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David Pritchard (Madrid, Spain)

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The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy [Blu-ray]
The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Elijah Wood
Offered by A2Z Entertains
Price: £13.99

2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A blatant attempt to charge twice for the same thing, 7 Jan. 2012
Totally agree with the other reviewers - wait for the extended version. Fortunately, most of us are not stupid enough to fall for this particular trick.

Bowling For Columbine [DVD] [2002]
Bowling For Columbine [DVD] [2002]
Dvd ~ Documentary
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.72

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Funny polemic, incoherent documentary, 21 April 2008
If you take this as humour first, and a documentary second (or third, or fourth), then you might like it. However, on the whole, I think people are a little bit too willing to swallow Moore's message and too little interested in scrutinising his claims and arguments. A lot of this is pretty vacuous - asking some Canadian teenagers who had bunked off school about violence, thus supposedly showing that Canadian culture is not violent; eliciting pearls of wisdom from Marilyn Manson ("I would have listened to the kids"... please - though I see at least one reviewer was conned). Many of the grand connections he makes are spurious, unprovable. He also contradicts himself on several occasions. It's interesting that he believes the media foments an irrational fear of crime after quoting the horrendous annual statistics for gun deaths in the United States.

I suppose, in our sound-bite culture, few people bother to ask whether a "documentary" about guns and gun culture should be a serious-minded, honest inquiry into the issue. The fact that the film is fun and presses the right buttons with people who already share Michael Moore's views is enough.

I find Moore funny, but I don't think the film even begins to fulfil its purported function. It's a funny political polemic, not a documentary.

Police Squad! The Complete Series [DVD] [1982] [1983]
Police Squad! The Complete Series [DVD] [1982] [1983]
Dvd ~ Leslie Nielsen
Price: £5.85

20 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much better than the Naked Gun, 18 Sept. 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I haven't seen the DVD but I remember the TV series. It was much more surreal and clever than the subsequent Naked Gun films, which were just dumbed-down mass-market dross. The jokes are continuous, and most make fun of the conventions of American TV. People who get this (most obviously didn't, which is why it got cancelled) will find it hilarious, even now. Some quotes will give those who haven't seen it an idea (thanks to people at for reminding me):

"Look out, he's got a gun. Look out he's got a knife. Look out, he's got a signed Picasso. Look out, he's got herpes"

"Who are you and how did you get in here?" "I'm a locksmith. And...I'm a locksmith."

"Is this some kind of bust?" "Yes, it's very impressive."

"She asked to meet her at the club right away, I had no idea where the Club Right away was so I suggested Club Flamingo."

There are some excellent scenes, such as where the forensics man fires a gun at rows of video tapes and measures how far the bullet went by reading out surreal quotes from Bo Derek in "Tarzan".

Lots of people say it was a tragedy the series didn't continue. I'm not so sure, because there was one weak episode in the six they made, if memory serves (the reason I docked one star), so perhaps keeping up the standard for more seasons would have been too much to ask. In any case, the humour went way over the heads of most of the audience.

Buy this DVD and cherish a piece of classic TV!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 16, 2008 5:04 PM GMT

Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour
Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour
by Kate Fox
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

40 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, solidly researched, insightful, 1 May 2006
This book starts out with a dose of political correctness and a tendency to over-qualify everything, in the usual manner of academics. At this, I groaned. But the author seems to have realised the danger, and once past the introduction the writing is ceaselessly fascinating, amusing and clever.

The previous reviewer who claims that the book is not really based on scientific study is, I'm sure, wrong. A stunning amount of research clearly went into this, even if the standard of proof is not (and cannot be) something a physicist would regard as acceptable. This is no mere collection of anecdotes, but of series of conclusions derived from painstaking observation.

If the conclusions seem like clichés, it's because much of what has been observed about the English over the years is, in fact, true, and continues to be so even today - when some might have us believe that we've become so diverse that no rules apply any more, a notion which Kate Fox exposes as nonsense. The genius of this book is that it scratches beneath the surface of "ethnographic dazzle" - the noisy chaos and diversity which causes us to believe that there are no patterns to our behaviour - and lays out the hidden rules for our perusal and amusement.

This book really is funny. Every few pages I had to laugh out loud at one of Fox's witty observations. Most of all, however, it's thought-provoking. I have a special interest in understanding the English because I no longer live in England; the experience of grappling with another culture makes you look more closely at your own. Reading this book made me think that we all need to make a collective visit to the psychiatrist. Much of the stuff about class is frighteningly spot-on, I fear, as are the observations about our social ineptness. Any English people who read this will find themselves constantly checking their own personalities for the litany of wacky behavioural traits Fox describes, and finding it all too close for comfort. But it's by no means all negative; casting aside all of those unpatriotic academic inhibitions, the author finds much to praise in the English character.

Read it. You'll be glad you did.

Phoenix 2 [VHS]
Phoenix 2 [VHS]

1.0 out of 5 stars 1 star is too generous, 16 April 2006
This review is from: Phoenix 2 [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Marc Singer has clearly been a little short of work since "V". "Amateurish, low-budget nonsense" doesn't begin to describe how bad this is. Don't. Just don't. I'm ashamed to have seen even ten minutes of it.

Wall Street [Special Edition] [1988] [DVD]
Wall Street [Special Edition] [1988] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Charlie Sheen
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £3.99

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Marxist-tinged look at Wall Street, 10 Dec. 2005
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
On an individual and social level, Oliver Stone's work is an undeniably effective portrayal of the money business on Wall Street, and the performances are mostly top-notch. If you can live with the terribly dated 80s music, it's a great film for that.
However, the film's wider message is populist but economically illiterate: that only people who make things (like aeroplanes) create real value, that protecting uneconomic jobs in malfuncioning companies is heroic, that extracting the maximum value from assets is evil, and that the economy is essentially a zero-sum game, where some win at the expense of others losing.
The effective part of Stone's critique is that which focuses on Wall Street's short-termism, the corruption of insider trading, and the immediate human cost of extracting maximum value from a business on which families depend for their livelihoods.

Firefly - The Complete Series [DVD] [2003]
Firefly - The Complete Series [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Nathan Fillion
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best sci-fi show ever, 29 Mar. 2005
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have little to add to what's already been said. I'm a great Star Trek fan and yet this is, indeed, better than any Star Trek series. The quality is simply stunning. The plots are tightly woven, the humour never fails to work, the characters are magnificently written and acted, and the entire series grips you from the opening minutes of episode one. Cancelling this show was a CRIME. TV execs wouldn't know quality if they woke up next to it in bed every morning.

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