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L. C. Raubenheimer "matt_raubenheimer"

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Wright to Fly: Celebrating 100 Years of Powered Flight
Wright to Fly: Celebrating 100 Years of Powered Flight
by Peter March
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great aviation art tells the story of powered flight, 9 May 2006
I love aviation art books. And this is one of the best you will ever see. The books is brimming with paintings by famous names, Taylor, Trudgian, Stokes, Rondot, Postlethwaite, Young etc. The quality of the book as a whole is outstanding, and the 100 paintings serve there purpose well by giving an outline of the major events that took place during the 1st 100 years of powered flight. Obviously with periods such as 1939-1945 there is only 6 paintings which can hardly tell the whole story of those chaotic times but at least it gives a taste. The text fills in the gaps. My favourite paintings in this book are:

'Operation Chastise' by Robert Taylor

'Remember Pearl Harbor' by Robert Taylor

'Phantom Strike' by Robert Taylor

'Attack on Yalu Bridges' by Philip E. West

'Arctic Encounter' by Robert Bailey

If you are even remotely interesting in aircraft and the history of flight, do yourself a favour and buy this book!!

The Right Stuff (Special Edition) [DVD] [1984]
The Right Stuff (Special Edition) [DVD] [1984]
Dvd ~ Sam Shepard
Offered by ajdiscs
Price: £12.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This film has 'The Right Stuff, 4 May 2006
If ever there was a film which deserved to be a smash at the box office, this was it. It is expertly crafted and is a terrific mix of history, bravery, technology and above all, HUMOUR!!! Boy oh Boy!! It is a funny movie, and it certainly tries to be. The humourous side is no accident. This sets it apart from other films of the genre. Firstly, my favourite funny scene is the hilarious enema scene. Then of course you have Harry Shearer and Jeff Goldblum hamming it up as the NASA recruiters. And the other comic touches keep coming, there are too many to name.

Then there is the serious side. The test pilots and astronauts, staring death in the face day after day. This is summed up Pamela Reed playing Trudy Cooper when she talks about her school reunion and her friends were discussing their husbands' work as dog-eat-dog and cutthroat on Madison Avenue and places like that. She says 'I wondered how they would have felt, if every time there husbands went to make a deal, there was a one in four chance he wouldn't come out of that meeting'.

The score by Bill Conti is fantastic, and it is a travesty that it has never been released on CD, except for five tracks released on a CD containing music from The Right Stuff, and North and South.

Each actor nails there roles, especially Ed Harris and Sam Shepard as John Glenn and Chuck Yeager respectively. These two stand out, but all the others are great as well.

Of course, the bonus features are very nice as well.

So go ahead and buy it. This film is a great insight into the early days of NASA, as well as the test pilots of the fourties and fifties.

Black Hawk Down - 3 Disc Special Edition [DVD] [2004]
Black Hawk Down - 3 Disc Special Edition [DVD] [2004]
Dvd ~ Josh Hartnett
Offered by BAZZMEDIA
Price: £4.99

19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Black Hawk Brilliant, 4 May 2006
Where does one begin to praise this film's strengths???

Firstly, the action is exciting, and brutally realistic. It employs computer technology to increase the intensity and realism, not to make it look spectacular and over-the-top (Pearl Harbor, anyone?). Also, the soldiers and their personalities are well displayed. It shows them as not being invincible, but being human, and prone to fear, and making mistakes. Check out the 'snafu' cut-scene.

Also, despite those claiming it is only partly accurate, I think it is almost totally accurate. That is, apart from the composite characters shown in the film. Some may complain that it shows too little of the Somali side of things, and the events that caused the hatred of the Somalis. Also, that it doesn't pay enough attention to Mike Durant's ordeal. My answer is that the film-makers are only interested in the single day of the battle. The other stuff is filled in by the text at the beginning and end of the film.

Then, of course, there is the military side of things. Always interesting to observe and learn about. And the Black Hawk is such an impressive machine. Those miniguns are awesome to behold. Terrible in their devastation, but awesome nonetheless. Also, the little birds are such brilliant machines for their versatility and the aerial photography is impressive as well.

Then there are elements like the score. It is very innovative and very different from other Hans Zimmer scores, but this film deserved something special and unique. Shows once again Zimmer's awesome talent. Also the song Gortoz A'ran J'Attends which is sung at the end provides a real emotional side to the picture, and makes the film that much more touching. I like to be moved by a film, and this one does just that.

And of course, on a 3-disc set there's plenty of goodies to keep you out of mischief. The best of these is the History Channel documentary 'The True Story of Black Hawk Down.'

All in all, jolly good stuff, and you get a whole lot for your money. An essential for your DVD collection.

Life And Times Of Absolute Truth Th
Life And Times Of Absolute Truth Th
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.75

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tree - 63 times more brilliant, 2 May 2006
As a tree63 fan, I swear by this album. It is the fourth cd released by Tree63 in South Africa, which is different to the way they were released in the USA. (The order in SA is - Overflow; tREeMIX; 63; The Life and times of absolute truth)

It is slightly atypical tree music, but I enjoy it just as much as their more worship style music. This is more rock 'n roll, and is good for that reason. I really feel that John Ellis was doing what he likes best when he wrote these songs. This was the first Tree63 album with Daniel Ornellas on bass. I think he is a good addition to the band, although there was nothing wrong with the two previous bass guitarists.

My favourite tracks are:

1. The Glorious Ones - An exciting opener, with opens with the words 'When you hear the signal, it will be tree sixty-three exactly'. You might need to be South African to catch the joke though.

2. All Hands - An exciting rock 'n roll track.

3. No Words - My favourite track on the disc. Full of meaning.

7. Be All, End All - Another great piece, full of deep spiritual meaning, and a groovy song.

This CD may have flopped in the USA, but it was big in South Africa, and with good reason. I think it well thought out, and brilliantly executed.

Pearl Harbor DVD (2 Disc Set) [2001]
Pearl Harbor DVD (2 Disc Set) [2001]
Dvd ~ Ben Affleck
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.73

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 2nd rate Pearl Harbor, 30 April 2006
In 1970 the world was educated about the raid on Pearl Harbor when they saw the American/Japanese co-production 'Tora! Tora! Tora!'. In 2001, producer Jerry Bruckheimer went down the same road. Unfortunately his effort was sub-par when compared to the earlier film.

Now, I tend to treat this film too harshly sometimes, but the flaws are still there. Being a connoiseur of the War Film genre, I believe this to be a fairly poor war movie. The love story is too contrived, and comes across as Hollywood, not real life. Dark Blue World (2001) has a similar love story but it was made far more sincere.

Secondly the war action is too computer generated. I love to see real aircraft participating in realistic re-enactments of aerial combat. Here, there is an over abundance of CGI, and the CGI is used in a way that puts me off. In my opinion, CGI's place in war films is too add to the realism. Here, the CGI has the opposite effect in most cases. It just looks fake. And if CGI models are used, it is much more effective if the shots created appear as though they are the type of shots that would have been obatined if they hade done it for real. This idea of putting the (virtual) camera is places it could never be in real life simply tells me that what I am seeing is fake. That is very distracting when I'm watching the film.

The acting is all right. I have no problem with the actors, but I certainly would never rank them amongst the greats of cinema history. That used to be one of the great pleasures of watching war movies - they had the best actors in the industry. Check out films like Battle of Britain and A Bridge Too Far. They had amazing casts with the greatest acting talents of all time.

So what is my overall opinion???

I believe this to be a reasonable picture, but I would much rather watch Tora! Tora! Tora! . This is one for the masses, while Tora! Tora! Tora! is a film for war buffs and historians. Take your pick, but I reccomend the 1970 effort, because you will find out what really happened at Pearl Harbor.

Reach For The Sky [DVD]
Reach For The Sky [DVD]
Dvd ~ Kenneth More
Price: £4.00

44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Inspirational Classic, 29 April 2006
This review is from: Reach For The Sky [DVD] (DVD)
The story of Douglas Bader is a well known one. He crashed a Bristol Bulldog doing low level aerobatics and lost both legs. He overcame this disability and flew for the RAF in the battle of britain - with great success.

This classic film tells Bader's tale. Kenneth More portrays Bader as a really nice guy, which is not really what the real Bader was like, but some artistic licence is forgivable in film. His relationship with Thelma is well depicted, as are the aerial combat scenes. One of the advantages of Black and White films is the ability to use actual WW11 combat footage. It certainly looks better than when special effects are used. All the flying scenes are great, except that the spitfires used are late marks, with the 'bubble' canopy. This is an annoying thing for air buffs like myself, but in this case we can forgive it, since the all round quality of the picture makes up for it.

I consider Bader's tale one of the most inspiring in history, and it is a story that will live on thanks to this film.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 13, 2013 10:09 AM GMT

Casino Royale [DVD] [1967]
Casino Royale [DVD] [1967]
Dvd ~ David Niven
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.94

8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Utter madness, but I like it, 29 April 2006
This review is from: Casino Royale [DVD] [1967] (DVD)
First off, I do believe that this film is a waste of one of Ian Fleming's best novels. Having said that, it is a very enjoyable film in its own way. Some bit are rather poor, and Sellers is less funny than usual. David Niven really carries the picture and makes the film worth watching in many ways. The rest of the ensemble cast do well to make a confused plot seem slightly credible in some way. The film IS a mess, but if you watch it with the right attitude, you CAN enjoy it.

If you are a James Bond fan, like I am, watch this film, but beware that it is not a Bond movie. You have to watch it for what it is - A 60's comedy, and not a spy thriller.

One of the real pleasures of this film is the score by Burt Bacharach. It makes some of the scenes enourmously enjoyable even if you just close your eyes and listen. A good example is the milk float chase.

My favourite scenes are:

The lion riding on the roof of the car, as John Barry's theme for Born Free is played.

Bond and the Scottish guards 'warsling'.

Terence Cooper's 'anti female spy device' training.

The finale in the casino. The music is too too brilliant.

On to the DVD release itself. There are no special features aside from two trailers which is disappointing since the R1 release has the 1954 TV version of Casino Royale, starring Barry Nelson as Bond. The picture is on and off with regards to quality but on the whole is acceptable to my eye, mind you I'm not very fussy. Unfortunately there is some substantial print damage in certain scenes, notably the scene where Sellers is drugged. Still, it is not too distracting. And to answer the question of an earlier reviewer, the scenes you describe do not appear to be included on this DVD.

So buy this DVD, and watch it in the right way, expecting it to just be silly fun and you will have a good viewing experience. I give it three stars, but if I could give three and a half I would, but I made it three since I don't think it is quite a four star effort.

Classic RAF Battles: From World War One to the Present
Classic RAF Battles: From World War One to the Present
by M.J. Armitage
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Artwork, Great Book, 5 April 2006
This book is a great purchase for a number of reasons.
First, it details some of the RAF's most famous operations, as well as some less well known ones.
Secondly, each operation is illustrated by a painting by various well known aviation artists.
This book is great for both people interested in the RAF, or air combat. It is also great for aviation art lovers. It contains paintings by some very well known artist (Philip West, Michael Turner etc.) Pity there is nothing from the great Robert Taylor but nonetheless it is a very good book, and worthy of a place in any war book collection.

The Blue Max [DVD]
The Blue Max [DVD]
Dvd ~ George Peppard
Offered by 247dvd
Price: £3.99

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars World War One Air Combat, 25 Mar. 2006
This review is from: The Blue Max [DVD] (DVD)
This is one of a generation of great war films that were made in the 1960s. It is an exciting dramatic picture, which focuses on a low-born pilot, who finds himself in a squadron of aristocratic pilots. His only ambition is to win the Blue Max, and his ruthless ambition causes him not to win many friends. The one person who is attracted to him is Kaeti, wife of a German general. Their affair, while crucial to the story, is quite boring to watch, but the air combat scenes make up for it. They are breathtaking, and while there are some historical anachronisms and use of Tiger Moths in some scenes. Otherwise, a very entertaining picture, which complements the other great WW1 air combat epic, Aces high, very well.

Aces High [DVD]
Aces High [DVD]
Dvd ~ Malcolm McDowell
Price: £2.99

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting War Drama, 25 Mar. 2006
This review is from: Aces High [DVD] (DVD)
Aces High is one of very few films about World War One air combat. I also believe that it is the best. It is intense, yet its laid back scenes are very good as well. I've owned this on VHS for years, and have finally replaced my well worn tape with this DVD release. Whilst devoid of special features (not even a trailer), this is worth the price simply to watch this very good film. I did notice at least one little part of the film which is cut from the DVD. It is in the French restaurant scene, and a risque joke by Wade appears to have been cut out.
Otherwise, the DVD is nice. The picture is slightly blemished, put not distractingly so. On the whole, this is a very good buy, and comes highly reccomended. If you liked The Blue Max, you'll like this (in fact, some footage from the Blue Max is used in this picture).
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 27, 2012 1:40 AM GMT

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