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Studio 150 [CD + DVD]
Studio 150 [CD + DVD]
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 150 out of 200, 8 Oct. 2004
This review is from: Studio 150 [CD + DVD] (Audio CD)
I've been a devotee of the iconic Paul Weller since the late 1970s. There isn't an album that I haven't got. But when my friend told me that PW was playing locally, I said that I'd rather pass on the rather steeply priced tickets, as the Messiah would be "pedalling that dodgy album of cover versions" and I'd rather wait for the first farewell tour! Well, I'm not so sure that I'll be able to resist after hearing Studio 150.
Let's get to the heart of the problem. "Close to You". It's awful. But here also is its redemption: PW has always had a bit of a blind spot for the dodgy. I mean, there are swathes of mediocre, self-important filler littering his career (the final Style Council album was even rejected by his record label). But they only serve to highlight the towering creativity of the great man at his finest. From the opening Hammond organ in "If I Could Only Be Sure", through the touches of Wildwood era Weller on "Early Morning Rain", to the gospel addictive "All Along The Watchtower" (more fabulous B3 organ), he gives his disciples the style and arrangements we know and want and, of course, more of the brilliant Steve Cradock. "The Bottle" could easily have been on The Jam's final album, The Gift. I don't go much for "Black is the Colour" but, given that I work in Sidmouth, I'm bound to hate folk music. "One Way Road" and Aaron Neville's "Hercules" are pretty good recordings at any time.
Hmmm... The kids'new gear or a Weller ticket? It's a tough decision after hearing Studio 150. It may not be ground-breaking but it'll keep me happy until he rediscovers his own song-writing muse.


Studio 150 [CD + DVD]
Studio 150 [CD + DVD]
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £7.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't be put off by a cover of the Carpenters!, 14 Sept. 2004
This review is from: Studio 150 [CD + DVD] (Audio CD)
I've been a devotee of the iconic Paul Weller since the late 1970s. There isn't an album that I haven't got. But when my friend told me that PW was playing locally, I said that I'd rather pass on the rather steeply priced tickets, as the Messiah would be "pedalling that dodgy album of cover versions" and I'd rather wait for the first farewell tour! Well, I'm not so sure that I'll be able to resist after hearing Studio 150.
Let's get to the heart of the problem. "Close to You". It's awful. But here also is its redemption: PW has always had a bit of a blind spot for the dodgy. I mean, there are swathes of mediocre, self-important filler littering his career (the final Style Council album was even rejected by his record label). But they only serve to highlight the towering creativity of the great man at his finest. From the opening Hammond organ in "If I Could Only Be Sure", through the echoes of Wildwood on "Early Morning Rain", to the reluctantly addictive "All Along The Watchtower" (more fabulous B3 organ), he gives his disciples the style and arrangements we know and want. "The Bottle" could easily have been on The Jam's final album, The Gift. I don't go much for "Black is the Colour" but, given that I work in Sidmouth, I'm bound to hate folk music. "One Way Road" and Aaron Neville's "Hercules" are pretty good recordings at any time.
Hmmm... The kids'new gear or a Weller ticket? It's a tough decision after hearing Studio 150. It may not be ground-breaking but it'll keep me happy until he rediscovers his own song-writing muse. Send me a couple of free tickets for Plymouth Pavilions, Paul, and I'll give you the extra star!


Love Actually [DVD] [2003]
Love Actually [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Alan Rickman
Price: £3.00

27 of 48 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shocking!, 5 May 2004
This review is from: Love Actually [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
What a breath of fresh air (Four Weddings, I mean). Well, he just about managed to pull off the same trick again (Notting Hill, that is). What an offensive, loathesome, saccharine-encrusted bucket of offal (YOU fill in the brackets). You know the "sequel thing"? Rocky was a good film. By the fifth one, the horse was flogged beyond hope. Even the first Police Academy movie was quite diverting for its time. By the 29th installment, you wanted to take a holiday in Kabul.
But the thing is, those sequels only debased the original's originality. With "Love Actually", Richard Curtis has managed cynically to denigrate an entire genre ...actually. Rom-Coms are quite diverting. They fill a couple of hours when you fancy some chewing gum for the mind. If you're feeling particularly generous, you empathise with the characters. And the ironic, self-satirising tone gives otherwise dour actors the chance to show that they can deliver a witty line and pull off a good sight gag. But Love Actually misses the target here at just about every point.
The thing is that it all seems so emotionally manipulative and insincere. No character is given long enough to develop into anything that you'd remotely care about. The plot lines are so contrived that even Baldrick would question their cunning. A galaxy of acting talent is marooned on a desert island of vacuous inconsequence; a coral reef buoyed only by the obviously enormous cheques they received for the honour of leaving their integrity in a bucket by the door of the film studios.
I don't say that you need Checkov or Nabokov to teach you the meaning of love through misery. But you're fooling yourselves if this garbage touches a nerve.
If you enjoyed "Love Actually", then please tell your partner or your children that you love them. Or join a dating agency and do something about the emptiness you feel. Or get back on the medication. Just don't tell anyone; here or anywhere.


Love Actually [DVD] [2003]
Love Actually [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Alan Rickman
Price: £3.00

24 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Love is All Around This Movie (Just Not In It), 22 Mar. 2004
This review is from: Love Actually [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
What a breath of fresh air (Four Weddings, I mean). Well, he just about managed to pull off the same trick again (Notting Hill, that is). What an offensive, loathesome, saccharine-encrusted bucket of offal (YOU fill in the brackets). You know the "sequel thing"? Rocky was a good film. By the fifth one, the horse was flogged beyond hope. Even the first Police Academy movie was quite diverting for its time. By the 29th installment, you wanted to take a holiday in Kabul.
But the thing is, those sequels only debased the original's originality. With "Love Actually", Richard Curtis has managed to denigrate an entire genre ...actually. Rom-Coms are quite diverting. They fill a couple of hours when you fancy some chewing gum for the mind. If you're feeling particularly generous, you empathise with the characters. And the ironic, self-satirising tone offers a knowing wink to the audience's intelligence and gives otherwise earnest and worthy actors the chance to show that they can deliver a witty line and pull off a good sight gag. But Love Actually misses the target here at just about every point.
The thing is that it all seems so insincere. No character is given long enough to develop into anything that you'd remotely care about. The plot lines are so contrived that even Baldrick would question their cunning. A galaxy of acting talent is marooned on a desert island of vapid inconsequence; a reef buoyed only by the obviously enormous cheques they received for the honour of leaving their integrity in a bucket by the door of the film studios.
I don't say that you need Checkov or Nabokov to teach you the meaning of love through misery. But you're fooling yourselves if this garbage touches a nerve.
If you enjoyed "Love Actually", then please tell your partner or your children that you love them. Or join a dating agency and do something about the emptiness you feel. Or get back on the medication. Just don't tell anyone; here or anywhere.


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