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The Big Lebowski [DVD] [1998]
The Big Lebowski [DVD] [1998]
Dvd ~ Jeff Bridges
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: 4.00

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Film That Really Ties the Room Together, 16 Jan 2005
When the world ends, and the world council are deciding which films are to be taken into space for preservation, this will surely be one of them. The Coen brothers truly are blessed with a talent so rare- the ability to make film after film, and have everyone be different.Try watching Blood Simple, Raising Arizona and Millers Crossing in a row and try to find any clues that they are made by the same people.This though, is while probably not the best film they have ever made (that accolade falling on either Millers crossing or Fargo) it is surely the funniest and most entertaining.The great characters that the Coens seem to be able to pluck out of thin air are here in abundance, and even characters who have less than ten minutes screen time seem to be wonderfully fleshed out (most notably John Turturro's hilarious Jesus.)Jeff Bridges is The Dude, a man who has never achieved anything (apart from a brief stint as road manager for the Grateful Dead-who are apparently a bunch of assholes) because he's never tried. Happy to drift through life as a nobody, with only two friends in the whole world and a predilection for smoking grass.He is completely harmless, and so when he is suddenly thrown into a chandler-esque tale of kidnapping, carpet p***ing, nihilism, pornography and bowling, it is a mark of the Coens genius that they can stop it from being completely ludicrous and make this the first ever farce where the audience cares deeply about the man, The Dude.Jeff Bridges proves that he is either one of the greatest actors of his time, or a great raving pothead.The sense of confusion that comes from him is so real, he appears to be so helpless, that it is heartbreaking and side-splitting at the same time.He obviously needs help, needs to be guided through this, by a friend who comes in the shape of Walter Sobchek (John Goodman) the most inept, bumbling war veteran ever.Best summed up by The Dude himself (One of these days your'e going to have to accept that your'e a goddamn moron)Walter despite his best intentions ends up hurting the Dude more than he ever helps him, inadvertently dragging his friend deeper into the hole (I could have just been sitting here with p*** stains on my rug).With a plethora of other great oddball characters (Donnie, Maude, the titular Big Lebowski,the wonderful Jesus Quintana)the film merely reinforces the Coen brothers as truly great american film makers, who have made nine films and never a bad one, long may they rule.


Kill Bill, Volume 1 [DVD] [2003]
Kill Bill, Volume 1 [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Uma Thurman
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: 2.72

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Forehead returns, 2 Jan 2004
When Quentin Tarantino was delivered unto the moviegoing world in 1993, it felt like a shot of adrenalin to the heart: vibrant, violent and visceral, both "Reservoir Dogs" and "Pulp Fiction" rewrote the screenwriters rulebook. Long rambling dissertations on European fast food pecadilloes and constant smatterings of pop culture dialogue, along with sudden unexpected gusts of ultraviolence made him the kid du jour. With Jackie Brown he grew up, gained focus and earned the respect of even the hardest of critics. Then he vanished. Apart from the occasional cameo in other peoples films or the odd producer credit, no-one saw or heard anything from him for six years. After a wait like this, we might well expect him to return with something much as we have seen him do before, a work that immerses us back into his headspace. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Fourth film by Quentin Tarantino has become the fourth and fifth films by Quentin Tarantino. Whether or not that decision is justified only time will tell, but on the basis of this first half, it seems the wait has been well worth it. The snappy quotable dialogue has all but vanished, with only one line from the whole film fit to put on a T-Shirt (and that only for people called Buck ) but what it's been replaced with is a true knowledge of how to tell a story. A story thats been told many times before, told anew, fresh and determined. A simple plot, executed almost flawlessly. It takes a little while to get going, but once it does it does'nt slow down until the credits roll, instead stretching the action until you cannot hekp but wonder why the whole thing does not collapse under it's own weight. There are moments of breathtaking bravery ( telling a major characters backstory entirely in anime ) and bitter, pitch black humour, along with a career best performance by Uma Thurman (if you ignore Batman and Robin that is. I think it's best that we do) but what really sticks in the memory is the action. The last half hour of the film is a sustained action sequence, incorporating everything you've ever seen in a martial arts film along with some new ones. It never feels like Tarantino is just throwing everything at the screen and seeing what sticks, because it's all done with a suredness and bravado that leaves you agape. This is Tarantino proving he can do action, that he isnt just a words man- and he pulls it off with aplomb, leaving you with a cliffhanger that makes you yearn for the finale, instead of wanting to die before the next installment. (stand up the "Matrix Reloaded" )Oh yeah, it's all done woth stuntmen and wirework and training, no computer generated tomfoolery here ( stand up again the "Matrix Reloaded") and what you are left with is the best action scene in living memory, and one of the films of the year.


Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl [DVD] [2003]
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Johnny Depp
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: 2.73

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bottle of Rum not included., 2 Jan 2004
Here we have that strangest of beasts: a summer blockbuster with a $100 million plus budget and a wealth of special effects wizardry, a conceit so stupid it makes "Speed" seem like an everyday occurence and a plot thats flimsy and hackneyed. All we need now are one-dimensional cartoon characters and hammy caricature acting. What makes this film so odd is that all of these ghastly traits we have come to expect from studio behemoths somehow come together to make a blockbuster that is so much fun it should be illegal. It's a textbook example of the whole being infinitely more than the sum of it's parts. As with any film, if you cast it right, you've done half of the work. Enter Johnny Depp. Critically adored cult hero known to be wary of blockbuster fare, preferring to ply his trade in less showy surroundings, here he is, funny, charming and with tongue rooted firmly in cheek- having more fun than is right and proper. That his performance was based partly on Keith Richards comes as little surprise. What else do we need? How about up and coming stars who are still cheap to hire but already popular and easy on the eye? How about Orlando Bloom (dispensing with girly elf hairdo, but acquiring rather silly Errol Flynn moustache ) and Keira Knightley? They'll do just fine. Top off with a pantomime villain ( Geoffrey Rush giving it some gusto ) and a smattering of character actors. ( Jonathan Pryce, Jack Davenport ) Hire a director whose proven himself to be capable at handling both movie stars ( The Mexican ) and special effects ( Mousehunt ) and watch it all fall into place.Inject plenty of swashbuckling swordfights, heroic derring- do (whatever the hell that means ) and a love story, start prepping the sequel and pride yourself on a job well done. Next up, Space Mountain: The Movie.


And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out
And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out
Price: 6.95

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Can Hear the Heart Breaking As One., 2 Jan 2004
Those of you who are fond of recreational pharmaceuticals please be warned.If you plan on buying this album (if you can drag yourself away from Trance Nation 2004 that is )please do not listen to whilst high. Because you might never come back down- lost forever in a swirling vortex of hushed, breathy vocals and gently carousing instrumentation. There have been two dozen Yo La Tengo induced comas reported in the last twlve months in Britain alone. Dont let this put you off though, for this is possibly one of the most wonderful albums ever made. Right from the very start, as a disembodied heart beats steadily, you are encased in a bubble of lush strings and plaintive emotions as the five minute songs gently lull you into submission, and you stop whatever it was you were doing and just sit there, eyes closed, mouth slightly agape- transfixed and utterly paralysed. So complete is this inertia that when the calm is broken by the feedback drenched squall of " Cherry Chapstick " it feels as if you have been hit round the head with a frying pan, jolted suddenly back into the world and forced to sit up straight. Immediately after though, peace is resumed, and you soon find yourself cocooned for the langurous finale as Night Falls on Hoboken, and the whole world. The first half of the album is the strongest, and in "Tears are in Your Eyes" is crafted a pop song so beautiful and haunting it can (and has) made grown men weep. Some people may find it too slow and become fidgety, concerned with the lack of crunchy guitar hooks, but I really cannot recommend this album stongly enough to anyone with a pulse, I guarantee you'll listen to it everyday.


You Can Feel Me
You Can Feel Me
Offered by aardvark-games
Price: 7.49

3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lordy! It's Mr Peaches., 26 Sep 2003
This review is from: You Can Feel Me (Audio CD)
It can't have looked good on paper. "Mr. Harold Tillman requests the pleasure of your company this Saturday night for a live performance of his new album. Watch as he gyrates and thrusts! Marvel at his purple y-fronts! Thrall to his sweaty libido! Dont get too close! " Har Mar Superstar has landed, and he wants your sex. Never mind that he's a slightly overweight Ron Jeremy a-like with less natural sexual charisma than a bucket of dead mice-it's all about confidence and bravura. With his funky Prince-esque cuts and enough enthusiasm to reduce even the most staunchly serious jock to a grinning imbecile, Har Mar is going to beat you into submission- the only thing you need to be worried about is what weapon he uses. How long this particular joke will stay funny for is anyones guess, longevity will probably evade Har Mar, but when it's this much fun it really doesn't matter. It's a record that will soon be forgotten and The Superstar wull probably limp back to Ibiza with his tail between his legs (though rumour has it he can walk on it ) but who cares, it's a harmless, pointless record, perfect for either boring parties or drunken comedy stripteases.
NB: Har Mar Superstar accepts no liablity to injuries sustained to nipples whilst consuming this record.


Swansong For You
Swansong For You
Offered by FastMedia "Ships From USA"
Price: 28.46

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chickfactor, 24 Sep 2003
This review is from: Swansong For You (Audio CD)
If you found this record intentionally, you probably already know who Isobel Campbell is and therefore what the album is likely to be. If on the other hand, a typing error or the blight of stubby fingers bought you here instead of the new Slayer single you so badly need- you probably dont. So I'll tell you.
Isobel Campbell was the Cellist and a regular vocalist in Scottish group Belle and Sebastian, purveyors of some of the most wonderful pop whimsy ever put on record. Since packing up her library books and leaving the throng, she has released two albums with The Gentle Waves (the other being "The Green Fields Of Foreverland) and a mini-album alongside Scottish Jazz Trumpeter Bill Wells, a collection of reworked Billie Holliday tracks named 'Ghosts Of Yesterday'. It's necessary to tell you one more thing, (or maybe it is'nt, it depends on whether your'e that inquisitive Slayer fan I mentioned ) she has one of the most striking, beautiful voices your ever likely to hear. Sensible enough to know that a performance of vocal gymnastics is not necessary instead she envelops you in her voice and gently smothers you with it- like being drowned in very expensive perfume. The songs are similar to those on which she vocalised on the later B&S albums, winsome Scottish chansom, at once lightweight but utterly compelling. Sixties beats lie beneath pop harmonies with Campbells voice, evoking thoughts of Jane Birkin. (muse to Serge Gainsbourg and prone to coming over all funny during recording sessions)Despite the fact that it's all over far too quickly, it's an album of understated grace and beauty, with Campbells intoxicating chanteuse one of the many pretty things on offer.


The Beginning Stages Of ...
The Beginning Stages Of ...
Offered by Direct Entertainment UK
Price: 8.09

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shiny Happy People, 15 Sep 2003
The frontman of the Polyphonic Spree Tim DeLaughter (it rhymes with 'Daughter') was not always as happy as he is now. In fact, the spree are the result of a Texan rebirth. DeLaughter had been in a state of disgrace for two years after the death of his friend and "Tripping Daisy" bandmate Wes Berggren. Then at the request of his manager he set about doing something about a "robe band" he was always talking about. The robe band became the 'spree twenty five texans in long white robes. I can almost hear the screams of fear from the deep south. But fear not you black emperor, for these are hippies and wish for nothing more than to reintroduce our pallid world to the delights of the sun, and to revel in that most neglected of emotions, happiness. Now, while this debut is good (and it's very good) it is important that anyone reading this know that it does not even come close to the experience of seeing this band live. Without getting too tree-huggish the spree live is somewhat akin to standing in the centre of a huge pulsating heart. It does no good to try and fight the vibes, simply allow them to wash over you,(like one of those climax inducing shampoos) and you will be redeemed my child. OK maybe I allowed myself to get carried away (on a sea of love,in a boat made of hope) there, but there really is nothing like it. The same goes for the album. Nearly forty minutes of parping and tooting from a twenty five member strong band, replete with practically every instrument imaginable,(including the lesserknown Shnooghorn) as well as complimentary choir. Songs so full of joy, they could make Stephen Hawking bounce round his bedroom like a loon. Choruses that have the power to bring a bit of light into the darkest of days.A really awful final track thats little more than a thirty minute drone.So rejoice and allow yourself to be brainwashed by the Polyphonic Spree, you wont regret it.


Make Up the Breakdown
Make Up the Breakdown
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: 6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Set Fire To Flames, 15 Sep 2003
This review is from: Make Up the Breakdown (Audio CD)
Four young lads from Vancouver, Canada, Hot Hot Heat are a very NOW kind of band one who, on the strength of merely one five track EP (last years "Knock Knock Knock")and one full length album have already drawn a crowd of slavering, demonically-dedicated fans, people willing to clamber over sick nuns to get a glimpse or a touch of their heroes and in particular frontman Steve Bays. It's not difficult to see why: live they are a chugging, electric mess of sweat, as energised as the duracell bunny on speed and as popfunkingly spectacular as any live band you'll see for a long time. The problem was this: would they be able to replicate their stage act on record, or would the energy be lost in the transition to plastic? The answer of course is, no. A resounding no. Because from the moment "Naked In The City Again" hits you between the eyes like a well aimed glob of funk-phlegm, it's immediately very clear that "Make Up The Breakdown"
is going to be very special. With Bays lupine howl climbing over the top of a barrage of spiky guitars and stabbing keyboards, and with the spidery pop tunes providing a shell for lyrical wordplay that deals with melancholy and nagging introspection- it all comes together to form a pogotastic blend of XTC and Attractions era Elvis Costello. While the singles are probably the highlights ( Bandages, No, Not Now) there is not a single blank fired, with "Get In Or Get Out" deserving of mention for being fantastically wired and peppy, whilst at the same time being as Seventies as T-Rex.Hot Hot Heat, so infectious there should really be a vaccine available.


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