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J. M. Greer (Hexham, Northumberland United Kingdom)

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Inspector Montalbano - The Complete Series [DVD]
Inspector Montalbano - The Complete Series [DVD]
Dvd ~ Luca Zingaretti
Offered by Assai-uk
Price: £52.85

4.0 out of 5 stars Sumptuous, 30 May 2016
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Well written and good relaxing viewing. Beautiful countryside, lots of yummy food and intelligent storylines. Each episode is like a movie and so this collection will last you a very long time. The only reason for 4 rather than 5 stars is that all but the last two discs are not anamorphicly enhanced for widescreen tv.s so the picture will look a bit grainy, especially if you have a very large screen tv. Don't know the reason for this other than possible cost cutting or a lack savvy by the technical people at Acorn media.


Open Letter: On Blasphemy, Islamophobia, and the True Enemies of Free Expression
Open Letter: On Blasphemy, Islamophobia, and the True Enemies of Free Expression
by Charb
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.33

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A posthumous declaration of defiance and humanity in the face of oppression., 29 Jan. 2016
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A poweful piece from a cartoonist who sadly lost his life championing free speech. Customers should be aware that this is a short book which can be read very quickly but it is all the more punchy for that. Sadly, many on the British left jumped on Charlie Hebdo claiming that it was racist. I don't know what they based this judgement on seeing as how most of them will never have read an issue. Charb explains the humour of the magazine in this book, clearly setting out the fact that ethnicity and religion are not the same things and that ridiculing religion is an attack on the powerful and bullies and not on the persecuted or poor. He makes a very strong case for the role of parody.
Anyone who cares about free speech, free expression and Liberty must read this. It is also a book for those who love cartoons, comics and illustrators, or who recognises the importance of journalism- for the Hebdo cartoonists were journalists - their commentary on the world was important in shining light on important issues and speaking up for the silenced and oppressed.
Please support this book, read it, recommend it, lend it.
And drink a toast to Charb in honour of liberty and life.
He said he would rather die on his feet than live on his knees. He did just that and this is his gift to those who know just how precious free speech is.


Mister Jerico [1969] [DVD]
Mister Jerico [1969] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Patrick MacNee
Price: £7.46

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fun Romp with Good Perfomances and Some Deliciously Apalling Fashions, 4 May 2015
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This review is from: Mister Jerico [1969] [DVD] (DVD)
An extremely enjoyable romp with a twist in the tail ending. Some great Malta locations including The Phonecia Hotel in Malta - best place to stay on the island. This ITC TV movie had been very well restored with vibrant colours which emphasise the absolutely outrageous fashions which get more outlandish as the movie progresses. Peter Wyngarde could carry off the Wardrobe in this film (and would probably match things better) but on Macnee they are hilariously inappropriate. Macnee is somewhat miscast as the roguish conman but he puts a lot of humour into his performance and Herbert Lom is good fun too. The extras include two short interviews with Macnee and one with Lom. They are nothing to do with the feature but they are entertaining anyway and Macnee is a fantastic raconteur.
This is very entertaining if you like vintage British tv/ ITC productions.


At The BBC 1972-1982
At The BBC 1972-1982
Price: £29.29

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Gift for Old and New Fans Alike, 11 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: At The BBC 1972-1982 (Audio CD)
So much for delay of gratification. This came yesterday and I consumed it voraciously today. First up- the packaging. This is a nice chunky box which feels well constructed. Each disc comes on a cardboard sleeve with nice artwork. There is a also a beautifully designed leaflet with sleeve notes. Real effort has been put into this and that makes this box set a good choice for a Christmas present for a fan. The quality of the material makes it a nice gift for either an established fan or a new one. New fans will get Crystal clear performances of some of the best early Todd material. However, long term fans will get much in this package which is unique even if they already have (as I do) a lot of Todd material.
There is much in this package which is unique. The first disc gives a very nice solo studio concert by Todd talking a lot more than normal about the music. A highlight of this is his rendition of Piss Aaron in which he sings the song in stages interspersed with anecdotes about each of the classmates which is a character in the song. This is a really nice and unique touch. The audio is mono but it is so clear that you would not notice.
Disc 2 has a concert from Hamersmith Odeon. You may have heard this before or a bootleg of it but the quality here is so much better. You can really make out a lot of additional sounds including the Luther Vandross and Anthony Hinton backing vocals and also just how great roger Powell's keyboard playing is.
Disc 3 is a Utopia concert with much of the Ra album. The highlight here is the almost half hour rendition of Singring and the Glass Guitar. This is absolutely stunning with all the superb solos. It is the best version I have ever heard of this track and much better than the album version. One to take as part of your tracks on Desert Island Discs. Again the audio is fantastic. Obviously the BBC are much better than most of the American technicians on the other Todd radio shows that have been released. Only the Japanese recordings come up to this standard. The mixing and balance are superb and everybody's performance is spot on. No cases of Todd starting to laugh or forgetting the words as has happened on some other discs.
Disc 4 is the DVD disc. The first two tracks are from early line-up Utopia with John Seigler on bass. Roger Powell is wearing an amazing psychedelic jump suit and giving incredible soloing on Seven Rays. Everybody looks cool and Todd looks skeletally thin. Again, the quality is amazing. It looks like it was filmed yesterday.
The Bearsville picnic piece is great though it would have been nice to have seen the whole show including the non Todd bits. What we do get is a tour of Todd's video studio where he shows off his expensive video toys which all seem a bit primitive now. The real treat is rare film of Utopia playing Singring with the giant pyramid and other stage gimmicks. This is great.
The last 11 tracks are an Old Grey Whistle Test from 1982 with Todd performing a solo show. Again there is a lot of chat for the audience. What a shame that it took Todd another 12 years to do a solo show in the UK again. Sometime it would be interesting to hear why there was such long hiatus and also why Utopia never toured the UK again.
Overall this is an excellent box set and the sheer quality makes it suitable for old and new fans.


Ballbreaker
Ballbreaker
Price: £8.70

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ballbustin Good, 11 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Ballbreaker (Audio CD)
Awesome! Driving beat with the usual fantastic playing and intensity. It will crush your balls to a pulp or your money back!


DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Cyprus
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Cyprus
by Grzegorz Micula
Edition: Flexibound

5.0 out of 5 stars Eyewitness Best Guides for Visiting New Places, 3 May 2014
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As always the Eyewitness Guide is best for helping me to plan a holiday in advance. The extensive use of photographs always helps me plan which places are most worth visiting in a short holiday with just enough historical background information to put different sites in context. I like a combination of visiting archeological sites, ralxing and exploring etc and the Eyewitness guides layout helps me plan which things would go well together to make an itinerary. The only failing is the sparse and poor restaurant recommendations- I don't really want an Irish pub when I got to the Mediterranean.


Social Work: An Introduction
Social Work: An Introduction
by Alastair Gibson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.62

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear, concise and no-nonsense, 11 April 2014
This is an excellent introductory book for new social work students and I would recommend it to anyone in their first year of a social work programme in the U.K. or overseas. It gives an introduction to all the main theoretical perspectives that inform social work in a clear language and it is extremely practical. The sort of social work text which has been missing from the field for a long time. Also, it gives very balanced views on different issues and perspectives rather than telling students what they ought to believe.


John Carter, Tarzan, And Friends: A Reader's Checklist
John Carter, Tarzan, And Friends: A Reader's Checklist
Price: £2.22

4.0 out of 5 stars Good Burroughs Guide, 28 Feb. 2014
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Written with joyful enthusiasm for Burroughs books this is a useful pocket guide to his work and its various genres


Fantasy Island
Fantasy Island
by Larry Elliott
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Half Right, 5 Jan. 2014
This review is from: Fantasy Island (Paperback)
This book correctly identifies a number of shortcomings to the Blair era of Government. The over dependence on service industry and banking, the addiction to cheap debt and the dodgy book keeping methods all ring true. Where the book starts to fall apart however, is when it analyses the root causes of the problems and the proposed solutions. At this point it begins to sound like the daily anti-markets anti- globalisation rants that occur in the Guardian on an almost daily basis. After criticising PFI initiatives and Blair's war like policies it goes on to blame everything on Free markets and globalisation. Sorry, but PFI and other innovations of the Blair Government are nothing whatsoever to do with free market economics and it was not capitalists who launched the war on Iraq but rather Blair's view that a strong state can solve all the worlds problems - even those it has no business interfering with.
Then we get on to climate change and bizarrely the authors think the cure for this will come by people in one country deciding in isolation to stop having foreign holidays and boiling the kettle so often while developing countries open power plants daily and start owning SUVs. Climate change is a global problem not a local one and only global solutions will be able to prevent it. This kind of hair shirt Guardian style morality will to work because nobody- not even the majority of Guardian readers will put it into practice- though that will not stop them being sanctimonious. The fact that Johnny Rotten is quoted and the year the Sex Pistols started is heralded as a golden era is one warning shot that some of the ideas in this book are half baked.
By the end of the book I understood better why Blairism had been so attractive at the time and that spinning fantasies was actually preferable to expecting people to embrace the idea that they have to settle for less.
Whether it's true or not it certainly won't inspire anyone or win votes.


Captain Scarlet - Complete Series Box Set [DVD] [1967]
Captain Scarlet - Complete Series Box Set [DVD] [1967]
Dvd ~ Francis Matthews
Offered by Quality Media Supplies Ltd.
Price: £33.75

5.0 out of 5 stars Indestructible and Unbeatable DVD, 16 Dec. 2013
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You could not do a better DVD box set. This has everything. All the episodes are featured in flawless fully restored format which makes them look like they were filmed yesterday. You have a choice of the original sound or a 5.1 track which is very well done and does not overblow the sound effects. There are two commentaries from Gerry Anderson which are informative. There are the original 33.3 rpm records which had dramas on them with the original sound cast. There are numerous extra features on memorabilia behind the scenes stills etc. However, best of all is a great documentary which reunites Francis Mathews and Ed Bishop (sadly departed), Mary Turner (puppeteer) and again Gerry himself ( also sadly departed).
I have such great memories of that show and all of Gerry's other fabulous programmes.
Let's not forget the original episodes which are like mini- feature films. Gerry's programmes never talked down to his audience. There was so much attention to realism that if you see them on large cinema screen or home cinema TV, rather than showing up limitations they show how stunning the puppetry, special effects, set design and costumes really were.
If you do not have this set you really must get it. You won't be disappointed. Probably one of the best box sets of a tv series I have ever bought.


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