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Lou Knee (England)

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The Hireling [DVD] [1973]
The Hireling [DVD] [1973]
Dvd ~ Robert Shaw
Price: £4.95

3.0 out of 5 stars ... the upper classes lived without really turning into a great piece of film fiction, 19 July 2014
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This review is from: The Hireling [DVD] [1973] (DVD)
A slow paced romdram which says a lot about how the upper classes lived without really turning into a great piece of film fiction. Shaw is good in a much deeper role than he was used to getting, but probably needed a little more action to suit his style. In one scene he sprints down the long drive in an apparent attempt to stir some life into the film. Not a bad effort, but this kind of thing didn't suit him.


Kindle Paperwhite, 6" High Resolution Display with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi [Previous Generation]
Kindle Paperwhite, 6" High Resolution Display with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi [Previous Generation]

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feels nice, looks good, easy to use, 26 Dec. 2012
Got this one instead of other leading ebook readers because of the larger library Amazon has. For book purists waffling on about the feel and smell of books I'd say this feels better than books, having a lovely soft matt finish to it. Also looks great, I love the tasteful screensavers in their dense black inkiness.

The wide brightness control is superb, as I prefer the dimmer setting, which in the dark rooms I prefer, is just right for my eyes and looks good also. This also takes away most of the slight hue or tinge some people are complaining of.

I think the footlights give it an atrractive marbled look. Shine a torch under paper and you will get an even pinker hue coming through. The lighting is a very satisfactory solution to a problem. Much rather have this than stick a lamp on it or turn bedside lights on. This won't wake up the lump next to you as you escape into another world at night. All in all, very good so far.


The Devil Rides Out
The Devil Rides Out
by Alison Sage
Edition: Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping occult thriller classic, 28 Mar. 2012
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This review is from: The Devil Rides Out (Paperback)
This is a classy occult thriller from a writer who forged a new genre of thriller somewhere between Buchannan and Stoker. He mixes the thrill factor and pace from best sellers like The 39 Steps with themes from the supernatural. Little elements are undoubtedly inspired by Dracula but the general theme and tone owe more to historic tales of witchcraft and the then recent reimergence of interest in it due to notorious 'disciples' and self publiscists such as Crowley and Rasputin.

It may seem quite dated and holky now to hardened modern thriller readers, but it's not fair to judge the writing style by today's standards. Written in the early 30s and feeling every bit of it, you have to give it its period context and not expect it to be hard and streetwise like a modern thriller, and I think some of the critical comments about its old fashionedness are crazy and unjust. That's how they wrote then, before the likes of DHL helped change all that.

That's not to say it doesn't falter a little at crucial periods though, mainly with Wheatley wanting to embelish the story with more second hand tales of weirdness when he'd have been far better off, imo, in just letting the narrative flow. If he'd wanted to flesh out what would have naturally been a shorter, 39 Steps length, then I think he should have just added a new chapter or two instead of holding up crucial chapters with artificial looking dialogue designed to add more occult knowledge to bolster its black magic authenticity. You feel Wheatley knows a lot about this subject but wonder if he shouldn't just get on with the story instead. That said, it's a captivating thriller about the dark side, spells and witchcraft, all of which still fascinates us today, as a browse through the internet proves.


Greetings From Asbury Park N.J.
Greetings From Asbury Park N.J.
Offered by mrtopseller
Price: £5.00

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite Springsteen album gets better and better with listening, 20 Jun. 2011
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I've heard most of his albums and I don't like or rate any as much as this one. There are more gems on this album than any other of his I've heard. The opener is simply one of the very best, most accomplished debut album opening tracks ever recorded. This is a debut album but on hearing that opnener, you'd think this was some well established artist's 7th or 8th album!

As it goes on, you get more subtle but just as memorable tracks, some with melodies that linger for ages after, like Growing Up or the great Spirit In The Night. There are several here that pass you by on first hearings and then you play it a year later and they sound like minor classics. For You and Mary Queen of Arkansas are two such tracks. What a lovely, subtle, deep, but very strong album this is, especially for a debut album! Amazed this is isn't rated much much higher. Some of his more famous albums seem quite dull and tuneless next to this album, imo.


Abandoned Luncheonette
Abandoned Luncheonette
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £5.60

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely drifty lyrical light soul, 30 Jun. 2010
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This review is from: Abandoned Luncheonette (Audio CD)
Wonderful second album from a unique act who created almost a new genre for themselves with their wispy, light soul melodies. Has a nice non commercial sound that they didn't keep for too long afterwards. That's why this album is essential listening, it isn't glossy or commercial, it's laid back, airy, and fits the image of the cover perfectly.

She's Gone is a gem and was the one sign of their heavily commercialised future to come, but it's still a gem, probably the best song they ever did, imo. The rest nestles comfortably into a more laid back, unpolished sound coming from a variety of influences yet still seeming a style all their own. A lovely background album for when you're in that mood, uplifting yet drifty and airy all at once. Hall & Oates were never better, more polished yes, but never better than this.


Desire
Desire
Price: £5.44

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely sound, 18 Feb. 2010
This review is from: Desire (Audio CD)
Totally different sound to the previous year's Blood On The Tracks, this is a much freer and happier sounding Dylan, not tied to some emotional mission like he was on BOTT. A good mix of songs with a loose, bluesy feel throughout with splashes of exoticism. A musically mature album and not at all claustraphobic or intense as BOTT was, this is a very conscious move away from that saturated and pristine studio sound, the contrast with that album is fantastic. If BOTT hadn't been made then Desire would probably be raved about as his best 70s album. Not as emersing or anything like as relistenable as BOTT but deserves a listen to every once in a while.


Blood On The Tracks
Blood On The Tracks
Price: £5.34

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best album about love ever recorded, 15 Feb. 2010
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This review is from: Blood On The Tracks (Audio CD)
Love does not have to be sugary and sweet, as it too often is in pop/rock music. Here, the ever detached rock God Bob Dylan gives us the perfect take on hard love, love as seen from the loser, and it sounds more heartfelt than any 'you're the best thing' or 'since I met you' love albuM. But only Dylan could still pour out the affections from his heart in the next song or even the next line. Whoever the women were he was singing about are very, very privileged to have inspired the greatest love album, and probably one of the best 30 or so pop albums of any genre ever recorded.

The order of the tracks is one of the album's greatest strengths. It starts off going straight into the personal, emotional sound giving us a taste of his mood, without opening up his heart too much, yet, but Tangled Up In Blue is a belter of an opening track and tells us of the quality we've to expect in the rest of it. Simple Twist of Fate is possibly even better, though many of these tracks will compete to be people's favourites, there's hardly anything in terms of quality between most of them. Then with track 3 comes the first really affecting song, You're A Big Girl Now, with the sad love song feel all over it, Bob has finally opened up about the hurt he's feeling. The effect is stunning, it's like 'wow, here it comes, Bob's finally pouring his heart out', and the song itself is beautiful. It's followed with the angry, biting Idiot Wind, this is the embodiment of the slagging off stage after a bitter break up, only it's written by probably the best lyricist we've ever known - it's a cracker! Then comes the album's shortest track, with a slightly different tempo, more upbeat and far lighter, still openly personal, but a pure love song, full of awe and praise for a loved one. This is like a kiss when you expected another slap.

Side 2 (as it was) resets the mid west country tone, given in Tangled Up In Blue, this time with a slower, ambling blues number. For me this is the weakest track on the the album because it doesn't really fit in, but would have sounded goos on Desire, which was more bluesy. It's back up tempo with a touch of Robert Service like adventure and romance in the 2nd track, a drawn out square dance type of number about a mythical Jack of Hearts. It pads out the album, but also it sets up the great contrast we get with the next track, my favourite track and one of the album's real highlights. Few songs by anyone have ever sounded as poignant as If You See Her Say Hello. It is so personal, and even Bob's voice sounds like he means this one more than the others - this song almost hurts to listen to, but it is so utterly beautiful. Shelter From The Storm is just undiluted genius, this track more than all the others shows a master at the very height of his craft, in mid muse and sailing, this reminds you the man was born with a luscious gift and we are the lucky ones he shares it with. Buckets of Rain is a typically assured Dylan sign off, bitter sweet, and remeniscent of his mid 60s love songs such as I Want You and She Belongs To Me. There is enough class on this album to make a handful of classic albums had he wanted to carry on in this extremely rich muse he was in. Easily my most played album, once you love it, you can't be without it for long.


Dad's Army - The Complete Fourth Series [1970] [DVD] [2005]
Dad's Army - The Complete Fourth Series [1970] [DVD] [2005]
Dvd ~ Arthur Lowe
Price: £7.98

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A contender for the best series, 30 Nov. 2009
A good, well rounded series this one, with some interesting episodes in with some very funny ones. There are two or three here that are quite poignant and show Croft & Perry were adept at creating new storylines and didn't mind a bit of drama as a break from the more slapstick routines - Mums Army is their tribute to Brief Encounter while A Wilson, A Manager? is just as sad. The best of the slapstick ones for me are Uninvited Guests and Fallen Idol. This last one shows just what a fantastic comedy actor Arthur Lowe was, a near genius I would probably say. The other lot weren't a bad bunch either. Very good, but not quite the best in my opinion, so 4.5 stars.


Blott on the Landscape [DVD] [1985]
Blott on the Landscape [DVD] [1985]
Dvd ~ David Suchet
Price: £5.50

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A mid 80s classic with all the faults of a mid 80s production, 23 Nov. 2009
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A very watchable BBC comedy series from the mid 80s with some memorable faces and a slyly humorous screenplay. It looks extremely dated already, some of the plotlines have no credibility and it is heavy on caricature. The production values are quite solid, with lots of location shots, but it's not as slick as you see on the best BBC mini series now, rather obviously, and the editing is not fantastic! Acting is very good, as are some of the situations and the general story. Is slacker than it could be in places, and for me the whole lot could have been filmed in half the number of episodes, and probably would be in today's climate.

Having said that it has a certain charisma and enough twists and turns to keep everyone happy. For its time it was very good, I remember - now, some of it looks a little flabby, but it is still very good viewing, especially if you saw it when it originally aired. I take a star off for the obvious distortion nostalgia brings. If I hadn't seen it and loved it before, I may have found it less alluring. Cadell nicks the performance honours from James and Suchet, for me. Very good casting.
4.5


Asterix And The Falling Sky (Asterix (Orion Paperback))
Asterix And The Falling Sky (Asterix (Orion Paperback))
by Uderzo
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely terrible, 27 Oct. 2009
Uderzo should be ashamed of this very unAsterix like adventure. It is appalling and has nothing to do with real Asterix stories at all. He's either lost the plot totally or is somehow oblivious to the growing criticism of the silly and outlandish type of stories he has been creating since his partner Gosginny, the writer, died. I'm very annoyed that this book was ever published, but then when there is money to be made out of a very popular brand then you get greedy artists and greedy publishers. It is such a terrible shame Asterix has now come down to this. Terrible story.


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