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Reviews Written by
P. M. Chandler "Peter Chandler" (UK)

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Start Calligraphy
Start Calligraphy
by Maureen Sullivan
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars A great book to start with, 8 Sept. 2012
This review is from: Start Calligraphy (Paperback)
I bought this book because calligraphy has been something I had been wanting to start for a while, but wanted a book that was small and light. This book gives a brief introduction to calligraphy, basic tools needed and detailed stroke order for several styles of letters (called 'hands'). The book is a great jumping on point as it tells you what you need and gives the you know-how to get started straight away, which is exactly what I needed. I found myself producing satisfactory work (granted, to my untrained eye) within a couple of sessions. However, I did find that there was a lack of guidance on how to get an efficient flow of ink from the pen i.e too much ink flow or not enough, and that is the reason for the lost star. Other than that this is a great book for those that wish be given enough guidance to for a hands on start to calligraphy. Recommended.

Iron Man - the Complete Series (1990's)
Iron Man - the Complete Series (1990's)
Dvd ~ Iron Man
Offered by Global Mark Store
Price: £24.99

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bland first season, VERY stylish second, 24 Feb. 2008
I bought this series only remembering the first season, so I had no idea what the second would be like, and there are major differences between the two; the first being the quality of animation which is drastically different in the second and a huge improvement. Also the cast is stripped when Forceworks disbands to concentrate on the only characters that were really developed in the first season (with the possible exception of Hawkeye). The theme tune and appearance of Tony Stark is changed to give a more rugged and rocky look, and instantly when we meet him we get the impression of a man that NEEDS his armour to survive, not just for taking on the bad guys which is one of the integral parts of the comic book's character. I have to agree with the review that says the second season is the reason for buying this set, and is where 3 of the four stars belong. The DVD quality is fine for both seasons, although I did notice a slight difference in sound synchronisation for one of the first seasons episodes.
After all my praising for the second season, the first season will be fun for the younger viewers and worth a watch (It is the reason I bought the set afterall).
And again I was disappointed with the lack of extras for the set: nothing at all - not even the 'fun granddad' Stan Lee intro that I remember from the videos.

DC Universe: The Stories of Alan Moore
DC Universe: The Stories of Alan Moore
by Alan Moore
Edition: Paperback

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential Moore, 2 July 2006
Its a known fact that Alan Moore is one of those personalities that as a reader, you can only get to know him by experiencing the way he views the world, rather than being told directly. Its no wonder that with such a powerful perception of the world, he is one of the top writers of this age. This collection brings together the stories that he has written for DC and includes a few absolutely fantastic stories; the killing Joke, whatever happened to the man of tomorrow?, The Phantom Stranger, the two Vega stories and the tales of the green lantern corps.

Moore is sharp, intelligent and full of ideas.

A must for anyone wanting to learn more about his style.

Justice League: Secret Origins [DVD] [2004]
Justice League: Secret Origins [DVD] [2004]
Dvd ~ Carl Lumbly
Offered by Discs4all
Price: £3.26

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good start, 11 April 2006
Justice League is the 'continuation' of the Batman/Superman continuity starting with Batman: The animated series which is a firm favourite with the DC community. This dvd is the first adventure of the Justice League, brought together by the Martian Manhunter.As Bats and supes are the flagship characters of the DC universe, most of the character development starts with them, and the the others just sort of 'turn up' from Martian Manhunter's telepathic powers.The story is the coming together of the heroes and setting up as the league at the end. Bats is on good form as the arrogant but-good-at-what-he-does anti hero and superman as the holding-up-the-american-dream soldierboy. Action is fast and colourful,along with very good artistic style and starts the series with a good foundation.As the series progressed, it got even better.
(Hurry up with JLU on R1 DVD!!!)
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 27, 2007 8:15 PM GMT

My Legendary Girlfriend
My Legendary Girlfriend
by Mike Gayle
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful, 11 April 2006
I first read this book when I was about 16 I think, and since then I read it again and again. Also since then I've seen 'Bridget Jones' Diary'.I can see the similarities, but I wouldn't put them together.As a 16 year old, I loved the story. As a 21 year old, its become one of my favourite novels: a 26 year old man, over the space of one weekend goes through just about everything that he could possibly go through in terms of relationships.Gayle writes Will with a good insight and an extremely vivid imagination (which is maybe where other readers were put off), which can sometimes border on melodramatic, but in reality he's just exploring possibilities in his head.The most cringing part of this story has to be Martina - the one night stand.The way Will deals with her is very harsh even though she is pouring her heart out to him, which highlights one of the character flaws Gayle has given Will,and will agree with other reviews it does make for a somewhat pathetic character at times.Yet it makes sense to me,gives character dimension, even if it is a negative one.
Overall I thought it was an interpretation of one mans ability to cope with what his relationships had dealt him, and the consequences of his actions.Will isn't perfect, but then no one is, and Gayle shows us that. A top read.

Sahara [DVD] [2005]
Sahara [DVD] [2005]
Dvd ~ Matthew McConaughey
Offered by Qoolist
Price: £2.26

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars ...whats going on?, 14 Nov. 2005
This review is from: Sahara [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
When a trailer for a film is only filled with action, I always tend to stay clear of it, so when 'sahara' was at a friends house, and it was suggested we watch it, I was a little hesitant. And then I watched it. I think the best part about the film was the fact that it made me feel good about myself knowing what was going to happen next before it even happened. Lets break it down; the production is very good - the desert setting and the budget is definatly shown on the screen, but as we all know, that doesn't make a good film.
There are gaping plot holes here - why is it that these two men are such good fighters? why do they have so many tactics and tried and tested methods and guts when all they do is marine biology? - this film is based on a book about a secret agent type character - this isn't developed at all. His side kick has a line for everything, and I mean everything. Cruz is ok in her role, but again, it seems as though even her character has taken an 'idiots course in survival' during the film (Perhaps shown in the deleted scenes?) even the 'admiral' character played by the hugely talented William H Macy is not padded out alot, and yet as an audience we are expected to give him more credit than he as a character has earned at the end of the film.
The action sets are good, the speed boat chase and the climax at the confederacy ship are impressive, if a little unrealistic.
Overall, I found this to be a below average film, with some ok highlights. If your looking for a film that can be watched on a night in with a few mates and a few beers, then this will do. If your looking for something with a coherent plot and characterisation, steer well clear.

Doctor Who - Vengeance on Varos [DVD] [1985]
Doctor Who - Vengeance on Varos [DVD] [1985]
Dvd ~ Colin Baker
Price: £6.90

9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Damn you Micheal Grade!!!!, 19 July 2005
As a reletively young Doctor Who fan (born 1985) I wasn't bought up in a household in which the doctor was compulsive viewing on a saturday tea-time, but I'm making up for it. Colin Baker, in particular, is sometimes rated as the worst Doctor, which I find very unfair. However, surley this cannot be the case when you watch 'Vengence'. Up to this point, purists of the series wouldn't give episodes the credit if they didn't have the charm of lines such as "...jelly baby?" from the Tom Baker years. This story has pace, grit, and definate credibilty as tough science fiction: the 1984 setting, the underlying satire, the unique action, etc. The production values for Doctor Who were always good (One notable exception) and this is shown in this episode. and at the heart of it is a Doctor, who lands his TARDIS in a situation which cries out for one person to get things done, and thats exactly what he does. The sixth Doctor is always accused of being brash and arrogant, I think its a fantastic juxtoposition of Peter Davison's naive fifth Doctor, and in a time when heroes would shoot first and ask questions later, a la The Terminator, Predator, etc, he fits in. Tom Baker he isn't, but then, he shouldn't have to be, and Its Colin Baker who's definately the Doctor you want on your side. Vengence has everything a 'Who' needs, but just presents it in a different way. Good sci-fi, good Who.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 24, 2015 6:03 PM BST

Doctor Who - The Movie [1996] [DVD] [1963]
Doctor Who - The Movie [1996] [DVD] [1963]
Dvd ~ Paul McGann
Offered by somethinginmyeye
Price: £19.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rather average......., 28 Jun. 2005
Ever since the new series of Doctor Who has graced our screens once again, I've taken it upon myself to take a look at the previous incarnations of the timelord. In this instance, I found this film rather disappointing in terms of 'Whovian' law. Firstly, the film suffers initially from the 'americanisation' of the script, production, direction and soundtrack. Particular cringe points being Paul McGann screaming "Nooooo!!!!!" at one point and the american pronounciation of the word 'Master'. Also important to point out the changes in continuity from the series, notably the fact that the Doctor i half human on his mothers side, and that the Doctor is able to punch down a metal door of a morgue just after his regeneration. The highlight of this film is Paul McGann - he pulls off the Doctor very well, with hints of previous personalities plus his own charm. I can't help thinking that the whole mythology of Doctor Who has bin abused slightly here, but I have no douubt that this was not the aim of the film producers. The thing that made the series of Doctor Who so good was all in the script, as production had to be kept as cost effective as possible, also when the BBC made the series, it was made for the sake of the art (Science fiction) rather han the art of making films, which is apparent here.
Objectively, this is an average film, its science fiction, definately, but for the person looking to find Doctor Who, they may only just see a glimpse of it.

The Punisher [DVD] [2004] [2005]
The Punisher [DVD] [2004] [2005]
Dvd ~ Thomas Jane
Offered by Bridge_Records
Price: £2.76

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good, rounded revenge romp., 8 May 2005
Once again a Marvel character is thrust into the cinema. Don't get me wrong, I love Marvel, and because of this I am more than willing to see a film from this universe.
The Punisher I like. Firstly, its a fast film, you need to keep up, and whereas this can be seen as a bad thing, you have to remember that the sensibility of Frank Castle is a ticking timebomb of rage with a blob of the terminator thrown in. Thus, after his family are killed, he declares payback, and hes does it quite cleverly, as he preys on Saint's (Travolta's) own paranoia. For the viewer that isn't just into the videogame violence, at least Frank uses some strategic thinking, which is pleasing. The comic fight scene with the Russian is another break from the stiff jawed intensity of the rest if the film, and actually had me smiling, even though Frank was getting a rather huge beating. The character of Frank is superbly presented by Tom Jane, and is able to hold together the hero that takes no rubbish from anyone, gets to the point and gets his man, but still shows that vulnerability and sensitivity that all failed heroes show when presented a small piece of attention.
Opposite him, John Travolta puts together a rather uninformed, but wholesome performance as Castle's nemesis; travolta had the right idea, but at times I felt he was in danger of losing character.
The film as a whole is in no ways patronising, or needs no prior obvious knowledge, and although some details are changed from the comics, this is obviously a film made with not only the essence of the character at the heart, but a pretty good idea about how to make a film as well, which is sometimes lost as soon as the name 'Marvel' appears.
It may be said that this is an over the top film, but I think this quality works well - again I found myself smiling at the sheer confidence that the film had, but still kept grounded.
A no nonsense, sharp shooter of a movie, that does exactly what is says on the tin.
N.B this is no way releated to the dire Punisher film made previous to this - the less said about that the better.

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