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M. Matthews "mikematt101" (Bristol, England)

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Peter Gabriel: Secret World Live [DVD]
Peter Gabriel: Secret World Live [DVD]
Dvd ~ Peter Gabriel
Offered by Office_AND_Entertainment
Price: 29.99

32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last! (Shame about the transfer though....), 17 April 2003
Peter Gabriel is without doubt one of the UK's most innovative and original composers and performers, and his Secret World show, performed in Modena, Italy in 1993 to coincide with the release of 'Us', is proof of that.
This truly is a show rather than a concert, complete with a telephone box, a tree that rises from beneath the stage and a giant dome that swallows up the performers at the climax. Gabriel and his fellow musicians (including David Rhodes on guitar, the brilliant Manu Katche on drums, Paula Cole on backing vocals and the inimitable Tony Levin on bass) perform a collection of tracks from 'Us' along with classics including Solsbury Hill and, of course, the ever-popular Sledgehammer. Highlights for me are Shaking The Tree (check out the fancy footwork) and the stunning rendition of In Your Eyes.
The VHS and album of the Secret World show were both released in 1994, but we've had to wait a further nine years for it to finally make an appearance on DVD. We're offered three audio options - Dolby 2.0, Dolby 5.1 and DTS - and the sound quality is superb (though apparently some of the vocals and keyboards were re-recorded for the DVD). Sadly the same cannot be said for the picture quality, which in places is pretty poor - the VHS had a grainy, documentary-style appearance which is also true of the DVD, but the DVD also suffers from blotchiness wherever the background is smokey or indistinct. The image has also been cropped in order to create a ‘widescreen’ effect.
The extra features are also rather thin on the ground - a 15min 'Behind The Scenes', a whacky 3min 'Timelapse' segment which shows the construction of the set, the concert and the set being dismantled in a series of still images, a photo gallery and a 7min documentary on Gabriel's 'Growing Up' coinciding with the release of his pretty naff new album, 'Up' (nice to see Melanie on stage alongside her dad though...)
So has Secret World on DVD been worth the wait? Undoubtedley! This is the best concert video/DVD I've ever seen, and the great sound makes up for the ropey image quality. If you’re a Gabriel fan, or if you simply love overblown high-concept concerts, this is a must-buy.

The Living Daylights (Special Edition) [DVD] [1987]
The Living Daylights (Special Edition) [DVD] [1987]
Dvd ~ Timothy Dalton
Price: 3.41

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tim was the best..., 28 Jan 2003
Quite simply, Tim Dalton was the best Bond. Connery had the charisma but not the acting prowess while Lazenby and Moore had neither. Like Dalton, Brosnan combines charisma with acting ability, but largely due to the material he's had to work with so far his Bond is something of a cardboard cut-out action hero. Dalton's Bond was a real human being living in a gritty, dangerous world where death was not something to be laughed at. It is a testimony to where Dalton's Bond is 'coming from' that there are few cheesy wisecracks in TLD and LTK, and those that there are don't really work. Purists also say that Dalton is the closest match for the Bond of Fleming's novels.
The Living Daylights, on the other hand, is a fairly routine Bond movie. The plot - which is a bit too complicated for its own good - is reminiscent of For Your Eyes Only (where Bond was duped by John Glover into thinking that Topol was the bad guy) and doesn't give us anything new. And while the attempt to try something different with the 'Bond girl' should be applauded, Maryam d'Abo is a bit of wet weekend. The villains are also somewhat lacklustre. John Glen's direction is professional but lacks energy - some of the action scenes really are rather dull, notably the attack on the safe house where 'defector' Jeroen Krabbe is being held. The film generally lacks 'ooomph' - that elusive ingredient that transforms a competent yarn into an edge-of-the-seat thriller and which is missing from most 007 films...
But Tim Dalton's presence means that The Living Daylights is always watchable and entertaining, and his no-nonsense Bond is a relief after 12 years of Moore's lampoonery.

Spider-Man [DVD] [2002]
Spider-Man [DVD] [2002]
Dvd ~ Tobey Maguire|Willem Dafoe|Kirsten Dunst|James Franco
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: 2.73

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great movie, but it could have been better..., 5 Dec 2002
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Spider-Man [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
The Webcrawler finally makes it to the big screen with Sam Raimi at the helm. The first hour, dealing with the creation of both Spidey and the Green Goblin, could hardly be any better - the scenes in which Peter Parker tries to get to grips with his new powers are brilliantly done, and I love the wrestling match ("The Human Spider? That sucks!") But after that the movie temporarily runs out of both steam and ideas - the Goblin's attempts to convince Spider-Man to join forces with him are implausible and unnecessary and feel like an effort to simply extend the running time. But Raimi pulls things back together for the thrilling finale, in which Gobby forces our hero to choose between saving the life of Mary Jane and a bunch of kids in a cable car. The visual effects more-or-less pass muster, and Raimi's direction is stylish without ever becoming pretentious. Tobey Maguire was an inspired piece of casting, and Willem Dafoe is great fun as the Goblin, but Kirsten Dunst is a wet blanket as Mary Jane and only her hair colour resembles the feisty character from the comics. The DVD itself is something of a disappoinment - the movie itself looks great, but despite being a two-disc set the special features are a big let-down and offer little of interest to Spidey fans apart from a couple of mildly interesting documentaries. Still, this was one of the most enjoyable movies of 2002 and is a worthy addition to anyone's DVD collection.

Give Me a Reason [CD 1]
Give Me a Reason [CD 1]
Offered by stevecaptainkirk
Price: 0.47

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Two remixes, two results, 16 July 2001
This review is from: Give Me a Reason [CD 1] (Audio CD)
It's very difficult to write a review of the Give Me A Reason single. It's tempting to give it 0/5 simply because the GMAR remix is a disgrace. The album version of Give Me A Reason was great, but I've always felt that it would have been even better if not for the dance-style drums & bass (a criticism that applies to many of the songs on In Blue), so the fact that the remix is even more dance-orientated absolutely beggars belief! Cutfather & Joe should be hunted down and shot for this shocking piece of sacrilege. But then the remix of Rebel Heart is actually an improvement over the album version. The In Blue version was rather repetitive, but in the remix the "vocals" start much earlier and therefore make it a much more interesting song. Needless to say Cutfather & Joe had nothing to do with the Rebel Heart remix! 0/5 for GMAR then, but a solid 4/5 for Rebel - hence 2/5 for the single as a whole. Note: there is a 4-track version of this single which includes Paddy McCarthy performed live at last year's Wembley concert - well worth tracking down!

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