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Lotna [DVD] [1965] [US Import]
Lotna [DVD] [1965] [US Import]
Dvd ~ Jerzy Pichelski
Offered by PolartVideoUK
Price: 6.10

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Flash of Sabres, 31 Aug 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I remember seeing this film back in the 1960s on the big screen in a cinema which specialised in foreign-language films and being very impressed by it. I have often wondered why it has been unavailable on VHS or DVD for so long - but at last it has re-appeared and I have been able to renew my experience of it!
I think it admirably recaptures the spirit and atmosphere of the Polish campaign of 1939, personified in a doomed Polish cavalry squadron which adopts into its ranks a grey mare - the eponymous "Lotna" ( "the Swift One") - donated by a dying Polish aristocrat.
A light-coloured horse was never the preferred choice for cavalry in action as it was more easily seen by the enemy - and indeed on one occasion "Lotna" brings death and destruction to the squadron by breaking cover and attracting the attention of German divebombers.
Wajda does perpetuate the old myth that the Polish cavalry charged German tanks! This originated from a mistake made by Italian war-correspondents viewing the site of a skirmish in which Polish cavalry had emerged from the forest and carved up (literally) a German transport column before swiftly withdrawing back into the forest on the arrival of German armoured-cars (not tanks) which inflicted some casualties with their machine guns. The war-correspondents saw the dead Polish troopers and horses lying near the now-parked armoured cars and assumed they had been charging them. The Germans did nothing to correct this mistaken belief and so the myth was born!
In fact the Polish cavalry usually fought dismounted and were equipped not only with anti-tank rifles but an excellent towed 37mm anti-tank gun which could knock out any German tank of the period - as they showed at Mokra where the Polish cavalry gave the Panzers a bloody nose!
In any case the use of horsed cavalry in the conditions of Eastern Europe was not as antiquated as it might seem. Cavalry could move swiftly and relatively silently across terrain impassable to wheeled or tracked vehicles, and could pose a serious threat to unsupported infantry and lines of communication and supply. Moreover, surprise, surprise! The Germans also fielded horsed cavalry in Poland in 1939 ( there was at least one recorded mounted clash between German and Polish horsemen) and for that matter, the Germans also had horsed cavalry in action in France in May 1940! Most of their transport was also horse-drawn and remained so throughout the war. Only one army fighting in Europe in 1939-40 used no horses - the British.
One likes to think that the survivors of Lotna's squadron managed to escape, as many did, to continue the fight as units in the French, British and, later, Russian, forces. Incidentally, the highest-scoring RAF fighter squadron in the Battle of Britain (303 Squadron) was Polish.

Code Of Honour: The French Foreign Legion (PC CD)
Code Of Honour: The French Foreign Legion (PC CD)
Price: 2.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Quelle Crappe!, 27 July 2008
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
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This game has only two things in its favour: a)it's cheap (under 5.00) b) it provides the novelty of being able to use French weapons (e.g. the FAMAS assault rifle). Aside from this it is pretty dire! You are cast as an NCO in the French Foreign Legion with various missions in some imaginary West African state - presumably, given the presence of the FFL, an ex-French colony. Despite this the enemy seems to labour under the impression that you are American! However, this lack of recognition is at one with their generally inept and semi-suicidal tactics - they usually announce their presence with loud shouts and leap from behind cover so that you can shoot them down. What I am saying is that the AI is pretty feeble. The movement is rather jerky and the graphics are, at best, average. Also, on my PC (well above the minimum specs) it takes ages to load - and for that matter exit - the game. Still, at least you can save throughout the gameplay. Ten years ago this game would have been a smash-hit, but it seems a pity that in 2008 City Interactive can't produce an FPS that isn't outclassed by the original Call of Duty!

Tarr Chronicles (German version)
Tarr Chronicles (German version)
Price: 3.88

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lost in Space, 8 Jun 2008
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
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This game is just about playable - but as a space combat flight sim it falls down badly because of the cumbersome control system. To manoeuvre your spacecraft you have to use the mouse - this means moving it around,
requiring a fairly large mousemat! Luckily I have a cordless mouse so such movement is feasible - what it would be like trying to do it on the end of a cable I shudder to think. This problem would have been avoided if
Paradox had built in a Joystick option - hardly revolutionary in a flight sim! Also, on my PC it takes ages to load - but that may be because it really needs a higher spec PC. Technical support appears to be non-existent and requires going to the Paradox website- only to find that it does not respond to any Support queries.
My advice is, before you buy check out the demo or wait until the price drops to bargain basement!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 17, 2010 7:40 PM BST

Bosch Rotak 43 LI Cordless Rotary Lawn Mower
Bosch Rotak 43 LI Cordless Rotary Lawn Mower

30 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Grassbox Issue, 27 April 2008
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I have given this mower 3 Stars because I am giving it the benefit of the
doubt on its grass-cutting performance, which I have not yet been able to
assess because I am still trying to assemble the grassbox!
This thing comes in three sections which have to be clipped together.
So far I have assembled two of the bits but after several hours the third
piece has defeated me - one has to beware of losing one's temper whilst
struggling with the thing for fear of breaking one of the clips.
Personally, I think it is disgraceful that a product costing nearly 400
comes with such a badly-designed component which would disgrace a
throwaway child's plastic toy!
I can't say this machine is no good at cutting grass, but my advice is
if you decide to buy one get the retailer to assemble the grassbox before
you take it home!
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 15, 2011 12:02 AM BST

Zulu (2 Disc Special Edition) [1964] [DVD]
Zulu (2 Disc Special Edition) [1964] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Stanley Baker
Offered by Quality Media Supplies Ltd.
Price: 14.99

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Assegais at the ready!, 13 April 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is one of the greatest period war films ever made! OK - so it takes liberties with historical accuracy. It implies that the war is caused by a Zulu invasion of Natal rather than a British invasion of Zululand and there are emotions expressed by Bromhead and Chard after the battle which probably would not have come from a Victorian army officer. Also some inaccuracies with the portrayal: the Jack Hawkins character wasn't there, C/Sgt Bourne wasa young man of 26 (he survived until 1946), Pt.Hook was a
teetotaller and lay preacher, Bromhead was deaf and both he and Chard were heavily bearded. Rorke's Drift is a lot more defensible a position when you see it than it appears in the film - especially as n'Dubalamanzi's Impi was made up of mature warriors in their late 40s and early 50s - some of whom had not eaten for several days. They had not been at Isandhlwana and their firearms were old Enfield rifles or smoothbore muskets. The cork helmets should have been buff-coloured (stained with tea for active service) and the first volleys were delivered at 400 yards (optimum range for the Martini-Henry) rather than the 100 yards as in the film. Actually in one sequence the Brits are using long Lee-Enfield bolt action rifles with the magazines removed and shot from the left hand side to conceal the bolt handles (though you can see the cocking-pieces going forward if you care to look).
Yet it is a measure of the quality of the film that it rises above these inaccuracies to present a superb interpretation of the event with well-drawn characterisation and capturing the drama and desperate endeavour and honouring the courage of both sides.
It also deserves recognition for making a star of Michael Caine!
I've been a fan of this film ever since I first saw it on the big screen in 1964. I've seen it so many times that I can more or less recite the dialogue - yet whenever it's shown on TV I can't resist switching over to watch a scene or two - kinky or what? Heaven preserve us from any remake!

Four Feathers [DVD] [2003]
Four Feathers [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Heath Ledger|Kate Hudson|Wes Bentley
Offered by WorldCinema
Price: 9.87

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Feathers Plucked!, 12 April 2008
This review is from: Four Feathers [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
I found this effort sadly disappointing.I thought it a pity that they decided to mess around with the dating and set the story apparently in the 1880s rather than the 1898 Omdurman Campaign in which Mason placed his novel. It wasn't clear to me whether the British unit involved was meant to be infantry or cavalry - one moment they are on foot with bayonets fixed, the next careering around on horseback brandishing full-length Martini-Henry rifles - not the most effective weapon in a cavalry charge! All in all it was too politically correct and redolent of early 21st Century attitudes for my taste.
I fear it must be added to the tally of "Four Feathers" re-makes which have failed to match the standard achieved by Korda's 1939 version.
At least the 1950s attempt "Storm on the Nile" had the good sense to use some of the 1939 film's combat footage!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 28, 2009 9:42 PM GMT

Warlord [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Warlord [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Charlton Heston

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Droit de Seigneur, 6 April 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Why this film has not been available on Region 2 DVD is beyond me. I have seen it screened a couple of times on TV (and now have a recording) and have thoroughly enjoyed it.
I agree with other reviewers that it is not the greatest of Heston's film outings. Rosemary Forsyth does lack sufficient bewitching charisma - though she doesn't have a lot of competition. Yet much of the characterisation is convincing enough, especially Guy Stockwell's "Draco".
It also managed to recreate the basically squalid life-style of even the
privileged at that time, and also captured the essential characteristics of the Feudal System by which their lives were governed.
Also the armour and weapons used seemed to be fairly accurate for knights of the late-11th/ early 12th century.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 20, 2008 3:41 PM BST

Henry VIII [DVD] [2003]
Henry VIII [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Ray Winstone
Price: 9.70

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Miscast Star, 13 Mar 2008
This review is from: Henry VIII [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Ray Winstone is an excellent actor, but I fear he was miscast as Henry VIII in this production. What chiefly grated on me was his "Eastenders"
accent which contrasted sharply with the accents of his courtiers who all speak with received pronunciation. Admittedly we do not know how Henry VIII actually spoke (though his letters and other writings give a clue as to his linguistic code) but presumably he would have spoken with the accent and vocabulary of a highly educated upper class man of his time.
Hence I found such lines as "Wot, nuthink from court?" stretched the credibility of his portrayal to the limit.
Having said that, this production is still far superior to the dreadful
characterisation by Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the recent BBC TV series "The Tudors".
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 10, 2010 8:16 PM GMT

The Tudors : Complete BBC Series 1 - Limited Edition 'Headless' Sleeve (Exclusive to [DVD]
The Tudors : Complete BBC Series 1 - Limited Edition 'Headless' Sleeve (Exclusive to [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Offered by RAREWAVES
Price: 11.97

19 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Woe Verily Woe, 24 Feb 2008
The real tragedy of this series is that there will be viewers on both sides of the Atlantic who think that it portrays true historical fact as far as is known. Portuguese viewers - if any - will perhaps wonder which of their early 16th Century kings married an English princess who subsequently smothered him with a nuptial pillow. They will have difficulty in finding him!
Dramatic licence is one thing, but a complete alteration of well-documented History represented as the truth is quite another.
The real historical events were dramatic enough - so why change them?
I suspect that one reason was that they got the date sequence so hopelessly mixed up that by the time they got to the marriage story concerning Henry's younger sister - in fact Mary Rose not Margaret (who was by this time Dowager Queen of Scots) King Louis XII of France - the
true bridegroom - was long dead and Francois I on the French throne and
already married.
It was also a pity that the characterisation presented by Rhys Meyers failed to portray the undoubted intellectual and musical talents possessed by Henry VIII, showing him instead passing most of his time ranting at his courtiers, fornicating with any available lady in waiting and charging about in the tiltyard.
Having said all this, some of the events were well-portrayed e.g. the Field of Cloth of Gold, and some of the characters - Wolsey, More, Cromwell, Queen Catherine more convincingly developed.
One amazing feature which the series did show brilliantly was the little-known fact that the Royal Physicians had discovered an elixir which when taken totally arrested the ageing process. This explains why, although the series covers a period of 15-20 years and reaches a point at which Henry is in his late thirties, no one looks a day older!
Anyone seeking a more accurate and convincing dramatisation of the reign of Henry VIII should look no further than Keith Michell's performance in the BBC TV series "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" from the early 1970s.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 19, 2012 7:57 PM BST

Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault (PC DVD)
Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault (PC DVD)
Offered by GeeksWholesaler
Price: 3.50

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars John Wayne, We Need You!, 15 Jan 2008
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This game is rubbish. My PC is well above the minimum specs required, yet the graphics are poor, it takes an age to load, movement is ponderous and imprecise and the gameplay is feeble. You have no difficulty finding your squad in the jungle as they all have big white star symbols floating above their heads. In any case, most of the time they get in the way!
Paradoxically, I have found myself on a level which appears to be unwinnable! One is in a dinghy paddling out to a surfaced submarine. On route you are attacked by Japanese aircraft which you are expected to fight off - first with a Reising SMG and then with a BAR! Not surprisingly your counterfire achieves minimal results so that when one arrives at the sub your health level is down to about 20 at maximum. There seems to be no means of restoring your health on this level. You are then supposed to man a machine gun on the sub conning tower and repel waves of Jap planes - one of which inevitably succeeds in scoring a fatal torpedo hit. I consulted the Strategy Guide to obtain advice on how to deal with this problem - but this level is not even mentioned in the guide!
Any of the "Call of Duty" games will knock spots off this pathetic effort.
If you must have realistic jungle combat then try "Men of Valor".

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