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Shark Attack 2 [DVD]
Shark Attack 2 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Thorsten Kaye
Price: £2.75

5.0 out of 5 stars Fun, 9 Sep 2011
This review is from: Shark Attack 2 [DVD] (DVD)
The offspring of the "clever sharks" in the original Shark Attack are now roaming the high seas, soon make their way to Cape Town where Man's interferance with nature means they become a pack of vicious monsters whose appetite can never be satisfied.

Alright, it's a dodgy monster movie. But it's one that managed to keep me glued to the screen all the way through. The storyline involving a baby shark being captured and put on display in a theme park is obviously 'inspired' by Jaws 3, but this film handles the idea much more effectively. There are clever examples of social satire, with swipes at commercialism and the ridiculous machismo involved in killing sharks. Yes, the model shark is pretty laughable and the fin is plastic (though there is never anything as bad as some of the dodgier effects in Jaws 3) and the Crocodile Dundee character has to be seen to be believed. But this film doesn't take itself too seriously, and as long as you don't do so you'll have a lot of fun with it.

Doctor Who - The Tomb Of The Cybermen [1967] [DVD] [1963]
Doctor Who - The Tomb Of The Cybermen [1967] [DVD] [1963]
Dvd ~ Patrick Troughton
Offered by HalfpriceDVDS_FBA
Price: £15.98

5.0 out of 5 stars A great Cyberman story., 3 Sep 2011
The Doctor and his companions join a team of scientists investigating what turns out to be the building where the Cybermen have lain dormant for untold ages.

This is a fantastic story. Not to mention a classic example of suspence and horror, from the Hitchcock-like "old dark house" to the "Mummy awakening" scene where the Cybermen burst from their tombs. Patrick Troughton's Doctor is as his best here, shows an unusually darker manipulative side to the character's nature. The special effects don't look as good now as they did then, true, but this intelligent, well-crafted story is still as great as it ever was. Plus we see the Cyber Controller, who is much more effective and sinister here than in the later "Attack of the Cybermen".

Jaws 2/Jaws 3/Jaws: The Revenge [DVD]
Jaws 2/Jaws 3/Jaws: The Revenge [DVD]
Dvd ~ Dennis Quaid
Price: £10.48

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One good, two dodgy, but still fun, 3 Sep 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The three Jaws sequals.

Jaws 2 is a well-made and entertaining film. Amity is once again threatened by the presence of a large Great White, and once more Brody finds himself a lone voice of sanity in a community who don't want to know. I'd put this film on a par with the original. The characters are as good as before, Chief Brody is now more of a tortured soul and makes a sympathetic hero. The shark, with its burnt face, looks effectively horrific and there are some great scenes of suspence.

Jaws 3. Hmm. You know what to expect from this film when you see that fish's head being bitten off and then looking at the viewer with its mouth opening and closing in unintentionally comic fashion. A baby shark is captured in Sea World, a cross between an underwater theme park and Butlins, and before long its massive parent is forcing its way into the park. On the staff are Chief Brody's two sons (though they might as well be Ren & Stimpy for what it has to do with the plot, and considering the trauma they suffered as children involving sharks they seem very keen to dive back into the water). This film probably looked good as a script. If only it had more money spent on it I think it could have been great. Instead we are treated to a hilariously mechanical-looking shark and effects which just inspire humour rather than horror. The 3-D is kind of limp and feels as though it was tacked on as a selling point.

Jaws:The Revenge. The cheddar feast continues. Ladies ange gentlemen, welcome to Jaws - The Revenge. See the amazing flying, roaring, exploding shark, the world's first hit-man with fins who can turn the water red without even killing anyone. Watch it swim across the sea in a matter of hours. Watch it track down the relatives of someone who killed one of its brethren. See the amazing Ellen Brody, who by telepathic means can remember things she never witnessed. Watch the death-defying Jake as he returns from the dead. Or something like that. The real tragedy is that there are scenes in this film which show how good it could have been if it hadn't been bogged down with an utterly daft storyline and a load of laughably fake accents. Not to mention some cheap-looking effects. What happened to the profits from the earlier films? The first ten minutes are great. The camera-work in the title sequence looks effectively sinister and its accompanied by some good music. The younger Brody brother being torn limb from limb while the unsuspecting community sings Christmas carols is a genuine horror moment, as is the scene where a woman is pulled from a banana boat and crushed to death in front of several screaming little girls. Michael Caine does his best to inject warmth and humour into the storyline, but it's all just a might-have-been.

One classic film, two dodgy films which are nevertheless good for a laugh. There is a wealth of extras involving the making of Jaws 2, meaning this box-set is well worth it if you're a fan of these kinds of movies.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 25, 2013 4:31 AM BST

Lead Balloon - Series 4 [DVD]
Lead Balloon - Series 4 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jack Dee
Price: £8.63

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great series, 16 July 2011
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Once again Jack Dee is excellent as down-on-his-luck comic Rick Spleen. This time Spleen is forced to take up work advertising various junk products including a musical windmill which doesn't work. He also has a chance to feature in a "homes of the stars" article, finishes up borrowing a pig in an attempt to convince the public he is an animal lover. Some of these episodes feature what is quite probably the darkest humour in the four series. The two-hander, in which Rick Spleen is held hostage in a prison library by an inmate, and the following ominously-titled episode which sees Spleen with the spectre of the inmate's dangerous friends hanging over him, had me gripped.

If this really is the last season of Lead Balloon then it really has maintained a high quality right until the end.

After You've Gone: Complete BBC Series 1 [DVD]
After You've Gone: Complete BBC Series 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Nicholas Lyndhurst
Price: £6.75

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A few words of advice., 27 Jun 2011
If you're ever landed a job as a BBC comedy script-writer you'll need to know how to make a comedy series. So here is the process usually used these days, step by step.

1: Find a well-known actor or actress already loved for his/her previous works.
2: Er, that's it. You don't need to bother about scripts or jokes or interesting characters or storylines of any shape or form. Just make them up as you go along and nobody in this jaded age of sub-standard 'comedy' will be remotely bothered. In this case, for example, I watched a few episodes and didn't laugh once. This is like some dreary 'cosy sit-com' from the 1970s complete with that old over-abused cliche, the mother-in-law from hell. Nicholas Lyndhurst just seems mis-cast and the actors in general just strut about as though they're on stage. The comic legends of yesteryear must be turning in their graves at how dreadful most of modern British comedy output has become.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 30, 2012 7:56 AM BST

LEGO Creator 5771: Hillside House
LEGO Creator 5771: Hillside House
Offered by Game-Front
Price: £99.99

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another fantastic creator set, 27 Jun 2011
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This is another fabulous Lego house with amazing attention to detail on both the building and the garden. Included are a driveway for the car, a hinged opening roof, solar pannels and plenty of pieces to make for limitless alternative building. There are instructions for the main model and for two other houses, and there is even a new 'sound brick' which, when its button is pressed, makes the noise of a doorbell followed by a dog parking. Certainly one of the better creator houses to date.

LEGO Creator 5770: Lighthouse Island
LEGO Creator 5770: Lighthouse Island
Offered by Bricks England
Price: £98.95

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You shall have a little fishy, 27 Jun 2011
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is one of the most original sets Lego have made for quite a long time. It consists of an island supporting a small cottage and a lighthouse. The lighthouse is a clever design. By means of a handle behind the main tower you can rotate a sloping brick with a shiny sticker. Light from the light-brick will reflect off this and give the impression of a rotating lighthouse beam. The model looks great, is well-detailed and one of the walls is hinged in order to open and allow access to the interior. There is also a minifig, a speedboat and even seagulls which can hold fish in their mouths. There are instructions for the main model and for two other models including a boathouse. Overall a great set.

Red Dwarf : Complete BBC Series 7 [2005] [DVD]
Red Dwarf : Complete BBC Series 7 [2005] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Chris Barrie
Offered by rockaway-records
Price: £6.69

4.0 out of 5 stars The weakest Red Dwarf series. The four stars are for the extras., 3 Jun 2011
In my humble opinion Red Dwarf really was at its best in Series 5 and 6. Series 6 ended on a cliffhanger which left fans hungry for more. Although we had to wait four years for the next Dwarf due to various behind-the-scenes problems, I personally considered it would be worth the wait.

Series 7 starts very promisingly. It is obvious from the start the show is now bigger amd bolder. But things start to go downhill very fast. Rimmer was a pivotal part of this show, and I can't believe it's just a co-incidence that the two best episodes by far are the two before he leaves. He appears in a few flashback sequences in two other episodes, but these scenes are weak (apart from the "dream sequence", of course). In previous series, each episode felt like a self-contained story, but most of this series just seems too much like one slow on-going story arc. There are moments of inspiration (Jane Austen World and the ideas behind Ouroboros and the sentient virus, for example). But there are just too many long dull scenes, too much plundering of the series past (throwing in Gelfs, simulants, etc). It's nice to see Don Henderson as a guest star. This was one of his last appearances and you can't help feeling such a great actor deserved better than this.

One big problem overshadows this series. Red Dwarf has always been about a group of people desperate to return to Earth. With the time-drive now capable of space travel, surely they can return to Earth whenever they choose. Why stay marooned on some grotty old spaceship? Kochanski becomes one of the Dwarfers in this series, and though she improves in Series 8, in these episodes she is snooty, unlikeable, unfunny and just irritating. What on Earth did Lister ever see in her? It's pretty obvious she was intended to replace Rimmer, uttering the kind of lines he would say, and the actress who plays her has none of Chris Barrie's masterful comic delivery or acting skills.

There's an opinion that Series 7 was intended as a move towards comedy-drama. There's certainly nothing wrong with darker comedy. But it is somewhat compromised by the fact that the characters seem to have become cartoon charicatures versions of their former selves. Lister is now only interested in curry, lager and sex. The Cat is just there to be cool. Kryten has lost his characteristics and turned into a whining obnoxious buffoon. Another problem is that, without an audience, the actors have no-one to react to and are clearly uncomfortable. There are some good effects, but most of the CGI looks terrible. The silly "ring of Rimmer coffins", for example, or the dreadful asteroid belt.

The four stars I've given this item are mainly for the wealth of extras on this DVD set. There are extended versions of three episodes and plenty of documentaries and other goodies. This is worth buying if you're a fan, but otherwise I'd skip this series. Like the last few series of Spitting Image, it's smug and self-satisfied despite having very little to be smug and self-satisfied about.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 3, 2013 10:33 AM GMT

Blast From The Past
Blast From The Past
by Ben Elton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.59

5.0 out of 5 stars A great book, 31 May 2011
This review is from: Blast From The Past (Paperback)
This was the first Ben Elton book I read and I still love it. The tale of two unlikely former lovers (a soldier and a hippy peacenik who meet up again after many years) keeps you reading until the very end. Filled with Ben Elton's hilarious wit and sarcasm, as well as some genuinely gripping darker moments.

Filthy, Rich And Catflap: The Complete Series [DVD] [1987]
Filthy, Rich And Catflap: The Complete Series [DVD] [1987]
Dvd ~ Adrian Edmondson
Price: £39.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Buried treasure found at last, 29 May 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you liked The Young Ones then you'll love this, as it's the same kind of anarchist humour. Three of the characters in The Young Ones are now trying to cope in later life. Rich (Rik Mayall) is a would-be movie star/celebrity whose attempts to win fame and fortune always seem to end in disaster. That's hardly surprising considering his drunken useless agent Filthy (Nigel Planer) and his bodyguard Catflap (Adrian Edmondson) whose responce to any situation is instant violence. Ben Elton (assisted by Mayall) is at his writing best here. Every episode has a well-written storyline and never a dull moment, not to mention a host of recognisable supporting stars and sends-ups of various TV shows.

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