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Fleur de Malamute

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Nathan Barley: Series 1 [DVD]
Nathan Barley: Series 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Nicholas Burns
Price: £8.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An Uneven and Frustrating Watch, 23 Jun. 2015
There are actually some excellent moments scattered throughout this series, and its hipster-knocking ethos feels quite prescient and relevant to today...

It's also a very frustrating watch - those excellent moments averaged out for me at about 2 per episode, which is quite low by any comedy standard. The characters are either pretty forgettable straightmen like Claire Ashcroft or 1 dimensional grotesques who start off hilarious but... Well, after a couple of episodes you feel like you've 'got' the point of them. (This is why the pilot seems better than the series to me - it gets in, makes the point and finishes in 45 minutes) The acting is also uneven - Julian Barrett and Nicholas Burns are very good but anyone else ranges from excellent to awful.

Your enjoyment of this show will probably depend on the level of your interest in hipsters and trendy art/fashion scenes. I'm not particularly interested in those things so got less out of the show (and my favourite things in it tended to be things not connected to that world - the cat-scissors scene, straight-on-straight gay sex).

I guess I thought it was a bit of a sledgehammer to crack a nut - 6 episode series to make the banal point that yes, artists and people in the media can be pretentious idiots.


Doctor Who: City of Death (Dr Who)
Doctor Who: City of Death (Dr Who)
by James Goss
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.88

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No Better Or Worse Than A Target Novelisation, 6 Jun. 2015
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This is an adaptation of a Douglas Adams TV story, and it is as adequate an adaptation as any of the Target ones back in the day. However it lacks enough originality in the prose style to be thought of as anything more than this (so much so that putting Douglas Adams name in such big letters on the cover seems misleading!). Adams effectively novelised parts of the story for the first Dirk Gently book (cannibalising the plot from this story and lots of dialogue from Shada), so it's easy to make a sort of comparison. Of styles with similar material and Adams is bursting with ideas whereas James Goss is more pedestrian.

To be fair I'm only being as harsh on this book because it's a very expensive hardback being sold using the Adams name. It is very readable, although you'll only read it once. If you go into this thinking of it as one of the Doctor Who Target novelisations - nothing more, nothing less - of yore, you'll get a lot more out of it than going into it expecting something by Douglas Adams, so don't let the cover deceive you!


Dr. Marten's 1460 Original, Unisex-Adults' Boots, Black, 11 UK
Dr. Marten's 1460 Original, Unisex-Adults' Boots, Black, 11 UK
Offered by Blueberry Workwear
Price: £64.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Sturdy and Comfortable!, 10 Jan. 2015
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Have had these for over a year now and they are amazingly comfortable and warm. They were quite painful to break in, but that didn't come as a surprise as DMs are notorious for that. They also were slightly too big for me (wish they made them in half-sizes!), but I put some thick insoles in - job done.

Basically these are the best boots I've owned - perfect for street use or hiking in the Peak District, they've not let me down. Ideal for pretty much anyone or anything.


Goo
Goo
Offered by zoreno-uk
Price: £4.28

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Particularly Compelling, 10 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Goo (Audio CD)
People have raved about this album to me - I loved 'Dirty' and 'Evol' and quite liked 'Daydream Nation'. I found 'Goo' to have sporadic moments of interest but to be quite underwhelming. It's OK but certainly not the best Sonic Youth album I've heard. It's got all of their trademark sounds and vocals, but just seemed to be lacking in punch.

I've listened to this many times trying to 'get' it but none of it is really memorable in the same way that I find other Sonic Youth albums are. 'Dirty Boots' is a really strong opener, but nothing else seems to stick in the mind. I was really looking forward to hearing Public Enemy's Chuck D on 'Kool Thing' - he is undeniably one of music's most compelling lyricists and vocalists. So I was very disappointed to hear him reduced to just saying variations on "Yeah baby" and "Oh yeah" in the background - it could really be anyone. So that was a let down.

On the whole I find 'Goo' just quite 'meh', and certainly wouldn't advise it as an introduction to the band when I think there's much stronger stuff out there.


UK Post-Punk: Faber Forty-Fives: 1977-1982
UK Post-Punk: Faber Forty-Fives: 1977-1982
Price: £1.34

3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing More Nor Less Than A Sampler For 'Rip It Up And Start Again'..., 10 Jan. 2015
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I did enjoy reading this, but realised a few pages in that I had in fact read it all before in Simon Reynold's (brilliant) 'Rip It Up and Start Again'. I believe the chapters are just taken directly from that book, so if you own that you won't need this. Luckily this was only £1 on the kindle edition so I didn't feel too ripped off.

So five stars for content but gets stars knocked off for not making it clear enough that this was not a new book by Simon Reynolds but old wine in a new bottle!


Doctor Who - The Tenth Planet [DVD]
Doctor Who - The Tenth Planet [DVD]
Dvd ~ William Hartnell
Price: £6.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not terrible but don't believe any fan hype you might have heard..., 10 Jan. 2015
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The Tenth Planet has a reputation that will always be hard for it to live up to - the first Cybermen! The last 1st Doctor story/First regeneration story!

The story just isn't much cop though. It's a tedious base-under-seige story with forgettable supporting characters and a distinct lack of William Hartnell (he was presumably sick during the filming of this as he is absent for a significant amount of the story). No witty dialogue; not a particularly amazing plot. This story gets its fame from it's importance in the show's history rather than its own merits. As a good piece of drama it deserves faint praise at best.

The Cybermen aren't exactly poorly realised - I normally try to defend them as intended to be bizarre rather than frightening. But they do sound a lot like Peter Sellers' Bluebottle voice from The Goon Show. The concept of the Cybermen is really interesting, but their role in the plot once their concept has been explained is to behave like routine bad guys for the rest of the story.

It's still an enjoyable enough watch - the missing 4th episode has been very well reconstructed using animation as has been done with certain stories since The Invasion. This divides opinions with some people, but as long as the animation is of a good quality I think it's a great way of making the surviving soundtracks come to life.

So The Tenth Planet is probably a story I would categorize as being for completists only. If you watch the story on its own terms and try to forget about its subsequent reputation as a game-changer, it keeps chugging along being just about interesting enough to hold the attention. If you're new to Doctor Who or are curious about trying some Hartnell/Cybermen for the first time I definitely wouldn't recommend this one as it is not representative of either. Watched in the 21st century it's more of a curate's egg.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 8, 2015 6:05 PM BST


Look Who's Back
Look Who's Back
Price: £4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Mr Hilter Goes On Telly, 10 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Look Who's Back (Kindle Edition)
Very entertaining - a bit of an anticlimactic ending, so best read as a sort of satiric shaggy dog story about Hitler coming back to life in the present day.

Probably a bit more controversial in Germany and maybe doesn't have the same 'edge' in the UK as it does there, as taking the p*** out of Hitler is old hat here. Wouldn't say its satire of TV, celebrity etc is quite it's strongest element. There's a Monty Python sketch about a 'Mr Hilter' living in a 1970s seaside B&B and this book is most successful when milking humour out of the same premise that sketch did 40 years ago - if you found that funny you will be bound to like this as well!


TARDIS Eruditorum: An Unofficial Critical History of Doctor Who Volume 4: Tom Baker and the Hinchcliffe Years
TARDIS Eruditorum: An Unofficial Critical History of Doctor Who Volume 4: Tom Baker and the Hinchcliffe Years
Price: £4.49

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever and Entertaining Analysis of Doctor Who, 10 Jan. 2015
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Basically if you want brainy analysis of cheap 40-year old BBC sci-fi, Sandifer's your man. He puts Doctor Who into a historical context and largely uses literary techniques to dissect the show. Be warned - no facts, figures and trivia here if that's what you're after, and it is assumed that you have already seen the episodes discussed - so if you haven't seen Tom Baker's stories for a while you might want to do some re-watching before reading.

If that all sounds deeply pretentious maybe this isn't for you - unless, like me, you are a bit pretentious yourself. In which case it's great stuff!


Hatchet Job: Love Movies, Hate Critics
Hatchet Job: Love Movies, Hate Critics
Price: £5.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For Anyone Who Likes Reading Reviews!, 10 Jan. 2015
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I really enjoyed Mark Kermode's knowledgeable and frank assessment of what his job is! He examines subjects such as why film criticism is sneered at so much, and where traditional criticism stands in the blogging age where anyone can be a critic. The fact that I am writing this and you are reading this is also discussed by Kermode as the nature of Amazon reviews are examined.

I like Kermode because he is a man who is so evidently enthusiastic about film and film criticism. I could have done without one or two of the slightly meandering anecdotes in return for some more perceptive analysis but can't fault him for his knowledge and ability to write entertainingly!


School For Scumbags
School For Scumbags
Price: £1.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Strong Idea, Weak Ending..., 10 Jan. 2015
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Danny King is really good at making crime hilarious, and this is one of his books with an interesting concept - literally, a school that teaches it's young offender style students how to be better criminals.

The parts set in the school I enjoyed very much. When the plot kicked in, I found it still readable but less enjoyable. When the fantasy of such a school existing stopped and the more standard crime plot kicked in it seemed somehow less special and more of a routine crime caper story, and not a particularly convincing one. I have noticed that I enjoy the endings of some of King's books much less than the first two thirds or so (although The Burglar Diaries has a cracking ending).

Still worth it for the ride though and will definitely make you laugh!


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