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I. Thomson "The music, book and film fanatic" (Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland)

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Goodfellas: Original Soundtrack [SOUNDTRACK]
Goodfellas: Original Soundtrack [SOUNDTRACK]
Price: £7.96

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars You can not just forget the missing songs, 16 May 2008
The Goodfellas soundtrack, despite presenting some key songs, is a disappointing package.

Notable songs such as Jerry Vale's "Pretend you don't see her" and Sid Vicious's "My way" are absent.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 27, 2009 11:39 AM GMT

Hotter Than July
Hotter Than July
Price: £4.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An important album from the singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder, 12 May 2008
This review is from: Hotter Than July (Audio CD)
Hotter than July, is never really acknowledged, in despite of the achievements that Wonder managed to do with it. The album was the best selling of his career to that point and Dr Martin Luther King Jr was granted a national holiday on 26th January 1986 after his plea in the song "Happy Birthday"

Wonder promotes diversity, peace (Master Jammin'-a tribute to Bob Marley's reggae style); anger ("I ain't gonna stand for it"); politics ("Cash in your hand"), love ("All i do" and "Rocket Love") and influence ("Happy Birthday"- the song now even appears in real birthday cards, despite being written as a tribute to the civic rights work by Dr Martin Luther King Jr.)

Song Review: A Greatest Hits Collection
Song Review: A Greatest Hits Collection
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £5.59

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Be careful, 24 April 2008
This greatest hits collection by Stevie Wonder, was one i purchased in my local Woolworths in Kirkcaldy, a couple of years ago.

However, do be wary if you decide to buy this. Many songs by Stevie Wonder may be acknowledged: "Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm yours"; "You're the sunshine of my life", "He's misstra know-it-all", but as far as i'm concerned, this collection is devoid of something. This includes: virtually no trace of his work on "Fulfillingless' First Finale, all of which are sadly absent; a lot of songs including the likes of: "I ain't gonna stand for it", "He hasn't done nothin'", "Superwoman", "All in life is fair" and "Love's in need in love today" are not here, but should be; probably the worst trasverty of them all are "Isn't she lovely" and "Living in the city" being the cut versions, obmitting the role-play scene and the entire second part in the latter and the baby noises in the former.

Overall, this could all be done to the fact, Wonder has done so much verstalise material in his long career, let alone, a running streak of classic albums from 1972 to 1976, may prompt only a rough and general selection to be included. If you are new to Wonder, i would suggest avoiding this and buying one of his classic works, like: Innversions, Talking Book, Fulfillingless' First Finale or best of all, Songs in the key of life. If you must insist on a greatest hits package, then probably would be a better bet than Stevie Wonder: The Ultimate Collection.

Land Of Dreams
Land Of Dreams
Price: £5.83

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Land of Dreams, 24 April 2008
This review is from: Land Of Dreams (Audio CD)
Randy Newman was by this stage in this career, becoming preoccupied with the focus on being a composer, writing music for the soundtrack for both Ragtime and The Natural. Hence, he only had enough spare time to do two individual albums, during the decade, 1983's trouble in paradise, spanning a hit for "I love L.A. and this one, initially released in 1988.

While the previous album was a change of pace for Newman, this one happens to carve out some good songs, including the most well-known of the bunch being: "its money that's matters", a critism of the American dream and an entrepreneur society. Newman, whom remains devoted as ever, is keen to dabble and reministic with his past life, in this case-his own childhood, learning along the way with insight that the world can seem and feela cold and harsh place, but nonetheless, also a mysterious one full of wonders and sights, the song "New Orleans won the war" indicates the latter, whilst "Four eyes" is the former. Newman, even makes fun of the 80's rap scene with the one-dimension "Masterman and Baby J" who are destined for stardom and their conquest for fame. The political song "Fly the flag", looks at the obsessive and patriotic view, many Americans have and what they will do, to please their country. The dreamy "falling in love", complete with a harp and "roll with the punches" are also highlights. However, it is actually the album finale, the numbing "I just want to hurt you like i do" that proves to be the most powerful track.

Overall, Land of Dreams is a must for someone who is starting out with Randy Newman's career.

Raging Bull - Definitive Edition [DVD]
Raging Bull - Definitive Edition [DVD]
Dvd ~ Robert De Niro
Price: £5.14

1 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bull raides for his dignity and soul, 7 April 2008
(Warning: Raging Bull has a depressing theme as well as the violence getting out-of-hand in a couple of scenes, including one landmark scene. I suggest that sensitive people avoid this Scorsese film)

Based on the memoir of his shunned and controversial boxing career by Jake LaMotta with support from Peter Savage. The film adaption, Raging Bull is the more well-known today of his story which Scorsese reculantly agreed to direct.

A self-proclaimed loser, a boxer known as Jake LaMotta, wants a life in the ring, but can only survive on the boundary of the ring. His temper and frequent bust-ups as well as ludurious behaviour in the ring doesn't give him much respect by his own brother, who serves as his trainer. A relationship with a young moody girl follows and the zest of a middleweight championship belt lingers......

The film's deep violence and camoflashed colours was a symbol of Scorsese's pain and forgivance of the blurry visions of losing sight of his life when LaMotta thinks he can outdo his opponents in the ring. Raging Bull is also not really much of a boxing film, it is about a man trying to come to terms with himself and his career, plagued with demons, who thinks he's no good-which mirrored Scorsese's position at the time. This is why Raging Bull was not understood back in 1980. This is Scorsese's most personal work-even if he loathed the sport.

Scorsese managed to find his voice again, by exploring what exactly goes on inside the brain of a boxer, what is their position and how do they fight. Scorsese emphases on harsh snappy closeups of punching fists, desperate and scary and the wobbliness of the boxers eager to strive to win, subjeed to fight in the hazardous ring. The term, Raging Bull emphasises Jake LaMotta's behaviour of his opponents in the ring seen as punching bags, which he claims don't have the skill to match his is a metaphor. LaMotta is seen as a couch potato who uses violence as his weapon to keep people away from him who threaten and his lack of interest in the matches or even the desire of objection to hard work show in his ignorance in the ring.

DeNiro examines the power of the character, making him look fearless, when he is only being scared and how he always feels he is still fighting for nothing, alas helpless. DeNiro also observes the character of LaMotta, mood swings and anger that shoots across as a spearhead, motiviating, physical and for bitter revenge, just like in the ring. DeNiro even was a spitting image of Jake LaMotta in my opinion when in the full costume! Joe Pesci plays his first main role as Joey LaMotta, the inpatient brother-trainer who doesn't have much time for the concerns of his brother, he seeks the judgment of others to react to his behaviour. Pesci, who is best know for his vulgar language in later Scorsese flicks like Casino and Goodfellas, has during the most part, not much. Pesci gives him heartache in how to deal with his brother, also a sort of queashiness. Cathy Moriaty plays the naive, repellant and moody at best, Vicki who's sworn over by LaMotta's supposebly hardness like a shell. Vicky is played as tough, a strong willed, argumentive, also showing a sense of keeping from deep contact as a way to allow some freedom and flexibility, but enough desire to give LaMotta his raw power. Other characters like Salvy Batts by Frank Vincent and a small role for the director's father, Charles make their prominance and stand strong against the main players.

The Cinematography is picture perfect with the deep grey outlines forming as steam used especially in each of the fight sequences but most importantly the Sugar Ray Robinson fight with the slow revolving punch and continuous hits. The editing is careful, delicate and precise and incredibly moving with the Italian score.

Raging Bull is a clear cut masterpiece. A film about the man in and behind the ring whose tenture proved continuous agony. I should also point out that the dark and slow moving story may frustate some viewers looking for some hard action, patience is essential as well as an open mind.

I Am Legend [DVD] [2007]
I Am Legend [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Will Smith
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: £2.73

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brave subject, even if a bit silly, 21 Mar 2008
This review is from: I Am Legend [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
A man finds himself one day in a derelict wasteland of what has become of New York suffering from paranoia of vivid and terrifying flashbacks. Only aided with his dog, he begins to find that mutants are living amongst him.......

What i enjoyed about I am Legend was the subject that it was dealing with, a cure for cancer that was supposed to be a worldwide miracle, goes wrong bring with it, what could be a warm of new man-made diseases.

No Title Available

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pro-American viewpoint, 21 Mar 2008
(Spoilers: Do not read any further if you have not seen this film)

Vantage Point was something i was dreading going to see. The characters are largely one dimesional; a wooden plot trying to garnish the assantion as a "conspiracy set-up"; poor editing failing to substain our attention and worst of all, having sequences being flown back in time, again and again without gradually seaming into the next sequence with little fuss. The direction was a complete disaster, not only failing to seam the pieces together, but encouraging a frantic and crazy car chase to be the main direct focus, the typical element of a thriller which it is trying to be, but doesn't succeed very well, since the main bodyguard on route to saving the president crashes his car at least three times and manages to escape only with cuts and brushes, one of which he would have obviously died instantly (a la Blues Brothers, when the hotel explodes and Jake and Elwood escape unharmed)

The only possibility in the film, the assanation of an American president with the current on-going situation that has been created in the middle East.

Vantage Point is ridiculous and incredibly offensive, determined to perseve American's increasing fragile hold on the world, by making them to be looking out to be the heroes in a sentimental fashion of a finish, which anyone knows is not possible. Propaganda film. Avoid.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 10, 2008 11:50 PM BST

The Simpsons Movie [DVD] [2007]
The Simpsons Movie [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Dan Castellaneta
Offered by FREETIME
Price: £2.70

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars We expect too much, 28 Nov 2007
The Simpsons, let's face it is struggling to provide new and fresh material more recently, many famous names have by now made a contribution or reason to be poked fun of, we all know all the traits of the characters and the episodes are being replaced greatly by ridiculous situations. For example, Bart getting married with desperately ideas that are often rushed (like i have seen more recent) to bring about a loose conclusion of such that doesn't make much sense just to merely round up the 20 mins.

When the polluted Lake Springfield causes the death of another unfortunate band, Grampa "Abe" Simpson whilst in Church becomes and behaves like a prophet to warn people about the dangers of the enviroment risk it is going to do to the town.....

Written by eleven past and present writers, The Simpsons has both good and bad qualities. There are many striking and running gags to be found within the content. Bart Simpson naked dare on a skateboard; Milhouse love for Lisa; Homer falling through the roof and getting a hammer stuck in his eye and Maggie jumping between the sand pit and grass on the other side of the dome being the best of the bunch. Whilst eager enough to impress, there are sadly recycled ideas including spiderpig making references to the lobster that homer befriends on an old episode and the movie sequence with the family watching Itchy and Stratchy Movie in the first scene which would not be possible concerning the storyline of an episode in seres 3 where Bart is prohibted from ever seeing Itchy and Stratchy again as a result of letting Maggie drive the car. There is always a feeling this has been written as a showcase for as many gags, thrown in to create a pattern and an excuse to rely less on an actual story which really exists in the background to fill the majority of the running time. Many of them are simply utterly pointless and tend to become mediorce very quickly especially taking the joke of the now infamous spiderpig too far. The overall problem is it tries to do too much and with the high anticipation from the past ten years or so, i have found it rather weak in places.

The plot is not original being based on the same stereotype family break-up who goes on to save the day but it's not the main reason why people came to see the film. Many went to see their favourite characters in action, most particularly Ned Flanders although the flaw is they don't all receive this especially the absent of Mr Burns minus one scene, trying to tie all the characters into the storyline was difficult when concerning the main attraction and how they would fit around them.

The Simpsons Movie is entertaining enough, there is enough material to rejoy with, but generally i feel this is one that can easily become tired after a couple of viewings. However because of the continuing popularity of the all-American family, loads of people will still take an opportunity to see this as their long over-due first feature debut which it should be treated as in the first place. Matt Greoning never expected this to be perfect in the same breath as a pixar animation but in today's fast moving technology world this could be a tribute to the art of the 2-D Cartoon so they can remind children how they used to be made.

You'll Never Eat Lunch in this Town Again
You'll Never Eat Lunch in this Town Again
by Julia Phillips
Edition: Paperback

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An American Dream?, 26 Nov 2007
This best selling book when first published in 1991 is based on Julia Philips' autobiography life of her short lived stalled career cut lose by the masculine oriented world of Hollywood. The contradictive title tells all, this is in a sense a revenge of everybody's favourite but rather inpersonal movie town (but much wider a critism of worldwide American traditions and cultures) where an Oscar can either be your breakthrough, peak or comeback and how your personality may be worth investing in, so you can become their favourite typecast they give all the roles to. The title could be suggesting a play-on-words where it should be turning out, you'll never work in this town again-the cruel words of a depective hollywood.

During her time there, she was witness to the American studios where the head reign control over everything they do, how meetings are always the norm, ego movie directors, self centered actors/actresses and businessmen poising as talented movie producers.

Julia percieves her life as troubled, how her childhood as a young Russian jew was confusing spent a lot in New York City trying to understand herself. She thought of herself as an identity crisis who had no purpose to her life; an obbession first with smoking then trigged onto drugs; prone to illness and whom tried desperately to enjoy the works of Emily Bronte and Time, always observant about the world around her and the relationships with men she had with most notably Michael Philips where the relationship just doesn't blossom where on one occassion she went to Disneyland with him just to get over the day being committed to the role of his wife with little freedom not too long before they divorced, later on becoming very unsympahtetic to her. She was also a worrier and fanatic about her weight,looks and clothes and even had a fear of New Year's Day since ironically she never appreciated the passing and beginning of another year of sublime boredom.

The title which i have given to this review is ambigious, because it also analysises on a wider scale a strong criticism of American culture how not everyone is given a chance including herself who cannot understand the greed of corporations and emphasise on an entrapenuar society. Julia slowly begins to build the momentum of a strong voice arguing freedom of speech, politics and young stars being exploited in the media (with her mothers/fathers as their domineering managers) as sickening in her view. She gradually learns to see the ugly truth with wise eyes and her own desatute of her sad experiences in the business.

Although slow and meandering to begin with, Julia builds up a riveting and addictive as she leans from situation to situation from boyfriend to boyfriend to movie producer to drugs to movie directors based entirely on her own values,against the liberalised Hollywood that by the end you feel forgiven she has gone to the bother, that is not only amusing but also shocking, disturbing, somewhat controversial with great care and attention and well written. This was like she was born to do this so she could let others on the secrets of a world behind closed doors. (how she managed to get away with condening so many famous people in severe put downs is a mystery?). A good knowledge of Hollywood from the film people to the actors to the movies is essential which being about Hollywood is expected. Julia does uses a lot of references, for example describing her dad's actions of rubbing his bald patch like Robert Duvall in Network. Only towards the end, do we see her strength as a human being to admit she went in and came out a fierce and independant woman. You could say that the experiences of Hollywood life made her more content with her own private life and not vice-versa, it was as if she needed this, but how she dealt with it afterwards was amazing. She didn't give up her dreams though of being a movie producer which emphasise how she was willing to keep it to herself and maybe amongst her closest associates.

This is ultimate proof of the reality of Hollywood and how you are expected to behave in a town where nothing is certain for too long. Definitally as good as Raging Bulls (even though Raging Bulls tied the whole period up together of all the so-called movie brats on a summary-before and after), maybe even better, i just can't decide and may guarantee to change your opinion of Hollywood's liberalised thinking.

Taxi Driver (2 Disc Special Edition) [1976] [DVD] [2007]
Taxi Driver (2 Disc Special Edition) [1976] [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Robert De Niro
Offered by Springwood Media
Price: £19.99

3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Oscar-Winning Films. One of Scorsese's strongest, 12 Nov 2007
(Warning: This film contains one blood glore scene, gun references and strong language, it is also has a rather dark and depressing theme, so please be careful when viewing if you may be affected by this)

Taxi Driver cemented the second masterpiece in my opinion from director, Martin Scorsese after his work on low budget Mean Streets in 1973. Taxi Driver is chilling, grasping, realistic and horrifying to say the least. Travis Bickle, a former US navy solider, back on US soil, applies to become a New York taxi driver, to reduce his paranoysis and insomnia from travelling on public transport every night. Here he discovers, the country landscape and appearance have declined and it is falling into derelict ruin, which he is determined to save........

Taxi Driver was a controversial film, which tackled the heavy themes of lonliness, depression and intorable to violent motivies and actions. The basis was to show how a polluted driven city like New York City with a mix of wealth, an underworld and povetry slums, make people like Travis feel annoyed with the way they had been abused, betrayed and treated by the government. Travis was in no means, a nice person, he was repulsive, depressive, arrogative and crazy, his personality was a flaw, he presented himself as one who needed assistant to get back on track, he didn't care, he wanted people to care about him, he also became vulenrable to violence and sex to preserve his mood. Maybe this was the time that unreleased his true flavour.

However, his obession to warrant attention to improve the mean streets of New York he has come back to from being a Vietnam Vet, gives the audience the impression he does cares, shows loyalty and respect to the people of the city despite the fact he no longer believes in his country's attitude. No matter what we think of Bickle who intially is described as being cold, callious and fierce we are made to be sympathic with his cause (could this be a reference to Peeping Tom, a film Scorsese loved by Michael Powell) trying to understand the man behind the face and the sad life he leads.

Robert DeNiro in one of his most famous and well-loved performances is the stick thin Travis Bickle. DeNiro gives Bickle a rebellious mind, long cold stares and the opportunity of warmth as a means to care to hide his resentment for blowing up in anger in his pathetic but troubled life. Jodie Foster shines as the spoilt and dependant hooker, Iris and Peter Boyle gives a wonderful turn as the witty Wizard whom Travis looks up to as a legend.

Taxi Driver has a neatly balanced narrative to express Travis' somber tone of his morbid personal thoughts of the washed away reds and oranges that dominate the neon look of the New York underworld. The editing also emphasised heavily on his own montions during his taxi hours, showing how nervous, worn and battered he was starting to look as the night progressed.

Bernard Hermannan whom the film was dedicated to, provides a beautiful and soothing score (his last) which describes the failed man that Travis Bickle is in life. Starting off with a prominant percussion drum roll highlighting the taxi coming into view observing which blends down into a love ballad. Played by a saxophone of the lonely eyes of the farout dreams Travis can only wish for consisting mainly of a good job, a well governed country and family, how he is only making a desperate living to keep himself alive to hold on.

Taxi Driver is truly one of the finest films of the seventies. The lasting appeal can apply to both five Oscar nominations and winning the Palme D'Or at Cannes in 1977 which the film did. A must-have.

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