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The Omen [2006] [DVD]
The Omen [2006] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Liev Schreiber
Offered by Bridge_Records
Price: £2.70

2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting in some ways, awful in others., 2 Nov 2006
This review is from: The Omen [2006] [DVD] (DVD)
It was a big surprise to hear that this classic film was going to be remade. Having seen it, my overall feeling was of only moderate satisfaction. Without doubt for me, the film's highlight is the opening 10 minutes which contextualises the film's later narrative by suggesting recent tragic real events such as 9/11, the tsunami and the last space shuttle disaster herald the birth of The Antichrist- all quite plausible. The package also includes the films trailers, the one with Damien on the swing in garish red school uniform, guarded by his rotweiller is TRULY scary, probably the best teaser trailer I have seen. Where the film falls down is in its "rushed" feel. The almost "gotta get it done quickly" attitude of the director shines through in almost every shot, and this is indeed acknowledged in the documentary which accompanies the film by the director himself who says he was working to meet the 06/06/06 realease date. I reserve the biggest criticism however for the awful Julia Styles in the role of Kathy Thorn. To even mention her in the same sentence as Lee Remick approaches travesty. She is quite simply a) wrong for the part and b) an awfully wooden actor. Worth seeing provided you can shuttle past Julia Styles scenes.


Moon
Moon
by James Herbert
Edition: Paperback

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read with an interesting twist, 20 July 2006
This review is from: Moon (Paperback)
This book has had some quite scathing reviews on this website and indeed some of them are justified. It is not a classic nor is it completely original. What it is is extremely well written, engaging and possesses the ability to hold the reader right up to the great twist at the end. I read this book not expecting a classic or a highbrow read, I expected a good thrilling story with some moments of genuine horror and I found it. It would make a good introduction to James Herbert's writing and it would certainly make a good film.


Songs My Mother Taught Me
Songs My Mother Taught Me
by Marlon Brando
Edition: Paperback

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating insight into a fascinating person., 13 July 2006
Brando was according to most of his peers a genius and it is difficult to disagree with this when you view his more "serious" contributions to cinema such as "On The Waterfront", "The Godfather" and "A Streetcar Named Desire". He is also an actor who by his own admission made some awful films "...not necessarily for artistic reasons!" This book offers a rare insight into a man held up as a genius by many but who in his own estimation did a pointless and meaningless job simply for the money. Indeed, it is interesting to read how he would have preferred to have been a cleaner than to act if it had paid as well. How a man could be motivated so little to do his job yet turn out such good performances in so many films is the central core of this book. It is so interesting to hear him compare himself with Olivier as an actor and as a rival for Vivien Leigh's affections and to see how one of the few films he made which really appealed to him and which he was enthusiastic about , "A Dry White Season" was such a disappointment for him because of the unwillingness of the producers to allow him some creative input. This is from first to last worth the price and offers a riveting look into one of the 20th Century's most iconic personalities.


Peaches - The Very Best Of The Stranglers
Peaches - The Very Best Of The Stranglers
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.49

22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars "The Very Best"? How can this be?, 27 Jun 2006
The Stranglers are a great group who have prouduced some fine songs but the manufactureres of this CD need their heads examining. Are they really trying to suggest that the shorter version of the classic "Walk On By" which misses out most of the mind blowing organ solo and which is included in this collection is actually better than the longer version with the solo in all its glory? They must be having a laugh? If you plan to buy this CD, look elsewhere for one with the full version of this outstanding song and ask yourself how a shorter, edited, abridged, censored, clipped, cropped or reduced version of anything can ever be better than the original???


All Mod Cons
All Mod Cons
Offered by Sent2u
Price: £6.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Jam at their substantial best., 23 May 2006
This review is from: All Mod Cons (Audio CD)
Each album by The Jam offers the listener something very rewarding in its own right. The latter albums are examples of how the group stayed on top of the game after they reached the top but this little gem is the album that put them there in the first place. The Jam revealed a fresh yet still ironic and bitter sound here and this juxtaposition has often been copied by the group's heirs, Morrisey, Gallagher etc. Just listen to the sweet intonation of Weller's voice on "It's Too Bad" or the fabulous "To Be Someone" and then consider the melancholy of the subject matter of these songs. The powerful and psychadelic guitar on "In The Crowd" reflects Weller's Townshend influences very well whilst "Fly" and "English Rose" show just what a brave not to mentioned accomplished songwriter Paul Weller was. Whilst other contemporary bands such as Sham 69 were trying to keep punks already extinguished flame alive and before The Clash had found their experiemental genre merging style, The Jam with this album were creating the blueprint which would be followed by just about every guitar band for the next 25 years. Fantastic, and hugely ahead of its time.


Die Another Day - Special Edition [DVD] [2002]
Die Another Day - Special Edition [DVD] [2002]
Dvd ~ Pierce Brosnan|Halle Berry|Rosamund Pike
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £1.40

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars O dear!, 4 April 2005
This has to be the worst bond film. I am convinced the only reason for its existence is to remind us how good the others are. Indeed, even the hitherto "weaker" bond films are infinitely better than this! Bond films have always stretched believeability for their audiences, but many of the gadgets used in earlier entries (the bleeper in "Russia With Love", the tracker in "Goldfinger", the underwater camera in "Thunderball" and the memo receiving watch in "The Spy Who Loved Me" to name a few) are now readily available but the invisible car is quite simply absurd. I know that some people will argue that the military are actually working on such a vehicle. Well, be that as it may, such a thing does not belong in a Bond film in 2002!
However, the biggest problems I have with this film are to do with two more conventional aspects. Firstly, the performaces. Tobey Stephens is as engaging and as threatening as the movie's villain as Postman Pat would have been, Halle Berry simply shouldn't have bothered and even Pierce Brosnan, in my opinion the most over rated actor to play Bond anyway looks like he's going through the motions. The only high point is Rosamund Pike who fits in very nicely alongside the previous icy, confident yet flawed femme fatales of the franchise.
The second issue is the awful CGI. In parts, the film looks like a Pixar Animation (no insult intended to Pixar!) Bring back the kind of real stunts performed by real people (skiing off a clifftop (Spy Who Loved Me), waterskiing without skis to catch up with the plane(Licence to Kill), falling out of a plane without a parachute (Moonraker). These are what defined the Bond films to generations of film fans and they must return if the franchise is to stand out from other action films.
However much you are going to be charged to buy this film, its worth paying twice that NOT to bother.


The Shining [DVD] [1980]
The Shining [DVD] [1980]
Dvd ~ Jack Nicholson
Offered by EagleDVD
Price: £3.20

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great film, shame about the cuts!, 18 Mar 2005
This review is from: The Shining [DVD] [1980] (DVD)
I love this film! I make no bones about it. It is from first to last a masterpiece. It is rich in imagery and themes, especially the destruction of the Native American race by white settlers and the subtle nature of the horror instead of the blood and gore approach adopted by many of the film's contemporaries adds to the overall feel.
However, about half an hour of the film's original cut has been taken out. I have to ask why this is. Unlike the truncated version of Ridley Scott's Alien, which remained a masterpiece, this film suffers. It is only through having seen the original version that you could possibly appreciate fully the back story of Jack's alcohol fuelled violence towards Danny and Wendy a much fuller description of the murders at the hotel is given by Ullman. However, this version on DVD is not described as a "special edition" but it is passed off as the original. To make matters worse, some of the actors whose scenes ended up completely on the cutting room floor are still included in the opening credits. This is nothing less than shoddy and quite frankly very poor of Warner Bros. Please release the full version now!!!!
The documentary is stunning. Jack Nicholson, an actor notorious for his lack of participation in interviews, lets down his famous guard in the documentary and gives us an insight into the his inner machinations and workings and as one of the most exciting and interesting actors around, this alone is worth the price of the DVD.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 15, 2009 3:53 PM BST


The Warriors [1979] [DVD]
The Warriors [1979] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Michael Beck
Offered by Quality Media Supplies Ltd.
Price: £13.99

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Warriors, Come Out To Play-ay!!", 7 Mar 2005
This review is from: The Warriors [1979] [DVD] (DVD)
This is a brilliant film. So simple in the construction of the narrative and a great example of the "collective-hero" technique,-where the director uses more than one person to represent the central hero character, used more than once by this film's helmer Walter Hill.
Although some aspects of the film (haircuts and attire being the most obvious) are dated, these are mostly cosmetic and the central premise and set pieces are as thrilling today as when I first saw this film in the 80s. The film is also ahead of its time in its representation of ethnicity, though not in what it says about gender.
As a snapshot of life for the disgruntled youth of the late 70s, at that point still unaware that in Reagan and Thatcher the worst was still to come, it is brilliant.
This film is quite simply a must have item for the DVD collection of any person with an interest in films of this genre.


Royal Blood: Richard III and the Mystery of the Princes
Royal Blood: Richard III and the Mystery of the Princes
by Bertram Fields
Edition: Paperback

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars On the strength of this book,-NOT GUILTY!!!, 4 Mar 2005
I come originally from the fair county of Leicestershire and have been fascinated with the life of Richard III since discovering at the age of 5 that British history changed so dramatically on 22 August 1485 just down the road from where I lived at Bosworth Field.No jury in the Western World could possibly find the Prime Suspect,Richard, guilty in this most fascinating of historical crime cases on the strength of this book.

Meticulously researched and written extremely well, the evidence of the key witness for the prosecution, Alison Wier, a writer of great acclaim is however, discredited on balance by an argument which is extremely watertight.

Richard had a very weak motive for the murder of his nephews as this book points out and further points to Henry VII as the person with the most to lose should the prices have survived. Henry has motive therefore and ample opportunity.

But, is Fields right? Did it all happen as he says? We shall never truly know but as in all cases, where there is a shred of doubt as there now is in the case of the Richard, the last king to die in battle, thanks to this book, he must be found on the balance of probability, posthumously not guilty!!

A great book with all the intrigue of a modern thriller and a welcome conunterbalance to the "Richard is Guilty" view held by most books on the topic.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 26, 2010 7:36 PM BST


The Pledge [2001] [DVD]
The Pledge [2001] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jack Nicholson
Price: £2.90

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to subvert the predictability of Hollywood, 1 Dec 2004
This review is from: The Pledge [2001] [DVD] (DVD)
This is a masterpiece of a film. Surely Sean Penn, a deserved winner of an Oscar for his acting in Mystic River, ought to have been recognised for his direction of this wonderful film. Jack Nicholson reminds us that despite his forays into comedies (some ill chosen -Anger Management and Witches of Eastwick, others good -As Good As It Gets and About Schmidt)he is still the brilliant dramatic actor we saw in Cuckoo's Nest, Five Easy Pieces and The Shining. By declining to have equilibrium restored at the end of the film, Penn sticks two fingers up to the Hollywood convention of the soppy ending and provides us with a film that reflects reality, that isn't schmaltzy and which lulls the audience into the false security of thinking that all will be well in the end, as it usually is in this exciting medium, but then like life itself suggests that nothing can be taken for granted. From start to finish a great film with a FANTASTIC cast.


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