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Charles Vasey (London, England)
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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
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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: £9.54

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hire For Will Not For Skill, 23 Sep 2014
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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 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.


The Missing [DVD] [2004]
The Missing [DVD] [2004]
Dvd ~ Tommy Lee Jones
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: £10.29

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Babes in Peril, 23 Sep 2014
This review is from: The Missing [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
This is a rocking tale of the old West with a considerable element of the real unpleasantness of raiding and reiving. A Brujo leads his crew in kidnapping young women to sell into prostitution in Mexico. Brilliantly played by Eric Schweig he is a mixture of black villain and necromancer escaped from a Carlos Castaneda novel. Hunting him and his coffle is the mother of one girl, her daughter (the annoying kid role) and estranged grandfather. The hard land and hard conduct combine with some typical Babes in Peril features (they always scream when being rescued, and give away the ambush site with their shiny binoculars) to weaken what is otherwise an exciting riff on The Searchers. But after the daftness passes it is the hardness of the land and its people that remain.


The Fourth State [DVD]
The Fourth State [DVD]
Dvd ~ Moritz Bleibtreu
Offered by The Happy Zombie
Price: £2.87

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nemetskiy, 15 Sep 2014
This review is from: The Fourth State [DVD] (DVD)
An odd mixture of hunted man, Watergate journalism and a mystery. Paul Jensen, played by the rubber-faced Moritz Bleibtreu, is a celebrity journalist hired by Moscow Match. So naturally he gets mixed up in dirty doings concerning the war in Chechnya and various Russian babes (as most celebrity journos would I'm sure). Fitted up by the state he goes into Russian prison (uh-oh)but thanks to a Plot Coincidence survives to wreck merry terror. Plot-wise it got more than a little unrealistic and the end was dreadfully sentimental.


The Great African War: Congo and Regional Geopolitics, 1996-2006
The Great African War: Congo and Regional Geopolitics, 1996-2006
by Filip Reyntjens
Edition: Paperback
Price: £20.23

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Political History Lacking In Military Details, 15 Sep 2014
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Filip Reyntjens has written a detailed if academic history of the political element of the two Congo Wars (which he regards as one). His scholarship and knowledge of the issues is considerable, and his analysis interesting. Amidst the alphabet soup of political, proxy and military forces (one needs to remember, for example, that FAZ,FAC and FADRC are all, variously, the Congolese army)he cuts to the key issue of the genocide against the Rwandan Tutsi and their attempts to ensure it does not happen again. Reyntjens cleaves to a principled line, one that suffers beneath the roar of the Kalashnikov. He avoids military details so that the success or otherwise of various factions can come as a surprise in purely political terms. The state known as Zaire, Congo, and DRC is seen not as a Wilhelmine Germany (large and strong) but as a Holy Roman Empire where neighbours establish their own zones of control on the border "duchies".

Not for the faint of heart: there are more than enough massacres.

Those of you who want a brief description of the military side should read Tom Cooper's two books

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Great-Holocaust-1996-1997-AFRICA-Series/dp/1909384658

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Great-Conflagration-Second-1998-2003-AFRICA/dp/1909384666


The Michael Wood BBC Collection : In Search Of The Trojan War / In The Footsteps Of Alexander The Great / In Search Of Shakespeare / In Search Of Myths And Heroes / Conquistadors (5 Disc Box Set) [DVD]
The Michael Wood BBC Collection : In Search Of The Trojan War / In The Footsteps Of Alexander The Great / In Search Of Shakespeare / In Search Of Myths And Heroes / Conquistadors (5 Disc Box Set) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Michael Wood
Price: £21.14

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reithian, 14 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A fine collection of some of the best (but tantalisingly not all) of Michael Wood's TV series.

In Search of The Trojan War is an excellent exposition not only of the history of that conflict but of the men and women who sought to discover the current locations.

In The Footsteps of Alexander The Great sees Wood in typical mode, scaling mountains and crossing deserts to follow the greatest conqueror of them all (Genghiz Khan lacking his Arrian); taking us to areas we may never visit but want to see.

Conquistadors amps this up even more with the tales of Cortes, the Pissaros, and Cabeza de Vaca as we travel around North, Central and South America.

In Search of Myths and Heroes is a hodge-podge of different eras and styles from Sheba to Camelot; involving a lot of exotic locations.

and, finally (for my viewing anyway) the BBC allow him to travel in England (and a wee bit of Scotland) for In Search Of William Shakespeare. The locations and research was wonderful, especially for someone who worked at Blackfriars. And if we had rather too many lovies we had some wonderful actors too; Sher in the Scottish Play and Glover in Lear.

Astonishing value.


Selfish Whining Monkeys: How we Ended Up Greedy, Narcissistic and Unhappy
Selfish Whining Monkeys: How we Ended Up Greedy, Narcissistic and Unhappy
by Rod Liddle
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.49

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where Did It All Go Wrong?, 7 Sep 2014
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This book may come over in parts as Rod Liddle being frightfully amusing at the expense of people who are, shall we say, a trifle intense. It seems to me to be rather more than just that. Firstly, it is a work of filial piety as he remembers fondly and with a variety of regrets his parents and their world. He does not hero-worship them, but it is quite clear their conduct and their qualities echo down the years for him. I was reminded of Jonathan Meades' An Encylcopaedia of Myself". Meades and Liddle neatly sandwich me in age and I recognise their potraits of their parents. Secondly, although Liddle picks some prime targets (eggshells armed with hammers) and subjects them to his Rabelaisian language and cruel tongue he often holds back at the last moment when humour might dictate a substantial rucking was in order. After dumping on sufferers of fashionable non-diseases, for example, in an unrelenting but amusing fashion he notes that these are the symptoms of modern life; a result of the movement away from his parents' values to the freer and more modern world. There is a price for everything, the Sage Of Nunthorpe tells us, and we pay in many ways. We might not be able to do much about it, but we can at least recognise it.

I would not recommend the book to the easily offended.


The Medieval Soldier: In The Wars of the Roses
The Medieval Soldier: In The Wars of the Roses
by Andrew W. Boardman
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bottom Up, 7 Sep 2014
This is a useful starting place for studying the wars and the individual level, for it is clear that the author's heart and knowledge lie not in the political arena but in the more tactical and organisational levels. This is all grist to the mill however, as it balances the more operational histories (I always like John Gillingham's work here). The author's work on Towton (with its grave pits and non-chronicle evidence) is a strong part of his book.


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