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Mary Queen of Scots [DVD]
Mary Queen of Scots [DVD]
Dvd ~ Camille Rutherford
Price: £12.51

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Queen who lost three kingdoms. A wife who lost three husbands. A woman who lost her head., 9 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Mary Queen of Scots [DVD] (DVD)
This is the tagline of the European produced movie Mary Queen of Scots by director Thomas Imbach. And it sums up the life of Scotland's tragic Queen perfectly.

Director Imbach wrote the film based on a biography by Stefan Zweig, a biographer and playwright, who's approach to Mary's story was told with more dramatic flair than the average biography. One of the main viewpoints from Zweig was that Mary had been in a position of power and command for so long that it drained her; when Bothwell caught Mary's eye he was commanding and took control of the situation taking the burden of rule from Mary's shoulders.

Indeed, this is a main theme of the film, as Mary struggles to gain control of her Scottish Kingdom, where all the lords are backstabbing and power hungry, an issue that Mary hasn't dealt with before. This is highlighted very early on when Elizabeth Tudor becomes Queen of England. Mary is determined that the new English Queen will love her, and when asked how she would get that she simply responds that she will charm her into loving her.

This is one of Mary's weaknesses that she believes will win over the Scottish Lords but sadly her charm is not what they want. They want her to command, and do what they want her to do. It's through this struggle of queenship and authority that Imbach gives us a human portrait of Scotland's Queen. A woman facing stress, rebellion and betrayal. And as she struggles through it we can see her pain; we can feel it as she rides along the Scottish grounds screaming at the top of her lungs. It's a relatable moment for anyone who has struggled to keep control of their life.

Imbach's version gives the story of Mary a fresh perspective; not a woman who was too busy
enjoying herself, but a woman who was ill prepared for ruling her own Kingdom for she was raised a French princess, prepared for French Queenship. The contrast between the French court and the Scottish is shown almost immediately through the harsh landscape of Switzerland, which substitutes for Scotland very well. The landscape is beautiful, as Imbach does show some beautiful aerial shots, using long shots of the vast landscape to emphasize in some ways Mary's growing isolation throughout the film.

Mary herself is played by Camille Rutherford, an up and coming French actress who's beauty and physique is possibly the closest to the true image of the real woman. Mary was said to be close to six feet tall, and Rutherford is the first actress to resemble the queen of Scots in height, colouring and beauty. And she proves to be a strong actress in the part. Rutherford captures her character wonderfully, exuding sensuality, wit and charisma that were famous characteristics of Mary. She gives us a complex individual; she is strong willed, confident and beautiful but she becomes isolated, she is betrayed and in her bid for happiness she loses everything. It's a tragic story of a woman born to rule but with all the odds stacked against her, ill prepared for Scottish rule after a French upbringing.

It is also a refreshing take on history for its historical accuracy, compared with the recent Hollywood series Reign based on Mary's time in France. Mary Queen of Scots is a well made production with a strong lead performance that captures the woman behind the myth. For any history fan or period drama fan, this is a must see but is not recommended for a more mainstream crowd. If you're looking for The Tudors I suggest looking elsewhere, or waiting for the upcoming Hollywood production of Mary Queen of Scots written by Michael Hirst (Elizabeth, Vikings, The Tudors). For a human portrait on an iconic tragedy this is worth at least one viewing.


Albert Nobbs
Albert Nobbs
Dvd
Price: £0.00

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glenn Close is Mesmerizing!, 5 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Albert Nobbs (DVD)
*SPOILERS*

Albert Nobbs. I had heard a lot about this film and as a fan of Glenn Close I knew I had to see it. And I'm glad I did. It's such a tragic tale of the titular character, a woman living as a man in order to get by. Upon the opening scenes Nobbs is an enigma, distant from his fellow workers. As the film progresses you become so engaged with the character that when her dreams are so close to being recognized, you are rooting for her. She's suffered a lot and she deserves happiness. Yet it's that prospect of happiness that proves to be her undoing. She has spent so many years alone that when the prospect of companionship presents itself she becomes blinded by it all leading to her own downfall. This is a beautiful film, with a mesmerizing and poignant performance from Close, and a cast of supporting players that are fantastic in their roles. Definitely a film to be viewed at least once. Highly recommended


The Host
The Host
Dvd
Price: £0.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as bad as I thought, 5 Sept. 2014
This review is from: The Host (DVD)
I rented this after being told that is was quite good. Of course I was skeptical due to the fact it was based on a book written by the same woman responsible for Twilight. But it actually turned out better than I thought. I enjoyed it mostly but was a little disappointed by the end, I felt it detracted from the previous scenes. And Soairse Ronan did a great job in the part.


Back to School Count Duckula Bag Flight bag
Back to School Count Duckula Bag Flight bag
Offered by KitschaGoGo Ltd
Price: £25.89

5.0 out of 5 stars Love It!, 17 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As a fan of the classic cartoon I saw it and had a nostalgia moment so I bought it. The bag is actually a good size for everyday use and the strap is easily re-adjustable. I'm very happy with this purchase, a great bag.


The Stewarts
The Stewarts
by Richard Oram
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The Dynamic Stewarts, 21 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Stewarts (Paperback)
The Scottish line of Stewarts are relatively forgotten in favour of the Stuarts of Great Britain. Here the author looks exclusively at the Stewart rulers of Scotland from King Robert II to King James VI & I of England. I found this a great book, it works as a reference guide for beginners and is well written. Each monarch gets their own chapter, giving a brief description of their reigns. Definitely a must for anyone interested in Scottish history.


Hex: Season 2 [DVD] [2006]
Hex: Season 2 [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ Jemima Rooper
Price: £9.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back Bigger & Better, 23 Aug. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Hex: Season 2 [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
After watching series one, decided to purchase the follow-up.

Series two follows Cassie (Christina Cole) and Thelma (Jemima Rooper) as they continue to fight off Azazeal (Michael Fassbender). This time they get some help from an old enemy of Azazeal's, Ella Dee (Laura Pyper), a witch with her own arsenal of weaponry.

Ella turns up in episode one searching for Azazeal to stop him from fathering a child, which he unfortunately has. When Cassie finds out that her child is alive she sets out to take him from his father and sacrifice him for the sake of mankind. However, after bonding with the child. Cassie can't let her son die and sacrifices herself instead.

Yes, season two sees a major cast change, with our lead protagonist exiting, leaving the space open for Ella to take centre stage.

Ella proves a vast improvement over Cassie. She's fun, knowledgeable and can hold her own in a fight. Even Thelma gets along with her. Her history with Azazeal proves more interesting than his relationship with Cassie, and we see some interesting confrontations between the two before Azazeal leaves, making way for Malachi - Azazeal and Cassie's son - to become the major villain.

Again, the show carries on with great one-liners and likable characters despite not having a solid plot.

If you enjoyed the first series, I guarantee you'll enjoy this one too.


Hex: Season 1 [DVD] [2004]
Hex: Season 1 [DVD] [2004]
Dvd ~ Jemima Rooper
Price: £8.00

4.0 out of 5 stars A 'Hex' of a watch?, 8 Feb. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Hex: Season 1 [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
Have to say that I found this to be better than I expected. Not a brilliant show, but don't think it's a bad as what people make out.

The story centres on Cassie Hughes, played by Christina Cole, a shy college girl who finds a strange vase which leads to strange things happening, including her best friend Thelma, played by Jemima Rooper, being sacrificed to Azazeal, played by Michael Fassbender, who's the show's main antagonist.

Cassie and Thelma (now roaming around as a ghost) are left alone to fight off Azazeal and prevent evil from coming into our world. Well, that's the idea that they try to get across, but most of the time it's about Cassie trying to stop herself from jumping into bed with Azazeal. Which she fails at.

As a protagonist, Cassie is not the most interesting character. She's a beautiful young girl, and isn't totally convincing as a shy, average 'Jane Eyre' type. On the other hand, Thelma brings comic relief to the show, with Rooper often outshining Hughes, coming across as a very likable character who does her best to keep Cassie away from Azazeal. Which she also fails at.

Fassbender does a good job as the villainous and smoldering Azazeal, though doesn't do much other than seducing Cassie in order to impregnate her with his demon-child. Yes, there is a reason why he's after Cassie! He wants her to have his child, who will bring the destruction of mankind. Will Cassie get pregnant or will she be able to stop the end of the world, eliminating Azazeal's plans? This is where the series ends, setting up an intriguing cliff hanger for the second series.

Behind the camera, the crew do a good job, with witty one-liners, making you like the minor characters who seem more interesting than the main protagonist herself.

All in all, not great but watchable. If you are willing to forgive the show's flaws then 'Hex' is a fun and enjoyable series, a cult show with likable characters and good dialogue. More a guilty pleasure, definitely not the British 'Buffy'.


Blessed [DVD] [2008]
Blessed [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ James Nesbitt
Offered by HarriBella.UK.Ltd
Price: £3.23

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Blessed Watch, 8 Feb. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Blessed [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
Bought this on a whim after reading the other reviews. Have to say that I'm glad I did.

The story centres around James Nesbitt's character Peter, who lives alone on a remote Scottish island running a lighthouse. Through flashbacks we see his previous life as a family man with a successful and how he came to be alone. Simply, it's a tale of 'you don't know what you've got until it's gone'.

Nesbitt lives alone, not speaking for most of the film. With a lesser actor this would have likely become tedious but Nesbitt carries the performance well.

However, it's the arrival of a young ship-wrecked girl named Charlotte that manages to bring Peter back to life. The young actress here manages to play happy, mischievous and adorable without becoming annoying.

Together Nesbitt and newcomer Lillian Woods are alone through much of the film but carry through to the end, making it an enjoyable watch without the story dragging.

All in all, an enjoyable watch, a good film to watch with the family, or if you just feel like watching a feel-good film.


Star Trek: The Original Series: Troublesome Minds
Star Trek: The Original Series: Troublesome Minds
by Dave Galanter
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £6.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Troublesome Minds, 18 Sept. 2009
I thought this was a pretty good story. It centres around the Enterprise rescuing a ship from destruction. The leader of this vessel is Berlis, a telepathic alien whose abilities seem to have an unusual hold over Spock. It turns out that Berlis was left to die by his own people, and with Spock becoming more and more erratic under his influence, Kirk is left wondering if he did the right thing in saving Berlis.

All in all, an entertaining and interesting read. Worth a read for any fans of the original series and especially if you enjoy stories centred around Spock. A little complicated here and there but it all comes to make sense if you stick with the story.


Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Complete Score)
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Complete Score)

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wrath of Khan!, 10 Aug. 2009
This soundtrack is astounding. The quality of the music is top-notch and features all the tracks that you wish the original soundtrack release had on it. It's perfect! From the music to the CD cover itself. Definitely a fantastic addition any Star Trek fan's collection. Or even if you enjoy soundtracks in general, it's worth a listen.


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