ARRAY(0xb59c20c0)
 
Profile for Andy Kent (andy.kent@ntlworld.com) > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Andy Kent (and...
Top Reviewer Ranking: 4,196,204
Helpful Votes: 56

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Andy Kent (andy.kent@ntlworld.com) (Cambridge, UK)

Show:  
Page: 1
pixel
Chocolat [DVD] [2001]
Chocolat [DVD] [2001]
Dvd ~ Juliette Binoche
Offered by Lifes Essentials
Price: 4.51

43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mouth-watering confectionary, 11 April 2002
This review is from: Chocolat [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
Delicious! A delightful fantasy of life, love, the power of desire, and the fight of good and evil. Eating chocolate during lent is used as a metaphor for breaking through oppressive tradition and living life with no prejudices. As the priest says - judge youself by what you embrace, not what you deny. The film is a magical humourous whimsy set in a "never-was" french village brimming over with slightly unreal characters. Juliet Binoche, Alfred Molina, Lena Olin and Judi Dench are delightful in their roles - Alfred Molina especially good as the driven but tragic Mayor, keeping the character from being a pantomime villain. Leslie Caron is still as radiant as she was in Gigi, and Johnny Depp ties with Juliet Binoche for the title of most beautiful person on the planet! Although he's probably a better guitar player.
The DVD transfer shows off the deep rich textures of the chocolate and the town to perfection, and enhances the musical score, which is almost a character in itself. The extra material is welcome, though a little lightweight - the commentary by director and producers is informative, although a few members of the cast would have enhanced it. The deleted scenes looked very interesting, but the sound on them was unfortunately inaudible. The documentary was the usual entertaining fluff. I would still recommend the DVD over the video, though, if only for the perfect picture and sound.
It's interesting that all the Brits reviewing the film on Amazon.co.uk praise it for it's eccentricities and fantasy, whereas all the americans on Amazon.com damn it for being unrealistic and manipulative. A film for dreamers, not cynics, perhaps?...
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 2, 2010 9:27 AM BST


Earth Abides (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
Earth Abides (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
by George.R. Stewart
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

13 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic story; terrible storyteller, 24 Oct 2001
A thoroughly disappointing book. The story is an excellent one - a man alone trying to survive the destruction of the human race. However, this exciting and classic plot is narrator by the dullest most unimaginative storyteller in the world.
Everything remotely exciting in the tale is either missed out, skipped over or mentioned in passing with a dismissive paragraph. Ish, the hero, doesn't see the catastrophic plague that wipes out mankind, so neither do we. It leaves no trace, no piles of bodies, no evidence of mass panic, destruction and rioting. Ish suffers no ill effects - no panic, no mental breakdown, no desperation - he doesn't even get drunk. He doesn't get lonely. He's a self-confessed student, an observer, treating it all like an experiment. He is detached from the world, and so we are detached from him. He has no human reactions and expresses no emotions, and so we can't empathise or identify with him. We don't really care if he lives or dies, finds someone or remains alone.
And in telling the story, Stewart annoyingly has several dramatic things happen, but skips over them. Plague of rats? No problem. Plague of locusts? Over in a jiffy. Plague of insects? Hardly noticed. Packs of wild dogs roaming the streets? Just walk away. Isolated people struggling to survive? Harmless cranks. Any one of them could be the basis of a thoroughly exciting read and an intelligent examination of the end of civilisation. But not here, however. Conveniently, all the intelligent, skilled, industrious or capable people have died. Equally luckily, no dangerous survivalists, opportunists or ruthlessly immoral people have survived. Nobody threatens Ish, tempts him, offers assistance, begs for help or tries to eat him or steal his car. (And let's quickly skip over the awful racism of the "yessuh, massuh" black farmers).
When Ish does get some people together, they are the dullest most annoying simpletons you could find. Uneducated and unimaginative, they have absolutely no initiative or ambition - they live lives of uncomplaining acceptance. They form no rules, make no plans, develop no system of making decisions. They can't even dig a hole in the ground successfully, or see the importance of reading and writing. Even Ish can't see the sense in having a library of useful books - first aid, DIY, cookery, etc, or even storybooks for the children. At school he tries to show them algebra (!) instead of "How to fix a leaky roof" or something else useful. The entire community just drifts aimlessly along - no arguments, no conflicts, no jealousy, no lusty teenagers. When Charlie arrives later in the story we think "at last, some drama". But no. He is murdered off screen, with no troubled consciences, moral fallout or confrontations with the rest of the community at all.
Stewart obviously believes in the simple things in life and in clearing away the clutter. He does go too far, though. His belief that cities, industrialisation and war are bad things is fair enough. But farming, literacy, sanitation, refrigeration, transport and horsemanship? And just how long would the power stations and water plants keep going without general maintenance anyway? And can you really live to a ripe old age with no health care, on a diet of meat and canned vegetables but with no fruit, cereals or grain?
In all, a dull, disappointing read. No drama, no struggle, no tension, no hardship.
Terry Nation's excellent "Survivors", but with all the exciting bits taken out.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 28, 2014 10:52 AM GMT


Page: 1