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Michael Charles (Yorkshire, UK)

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Nativity 3: Dude, Where's My Donkey?! [DVD] [2015]
Nativity 3: Dude, Where's My Donkey?! [DVD] [2015]
Dvd ~ Martin Clunes
Price: £7.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Think again, please, 7 Dec. 2015
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This is probably the worst film we've watched this decade. If it were possible to give it less than one star we would.
One has to feel sorry that Martin Clunes was subjected to such embarrassing slapstick for no benefit to himself or the film whatsoever. And he will have to carry this blot on his wonderful career for the rest of his life.
Specifically - a plot which consists of a single line - Clunes has to get married in New York. Flimsy is overrating it by a mile. The whole thing consists of a series of song and dance numbers in the most expensive locations the writers could imagine but with the merest thread of rationale to hold them together.
A waste of time. But the people we feel sorriest for are the children. Yes, hundreds of little darlings got the chance in the film to show off their precocious dancing and singing skills but - unlike in the first two films - the class which is supposed to be at the centre of the plot got almost no characterisation or deeper attention - they are a mere afterthought - an appendage to the high-budget routines and flashy shots of Santas dancing in the London Eye.
As a few other reviewers have said - watch the first or the second but think five times before buying this.

Warehouse 13 - Season 5 (Audio: English, Subtitle: English) [DVD]
Warehouse 13 - Season 5 (Audio: English, Subtitle: English) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Eddie McClintock
Price: £8.90

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sad fate for a good series, 27 Oct. 2014
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Unfortunately this has to be as close to a rip off as a hitherto good TV series can get. I wouldn't even have minded the selling of a "series" of just 6 paltry episodes if they had been any good. This "series" is pretty close to appalling even though there are a few very funny elements, good production values, and some patchy scraps of good acting. As another reviewer has pointed out - it ties up loose ends in the most juvenile ways. The so-called series throws totally unconnected episodes together and then ends with an episode which is just over-emotional and self-indulgent twaddle.
I've never liked series that just end in the middle of plot lines but I can now appreciate that such a fate would have been far kinder for Warehouse 13 than the insult that is series 5.

Sherlock - Series 3 [DVD]
Sherlock - Series 3 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Benedict Cumberbatch
Offered by MusicnMedia
Price: £7.17

39 of 59 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Self-indulgent writers strike again, 31 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Sherlock - Series 3 [DVD] (DVD)
Much as I admire the cast and the job they did on this latest series I have to say that they have been badly let down by the story-lines and writing. The first two episodes of a paltry three in a "series" were simply non-events - writers trying to score points with the more hysterical elements of the "fan" base. They had almost no story although had obviously cost a great deal of money to make. The third episode does have the benefit of a sort-of story-line but again this is heavily centred on the emotions/characters of the main characters and uses some frankly laughable plot lines including (partial spoiler) one of the characters getting shot in the chest (almost certainly through the lungs) and being up and about in days.
I don't mind "modern" takes on traditional characters and stories but Holmes/Watson are about solving crimes. Trying to turn them into an emotional soap opera in which the central characters are explored to tedious extents is not for me. If you are looking for high-class soap then this is for you, if you enjoy real crime thrillers and their solutions then it is certainly not.

Twenty Twelve - Series 2 [DVD]
Twenty Twelve - Series 2 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Hugh Bonneville
Offered by SmarTechnics
Price: £4.60

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 27 Nov. 2013
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If you enjoy real comedy - no crudity, no swearing, but with plenty of clever dialogue - this is a must. It's arguably the best recent comedy show. Each character is painted from life with appropriate catch phrases. You'll easily recognise people you know or have known. All too brief unfortunately - just the two series. Great cast and almost flawless delivery - or should I say deliverance?

No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars Evocative and informative, 30 Nov. 2011
I bought this DVD because I was first taken to Harrogate by my grandmother back in the 60s and, although this DVD is mainly about modern Harrogate, it does great credit to a town that has carefully maintained its older buildings. The DVD is well narrated and starts with a brief but quite powerful history of the town followed by a tour of its main attractions - including some shots inside the Turkish Baths and an aerial shot of the town that really shows how green it is. It never drags and the shots are kept relatively brief. The winter shots are quite stunning - if you haven't seen Valley Gardens and the tea rooms in the snow - you really must. I'd recommend it to anyone. The price is well worth the pleasure I and my relations have got from it already and I can see that it will become a bit of a historical item in its own right as the years go by. All my visitors have to see it and none have been less than fulsome about the DVD.

Poirot - Complete Season 12 [ 2009 ]
Poirot - Complete Season 12 [ 2009 ]
Dvd ~ David Suchet
Offered by nagiry
Price: £9.98

16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great but drifting away from Poirot, 17 April 2011
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We have every single Poirot on DVD and love them very much. Then we bought Seasons 9 to 12 and most of these were well up to the expected standard. The great thing about Poirot is that the production values actually increased over most of the episodes. In Season 12 those values were not quite as high as in the previous three seasons but one still stands in awe of the quality of costumes, camera work, locations and scenery. In these days of cheap TV it is genuinely refreshing and encouraging to see that some productions can be very well funded.
David Suchet is rarely at anything but his very best in all episodes in Season 12 but there are times when one can see - sometimes all too clearly - that someone in power has fiddled a little too much with the character and the stories. Just as Miss Marple now has to have a gay or lesbian subplot so Poirot now departs from the marvellously stolid and humourous character that Christie painted.
But you will, nevertheless, enjoy at least three of the episodes. Only "Three Act Tragedy" disappoints. Someone had cut the budget drastically, so the scenes are much less rich and the scenery sometimes looks almost amateurish. To add to the misery, the story line is rendered turgid by editing cuts that insist that everything that is mentioned in the script - even a telephone ringing - has to be given its own clip (presumably so that the audience knows for sure that it is - indeed - a telephone that rings). It is the only Poirot that we have ever simply abandoned and not watched the end.
That's the bad news. "The Clocks" and "Hallowe'en Party" are both well up to the expected standard and "Murder on the Orient Express" is as good a version of this story as anyone could hope. The only - very small - niggle is that someone appears to be succumbing to the temptation to fiddle with Poirot's character. It's all very well him "struggling with his conscience" against his Catholicism but this simply isn't Poirot as Agatha Christie painted him. Poirot is a hard-headed and very pragmatic detective; he does not let his religion get in the way. Indeed, in previous stories he has been more than willing to bend the law a little in order to ensure that justice is well and truly done. Poirot is also a man who can enjoy a joke and can be as sardonically biting as Agatha Christie herself. So, please make the final Poirot stories and please get Pointot back to his true self - pernickety, solid and humourous.
Having said all that - you'll love Series 12 (well, the majority of it).

Christmas Story [DVD]
Christmas Story [DVD]
Dvd ~ Hannu-Pekka Bjorkman
Price: £2.96

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Refreshingly original, 1 Jan. 2010
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This review is from: Christmas Story [DVD] (DVD)
The existing reviewers have all hit the nail on the head so I won't repeat the story outline. This is one of the most original Christmas films. It avoids sentimentality for the most part while underlining the genuine values that make this time of the year so special. Eminently watchable - you get used to the dubbing very quickly - and expertly and beautifully filmed. This will become a classic.

A Carol Christmas [DVD]
A Carol Christmas [DVD]
Dvd ~ Tori Spelling
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £8.69

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Scrooge goes Barbie Doll, 1 Jan. 2010
This review is from: A Carol Christmas [DVD] (DVD)
This is a shallow and pretty worthless version of the Christmas Carol story. The producers wasted their money on a film that not only brings nothing new to the wonderful tale but also insults the viewer's intelligence at every turn. I'm not sure how they got away with it but this is really just the much better Bill Murray "Scrooged" film repackaged with a girl in the lead role - the story is almost identical right down to the hard-pressed assistant who wants to spend Christmas with her family and the old boyfriend who got away. The ghosts are totally ineffective, the script predictable and dull, and the whole thing lacks imagination. Just about everyone was simply going through the motions. Not something that canbe recommended to enhance your festive season.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 8, 2012 7:59 PM GMT

Christmas In Wonderland [DVD] [2007]
Christmas In Wonderland [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Patrick Swayze
Offered by Discountdiscs-UK : Dispatched daily from the UK.
Price: £5.99

6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Amateur, 29 Dec. 2009
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There are bad Christmas movies and this is very definitely one of them. The Canadians tried to finance a Christmas blockbuster but the producers spent the cash on the wrong things. Instead of getting a great Director they spent it on two big name stars - Swayze and Curry. The former must have spent at least a day on set doing his ten minutes of the film and the latter was bushwacked by writers who gave him a Monty Python-like part - which did not work - as an idiot detective. The lack of good direction is clear throughout and the choice of a single location for practically the entire film was obviously financially motivated (the mall got some great advertising though). The two youngest actors - who were the real stars of the film - battled gamely against a poor script and plodding direction but it never really got the pace right. And the three villains were just two-dimensional, appallingly acted bit-parts. To mention Home Alone in the same review is heresy - the two films are poles apart in quality. For anyone over the age of ten this is a waste of money.

Quantum of Solace (Two-Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [2008]
Quantum of Solace (Two-Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Daniel Craig
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.88

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst so far - by far, 26 April 2009
As a lifelong Bond fan I have seen my share of the best and the worst and, whatever the apologists say, this is almost certainly the worst. Huge amounts of money, more stunts than you can ever spot without slow-motion and some interesting gimmicks, Quantum never really gets going because the plot has gone missing. It just never turns up. The producers seem to believe that if they throw enough special effects at you and move the action along so fast that you cannot see what happens, you'll forget that the story line is so shallow it makes Timothy Dalton's efforts look like War & Peace. There's none of the irony or self-mockery, no Q, and no fun. It takes itself too seriously and hopes that you'll pat it on the back for not having any semi-naked females brightening up your day.
Technical wizardry and hyper-speed cuts are no substitute for telling a story and doing it with a little humour and pathos spiced with some silly gadgets, pretty girls and attractive men. Bond films are enjoyed because they are NOT the Bourne Identity. This one simply tries to out-effect the Bourne series and merely succeeds in missing the point of the cinema Bond as he has developed over the years. This will appeal to the video-gamers under 20 who believe that action is better than storyline, but should be avoided by anyone else who has to pay to see it.

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