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And Another Thing: The World According to Clarkson: v. 2
And Another Thing: The World According to Clarkson: v. 2
by Jeremy Clarkson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More of the same, 7 Jan 2008
If you liked the first book, you're probably going to like this one too. Clarkson writes well, he is amusing and entertaining and provided you can see past his often boorish style, you have to acknowledge that a lot of what he says albeit often in an exaggerated and light-hearted style is actually very true. He is a bemused observer in a peculiar country at a peculiar moment in history, one in which we are no longer allowed to do certain things because some other people think it might be bad for us- a point he comes back to agian and again.

Once again, he wisely chooses to keep his references to cars to a minimum, a welcome recognition from him that many of his readers actually have a life. It is truly the second volume, it offers nothing which the first volume didn't and for people who care what he thinks or enjoy the way he writes, the book offered here at the time of writing for four quid, represents good value.

Casualties Of War [DVD]
Casualties Of War [DVD]
Dvd ~ Michael J. Fox
Price: 4.86

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A harrowing film-fine performance from Sean Penn, 7 Jan 2008
This review is from: Casualties Of War [DVD] (DVD)
sean Penn shows in this film what a good actor he has been for a long time. Both he and the supporting cast are excellent whilst Michael J Fox is at least good but he carries a little too much Back To The Future/Teenwolf baggage to be taken too seriously. His is an admirable attempt to distance himself from the light hearted genres and move into more "serious" material but it he doesn't quite manage to pull it off. Penn on the other hand and John C Reilly in an early role are excellent.

The film is a harrowing account of brutality and inhumanity in that most brutal and inhumane theatres of war Vietnam, a story which deserves to be told if only to highlight that war is hell and that some things are worth standing up to.

Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: 4.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now THIS is what U2 did so well, 19 Dec 2007
This review is from: War (Audio CD)
Joshua Tree? Rattle & Hum?, Zooropa?, Achtung Baby?-Forget them all! This is the definitve U2 album from a period in their career when they were actually very good indeed. The music here is sublime as it mixes some great punk riffs with a bit of irish folk and a smidgen of new wave thrown in for good measure. The music is fresh and meaningful and invites the listener to concentrate upon it and not be distracted by the image conscious band they later became. Before the silly hats, daft sunglasses, ridiculous American identity and meaningless music (I mean, who cares who's gonna ride your wild horses or what you were looking for that you still haven't found?) before 'Bongo' and 'The Hedge' were synonyms for pretentiousness, U2 were an excellent three minute post punk band as demonstrated here in this superb album. This is U2 as posterity should remeber them.

Mission Impossible 3   (Single Disc) [DVD]
Mission Impossible 3 (Single Disc) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Tom Cruise
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: 2.06

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A return to form, 16 Dec 2007
After the disaster which was MI2, the producers wisely dispensed with the services of Mr Woo (who after looking at his CV should have been kept well away from the second film) and achieve what is seldom achieved, a film which is better than its predecessor, although Tom Cruise reading from the phone book would have been better than Mission Impossible 2. This film has a much stronger narrative and the effects/stunts are far better. That slow-motion martial arts nonsense seen in MI2 has little or no place in a mainstream spy story and it is dispensed with in favour of much more gritty and realistic stunt work.

The film is not a classic, and it's not as good as the masterful original, but it is a worthy successor to it. It's lots of fun and leaves the viewer with a sense of enjoyment which is lacking from the second installment. Ignore the fact that the second film exists, as the producers have done by choosing not to make a single reference to it, skip from part one to part three and you'll have the makings of a great film and decent sequel.

Mission : Impossible 2 [2000] [DVD]
Mission : Impossible 2 [2000] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Tom Cruise
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: 1.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A shocker, 16 Dec 2007
The film is very poor, easily the weakest in the series. It has a plot so thin it's translucent and rather than being seen as a film, it should be regarded as a rather meaningless sequence of quite ridiculous set-pieces and special effects. Dougray Scott proves here in this film once again that he quite simply cannot act, he merely leanrs words and delivers them and even Tom Cruise just doesn't seem interested. On the strength of this,if you're planning to make a ridiculous martial arts flick where story and performances just don't matter then John Woo is the director for you, otherwise please don't let this man near a film camera again!

Blade Runner - The Final Cut (5-Disc Ultimate Collectors' Edition) (Cardboard Edition) [1982] [DVD]
Blade Runner - The Final Cut (5-Disc Ultimate Collectors' Edition) (Cardboard Edition) [1982] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Harrison Ford
Offered by Films and Figures
Price: 38.99

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The full story of the dystopian classic, 13 Dec 2007
Seldom has a film provoked as much debate or lead such a tumultuous existence as Ridley Scott's classic dystopian futuristic detective story Blade Runner. Boasting some impressive talent, Scott himself, Harrison Ford, the superb Rutger Hauer, Daryl Hannah, Sean Young etc.etc,the film was reviled by many upon release in 1982 but found a niche market as a cult classic soon after. A Director's Cut and now a Final Cut later and Blade Runner stands out as one of the best films of the 1980s and one of the best of the genre ever.

All of the previously available versions of the film are present in this package making it the ultimate must have box-set for anyone who likes the film. The real gems as is the case with many box-set editions comes from the extras disc. With no notable absentees other than those who have died since the film's release, cast, crew, execs and writers all offer a compelling insight into the film. What comes across strongly is the extent to which Ridley Scott was obsessed with detail and being in control of all the elements both visual and non-visual of the process and the film is certainlt better for it. The documentaries on disc two entitled Dangerous Days, the Making of Blade Runner help to confirm and disopense with a variety of rumours and myths which have surrounded the film such as the origin of the voiceover, the disputes Scott had with writers and studio execs and much discussed disagreements between the English Scott and his American crew over his working style.

From start to finish the film is a visual triumph and years ahead of its time (a fact that Scott picks up on the documentary disc when he acknowledges that being ahead of your time proved in this instance as problematic as being behind the times can be) and even those upon whom the story is lost or vague tend to recognise its impressive mise-en-scene, editing and cinematography. The special effects in contemporary Sci-Fi such as Star Wars, E.T, Close Encounters etc is deliberately fantastical and futuristic but in Blade Runner, the effects blend effortlessly into the dystopian landscape, you don't so much marvel at the technology as lament it as a symbol of the pursuit of progress at the expense of the environment and of our humanity.

This is an outstandingly good box set at fantastic value for money and Blade Runner is itself an outstanding film in all of its versions, there are times when the original edition with Ford's voice over must be revisitied, there are times when the first Director's Cut needs to be seen but it is the Final Cut which offers the definitive version, the version Scott intended us to marvel at and which upon seeing, you certainly do.

The Unforgettable Fire
The Unforgettable Fire
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 7.34

3 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Actually quite forgettable, 7 Dec 2007
This review is from: The Unforgettable Fire (Audio CD)
This album lacks the attitude and the edge of the earlier offerings from this band. It certainly has some good music but it representes the first downward slide into the Americanised mediocrity which has plagued the band since the War/Boy/October period in whcih they were actually very good indeed. This is their last half decent album in my view and it was the precursor to the vastly over-rated Joshua Tree. It's quite rewarding to listen to all the U2 albums up to and including this one:-and then just pretend they went away before reforming for one last jig with the really rather good "Vertigo"-and then going away again.

Rattle And Hum
Rattle And Hum
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: 8.07

5 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor, very poor, 6 Dec 2007
This review is from: Rattle And Hum (Audio CD)
U2 once again prove how they are all image (Pseudo American especially) and little substance. Their vastly over-rated songwriting "talents" are very obvious in this sequel to the even-more-over-rated Joshua Tree. As if to highlight the point, this album features mixed in among the new offerings of meaningless pop nonsense and cover versions re-hashed editions of their own back catalogue. U2 lack attitude, they lack originality and most importantly, they lacked the good grace to disband after the hugely impressive catalogue up to and including Under Blood Red Sky.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 1, 2011 1:41 PM BST

Hit Parade
Hit Parade
Offered by jim-exselecky
Price: 4.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why Weller's finest hour will always be with The Jam, 5 Dec 2007
This review is from: Hit Parade (Audio CD)
I read recently that Paul Weller regarded his time with The Jam as his creative low point, prefering both his solo material and that of the Style Council. I can't help thinking that this is in some way to further scupper any notion that the original 3 members of The Jam might reunite once and for all, after all, why should he revisit material that he regards as inferior?

However, what this Weller collection which covers some of his most famous material from all three stages of his career proves is that he is a songwriter of immense talent, an almost incomparable musician who offers very good value to his audience and that all of his musical phases are at least worthy and admirable. However, it also proves to me that while some of his solo material is excellent, and some of his Style Council stuff is decent, nothing compares to the raw genius of his Jam stuff, augmented by probably the best bassist and drummer of the era, Paul Weller shows in his Jam persona, at the tender age of 19-24, that he was a fantastic songwriter, singer, guitarist and easily one of the the best lyricist Great Britain has ever produced. While his later career is good, nothing beats his period in The Jam, and it seems that he, or at least his record label, agrees for out of the thousands of images they could have chosen for the cover to show the multitude of images he has presented, they chose him as The Jam's frontman.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 20, 2012 1:36 AM BST

Local Hero [DVD]
Local Hero [DVD]
Dvd ~ Burt Lancaster
Offered by HalfpriceDVDS_FBA
Price: 14.98

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A British Classic, 19 Nov 2007
This review is from: Local Hero [DVD] (DVD)
This is the type of film that you keep on coming back to periodically, like It's A Wonderful Life or Breakfast At Tiffany's. The film exudes warmth and leaves you with a glow inside. At its heart, it is a simple tale of Knox Oil and Gas, a large multi-national corporation whose chairman is the wondefully cranky, stargazer Happer (played brilliantly by Burt Lancaster) and which seeks to purchase several miles of unspolit Scottish coastline to build an oil refinery. Happer dispatches Macintyre played by Peter Reigert to test the water for the development and strike the deal with the local community, headed by hotel owning/lawyer Gordon Urquhart (Denis Lawson).

However, it is the human story which captures the audience. The director's little in-jokes such as the passing motorcyclist or Macintyre's journey and experiences from American Exec where he phones people in the next office to arrange meetings and lunch breaks to field man in a remote village in Western Scotland where the only phone is a payphone in an old traditional red phone box where calls to America require a copious supply of 10p pieces. The script is also superb with some fantastic repartee between Macintyre and his Scottish hosts, "Would it help if I called a vet?" (Urquhart's retort after he has served up Macintyre's pet rabbit for tea much to Macintyre's disgust).

The film has aged well and offers an interesting insight into the effect of the capitalist boom of the 1980s on the small and traditional rural parts of Britain. Superbly acted, quaint and inoffensive, this is the kind of film the British do so well and which never tires from repeat viewing.

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