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The Great Elmyra (Telford)

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Bless this House: Complete Series [DVD]
Bless this House: Complete Series [DVD]
Dvd ~ Sid James
Price: 29.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sid - proof that there is a God, 2 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The 1970s was the golden age of sitcom for Britain. It will never be as good again. True we'll get close, but nothing will ever beat those halcyon days. And though many will scoff at this next statement, this is, I would say, the best sitcom of them all.

It's hard to believe that anyone reading this review has not seen Bless This House, but if you haven't let me tell you now that what this set will give you is 65 episodes (and a film) of pure enjoyment; pure escapism; pure fun.

When Sid James started to make this show he was at the peak of his Carry On fame. In the same year that the first episodes made it to TV, Sid was the ultimate lecher in Carry on Henry and a compulsive gambling sauce pot in Carry On At Your Convenience. He is so far removed from those characters here that it is hard to think it is the same person. What really delights is that it was Sid himself that appealed to his script writers to lay off the dirty old man cobblers and give him something more befitting of a man of his age. They came up with a format hardly likely to blow anyone away with originality and made him a dad in a family he adores but doesn't really understand. Welcome to Bless This House.

This is, by gazillions of miles, Sid's best and most enjoyable role. He obviously loves who he plays and this carries across in every episode. But to help him along there is arguably one of the most beautiful women ever to have lived in Diana Coupland. She exudes her charm in every single scene and plays the part of the loyal, faithful, loving and just a little tiny bit ditzy wife in such a way to generate a delightful chemistry on screen with Sid. To add to the enjoyment are continued great performances from "them next door" played by Carry On stalwart Patsy Rowlands and the ridiculously under-used actor that was Anthony Jackson.

The story-lines early on in the series seldom stretch the viewer - the favourite idea is that Sid is presented with a situation and jumps to completely the wrong conclusions. This is set out in the first episode in which he presumes his son is gay (shock horror for 1971!!!) and that his daughter is on the pill (more shock horror for 1971!!!). Of course, Sid is totally wrong on both counts, much hilarity then ensues. This format is continued for quite a number of the episodes and although that should seem as though this is a drag to watch, it is in fact part of its kitsch charm.

Alas, when you get to series 5 and 6, the writers begin to change and more situations arise in the episodes; this actually makes these last 2 series the best 2 in my opinion. In fact I would argue that Bless This House could have continued easily for another 5 years had Sid not so tragically died in 1976. The last series is in fact only very slightly marred by how terribly tired Sid looks in some of the episodes. It is therefore further testament to his character that it is this series that will create the most laughs. A true showman to the end.

When you buy this (and you MUST buy it) then I suggest when the Thames TV logo appears, that you push the "back" button on your remote. You will then see the original leader tape. On these hidden little segments you can hear the stage hands and director and sometimes Sid himself in the seconds before the filming began. You will also notice that every single one is "take one" which means that each episode is effectively a live performance recorded in front of a studio audience.

They don't make TV like this any more. And they don't make actors and actresses like this any more.


And enjoy.

Metaltex Garlic Press and Cherry Stoner in Aluminium
Metaltex Garlic Press and Cherry Stoner in Aluminium
Price: 3.60

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ever been had?, 2 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is like when you join a dating agency and get a photo of some pretty smoking hot babe and you meet her and she looks like she's been hit by a croquet mallet and you discover the "photo of her" was "a photo of her if she was someone else" which is both slanderous and sexist and so this review probably won't make it to Amazon. But having opened my "great addition to the kitchen" and discovered it to a "one-off Lidl special" as opposed to the "sumptuous Marks & Spencers exclusive" that I had expected I actually thought "to hell with it. It is 3 lousy quid." I gave more than that to the scouts for packing my shopping the other week so what does it matter?

It's not that the quality is awful, which it is, or that the product I have only bears a passing resemblance to the photo shown, it' wait - yeah it IS those things.

And here I am - 39 years old, writing a bad review over a GARLIC PRESS. What the hell?

So in essence - this product will lose you money, will fail to adequately press garlic and will also quite possibly ruin your bloody life.

Caveat Emptor.

Scorpion Tales - The Complete Series [DVD]
Scorpion Tales - The Complete Series [DVD]
Dvd ~ Don Henderson
Price: 9.88

2.0 out of 5 stars Definition of heart-stopping TV!, 6 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?) not what this is.

What got my goat with this was primarily the fact that STING IN THE TAIL and DENOEUMENT is bandied around on the cover like the phrases were going out of fashion. Pah, says I. These stories have a sting in the tail like a snail has the ability to make a good kissing partner, I know, I've tried.

Of the 6 stories, only 1 was particularly good, the remainder came across as world weary blatherings that just didn't really go anywhere. Now I like to watch TV without getting too involved. I like to be carried along by a story and then turfed out at the end with an unexpected twist. So I jumped at buying these because I thought they were going to fulfil my desires. But they didn't. The "Killing" one was the best and I really did enjoy it. jack Shepard doing his best cow-faced performance, as a computer programmer that has developed a program to theoretically play the stock markets. I was sucked into the story and even found myself thinking how this earth-shattering denouement was going to take place. And the ending was so far removed from what I saw, and so limp and useless that I was genuinely upset.

To couple this is a HORRIBLE sound transfer. The "ghosting" on the audio is so bad that you can hear the words echoing several seconds before and after, which is vaguely reminiscent of that stupid idea I had of seeing is boiling LSD made better tea. It doesn't in case you're wondering.

It's a one watch show and one for the car boot.

Chiller - The Complete Series [DVD] [1995]
Chiller - The Complete Series [DVD] [1995]
Dvd ~ Sophie Ward
Price: 19.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hmm, 6 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
32 seconds. That is how long the picture remains on CHILLER in between parts. Any tension built up in the scenes before is shot to pieces as you wait. And wait. AND WAIT for the next flipping part to come on.

There. Got that out the way because gee that wigged me off.

These 5 stories are, in my opinion, lacking that certain something that ITV scary TV from the decades previously (Hammer, Thriller and so on) had mastered so brilliantly. I was expecting a hell of a lot more from this series and I'm afraid I was left quite disappointed. The cast is superb, it's well filmed and some of the special effects are pretty decent; but it just...just doesn't work. It feels contrived. The format comes across as hackneyed and actually probably a bit worn out. The corny moments, like in the first episode at the end (no spoilers but God knows you'll know what I mean if you see it) made me shudder so much that I set off the car alarm outside. It's ok for TV to be corny if it comes from the 70s. it's passable from the 80s, but this was 1995, for crying out loud.

The only story that really worked was Toby, which ticked the boxes quite nicely; having a nice climax and some moments which are actually quite unsettling. I'm afraid the remainder I just found listless.

I wouldn't particularly recommend this to be frank.

32 seconds indeed....

Thriller: The Complete Series [DVD]
Thriller: The Complete Series [DVD]
Dvd ~ Robert Powell
Price: 36.34

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 16 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Before I commence, it is worth mentioning that this perhaps a little sycophantic review is not one borne out of a sense of nostalgia. True I may have contemplated trawling through Amazon to find shows I liked when I was younger and slimmer and less afraid of teenagers, but this box set came to me entirely on the recommendation of Amazon. How glad am I that this happened!
I knew nothing of this show and so was actually a little apprehensive when the first disc entered my DVD player. And so what do I think of it? Well, let’s take the negatives first.

It DOES look dated. I had a good long think about this and I came up with the idea that it might have something to do with it being 40 years old. OK, so the jarring change from smooth and soft location shots to the gaudiness of the studio shots physically hurt my eyes every time, but TV was comparatively infant at the time. And yeah, the whole style of the shows is very old fashioned, with limited pizazz and showiness – but actually that is very much its charm.

Another negative is that pretty much every show is written by Brian Clemens and whilst this does make for a box set that doesn’t grate as it goes off in a new direction or gets mercilessly hijacked by some blundering ghost writer, it also does mean that by the last couple of discs the plotlines are in danger of becoming a little predictable.

My final grumble is that, at a little over an hour long, occasionally the pudding gets so hideously over-egged that it once or twice bordered on the irritating. You know the sort of horror flick staple? Where there is ONE PERSON that knows there is a monster in the cellar and NOBODY ELSE BELIEVES THEM and then eventually one other person BELIEVES THEM and they go on to vanquish it? A good example is “Somebody At The Top of The Stairs”, an episode which did actually succeed in creeping me out totally. It then murdered its own powerful tour de force with a long and clunking ending to the episode which left me wishing for a time machine, a pass to the editing suite at ATV studios and a pair of bloody sharp scissors.

But these are piffling complaints. Because in all I didn’t actually ever want the set to end. I haven’t enjoyed a program so much in ages. Because of the age of the program, what it relies on is good acting, very tight stories and filming to ensure that your attention is grabbed and retained throughout. As said above, there are one or two examples where this falls flat but by in large I was pretty much riveted from the opening shot to the end credits.

Thriller has a really enjoyable trans-Atlantic feel to it, with almost every episode having an American star in it, ostensibly to help it be marketable overseas. But even though the American element is present, this is still a very British program.

But where this show really shines is the stories. Clemen’s incredibly fertile imagination manages to create a show that has so many different types of story that it is consistently captivating. A personal highlight was “The Eyes Have It” in which a group of terrorists break into a school for the blind with a view to wasting some statesman or other with a rocket launcher (as ya do). This opened up a really enjoyable episode in which the group of hostages, all of which are blind, go out of their way to thwart this assassination. This demonstrates a really clever writing style, but also some really impressive acting performances.
To detail other episodes which have remained with me would take up pages of review. Let it just be said that this is a masterpiece of TV which sadly is no longer made in a world which hungers so much for the brash and banal.

Buy this!

Offered by express trading
Price: 89.99

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Badly made, 24 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I did rate this a 5 star product but within less than a month of receiving it two of the attachments have broken and now the handle has broke. Both attachments broke at the joins and now the handle has broken. It is made from cheap plastic that snaps really easily. I would not recommend this product and would advise anyone thinking of buying not too bother.

Mitc: The Complete Series [DVD]
Mitc: The Complete Series [DVD]
Dvd ~ Peter Cregeen
Price: 10.49

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It was ok....I suppose....sort of, 6 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Ok, let me tell you the PRIMARY problem I have with Mitch and I'm sorry to admit that it IS a personal one.

Amazon recommended this show to me based on my pathological adoration for The Sweeney and Morse. I will always recall the day it arrived - a day off for me and so I was busily preparing to take my son to school when the dvd plopped invitingly on the mat. The sense of palpable excitement as I drove back from the school, then delayed the pleasure even longer as I went to change into something more forgiving to my mighty waist. It was as I pulled the 4 man tent on that I had a sudden thought beamed directly into my consciousness - "WHAT IF MITCH ACTUALLY SUCKS?" What if it ISN'T like finding 10 hitherto unseen Sweeney episodes? What if it actually is.....pretty poor?

Now it may sound like I'm being unkind when I say that 3 minutes into the first episode that first thought, capitalized in my skull as it was, and all the other concomitant cascades of negativity, was championed insomuch as it was pretty much whacking the nail so firmly on the head that any re-hit was pointless. The nail was in. Any further hammerings were going to leave round dents in the woodwork.

So....what IS the problem? London Flamin Weekend Television was the problem. What was the budget for this show? And did it have any zeroes in it? Other that AT THE FRONT? Ye Gods, cheaply made or what? There is, in 10 hours, perhaps 30 seconds of incidental music. Now I never thought that muzak would be missed from TV.....until it was gone....then EVERY scene seems stilted and uncomfortable. The fact that there is a lot of location work means dialogue will drop out suddenly as a van vrooms past. And then there is the horribly artificial look to everything, a further example of low-budget cameras being used.

Then there is the actual shows themselves. It's just so terribly pithy and flaccid. There are some really edgy topics going on here. Death of a child and a predominant interest in race relations. These should have made the show really exciting but because they are handled with such lacklustre production values the whole thing just comes across as lazy and rushed.

John Thaw, god rest him, was a great talent, but I suspect the memory of Jack Regan was too fresh when he took this role on. As a result he plays the character in a very uninspired way. To think of the major roles he had before and after this, then it is scant wonder that this show never troubled the airwaves for a second series.

Thing is, as I watched it, I found myself warming to Mitch. It is a very nearly but not quite right show and actually, for the sake of the damn all Amazon are asking for it, then yes I probably would recommend watching it.

Just do yourself a favour.....don't build it up too high before you put it on...

Professional Christmas Themed Laser Light
Professional Christmas Themed Laser Light

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IF YOU HAVE KIDS READ THIS QUICK!!!, 30 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Just imagine your kids walking into the front room to see not just the Christmas tree and the glitter and the garlands but a moving, changing laser light show on the wall/ceiling. If you can't imagine that then imagine being a superstar at a Hollywood premiere. Because that is what it will feel like. This little box is utterly brilliant. The effects are changeable and even will react to music. It is so mesmerizing that I had to switch it off just now as I have work in the morning and I've spent most of the day staring at the wall... This is such a wonderful little toy that will astound your friends and wow your kids so much that you will achieve Coolest Parent Of The Year - which matters, right?

To couple to this, the service from the seller was brilliant. I was promised this in 5 days and got it in 2. I was emailed once it was despatched with a tracking number but before I could track it the thing was here!!!

This will be the best 40 odd quid you will spend. BUY IT NOW!!!

Sherlock - Series 1 and 2 Box Set [DVD]
Sherlock - Series 1 and 2 Box Set [DVD]
Dvd ~ Benedict Cumberbatch
Price: 10.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 11 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Is it actually going to be possible to explain how good this program is? I really don't actually think the words exist in language that can adequately describe how phenomenally good this rethink of a classic is. If you haven't seen it then I implore you, I beg you, I go down on my knees for you to buy this. From the first few minutes you will see how this sumptuously filmed, spectacularly well-acted, brilliantly written drama sends virtual tendrils from the screen to coax your eyes into watching. You will sit, agog, as the coffee congeals in the cup and the joint burns to a crisp in the oven.

You will not see a program that so utterly compels you to keep watching. It is mesmerising. It makes you want to see the conclusion yet never want it to end. It is sharp, shocking, creepy, scary, exciting, thrilling, funny, moving, it is everything and so much more.

This is the best thing I have seen made for TV and I mourn that it is so likely that the next series, if we ever do get to see it, will probably be the last.

If you've never seen it then treat yourself to something truly amazing. If you've watched once then buy it and drink in this masterpiece again and again.

It does not get better than this. It just can't.

Thick As Thieves - The Complete Series [1974] [DVD]
Thick As Thieves - The Complete Series [1974] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Bob Hoskins
Price: 11.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgic. Is that the word?, 5 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have said it before, but the 1970s was the golden age of British Situation Comedy. So many of the greats were shown around this time that it almost seems like there is a surfeit of good quality television. And here we are in the 21st century, currently living in the golden age of DVD where pretty much everything is being dragged up from the archives and presented for enjoyment. Huzzahs!

So to the series. Well, Dick Clement and Ian LaFrenais are responsible for this, so expect to laugh. Maybe not as much as in some of their other work, but there are chuckles aplenty here. The basic premise of a ménage-a-trois sets itself up for plenty of one-upmanship and squabbling and over the 8 episodes it rarely disappoints.

Although John Thaw was my personal reason for buying this, I feel that Bob Hoskins steals the whole show, with the buxom but eminently ménage-a-troisable Pat Ashton providing the love interest; Thaw comes across as a supporting actor in many respects.

Where the show falls flat is the crummy production values offered by London Weekend Television. We all like one or two line fluffs on our 70s sit-coms, right? But the actors spoon up their words so regularly that it soon becomes grating. It doesn't give a rich "you are watching a live performance" feel like, say, Bless This House does, instead it seems rushed and not totally professional.

For me, 8 episodes is enough, despite the impressive cast. Any more and the whole concept would have become tiresome. It's worth getting to enjoy the cosy 70s glow that it emanates.


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