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Bretfan "Brettfan" (Douai, France)

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Thomas & Friends - The Complete Series 13 [DVD]
Thomas & Friends - The Complete Series 13 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Michael Angelis
Price: 6.62

5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful and useful, 11 May 2013
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The stories are very amusing and enthralling, and they teach good lessons, not only about engines and railways, but about life.


The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (Oxford World's Classics)
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (Oxford World's Classics)
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.51

5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent tool, 11 May 2013
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I love Conan Doyle stories and I'm a warm admirer of the Granada series starring Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes and David Burke and Edward Hardwicke as Doctor Watson. Eight stories from "The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes" have been dramatized for television by Granada: Silver Blaze, The Cardboard Box, The Musgrave Ritual, The Crooked Man, The Resident Patient, The Greek Interpreter, The Naval Treaty, and The Final Problem. The introduction and the explanatory notes of the Oxford World's Classic edition are very helpful, and I learned an enormous lot of things by reading them.The introduction by Christopher Roden explains the circumstances in which Conan Doyle wrote the stories,and shows that they become more complex in the Memoirs than they were in the earlier books.He analyzes the themes of each story in an interesting way, the evolution of the main character, and the changes in the relationship between Holmes and Watson.The introduction is also about the relation between Conan Doyle's life and his stories.Of course there is such a lot of explanatory notes that it's impossible to comment all of them. Let's take, for an example, the explanatory notes of Silver Blaze.They tell us what are "furlongs", "a Penang lawyer", and other words which would have certainly puzzled more than one reader, they give many explanations about horse races, comment upon the text (Holmes says: "The calculation is a simple one": is it really simple?), show the connexion between the dog's behaviour in Conan Doyle's novel and Telemaque's dogs one in Homer's Odyssey. Still more interesting is the quotation from Conan Doyle's autobiography (Memories and Adventures) which ends the notes about Silver Blaze:"Sometimes I have got upon dangerous ground where I have taken risks through my own want of knowledge of the correct atmosphere.I have, for example, never been a racing man, and yet I ventured to write Silver Blaze, in which the mystery depends on the laws of training and racing[...]I read an excellent and very damaging critic of the story, written clearly by a man who did know, in which he explained the exact penalties which would have come upon everyone concerned if they had acted as I described. Half would have been in jail and the other half warned of the turf for ever". Is not that useful to get a better understanding of the story and to appreciate Conan Doyle's modesty and humour?


The Merchant of Venice [DVD]
The Merchant of Venice [DVD]
Dvd ~ Laurence Olivier
Price: 7.95

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First class playing for a first class play, 18 Nov 2011
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This review is from: The Merchant of Venice [DVD] (DVD)
The acting, in this production of "The Merchant of Venice", is really first class.
Gratiano (MICHAEL JAYSTON)is the stirdy, merry, spontaneous, cheeky and a bit scatterbrained young man that he must be.
JOAN PLOWRIGHT is a charming, touching and subtle Portia.She misses no shade of feeling of the character she embodies. I'm particularly fond of her interpretation of the trial scene, where Portia pretends to be young judge Balthazar. She speaks with the authority and self-control of her so-called office, but manage to let us perceive her emotions and her efforts to suppress it.
The part of Antonio is performed by ANTONY NICHOLLS, a nice actor older than JEREMY BRETT (Bassanio), and so, Antonio looks like a loving father, entirely devoted to his beloved son.
Bassanio is embodied by dear JEREMY BRETT (Sherlock Holmes in the outstanding Granada series of the same name). In Shakespeare's play, there are not plenty of explanations about Bassanio, but we can deduce...He is loved by good and melancholy Antonio and therefore must have all the qualities of a gentleman, and be young, and full of life and cheerfulness.He is loved by Portia, and so must be extremely attractive. JEREMY BRETT is all that: gentleman like, bursting with vitality, devilishly attractive. Had he been given a deeper character to embody, he would have shown the full depth of his insight, but he was not the age and had not the look to play Shylock...
Shylock is played by the great LAURENCE OLIVIER who gives a fantastic interpretation of the part.He first appears as a finicky and slightly ridiculous old man who makes us smile. And then, when Shylock's daughter runs away, Olivier expresses Shylock's pain with such a tremendous strength that he makes us understand far better the character, whose wickedness comes from his violent and hidden sufferings.How he cries in front of his deceased wife's portrait, because his daughter has paid unnecessary triffles with the ring her mother gave his father long ago! I must confess I was moved.Then, Shylock's pain turns into icy rage.Beautiful!
But there are also very amusing moments in the play. The Prince of Aragon is played as a decrepit and doddering old man; the actor's performance is excellent,he is quite hilarious. And it's only one example among many others.
I have yet two little reservations to express:
I wonder why the director decided to dress the actors with costumes from the 19 century. They behave, think and speack as men and women of the 16 century, so they should wear costumes of the same era.
The DVD has very little bonus footage: only a photo gallery and it does not provide us with subtitles. What are the hearing impaired people supposed to do? And what of the foreigners like me? We need english subtitles, and more so when the characters speak old english! I had the printed play with me, but some bits of the play have been cut out (for instance the hilarious conversation between Lancelot Gobbo and old Gobbo)and some others have been shifted, so I was sometimes lost and had to press the "still" button...


The Case of the Grave Accusation: A Sherlock Holmes Adventure
The Case of the Grave Accusation: A Sherlock Holmes Adventure
by Dicky Neely
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.82

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fiction, or not Fiction?, 4 July 2011
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As it ought to be in a good pastiche, Holmes and Watson are as they use to be in Doyle's stories, and the reader is pleased to meet them again with their typical words and attitudes. It's a very entertaining fiction: Holmes and Watson leave the pages of the stories and appear in contemporary world. They are not only time travelling, but changing their status of made- of- paper creatures to become real human beings. Both of them react according to their nature in front of modern contraptions such as television, desktops and laptops. Their reactions and remarks are quite amusing. The villain is more ridiculous than really fearsome. The whole story is humorous, easy and pleasant to read.
But it is not only fiction. The name of the villain is more or less the translation in French of the genuine name of the man (called by Sir Andrew Mac Farlane an "unreliable historian") who has really accused Sir Arthur Conan Doyle of having stolen "the Hound of Baskervilles" from Bertram Fletcher Robinson (in 2002, I think): "ail" means "garlic", and "la pelure" means "the peel"...The accusations made by Roger la Pelure d'Ail are the same as the real ones: plagiarism, adultery and poisoning.Holmes prove them wrong, one by one, by using observation, deduction but also modern techniques such as forensic tests. Dicky Neely ridicules the author who accused Doyle, but doesn't enter into a fierce controversy. There is no unkindness in his book. After the story itself, we found very interesting documents, which prove that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle fully aknowledged Fletcher Robinson contribution to "the Hound of Baskerville", and that the relations between the two men remained excellent as long as they lived.
I enjoyed this book, which is "fiction AND not fiction", and is both entertaining and instructive. Dicky Neely and Paul Spiring are so kind as to support two good causes: "The Undershaw Preservation Trust" and "A Posthumous Bafta for Jeremy Brett" (last pages of the book)


Sherlock Holmes and the Giant Rat of Sumatra
Sherlock Holmes and the Giant Rat of Sumatra
by Paul D. Gilbert
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 16.55

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent pastiche, 4 Nov 2010
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The plot is very well put together. At the beginning, there seem to be two cases: the case of the Mathilda Briggs, and the case of the missing father of Daniel Collier; then, the two cases get closer and closer, and eventually, the two cases become one. The story is really enthralling: it includes travels in several far away countries, fights against natural elements,many ups and downs, and surprising turns.The final confrontation between Holmes and the Rat is breathtaking. Moreover the historical and political background of the adventure is interesting.But what I enjoyed most, is the fact it is a canonical pastiche, every inch true to Conan Doyle. The title comes from an "untold story" Watson refers to as one "the public is not prepared for", and we understand perfectly why the Victorian audience could not accept it when we are finished with the book. The characters, their relationship, the way they express themselves are similar to what they are in the canon, Paul D.Gilbert writes after Conan Doyle's manner, and his novel seems to be an extension of Doyles' work. He is an admirer of the Granada series and it is obvious that Jeremy Brett is an inspiration for him (If you wish to know what is currently underway with J.Brett, glance at "posthumous Bafta for Jeremy Brett" on Facebook). When reading the book, many details, replies or short scenes remind us of the series, which is very pleasant for people who do appreciate it. Really, in my opinion, this pastiche is quite a success.


The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes (Oxford World's Classics)
The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes (Oxford World's Classics)
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable collection, 2 Sep 2010
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I bought "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes", "The Return of Sherlok Holmes", "The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes","The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes","The Sign of Four" in the "World's Classics" edition.
I love Worlds Classics. On the books cover, there are beautiful pictures by Frederic Door Steele, originally drawn for Collier's Weekly. Inside, we find, first, a very interesting introduction by Richard Lancelyn Green, Christopher Roden,or W.W. Robson, then a chronology of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and best of all A SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY, very useful for those who wish to go further and study Doyle's work more profoundly. This bibliography itself would be enough to make me buy World's Classics. Moreover, there is plenty of very interesting explanatory notes which inform us of... everything . The explanatory notes of "The Empty House" for instance, tell us where the name "Ronald Adair" may come from, what is "The Baldwin Cards Club" or "an expanding revolver bullet", who wrote "The Holy War" or used Sherlock Holmes' ghost in stories, what is precisely bartitsu, and I could go on for long.....You may think I'm hooked on Holmes' stories. Yes, I am, mostly thanks to Jeremy Brett's interpretation of the Great Detective in the successful Granada series. Yet, he was never granted an Award. If you wish to see him awarded a posthumous Bafta, have a look to Facebook at " a Posthumous Bafta for Jeremy Brett"; whether you are convinced or not you won't regret it, there are a lot of beautiful photographs.


The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Oxford World's Classics)
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Oxford World's Classics)
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.24

5.0 out of 5 stars The Top Edition in my opinion, 11 Jun 2010
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This edition of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (With stories such as A Scandal in Bohemia, The Red-Headed League, The Man with the Twisted Lip", The Blue Carbuncle, The Speckled Band", "The Copper Beeches")provides explanatory notes which are most useful. Let's take, for instance, the celebrated "Speckled Band". Thanks to the notes, we learn where the idea of the snake used as a weapon comes from, then that the particular snake called "swamp adder" was invented by Conan Doyle, and snakes don't care for milk and are deaf. So, the story is rather unlikely, but it works perfectly on paper, and in the excellent Granada television adaptation starring Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes and David Burke as Doctor Watson. The explanatory notes drive us to wonder why, and to think over the stories and what makes them and the Granada adaptation so powerful and enthralling. Some details are very interesting because they show the problems an adaptation may meet: doctor Roylott bends a poker, and Holmes unbends it; the note explains it's impossible to return a bent poker to its original condition and for this reason the incident had to be omitted in the 1910's play, which give us a desire to know how Granada managed to show us Jeremy Kemp bending and Jeremy Brett unbending the poker. There was a trick, but which one?
Precious edition, indeed.


Thomas The Tank Engine And Friends: Classic Collection - Series 6 [DVD]
Thomas The Tank Engine And Friends: Classic Collection - Series 6 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Thomas and Friends

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect entertainment for kids and their parents, 11 Jun 2010
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I have not much to say, because I've already purchased many "Thomas and friends", and I don't want to keep repeating the same praises...The kids and I love this excellent series.


Sherlock Holmes - Complete Collection [DVD]
Sherlock Holmes - Complete Collection [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jeremy Brett
Price: 28.69

5.0 out of 5 stars "My most treasured possession"(Watson, The Empty House), 17 April 2010
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I had already bought the Granada Sherlock Holmes Series in my own country,when I heard of the english "Sherlock Holmes-complete collection". I bought it too, to be provided with the english subtitles.And I'm delighted to have done so. Now, I grasp "the full meaning of(all) this business" (The Six Napoleons), without missing a word.There is on these pages, many very complete , shrewd and precise comments. What could I add to these excellent reviews? I just wish to say that the Granada series is a jewel, and that David Burke, Edward Hardwicke, Colin Jeavons, Charles Gray and above all the late and regretted Jeremy Brett, are remarkable actors. They give a very good image of english culture and attract foreigners towards english movies, series, books...Amazon.co.uk profits on it and should erect them statues! Therefore I really can't understant why the establishment never gave to Jeremy Brett the recognition he so plentily deserved. In 1989, he presented a BAFTA award, but never received one...Currently, there is an online petition asking for him a posthumous Bafta.If you're fond of him and his work and wish to help to do him justice, you can go to: [...] Many thanks if you do so!


The Jane Austen BBC Collection Box Set [DVD]
The Jane Austen BBC Collection Box Set [DVD]
Dvd ~ Colin Firth
Price: 25.28

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!, 3 Feb 2010
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Of course, people who look for action films won't like this collection! but it's an excellent mean to discover Jane Austen's work, which is very interesting.


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