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Charles Vasey (London, England)
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Camp Victory, Afghanistan [DVD]
Camp Victory, Afghanistan [DVD]
Dvd ~ Carol Dysinger
Offered by Home Entertainment Online
Price: £3.27

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real Warfare, 23 Oct 2014
An excellent documentary on US (and later Italian and Spanish) teams supporting an Afghan National Army Corps. The Afghan leader we follow is an ex-Mahsoud man who fought the Russians, he is obviously a hard warrior, but the differences between his troops and their US trainers at so many levels occupies much of the beginning of the film. These are two armies with two very different views of how they should train and fight and why they should train and fight. One soon understood why British Gurkha officers were obliged to learn the language; training in another language is a hard row to hoe. There is a very poignant end to the story.


Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century
Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century
by Geoffrey Parker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wider Still And Wider, 18 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a voyage into Braudelian history as a world full (by the contemporary standards) of people collides with climate change. The book's strength is looking not only for the similarities across cultures but the differences. How Japanese rulers reacted compared to the Qing is very informative as is the effect on Latin America where populations were comparatively low after the various post-Conquistador policies and epidemics. The question of whether the plague of revolts, rebellions and revolutions was caused by the Little Ice Age or was already in process is less easy to answer. There was clearly a growing difference between an increasingly educated underclass and a governing class used to rule by fiat (especially where it lacked the apparatus to rule properly). Later in the "long 17th century" after the many bloodlettings the propensity to revolt reduced, was it a Hobbesian reaction to chaos or simply the result of less people sharing the same resource.

This is a book that makes you think and want to discuss, and it will not be the last word.


The Last Ride
The Last Ride
by Thomas Eidson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Way Out West, 14 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Last Ride (Paperback)
It may get a bit Mystic Meg in parts but this novel is saved by its picture of the Old West which we can splice onto the landscape that has become so well known. The novel has two main drivers; the capture and pursuit of a young girl by Apache slavers, and the relationship between a father and his deserted daughter (the mother of the captured girl). The sense of murderous threat and of the size and spread of the terrain is well rendered; the tale of the father and daughter perhaps less well so.

This novel was the basis of the film "The Missing"


Get Carter (The Jack Carter Trilogy)
Get Carter (The Jack Carter Trilogy)
by Mike Hodges
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.69

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mr Chandler Changes Trains, 12 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The fame of the film adaption and its "Flash Gordon" appeal amongst film quoters do not operate against the quality of the original story. Set in south-ish Yorkshire/Lincolnshire rather than in Newcastle the story remains a real cracker, but for me it is the dialogue with its controlled, punchy quality - especially the exchanges between Kinnear and Jack - that takes the prize.

Excellent


Londoners part 1 (Londynczycy) Poland
Londoners part 1 (Londynczycy) Poland
Dvd ~ Robert Wieckiewicz
Offered by imported-dvdreams
Price: £19.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dzień dobry jestem z Kobry, 8 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A good soap opera about Poles in London covering the usual topics ranging from the lady from the WW2 wave whose children have gone native to the young country-girl in danger from gangsters. It has english subtitles but where the Russians are speaking you only get Polish. Lots of shots of London for aficionados and an engaging cast, plus a very clever lyric from Robbie Williams' Supreme.


Casino Jack [DVD]
Casino Jack [DVD]
Dvd ~ Kevin Spacey
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £5.04

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Under The Influence, 5 Oct 2014
This review is from: Casino Jack [DVD] (DVD)
There is something missing in this tale; or am I (and a number of my fellow reviewers) simply tired of tales of witless excess? The characters spend their time ripping people off, patronising and brown-nosing (at the same time) politicians, mouthing the most outrageous religious technobabble and being very boring (or over-the-top like the Barry Pepper character). Did the actors have a bad day or is this topic just more interesting to Beltway Bandits than to Brits? In the film the lead tries to pitch an action film about Moses to two shocked producers; I had similar feelings about "Casino Jack".


Ultraviolet - Collector's Edition [DVD]
Ultraviolet - Collector's Edition [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jack Davenport
Price: £8.30

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars RAVIOLI, 30 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Ultraviolet was and is very untypical of British television; it has no emoting by old actors pretending to be young and virile, most of the actors have learned to wait before delivering a line, and are all the more effective for that. The music is excellent and even I was impressed by the tension in Episode 5 (in the locked warehouse). With all of this is a very interesting riff on vampires and apocalyptic conspiracies; much remains of the original vampire concept but without the shocks as the fangs appear. It is a pity we only have six episodes but perhaps it makes them all the more perfect.


Heli [DVD]
Heli [DVD]
Dvd ~ Armando Espitia
Price: £9.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hobbesian, 27 Sep 2014
This review is from: Heli [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Caught up in the backwash of the drugs wars a Mexican family are nearly destroyed when confiscated cocaine poisons their lives. The film is very successful at giving a view of life where the police can be as violent as the drug lords (though the police leave survivors it seems) and financial survival depends on working at a maquiladora. There is no uplifting ending, only survival: the quiet triumph of the powerless. Not one to watch if you tend to depression.


Practice What You Preach: What Managers Must Do to Create a High Achievement Culture
Practice What You Preach: What Managers Must Do to Create a High Achievement Culture
by David H. Maister
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.29

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hire For Will Not For Skill, 23 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Many years ago I went for a job interview with a second tier and third-rate accounting firm in Slough. The unpleasant little toad behind the desk explained they were only interested in hiring people at £40k who would earn them £500K. Did he have such people, I enquired, he confirmed he did. "In that case" says I, "I'll take any spare ones you've got." We then engaged in body language displays in which I had an unfair advantage. As the News Of The World used to say, I made my excuses and left.

Putting aside his foolishness in explaining the Goose That Laid The Golden Egg, Mr Toad had got much of what David Maister demonstrates in this book. Taking consistently high performing businesses and using questionnaires/interview Maister has looked for common features across the field. He depends, of course, on his interviewees being sufficiently self-aware to analyse success, but I doubt they can all be similarly deluded.

The result of this study is that one wants a certain kind of team player, and one wants them more than a more talented individual who does not "know the Company Song", disruption is to be feared more than incompetence. The result is the sort of business that I loathe but which does function as a money spinner and I suspect makes its kind of people happier than the more freer environment. This is a world where the team plays and works together, where middle-management service the higher ranks and expects to be obeyed in an inclusive fashion. Yes, oddly enough they do not expect unthinking obedience but thinking obedience. I never quite got this but it is undoubtedly there; the nearest I can get to is the sort of unit loyalty one finds in a regiment.

These managers do not want team members who criticise others; any that do will be... er... criticised and removed. They feel their success comes from (to quote one example) having a free "Down Day" a year, having a day where the family visit to see where you work, a satirical in-house magazine to make sure no-one takes himself seriously (a useful technique in building unit loyalty is removing the sense of the individual and rebuilding as a team), and joint-team attendance at an educational out-of-the-office event.

If this sort of corporate horror is not for you then it's off to self-employment with you (and be strategically ill when your client invites you to the bonding day). If, however, you enjoy this intense team effort, irrespective of whether you can progress up the narrowing pyramid of the hierarchy, then you and your employer are going to have a chance of being in the consistently high performing businesses that Maister interviews.


DC Comics Deck-Building Game
DC Comics Deck-Building Game
by Cryptozoic Entertainment
Edition: Toy

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast, involving, exciting and some real theme, 23 Sep 2014
This review is from: DC Comics Deck-Building Game (Toy)
The non-collecting deck building world established by Dominion has a strong franchise in the Marvel Legendary series. The DC game (as with its LOTR and Hobbit cousins) is faster and looser than Legendary but still manages a remarkable level of difference in feel between (say) Batman and Superman. There are no specific "plots" in the DC games but a general contest to collect good cards and deploy them to defeat archenemies. DC archenemies are not as tough as in Marvel and one is really racing against one's fellow players. I cannot recommend these games enough.


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