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Adam Jackson (Stoke On Trent , England)

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The Great Recordings
The Great Recordings
Price: £30.42

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Perfect - But More Than Worth A Punt!, 11 Jun. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Great Recordings (Audio CD)
I agree with the other reviewer in that this is not perfect but none the less offers some fine recordings at fantastic value.

The audio quality is mostly 100% perfect apart from the odd disc; Disc 2 comes to mind which is obv a collection of very old recordings that may be exemplary performed but are a strain on modern ears. Shame that Brahms' Symphony No2 could not have been better represented.

However fear not because the good FAR outweighs the bad with some truly stunning takes on Wagner! The preludes from Parsifal, Lohengrin & Liebestod from Tristan & Isolde are some of the most beautiful works of music.period.
I would have liked more from The Ring particularly Gotterdammerung but I can forgive.

Sibelius devotess will enjoy the excellent performances of the man's works esp the evocative tone poems.

All in all a good set, presented in a fairly sturdy case with an informative booklet. I would also recommend the Deutsche Gramophone CD of Adagios with Karajan/Berlin Philharmonic which has the absolute best ever take on Albinoni's Adagio in G Minor. Karajan plays it mournfully slow & it's majestic.


Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior [Blu-ray] [1985] [Region Free]
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior [Blu-ray] [1985] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Mel Gibson
Price: £6.27

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even More Bone Crunching In Full HD!, 10 Jun. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've watched this film more times than any other since it was first released on VHS in 1983. It made a lasting impession on me and I've never seen it bettered by any others of it's type including 1985's Thunderdome.
So many elements are combined here; SciFi, Horror, Action, Western, Revenge Thriller and combined well. Mad Max was good but this REALLY ramped it up.
Set in a desolate and lawless future Australian outback after the fall of civilisation(post World War 3 but NOT after a nuclear conflict - the nuclear exchanges occur in the years between parts 2 & 3) the saga continues of former cop Max Rockatansky, the embittered and battle hardened warrior of the wasteland, constantly at war with the ferocious marauders who terrorise the apocalyptic landscape. Max is the epitome of 'Hard' - clad from head to toe in leather and steel and armed with a sawn off, double barrelled shotgun, he roams the wastelands in the now iconic black V8 Interceptor. A monster of a car, armed with a self destruct device and a supercharger to leave the opposition standing - this is Max's main weapon and bringer of Death to all enemies. The plot is straightforward and really is an excuse to enjoy the absolute orgy of violence and motor mayhem that ensues for 91 minutes! Max goes head to head with the minions of the terrifying Lord Humungous and his chief warlord, the maniacal Wez - These are truly fearsome warriors, clad like Max in leather & steel, and armed to the teeth with crossbows, blades, morning stars, gas propelled arrow guns and a vast arsenal of cars, bikes and dune buggys. Some of these guys are barely human with their berserker tactics, utter contempt for human life and total bloodlust. Made up of 3 factions; the mohawked bikers of which Wez is the most bloodthirsty, the smegma crazies who are dressed head to toe in rags ala the Tusken Raiders of Star Wars and the gay boy berserkers who resemble the motorcycle cop vigilantes of Magnum Force and who may indeed have been on the side of law & order before the collapse of civilisation. Certainly a set of villains who give the orcs of LOTR a run for their money!
Max, mostly for selfish reasons, allies himself with a compound of 'normal' people who find their desert fortress under perpetual siege from the Humungous and his monstrous horde. The decent folk have their own oil facility to make fuel which is now the single rarest commodity on earth - and the marauder army wants it - and aren't willing to trade!
In the ensuing battles, bodies are broken, impaled, crushed, and pulped in the bloodiest car chases ever seen on screen. Women are graphically raped, fingers are severed and heads are blasted (courtesy of Max's shotgun). Torture and terror are the currency here! This is a VERY violent movie, well worth its 18 rating (although not fully uncut on DVD/Blu ray). The film culminates in an amazing 13 minute chase whereby Max, in charge of a massive Mack Truck is pursued by the Humungous and the full force of his biker army in all manner of deadly pursuit vehicles. The stunt work and special effects (NO CGI) are jaw-dropping and its a miracle no stunt men lost their lives! I have yet to see a more gripping setpiece as the crazed thugs clamber on to the truck from their bikes & cars to engage Max in mortal combat to the explosive conclusion.
This film is tightly written & directed, it looks truly epic, despite a relativeley modest budget, thanks to stunning photography,sharp editing and cutting edge production design. Performances are effective and Mel Gibson should never forget his roots. This is action cinema at its best!
Also the score by Brian May is terrific - shades of Holst's Mars - very warlike! The locations are breathtaking (filmed at Broken Hill) and are the uncredited cast member.
Follow up Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome was a bit too tame (well made though)and fingers crossed for the now confirmed in-production Mad Max 4:Fury Road which promises to be a real spectacular.

As for the Blu ray transfer, well it's amazing for a 1981 movie. I spotted so much background detail that I had never seen before. I mean, on the Blu ray, for example, you can now clearly see the remains of the crushed Wez on the front of the truck after the final collision. The colours are vibrant and it's so much sharper. There aren't many night scenes in the movie but despite some grain owing to the original print, I was able to make much more of the picture elements out than ever before. 90% of this film is day time set and it all just leaps off the screen in full HD glory.
The audio is superior to the DVD as well.
My DVD copy upscaled very well but this Blu ray is well worth the double dip if you are a fan.
The extras could be better but vastly improve on the bereft DVD release. The commentary is enjoyable and genuineley informative. The introduction is nothing special but again is informative. And I liked the inclusion of the original theatrical trailer despite it not being HD & looking very grainy.
I would have liked some deleted scenes as I believe there is some missing footage - so I live in hope for a special edition. Shame that the film is not fully uncut. The UK release runs to 91 mins but I think the US is 94 mins. There's nothing major missing though.

All in all this is the definitive Post Apocalyptic Road Movie. Fans of Book OF Eli, The Road and Terminator Salvation should check this out to see how the daddy of the genre defined it.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 24, 2012 4:29 PM BST

Daybreakers [Blu-ray]
Daybreakers [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Willem Dafoe
Price: £7.15

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok Movie - But A Great Transfer!!, 9 Jun. 2010
This review is from: Daybreakers [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This was one of those movies that struggled to fulfill it's ambitions - probably due to the info gleaned from the making of that despite the presence of stars like Hawke & Neill, the film had a relativeley modest budget and the directors even had to do some of the FX work themselves.

Still it was enjoyable enough. It lacked the action that the cover implied and some of the gore fx were a lit bit too obviously CGI (particularly a scene where a guy was stabbed in the neck and the blood spray looked like a cartoon) but it passed the time well enough. It could be described as a sub par version of Blade where the vampires have taken over the world - but without the superhero elements. One thing that baffled me was the explanation of a virus for the vampirism element and yet I failed to see how this could cause the effect of the vamps being invisible in a mirror, apart from their clothing!! I thought the vampires that were mutating into bat type monsters (due to a chronic shortage of human blood) were well realised and effective.
Some nice touches to the action with the humans armed with crossbows that fire wooden stakes resulting in the vampires exploding ala Blade and there is a half decent car chase as well.
I really liked the look of the film with its blue/grey tint and it was served up well on Blu-ray with a razor sharp transfer. Extras are decent but nothing spectacular.
Basically if you like the modern take on the vampire then you will like this but I wouldn't rate it better than The Matrix, 28 Days Later or Blade which seem to be labelled it's closest comparisons.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 26, 2010 4:18 PM BST

Avatar [DVD]
Avatar [DVD]
Dvd ~ Sam Worthington
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £5.95

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent Enough Film But It Really Needs A Big, BIG screen...., 24 April 2010
This review is from: Avatar [DVD] (DVD)
Saw this at the cinema in the 3D and as much as I enjoyed it, I fail to see how even the best home cinema system could ever do this justice!
It was an event movie that was carried along on the 3D wave that still shows no sign of abating what with the recent Clash Of The Titans, Sky Sports Football and now talk of The Hobbit in 3D - take that away and place it in the average living room and you are left with a very different beast. An enjoyable movie but one that can only lose so much of it's visual power on a small screen.
I will wait at the very least until I have Blu-Ray but even then I cannot really expect to enjoy it the same. It's too bloody long for a start! I think I would watch it in two sessions.

I have the same thing with 2012, another movie that looked breathtaking on the big screen and just will not look the same at home so I have left that.
Both movies are similiar in that they do not have strong enought scripts or performances to compensate for the loss of the wow factor that inevitably happens at home with an event movie. This couldn't be said for much better movies like Peter Jackson's Lord Of The Rings or The Star Wars Saga.

Green Street 2 [DVD]
Green Street 2 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ross McCall
Price: £3.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed...But Still Entertains, 2 April 2010
This review is from: Green Street 2 [DVD] (DVD)
Neither a 5 star nor 1 star movie, I caught this on Sky the other night. It wasn't as bad as I expected then again I had very low expectations. I thought it came across as a more violent version of Mean Machine (the Vinnie Jones one).
Ok it's not really a hooligan movie in the style of the first Green Street or the likes of The Firm or ID but it passed an hour and a half or so and to be fair I wasn't bored!
Strange that it was filmed in California although obviously the movie passes it off as the UK. Would an English prison ever be that dusty?! And it's a strange sight seeing the odd Latino type tattooed bruiser alongside the so called English lags - they would look more in place in something like Training Day!! The strangest sight is probably the exterior shot of the main guy's house at the end of the movie - I don't think a West Ham hooligan would be living in a house like that, surely. I seem to remember from the first movie that he wasn't in a high enough paying job for that kind of home. Then again he was only a supporting actor to Frodo & co in Green Steet. To be fair he's ok in the main role but doesn't really convince as a true East End hardman.
Once again Millwall are the Enemy here and I laughed to see the cockney mercenary from Rambo pop up as the leader of the Millwall firm. He's no Geoff Bell for sure!
More strange casting abounds with Councillor Troi from Star Trek Next Generation as a corrupt, Prisoner Cell Block H style screw and Vernon Wells as the prison governor. I remember Wells from many years ago as the psychotic Wez in Mad Max 2!!
For all this, though it moves at a fast pace and there's plenty of violence including a very nasty slashing. The climactic footie match was entertaining although the hostage taking on the outside was a bit laughable with more cliched Millwall villainry!
The Street Punk/Oi soundtrack was also enjoyable and makes a change from the wussy 80s music paraded in Nick Love's recent The Firm.

Price: £5.69

4.0 out of 5 stars Raw, Fast & Stripped Down!, 27 Mar. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Raw, fast and stripped down Hardcore is on the menu here! And it's worth buying for the opening track, Blood Of The Innocents alone!! Great riffs and really harsh vocals set the agenda for the rest of the album.
It reminds me very much of The Exploited particularly the vocals which can only be a good thing
I kind of missed the industrial style remixes that were present on the previous album but no matter.
It does what it says on the tin.

Offered by Media Hessen
Price: £12.47

4.0 out of 5 stars Incendiary........, 22 Mar. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Discharge (Audio CD)
Belting 30 odd minutes of Metallic Hardcore! Decent production, good songwriting & performances. Plenty of brutal riffs with the odd tasty lead break, great bass tones, gnarly, 'Lemmy' style vocals and 100 mph drums are the order of the day! Strong and direct socio-political lyrics are barked more than sung and it's real sledgehammer stuff!!

Two tracks stand out on this; Corpse Of Decadence and Accessories By Molotov - and the remixes of these are excellent with an industrial edge that reminded me of Brit industrial act Bomb Everything. The bass is particularly high lighted on these mixes.

The Kingdom [DVD]
The Kingdom [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jamie Foxx
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.22

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Two Great Setpieces At Either End Of A Not So Great Movie..., 22 Mar. 2010
This review is from: The Kingdom [DVD] (DVD)
I thought this started literally with a bang but I lost interest until the last half hour or so. Yeah, it's got a great shoot out at the end but it's nothing like Heat. You can't tell what the hell is going on at times!
Fair plays there is some AMAZING stunt work during the car chase/shootout scene just prior to the film's climactic firefight. Really breathtaking with some heartstopping explosions and flips and rolls that wouldn't look out of place in a Mad Max movie. Add to that a chilling opening terrorist attack and you do have a movie with some decent setpieces but they are just so spaced out in all the socio-politics and 24 style wrangling and preachy messages that I found it a chore. Shame really as I had this on my shelf for 12 months saved for a rainy day!
Probably worth it if you like a bloody gun fight - just don't expect anything outstanding. Jamie Foxx practically sleepwalks through the movie's dialogue and the supporting cast aren't much better unless handed an automatic firearm. Although the guy who played Colonel Faris Al-Ghazi was excellent and probably took the movie's acting honours.
Visually the movie is excellent but it's just messy dramatically.

I did really enjoy the opening credit montage which was educational as well as visually impressive.

Harry Brown [DVD] [2009]
Harry Brown [DVD] [2009]
Dvd ~ Michael Caine
Price: £3.00

21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A UK Gran Torino?? No, It's Much Darker & Edgier..., 22 Mar. 2010
This review is from: Harry Brown [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
Great, gritty Brit movie! Caine is superb - as is his ill fated friend, David Bradley and I was reminded of the Noel Clarke Kid/Adulthood movies - although this is much darker, edgier and more violent.

Many comparisons have been made with Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino but for me they are superficial similiarites. Harry Brown is a harsher movie in many ways and less sentimental than Clint's masterpiece. More blood, knives and good old fashioned putting the boot in style scenes. It's scary stuff and all the more relevant if you have the misfortune to use subways on a regular basis!

Special mention to Joseph Gilgun (Eli Dingle in Emmerdale) and Sean Harris (Creep); these two guys play possibly the grimiest, nastiest, most revolting druggie dealers that I have ever seen. Absolute human scum. Great portrayals, lads! And Ben Drew AKA Plan B was good as street gang leader Noel Winters, with a particularly foul mouth (lots of the rather in vogue C word). The always excellent Liam Cunningham needs a mention for an excellent turn as the shadowy pub landlord, Sid Rourke.

It's Messrs Caine & Bradley though who take the honours as two almost lone stands of decency in a world that is literally decaying around them and eventually driven to drastic and bloody methods of retribution and revenge.

If you like this, I'd recommend a Brit movie from the early 90s called The Young Americans starring Harvey Keitel which treads similiar urban waters and look out for upcoming futuristic, London set thriller, Shank...
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 13, 2010 6:59 PM BST

Clash of the Gods [DVD] [2009]
Clash of the Gods [DVD] [2009]
Offered by kurekro
Price: £9.99

24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Myths & Legends Behind The Movies We Know And Love!, 6 Mar. 2010
Been watching this on the History Channel. It's got a permanent residency on the Sky + box. Enjoying it! Missed the first episode which I think was Hercules but have so far caught the episodes on Medusa, The Minotaur, Beowulf & Grendel and The Odyssey. Ok some of the CGI is a bit ropey but actually suits the highly stylised approach at times and it's well presented and very informative in uncovering the inspirations behind the myths. Certainly the make up fx were decent enough on Medusa, Grendel and Polyphemus the cyclops. I also really enjoyed the vivid depictions of two monsters from Homer's Odyssey; the terrifying Scylla and the equally dangerous Charybidis.
Certainly a good companion piece to the movies that we know & love such as Beowulf with Ray Winstone, Clash Of The Titans, Jason And The Argonauts, Troy, The Odyssey with Armand Assante (GREAT movie) etc
I do seem to remember Jonathan Edwards presenting something very similiar on BBC about 5 years ago?
I will definitely buy this at some point - can't wait to see the upcoming Clash Of The Titans remake. Trailers look awesome!

Looking forward to next week's episode on Hades and his dreaded Underworld....
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 2, 2010 3:28 PM BST

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