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L. Davidson (Belfast, N.Ireland)
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Once Upon a Time in Anatolia [DVD]
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia [DVD]
Dvd ~ Muhammet Uzuner
Price: 14.83

2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 17 Aug 2014
Sorry , but I didn't like this slow moving Turkish film at all. I liked Nuri Bilge Ceylan's "Uzak" however , but "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia" didn't do it for me. For two and a half hours nothing much happens. A group of policemen,a prosecutor and a doctor travel with two murder suspects around the Turkish countryside by night and day in search of the location where the suspects had buried a body several days earlier. And thats about it . They eventually find the body, but not before the serious, mostly male, main characters have consumed the viewers time eating,smoking and talking about both trivial and serious matters. This is a very slow moving film where little happens. It is neither a mystery nor a thriller , but a downbeat,pensive movie .


John Hewitt: Selected Poems
John Hewitt: Selected Poems
by John Hewitt
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.72

3.0 out of 5 stars Pastoral Minded Ulster Poet, 16 Aug 2014
I have bought a number of poetry anthologies recently , trying to "get into" poetry, however I haven't succeeded unfortunately. I just dont appreciate verse and I dont really enjoy reading poems. This book,which I read while on holiday in Budapest , features a wide range of poems by the Ulster Protestant poet , John Hewitt (who has a bar in downtown Belfast named after him) and I generally found them more accessible than those of the Ulster Catholic poet , Seamus Heaney, most of whose poems I didn't understand or enjoy. A lot of Hewitt's poems , like Heaneys , are about nature and the rural life but they didn't really interest me. I didnt get much from them - no great insights or memorable images were conveyed. I think I'll give up on poetry reading now and stick to novels which I do understand and enjoy.


Coronado
Coronado
by Dennis Lehane
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.39

1.0 out of 5 stars Unpleasant Rednecks, 16 Aug 2014
This review is from: Coronado (Paperback)
I picked this book up in a bargain bin for 1.99 and I read it while on holiday in Budapest. I think that it was overpriced. "Coronado" is a series of short stories about obnoxious , redneck, criminal types in small town America.None of the characters in these dull,poorly written stories were likable and I could not empathise with any of them. Most of the stories feature murder and criminal damage in their plot lines and the characters are one dimensional, nasty creations. This book should be avoided.


Guardians of the Galaxy [DVD]
Guardians of the Galaxy [DVD]
Dvd ~ Chris Pratt
Price: 14.00

4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If you like Pina Coladas..., 9 Aug 2014
I am not a big fan of superhero, space opera type movies, but "Guardians of the Galaxy" is one of the better examples of this genre. There is an element of comedy and the absurd in this film which makes it stand out a bit along with it's soundtrack of little known 1970's and 1980's music. The film which is high on explosions and shoot outs features a cast of galactic misfits who come into possession of a very powerful artifact which is highly sought after by the forces of good and evil in this film. The gang are chased around the galaxy by them and in the end they have to make a stand together for what is right. Not a bad film if you like that sort of thing. Good special effects and dialogue, but a lot of the film was quite familiar looking.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 21, 2014 9:21 PM BST


Sashenka
Sashenka
by Simon Sebag Montefiore
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.19

4.0 out of 5 stars Check her out, 6 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sashenka (Paperback)
I thoroughly enjoyed the author's most recent novel "One Night in Winter", so I rushed out and bought this book, written several years earlier. "Sashenka" is also an impressive historical novel ; it's narrative covering the breadth of the 20th Century in Russia. It tells the tale of Sashenka, a bourgeois girl who becomes a class traitor in her teens and who joins the Bolshevik Party out of some kind of misguided idealism. The first part of the book covers her involvement in the Revolution. The next part of the story leaps forwards to 1939 with Sashenka now a well off and well respected loyal Communist, married with two children. However things go badly wrong for her and her family whenever she embarks on a foolhardy love affair. The third part of the book leaps forward once again to 1994 and a young historical researcher is employed by a wealthy oligarch to find his mother's real parents. This turn of events brings to the fore Sashenka and her family once again. "Sashenka" is well written with lots of likeable characters and credible dialogue. What I liked most about it was it's authenticity. The reader feels like he is right in the middle of the dramatic events that form the backdrop of the novel and feels involved with the characters throughout. Rasputin, Lenin and Stalin all appear in this book and they all have dealings with Sashenka and her family. This novel is an excellent read and it enlightens the reader with regards to what life was like for relatively ordinary people in Tsarist Russia, the Stalinist Soviet Union and modern day post-communist Russia. A good history lesson as well as a cracking story.


Caravaggio (Taschen Basic Art Series)
Caravaggio (Taschen Basic Art Series)
by Gilles Neret
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 7.19

4.0 out of 5 stars The Master of Chiaroscuro, 2 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is an impressive book that provides a biography of the artist, explanations to his paintings and of course a large number of excellent colour reproductions of his works. Caravaggio was a bit of a bad lad , getting involved in fights and murders , associating with the lower classes and having to move from town to town (and country to country) after repeatedly falling foul of the authorities. However he had a number of influential patrons and a ready market for his artistic works. Caravaggio paintings are mostly in the chiaroscuro style ; mainly dark works lit up by outside sources of light. I liked most of them. His works on a religious theme were very good and I have actually seen a few of them in real life on my travels to Rome , Paris and Valletta. I generally prefer more modern art, but I enjoyed reading about this colourful artist and looking at his paintings in this good quality ,inexpensive ,Taschen book.


The Spirit Level
The Spirit Level
by Seamus Heaney
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Difficult, 30 July 2014
This review is from: The Spirit Level (Paperback)
I struggled badly with this book of poems by the late Seamus Heaney. I couldn''t understand any of them and I didn't enjoy reading any of them. I would need some sort of Study Guide for each of these poems to aid my comprehension of them I think. Too advanced for me I'm afraid but I would like to be able to appreciate them though. I've got a book of John Hewitt's poems in the house however. If I cant understand or appreciate them I think I'll just give up my endeavours at trying to "get into" poetry.


Under The Skin [DVD] [2014]
Under The Skin [DVD] [2014]
Dvd ~ Scarlett Johanssen
Price: 9.99

3 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Like watching paint dry, 20 July 2014
This review is from: Under The Skin [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
I read the fantastic book "Under the Skin" last week and I really enjoyed it - a winning combination of the mundane, science fiction and horror.I couldn't wait to see this film of the novel to see how well it captured it's essence. However I couldn't believe how poor this film was. It's storyline bears only a passing resemblance to that of the book and for most of the film's duration nothing much happens apart from Scarlett Johanssen roaming the streets of Glasgow and the Scottish countryside in a bewildered looking daze and standing around bare arsed. This was hardly her finest hour.There is next to no dialogue in this unconvincing attempt at an art house movie and the music is irritating also. However don't let this film put you off reading the outstanding book on which it is very loosely based.


Begin Again [DVD] [2014]
Begin Again [DVD] [2014]
Dvd ~ Keira Knightley
Price: 14.25

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lost Stars, 19 July 2014
This review is from: Begin Again [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
"Begin Again" is a fairly warm hearted film about a platonic friendship between a down on his luck New York record producer (Mark Ruffalo) and a young British female singer songwriter (Kiera Knightly)who has just been dumped by her boyfriend, who is also a singer. They meet up one evening in a bar and Ruffalo persuades her to record an album with him recorded outdoors in various unusual New York settings. The producer is significantly older than the singer and the pair of them rub off on each other in a positive and inspirational way. Kiera Knightly is very good and the music is decent enough also. Will the two be able to forge a romantic , inter generational relationship or will they get back together with their respective exes ? "Begin Again" is a nice story , highlighting the positive ,life enhancing attributes of music and most of the characters are likeable. However I thought the large amount of swearing in the film didn't do it any favours and was unnecessary.


Death of a Naturalist
Death of a Naturalist
by Seamus Heaney
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

3.0 out of 5 stars A Rural Childhood, 17 July 2014
This review is from: Death of a Naturalist (Paperback)
I am a bit of a philistine when it comes to poetry. I don't really "get" it and I don't understand a lot of it. I recently read an anthology of Ted Hughes poems and I thought most of it was incomprehensible gibberish. "Death of a Naturalist" is a lot easier to get into than that book. Most of the poems are about the poets rustic upbringing and they are fairly comprehensible .I recall studying a number of them for my English Literature GCE "O" Level in the early 1980's , such as "Digging", "Follower" , "Docker" and "Death of a Naturalist". However I can't say that I really enjoyed reading these poems but I'll persevere with my poetry reading anyhow.


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