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Cast Away (2 Disc Set) [DVD] [2001]
Cast Away (2 Disc Set) [DVD] [2001]
Dvd ~ Tom Hanks
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £8.84

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, involving, contemplative, 17 Jan. 2003
I have been impressed by Tom Hanks acting. His onscreen persona somehow projects into your life for a short while, as you see him act out the role he plays. As an actor, he involves his audience - which is hard onscreen as there is no direct audience contact.
The concept of the trails and learning experiences that being "Castaway" would bring has always had an appeal to me. Intuition? Initiative? Survival? Health? Psychology? Sanity? Hope? Expectation? Despair? Recovery? Frustration? Those left behind? Re-integration with society?
All these issues are touched upon in this film with excellent screen play and directorship. The island he is on could almost be paradise, if it were not a prison. It is not just a prison due to it's location, but also the geogrpahical characteristics of the Island make it very hard to escape. It is fascinating to see how he deals with and overcomes these frustrations and challenges. Look out for "Wilson", is he "real" or not? I felt a sense of loss when he floated away... (you will have to watch it to find out.)
You don't normally expect special effects in a film of this type, but the plane crash is probably the most harrowing you will ever see. Also great thought went into the camera shots, some very technical manouveres carried out.
The other side of the coin is the effect on the people who presumed he was dead. What about the problems when that person is finally discovered... if you lost someone this way, you still loved them at the point they went. So you could rebuild your life, but that love you had is still "alive", in effect that relationship might not have had "closure". What happens if that person comes back? The portrayal in this film provokes contemplation on how we as individuals would react by how we feel about what we see onscreen.
Finally, the ending of the film leaves room for hope. There is a thread that run's throughout the film that I didn't appreciate until the end, but it is key to the survival of this individual.
I saw the trailers for this film, and wanted to view it in the cinema, but it just passed by for one reason or another. Then I heard reports that some people found it boring, so it passed me by on DVD as well, until one day circumstance meant I did finally watch it. I think it is a long film, I say "I think" because it went very quickly for me, which is a good indication I enjoyed watching it.
Certainly I would recommend you watch this film, if not own it on DVD. I don't think it is the type of film I would watch very often, but will always be in memory. If you think you will get good usage out of this DVD or are a Tom Hanks fan, then certainly buy it, watch it, show it to your mates etc. If not, try and borrow it off someone else.

By the Way
By the Way
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.75

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars RHCP Influential of all things cool and funky, 16 Jan. 2003
This review is from: By the Way (Audio CD)
This is a great album, no mistaking it. I did buy this the day it was released and was really pleased driving around enjoying the new tracks that most people had not yet heard.
With myself I found that all the songs I liked on first hearing. I was a bit worried, as normally the albums I really like don't have a superficial appeal and I grow to appreciate them after hearing them many times. However, this album was different. I continued to play it, and to like it more and more.
I took it to my friends to play as we had a BBQ on a hot summer evening.... the same effect on them. I did play this album a lot, maybe too much, then I started listening to some other artisits for a while...but only a little while. A great talking point too when you meet someone new, they are bound to like this album as well ;)
Interestingly, I found the tracks all quite varied and the compositions involving and diverse. Throughout the album there is a fusion of different feels, even within single tracks.
"Can't Stop" has a rap feel to the lyrical rythm, and then throughout a melodic break, the guitar has a distinctly reggae feel.
"Midnight" starts with a pleasant classical strings introduction, and then follows with a progression of different stages that remind me of "Scooby Doo" to back street New York gang lands.
"Zephyr Song" and "By The Way" are just very cool and funky. "Tear" has something like a trumpet line in it throughout the introduction? Not really what you would expect?
Don't know what to say about "Warm Tape"? Where did that come from? I like it but not sure why? "Venice Queen" is just fantastic with the most ambient introduction sequence on the album, with reflective and mournful elements.
Plenty of harmonisations to keep your interest too. I really feel that the punctuation and rythm used in the vocal lines are one of the main attractions of this band, suppported by excellent musician ship and compositional ability (and a fine production team). Almost certainly you will enjoy this album, and certainly grow to love it. RHCP - Still setting a huge influence on the music industry.

Saving Private Ryan [DVD] [1998]
Saving Private Ryan [DVD] [1998]
Dvd ~ Tom Hanks
Price: £2.63

2 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible - but I don't recommend you watch it, 15 Jan. 2003
I don't really want to say much about this film, check out the other reviews to see how moving it is. Just to say I felt very different after watching this movie. I had chosen to avoid it in the cinema, on dvd etc. Then a few years down the road, it was on Sky and I was totally bored. I started to switch over on the opening sequence but found that against my efforts the ending credits were passing by..
It is an insight into how war has affected people, not really very pleasant. Why did they run at the enemy guns, only to be shot down? Because they were told to, and probably would have been shot for not doing it? The thought that normal people, maybe a teacher or a farmer, were put in such a situation is mind numbing. That they are physically sick the first time they shot someone, but by the end of the war would think nothing of shooting the fleeing enemy in the back? A reflection on the insanity of war, and inhumanity asscociated with it.
I certainly don't recommend this film, but I think it is astounding piece of cinematography. Prepare yourself if you want to watch it.

The Lord of the Rings (3 Book Box set)
The Lord of the Rings (3 Book Box set)
by Brian Sibley
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Story, Masterpiece? A platform for something new?, 15 Jan. 2003
Interesting this book is? I like to read, and I like fictional stories of this kind. Not only is it vastly entertaining, it provides a glimpse into the thoughts and creativity of an individual.
I enjoyed the hobbit immensley when I was younger, but after reading this it pushed my expectations beyond, so that I find myself a little impatient when I try to go back to the hobbit again? That is the effect of Tolkien exerting his full talent of story telling. If you are willing to let Tolkien guide you through his make believe world, and accept it for just that, the chances are you will enjoy reading this story.

Muse - Hullabaloo [DTS] [DVD] [2003]
Muse - Hullabaloo [DTS] [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Muse
Offered by mrtopseller
Price: £6.95

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Energetic, Artistic, Quality, and always a leg in the air..., 15 Jan. 2003
I recommned this DVD so much - of course assuming you like the indy/rock genre. It's a well put together package, a stylish case, two DVD's, a nice leaflet. The second DVD contains behind the scenes footage of the band, kinda interesting as they do a lot of messing around, photo shoots, cool stuff. But to be honest it's a nice extra - I always want to watch the main DVD for the live performance.
This starts off with a great ambient introduction, building the crowds anticipation - and mine because I'm immediatley drawn in and become part of the crowd. Then burst's into life with a good selection of their songs, plenty of colour, stage antics, and crowd surfing (hence peoples legs in the air - always on a crowd shot!).
A great DVD to enjoy on your own, maybe as a background companion when your trying to tidy your room or something, or when you have mates around. It fits in very nicley as your all chatting away (assuming it's not at deafening volumes ;)
If you like MUSE, or have heard one or two tracks of theirs that you think "I quite like that." then get this DVD. I didn't really know MUSE stuff very well, and bought this on the strength of one or two tracks I liked the sound of. I was not disappointed!

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones [DVD] [2002]
Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones [DVD] [2002]
Dvd ~ Hayden Christensen
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: £3.57

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Attack of the Clones -, 7 Jan. 2003
This was an entertaining film, but there are some points that have to be made. The original Star Wars was great, fantastic - everyone knows this. Now there is a problem with the new Star Wars, it is different because the world is different now so the whole cinematic process has a new set of external pressures to make the film a success, and adapt to expectations. And of course the temptation to use new technology in groundbreaking ways is one of these pressures.
For me, this is the first disappointment of the film. The use of technology is very cool, but the use of digital cinematography gives a feel that instead of a film, you are watching one long cut scene from a computer game, like in the good old days of Wing Commander, where actors were dropped into obviously computer generated scenery. It has the kind of “Bed knobs and Broomsticks” feel about it. Imagine a scene in a desert with wind blowing; what you see is real sand around the actors, perhaps blowing in their face, and their hair moves in the correct physical way. It is “real” and the net result is an image that appears real. With clever use of special effects, something wonderful can be generated to make the watcher believe what they are watching is real. Instead this film felt like watching a theatrical play, actors in front of props, it does deceive your eye well enough to make you believe it is real.
However, this would not really be a problem; I enjoy theatre very much. The fact that this was an issue for me really relates to the poor job of character development and story line progression. It lacked any real “magic” that made you relate to the characters. I could do so in a small way, as I am familiar with the Star Wars world, but overall the dialog was very average and construction of the film very mediocre.
So this film is not as great as the original Star Wars- not fantastic, but it was entertaining and probably worth owning. I hope this will be akin to the “Jason and the Argonauts” of digital cinematography. Hopefully this technology will develop to produce fantastic visuals in future films, that hopefully will have fantastic plots and character development.
BUT I cannot knock the stylisation of the film in terms of vision, the worlds that were created, the costumes, the ideas behind the alien life forms. There are some very talented and creative people who have put artistic input into the film. The appreciation for this has to be praised highly.
In summary the overall production is good, just not convincing lacking any real “spark” between the people portrayed onscreen. However a creative masterpiece that has to be witnessed. I especially like planet of water. Watch it, I don’t think you will disappointed, just don’t expect too much.
Only a "2 star" I'm afraid, because there are so many much better films out there.

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