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Mrs Anne Morton (Scotland)

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Deadwood : Complete HBO Seasons 1-3 (12 Disc Box Set) [DVD]
Deadwood : Complete HBO Seasons 1-3 (12 Disc Box Set) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Brad Dourif
Offered by tastymate
Price: £34.77

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deadwood - another HBO winner, 22 Aug 2010
I bought this ostensibly for my husband but actually because I wanted it for myself. Said goodbye to terrestrial and digital telly for a week and immersed myself in Deadwood.
As usual HBO has produced a high quality series which is nothing short of mesmerising. My only complaint is that it seemed somewhat rushed in the last couple of episodes and felt rather incomplete although to be fair this may have been the result of the directors and writers expecting another series in which to bring things to a more satisfactory conclusion.

Deadwood is set in the town of the same name in about 1875 although the events it depicts actually occurred over a longer time-span. Its characters are for the most part based upon its real inhabitants from Wild Bill Hickock and Calamity Jane to the anonymous con-man pedlar of soap, although considerable liberty has been taken with their personalities and actions during the period of the Gold Rush and the negotiations to become part of the Dakota Territory. You can look them up in the official website and in Wikipedia. The power struggle between the two saloon and brothel owners, Al Swearingen and Cy Tolliver form the backdrop to most of the action while gripping story lines involving the self appointed sheriff Seth Bullock's affair with Alma, the rich widowed mine owner , the whore Trixie, the world- weary doctor and the tragic preacher. All of these stories contain elements of black humour, true human kindness, sadness and occasional terrifying evil. Violence is ever present and murder commonplace. This is not a series for your Auntie Minnie or for the faint hearted. Obscenity and blasphemy occur with eye-watering frequency throughout though this is oddly enough not as offensive as one might imagine considering the characters and plotting. None of it is gratuitous. Sets and costumes are amazingly good and you can just about smell the filth of the streets and the greasy dirt of the clothing.

There is not a single dud performance amongst its cast members and even minor characters such as the killer of Wild Bill, the drunken and abusive liveryman,the brother and sister ostensibly seeking their lost father and the mild-mannered proprietor of the Number 10 bar come across as well observed and believable human beings. Special mention must made of Ian McShane the English actor who plays Al Swearingen. His is a tour de force portrayal of the ruthless, murderous saloon owner of The Gem. It is a three dimensional performance of a basically appalling human being who does not flinch at feeding inconvenient corpses to the pigs yet has the occasional flash of kindness and generosity which he would die rather than admit to. McShane won a well-deserved award for the role. Not too far behind is Robin Weigert's performance in the role of Martha Jane Cannary (aka Calamity Jane). Here is a woman who has scouted for the US Cavalry, fought Indians, nursed smallpox victims and orphaned children and fallen in love with Bill Hickock whose grave she visits as often as she can. She is also a hopeless alcoholic who periodically binges for days on end yet can still be relied upon in a tight corner.

I loved the series, groaning when an episode ended before I was willing to let go and now sorry that I've watched it all. I will however watch it again in the not too distant future and see things I missed the first time around.

The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon)
The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon)
by Dan Brown
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.93

24 of 43 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing!, 22 May 2004
A complete let-down in terms of plot and character. Implausible conspiracy theory written by numbers and apparently constructed with an eye to being made into a Saturday night video. The main characters, a supposedly highly-trained cryptographer who cannot solve a single puzzle and a "brilliant" scholar and academic who apparently operates solely through flashes of intuition become involved in an evermore baroque muddle of sinister goings-on involving the usual suspects of the Templars, Masons, Rosicrucians, wily prelates et al. Nor is the prose or dialogue much to write home about. A complete waste of time and money. If you like your thrillers full of intriguing puzzles,intelligent and well-written you'd be much better off with something by Arturo Perez-Reverte, say "The Flanders Panel" or "The Dumas Club"

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