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Darren Harrison "U.S. citizen, British born and raised (in the England-Scotland border country), I live in Washington, DC with my wife, 3 cats, and 2 dogs" (Washington D.C.)

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Journey To The Center Of The Earth [DVD] [1959]
Journey To The Center Of The Earth [DVD] [1959]
Dvd ~ James Mason

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic adpatation of a Verne novel, 18 April 2003
Recently released here in Region one and coming soon to region two is this classic adventure movie from the 1950s. Loosely adapted from the Jules Verne novel we find the Professor Lindenbrook of the movie to be a Scot and not just a Scot, but a knighted Scot. He, along with a musically inclined sidekick (at times prone to singing out loud) follow a clue that takes them from Edinburgh to Iceland and finally into the bowels of the Earth.
Along the way the duo battle giant lizards, encounter enormous mushrooms, traverse swirling whirlppools and a fall foul of a sinister shadowy figure determined to protect an ancestors secret. In their quest to explore the interior of the planet the two are aided by the wife of a murdered rival, a friendly giant of an Icelander and a goose named Gertrude.
The whole premise of course is silly, especially when compared with a more recent foray into similar territory in the theatrical release "The Core" but of all the adaptations of Verne's novel this is undoubtedly the most satisfyinhg.
I of course have not yet seen the Region Two release, but assuming it is similar to the Region One release the DVD sports a spiffy, remastered picture in addition to a number of comparisons between all the different prints over the years. The new picture quality is a breathtaking improvment over the previous elements that have shockingly faded.
Well recommended.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 6, 2010 10:57 PM BST

For Your Eyes Only [DVD]
For Your Eyes Only [DVD]
Dvd ~ Roger Moore
Offered by Bridge_Records
Price: £7.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to basics taut Cold War era thriller, 18 April 2003
This review is from: For Your Eyes Only [DVD] (DVD)
After the excesses and downright campy style of "Moonraker" the production team behind the James Bond movies decided for the next installment in the series to bring the character back down to Earth.
Taking inspiration from two of Ian Flemings short stories ("For Your Eyes Only" and "Risico") and including a previously planned, but often delayed keel hauling sequence from the novel "Live and Let Die," the writing team of Bond veteran Richard Maibaum and Micheal G. Wilson crafted a clever, suspenseful, taut action thriller that really thrills.
After a jokey pre-titles sequence that, although intriguing, probably belongs in the previous movie, we are transported into the signiture titles that for the first time actually include the image of the singer.
The main body of the movie involves the search for a missing ATAC device that programs nuclear submarines with their attack coordinates. The device was lost of the Greek/Albanian coast when a British spy ship was sunk by an old World War II era mine.
Bond races from Spain to Italy and then finally to Greece in an effort to prevent the device falling into the hands of the KGB.
With incredible skiing action, mountain climbing and a car chase involving an "out horsepowered" DCV, Bond is aided by the beautiful Carole Bouquet as Melina, whose weapon of choice is a crossbow. This deadly vision proved so powerful that it featured heavily in the poster and advertising campaigns. Bouqyet certainly ranks as one of the most beautiful of all actresses to be granted the title of "Bond girl."
Also along for the ride is the jovial Topol as Columbo and the sinister Julian Glover as Kritatos.The movie also features a classic moment for Bond who dispatches a heavy over a cliff in what is perhaps Moore's best James Bond scene.
An enjoyable Bond movie that proves that a Bond movie can be successful without an over abundance of gadgets or explosions. This movie also remains a favorite among Bond fans.

Triple Cross [DVD] [1966]
Triple Cross [DVD] [1966]
Dvd ~ Yul Brynner
Offered by babsbargains *** WORLDWIDE SHIPPING ***
Price: £17.98

89 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True story with panache, 16 April 2003
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This review is from: Triple Cross [DVD] [1966] (DVD)
Based on a true story, Bond director Terence Young endowed this World War Two era espionage story with his trademark style and panache.
Cat burglar Eddie Chapman finds himself in a jail call on the island of Jersey when the territory is over run by Germany at the outset of the war.
The Germans decide to put Chapmans talents to good use and (after a series of ingenious tests) send him back to England to spy for them. However, Chapman decides his efforts would be better spend working for the allies and begins to send back false reports to mislead his Nazi handlers.
What follows is a taut, fun and entirely satisfying adventure with the admirable cast of Christopher Plummer, Yul Brynner and Gert (Goldfinger) Frobe.
This movie comes highly recommended.
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Murder By Decree [DVD] [1980]
Murder By Decree [DVD] [1980]
Dvd ~ Christopher Plummer
Offered by HalfpriceDVDS_FBA
Price: £16.98

10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best Holmes movie ever made, 16 April 2003
The New York Daily Post referred to this movie as the "greatest Sherlock Holmes movie ever made" and who am I to disagree with their esteemed reviewer. Well, I write reviews for a large metropolitcan newspaper also, but I have to say I can find no qualms with their opinion.
I grew up watching the Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes movies on quiet Saturday mornings on BBC2 in my native Scotland, so I am probably always going to enjoy sitting down to a couple of hours with my longtime detective friend and his faithful sidekick Dr. Watson. Although for me Rathbone will always be the definitive Sherlock Holmes (never really cared for Jeremy Brett)I have to admit to finding Christopher Plummer as an entertaining, if somewhat unusual, Holmes in this late 1970s movie.
Based not on one of the Conan Doyle books but on a notion that the Baker Street detective investigated the Jack the Ripper murders (much like in the lesser production "Study in Terror" a decade earlier) this sceenplay moves along at a fair speed and examines the actual evidence collected at the time to weave together a theory not unlike that of the more recent Johnny Depp movie "From Hell."
What really makes this movie stand out is the quite incredible cast that Clark (yes, incredibly the same guy behind "Porky's") put together in this Canadian production. Alongside Plummer is none other than James Mason as Watson. We also have Anthony Quayle, John Gielgud, Donald Sutherland, Susan Clark, Frank Finley and Genevieve Bujold. Put these actors in a handsomly presented production design (quite incredible actually) and combine it with the intriguing and fast paced script and you have what (I would have to concur with the Post is the best Holmes movie ever put to film.

Lassiter [VHS]
Lassiter [VHS]

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another movie that deserves a DVD release, 16 April 2003
This review is from: Lassiter [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This little known movie stars Tom Selleck as an American jewel cat thief in pre-World War II London. It's a great movie and has an incredible supporting cast including Bob Hoskins as a police officer doggedly on the title characters trail.
With OTT Nazi's as the villains this movie truly is a great ride and a DVD release is long overdue.

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones [DVD] [2002]
Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones [DVD] [2002]
Dvd ~ Hayden Christensen
Offered by streetsahead
Price: £6.91

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than Phantom Menace- but could have been better, 16 April 2003
Despite the fact I am a self admitted Star Wars nut, I am going to resist getting into a love fest over this movie simply because it is a Star Wars movie.
Whereas the cumbersome Phantom Menace was unwieldy under its own weight and really let's face facts folks - it really blew, George Lucas thankfully took the criticism to heart and corrected many of the problems with Episode One. Hopefully he paid attention to the problems people had with this episode, because let's face it the more we constructively criticize the show, the better the chances are we really will get an incredible episode three.
On with the review. I really did enjoy this show, particularly the evolving love story between Padme and Anakin. I think the presence of a romantic backstory has been a sorely missing element of the Star Wars movies since The Empire Strikes Back and although it is a truly crucial element of the overall story here it is treated with passion and care. Despite the fact that Natalie Portman has lost that "squeeky clean" image since this movie opened, she really turns in a great performance here.
Another improvement on TPM is a more involved role for Ewan McGregor as Ben Kenobi. It's remarkable how much McGregor really looks like a younger version of Alec Guinness and he seems to have the mannerisms down pat.
Another welcome addition to the cast is the always great Christopher Lee as Count Dooku.
Now onto the points where Attack of the Clones has problems. The obvious and easiest target is the wooden dialogue. I hope Lucas brings in a tried and tested scriptwriter into the next episode to help clean up the dialogue. The other fault (and this is purely in my opinion) is the over reliance on CGI technology. I know a lot of people where blown away by the special effects, but it seems that the newer Star Wars movies are all about special effects. What made the originals so charming was the fact that it followed the adventures of a group of characters we cared about in three movies that happened to contain some groundbreaking (for the time) effects.
I may seem harsh on this movie but for a couple of hours of entertainment you certainly can do worse than pick up a copy of Attack of the Clones.

Where Eagles Dare [VHS] [1968]
Where Eagles Dare [VHS] [1968]
Offered by Dashcota Limited
Price: £4.99

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coming to DVD in reegion one, but what about two, 16 April 2003
I have been waiting and waiting for word on the expected and previously tentatively announced release of a special edition of this DVD. So, using my position as an editor at a reasonably sized suburban newspaper I put in a call to my contacts at MGM to see what the hold up might be.
Imagine my surprise then when my contact informs me that MGM does not hold the rights to the picture. Furthermore, they believe the picture has been licensed to Warner Bros.
My interest piqued I turned around and called my contacts at Warner Bros.
That studio is planning a September, 2003 release in Region one.
Concerning the movie itself: Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood give solid performances as commando's parachuted behind enemy lines in this movie adapted for the screen by Alistair (Guns of Navarone) McLean, from his own novel.
The scenery is breathtaking and the action steller and after an admittedly slow start the action scenes really pick up in the latter half of the movie as Burton unravels a web of deceit and unmasking of traitors. He must then attampt to escape with his secrets with what would seem like the entire German army in hot pursuit.
Recommended for action fans, Clint Eastwood fans and people who like their Richard Burton dark, brooding and dangerous.

No Title Available

16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great desert vistas fail to help an ailing epic, 16 April 2003
Over the past ten years or so I have seen a number of my favorite classic novels translated into movies headlined by whichever star seems to be particularly hot at the time. In 1998 Leonardo DiCaprio appeared into a lumbering and top heavy version of "The Man in the Iron Mask" and earlier this year Alexandre Dumas' adventure novel "The Count of Monte Cristo" was brought to the screen with mived results.
So, it was with a weary heart that I handed over my hard earned cash and resolved myself to spending a couple of hours watching one of my favorite novels brought to the screen once more. The movie "The Four Feathers" has been given the big screen treatment several times previously, most recently in a 1978 TV movie starring Beau Bridges and in a pre-Dr. Quinn role the ever popular Jane Seymour.
The newest incarnation has current flavor of the month Heath ("Knights Tale") Ledger in the Beau Bridges role and Kate ("Almost Famous") Hudson as his faithful fiancée Ethne.
With a supporting cast that includes Wes ("American Beauty") Bentley and Djimon ("Amistad") Hounsou, the cast is guided by the steady hand of the acclaimed director of "Elizabeth" Shekhar Kapur.
The story behind "The Four Feathers" is a well known one of betrayal, honor, passion and ultimate redemption that to briefly summarize it seems almost an injustice.
Inspired by the classic novel by A.E.W. Mason the movie begins in 1875, ten year's before the fall of Khartoum. A young British officer, Harry Feversham, admired by his colleagues and devoted to his bride-to-be Ethne, Harry has a promising future in the military, but when the Sudanese rebels attack the colonial British fortress Harry becomes overwhelmed by self-doubt and uncertainty and resigns his commission.
Shocked by his actions, Harry's father disowns him and his friends, and fiancée, assuming the move is motivated by fear, each send him a white feather as a sign of cowardice.
Left isolated and alone in London, Harry learns that his friends have fallen under brutal attack. Instantly, the bond he has with his friends inspires him to overcome his uncertainty and race to their rescue.
The director, Kapur, states in the press packet for the movie that the movie has "at its core" the story of "boys going to war and becoming men." I think this is at the core of why this movie is not as effective as the earlier more literal versions of the epic tale.
Kapur dresses up the screen with incredible shots of the vastness of the African desert and places his main characters in a number of seemingly insurmountable situations, but the movie lacks the sense of the search for redemption that drove the previous movies.
Most telling of this is the omission of two key scenes from both the book and its subsequent adaptations. Firstly, the pivotal moment when Harry receives the feather from Ethne, and then excised completely is the whole subplot revolving around the betrayal felt by the delivery of a feather from Harry's best friend Jack. In its place Jack is seen in the conflicting role of initially standing beside his friend and then ultimately romancing Ethne in the latter part of the picture.
I'm not sure why co-screenwriters Michael Schiffer and Hossein Amini felt the need to make such a dramatic departure from the original text but it's disorientating and the tight structure that made the previous movies so interesting and fast paced is noticeably lacking here.
Worth of metion though is the awe inspiring photography by the noted Director of Photography Robert Richardson and the beautiful period costume design by Ruth Myers. Ledger, Bentley and Hudson also provide strong performances in the roles provided to them, but a seriously flawed script hampers their efforts to imbue any true sense of sympathy for their characters.
The movie therefore comes across as looking particularly great, but as is the case with many recent Hollywood versions of classic novels its mostly style over substance. That is a shame, because it's once again a great work of literature has been transformed into at best a mediocre movie.

The Sherlock Holmes Collection (23 Disc Box Set) [DVD] [1988]
The Sherlock Holmes Collection (23 Disc Box Set) [DVD] [1988]
Dvd ~ Jeremy Brett

2 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential viewing for Holmes fans, 16 April 2003
Although Brett is not by a far stretch my favorite actor in the Holmes role (my personal preference is for Basil Rathborne) these television adaptations did sport fine writing and production design while remaining solidly faithful to the source material.

Any Given Sunday [DVD] [1999]
Any Given Sunday [DVD] [1999]
Dvd ~ Al Pacino
Price: £5.99

1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Beware of movies with big stars, 16 April 2003
After Pacinos steller performance in The Insider I bought this DVD with high hopes. How could it be as bad as everyone had said, just look at the cast that signed there names along the dotted line? Well, it was bad.....oh my goodness, it was worse than bad, save for the well choreographed football scenes and always excellent acting from Pacino, this movie is incoherant tedium. We watch as overpampered football "heroes" go about their daily lives with such regular routines as chainsawing team mates sports cars and dabbling in sex and drugs. I was not surprised then to watch some of Hollywoods best actors walk around in a daze as the movie stumbles from one game to another. The scene index for the DVD is a big clue to the importance of the games to this moviw with eacxh one seeiming to start a new act. Really I am left wondering, what was the point behind making this movie? The extras go a little way to redeeming the DVD, with an admittedly too-short but informative documentary and for that reason and the game coverage combined with Pacino I give this movie three stars. Give it a rental people!

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