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L. A. Camy "Eastender" (London UK)
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England V Hungary - Wembley 1953 [DVD]
England V Hungary - Wembley 1953 [DVD]
Price: 9.34

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars World's most important football match, 18 Jan 2011
I have heard about this game since I was a child and I was alive when it was played. I have seen the Hungarian goals at least but never the match. Things to get out of the way the picture quality is not good and the brief snatch of the Hungarian version is better but with a narrower camera angle. It is difficult to make out the individuals and there is an electronic noise that is very wearing to listen to.
The match is between what was then still arguably the best football nation playing what was to become the old style 5 forwards 3 mid field and 2 defenders playing in a fixed formation against the inventors of modern football and the result is flattering to the old style 10-3 would have been more accurate result.
This DVD is an absolute must for anyone with even the slightest interest in football and as others have commented shows the different attitude by the players and officials and interpretation of the rules..
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 18, 2011 3:51 PM BST


Confucius [DVD] [2010]
Confucius [DVD] [2010]
Dvd ~ Chow Yun Fat
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: 12.57

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A biography?, 18 Jan 2011
This review is from: Confucius [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
The first thing to say is that I have only the sketchiest knowledge of the life of Confucius and so the accuracy of what is portrayed I leave to others. The other thing that I was not aware of was what Confucius actually taught. I am familiar with the Neo Confucianism of the Manchu period which based on this film appears a different animal.

The film no matter how many supporting parts and fine actors to perform in them (and this film has both and all are to be commended) any biography relies on the performance of the lead.
And this is where I had some trepidation in ordering this film. There is nothing in Chow Yun Fat's career to suggest that he was the man to play this part. His whole career in Hong Kong was in modern dress and his few ventures into costume drama have shown him ill at ease. I think of Dream Lovers and the 2 later films of Crouching Tiger and the disasterous Golden whatever flower was supposed to be the centre of the action. Also I understand he is not happy in Mandarin and this film both used that language and is a costume drama. The interesting bonus items made it clear that the director had reservations about Chow but because of his supposed lack of knowledge of Confucius. This surprised me because the one thing that had persuaded me to buy the film was the fact that Chow's was brought up in the neo-Confucian tradition and his whole life is a shining example of that fact. Chow is very much an actor who draws on his own emotions feelings and beliefs which had had suggested to me that he would bring insights into the character from the inside oc Confucianism and this proved to be the case
As to the film Chow is superb he appears totally comfortable with both costume and language and is able to express what I have mentioned above in a natural and understated fashion. His performance is the best I have seen from him since at least the modern part of Dream lovers.
So why 4 and not 5 stars? Perhaps to a Chinese audience this would be possible but the film is in 2 parts. Confucius's time in office and his exile. While the former is perfectly accessible the latter spends a long time telling the same story that he moved from court to court and was not wanted The way it is shown looks like pure indulgence by the director as a excuse to show her mastery of cinematography and I might also add is typical of Chinese productions where show is more important than substance.

Do I recommend the film? yes for Chow's exceptional performance and the supporting performances but a editor willing to cut at least 30 minutes from the present film would have made it a masterpiece


Eagle Shooting Heroes [1993] [DVD]
Eagle Shooting Heroes [1993] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jacky Cheung
Price: 6.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inside knowledge, 16 Jan 2011
The Amazon description of the film encapsulates most of what you need to know about this film. There is however one very large proviso and that this is not a film for the first time or relative newcomer to Hong Kong films of that period 1980-1995. Because like all spoofs it requires an in depth knowledge of what is being spoofed. So in this case not only is it individual films but the individual actors careers that are included in the jokes. A perfect example is Brigitte Lin who is the complete reverse of the roles she normally plays as the great warrior. Joey Wang's character made no sense to me until I subsequently saw the film The Perfect Siblings and so it goes on. Yes a film for the knowledgeable but by no stretch of the imagination a film to start one's Hong Kong viewing


Frigates of the Napoleonic Wars
Frigates of the Napoleonic Wars
by Robert Gardiner
Edition: Paperback

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Partial history of sailing frigates, 30 Dec 2010
I support halfbat's review of this book it is truely excellent. I have owned it for several years and after initially reading it from cover to cover it has been an excellent reference book ever since.
The reason for my title is that it should be seen as part of a series currently three in number. The two previous ones cover the history of the 18th century frigate from its inception to this volume. The other two are in the same style and are equally as good. Sadly there appears to be no incentive to produce a fourth volume from 1815 until the end of the sailing frigate era perhaps Mr Gardiner could be persuaded to complete the work.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 14, 2011 4:21 PM GMT


Taylors Eye Witness Digital Fork Thermometer
Taylors Eye Witness Digital Fork Thermometer
Price: 21.50

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Performance, 9 Dec 2010
I have had this product for about two weeks now. Not enough time to assess its durability but enough to test its performance. Initially a little tricky to operate as the instructions are not the best. Once I got over that it has completely changed my cooking as I now realise that I have not been cooking the meat to the correct temperature at the centre with obvious dangers with certain items

Very good product


Kitchen Craft Fridge Thermometer, Stainless Steel
Kitchen Craft Fridge Thermometer, Stainless Steel
Price: 3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars performance, 9 Dec 2010
I have had this item now for several weeks and it confirms what I had long suspected that my refrigerator is not functioning correctly. Good product


The Victorian Pharmacy [DVD]
The Victorian Pharmacy [DVD]
Price: 11.00

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Victorian Pharmacy a partial view, 23 Nov 2010
This review is from: The Victorian Pharmacy [DVD] (DVD)
Like Dani who wrote a highly critical I felt there were places where the programmes lacked depth but not being the expert he/she is I was not sure where I was being "cheated". The programme that particularly interested me was where the examinations were introduced as my great grandfather was in the first group to pass them. This I had known for years what I had not realised was the rigour and breadth of the exams and the range of experts that are now required to pass an exam which one person took.

Where I disagree with Dani (I am really not picking on him/her it is that the review was so lively and strongly argued) is that I thought that the main thrust of the series was to put forward the idea (and this has been true of a number of recent series that include a Victorian element ) that in a age when there were few or no chain stores to support each other, it was all down to the individual and the profit motive was everything. People fought tooth and nail get an edge over the rivals witness Bird's custard who stopped being a pharmacist. It seemed to me that the Professor was especially good at portraying this element and would have been rather successful had he lived then.

To conclude I thought the series main aims were to strip away the idea that the Victorian Age was some idyllic dreamworld of silk gowns, handsome, dashing young men and decadent aristocrats and show it as a tough, ruthless, precarious and dangerous world. They succeeded with the first two, a partial success with the third and failed with the fourth. A last thought I loved the mad chemistry professor locked away in his laboratory.There is a series of some description just begging to be made using him as the front man


World War 1 In Colour - Complete TV Series [DVD]
World War 1 In Colour - Complete TV Series [DVD]
Dvd ~ Kenneth Branagh
Price: 8.00

21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Colour? accurate no, 6 Feb 2010
I have not bought the box set for the simple reason that I watched it with eager anticipation on the television only to be totally disappointed. Who did the research on this programme? The whole point was to show it in colour and the colours were WRONG. The French did not wear blue trousers and kepis they were RED that is why they died in their hundreds of thousands in the first 2 years. Paintings show the Austrians frequently wore light blue and yet every Austrian was shown wearing very dark blue almost black. what is the point of a series with such errorsWorld War 1 In Colour - Complete TV Series [DVD] [2003]


The Enemy at Trafalgar: Eyewitness Narratives, Dispatches and Letters from the French and Spanish Fleets
The Enemy at Trafalgar: Eyewitness Narratives, Dispatches and Letters from the French and Spanish Fleets
by Edward Fraser
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 21.72

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enemy at Trafalgar, 11 Sep 2009
This book was written in 1905 to commerate the 100th anniversary of the battle of Trafalgar. It is as far as I know rare if not unique in English in viewing the battle primarily from the Franco-Spanish perspective. Giving it its importance even though the auyhor is apologetic about using these sources as if it is a slur on the courage and ability of the British!!!. The books rarity is itself an indictment of subsequent generations of historians.

Whilst the narrative is contiuous there are four main sources. Attibuted statements from Franco-Spanish officers, attributed statements from British officers mainly to keep continuity in the storyline, unattrbuted comments from both sides and the comments and narrative by the author.
Before I go any further I must say that this is a most valuable book that should be in the collection of anyone interested in Trafalgar in particular and the naval war of 1793-1815 in general. However it has its limitations as can be judged by the fact the author felt the need to apologise for having written it. There are two major frustrations that led me to put the book aside for days on end. The first is the unattributed comments which are frequently on significant events and without knowing whether it was the admiral or a midshipman or anyone in between who made them their worth is at best suspectand what weight if any should be put to them. The other and far more important is the author's narrative. He has irritated, frustrated and infuriated me. He makes many redundant comments but where the information presented is crying out for a comment there is none. An example is the only manoeuvre conducted by the combined fleet was to turn from a southerly course to a northerly one. Admiral Villeneuve says he ordered the fleet to wear (highly likely he had always done so previously and it also took the fleet away from the British). Lucas of the Redoutable on the other hand says that the fleet tacked. This is a major discrepancy and casts doubt on the whole of Lucas's evidence if he could not get this important fact right what else can we trust in his account and yet the author makes no comment. While he continuously adds flowery descriptions that add nothing such as the gallant Euryalus bravung the guns of the combined fleet when she was just doing her job sailing outside the maximum range of the combined fleets cannon.Or that because Villeneuve had ancestors who died at Roncevalles and in the crusades this made him fit to command the combined fleet.

This book undoubtly shows a point of view that has dated for example the adulation of Nelson would be considerd extreme a hundred years later by the general reader, even taking into account that the sun still rises and sets on Nelson and no other admiral or captain existed in the war of 1793-1815. But there is a more serious thought for the modern reader (and by that I would include anyone post 1916) just how much the opinions expressed by the author on naval tactics are only his own and how much they reflect the general public and more importantly naval opinion. If they were the same then the losses of the battlecruisers and the deaths of thousands of men at Jutland can be seen to have resulted from a total miss-understanding of reasons for Nelson's tactics at Trafalgar.


Victorian Farm [DVD]
Victorian Farm [DVD]
Dvd ~ Stephen Noonan
Price: 7.00

5.0 out of 5 stars The Victorian Farm, 20 April 2009
This review is from: Victorian Farm [DVD] (DVD)
Victorian Farm [DVD] [2008]

A truely excellent series While my ancestors had been tenant farmers in the Victorian era by the time I was born just after the the Second World War we lived in the East End of London. The series attracted me initially because I had seen the experts in some of the Tales from the Green Valley and another programme and partly to see what it would have been like for my ancestors. The proviso being they were arable farmers and therefore had a larger holding. The thing that struck me the most strongly was the domestic side of their lives and how similar to my childhood. It caught the atmosphere and physical nature of the domestic operations with the range( a nightmare to clean) the mangle, the flat iron, even the flour in the big tin(oh I had forgotten that), the cold and dark outside the kitchen we too had no heating outside the kitchen and no lights upstairs, outside privy of course. The make and mend and wasting nothing at all came back to me and showed that the programme was authentic and how Victorian we were in the 1950s. The farming side was equally fascinating and informative even without the actual resonance of having lived it. It aptly illustrated the precarious nature of farming in that period where the workhouse was only a bad harvest or two away as was stressed in the films. In all I found the the series all I had hoped it would be and the idea put forward by some reviewers that they should not have been experts as bizarre. After all we want to see how it worked at the time not how a lot of 21st century whingers making a mess of it


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