Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop All Amazon Fashion Summer Savings Up to 25% Off Cloud Drive Photos Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Oasis Learn more Shop now Learn more
Profile for Mr. A. Whiteside > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Mr. A. Whiteside
Top Reviewer Ranking: 860
Helpful Votes: 3548

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Mr. A. Whiteside "tonyjackie3" (uk)
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

Page: 1-10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21-28
The War Poems Of Wilfred Owen
The War Poems Of Wilfred Owen
by Wilfred Owen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine book, 14 Mar. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this book after reading the fabulous biography on Wilfred Owen by Dominic Hibberd. As the title suggests, it is the poetry that Owen wrote during the 1st World War that dominates this book although there are many interesting notes added by John Stallworthy that add weight to the poems and informs about the life of Owen. I only wish that I had more inkling as to what poets try to say as I struggled to absorb several of the poems. That is obviously my lack of imagination and understanding and no fault of the poems themselves as they are extremely well written.

When the poetry did register it proved to be pretty powerful stuff. From my point of view it was the following poems that resonated and lodged firmly in my mind.
'The Last Laugh'- The haunting cries of three soldiers as they utter their last words. Sad,simply told but very poignant.
'Dulci Et Decorum Est'- A soldier killed by gas which was to haunt the poet's dreams.
'The Dead Beat'- The soldier that cracked under pressure and then died without any sympathy from the Doctor.
'SIW'- The tragic tale of a soldier taking his own life.
'Exposure'- Waiting in the freezing cold,almost wanting something to happen.The question 'What are we doing here?' says it all.
'The Sentry'- A sentry blinded in a blast. His bulging eyeballs haunted Owens dreams also as he muses 'I try not to remember those things now'.

This is a very good book although I preferred the biography. When the poetry hit home it was very powerful indeed. This is very well edited and I would definitely recommend it.

Changeling [DVD]
Changeling [DVD]
Dvd ~ Angelina Jolie
Price: £2.69

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In praise of Clint, 8 Mar. 2009
This review is from: Changeling [DVD] (DVD)
I have recently watched this movie for a second time and while it's impact is diminished on second viewing, it is still a good movie.

As Christine Collins, Angelina Jolie does well in a tough part and John Malkovich adds weight to his role also. For me the standout performances were from Amy Ryan as Christine's supporter in the asylum and young Eddie Alderson as Sanford Clarke. He earns sympathy despite being involved in some horrific events and he is never less than convincing. I particularly liked the look of the movie and the feel of the 1920s and 30s was very well captured. I have read quite a few reviews really slagging off this movie as being unrealistic and not true to the original events. I admit that I knew absolutely nothing about the history of this story so can only give an opinion about the way it has been depicted here. I was impressed with what I saw and credit must go to the director.

Clint Eastwood is a legend and quite rightly so. I have to be totally honest and I do think that 'Unforgiven' and 'Million Dollar Baby' are slightly overrated but with 'Changeling' and the recent 'Gran Torino' he has really hit the mark and shows that he is still at the top of his game. I have no problem at all in recommending this sad, haunting and at times brutal film. It is a very good effort and one of Clint's most effective directorial efforts.

DK Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guide: St Petersburg
DK Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guide: St Petersburg
by Marc Bennetts
Edition: Paperback

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent guide, 7 Mar. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
We are going to be visiting St. Petersburg soon and bought this book in order to give us some idea of what to expect. I don't think that we could have chosen a better book as there are loads of tips, several very good colour photographs and excellent descriptions on the very best places to visit. It really has given us a good idea of what to look out for and in that sense it is essential.

The price is extremely reasonable and another plus point is that the book is pretty compact and easy to just slip into a jacket pocket or small bag. If you too are thinking of visiting the second capital of Russia then this guide book could just be what you are looking for.

As a PS to this review, we have now visited St Petersburg and this guide was very useful. We were there for two days and had the good fortune to visit Catherine's Palace, The Hermitage Museum and we also did a tour of the city. In all honesty, if you want more in depth information of stand alone places of interest then you may want a bigger guide than this. But if you want a basic idea with a bit of historical background then this is a very good buy and highly recommended. It is also great to look through the guide again even after your visit.

Grace After Midnight: A Memoir
Grace After Midnight: A Memoir
by David Ritz
Edition: Hardcover

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard hitting and powerful, 7 Mar. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
One thing that must be said about this book is that Felicia 'Snoop' Pearson doesn't pull any punches. She has had a very hard life but never pleads for sympathy and deals with her problems with refreshing honesty. I found this a very easy read as the chapters are very short but always engrossing. At times it is hard to believe that she has managed to survive given the brutal life she chose to lead. The fact that she has now starred in 'The Wire' and written this book shows that there is hope for even the most seemingly hopeless of lives.

You can't escape from the character she plays as many of her experiences could have come straight from an episode of that brilliant series. Her life story is told in an unfussy way and it could be described as simplistic the way the chapters are written. But that in no way detracts from a compelling and at times heartbreaking life. For all of us that are having withdrawel symptoms now that 'The Wire' has finished, this book is a tonic and I have no problem in recommending it.

Treasures from Heaven: Relics from Noah's Ark to the Shroud of Turin
Treasures from Heaven: Relics from Noah's Ark to the Shroud of Turin
by Steven Sora
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well researched and interesting, 28 Feb. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have read a few books with a similar theme and 'Treasures From Heaven' is an interesting and well researched book. The author Steven Sora treads familiar ground with his tales of the Shroud Of Turin, the Holy Grail and the Ark Of The Covenant but he does manage to add many interesting facts and possible theories. He never tries to convince the reader that the history of the relics is true but at the same time he gives compelling evidence that many relics could possibly be genuine.

I particularly found the chapters about the women of religion to be educational and interesting as I hadn't read too much about them before. Perhaps the person I discovered most about was the Virgin Mary and her family. In all honesty I found all of the subjects covered to be well researched and dealt with in a honest way and the author has done a very good job with this book.

For anyone with an interest in religious relics I recommend this book without question. It is a relatively easy read and my one gripe is that there are no illustrations at all which is a pity. This is a book that doesn't pretend to give concrete evidence about the validity of the claims of so many churches regarding their treasures but it is one of the better books on the subject.

Vera Drake [DVD]
Vera Drake [DVD]
Dvd ~ Imelda Staunton
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £3.50

1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Overrated and boring, 22 Feb. 2009
This review is from: Vera Drake [DVD] (DVD)
After my third attempt at sitting through this movie I finally managed it recently. Having heard so many glowing reports about 'Vera Drake' I have to say that I found the film boring and very slow. The emphasis on realism made for a snail's pace of a film and I think it is an overrated piece of work.

The acting is generally good but for all the awards and praise that Imelda Staunton received I can honestly say that she reminded me of a character from Acorn Antiques. You can only say 'Pull your knickers down dear' and 'How about a nice cup of tea?' so many times without it feeling like a mickey take. I almost gave up on this at least three times but stuck with it in order to give an honest review.

I really expected a lot more from this but it was a huge disappointment and only worthy of two stars. A shame.

The Wire: Complete HBO Season 5 [DVD]
The Wire: Complete HBO Season 5 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Dominic West
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £12.14

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fond farewell, 21 Feb. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The first thing I have to say about series 5 of 'The Wire' is that it isn't the strongest series in the collection. There are a few too many times when events occur that I wasn't convinced about. I will talk about them later without giving away too much but I must add that even 'The Wire' slightly under par is just about better than anything else on TV.

The things in this particular series that niggled me were the behaviour of certain character's. Lester and Sydnor helped McNulty out in a way that seemed to stretch imagination a little which felt out of place with the reality of the previous seasons. Perhaps my biggest gripe was the way one of the most popular character's was killed off (if you have already watched this series then you know exactly who I mean). It seemed rushed and perhaps strange and even the aftermath of their killing was dealt with in an anti-climatic way. I can understand why the writers did it like this but it did bother me for a while. A couple of weeks later it does make more sense but it did feel a shame that it seemed such an anti-climax. For all of my doubts though there are moments of brilliance to be had.

One of the very best segments involves Clay Davis in court and it is a treat when he takes the witness stand. It is funny and a real highlight as he has the court eating out of the palm of his hand as he faces corruption charges. The character of Bubbles has a much better time of it and that was pleasing to see. As usual, the acting is excellent throughout and how this brilliant drama hasn't won a truck load of Emmys is a complete mystery.

So although I don't honestly think series 5 is the best it still deserves five stars simply because it is such an outstanding piece of television. There are so many character's that will linger in the memory...McNulty, Bubbles, Omar, Bunk, Avon, Stringer Bell, Bodie, Snoop, Chris, Prop Joe, Marlo, the list is pretty much endless and there are many more beside those listed. All five series can be watched over and over and that is the best compliment I can pay to 'The Wire', one of the finest TV dramas of all time.

Taken (Extended Harder Cut) [DVD] [2008]
Taken (Extended Harder Cut) [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Liam Neeson
Price: £2.47

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars " Are you focused yet? ", 7 Feb. 2009
The first thing that I would recommend when watching this movie is to suspend a hell of a lot of belief. It is very far fetched and almost impossible to believe. For all of that though, the film does work and it is entertaining.

One of the main reasons that 'Taken' works is because of Liam Neeson in the leading role. He fits the part very well and convinces you that he is indeed a one man army. The action cranks up pretty quickly and never lets up until the end. Many of the fight scenes will make you wince as our hero takes no prisoners in the quest to rescue his daughter. The movie isn't overlong and it never flags. In fact it may well leave you breathless!

If you want an action packed and ultimately rewarding film experience then this just might be the movie for you. It isn't for the faint hearted and it does have it's flaws. But I think that the director doesn't take things too seriously and on the whole this is worth four stars. I also believe that Liam Neeson might just surprise a lot of people with how well he does with this role.

Wilfred Owen: A New Biography
Wilfred Owen: A New Biography
by Dominic Hibberd
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book of two halves, 30 Jan. 2009
When I received this book last Christmas I was slightly shocked at how many pages there appeared to be. I admit that I knew very little about Wilfred Owen apart from the fact that he wrote poetry during World War 1 and he died very young(25 years of age). I immediately thought that there was no way that his life story could fill almost 500 pages but I was wrong. This is surely the definitive biography about him and a brilliant job is done by Dominic Hibberd.

Pretty much the first half of the book is about his pre-war years and the times that Owen spent at school, as a teacher, a vicar's assistant and the time he lived in France for a while. At times I did feel a little impatient as I really wanted to know what occured during his wartime experiences. I must admit though that Hibberd has done a staggering amount of research including trying hard to disect Owen's brother Harold's at times brutal censorship of the letters written by Wilfred. It was interesting to learn about Wilfred's weaknesses such as being a Mother's boy, a hypochondriac and the slow realisation that he was gay. As you read this book you do become aware that it all leads up to the horrors of war and the author takes you there slowly but very surely. When we finally arrive at 1917 and the true reality of what Owen and many thousands more went through it is chilling and makes for a rivetting read.

The true strength of this book is without a doubt the descriptions of the fighting, killing and pure fear of what so many men went through as they battled against the odds. At one time Owen's CO accused him of cowardice as he cracked under the strain of constant shelling and spending the night next to a colleague that had been blown to pieces. The fact that he was eventually awarded the Military Cross showed how ridiculous the accusation was but it was something that haunted him as he took several months to recover. This excellent book makes you wonder just how you would react in dreadful situations that so many brave men had to encounter. I won't go into all the detail about Wilfred's war experiences but suffice to say he did have a torrid time and it is because of this that he left us with his beautifully written poetry about war.

This is a superbly written book. Yes, I did wish there was more of Wilfred Owen's poetry and at times I did have a chuckle at the apparant pomposity of the circle of poets that shared a part of his life like Sassoon, Graves and Monro. The story of Owen's life is varied, interesting and ultimately very moving especially as he writes to his Mother about his hopes for the future. His future was to be cut tragically short but he left a legacy with his poetry that will last a lifetime and is still very relevant today.

WALL-E (2 Disc Special Edition) [DVD]
WALL-E (2 Disc Special Edition) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ben Burtt
Offered by EU ELECTRIC
Price: £7.49

1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great to look at but not Pixar's finest, 24 Jan. 2009
This movie has rapidly become a firm favourite with many critics describing it as the finest piece of animation ever seen. While there is no doubt that 'WALL-E' looks absolutely fantastic it wasn't a film that lingered in my memory for too long. As much as I liked the look of the scenery and as clever as most of the animation is I found that around half way through the film I had begun to lose interest.

The highlights are the little touches such as the items that WALL-E has stashed away in his 'home' and the way he interacts with some of his gadgets. I thought that the scene where he is in space with EVE was very well done with the spray from the fire extinguisher fitting in with the stars in a clever way. Where I started to lose interest was when onboard the spaceship when things stared to get frantic and a bit on the cheesy side at times. EVE's constant cries of "WALLEEEEE" started to grate on the nerves as well towards the end of the movie.

This is a movie with many plus points but also not one that I consider to be Pixar at their best. I would put it above ' Monster's Inc ' and ' Ratatouille ' but way below ' Toy Story 1 & 2 ',' Finding Nemo ' and ' A Bugs Life '. I would most likely give this 3.5 stars but will settle for 3 as it isn't a movie that I would watch again.

Page: 1-10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21-28