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L. Tait (scotland)
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Z for Zachariah [DVD] [Region 2] (English audio)
Z for Zachariah [DVD] [Region 2] (English audio)
Dvd ~ Chiwetel Ejiofor
Offered by DVDMAX-UK
Price: £10.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Nuclear Disaster, 9 Jan. 2016
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Having read the book of the same name, I was eager to see what Hollywood made of this gem. In short, they sold the original work short. And, much as how Chris Pine is a nice looking guy, his character wasn't needed at all! The original book focuses on two individuals who know so little about each other, and are sizing each other up, before it becomes a fun fight turned nasty! Had I been in the director's chair, I'd have stuck rigidly to the book. The ending of the film left me confused, but the book resolves things in a much clearer way. I reckon, while the character of Loomis is in his delirious, radiation induced haze, you could see his story in a flashback kind of way, and the same rule could be applied to Ann Burden's story, perhaps the day before the nuclear holocaust, or on the day itself, how staying behind in the valley saves her life. Or just kick things off from the day before the disaster, just to give the viewer an idea of what her life was like before the apocalypse. This version has virtually rewritten the original story, and I wouldn't say it was an improvement. Quite the opposite. If you want to be bored rigid, waiting for something to happen that never does, watch the film. If you want to be entertained, and unsettled, in equal measure, read the book.


Lost In Transmission
Lost In Transmission
Price: £12.58

4.0 out of 5 stars Lost...and found, 9 Jan. 2016
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This review is from: Lost In Transmission (Audio CD)
I have to admit that I'm a bit of an anorak on this kind of thing, and test card music is becoming quite the retro cool genre of music to be into. It all kicked of with the Apollo label's release of volume one of test card classics. The opening track, 'flying over san jose' brought back memories. Then I bought the uber rare compilations, Girl in a suitcase upgraded, Music While You Watch, and Watch With Teacher (which is a Winchester Hospital radio release focusing on schools and colleges music, which I have previously reviewed). I found this completely by chance. and, as previous reviewers have observed, cd1 is the superior one! Who would have thought that the musical mastermind behind the musical, The War Of The Worlds, composed the Good Morning Britain theme? I have a longer version of it somewhere! I remember getting ready for school and hearing the extended version playing alongside an IBA transmission message. They were usually white writing on a blue background! But, back to the present! The particular faves for me were the ITV schools theme, (which was technically ITV Schools and Colleges theme music played between shows, but the programmes were broadcast on Channel four in the early 1990s), and Plunge In, the theme to Scotsport! Being Scottish, I can recall many a Sunday afternoon back in the day, in front of the footie, and Arthur Montford being the anchorman of this Scottish staple sports show! You could really shake your bon bons (whatever they are! I'm not Ricky Martin!) to that track! Notably, another track care of Monsieur Wayne had me raiding my mental attic trying to think where I'd heard it before! The clue was in the name of the track, World of Sport! (Just to clarify, the theme to the tv show featuring Dickie Davies, of the same name, is called Sporty Type, and can be found on Girl in a Suitcase upgraded! This one, however, was featured on the Chris Moyles Radio 1 breakfast show, when trusty sidekick Comedy Dave read out the sporting news!). So, now you know! It's really rather good, but misses out on the five stars because I would have preferred much more along the lines of long lost TV themes that are better known to us than purely obscure test card tunes.


For Zachariah (New Windmills)
For Zachariah (New Windmills)
by Robert C. O'Brien
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.75

5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid Isolation..., 21 Dec. 2015
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I was put on to this book by a work colleague, having expressed an interest in fiction centred around nuclear war. This story focuses on Ann Burden, living alone in a valley, having escaped a massive nuclear war, having lost her family, who went to investigate the neighbouring town...and never returned. After living alone in the valley for a year, she encounters a stranger in a radiation suit, and is wary of him at first, but, when he falls ill from swimming in the contaminated creek, she nurses him back to health. But things take a sinister turn when she learns about his past, which he inadvertently reveals while he is experiencing delirium while fighting radiation sickness. I won't reveal any more, but I found it to be an engaging, but slightly unsettling book. It's been made into a film, which I have yet to see, but, from the novel, there's definitely room for a sequel. There's shades of The Death of Grass, by John Christopher, in that, human values are challenged, questioned, and distorted, to a point where humans cease to be human, and become savages, shadows of their former civilised selves, in the name of survival. It's worth a look, but don't expect a resolution at the conclusion of the novel. Like the future in the wake of a nuclear war, it's uncertain what the outcome will be.


Willo The Wisp [DVD] [1981]
Willo The Wisp [DVD] [1981]
Dvd ~ Kenneth Williams
Price: £7.90

5.0 out of 5 stars If you go down to Doily Woods today..., 21 Dec. 2015
This review is from: Willo The Wisp [DVD] [1981] (DVD)
I remember this excellent programme from way back, when it was broadcast before the evening news, back in the days when we only had three T.V channels! These days with more channels than you could ever watch in an entire lifetime, the much younger among us have never had it so good, telly wise! But...pre 1982, when Channel Four came along, it was a much simpler time! This series was known as a 'spacer', and others of the genre included, The Wombles, The Perishers,(where the voice of the dog, Boot, was provided by the late Leonard 'Reginald Perrin' Rossiter. Perishing kids!) and Paddington, so called because, if there was a space in the schedule, albeit a small one, these programmes filled it! They have since attained cult status. Returning to Willo the Wisp, it's all about a diverse collection of characters who live in Doily woods, and Willo the Wisp, the narrator, voiced by the late Kenneth 'Carry on' Williams, who provided all of the voices for all of the characters, talks the viewer through what happens to them. There's the less than intelligent, but adorable Moog, Mavis the fairy, who 'wishes she could fly right up to the sky' but can't. Arthur the caterpillar, Carwash, the bespectacled intellectual cat, and Prince Humbert the handsome, who falls foul of, my personal favourite, Evil Edna, a wicked witch portrayed as a T.V set, with three buttons, a nod to the limited choice of channels, possibly! And perhaps highlighting the evils of too much television! I found those little gems to be really entertaining and fun. Not only that, but there's something for the adults too, via the subtle jokes woven into the numerous episodes. It's totally worth it, and if you remember that era, it's an absolute must! Nicholas Spargo, the show's creator, was on the money getting Kenneth Williams to drive the thing home! There has been a modern remake of them, voiced by James 'Gimme,Gimme, Gimme', Dreyfuss, where Evil Edna returns as a plasma T.V, but I think the originals are the best. One memorable episode for me is when Evil Edna turns Prince Humbert into an ice lolly! Disturbing...but, at the same time, hilarious!


Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont [DVD] [2008]
Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Joan Plowright
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £8.97

5.0 out of 5 stars We are Family, 29 Nov. 2015
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This was a film I was introduced to by my younger sister a while ago, and when I watched it, I loved it! It's such a simple story but very effective. Adapted from the novel by the late Elizabeth Taylor (not the actress, but a writer of the same name, who, among other things, wrote a compelling short story called 'The Flypaper' featured in series three of drama series 'Tales of The Unexpected', introduced by the late Roald Dahl, as he used to back in the show's earlier years.) it follows the fortunes of Mrs Sara Palfrey, a recently widowed pensioner, who takes up residence in The Claremont, a dreary hotel in London, with equally dreary guests. She has a grandson, Desmond, who she contacts, but weeks pass and he doesn't visit. It's a chance encounter, a fall in the street, outside the basement flat of a young writer, Ludvic, that heralds the start of a meaningful relationship between them, and, due to the other guests at her hotel, wondering when they'll see her grandson, she gets Ludvic to pose as her grandson, and everyone at the hotel takes a shine to him, but things go a little awry when the REAL grandson shows up at the hotel! Eagle eyed viewers might recognise Daphne's mother from 'Frasier', and Georgina Hale from 'T-bag and the Pearls of Wisdom', as two of the guests. Generally, it's a lovely story, and both 'Ludo' and Sara's lives are changed for the better. Joan Plowright turns in a fantastic performance as Mrs Palfrey, and she'll make you wish you could adopt her as an 'honorary Grandmother'. I've never seen this on terrestrial T.V to the best of my present knowledge, but it's a fabulous film! You'll be drawn in from minute one, I can guarantee it! Top Banana.


No Blade of Grass [DVD] [1970] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
No Blade of Grass [DVD] [1970] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Nigel Davenport
Offered by RAREWAVES USA
Price: £13.88

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Environmentally Unfriendly, 29 Nov. 2015
I read the book by John Christopher, of the same name, and found the story to be compelling and realistic in the sense that famine, and environmental problems resulting in crop failures, along with problems with the importing of food to the UK seemed to be a far more believable eventuality for the end of the world as opposed to triffids and martians playing an integral part in such an event. The book portrays a family's desperate, and dangerous journey, in hazardous conditions, to the protagonist's brother's farm, as the populace slowly starves to death. Having viewed the film as well as having read the book, the smart money's on the book being the better of the two, and it leaves the reader with an unsettling feeling. As for the film, they could have done a far better job, and I felt it was rather dated too. At one point, it was like the entire British contingent of the Hell's Angels had turned up for its annual meeting, detracting from the true tragedy of the situation, that food, and sanctuary, are exceptionally rare, and it's every man for himself. It's about due for a remake, methinks, and the right director and producer could have a box office smash on their hands if they execute the project correctly. This version falls way short of the mark! As books, and, by extension, films of an apocalyptic, end of the world genre are of endless fascination to us all as humans, Christopher's work is great, but this film adaptation doesn't do it justice. But, if you're curious, it's worth a look, and Roger Whittaker's dolorous rendition of the overture, 'No Blade Of Grass' captures the pessimism of the film beautifully. As for the rest of it, the jury's still out on that one.


Bottom: Series 1 [DVD] [1991]
Bottom: Series 1 [DVD] [1991]
Dvd ~ Rik Mayall
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £2.89

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Top to Bottom, 28 Nov. 2015
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When I first watched this in the early 1990s, I was absolutely stunned by just how violently funny the humour was between the two BFFs, Richie and Eddie. Interestingly, Rik and Ade retained their character names from a previous venture, Filthy, Rich and Catflap, where the late Rik Mayall was Richie Rich, and Ade Edmonson was Eddie Catflap. My Mum, God rest her, wasn't a fan of the Simpsons, but she loved this! When this series was repeated, I remember it well, as we got our first VHS video recorder at that time, and I made a schoolgirl error of thinking that, if I had the T.V on the channel, the recorder would tape what was on the channel at that time. Imagine my confusion when I replayed the tape next morning, hoping to get episode one, but ended up with half an hour of the news! D'oh! Anyway, the relationship between Richie and Eddie resembles Steptoe and Son, in that you get the impression they hate each other's guts, but they don't want to be parted either. Join them in a series of hilarious situations, from trying to pull women with pheromone spray of all things, and watching Miss World on T.V, to minding the local shop, and chaos, along with a punch up, or two, or, maybe even three, is guaranteed! It's outrageous, laugh out loud, physical comedy at its best, and health and safety doesn't even get a look in! Classic!


Nazi Titanic [DVD]
Nazi Titanic [DVD]
Dvd ~ Sybille Schmitz
Offered by Not2day Media
Price: £6.95

5.0 out of 5 stars That Sinking Feeling, 28 Nov. 2015
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This review is from: Nazi Titanic [DVD] (DVD)
I saw this on Channel 5 of all places, and found it riveting (just my little joke!) in that I had no idea the Nazis had even made their own version of this. As a bit of a fanatic, I thought I knew of every version going, but, turns out I was wrong! Bizarrely, this version was commissioned as a propaganda exercise, in that, with a few plot changes, a member of the upper echelons of the crew, of, surprise, surprise, German extraction, emerges as the hero, and the British characters are seen as ineffectual, useless individuals. The production of the film was dogged with problems from minute one, and you'd probably think that was a sign to pull the plug on the project. But, they persevered. Only, the end result wasn't what they had in mind, and, by this time, they were losing the war anyway. The ship used was put to a far more sinister purpose later on, as those who lived to tell the tale reveal in this documentary. It wasn't all doom and gloom, in the sense that footage from the ill fated feature film was recycled and used in other later versions! For anyone interested in Titanic related things, this is definitely worth a peek, and the controversial subject matter is dealt with splendidly. Tip Top!


A Million Years in a Day: A Curious History of Daily Life
A Million Years in a Day: A Curious History of Daily Life
by Greg Jenner
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.49

5.0 out of 5 stars How We Used To Live, 28 Nov. 2015
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I heard about this book when I was listening to Steve Wright in the afternoon on Radio 2, when Monsieur Jenner was on his show, promoting this book. I was intrigued, and interested, so I bought it. I wasn't disappointed! It's similar to the QI books of General Ignorance in terms of the information included, but, instead of random questions with detailed explanations for answers, Jenner has treated the whole of human history to date like a day, from getting up in the morning, to going to bed in the last chapter. I must say, I learned a lot, and it helped me to understand why we, as humans, do what we do now, on the basis of past behaviour and customs. Among other things, I learned that American states used to have different time zones, before settling on the singular system they have now, due to all the confusion! There's a lot to take on board, and it's not for the faint hearted reader, but I loved it! If you're into the evolution of human history, then this is for you! Worthy of its five star rating!


Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? (Gollancz)
Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? (Gollancz)
by Les Martin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing Beats Real, 28 Nov. 2015
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I've actually read this book a couple of times as part of the coursework for an English literature degree, and I love the way Philip K Dick has such brilliant ideas in his books, but he lets himself down slightly in the sense that you know that he's trying to put something across, but it all gets a bit garbled, and a tangled mess emerges as the denouement approaches. Having read, A Scanner Darkly, The Man in the High Castle, Flow my tears the policeman said, and, The Penultimate Truth, I found The Penultimate Truth to be the easiest novel to follow, the rest kind of tripping over themselves in terms of plotting. Androids is also fairly straightforward to follow, with Deckard, a maverick bounty hunter in a futuristic world, dedicated to neutralising a new terror...androids. Androids that embody humans so precisely, that despite everything he has at his disposal, equipment and instinct, he can't be absolutely certain of determining which is which. There's a really unpleasant part where one human comes face to face with the outlawed androids, and their cruelty towards a defenceless spider. I should say that real, not mechanised, creatures, are rare, and therefore valuable in this world.(there's even a catalogue where real creatures can be traded for cash, referenced in the novel!) There's echoes of Logan's Run, in that, like sanctuary, the so called safer colonies, where most of the human population have resettled, and where the endless
broadcasts of Buster Friendly and his Friendly Friends come from, allegedly don't exist. Why else would the androids come to Earth, and risk retirement? Hollywood could have done a much better job of adapting this film, what with the new technology that's knocking about these days, perhaps a remake might be on the cards? Something to think about! Generally, if you're a newbie to Monsieur Dick's work, this is the novel to start with. I wish I'd started off with this one instead of tackling The Man In The High Castle first, then it would be less daunting! The ending was a bit of a disappointment with Deckard becoming disillusioned. It would have made a marvellous plot twist if he'd been an undetected android! But, it's quite good. Worth a look!


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