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M. FUSCO "yawnmower" (NEW YORK, NY)

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Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries Series 1&2 [DVD]
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries Series 1&2 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Essie Davis
Price: £27.99

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great discovery, 4 April 2015
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This was a great discovery. Wonderful characters with style and sly humor. The Australian settings are delightful to see. Miss Fisher lives in a wonderful, historic Victorian house.

Miss Fisher, apparently, grew up poor but well-bred. Then she came into a title and money and moved back to Australia where she immediately becomes involved in the murder of a friend. Of course, there is a skeptical Chief Detective who wants nothing to do with a meddlesome female on his case. From the start they have a clever, adversarial relationship which, as the series moves along, becomes warmer and more caring. His constable partner is a delightfully innocent -- and extremely handsome -- young fellow. He falls for Miss Fisher's maid, so the couples are set up from the beginning.

Miss Fisher is a very progressive young woman, with a strong personality and an appetite for handsome men. None of the Victorian inhibitions for her. And she has protection, which scandalizes her good catholic maid, who has much to learn from her mistress/friend.

Clever stories and scripts, delightful acting, and beautiful setting make for a memorable series. I am looking forward to the third, which has been announced.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 15, 2015 8:00 PM BST

Friday Night Dinner - Series 1 & 2 Box Set [DVD]
Friday Night Dinner - Series 1 & 2 Box Set [DVD]
Dvd ~ Tamsin Greig
Price: £14.10

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Here are both series of this delight show., 1 Sept. 2014
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One of the funniest and wackiest Britcoms ever. The characters are all hilarious.

The show centers, of course, around two young Jewish men who come home every Friday night for dinner with the family. Simon Bird and Tom Rosenthal are both stunning and fearless as the boys, who are incredibly competitive and do the most appalling 10yo things to one another.

Tamsin Grieg is her usual entertaining self, whose only fault is that she doesn't look old enough to have two sons in their twenties. Paul Ritter and the insane Mark Heap round out the cast. The only appropriate response to all their nonsense is raucous laughter. Here are both series of this delight show.

OSCAR - Complete BBC Mini Series - the life of Oscar Wilde (1985) [IMPORT]
OSCAR - Complete BBC Mini Series - the life of Oscar Wilde (1985) [IMPORT]
Offered by ____THE_BEST_ON_DVD____
Price: £5.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good biopic about Oscar and Bosey, 1 Sept. 2014
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A very good biopic about Oscar and Bosey. Of course, the story itself is frustrating and tragic for the modern viewer. Frustrating because Oscar's decision to stay in Great Britain, against all sane advice, and to be assassinated by the state and society was so unnecessary when he could have gone to France (which he ended up doing anyway). Tragic because of the hateful treatment of gays by the people and state apparatus of the day, which stole his life, his family, his reputation, and his entire estate. Like Mozart, Oscar Wilde's widow became wealthy within a few short years of his untimely death.

Michael Gambon is quite good, but I was disappointed by Robin Lermitte's Bosey. I have been a great fan of his and, because he is incredibly good looking in other roles, I thought he would be perfect as the boy Oscar gives his life for. But he is rather uninteresting and not nearly as pretty as he should be for the story to make any sense at all.

Wings (Masters of Cinema) (Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD)
Wings (Masters of Cinema) (Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD)
Dvd ~ William A. WELLMAN
Price: £15.10

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars astonishing achievement in every way, 23 May 2014
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One of the most impressive, dramatic, emotional, beautiful silent films I have ever seen. The live shots of such early warplanes is nothing less than astonishing. And the stars themselves piloted the stunts for the most part, with cameras mounted on the front of the plances: they had no choice as there was no CGI in those days.

The actors are beautiful and portray their emotional with great profundity -- another astonishing achievement as they do not have the aid of spoken dialogue.

A great achievement by the filmmakers, and kudos to Masters of Cinema for making it possible to see such a wonderful print of such a marvelous film.

Lip Service - Series 1-2 [DVD]
Lip Service - Series 1-2 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ruta Gedmintas
Price: £17.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting, entertaining series, but . . ., 10 April 2014
A most interesting series for both positive and negative reasons. The acting is good, the people are attractive and intelligent, the stories complex, the backdrop and photography of a very modern Glasgow are wonderful.

It follows the activities of several accomplished, 30-ish, gay women in Glasgow, and interweaves several story lines cleverly. Punkish photographer, Frankie, returns from New York for her aunt's funeral at the beginning of the series, and chaos ensues. She devastated her ex-girlfriend, Cat, by running away. Cat, ambivalent and embittered about Frankie's return, is living with a friend, Tess, an aspiring actress. Cat's brother, an aspiring writer, has a crush on Tess. They are all friends with Jay, the most adorable rogue and skirt chaser since Alfie. Played with a welcome light touch by Emun Elliott, one of the most beautiful actors on screen, he is trying to 'reform' and settle down with one girl. The results are mixed, to say the least, but delightful.

For a show that supposedly celebrates gay women, they do not come off very well. They are selfish, self-centered, self-serving, and seem to think of little but their next shag. Frankie is unrelenting and obsessive in her attempts to break up Cat's new relationship with Sam. She declares her undying love, but shags promiscuously (and mopes around after). Cat often treats her new lover with the same duplicity and disregard with which she was treated by Frankie. Sam is a police officer who causes grievous harm to a police colleague simply because she can't 'man up' and admit to panic attacks.

Tess is at the opposite end of the scale: sweet and funny, but impossibly self-effacing and apologetic. Unlike the other women, she is pretty honest, and is sympathetically played by Fiona Button (which she is as cute as).

Oddly enough, the men are the most positive characters. Ed is likeable and smart. Jay is joyously irresistible. Sam's police partner is suitably macho, but is more caring and thoughtful than any of the women, who are morose, melodramatic, and covert. The series ends with one last act of duplicity. Tess is its target. She sits alone in her room as the camera retreats.

One could also wish for more gay men. Or should I say 'another' gay man, as there is only one. Dr. Love, who has sex on his mind, is cute and sarcastic, but he appears only intermittently and not until the second series. His appearances are bright and entertaining.

The three main characters -- Frankie, Cat, and Jay -- are gone by the episode two of the second series. It becomes rather a different show after that, which may help to explain why there was no third series. They just couldn't decide what they wanted it to be.

Barbara Taylor Bradford's A Secret Affair [1999] [DVD]
Barbara Taylor Bradford's A Secret Affair [1999] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Janine Turner
Offered by TwoRedSevens
Price: £11.20

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a real chick flick, 3 Mar. 2014
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The title of my review just about says it all regarding this soaper. Janine Turner (Northern Exposure) turns in a wooden performance as the daughter of a wealthy New York store owner who is engaged to a boring finance man -- and knows it deep down, which her wise-cracking girlfriend cottons to right away.

She goes to Venice (perfect) on a buying trip, but seems to do precious little of that because she meets the one thing that makes this film noteworthy -- and worth watching: Paudge Behan (yes, he is the son of the author's widow). What a stunning young man! He finds Janine fabulously interesting (which is far more than we do, alas) and follows her around the water-borne city, making a nuisance of himself (we should all be so lucky). Of course, there are the 'de rigueur' rides on a vaporetto and in a gondola so that they, and we, can appreciate seeing the sights (as well as Mr. Behan).

Paudge plays a foreign correspondent who, just as things are heating up, seems to be lost in Bosnia or some such war-torn locale. Janine dumps her fiance in New York, offends her parents by cancelling the wedding they have already paid for, and moves in with Pauge's mother and younger sister in England to await his return.

As they say, you'll laugh (though not always at the lame jokes) and cry. But, above all, you will wonder at Paudge Behan's beauty and perhaps, like me, watch from beginning to end a film which otherwise would not turn your head. He should have been paid double by the producers for this service to their film.

It does makes you wonder why he isn't better known. He is a good actor to boot. The fourth star is for him.

The Peter Sellers Collection [DVD] [1960]
The Peter Sellers Collection [DVD] [1960]
Dvd ~ Peter Sellers
Price: £6.20

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great set, 3 Mar. 2014
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It is interesting, and fun, to see Peter Sellers in the early films. This set is well-produced with nice, clean transfers which certainly look re-mastered for DVD.

Sellers wasn't the bumbling idiot-savant he is so famous for in the Pink Panther films by any means, but the seeds are there.

Reliable and reasonably fast shipping to the US, I might add, by and the Royal Mail.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 2, 2015 1:50 PM BST

The Sinking of the Laconia [DVD] [2010]
The Sinking of the Laconia [DVD] [2010]
Dvd ~ Andrew Buchan
Price: £10.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best war drama I ever saw, 3 Dec. 2012
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I ordered this film mainly because I was so impressed with Andrew Buchan in Garrow's Law. This is even better.

A beautifully crafted, designed, written, acted, and directed film. Certainly one of the greatest war films ever made. Both the Germans and the Allies are presented as small people caught up in great evil. U-Boat Captain Hartenstein finds himself in a dilemma when he surfaces after sinking Laconia, and is surrounded by lifeboats full of people needing rescue. As a true man of the sea, he cannot leave them. He just says that he should never have surfaced and begins helping them.

It is the wonderful interactions between the German sailors and the British civilians that makes this film come alive. Lindsay Duncan is truly a marvel throughout, and her part is wonderfully written for her. Capt. Hartenstein is a superb German actor with perfectly beautiful and expressive English. Andrew Buchan, with whom he becomes allied, plays a mid-level officer on the Laconia with great authority and humanity.

There is much made of the Laconia incident with the famous Christmas Eve truce in WWI between the Germans and the British. Both incidents highlight the idiocy and waste of war. People are not designed for it, just thrust into it by propaganda and those with power. Of course, the Americans are portrayed as ignorant boobs who drop bombs on a ship displaying the Red Cross flag clearly, ending the moment begun by Capt. Hartenstein. That is true to history.

The Borgias - Season 1-2 [DVD]
The Borgias - Season 1-2 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jeremy Irons
Price: £21.95

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great series and acting, 3 Dec. 2012
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Not quite as impressive as 'Rome', but still one one the great historical dramas on TV.

Jeremy Irons plays Pope Alexander VI with great style and character: sometimes bored, sometimes violent (or suggesting it in those around him), often wryly humorous. Francois Arnaud plays his very handsome son, Cesare, but it is never explained why he has an unshaven (not bearded, just unkempt) look for two seasons. Cesare's henchman, who sets a slightly homoerotic tone with his first words of adoration for Cesare, is wonderfully played from the first asked-for bite of the whip. Lucrezia brilliantly combines an innocent, sheltered upbringing with her growing political savvy and power over men which, it is suggested, she learns from Julia Farnese (Alexander's beautiful mistress). Juan is power-hungry, but that is simply a family characteristic. He is also sadistic, cruel and seemingly unsuited to being the general his father makes him.

Another great character is King Charles of Spain -- a gnomish man with great heart and humor, as well as a powerful militarist. Lucrezia charms him, and Alexander fools him when he gives him safe passage through Rome on this way to Naples. Far from the great prize he hoped for, Charles finds there (among other things) the King of Naple's infamous and bizarre Tableau not-so-Vivant of The Last Supper.

The second season definitely swings towards a more violent portrayal of the family's activities, but interest is always maintained. Sets and costumes are luxurious, and the whole design is first quality.

The only complaint I have is that Derek Jacobi, as Cardinal Orsini, does not survive the first episode of the series. He, like Irons, plays his part with sly gusto and evil humor -- but makes the mistake of trying to poison a poisoner.

Lewis - Series 6 [DVD]
Lewis - Series 6 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Kevin Whately
Price: £12.11

5.0 out of 5 stars high quality drama, 15 Sept. 2012
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This review is from: Lewis - Series 6 [DVD] (DVD)
Six series later, this series is still the same high quality drama -- acting, writing, production -- that it has always been. Maybe even better.

Kevin Whately, as Lewis, and his partner Hathaway (Laurence Fox) have a subtly affectionate relationship. Hathaway is the Cambridge-educated cop who surprises everyone with his erudite knowledge of the most arcane material. Lewis is the down-to-earth copper who doggedly pursues his suspects.

The stories are compelling and well-written and, as always, well-acted.

Of course, just as in Midsomer Murders, one must question why there is such a high percentage of murder and mayhem in such a toney little English town, the university notwithstanding. But, overlooking that question, one sits back and enjoys the best of British television.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 12, 2012 5:32 PM GMT

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