Profile for A. Willard > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by A. Willard
Top Reviewer Ranking: 30,510
Helpful Votes: 405

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
A. Willard (Kent, England)

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-12
Famous Blue Raincoat
Famous Blue Raincoat

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ain't no cure for Cohen, 2 Jan. 2010
This review is from: Famous Blue Raincoat (Audio CD)
This is the Leonard Cohen album for people who've never heard the originals. Of course Jennifer Warnes is a far better `singer' than Cohen but there's a few on here which would have a true Cohenite twitching (`First We Take Manhattan' is, if you've heard the original, something of a travesty).

But - but - but the title track is beautiful, absolutely stunning; the old boy turns up himself to add gravitas to `Joan Of Arc' and Warnes really does have a fabulous voice and the arrangements are, for the most part, really rather good.

Ok, ok I didn't want to like it - I was going to get all snotty about it - but, gulp!, I can't help it. I like the damn thing
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 12, 2014 3:27 PM BST

You Only Live Twice [DVD] [1967]
You Only Live Twice [DVD] [1967]
Dvd ~ Sean Connery
Offered by WorldCinema
Price: £3.47

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oh the things i do for England, 2 Jan. 2010
From the opening bars of the title song (surely the best Bond song ever) I'm back queuing outside the Carlton in Essex Road at a very tender age waiting to see the latest big thing. There's no other film that quite manages it (well maybe Zulu).

Connery is, and always will be, James Bond - I know a couple of the others have been quite good, Daniel Craig amongst them, but Connery is the best, even if he was too common for Ian Fleming. Let's face it if it wasn't for the films the books would have been long forgotten.

Anyway Bond's in Japan; someone's trying to start World War III by kidnapping spaceships; there's lot's of sinister Orientals (and some good ones); the baddies have lots of opportunities to just kill him but never quite get around to it; Donald Pleasence strokes his cat and there's a damn good punch up in a hollowed-out volcano. The music's fabulous (good old John Barry), the script is witty (good old Roald Dahl) and well, it's just splendid.

One star deducted for whoever's idea it was to disguise Connery as a Japanese fisherman - I mean, I know it's James Bond, but come on!
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 16, 2011 9:03 PM BST

To Bring You My Love
To Bring You My Love
Price: £7.89

4.0 out of 5 stars Send his love to me, 1 Jan. 2010
This review is from: To Bring You My Love (Audio CD)
P J adds a little embellishment to her first couple of albums and none the worse for it. There's a little more colour even a touch of the Spaghetti Western about the title track and `The Dancer'.

I'm not too sure what she's singing about on `Meet Ze Monster' and `Long Snake Moan' but I don't think it's a quick snog behind the bike sheds.

There's a little too much `oooh! isn't this sinister' for my liking but `Send His Love To Me' is superb. An acoustic guitar, some percussion, some organ , a few strings and PeeJay just THIS side of going bonkers. Great stuff.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 9, 2013 4:14 PM BST

by Don DeLillo
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nightmare on Elm Street, 1 Jan. 2010
This review is from: Libra (Paperback)
DeLilo before he became too much of a `great' novelist for his own good. Brilliant, cold, precise - whether it's `true' or not doesn't matter in the literal sense. In his depiction of Oswald's sad, pathetic life he has far more to say about America than theories about bullet angles or who had the most reason to kill Kennedy.

Read it.

Price: £7.99

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There was something about freedom he thought he didn't know., 26 Dec. 2009
This review is from: Freedom (Audio CD)
By the mid-Eighties Neil Young was about as unhip as you could possibly be. He was said to have gone to the right politically and his music was frankly not good (has anyone ever made it to the end of Re-Ac-Tor?). `Trans', `Landing on Water', `Life' - yes they were all a bit rubbish.

1988's `This Note's for You' was a blessed return to form and the following year's `Freedom' showed the old boy could still make it matter. If he ever had been a Reaganite he certainly wasn't now - the album casts a harsh light on the American mantra of `at least we're free'. This is an album about the breakdown of family life for the forgotten - the underclass whose only way out was drugs or crime.

The cover of `On Broadway' takes it to a rather silly level to make his point but the rest of the album is superb. Great crunching guitars on `Don't Cry', `Eldorado' and the electric version of `Rockin' in the Free World' but also some wonderful ballads, `Hangin' on a Limb', `Someday', `Too Far Gone' and of course there's `Crime in the City' which, with its short-story format and saxophone breaks, sounds like virtually nothing else he's ever recorded.

From here on he was back up and running and heading for his `Godfather of Grunge' period - `Ragged Glory', `Weld' etc. Good on him.

In Cold Blood [DVD] (1967)
In Cold Blood [DVD] (1967)
Dvd ~ Robert Blake
Offered by WorldCinema
Price: £8.33

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars They never hurt me. They just happened to be there., 26 Dec. 2009
This review is from: In Cold Blood [DVD] (1967) (DVD)
A film as good as the book? Well it's not far off. `In Cold Blood' was Capote's best book by a mile and this film gets very close.

Brooks was a fine underrated director and this may be his finest (though `The Professionals' and `Elmer Gantry' were pretty good). Shot in glowering black and white by the late great Conrad Hall and using most of the original locations this film just feels like they've got it right.

As the two protagonists Robert Blake and Scott Wilson are superb. Blake's is the showier role (and Capote was obviously more interested in Perry Smith) but Wilson is perhaps even more chilling. A charming, smiling all-American boy who just happens to have a great big empty hole where his heart should be. As the film makes clear these were two pathetic losers who probably would've never done any real harm had they never met - but together they made another altogether more dangerous beast.

The film wanders a little when Smith and Hickok are on the run and the flashbacks are not really necessary but the film, for the most part, retains a vice-like grip.

You can keep your Hannibal Lecter's - Smith and Hickok were real evil, in all its miserable, pathetic ordinariness.

Definitely work seeking out.

The Black Dahlia [DVD]
The Black Dahlia [DVD]
Dvd ~ Josh Hartnett
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £3.50

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Eh? But what's going on?, 24 Dec. 2009
This review is from: The Black Dahlia [DVD] (DVD)
Of course it looks good - what else can you expect. De Palma always makes his films look good and with the great Vilmos Zsigmond as Cinematographer and all those cool 40's clothes and cars you know you're in for a visual treat.

The acting's not bad either - Josh Harnett does just fine, Hilary Swank is suitably femme fatale, Scarlet Johansson is er ok and Fiona Shaw is frankly hilarious.

BUT the film has no plot/too much plot - it's nonsense. Of course It's adapted from a novel by that ultimate literary blowhard James Elroy - but so was `L.A. Confidential' and that was a fine movie.

BUT the film has no plot/too much plot - it's nonsense. The best parts are actually the victim's (Elizabeth Short) `audition' tapes which are quite touching and show well the desperation involved in trying to `make it' in the movies in those times (and probably these times as well). Incidentally the voice behind the camera is apparently De Palma's - a good bit of voice acting there Brian.

BUT the film has no plot/too much plot - it's nonsense. Yes it is.

Quite enjoyable though

Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £4.89

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beatles down under, 21 Dec. 2009
This review is from: Woodface (Audio CD)
This is a lovely album. Neil Finn seems to have a head full of great tunes and there's little of the filler which kind of spoiled their first two albums for me.

Maybe it all gets a bit samey by the end but there's some great stuff here.

`Fall At Your Feet', `As Sure As I Am' and `How Will You Go' are particularly beautiful.

Their next album `Together Alone' was even better.

Donkey Punch [DVD] [2008]
Donkey Punch [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Robert Boulter
Price: £6.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Drop the dead donkey, 20 Dec. 2009
This review is from: Donkey Punch [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
Ah what could be better! 4 boys, 3 girls out on a luxury boat in the middle of the Med. What could possibly go wrong? Well, quite a lot actually, especially when all the characters are so resolutely horrible and unsympathetic. An attempt at the sexual practice of the title (which, in my innocence, I had neither heard of or even thought of) leads to a tragic death.

From there trouble `flares' up and for a while the film is quite good in a kind of `what are they going to do next' kind of way. But it all goes very silly towards the end and the main message seems to be `don't mess with Yorkshire girls`.

Of course it would help if even one of the characters was remotely likeable but it's not to be. A curious blend of soft-core porn and horror which, I'm afraid, provoked this viewer to chuckles rather than shivers. Certainly I must confess to letting out a small cheer when Bluey got the wrong end of the bread knife. Of course it's all supposed to be very modern with the females not being the `passive' victims any more but they forgot that the plot should make some kind of sense.

Still, nice boat.

Pet Sounds [2000 Re-issue]
Pet Sounds [2000 Re-issue]
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.51

11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I just wasn't made for this album, 20 Dec. 2009
I know I know - what's the matter with me? 3 stars? What kind of an unfeeling tone-deaf idiot am I?

`God Only Knows', `Don't Talk', `I Just Wasn't Made For These Times', `Caroline No' - even the one we're not supposed to like `Sloop John B' - all great songs. But the rest? Really?

I've tried and tried but I just can't love this album. I'm sorry, it's my fault - forgive me.

Now if he'd put `Good Vibrations' on it...
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 16, 2012 10:31 AM BST

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-12