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Tommy Dooley (London, England)
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Dom Hemingway [DVD] [2013]
Dom Hemingway [DVD] [2013]
Dvd ~ Jude Law
Price: £7.50

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Swearing, drugs, swearing, violence, shouting lots and some more swearing., 2 April 2014
This review is from: Dom Hemingway [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Meet Dom Hemingway he is a safe cracker who had done twelve years jail time and covered up for Europe's Mr Big - Mr Fontaine who is a Russian gangster with a penchant for killing things - especially people. Dom gets out and the first thing he does is seek retribution on the man who took care of his family while he was doing time. Then he goes on a three day bender before heading off to France to pick up his dues.

He is accompanied by Dickie Black - played with effortless charm by Richard E. Grant. Dom seems to have a liking for alcohol, drugs, sex and swearing which he enjoys doing to excess. He also seems to have a knack for rubbing people up the wrong way. Things were never going to run smooth and what ensues is the highs and lows of his quest to get back his life and make up for the lost twelve years.

This is essentially a one man performance from Jude Law as the man in the title. It lies somewhere between a gangster flick, social commentary (albeit it very lop sided) and dark humour. There are some brilliantly funny lines and Richard E. Grant gets to do time perfect delivery on more than one occasion. But for the high points there are many short comings, such as people behaving in a way that you would find hard to believe except outside of the medium of farce. The seemingly constant `potty mouth' and grand standing does start to wear a bit thin at times too and the fact that I found it incredibly difficult to like Mr Hemingway and please don't get me wrong I adore earthy expletives often wondering why our best are still over a thousand years old - surely time for some new ones? But if you can't like the main man then you are never going to really care too much what happens to him.

Director and writer Richard Shepard knew what he wanted and it is fair to say that Jude Law does deliver in spades, but at the end of the day I felt the overall film left me a bit unbothered. There is still a lot to merit attention here especially the two leads and if you are a fan of either man then you will not be disappointed by this film but as an ensemble piece it did, for me, fall slightly short.


Inside Llewyn Davis [DVD] [2014]
Inside Llewyn Davis [DVD] [2014]
Dvd ~ Oscar Isaac
Price: £10.00

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Coen Brothers do sixties folk., 1 April 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Coen Brothers are always going to make an exceptional film, but not always one that you would expect. This falls into the latter category. Set in 1961 we follow a short time in the life of Llewyn Davies; he is barely scraping a living playing bars and hoping to get some royalties. He was in a duo that had shifted some units and then his singing mate jumped off The Washington Bridge.

Then after getting a kicking in an alleyway he gets taken in by a fan - he manages to let their cat escape and so starts a bit of an odyssey carting this cat from place to place till he can reunite it. He is also sleeping on the couch of his best friend Jim (Justin Timberlake) and has been sleeping with Jean - Jim's wife. Everywhere he goes he seems to make things worse as his sister says he has the Midas Touch in reverse. So he goes on a road trip to Chicago to try his luck there as the New York winter in Greenwich Village seems to hold no joy for him. He takes car share with drug addled jazz musician Roland Turner - John Goodman in a bravura performance.

The songs are done beautifully and Oscar Isaac as Llewyn is a piece of perfect casting - he can sing too and is very engaging. The part players are all spot on and the attention to detail is done with care and an eye for the authentic. The cars are often dirty and the streets look 1960's New York. This though is not a celebration of `folk' music - it is a rather sad tale of a man trying and not really getting anywhere yet keeping the will to go on. There is a feeling of going round in circles which is exemplified by the ending - as if he will never learn from his mistakes. When it did end I was in two minds about what I felt; I thought on it for a number of days and realised that just because it is hard to pigeon hole does not make this a bad film - it makes you think, it is entertaining, it is a tad depressing and yet it is undoubtedly about life, art and love and as such I can only recommend this highly original film.


Avantree Jogger Pro Bluetooth 4.0 Wireless Stereo Headphones with Microphone for running and workouts / sports, sweat proof, with aptX codec for high audio quality, for iPad, iPhone, Samsung Tab, Samsung galaxy note 3/note2/S5/S4, Google nexus 5/4 or any other Bluetooth enabled audio devices - Black
Avantree Jogger Pro Bluetooth 4.0 Wireless Stereo Headphones with Microphone for running and workouts / sports, sweat proof, with aptX codec for high audio quality, for iPad, iPhone, Samsung Tab, Samsung galaxy note 3/note2/S5/S4, Google nexus 5/4 or any other Bluetooth enabled audio devices - Black
Offered by Fas Deal
Price: £34.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bluetooth Head Phones that have issue but are still quite good., 1 April 2014
Please note I received a sample copy for review purposes.
Yes we all love Bluetooth gadgets and if you go jogging or do other active pursuits it can be annoying knowing where to put the wire for your earphones. So this is one of the answers. It needs to be paired with your Smartphone/mp3/ tablet etc and this took me a while. So read the instructions carefully to get the earphones in the right operation mode or they won't connect.

These need to be charged before use and that takes around two and a half hours. They also say use an Aventree recommended charger. I have used various chargers and they have all worked even my computer so maybe not a problem. It comes with a charger lead, optional silicone ear buds, a carry case for the earphones and an arm band Velcro pouch for you to put your phone/ device in as you burn off the calories.

Once fully charged you should get 12 hours playtime - the volume is controlled from your phone etc but apart from loud and softer you can't vary the quality of the sound which is good but not brilliant. My cheep Sony plug ins are still miles more clear.

There is a Multi Function Button that you use to vary from music to calls and back again even rejecting calls on it by pressing three times. That is in one of the ear pieces so you just press your ear like an extra from Star Trek to access your chums. They are not the most elegant looking either but I don't have a problem with that and there is a leaflet to tell you how to wear them - which I actually needs as they flew off on my first attempt.

So not overly stylish, takes time to connect, sound could be clearer but they do actually work and once you get the hang of them they are fairly straightforward. The range is also not that much of an issue I found they still worked over 20 feet from my device but not 30 - it just dies till you are back in range. However these are designed to be close to the device for jogging so also not an issue. I am getting to like my pair but carry my cord ear phones just in case these run out of power - which has yet to happen - so recommended.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 12, 2014 11:10 PM BST


Moone Boy - Series 2 [DVD]
Moone Boy - Series 2 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Chris O'Dowd
Price: £9.51

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where's Me Jumper? - A Triumphant return!, 1 April 2014
This review is from: Moone Boy - Series 2 [DVD] (DVD)
At last the hit comedy is back with another six episodes of nostalgic Irish fun. Martin Moone has an imaginary friend Sean played by co-writer and great actor Chris O'Dowd. This series picks up where the last left off. Martin is now going to `Big School' along with best mate and part time cross dresser Padraic. His eldest sister is now heavy with child thanks to the less than charismatic religious organiser and loud shirt wearing Dessie.

This time the situations will range from Irelands' entry to the Football World Cup in 1990 and a less than idyllic family holiday. Martins first day at school, his first love with a free wheelin `art teacher'; and the school disco sans alcohol but very much avec embarrassment. An ingenious if unreliable ghost ship for the Halloween special - watch out for Jonny Vegas playing invisible friend `Crunchie Haystacks'. Ireland's answer to squash with a show down of handball where Simon Day plays a golfing ghost, the wedding and a group of travellers moving in to the field next to the Moones'.

I loved the first series and downloaded these as they became available and they are every bit as good as the first outing. All the same actors play all the main characters and it is hard to single anyone out as being brilliant as they all put in such great performances which just compliment each other. Whilst still not as big as it ought to be I feel with the rise of Chris O'Dowd as a recognised talent it is only a matter of time before these little gems get the full attention they most definitely deserve.


Transport from Paradise [DVD]
Transport from Paradise [DVD]
Dvd ~ Zdenek Stepanek
Price: £12.44

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harrowing Czech film of the Terezin Ghetto., 30 Mar 2014
Made in 1963 this is an award winning film from director Zbynek Brynych who was more known for his TV work in his later life. This tells the story of the Terezin ghetto. The Jews there were allowed to run their own affairs up to a point but that came with the obligation to actively collaborate with their Nazi gaolers. Terezin was used as a marshalling yard for the transportation of Jews from all over Europe to what they were told was `resettlement' but was in fact death camps.

It opens with a propaganda film being made for the World to see just how great it was to be in a ghetto run by the Third Reich. We also get to meet a number of the people who are being held captive and those that will do whatever it takes to save their own skin. The news of the death camps has now reached them so many are under no illusions as to what beholds them at the end of a torturous journey in a cattle truck. They have also heard how close the Russians are and know that liberation can not be far away.

There are themes running throughout this too like the sounds of planes flying overhead. The frequency of these gets quicker as the film unfolds giving the feeling that the front is getting ever closer. The sound of the transport trains lonely whistle gets more frequent too though and starts to become more haunting than evocative by the end. There are also constant role calls and endless lists to be compiled.

There is a lot here that is food for thought but I felt what made it more essential is that this was made less than twenty years after the end of the war - for some of these actors this was not ancient history but events that happened during their lifetime. It is in Czeck and German with good subtitles - although not every piece of dialogue is translated. There is a fair smattering of other European languages too. In black and white and running to 92 minutes, this is a film that all film students should see; it is not a pleasant experience but it was never meant to be and there are moments of hope mixed in with the tragedy - absolutely recommended.


Jeune & Jolie (Young and Beautiful) [DVD] [2013]
Jeune & Jolie (Young and Beautiful) [DVD] [2013]
Dvd ~ Marine Vacth
Price: £11.83

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Young, Beautiful and a very naughty girl indeed., 30 Mar 2014
Young and Beautiful is the latest film from François Ozon (`In the house' and `Potische') he has a flair for great camera work and being able to tell a story effortlessly. This time he has made quite a dark tale. It is about Isabelle (Marine Vatch in her first big screen outing) who is very young and very beautiful. So on a summer holiday with her family she meets suave German Felix. He talks his way into getting what he wants and then she just drops him. What at first looks like being a bit of a disaster for her in the self gratification department soon takes on an unusual twist.

She decides to live a double life by being a hard working student and a prostitute in her spare time. She gets her `Johns' by plying her wares on line. She meets a variety of clients including George whose entanglement with her will cause everything to change.

I have really enjoyed Ozon's previous work especially `Dans la maison', but with this there seems to be some of the warmth missing. The twists in Isabelle's character are not unbelievable but so extraordinary that as the central focus of the film it prevents all the other elements from getting much attention. So as an ensemble piece it loses a bit - unlike his previous work. The young brother is the exception and provides the best vehicle for showing that Isabelle is a complex character capable of a wide range of emotions and essentially still growing up - this is Victor played by Fantin Ravat. The ending may leave some feeling short changed too but this is far from being an average film and I did find an awful lot to like, watch out for a cameo from Charlotte Rampling too. So not Ozon's best, but still good enough to be head and shoulders above most of the competition - recommended.


Barbarians
Barbarians
by Tim Glencross
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.49

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book of love, politics, art, money and some poems too., 30 Mar 2014
This review is from: Barbarians (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This starts in 2008 when New Labour under the thrall (though starting very much to wane) of Tony Blair was starting to come undone. The banking crisis and sub prime fall out were only just being realised and politics was a nasty, dirty place where reputations can be destroyed in an afternoon. We start at a champagne socialist's soiree - this is art collector and publisher of left wing mags - Sherard Howe, his wife is a leading feminist author who is about to astound an unsuspecting public by publishing a new book which trashes her first one.

Their son Henry is shy, bashful but rather nice all the same - he is in love with Buzzy - a chum from University. There is also the beautiful Afua whose grace and charm seem to wow everyone, Buzzy though is in love with Marcel and he is going out with Afua, but Buzzy also finds a thing for Marcels boss - this has all the makings of a Whitehall farce. Throw into the mix a Damien Hirst a Tracy Emin, some poetry, gutter journalism and the government's shenanigans and you have one heady mix indeed.

There is so much going on here that it could be a mess, but Tim Glencross is so erudite, witty and poised that it just unfolds in a naturally organic way. He has a talent for nailing everyone and everything perfectly but couches it all in such expansive language that it is a real joy to read. This is his first novel and he has been compared to both Jonathan Coe and Armando Iannucci and I think those are both high praise and well deserved. Simply a great read that I can easily recommend.


The Missing Picture [DVD]
The Missing Picture [DVD]
Dvd ~ Randal Douc
Price: £6.71

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars `Sometimes a silence is a scream', 30 Mar 2014
This review is from: The Missing Picture [DVD] (DVD)
This was Cambodia's entrance for the 2014 Oscars as best foreign language film. It tells the story of Rithy Panh who narrates his tale of what happened to him and his loved ones when Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia. Renaming it Kampuchea and taking the country back to year zero. He uses a mix of archive footage and clay figures which have been carved by hand to recreate what took place. The missing picture are the parts of history that was not photographed and as such only those who were there can bear witness to the atrocities that took place.

When the capital Pnom Penh was emptied - over two million people were uprooted and moved into the countryside. They had every modern thing taken away and were only allowed the clothes on their back - except the shoes and a spoon. The clothes had to be dyed black. They were forced to work in the collectivised camps often doing menial back breaking work that had no real value except to crush the will of the people. The individual as a concept was ended - the party was all that mattered. Death and disease were rampant and this is all told using the clay figures. The Khmer Rouge used to fire slogans at the people all day so that even now Rithy Panh can remember them all verbatim - like `Each being will be a revolutionary or fertiliser for rice'.

There are scenes of animal cruelty here from the archives too as well as humans being mistreated. It can be a difficult watch in places but the narrative is often quite poetic. It is all in French with good subtitles. A very moving and sad account of what this poor man went through and told in an unusual medium. Whilst it may seem to be less immediate because of the little figurines, it still packs quite a punch when you hear what took place in 1975 to 1979 to a country the world seemed to have forgotten about.


Robin Redbreast (DVD)
Robin Redbreast (DVD)
Dvd ~ James McTaggart
Price: £14.62

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classically Creepy BBC 1970's Drama., 23 Mar 2014
This review is from: Robin Redbreast (DVD) (DVD)
This is a little gem from the `golden' days of British TV drama/horror. Made in 1970 for the series on the BBC called `Play for Today' this was a commission of writer John Bowen. We meet Norah (Anna Cropper) who has just split up with her long term partner; one thing she has been left with is a pretty cottage in the country. She decides that she needs some `me time' and so leaves London to move there.

At first the locals seem friendly enough even if their ways are somewhat different to `city folk'. She then finds herself being drawn to one of the locals - Rob- who is into karate and kills vermin on the side. She soon becomes aware of the importance of the seasons to the locals and what at first appears as quaint soon becomes nightmarish when she realises that she is becoming central to whatever the villagers have got planned in their `game'. What plays out is something that finds her isolated, alone and unable to stop whatever the game has in store for her.

This created quite a stir when it went out - actually due to a power strike on the night of broadcast, only half of it actually did; the BBC received so many complaints that they showed it again the following week. This is seen as a precursor and major influence on the much well known `The Wicker Man' which was made some three years later. This though is low budget but high on the spooks and menace that makes all `horrors' essentially both creepy and compelling. It is fairly short at seventy minutes long and is in black and white. It was screened in colour but the BBC wiped the master in the seventies and this restored version was from a TV recording so the quality could be better. It is a testament though to the quality of the production and writing that this still packs a punch all these years later. This BFI version contains an interview with John Bowen and a great little Public Information film about `The Village Green' from the fifties by the looks of it. I absolutely loved this and hope we get to see more gems from the past being brought back to life as this is superb.


Smart Weigh Digital Kitchen Scale and Timer - Food Scale - Slim Stainless Steel Design - High Accuracy - LCD Backlight
Smart Weigh Digital Kitchen Scale and Timer - Food Scale - Slim Stainless Steel Design - High Accuracy - LCD Backlight
Offered by Five Star
Price: £19.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stylish Kitchen scales, 23 Mar 2014
These little scales are a handy addition to any kitchen. It is a simple and stylish design - finished in a high quality stainless steel that has a fingerprint resistant coating, so it is very easy to keep clean. It can weigh in metric or imperial by pressing one of the four buttons. It has a blue LED display that is dead simple to read and looks good too.

There is a built in timer which I don't really see the point of but it is a nice feature if a bit over engineered. It can also be used to measure items without the weight of the container. To do this you use the ON/OFF / Tare button; you place the bowl or whatever on - press the Tare button and it subtracts that from the final reading when you place what ingredient you are wanting to weigh into the container. This saves lots of mental arithmetic - which, to be honest, I am not brilliant at.

It also is designed to have a hole in it for easy storage by hanging on a wall, and it looks so nice that this is what I have done rather than hide it in the cupboard. It needs 3 x AAA Batteries to operate and they are supplied and it has a simple yet useful instruction manual. It also has a two year warranty. The maximum load is 5,000g which must not be exceeded or you can cause damage to the unit, it can also be recalibrated quite easily following the instruction provided. I have been using mine now for a couple of weeks and absolutely love it. The one down side is that the display does turn itself down to save power after a while and that can be annoying if you are measuring flour or something that takes its time, but I only noticed it a couple of times, you have to press the on button and it lights up again. So easy to use, really accurate, low maintenance and looks great - an easy one to recommend.


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