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Downton Abbey - Series 1 [DVD]
Downton Abbey - Series 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Hugh Bonneville
Offered by Sent2u
Price: 6.65

5.0 out of 5 stars It's pretty much flawless, 31 May 2013
Downton Abbey is television at it's very best because opposed to a lot of recent additions to the medium it focuses on character with such ease and skill. Julian Fellowes breathes so much life and depth into these individuals, each episode blesses the audience with tasteful dialogue, impeccable set designs and gripping plot elements,there's so much to recommend, it is absolutely worth the investment.

I am now in the process of re-watching the first season and I can only say that it improves with multiple viewings. It's a show that is at once dramatic, soapy, intelligent and powered by a storytelling of the highest order, the acting is superb all round.

As a time piece it works perfectly, full of history and defining moments from the past century, I think there's something for everything here, regardless of whether you fall within the shows 'target audience' which is irrelevant, as anyone appreciative of well written, character driven drama will be rewarded in plenty.

good kid, m.A.A.d city
good kid, m.A.A.d city
Offered by M & L UK
Price: 10.86

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a masterpiece that redefines hip hop/rap music, 10 Dec 2012
This review is from: good kid, m.A.A.d city (Audio CD)
if an album deserves a perfect rating, this is one of those rare occasions. good kid, maad city not only manages to transcend the rap genre through stylistic rhythm, beautiful cadence and witty lyricism, but successfully weaves a competent storyline into its narrative. each and every song is brilliant, featuring an insight into kendrick's childhood through skits and dialogue which bring realism to the sequences and actually give the impression that you are an outside viewer into his life for a brief period of time.

the production throughout the album is brilliant in the way that it evolves throughout the songs, notably in `the art of peer pressure' which segues from a fairly upbeat intro into a beautiful yet subtle sequence. furthermore, the twelve minute masterpiece `sing about me, i'm dying of thirst' also documents this, through two separate songs which embody kendrick's desire for remembrance as well as the idea that him and his friends are in need of god in their lives through succumbing to thirst. the latter half of the sounds background is achieved through subtle female vocals, which is both stunning, yet haunting. i could progress by describing the magnificence of each of the songs, but the album speaks for itself.

'a short film by kendrick lamar' provides the caption to this album and its certainly true that there's a story to be found here, one of a youth growing up among certain expectations of a black male in compton, struggling with gang violence and a less than perfect childhood. though it could be argued that this has been done before, the mould has been broken in this case through the inclusion of pathos and gravitas that seals it as the best rap album of not only this year, but a contender for one of the most important albums of recent memory. it really is pure poetry.

Prometheus [DVD] [2012]
Prometheus [DVD] [2012]
Dvd ~ Noomi Rapace
Offered by rsdvd
Price: 2.95

10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Audiences deserve better, 25 Nov 2012
This review is from: Prometheus [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
This is a review of the film, not the product itself, which I won't be buying for the following reasons. In short, Prometheus failed to deliver. I, like many others approached the film with high expectations, the trailer was good enough persuade me to buy a ticket and I actually had some faith in Scott to restore what he delivered with the original alien, however to say that this was a letdown would be a massive understatement.

While the film had great cinematography and effects, there is little to no originality with the plot, which was horribly clichéd and even at times, borderline boring, not to mention all over the place. The majority of the performances were sub-par at best and the suspense was virtually non-existent. The characters were completely devoid of personality or growth. I was told that this was a prequel to alien, however there was hardly any continuity between the two mediums. The film is jam-packed with implausible behavior and situations which make little to no sense.

So, it's probably not surprising that I wouldn't recommend it. Sadly, Prometheus is not the emotionally satisfying, intelligent and suspenseful prequel that alien deserves. While the film is watchable and is vested with some integrity from the director's part, the result is a clunky, empty experience which failed to meet my expectations.
Comment Comments (12) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 2, 2014 2:26 AM BST

The Book Thief
The Book Thief
by Markus Zusak
Edition: Paperback
Price: 3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars an outstanding book, 8 Mar 2012
This review is from: The Book Thief (Paperback)
'The Book Theif' is a truly remarkable piece of modern literature. It manages to be both heart-warming and moving, despite the harrowing premise set during the second world war against the dark backdrop of Nazi Germany.

The story follows Liesel Meminger and describes the relationships she has with her foster parents and residents of her neighbourhood. It also documents their strugle to hide a Jewish fist-fighter who comes to the family though an acquaintance of Liesel's foster father, Hans.

It is beautifully written and the authentic narration from the viewpoint of 'death' only adds to the sheer brilliance of the storyline. the sensitive subject matter is handled remarkably well by Zusak, who effortlessly details the harsh reality of the war through well-drawn and identifiable characters.

I thoroughly recommed this book, I've never read anything quite like it, with its unique story and idiosyncratic narration. its a real eye-opener.

Inception (Blu-ray + DVD) [2010][Region Free]
Inception (Blu-ray + DVD) [2010][Region Free]
Dvd ~ Leonardo DiCaprio
Price: 8.67

5.0 out of 5 stars "we all crave reconciliation", 24 Feb 2012
Christopher Nolan is renowned for his ability to incorporate intelligent storytelling alongside stunning visuals and the psychological, therefore providing the audience with fascinating food for thought. He provides one again with inception, which is one of the most entertaining, thought-provoking and visceral films made in years. It is easily one of the best films I've ever seen.

Inception is set in a world where state of the art technology exists, allowing individuals to enter the human mind through dream invasion. Dom Cobb is highly skilled in the art of 'extraction', a process which involves stealing valuable information from the subconscious mind of their targets. Made an international fugitive by the illegality of his profession as well as by a fault of his own, he is granted with a chance to gain redemption, by attempting 'inception 'a highly difficult heist which involves planting an idea. If he succeeds, the extremely wealthy businessman who hires him promises to use his influence to provide Cobb with the catharsis he has coveted for so long.

This film effortlessly combines themes of reality and dreams with effective cinematography, an effective soundtrack and mind-blowing special effects. Despite this Inception does not solely rely on CGI as it's focal point, as the film quickly comes to fruition through competent and convincing performances and similarly through the exploration of Cobbs relationship with his wife, who throughout appears as a projection of his subconscious. The writing and direction is outstanding and does not insult the intelligence of its viewers. Granted, it requires your undivided attention as it's not the most straightforward film, yet this makes it a much more rewarding and satisfying viewing experience. I have seen it four times and I'll never tire of it, do not be put off after the first time as I feel that multiple viewings are required for full appreciation. Inception really is a staggering achievement, an original, conceptual powerhouse of a film that will resonate for years to come.

American Beauty [Blu-ray] [1999] [Region Free]
American Beauty [Blu-ray] [1999] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Kevin Spacey
Price: 7.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars look closer... and you will see a thought-provoking and beautiful masterpiece, 8 Jan 2012
words can only go so far when attempting to describe what a beautiful and magnificent film this is, partly because you don't just watch it; you feel and experience it, almost to the extent that it irrevocably becomes a part of you. American Beauty's ability to transcend what mainstream filmmaking attempts to transcend is what makes it extraordinary and the way in which it progressively drops subtle questions in your head about the nature of human existence and the exploration of beauty is unprecedented.

this is undoubtedly one of the best films that i have ever seen and out of the many meaningful and brilliant films out there it's undeniably the most memorable. why? because it encourages us to look beyond the conventional notions of attractiveness and shows us that beauty can be found in the places where we least expect it, e.g. in a plastic bag floating listlessly in the wind and even when you see death- "it's like God is looking right at you, just for a second. And if you're careful, you can look right back", and what do you see?. Beauty. the hilarious and often touching screenplay combined with stellar performances all round bring a light relief to the film which coincides perfectly with the pristine cinematography and the philosophical central messages.

in consideration of how some criticize the seemingly stereotypical characters, they need only to consider the poignant tagline-"look closer". American Beauty is much cleverer than that and the cliché characters brilliantly mimic how humans are conformists and will therefore modify their behavior to fit into certain social categories. Angela's attempt to deviate from what is considered ordinary is what ultimately makes her ordinary, as there's nothing more commonly encountered in today's society that vanity and the conventional connotations of what beauty really is. If you look closer, obscurity is where beauty can be found. what is real is ultimately shaped by how you look at something, meaning that anything can be beautiful. do not be put off by the film's title; me and my twin brother absolutely love this film and if you haven't seen it i urge you to, it really is a worthwhile and experience, regardless of gender.

i personally recommend the Blu-ray transfer, as the film is partially driven through color symbolism and it's aesthetic to suburban America, which as i mentioned earlier is achieved through the refined cinematography. American Beauty is a perfect example of how you can experience a classic film which is deserving of the high-definition transfer, with sharp sounding and a range of extra features It will similarly look great within a collection due to the brilliantly effective cover mount. This really is a remarkable and moving piece of filmmaking and as the title of my review says- "you need only look closer and you will see a thought-provoking and beautiful masterpiece".

Bon Iver, Bon Iver
Bon Iver, Bon Iver
Price: 8.12

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars easily one of the best albums i've ever heard, 7 Jan 2012
This review is from: Bon Iver, Bon Iver (Audio CD)
This album is without doubt one of the best I have ever listened to. The way you can discover something new upon each listen is mesmerising and goes to show the sheer amount of effort and pure musical talent that went into the album. There is not a faultless track, with each offering a range of unique sounds alongside deeper meaning upon close listening. The sheer magnitude and scope of this album is unprecedented, partly due to it's ability to effortlessly evoke your emotions through the ethereal, tangible music and the stunning authenticity of Justin Vernon's voice. Listening to this transports you to a place of brilliant scenery which has never been achieved before personally. For those who dislike this or simply don't get it, check out professional reviews, as they speak volumes and show just how amazing this peice of music really is.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 20, 2012 9:33 PM GMT

50 Words for Snow
50 Words for Snow
Price: 4.99

8 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars mystifying, atmospheric and completely essential..., 21 Nov 2011
This review is from: 50 Words for Snow (Audio CD)
this is without doubt one of the best releases this year, alongside the achievement as best christmas/winter album ever released. kate bush once again fails to disappoint with this album, with seven mesmerizing songs that have the clever ability to paint a variety of settings, which transport to a scene of winter beauty.

the metaphorical and literal implications are well executed, with stories telling of the indomnitable spirit of the search for a snowflake, a ghostly lake spirit in search of a dog, an eeire, yet evocative relationship with a snowman, the humanizing of a yeti, a timeless partnership spanning hundreds of years and lastly a religious portrayal of life surrounded by angels. its hard to tell of an album that accomplishes so much, as well as alongside a central theme to link the stories.

this definitely requires multiple listens for maximum appreciation, as each time, you'll find new aspects to the music as well as a deeper understanding of the meaning. the idea that the album is set against a backdrop of falling snow sums the story perfectly. it is essential.

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 [DVD] [2011]
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 [DVD] [2011]
Dvd ~ Daniel Radcliffe
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: 6.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a suitably magical and moving end to the most lucrative film franchise of all time, 5 Aug 2011
being the last in the most lucrative and well respected film franchises of all time, i had high expectations of this installment for many reasons; the first is that i've seen each one in the cinema over the last decade, all of which are brilliant and somewhat different for all the right reasons. secondly i love and have read the novels countless times, which are fantastic and frankly timeless. in short, this doesn't disappoint, everything about this film is mesmerising; from the acting to the aura as well as strong themes of companionship and the notion that goodness will always prevail over evil.

the CGI, action and fitting soundtrack all converged perfectly to make a highly moving and special piece of film. there were parts which were breathtaking and performed exactly how i visualised them in the novel , examples include the part when it is revealved that snape had formed a bogus allegience with lord voldemort as a facade for the fact that he was protecting harry due to his love and devotion for his mother, which was extremely emotional and acted perfectly.

i thoroughly reccomend this product, and it is definitly worthy of a 5 star rating as it delievers and is definitley in keeping with the novel. there we're bits in the book that i would of liked to of seen in the film, though having said that, J.K. Rowling was one of the producers for this, so i'm sure she included what she felt was necessary. there were some strange moments such as the parts where bellatrix and voldemort disintegrated upon being hit by the killing curse as well as a few others, however those aspects are certainly not enough to cloud my overall opinion on what was was a fitting, moving and magical finale to some of the most memorable and moving films i've seen over the past decade.

The Children [DVD]
The Children [DVD]
Dvd ~ Rachel Shelley
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: 10.35

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not bad, but it's not very good either, 24 July 2011
This review is from: The Children [DVD] (DVD)
in a nutshell 'the children' is about two families who are on vacation during winter, which turns into a fight for survival after the kids turn on their parents post to becoming somewhat psychotic. initially this sounds ridiculous, yet it's actually executed well, with careful developments on the children's mental deterioration, starting with the disappearance of the families domestic pet which then insidiously elevates into sadistic activity on the children's part.

i don't usually like to take films too seriously but despite this, there is definitely an issue with the films credibility; especially concerning the parents response to their children's psychotic behaviour. they irrationally become incapable of effectively defending themselves against their kids, , which may be attributed to the brutality of what is happening, yet in this particular situation it's proves very difficult to believe and is similarly not that scary. however, this wasn't a bad watch and as far as low budget british horror goes it was definitely worth it, i wouldn't necessarily advise potential buyers to steer away, yet it's far from brilliant and won't really keep you on the edge of your seat.

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