Confessions Of Dangerous Mind' could well be regarded as a masterpiece.

My Own Prison
My Own Prison

2 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars One oh one...the only way is one?, 2 April 2003
This review is from: My Own Prison (Audio CD)
Maybe this was Tremonti and Strapp's philosophy that led them into writing insipid material, lacking energy and imagination.
After a recommendation from an Aussie, I decided to buy a Creed album 'Human Clay', which I thought was outstanding. Meanwhile I was at a nightclub and the song 'One' was being played. I thought to myself, 'Hey this sounds like Creed' and the DJ confirmed this to me. Knowing how fantastic 'Human Clay' was, I felt I had nothing to lose.
When I first purchased 'My own Prison' I had track #10 on repeat for a while. I later listened to the whole album, but found myself skipping the majority of the material. Maybe it was because 'One' is such a fantastic track that the other songs will just take a bit long to digest? Nah, I forced myself to listen to the whole album, which really did bore me to tears! Another listen to 'Human Clay' was only just therapeutic enough to savage Creed's reputation in my mind.
I now know, not to buy an album after hearing and rating one song...even if it's fantastic. Had I have purchased 'My own prison' first before 'Human Clay' my initial thoughts would definitely have been “‘One’ hit wonders!’” Even with the millions of copies sold of "Human Clay" and the huge success, would I have even risked the effort of plummeting into my pockets to buy their latest album? Hey, in the music business, surely you only have one chance to put your stamp on the better be a good one.
Tip: If you already own 'Human Clay' and never heard 'My own prison' then avoid it at all costs and maintain your propitious opinion of Creed!

xXx [DVD] [2002]
xXx [DVD] [2002]
Dvd ~ Vin Diesel|Samuel L. Jackson
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £1.27

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rent it first...then decide., 26 Mar. 2003
This review is from: xXx [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
This film could really be summed up in one word "Appalling". Van Diesel plays the archetypical 'action hero', yeah, you've got it, one whose only status is big muscles and has 'I can't act' written all over his face!
The trailer for the film looked absolutely awesome, which is the only 30 seconds worth watching for the entire film. This is why I have rated the film 1 star, which is more than an adequate rating for the 30 seconds of mesmerising stunts.
I would love to explain in more detail the story of the film, but quite frankly I was too busy laughing at how pathetic the plot was to even remember it.
Nevertheless, as taste is unaccountable, I can only recommend you rent this film from blockbuster or whomever!

Astral Odyssey: Exploring Out-of-body Experiences
Astral Odyssey: Exploring Out-of-body Experiences
by Carol Eby
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Merely a poor reference book., 26 Mar. 2003
This is a perfect example of the true meaning "Don't judge a book by its cover". I'll be the first to admit that I fell into the trap regarding this book.
"Astral Odyssey" is 95% nonsense regarding dreams and the other 5% mentions everything you probably already know about astral projection (OBE's).
The front cover has the copy "Exploring out-of-body experiences" and within Chapter 1 'Discovery of a hidden realm', you do believe you're onto a winner of a book, until page 3 (of 255 pages), where it all goes down hill. Obviously 'OBE' books sell more than 'dream' books, at least this would explain why this dream book has been marketed as an 'OBE' book.
A complete phoney...don't be fooled.

Suenos Liquidos
Suenos Liquidos
Price: £8.07

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ¡Un mano por Maná!, 24 Mar. 2003
This review is from: Suenos Liquidos (Audio CD)
"Sueños Líquídos" (Liquid Dreams) is an absolute genius of an album. A sound that is not too manufactured; a sound where nothing is too extreme or OTT; a sound which is abundantly refreshing. This is Spanish Rock music at its best!
The first track 'Hechicera' begins in a very surreal and psychedelic fashion. When the song gets going, it has a jazzy/reggae feel to it, then in come this lovely Spanish guitar riff to break up the verses. The song is somewhat haunting, but is a very good opener. In fact you'll probably find it hard to resist pressing the repeat button a few times.
The second track (Un lobo por tú amor), starts quite dancey, and has quite a Spanish Vs Counting Crows feel to it. The sound has quite an astonishing similarity to "The Police" and I suppose the lead singer does have quite a similar voice to Sting, but only better.
"Chamán" is definitely one to remember on this album, so exquisite, again haunting, but a great listen. This is a song which grew on me immediately, and the chorus is one that will surely have you singing along! (The CD has the lyrics entailed on the sleeve, so you'll have no problem being a non-Spanish speaker!)
The best song of all, on the album has to be 'Clavado en un bar', (Wrecked in a bar) words cannot describe how cool this track is! I think it's a song which, puts all the sounds of Maná together, summoning them up in 5 minutes! It's a great rock song, and would have your head banging straight away, especially when the van halen solo kicks in.
Maná was introduced to me from talking to a Mexican girl, who explained to me that Maná was the best Latin Rock band, she wasn't wrong. The only reason this band has not made it big in England is again due to the disappointing language factor.
Maybe this album will encourage you to take up a second language, if not, it will surely inspire you in some other way.

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