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The Black Magic Series
The Black Magic Series
Price: £12.00

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars FAHRENHEIT 451 - THE TEMPERATURE AT WHICH PAPER BURNS, 1 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
No - I'm not reviewing Bradbury's book: am just making a point.
This is an edited / censored volume of Wheatley's work, to 'improve the pace' and to make it more PC.
Shame on the Wheatley estate for agreeing to this.
The fact that we're not getting the original is also NOT highlighted by Amazon; I was only aware of this after purchase and when reading the introduction.
Hence the 1 star, which is not for the novels themselves, but for the censorship which has been imposed on Wheatley's work, to make it more commercially acceptable to modern readers.
Fahrenheit 451 via the 'digital door'.
Let the books speak for themselves .. if you don't like what you read, you don't have to read it.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 26, 2015 8:29 PM GMT


The Ghost [DVD]
The Ghost [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ewan McGregor
Price: £3.10

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars POLANSKI - BRILLIANT AND CONTROVERSIAL, AS PER USUAL, 26 Nov. 2014
This review is from: The Ghost [DVD] (DVD)
Totally engaging from start to finish.
What was particularly memorable to me:

**SPOILER ALERT**
1) The plot: complex and brain - teasing; had to give it some thought at the climax as to what had actually been going on throughout the movie. One thing seems clear: the "baddies" in this story are definitely the Americans. Given Polanski's ongoing and well-publicised difficulties with Uncle Sam, I can't help but wonder if Mr P took on this project as a form of emotional catharsis!

2) The performances: pitch-perfect all round .. and how refreshing to see Brosnan in an unsympathetic role; and also see him NOT being able to dodge the bullets in this one.

3) The pay-off: I really did not see this coming: the (implied) murder of our hero makes it clear that the good guys do not always win in the end; echos of Chinatown .. and of an uncomfortable fact of life ie that sometimes you just can't beat the system, no matter how corrupt it is.
**END OF SPOILER**

If you like a thoughtful, slow moving and gradually developing thriller, without gunfights, explosions and stunts every five minutes, which characterise today's creative bankruptcy in Hollywood - then this is for you.
And oh yes, a tremendous cameo from the late Eli Wallace, old, frail but still unmistakably him.


Quatermass and the Pit (BFI Film Classics)
Quatermass and the Pit (BFI Film Classics)
Price: £7.36

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FINALLY .. GETTING THE RECOGNITION IT DESERVES!, 24 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Excellent .. and well overdue!


SPIES AT THE ABC - VAMPIRES AT THE ODEON - CULTURE AT THE COSMO
SPIES AT THE ABC - VAMPIRES AT THE ODEON - CULTURE AT THE COSMO
Price: £5.70

4.0 out of 5 stars 70s DOUBLE FEATURES LISTINGS REALLY PRESS NOSTALGIA BUTTON!, 24 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Amazing research but more photo reproductions would have been the icing on the cake.


SEX AT THE ABC - KUNG FU AT THE ODEON - UNCENSORED AT THE TATLER
SEX AT THE ABC - KUNG FU AT THE ODEON - UNCENSORED AT THE TATLER
Price: £5.70

4.0 out of 5 stars 60s DOUBLE FEATURES LISTINGS REALLY PRESS NOSTALGIA BUTTON!, 24 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Amazing research .. but more ad mat reproductions would have been the icing on the cake.


Once Upon A Time In America: Extended Director's Cut [Blu-ray] [1984] [Region Free]
Once Upon A Time In America: Extended Director's Cut [Blu-ray] [1984] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Robert De Niro
Price: £12.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LEONE'S UNDISPUTED AND DEFINITIVE MASTERPIECE - AND ONE OF THE MOST UNDER-RATED FILMS OF ALL!, 23 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Well that's my view; and it's confirmed by having just watched the BR extended version.

Quality is outstanding for all except the extended footage and the producers of the disc have done the best they can with sub-optimal elements .. but it's so good to see these extended scenes, poor visual quality notwithstanding.

I think four of the extended scenes do add appreciably to the depth and development of the narrative; these are:
***SPOILER ALERT IF YOU DON'T KNOW THE STORY***

1) Noodles' meeting with the cemetery director, played with chilling coldness by Louise Fletcher - she is just SO sinister that you really feel she is in on the conspiracy and knows exactly who he is, adding to the general atmosphere of betrayal and mystery. Her role is brief but totally memorable.

2) Noodles' initial conversation with the driver on his date with Deborah: this makes it clear that Noodles is well know as a hood and dangerous to cross - thus giving narrative logic to the driver's otherwise inexplicable inaction during the later rape (which I have always felt to be a weak point in the standard version).

3) Noodles' initial meeting with Eve, in which he asks her to play-act being Deborah during sex. This further emphases his love of / obsession with Deborah, as well as explaining how Eve came into the picture (important,as Eve is the first character seen in the movie).

4) The penultimate scene, between Max and Treat William's union boss Jimmy; a brilliant scene which makes clear what was otherwise left ambiguous - ie that Jimmy is now totally corrupt and completely part of the Syndicate. This gives resonance to dialogue between the various characters in the earlier scene in the hospital room, following Jimmy's shooting ("you guys achieved more in one afternoon than I've achieved in three years of talking"; "he won't have clean hands for much longer after the hands he's gonna shake"). This scene is also the only one in the movie where Secretary Bailey is addressed directly as 'Max' (just in case we still had any doubt about that rather crucial plot point).
*** END OF SPOILER ALERT***

The only criticism I have is the woeful lack of extras on the UK BR release. This film deserves better.
But it still gets 5 stars in my book. It's such an amazing movie in terms of acting, scope, production values, music, cinematography, sets and set-pieces .. and of course the brilliant script.
Inexcusibly neglected by the Oscars.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 23, 2014 10:19 PM GMT


Sherlock Holmes: The Ultimate Collection
Sherlock Holmes: The Ultimate Collection
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY?? ELIMENTARY!, 7 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Excellent comprehensive set and great value for money.
Also, much easier to handle on Kindle than the huge printed tome!
A must for fans of the world's greatest detective.


Amour
Amour
Dvd
Offered by Lovefilm UK Limited
Price: £2.49

3.0 out of 5 stars Glad I've seen it .. but won't be watching again., 21 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Amour (Amazon Instant Video)
Well made and acted but overlong, weak on narrative and quite depressing.
Forget "pass the popcorn" on this one ..it's "pass the Prozac"!
But basic message is sound:ie physical beauty doesn't last; and love is all about giving.


The Seventh Continent [DVD]
The Seventh Continent [DVD]
Dvd ~ Michael Haneke
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £7.51

5.0 out of 5 stars SHOULD THIS FILM BE IN THE GUINESS BOOK OF RECORDS ?, 19 Sept. 2014
This review is from: The Seventh Continent [DVD] (DVD)
Can anyone think of ANY other BBFC 18-rated movie which has:
NO violence;
NO gore;
NO bad language;
NO nudity;
NO explicit sex;
NO drug abuse (at least, not in the usually accepted sense of the term)??

Well, this film has none of the above. Yet it fully deserves its 18 rating. In fact, not only is this film unsuitable for minors - I think it could possibly also be extremely disturbing for some adults.
And the fact that Haneke can make such a film, without resorting to the usual "X-cert ingredients", is a reflection of his skill as a film-maker.
This is a harrowing and emotionally devastating adult drama.
See it .. and it will stay with you for days - at least!
No spoilers about the plot: the least you know about this movie as you come to view it, the better.


Hidden (cache) [DVD]
Hidden (cache) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Daniel Auteuil
Offered by A2Z Entertains
Price: £4.79

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BLEAK, PESSIMISTIC BUT COMPELLING SUSPENSE THRILLER, 28 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Hidden (cache) [DVD] (DVD)
OK, I can respect the opinion of those who think this is boring, incomprehensible and pretentious .. but I don't agree!

This is two hours of totally absorbing but infuriatingly frustrating cinema. It's true that there is no real dramatic closure; and such denoument as there is (ie in that final enigmatic scene) is "hidden" by normal everyday activities which continue to play out around it - a metaphor for the film itself in fact. But what's wrong with making the viewer work a little? I can't remember the last time I saw a film which made me think about it for hours later. Just what exactly has been happening in this story? What are the potential ramifications for the future? Just what is the nature of the relationship between the various protagonists? What are their motivations? And is anyone in the whole film really innocent?! Haneke keeps these things hidden - and it's for us to work out the truth.

Haneke gives us multiple layers to peel off here. Watch for an early scene showing an apparently random confrontation between a black man and a white man. I view this scene as encapsulating the inter-racial tension which underpins the whole narrative. Also, the dinner party scene, where six people are present; one of these is a black woman, and she is the only one who is not given any meaningful dialogue. Yet it is HER husband / partner who tells the story of the dead dog .. an allegory which shows that even when you start a new life, your past will catch up with you, cannot remain .. hidden.

Haneke doesn't beat us around the head with issues of racial tension, but they are there to be read in the film, particularly on repeat viewings. And it's significant that it was a (real life) incident of ethnic conflict which commenced the whole sequence of tragic events in this film. Indeed, Haneke states in the interview on the DVD that it was this incident which prompted him to make the movie. It's really about guilt for the past, facing up to that guilt and dealing with it; and the almost impossible search for the truth, which seems fated, ultimately, to stay hidden, as successive deceits are piled one on top of the other. So, there's a lot to get out of this film, as long as you don't approach it expecting simple Hollywood-style storytelling and narrative resolution.

Be warned though: there are two extremely graphic, jaw-dropping moments; sensitive viewers may wish to avert their eyes .. except that Haneke hits us so suddenly with these images that there is no time to do so! So you'll be stuck with those pictures in your head. This film-maker really does know how to toy with his audience.

One of those scenes involves an animal decapitation which I take to be real. I'm wondering how this got past the BBFC. Fair enough, the scene is definitely not gratuitous; in fact, it is a pivotal point in the narrative. Even so, I understood that the BBFC were obliged by legislation to cut such scenes (the same with the slaughter of the ox at the climax of Apocalypse Now). Is there any film buff or legal expert out there who can explain this?

Bottom line though - highly recommended as essential viewing.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 11, 2014 4:15 AM GMT


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