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Jacl20c "jacl20c" (Lewisham, UK)

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Hood Rat
Hood Rat
by Gavin Knight
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Its The Wire on Mute ..., 1 Aug. 2011
This review is from: Hood Rat (Paperback)
I saw Gavin Knight at Latitude Festival and was intrigued by his approach, apparent empathy with the subject (he's been embedded with the police forces in the three locations), and wit. I hoped for something like Sudhir Ventakash's Underground Economy (which turns up as a chapter in Freakonomics and [allegedly] influenced the economics of The Wire). Unfortunately, this is the book's downfall. Knight was embedded with the police not the hoodrats. Ventakash spent 3 years living in various Projects with "gangsters" - and his book still isnt a page turner, but you feel the people shine through the violence, drugs, illegality. Knight's stories are less rounded, less personal and too-often leave u feeling like you are watching/ reading CCTV footage.

Some of this is more compelling than others - particularly the Manchester chapter is well written, novelist style - but Knight needs to grow as a writer. If he continues to plough this furrow, he needs to rent some gangsta mates...

Racing Stripes [DVD]
Racing Stripes [DVD]
Dvd ~ Hayden Panettiere
Price: £2.70

3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Its no Babe !, 14 Feb. 2006
This review is from: Racing Stripes [DVD] (DVD)
I was looking forward to this film - the great write-ups here on Amazon and glowing reviews elsewhere. BUT, its formula stuff - take the Babe story and add some "racing" ... there is no depth here, there is no story momentum, the characters do not work - you get the impression the actors dont believe in the project. Where is the enthusiasm? Where are the jokes? OK, so its aiming at children, but ever since Lion King, we have come to expect cartoons to work effortlessly on several levels. This one doesnt. And they use two different species of zebra to play the main role; one with black stripes and one with brown and black stripes - the kids noticed this!! Come on

The I Inside [DVD]
The I Inside [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ryan Phillippe
Offered by Discs4all
Price: £2.80

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Almost good; almost great, 25 Jan. 2006
This review is from: The I Inside [DVD] (DVD)
This film kicks off at a pace drawing in the viewer to Ryan Phillipe's world: who am I? what happened to my brother? what am I doing here? Set in a dour hospital with unsmiling workers and visitors; its intriguing enough. But the finale is a massive let-down ... Even lots of sterling Brit actors cannot save the denouement undoing the good work (direction and tension) and ruining the viewers' investment in this suspended reality. Feels like the writer was fired two weeks before filming ended ! Shame, almost a great art-house find.

Donnie Darko [2002] [DVD]
Donnie Darko [2002] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jake Gyllenhaal
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £1.26

4 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars All form, no content ..., 11 Feb. 2004
This review is from: Donnie Darko [2002] [DVD] (DVD)
The mechanics of this film are great: reviving music, fashion and even pace from the writers' late-1980s heyday; good acting and some fantastic cinematography. Coupled with some great, surprising and challenging plot twists, this should be (as other reviewers have claimed) the greatest film ever. However, it is incoherent, and at best confusing. As a devotee of sci-fi and crime novels and films, where one's penchant for closure (i.e. what happened, why and why it is important) are either trucked out or implied, this film fails. Indeed, this delivers the film's biggest shock - after 100 minutes of carefully crafted celluloid, "THE END"; no cigar ...
Is DD II in the pipeline? Maybe its on one of the deleted scenes (and wouldnt this be a great marketing ploy - buy the expensive DVD to find the Rosetta Stone for this movie which frustrated you so at the cinema!). I expect it isnt - earlier reviewers are too busy feeling challenged by the film to note any value in the extras. Also, please note, this is no departure, no new horizon in storytelling or filmmaking; this style of filmaking has been done to death elsewhere - for better see any Twighlight Zone production - its one simple idea couching and enlivening a dull rom-com/ actor vehicle. Rent it first. Spend your money on something more challenging and ultimately satisfying. He does moody well, tho.

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