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Beneath the Blonde (Five Star Title)
Beneath the Blonde (Five Star Title)
by Stella Duffy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars for better or worse... Saz Martin series: book 3, 2 Feb. 2008
With 'Beneath the Blonde' we catch up with Saz several months after the tragic ending in 'Wavewalker'. Saz is on the mend and looking to start working again when she is asked to help out lead singer of the band 'Beneath the Blonde' with a case of nutty stalker. Siobhan is the ever gorgoeous though unpredictable and very famous (at least in England) singer who has been getting some worrying deliveries. Soon Saz is going on tour with them and trying to find out what is going on amidst murder and mayhem within the band. Plus there are her ever growing feelings of lust and desire for Siobhan to deal with, especially as she still has Molly waiting patiently for her back in London.

Ms Duffy continues her style of writing whereby she includes more poetic chapters focussing on the why and who among those of normal narration. The previous two books were incredibly predictable and one almost got the feeling it wasnt supposed to be a mystery to begin with. Though I did sort of figure out what was going on about half-way through I felt this was a much better attempt at intrigue. Especially as I was only taking half-hearted guesses at the time.
The character development is also improved upon and I felt myself getting more involved in what Saz was getting up to even to the point of talking at the book when she was doing something particularly silly!

All that praise aside I did start to waver in interest towards the end and wanted her to get on with it already. The poetic, abstract bits started to get annoying which meant there was a little skim reading but I like the fact that once again we didnt get a picture perfect, everybody is happy ending. A little more realistic even though heart-breaking and aggravating at the same time...

Look forward to the next installment.. wish they would never end!

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory [DVD] [2005]
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory [DVD] [2005]
Dvd ~ Johnny Depp
Price: £9.85

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fabulous, 30 Jan. 2008
An adaptation of the famous children's book, 'Charlie and the Chocolate factory' is a truely fabulous movie. Tim Burton isn't my favourite director in the world as I usually find his stuff a little weird but he does a splendid job with this.
It's been a long long time since I read the book so cannot comment fully on the accuracy but the other children involved seemed familiar as were their 'misfortunes'. The ending doesn't ring a bell but don't quote me on that either way! Just keep an open mind about it and you should be fine as Tim Burtons brilliance takes you away...

The graphics and set are fantastic giving the movie its unique atmosphere. The acting by all involved compliments this success. They all bring the characters personalities through with few words while also conveying their roles and importance to Charlies and Willie Wonka's lives..

Ghost Rider - Extended Cut [DVD] [2007]
Ghost Rider - Extended Cut [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Nicolas Cage
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.91

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 2.5 stars, 27 Jan. 2008
Ghost Rider exists somewhere between 'i dont like it' and 'its ok'. It just drips corny with some of the lines and sequences. I can't believe such a talented actor like Nicholas Cage got involved in this project. No real drama or climax to speak of and there are enough movies out there to fill your need for good action. I wouldn't recommend it.

Exile On Mainstream
Exile On Mainstream
Price: £7.51

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best of the rest.., 20 Jan. 2008
This review is from: Exile On Mainstream (Audio CD)
A lot of artists seem to release their Greatest Hits albums with a few newbies thrown in. I think it's to get the die hard fans to buy the thing just to get those tracks irrespective of the fact they already own more than half the album! That said, if you do want a collection of great rock songs you've come to the right place. It's a shame MB20 didn't just make a proper Greatest Hits album because there are several more shakers that didn't make the cut. Probably a good starting place for people who haven't bought any of their albums before but like what they've heard so far. You can't go too far wrong with this one.
The newer songs are a bit different with a little less angst. Not classic MB20 but I do like the faster, upbeat tempo of 'How far we've come' and am totally hooked. The others have grown on me too.
So all in all a cd worth having folks!

Surf's Up [DVD] [2007]
Surf's Up [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Shia LaBeouf
Offered by Killer Deal
Price: £2.43

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars no competition for the best of em..., 20 Jan. 2008
This review is from: Surf's Up [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
With the top quality cartoons that are being rolled out these days 'Surf's up' falls a little flat. It isn't particularly funny / even cute and cudly which makes me wonder what the selling point is.
The characters aren't developed to the point you get to love them such that they become household names.. like Shrek. Everyone knows who that is, even 80yr olds! Sadly, Cody Maverick won't make the cartoon wall of fame.
I'm not sure if 'Surf's up' will be able to hold any kids attention for it's full run time though you can rest assured it's all clean without even any innuendos meant to go over kids heads and entertain the adults (unless I missed them!).

The movie wasn't awful but it wasn't brilliant either. I still derived some enjoyment from it as it provided a nice break from studying while not requiring the use of many brain cells.

The Children's Hour [DVD]
The Children's Hour [DVD]
Dvd ~ Audrey Hepburn
Offered by 101Trading
Price: £4.95

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the lies we tell...., 20 Jan. 2008
This review is from: The Children's Hour [DVD] (DVD)
A brilliant but lesser known/talked about Hepburn movie that I decided to watch after lots of deliberation. I'm glad I did get it as I was surprised to find she was joined by James Garner as well as Shirley Mclaine. The three of them come together to make 'The Children's Hour' an interesting movie that unveils the far reaching effects of gossip, especially the malicious type.

Hepburn (Karen) and Mclaine (Martha) play two life-long friends who have started up an all girls boarding school which is just starting to find its feet. Unfortunately, one of their problem children comes up with a plan to get out of the school for good. She tells her grandmother that the two teachers have an 'unnatural' relationship and she has seen and heard things in the night. All of this is complete rubbish of course but because of half-truths, plain lies and words taken out of context the news of their affair soon travels through to all the other parents and soon the school is empty.
Karen and Martha's life falls apart compltely as they can't even leave the house without being harassed which soon takes a toll on all those involved. The ending is very sad and made me cry but also serves to highlight the point of the movie and is well chosen and filmed.

Quite different from Audrey Hepburn's most famous romantic comedy type stuff but well worth watching.

Wavewalker (Five Star)
Wavewalker (Five Star)
by Stella Duffy
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Saz Martin series: book 2, 20 Jan. 2008
This review is from: Wavewalker (Five Star) (Paperback)
Stella Duffy has definitely improved since the first book (Calender girl) as the characters are more refined, especially Saz. There's less involvement from her friends and family though which has both it's positives and negatives. I did enjoy having them all around in the first book as it made her life and experiences more rounded and allowed for a lot of witty dialog. In 'Wavewalker' the dominant character is definitely Saz but Ms Duffy has thrown in a steady girlfriend to keep the balance between case and life. The others feature but not nearly as much.

I do worry about the PI-doctor combo as it bears such a close resemblance to the Lindsay Gordon novels by Val McDermid! In addition to this both of them take a less graphic, more witty/relaxed road through the road of crime fiction. In Ms Duffy's defence Molly doesn't play as big a role in Saz's crime-fighting life as Sophie tends to do in Ms McDermids books..

All that said, I did get hooked and read the book through in a couple of sittings. Has contradictory as it sounds I don't think it was a very gripping mystery. One knows who the bad and good guys are from the get go (or maybe its just me)but there is something about the way it all unravels that kept me reading. The writing is lovely and easy to read. The book isn't so long I lost out on work and isn't too short to feel cheated. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for an easy on the brain crime book that to keep them occupied for a few hours.

Loving Annabelle [DVD] [2006]
Loving Annabelle [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ Erin Kelly
Price: £6.79

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it, 16 Jan. 2008
When I first read the synopsis on the back of the box i was a bit put off. Let's be honest a teacher-student relationship just isn't right in society.
I'm glad I took the leap and watched this though because there's a lot more to it than that. Firstly, it isn't about this sordid affair but what comes before the inevitable. The story is treated with due respect and unfolds in a tasteful manner that draws you into the feelings of both characters. The torment of a teacher trying to stay in control and the desire and passion of a student not afraid to feel and push boundaries.

Annabelle is the rebellious daughter of a senator who is sent to a Catholic boarding school in an attempt to tame her. Simone is her teacher and head of the dorm she is placed in. From the very beginning Annabelle takes an interest in Simone and aims to befriend her and challenge her emotions and beliefs. The maturation of the relationship is beautiful to watch as it is complex and has the student leading the teacher forward into the world.

The cinematography is fantastic. I would recommend this movie just for that alone. The scenes flow fluidly serving to accentuate the inherent meanings and emotion behind them. You get drawn in without your knowledge until you are one with the characters.
The beautiful soundtrack (which i wish was available on cd!!) makes a huge difference with meaningful songs well placed in the movie adding to the wonderful scene selections and acting.

Trust me, you want to watch this movie. It does not aim to justify but tell a story.

Calendar Girl (Five Star Title)
Calendar Girl (Five Star Title)
by Stella Duffy
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a gem of a find, 10 Jan. 2008
I'm surprised Ms Duffy isn't more famous than she is. I never see her books in people's lists of recommended lesbian fiction but she isn't half bad. The book was a bit predictable but I love the way the wrote the part not of Saz, the main character, but Maggie. Maggie is narrating her own story but it is bitty, deep and poetic. To try and piece together what she is getting at takes time but one soon realises how it is going to intersect with Saz which is a real shame.
The characters are nice and I found myself getting attached to them, especially Saz's friends who are hilarious in their gentle bickering. It sticks to some generalisations that I've picked up from lesbian themed books but one thing I do feel like patting her on the back for is including a couple of stable lesbians in ordinary long-term relationships. Not many authors do that and most stories include players / women who've been hurt etc etc who aren't interested in settling down and so on and so forth. ... a breath of fresh air.

In terms of the plot: Saz is a PI who gets asked by a Mr Clark to help him find a lady he considers a dear friend. Only, he doesnt know her real name, has never been to her house, doesn't know where she works and has no details about her private life! A tough order but Saz takes on the case and is soon calling in favours from various friends who happen to have access to certain channels of enquiry. The mystery takes her to the States and back and soon she is uncovering a crime bigger than a simple missing person.
As I said at the same time we get this almost random and out of place narration from Maggie but once you get the hang of the writing style it is very moving and also very relavent.

Can't wait to get my hands on the next one as have been pleasently surprised to find out there are more in the series. Hope it only gets better.

The Star [2002] [DVD]
The Star [2002] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Alexei Kravchenko
Offered by ludovico_institute
Price: £8.99

6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not up to par, 10 Jan. 2008
This review is from: The Star [2002] [DVD] (DVD)
I'm quite disappointed with this movie. You can usually count of Russian and German movies to be more accurate and blunt about war than mainstream American ones. I find them more tolerable because they dont tend to be romanticesd where the good guys always win and have wonderful wives or girlfriends suffering while they are away.
Unforunately, 'The Star' fails to realise that people who want a decent movie about the realities of war, especially the terrible ones that brought out so much courage in people don't need to see this.
We have Katya, a girl who 3secs after seeing this guy decides she's in love and he has much the same reaction. He also happens to be in charge of a team that is about to be sent behind German lines to gather intelligence. Katya happens to be a communication operator and is forever listening to the radio for his transmissions and gets all love sick about it.. sending him hugs etc... *eye rolling*

The team he leads is a small one of men with various specialised skills who only come together for this mission and have never met before. I did find their mission fairly interesting as it becomes them against thousands of Germans when it becomes known that the lines have been breached. Even more so since they manage to do what they are sent for and are successfully gathering info and passing it... Makes for an interesting cat and mouse chase... just not brilliant.

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