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Benidorm - Series 7 [DVD]
Benidorm - Series 7 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jake Canuso
Price: £14.00

3.0 out of 5 stars It's still good for a laugh, 31 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Benidorm - Series 7 [DVD] (DVD)
I would first like to say that I am a big fan of 'Benidorm', and thought that the first two series were comedy good, and the third was also very good. Things went down hill with series 4, and series 5 was mostly dire. I was loosing hope on a show that had once given me plenty of laughs, but I decided to watch series 6 and 'Benidorm' appeared to be back on track - I thought the whole series was great.

Now, when I went I rate series 7 three stars (as I did with series 4), it is only because I can't give it 3.5. 'Benidorm' is nowhere near as sharp, funny and exciting as it was, but it is still a great little show, better than a lot of so-called 'comedies' out there.

Moon Landing (Special Apollo Edition)
Moon Landing (Special Apollo Edition)
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome package!, 31 Jan. 2015
I have already reviewed James Blunt's fourth album 'Moon Landing', and commented on how much I enjoyed it. I have since upgraded to the 'Special Apollo Edition', and I am so glad that I did.

Sometimes there is a reason why some tracks that are later issued as 'bonuses' didn't make the final cut on an album, they simply weren't very good. However, the five bonus songs which top and bottom the CD here blend in beautifully with the rest of the material, so much so that it's almost like having a completely new album. Two of the new songs, 'When I Find Love Again' and 'Trail of Broken Hearts' have recently been released as singles, confirming that the added material really is quality.

The big bonus of this edition is the DVD, recorded live at Paleo Festival, where James performs highlights from the album, as well as his greatest hits over the past decade, dating back to 'You're Beautiful' and 'Goodbye My Lover', the two singles that made the nation fall in love with his music.

It often annoys me when record labels bring out an expanded edition of an album so quickly after you've paid good money for the original. but this one really is worth having for it's extras. The 'Special Apollo Edition' of 'Moon Landing' is an awesome package for the more serious James Blunt fan. If you really don't care to watch the DVD or hear any extra material, you might want to just stick with Moon Landing, but really, I say you'd be missing out.

Fright Night [DVD]
Fright Night [DVD]
Dvd ~ Colin Farrell
Offered by A2Z Entertains
Price: £4.09

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining Vampire movie, 29 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Fright Night [DVD] (DVD)
'Fright Night' is a 2011 remake of the cult 1985 American horror comedy of the same name. As I have never seen the original, I can't compare, but I thought that this modern day picture was an entertaining Vampire movie, although whether or not it stays true to the original, I can't yet say.

Teenager Charley (Anton Yelchin) strongly suspects his mysterious new neighbour Jerry (Colin Farrell) is a vampire, responsible for a series of recent deaths. Understandably, no one believes this, and so Charley results in consulting a self proclaimed vampire killer and magician Peter Vincent (David Tennant) to help him save him and his friends from Jerry.

The film is visually impressive, with good graphics that don't distract the viewer from the fine acting. Colin Farrell really is brilliant as his unsavoury character, as well as scene stealing David Tennant, who is clearly lapping up the role of the camp, reluctant vampire slaying character (think Russell Brand type!).

'Fright Night' is compulsively watchable and very funny in parts. I wouldn't class it as being a seriously scary movie, but there is still plenty of bite and meat to the story. If you like a good entertaining vampire film that will make you smile, this is worth checking out.

Alone Without You [CD 1]
Alone Without You [CD 1]
Offered by CDandVinyl
Price: £6.34

5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner from Mark, 29 Jan. 2015
I am a big fan of Mark Owen as a solo artist, and after winning 'Celebrity Big Brother' in 2003 he returned to the music scene with the criminally underrated album In Your Own Time and the insanely catchy top 5 UK hit single Four Minute Warning. Unfortunately, the album barely dented the top 75, and 'Alone With You', it's second single only peaked at no.26. It's a double shame really, because this gorgeous ballad, sang with real sincerity and pathos, deserved to be a much bigger hit, and a third single never materialised due to this one's only average success.

As the title suggests, 'Alone Without You' is the story of a breakup, where the man misses his ex girlfriend very much, still hoping against hope that she will return to him, and is pleading for time to get her back again. It's a well written song and one that I think anyone who has ever been in love before the other subsequently spilt up with them can relate to.

You can own this track by buying the album, but for us Mark Owen completists (guilty as charged), you will want this single for the B sides. 'Killing Time' is a cool, upbeat song, 'Four Minute Warning' is presented via an excellent acoustic performance, and, if you decide to buy the CD instead of downloading, you also have the music video for 'Alone Without You'.

Despite three top 5 hits in the UK, and four albums to date, Mark looks set to be always be an overlooked master singer/songwriter, but for those of us who take the time to listen to his work without Take That - we all know that he is a true talent.

Give My Love To London
Give My Love To London
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Back with a vengeance, 28 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Give My Love To London (Audio CD)
Although her last studio album was only released in 2011, 'Give My Love To London' really does feel like a big comeback release from one of Britain's most enduring female vocal talents. Marianne Faithful's voice may have seen better days, but it's still special. She delivers all eleven tracks with a prominant lisp, and although she sings witheringly, her voice is assuring, expressive and easy on the ear.

I think that 'Give My Love To London' is her best release in a very long time, and filled with songs that are just as good as some of her finest work in the past. The title track really is joyful and had me from the first play, sounding very Irish. There are some excellent dramatic, theatrical ballads like 'True Lies', which she has always done so brilliantly, but for me the real highlight is 'Love More Or Less'. This poignant little folk song with the gorgeous production is enough to almost move you to tears.

'Give My Love To London' is proof that once you have it - you never lose it. I think this album should please all of Marianne's fan base, and is likely to win her some new fans. The songs are so real, true to life, the production is first class, and Marianne's lisp becomes strangely more appealing after each listen. A true original - I am forever a fan of her.

Plastic [DVD]
Plastic [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ed Speleers
Price: £7.55

4.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining, 28 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Plastic [DVD] (DVD)
Loosely based on a true story, 'Plastic' tells the tale of four young men in London who run a credit card fraud scheme to help cover their student loans. They are successful in their criminal activities until one day they trick the wrong person - a gangster. From there, the unsavoury crime boss forces them to raise two million pounds and also pull off a diamond heist to clear up their debt.

This is a British comedy-crime film that is actually very entertaining. It has a good plot and a great cast of young British actors who turn in sound performances. Emma Rigby really does look stunning, and although I think her character was slightly underused and could have helped in some way to save the day, her scenes will be very much appreciated by the male viewers.

'Plastic' is a fun teen film overall, and great to watch with a group of mates.

by Macaulay Culkin
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully innovative, 28 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Junior (Hardcover)
I am a real fan of Macaulay Culkin, and regard him as one of the greatest child actors of all time. I made the mistake of believing this book to be an autobiography, but it really isn't, 'Junior' is a lot different to that, and in many ways I'm glad, because this one is unique.

Rather experimentally, Macaulay takes his readers into his own unique world, using 'Junior' as a pen name. Written in the style of a journal, complete with doodles, crossings-out, poetry, short stories and check lists, his personality comes shining through in what is a witty, and often surprisingly moving book. There is no continuity to any of it whatsoever, but this is good thing in this case, as you are constantly wondering what he is going to say and talk about next. I should say that 'Junior' isn't for everybody, there will be some people that just won't 'get it', and it does help to be a fan of Mac's in order to be able to fully appreciate it.

Macaulay shares lots of personal thoughts and opinions, thrown at the reader from out of nowhere, just like how a troubled mind works for people who experience problems in their lives (in other words, all of us at times). Although it's largely a work of fiction, there are some things in here which are clearly semi-autobiographical, including issues with his father, in which he writes wittingly about.

By picking up 'Junior', you should be aware that you will not be reading Macaulay Culkin's life story. There are no revelations about his hugely successful film career before he even entered his teens, nor how he became a well-documented drug addict. Instead, you will find out about his personality, his isolation, and understand why he is the way he is. I found it to be a completely innovative, refreshing, and unputdownable read. It's quite a short book, and you're average reader should be able to read it in at least two sittings, but it's well worth a look nonetheless.

Bad Girls Series Seven [DVD]
Bad Girls Series Seven [DVD]
Dvd ~ Helen Fraser
Price: £11.90

5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsive viewing, 27 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Bad Girls Series Seven [DVD] (DVD)
The seventh series of 'Bad Girls' is a personal favourite of mine. I rate this critically acclaimed, long-running prison drama, which brilliantly dramatises the highs and lows of jailed women, very highly anyway, but this whole series really is compulsive viewing from start-to-finish.

The first episode opens up with Jim Fenner's difficult imprisonment and his subsequent release. Although the character was a baddie, he was great for the show, and we see him continue his dangerous, manipulative and downright evil reign of lies and sleaze as G-wing governor until his murder. Other excellent moments come from those hilarious Costa Cons, who briefly escape and head to Spain, only to stumble upon Body Bag and her (in the words of Con Phyl) "loathsome little man" husband on their ... "eventful" honeymoon.

There are several new characters who appear briefly but still make an impression, including a troubled young girl who murdered her mother, and an elderly nun whose' holier-than-thou image proves to be deceiving. One of the best new inmates goes onto become a regular, Pat Kerrigan, a women with a troubled past, tough on the outside and seemingly insane on first impression, but despite being a formidable enemy, she is a great friend, and happily takes vulnerable people under her wing. With Fenner dead, the no-nonsense Joy Masterton takes his place as governor.

'Bad Girls' was a quality TV drama from the start, but no real fan should be without this series. Life in Larkhall Prison is never dull, and often quite hilarious with these ''ladies''.

Please note: Like all the 'Bad Girls' boxsets, this series is available to buy on the '2entertain' label here: Bad Girls - Series 7 Box Set [DVD]. I have the edition from 'Acorn Media', and there are no special features (which I believe there will be on the linked set), apart from interactive menus and scene selection.

Joan Rivers - A Piece Of Work [DVD]
Joan Rivers - A Piece Of Work [DVD]
Dvd ~ Joan Rivers
Offered by Dogwoof Ltd.
Price: £5.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely fascinating, 25 Jan. 2015
I always enjoyed Joan Rivers' comedy, particularly when she was at her peak in the 1980s, but in more recent years, I rarely laughed, only when I saw her as herself on TV chat shows. I think her humour had become too celebrity based, offensive, and just plain mean spirited. However, I always respected her longevity, considered her a pioneer in comedy, and admired her strength of character.

I had heard a lot about this acclaimed documentary, and since Joan's passing, I was eager to see it, and I'm glad that I did. It really is a fascinating insight into her world, where the cameras followed her around for a year in her life. We see the real Joan, and a rather tragic figure emerges, a woman who is very insecure and unhappy in herself. She talks openly and movingly about her feud with chat show host Johnny Carson, the suicide of her husband, as well as the constant fear that one day she will no longer be working.

The film includes some recent clips of her hilarious stand-up comedy, where she talks humorously about her herself, and proves that she hasn't lost anything, as well as vintage performances from her early days. There are interviews with key players in her life, including her daughter Melissa, her manager, and people like Kathy Griffin who regard Joan as a mentor.

Her kindness comes shining through, and that's what makes 'Joan Rivers - A Piece of Work' such a joy to see. Both sad and comical at the same time, this film is a real 'must-watch' to find out about the person behind the humour. RIP Joan Rivers!

Four Minute Warning
Four Minute Warning
Price: £2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Mark's top 5 comeback hit!, 25 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Four Minute Warning (Audio CD)
After winning TV's 'Celebrity Big Brother', Mark Owen went back into the recording studio after eight years in 2003. The result was the excellent album In Your Own Time, and it's first single - 'Four Minute Warning'.

This immediately engaging tune became Mark's third top 5 smash in the UK charts - peaking at no.4! The song is still probably one of the best things Mark has ever written, based on the public alert system conceived by the British Government during the Cold War, and is cleverly constructed with a countdown in the lyrics. 'FMW' is an excellent slice of catchy pop-rock, and should be played more on the radio today.

The B sides are also worth seeking out, 'Live If You Try' is a feel-good anthem that will make you want to sing along, and 'Jaywalker' is also infectious. Mark Owen is an underrated genus, and I hope that one day he will receive the recognition he deserves as a master singer-songwriter.

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