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H. L. Mason "relyonme" (Spain)

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The Sun [2004] [DVD]
The Sun [2004] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Issey Ogata
Price: £6.02

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MIRACULOUS, 26 Sep 2012
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This review is from: The Sun [2004] [DVD] (DVD)
Wow! I thought Emperor Hirohito had died long ago - but it seems not before shooting this fantastic film. At least that's what it seems like.
This was the third part of a trilogy of films about famous leaders, the first two being Lenin and Hitler. I suppose the supreme accolade must go to the director, Alexander Sokurov, for the imaginative and wholly convincing recreation of the moment of surrender by Hirohito to General MacArthur in 1945, although the extraordinary performance of Issey Ogata as Hirohito is just a hairsbreadth away.
I have read a fair amount over the years about WW II, the defeat of Japan, etc., and although this is obviously a recreation of the events as imagined by Sokurov, it seems hard to believe that we are not witnessing the real thing.
I saw the previous Sokurov film in this trilogy, "Moloch", depicting Hitler, in an altogether surreal atmosphere, which for me was rather over stylized and lacked both content and gravitas. The Sun, however is of a different order altogether. Hirohito did in fact live very much in a world of his own, quite divorced from the teaming and wholly subordinate masses over which he ruled. This is exquisitely captured in the deferential and submissive way that his personal servants behave. Everyone is very respectful of everyone else, yet there is no doubt about the almost celestial reverence with which the emperor is treated. I didn't know that Hirohito himself suffered from the kind of vocal indecision or preparation before speaking that Ogata depicts, but I assume he did, since nobody could invent such an impediment in the way that Ogata performs it. Quite masterful!
I'm not quite sure about the role of MacArthur. I can't quite say why, but somehow I didn't feel I was watching MacArthur. Maybe the physiognomy was wrong, or perhaps the famous pomposity that so characterized MacArthur was missing. Anyhow, he wasn't a patch on Hirohito, although a performance such as Ogata's would leave just about anyone in the shade.
This is a really great work of art, perfectly captured in a washed out, gloomy colour that looks so authentic that it's difficult to believe it isn't the real thing.


City Of Men [Blu-ray]
City Of Men [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Douglas Silva
Price: £8.01

4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD BUT NOT THE BEST OF BRAZIL, 26 Sep 2012
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This review is from: City Of Men [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
There's absolutely nothing wrong with this film in what it seeks to portray, and would rate it even higher if I had not seen Ciudad de Dios and the incredible Central Station. Those latter films were incomparable in the force and feeling which they conveyed, and indeed this film is no slouch either. It's just that it doesn't quite hit the spot in the same way, or perhaps came a bit late to hit the same spot with the same impact.
That said, this is a very well acted and convincing depiction of the jungle youth that populate much of the favelas in Rio de Janeiro. There is nothing left to the imagination in this searing drama about gang warfare among gun and machine gun toting teenagers who fight to establish their claim to some rocky terrain high above the famous Copacabana beach.
The story is well developed and the direction is well up to speed. The multiple flashbacks are shown in what has now become almost, de rigueur, desaturated colour, but none the worse for that.
All in all, this is a fine film and was well worth watching.


Alec Milius Spy Series Books 1 and 2: A Spy By Nature, The Spanish Game
Alec Milius Spy Series Books 1 and 2: A Spy By Nature, The Spanish Game
Price: £3.99

3.0 out of 5 stars RATHER WORDY, 2 Sep 2012
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Lots of needless dialogue tends to inflate these two flighty tales in a world far removed from James Bond.
There is not much action in either, which itself is no drawback, but apart from over long dialogue and some fairly competent descriptive passages, there is not a whole lot going on here.
These are, after all, early novels, and Mr. Cumming certainly gets his act together in the much later Trinity Six. Here, however, the basic plot lines are all but suffocated by dialogue that leads nowhere.
Of the two, I thought The Spanish Game more accomplished, with some good descriptions of the local scene, but neither really is more than a foretaste of, say, The Trinity Six.
Pleasant enough, but not really worth the effort.


Draper 78776 Heavy-Duty Heat Torch
Draper 78776 Heavy-Duty Heat Torch
Price: £32.95

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SO FAR SO GOOD, 2 Sep 2012
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I have only had this a week, and having used it 3 or 4 times can say that it works as well as expected. Therefore 5 stars at the moment. I am not sure why it is described as "heavy duty," but if it continues to work without developing a leak, as did my previous blowtorch (of a different make), then it will go some way to deserving that description. I must say that it doesn't look in any way heavy duty, and the flame is no different from any other cooks blowtorch, so I have my doubts in that respect. The filler valve is no easier to operate than my previous torch, and I am wondering if it fills enough for the stated 50 minutes use. Time will tell.


Cleanit Universal Protection Sock for iPod, iPhone and MP3 - Pink Stripes
Cleanit Universal Protection Sock for iPod, iPhone and MP3 - Pink Stripes
Price: £6.92

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SUPER SOCK, 2 Sep 2012
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This turned out to be every bit as good as I had hoped. It is well padded, cleans the screen as described, and just accommodates my 4 inch screen mobile phone. It's a snug fit, but I daresay it will give with use, and in any case the phone can't accidentally fall out.


Strindberg - A Life
Strindberg - A Life
by Sue Prideaux
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £23.15

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AS GOOD AS STRINDBERG, 2 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Strindberg - A Life (Hardcover)
This biography is really a stunner. It doesn't need me to sing the praises of this great Swedish playwright, but I am more that happy to say that this is the kind of biography that I can imagine Strindberg himself would have appreciated.
It is clear, concise and admirably detailed with a veritable wealth of illustrations. There is no padding whatsoever, and although not in any way a thriller, it is, nevertheless, action packed. For anyone who, like me, knows nothing about the life of Strindberg, yet would like to, here's the answer to your prayers. A thoroughly fascinating book which brings its subject matter to life with pizazz.
Obviously I shall have to keep my eyes open for the next offering from Ms Prideaux.


Louie: Complete First Season [DVD] [2010] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Louie: Complete First Season [DVD] [2010] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Louis C.K.
Offered by supermart_usa
Price: £13.34

5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars PORNO HUMOUR?, 2 Sep 2012
Is there such a thing? I doubt it, although Louie CK certainly make a good stab at it.
Whilst I have never heard of Louie CK, and recognize that he certainly has a talent for comedy, much of that talent is simply wasted by relying too much on sheer crudity to generate laughs. It seems that crudity and vulgarity are often taken to be synonymous with humour in the US, but I personally fail to see the connexion. I am in no way offended by this: it's just that I don't find it either original or funny.
This series itself is quite original in concept, and would be a lot funnier if Louie hadn't been so lazy as to constantly resort to crudity as a source of humour. What we have here are some really good ideas for comic situations in most of the 13 episodes, some of which are really quite funny some of the time - until, that is, Louie finds it easier simply to revert to his repetitive shtick of brazen vulgarity instead of developing his ideas in a more imaginative way.
It is obvious from other comments that there is a public for this kind of thing. It is even more obvious that I find myself excluded from that public. Even so, I did find that about 20 per cent of what's on offer rather funny, and certainly the format is imaginative. Hence 3 stars. For those who like hard core crudity then you had best follow the other feedback ratings.


La civilización del espectáculo (Spanish Edition)
La civilización del espectáculo (Spanish Edition)

5.0 out of 5 stars SPOT ON, 28 Aug 2012
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I couldn't agree more with Vargas Llosa in his analysis of present day cultural mediocrity.
I suppose we all have our own take on the state of affairs of modern culture, if you can still call it that, but I can't imagine you could put it more persuasively than he does. This is definitely not a book for the reader of Hello magazine or the countless premier league fans thanks to whom, I suppose, this book owes its very existence.
Whilst I have no time for snobs, whether they be be of the intellectual or any other variety, it came as a considerable comfort to know that I am by no means alone in my appraisal of today's cultural scene.
If you are tired of a world so replete with banal clichés and morbid curiosity in the misfortunes or misdeeds of others, then here's the antidote in all its glory.
Don't just take my word for it: read it!


The Kaiser's Holocaust: Germany's Forgotten Genocide and the Colonial Roots of Nazism
The Kaiser's Holocaust: Germany's Forgotten Genocide and the Colonial Roots of Nazism
Price: £5.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars INTERESTING CURIO, 28 Aug 2012
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This is certainly a history for the connoisseur. A detailed description of an almost unknown corner of history that should be better known. Whilst the holocaust of the Jews has been pretty well done to death (no pun intended) in all its macabre detail, the German colonization of Namibia, whilst no doubt similar in certain respects to other colonial enterprises, is certainly an eye opener as regards a mindset that most of us had thought to have evolved alongside the development of Nazism. Upon reading this book it becomes clear that the brutal arrogance of the übermensch mentality that so characterized the nazi era was in fact nothing more than a vastly expanded encore of the same mentality that drove the German colonizers to try to eliminate the indigenous tribes that inhabited Namibia at the end of the 19th century. Even the notorious Dr. Mengele appears to have had his precursor down south.
This is a very clear, if not altogether concise, account of much of the horrors that accompanied the German settlement of Namibia that started at the end of Bismark's reign, and continued until the first world war. Although the title would tend to suggest a history of that particular holocaust, it in fact provides a fair amount of background information concerning the protagonists involved, some of which is not particularly interesting, and also goes on to trace its progress after the departure of its German masters, which is not strictly relevant to the subject matter as suggested by the title.
For that reason I think it falls short of 5 stars, although as far as the subject matter goes, it is a very worthy addition to the sum of German history, and should be widely read.


Silverline 282625 Battery and Charging System Tester 6V and 12V
Silverline 282625 Battery and Charging System Tester 6V and 12V
Price: £16.29

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT VALUE, 10 July 2012
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FOR A VERY SPECIALIZED INSTRUMENT, THIS DOES EXACTLY WHAT IT CLAIMS AT AN EXTREMELY MODEST PRICE. YES, IT DOES GIVE OFF SMOKE WHEN USED FOR THE FIRST TIME, BUT THAT IS ONLY BECAUSE THE ELEMENT HAS TO BURN IN, EXACTLY LIKE AN OLD FASHIONED ELECTRIC BAR HEATER WOULD DO. OTHERWISE IT'S ALL VERY SIMPLE AND SEEMS REASONABLY RUGGED FOR DOMESTIC USE.


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