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Mr. A. Whiteside "tonyjackie3" (uk)

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Sherlock - Series 1 [DVD]
Sherlock - Series 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Benedict Cumberbatch
Price: 5.00

12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Five stars all the way until............., 9 Aug 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sherlock - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
Although I was tempted to write a review for 'Sherlock' after a couple of episodes, I decided that I'd best wait until the very end and I'm now glad that I did because of something that happened about ten minutes from the end. I'll leave that till later and say just what was so good about this generally excellent series.

The main thing was that the makers didn't ruin the feel of the character and stories of Sherlock Holmes. Everything has been updated and it works on almost every level. Benedict Cumberbatch is great as Sherlock and Martin Freeman makes for a splendid Dr Watson. Lestrade and Mrs Hudson also felt just right. The stories have been good and everything just seemed to fit into place. There were moments of tension and room for some humour even it was on the dark side. I think that there will be more episodes recommissioned and I sincerely hope that there will be. If I were to mark this fine series after it was 90% completed then it would definitely have recieved five stars. Then something happened and for the first time I didn't think that everything seemed right.

Moriarty arrived.....and he just didn't seem to be right at all in any way, shape or form. After a big build up I was hoping for an evil genius that looked perfect for the part and this guy showed up looking like a city banker. OK, so he would have to blend in with the crowd but it was when he talked in this bizarre high pitched whine that really annoyed me. I suppose he was meant to sound insane at this point but he just sounded stupid, at least to me. I don't think he was acted all that well either which is a great shame as he is such a major theme throughout the Sherlock Holmes stories. It might well just be me but he really didn't seem to fit in and wasn't what I expected as I felt no sense of menace from him at all. If they had to go down the young Irishman route then someone like Cillian Murphy would have been ideal.

Still, this has been very entertaining and I look forward to more episodes in the future. It still scores four plus stars and it could and should have been five.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 1, 2010 8:48 PM BST

Gorecki:Symphony No.3
Gorecki:Symphony No.3
Price: 9.33

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Stuff, 7 Aug 2010
This review is from: Gorecki:Symphony No.3 (Audio CD)
I picked this recording up at an absolute bargain price and admit that I had never heard of Gorecki's Symphony No 3. You may well gather by this that I am by no means an expert in classical music and generally buy a classical CD if the price is reasonable. So with this in mind I didn't expect too much when I first played this. It had me hooked from the very start and is now one of my favourite pieces of music.

It is very sombre in tone and here the sleeve notes help enormously as you discover that the piece is about loss, despair and hope. To be fair, even a novice like myself could guess that this symphony is expressing grief of some kind, the music is so powerful. It is played and sung beautifully well and if you are to buy one version of this then it should be this one.

Powerful, emotional and abslolutely essential, 'Gorecki - Symphony No 3; Sorrowful Songs' will eventually rank as one of the most popular classical compositions of the 20th century.

Toy Story 3 [DVD] [2010]
Toy Story 3 [DVD] [2010]
Dvd ~ Tom Hanks
Offered by DVD HUNTER
Price: 5.63

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 It's good but not better than the first two, 7 Aug 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Toy Story 3 [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
The Toy Story movies are great, each and every one of them. 1 and 2 are still to this day very entertaining and so is this latest effort. But to be completely honest, I don't think that it is better than the earlier instalments. This isn't being critical at all but although 'Toy Story 3' is very good I can't in all truth agree with the many people that say it's the best one by far.

Of course there is so much to admire here and some of the new character's are pretty funny especially Ken voiced by Michael Keaton. It goes without saying that the animation is fantastic and the story is good. It is basically the tale of growing up and moving on and it is quite touching in places especially towards the end. Once again though, I didn't find it quite as heartbreaking as so many people seem to have done and I saw no signs of weeping in the cinema. So this is a very good movie but so were the first two and it fits in superbly well with them but doesn't surpass them in my opinion.

I hope this review doesn't come across as being critical in any way as I am a huge fan of Toy Story and will definitely buy this latest offering when it is released on DVD. If I could award half marks then I would give this 4.5 stars so I will have to settle for a very well deserved four. It is a fine movie in it's own right and I recommend it fully.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 14, 2010 3:12 PM BST

The Shroud
The Shroud
by Ian Wilson
Edition: Hardcover

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In depth but nothing new, 21 July 2010
This review is from: The Shroud (Hardcover)
This is the third book I have read on the subject of the Turin Shroud by Ian Wilson and while there is no doubt that excellent research has been done, I felt too many times that I was just reading the same thing over and over again. There are many things to admire about 'The Shroud' but in all honesty I was a little disappointed with it when I had finished.

As with his other books, the main arguments put forward by Ian Wilson are that the Shroud and the Image of Edessa are one and the same. He goes to great lengths to convince the reader of this fact and he presents his arguments in a very persuasive way. The trouble is that he has covered this ground several times before and I was hoping for many new arguments to come to the fore. In fact I actually became bored reading about this again which is a shame but it did feel like a rehash of his earlier books. There are some new theories put forward, indeed new discoveries have been made, but for the first time I thought that Wilson seemed a bit desperate in his writing.

The Shroud is an astonishing item and to this day there is no concrete proof as to how it was created even if it is a fake from around 1350. As mentioned earlier, the author has done a fantastic amount of research and he convinced me that the shroud at least dates back to 1130 when it was mentioned for the first time as being a full body imprint. As much as he argues though, it is incredibly difficult to prove that the Image of Edessa is one and the same and I personally remain unconvinced despite his best efforts. One other argument that he consistantly puts forward as proof of the Shroud's authenticity is the number of portraits of Christ that appeared around the fifth and sixth century as looking very similar to the face on the Shroud. He hints very strongly that this proves that the Shroud was around then when in all honesty this could also mean that the Shroud itself may have been copied from one of these portraits.

I actually feel a little guilty as it may seem that I am having a go at the author and that isn't my intention at all. I admire him for his investigative reserch and his books having got me interested in the subject. I just feel though that this latest offering doesn't add enough for anyone that has read his previous books. In all honesty, if this is to be the first book you are going to read about this incredible religious 'miracle' then I recommend it without question. If like me you have read his other works, then you might just as well give it a miss.

Time Flies 1994-2009
Time Flies 1994-2009
Offered by b68solutions
Price: 4.89

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They really were a good singles band, 26 Jun 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Time Flies 1994-2009 (Audio CD)
OK, I admit that Oasis never really matched the excellence of their first two albums and they were influenced(ie: sounded like!!)a lot of other bands. But listening to this double CD made me realise that they produced some very good singles. It was 'Some Might Say' that first made me sit up and take notice because it reminded me of Slade which can only be a good thing. From then on there were a lot of singles I liked, some I wasn't keen on but by and large Oasis were a very good band.

I'm not mad on 'Roll With It' and 'Go Let It Out' and 'All Around The World' do go on a bit. But 'Live Forever', 'Supersonic', 'The Importance Of Being Idle', 'Whatever' and 'Falling Down' are excellent and capture the band at their peak. Yes, some of the lyrics are basic and don't even make sense but so what? It's the overall sound that matters and this band delivered some cracking songs.

If you can't stand Oasis then you won't buy this, it's as simple as that. But if you think that you have liked a few of their singles then you might well be surprised at how many more were better than you originally thought. I reckon that I like about 90% of the stuff on 'Time Flies 1994-2009' and that means that this is generally very good and worth five stars.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 19, 2012 8:55 AM BST

Luther - Series 1 [DVD]
Luther - Series 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Idris Elba
Price: 5.00

6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A decent series, 9 Jun 2010
This review is from: Luther - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
I wasn't too sure about 'Luther' when it first started but it definitely got better as the series progressed. It had moments of tension, some compelling stories and in general a good cast.

At times I found the acting to be slightly off by a couple of character's including Idris Elba as Luther but by and large he had a very strong presence and he suited the role. I also found Saskia Reeves a bit hit and miss as DSU Teller but in the main the performances were good especially Nicola Walker as the wife of a serial killer in episode four. Ruth Wilson was also consistantly good as the intelligent but dangerous Alice. This was a series that didn't pull any punches at times and it was actually something I looked forward to watching which is always a good sign.

Will there be a second series? I think and hope that there will be as this is one of the best police dramas to emerge for quite a while and I recommend it without question. Four and a bit stars.

Inglourious Basterds [DVD] (2009)
Inglourious Basterds [DVD] (2009)
Dvd ~ Brad Pitt
Offered by Quality Media Supplies Ltd.
Price: 3.88

9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Much more of a miss than a hit, 15 April 2010
I will start off this review by saying what I liked about this movie and first and foremost is the much lauded performance by Christoph Waltz as Landa. He is the best thing about this by a mile and I also thought that Diane Kruger was pretty good. The opening scene set in a barn is by far the best segment of the movie with bags of tension and it is very effectively performed. On the whole though, the rest of 'Inglourious Basterds' is a major let down.

As well as the two actors mentioned, the better performances are from the European contingent. It has to be said that Brad Pitt isn't very good here as his acting seems forced especially compared to Waltz. There is a bizarre cameo from Mike Myers that sounds like Austin Powers playing an English general, very odd and a tad ridiculous. Also, the story takes a long time to evolve until you realise after two hours that not really that much has happened. I know that Tarantino movies have shades of very black humour and long drawn out scenes but for some reason those traits don't work well here. Everything bulids up at the end to an extremely predictable bloodbath and a feeling of anti climax.

I do like a couple of Quentin Tarantino's movies. Pulp Fiction [DVD] [1994]is a classic and Kill Bill, Volume 1 [DVD] [2003]is a real blast. 'Inglourious Basterds' most definitely isn't a classic and I think that many people will consider it a disappointment.

Hannibal Rising [DVD]
Hannibal Rising [DVD]
Dvd ~ Helena Lia Tachovska
Price: 3.83

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the effort, 26 Mar 2010
This review is from: Hannibal Rising [DVD] (DVD)
I had heard good things about this prequel from a couple of people and looked forward to watching it. I got bored before the end although I did stick with it until it became almost like a teen 'slasher' flick. It's OK to look at but there is just too much wrong with 'Hannibal Rising' for it to have any impact.

There is absolutely no sense of tension as you just know that whatever the situation, Hannibal is going to survive. Well, he has to as there have been three movies starring Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal in later years. As the young Hannibal, Gaspard Ulliel is mostly wooden and just not right for the part. Hannibal's releationship with his Auntie is strange and extremely unconvincing as is the idea of all of his tormentor's surviving the war and mostly sticking together. A major flaw was the fact that young Hannibal was known to the police as a multi murderer so how come he became a world respected Doctor of phsychiatry using exactly the same name?

As stated earlier, there is too much that doesn't work about this. There is some interest as to how he became the monster he was but ultimately this movies fails at just about every level.

The Wire: Truth Be Told
The Wire: Truth Be Told
by Rafael Alvarez
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good companion to the series, 17 Mar 2010
I have to start this review by stating that I think that 'The Wire' is one of the best TV dramas ever and is right up there with Band Of Brothers - Complete HBO Series Commemorative Gift Set (6 Disc Box Set) [2001] [DVD] and Deadwood : Complete HBO Seasons 1-3 (12 Disc Box Set) [DVD] [2004]. I like many others, was sorry to see the series end but in retrospect it probably did finish at the right time. I was hoping that a book would be brought out as a guide to the series and 'The Wire: Truth Be Told' is a very good effort.

There are synopsies for every single episode from the five series, interviews with acors, directors, writers and even true life characters that people from the series are based on. Also featured are loads of photos including some in colour. There is even a short section on the tune that Omar whistled so there is very little missing here. One thing that did niggle with me a bit was the sense of 'we are brilliant and we know it' attitude that does surface from time to time. We all know how great this series was so it doesn't really need this book to remind us in the way it sometimes does.

Still, this is a fine book and very good work has been done by Rafael Alvarez. As a guide to the programme, I don't think it is as good as the excellent Deadwood: Stories of the Black Hills which tells the story of that fabulous drama in a, perhaps, more modest way. For all that though, this book is a must have for the many of us that are still mourning the end of the legend that is 'The Wire'.

Priceless [DVD] (2006)
Priceless [DVD] (2006)
Dvd ~ Audrey Tautou
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: 3.87

7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Even Audrey can't save this, 16 Mar 2010
This review is from: Priceless [DVD] (2006) (DVD)
This is a dull movie. Full of unlikeable and shallow characters, 'Priceless' tries desperately hard to be stylish and fails. The main female lead is gorgeous but a horrible, gold digging user and the male lead looks like Robbie Fowler and is a bit of a naive idiot, at least until he becomes some sort of super stud.

Will they end up falling in love and abandon their lust for money? It's a predictable story and the fact that they speak French and it is set around the French Riviera doesn't mean that it oozes class because it is a forgettable effort. I would give the movie 1.5 stars and it gets an extra half simply because Audrey Tautou looks great. I can't recommend this at all.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 30, 2014 3:04 PM BST

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