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P. R. Nokes "hotlurvemachine2" (Ipswich, Suffolk, UK)
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Rome: The Complete HBO Season 1 (6 Disc Box Set) [DVD] [2006]
Rome: The Complete HBO Season 1 (6 Disc Box Set) [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ Kevin McKidd
Price: 17.49

29 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The truth is better than the fiction..., 15 July 2006
An enjoyable historical drama series crammed with lots of period detail, LOTS of intrigue and plots, seductive scheming women, accurate Roman deity worship and possibly the best Caesar depiction I've ever seen - BUT...

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE BATTLE SCENES ?? (Talk about budget restraints !)

WAS CAESAR REALLY THAT RELIGIOUS ? (He only ever refers to the gods ONCE in his writings).

WHAT HAPPENED TO THOSE FAMOUS LAST WORDS ?? ('Et Tu Brute ?')

AND WHAT HAPPENED TO CLEO AND THEIR LOVECHILD ?

In reality when he got the chop Cleo was visiting him in Rome and she publically presented his son to him. She wanted him to name their child as his legitimate heir and in so doing would establish a dynasty - prompting his outraged assassins (who wanted a democratic republic) to act then and there !

In reality Cleo seemed to have some kind of bizarre sexual hold over Caesar which this series blatantly fails to capitalise on.

He was a strong minded man, no slave to his passions, realistic, sensible, he was a careerist and a tireless self-promoter - so why become entangled with some slip of a girl and risk all ??

There was a massive age gap between them and he'd been married before and was no stranger to women and their whiles - and yet he seemed to become completely obsessed by her.

Although keen to make his citizens happy and become ever more popular (he brought in fairer laws and put an end to corruption in public services, he reduced taxes, brought more wealth to the Empire through conquests, he built and improved many public buildings, e.t.c)

And yet he nearly caused a riot when he ordered a statue of Cleo to be built in the temple of Venus ! She clearly had some sort of strange hold over him (and then over Mark Anthony !) - did she use some secret Egyptian sex magic ? Was she a witch ?

We shall never know - especially if we watch this series !!

To conclude : This is an enjoyable history-based drama series and a visual treat - but it is NOT historically accurate.

The series COULD have been SO MUCH BETTER if it was accurate - i.e, more about Cleo and her hold over him, the epic battle-scenes, details of the Gaulish Rebellion led by Vercingetorix, his armies first encounters with those strange-looking Germanic tribes, his true motives for recording his battles, e.t.c, e.t.c, e.t.c......... (I give this 8.5/10)
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 23, 2008 3:31 PM BST


Judge Anderson: Shamballa (2000 AD books)
Judge Anderson: Shamballa (2000 AD books)
by Alan Grant
Edition: Paperback

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars ...I would beg to differ !, 15 July 2006
From the other review I expected perhaps too much from this slice of the Anderson saga.

I generally liked Anderson stories and have a handful of other Anderson books (and tonnes of Dredd books).

The artwork here is perhaps a step above the norm (though its debatable) - however I found the story rather simplistic, very far fetched and ultimately rather disappointing. Compared to John Wagners Judge Anderson stories this is rather weak.

Whats more this book is very slim and not very long - I just read it in ten about minutes. Perhaps another few stories tagged-on at end would have been a good idea ?

In summary then this is NOT the best Anderson volume by any stretch of the imagination and I'd only recommend this to dedicated Anderson fetishists (and even they may be a little disappointed with this one).


Goetia: The Lesser Key of Solomon the King
Goetia: The Lesser Key of Solomon the King
by Aleister Crowley
Edition: Paperback
Price: 16.17

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By far the best version !, 4 Mar 2006
There are several versions of the Goetia, however this and perhaps Joseph H. Peterson's version are the main or at least the two top-selling versions. The previous reviewer clearly favours the Joseph H. Peterson version but I would exercise caution !
I own both versions (and two books by Joseph H. Peterson) - to me he does not appear to understand the material, merely diligently copy the oldest version he could find word for word with the odd footnote here and there. (His book of John Dee's writing is even worse, its in olde English with Latin appendices at the end - really helpful !). His pictures of the demonic signs look like something my 3 year old would draw !
Aleister Crowley & founder member of the Golden Dawn S. L McGregor Mathers were without a doubt the most famous and accomplished magicians of their day and they collaborated on this version of the Goetia, making the text more understandable, clearer, editing out a lot of the nonsense and 'red herrings' and redrawing the signs so they are clear and easy to copy and use. Whats more, this version has some very impressive (but not definitive) pictures of the demons themselves, including Crowley’s rather infantile sketches of them.
Judge for yourselves which version of the Goetia you would prefer !
Both (and more) copies of both books are available on various websites and I would urge anyone struggling to decide on which version to get to look there first. Joseph H. Peterson's version is there in its entirety and you'll see what I mean !!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 24, 2010 10:03 PM BST


Amazons & Gladiators [DVD] [2000] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Amazons & Gladiators [DVD] [2000] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Patrick Bergin
Offered by supermart_usa
Price: 5.49

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear..., 23 Jan 2006
Well I like Red Sonja, but at least the fight scenes in that are quite good, theres that sweeping musical score and its probably more historically accurate !
Historical blunders aplenty, and here are just a few :
For starters, Crassius refers to Romes emperor - whereas this was not the case (the first would be many years after his death and after the Civil Wars), Crassius was in fact co-ruler of Rome with Julius Caesar and Pompey.
He also refers the Coliseum in Rome, yet this was not built until the Emperor Hadrian's rule (assuming he refers to the one still there - there were actually many such coliseums throughout the empire).
While there is clear historical evidence that there were tribes of nomadic warrior women running around attacking people and, as noted by Greek historian Herodotus, it was their law that that they must kill an enemy before they could mate with a man. But these charming ladies would have only existed in legend by the time of Crassius (evidently their violent lifestyle and strange conception ideas didn't help their longevity !).
Tribes were by definition large family groups sharing common ancestors and they would have looked genetically similar (ie, similar hair and skin colour, e.t.c) - this was completely overlooked by the producers when choosing the cast and extras. On the same note in this film Cassius likes to bath with a tall blond haired woman with sizeable physical attributes (not that I blame him!), yet according to Julius Caesars writings of his conquest in Gaul when he and his Roman soldiers first meet the Germanic invaders they are additionally unsettled by them because they were much taller and fairer - whereas he and his men were much shorter and dark. Julius Caesars men were the first Romans to have much interaction (and conflict) with these 'blond giants from the north' so how come Crassius is bathing with one such person ?
In summary then this film is about as historically accurate as, say, The Muppets Christmas Carol.
The production team couldn't have been more complete ignorant of history if they'd tried to be (so why they ended-up making a historical film is perhaps something of a mystery...)
If you fancied seeing this film for the action or the gladiator scenes, well these are woefully poor and inferior in direction and realisim to an episode of Xena or even the A-Team !
Overall the acting and characterisation is pretty weak throughout (with the exception of a surprise appearance from British actress Mary Tamm who was the beauteous Romana in Doctor Who, back in the 70's).
Sadly even the voluptuous warrior-maidens are in short supply in this movie so don't expect much excitement there either.
I was so disgusted by this film I binned it after forcing myself to sit through it until the bitter end.


Tales of Terror & Twice Told Tales [DVD] [1962] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Tales of Terror & Twice Told Tales [DVD] [1962] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Vincent Price

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for all Price fans !, 2 Oct 2005
The first film is a Roger Corman / Poe classic featuring three tales, all staring Vincent Price and other great veteran actors such as Basil Rathbone and Peter Lorre. The first story here involves a tormented Price who keeps his dead wife upstairs who soon enough returns to life and goes on a rampage! The second story is my personal favourite Corman/Price effort - called The Black Cat. Here the cast from 'The Comedy of Terror' are re-united and Peter Lorre plays (perhaps too believably) a bumbling wineo, who runs into Price at a wine tasting contest. Soon enough Price becomes Lorre's new best friend and is making sure he has plenty of booze money - but only so he can entertain his wife while Lorre is away at the pub all night ! Lorre finds out, returns home and bricks up both Price and his unfaithful wife in the cellar! But what happened to that accursed cat that he so detests?? This story is also very true to the original Poe tale (something of a rarity for many Corman adaptations !). The third tale features Basil Rathbone as a hypnotist, keeping an aged Price under his mesmeric power during his death... And beyond, much to the horror of his next of kin !
The second film I had not seen before and I was a little wary about, as it is not a Corman effort and neither is it based on the works of Poe. However - it complements the first film beautifully and is filled with more macabre short tales. Each short story stars the ever versatile Price and he gives a strong performance in each. In the first tale two aged friends discover an elixir of life - only to find their forgotten rivalry over a dead love is also rejuvenated in the process, with deadly consequences ! In the second tale Price is a reclusive scientist who has contaminated his daughter on a genetic level, causing most living things she comes into contact with to wither and die ! The third tale is very Poe-like, here Price is tormented by a family curse and there is the skeleton of his ancestors victim buried somewhere in his cellar. Excellent stuff, a fantastic blend of short horror stories from the 60's and a must for those who like Vincent Price/Roger Corman movies !! But PLEASE NOTE - you will need a multi-region DVD player to view this and there is one film on each side of the DVD.


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