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Doc "stenik" (UK)

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The Lakes : Complete BBC Series 1 & 2 [1994] [DVD] [1997]
The Lakes : Complete BBC Series 1 & 2 [1994] [DVD] [1997]
Dvd ~ Dicken Ashworth

5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Decent enough first series (3 stars), but series two is appalling (1 star), 22 Oct. 2008
What a disappointment! Reading reviews of The Lakes here and elsewhere, I was expecting a drama of quality, like GBH or Our Friends in the North. And I thoroughly enjoyed McGovern's writing on Cracker. Unfortunately The Lakes is not in the same class as any of these dramas.

The first series is okay - nothing particularly original in the characters or the situations, but for the most part it is engaging. The second series however is atrocious. All of the texture and dramatic substance of the first series is ditched for clumsy charicatures, cheap thrills or easy laughs. The writing is sub-soap opera level, the kind where characters behave inconsistantly just to furnish the next cheap thrill or easy laugh (for example, Danny's character is ruined over the course of series 2, while the headmaster, a character of real depth in series 1, becomes a ridiculous figure).

I know my thoughts run counter to every other review here, but I just don't understand how The Lakes has acquired the reputation it has. At £5, it's cheap enough to take a chance on, but if you want quality 90s TV drama, I'd suggest you look elsewhere.


Kismet Acoustic
Kismet Acoustic
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £13.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual - this one will grow on you, 14 Oct. 2008
This review is from: Kismet Acoustic (Audio CD)
This is an EP featuring acoustic versions of a few songs from Hoop's album Kismet and a new song, Murder of Birds, which features Guy Garvey of Elbow. Hoop has a good voice and a nice lyrical style and this is a good place to encounter her for the first time. For my money, the songs sound better on the album - stripped down they sometimes lack depth - but buy this EP for the duet with Garvey, it's a beautiful song.


Indignation
Indignation
by Philip Roth
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Roth - truly wonderful, 23 Sept. 2008
This review is from: Indignation (Hardcover)
Some are suggesting that Roth has become too prolific, with the implication that quality begins to dip, but Indignation refutes that. This is a tightly written, evocative and moving novel. It's the story of Marcus Messner, a young man dealing with an overbearing father and the strangeness of moving away to college, set as America is fighting the Korean War. Messner is also dead and from this vantage point, he is reviewing his short life. Such a device can be clumsy or silly, but Roth employs it to incredible effect. The characters are all vivid and memorable (the scene between Messner and the dean of men is a wonderful example) and the narrative is beautifully structured.

At the denouement, when Roth's purpose comes into final focus, I was left with the feeling of having experienced something simple and wise and powerful. I can't recommend this novel highly enough.


Indignation
Indignation
by Philip Roth
Edition: Hardcover

32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Roth - truly wonderful, 23 Sept. 2008
This review is from: Indignation (Hardcover)
Some are suggesting that Roth has become too prolific, with the implication that quality begins to dip, but Indignation refutes that. This is a tightly written, evocative and moving novel. It's the story of Marcus Messner, a young man dealing with an overbearing father and the strangeness of moving away to college, set as America is fighting the Korean War. Messner is also dead and from this vantage point, he is reviewing his short life. Such a device can be clumsy or silly, but Roth employs it to incredible effect. The characters are all vivid and memorable (the scene between Messner and the dean of men is a wonderful example) and the narrative is beautifully structured.

At the denouement, when Roth's purpose comes into final focus, I was left with the feeling of having experienced something simple and wise and powerful. I can't recommend this novel highly enough.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 24, 2011 11:37 PM BST


Headcases [DVD]
Headcases [DVD]
Dvd ~ Brian Herring
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.93

4 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful, just awful, 11 July 2008
This review is from: Headcases [DVD] (DVD)
This is possibly the unfunniest 'comedy' I have ever come across. Far from being sharp and satirical as the description suggests, this is a run through of the same poor jokes from the same lazy charicatures every episode. It mistakes bad impersonations and catchphrases for clever satire. Even the CGI is excerable (the mention of Pixar in the description is about the funniest thing connected to this rubbish). This whole package of sheer awfulness is capped off with an unlikable and inexplicable smugness and self satisfaction. Avoid this junk at all costs.


Black Snake Moan [DVD]
Black Snake Moan [DVD]
Dvd ~ Samuel L. Jackson
Price: £2.54

4.0 out of 5 stars An oddly affecting character piece, 31 Mar. 2008
This review is from: Black Snake Moan [DVD] (DVD)
This could so easily have been awful. The marketing dwelt solely on the sleazy aspect of the film and images of Ricci in her pants but there is a good deal more going on. This is a rich and suprisingly rewarding character study. It is the story of wronged people on the edges of society searching for meaning and identity, even happiness. It is a simple, if strange, story and it does not follow the expected path. There's drama and humor of a tale set in the south, but the narrative doesn't ever feel like a cliche and the ending is oddly uplifting. It has an interesting perspective on the limitations of religion and the possibilities of humanity. Jackson and Ricci are excellent and the supporting cast are uniformally good. Recommended.


Ghost Rider - Extended Cut [DVD] [2007]
Ghost Rider - Extended Cut [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Nicolas Cage
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £2.49

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Truly dreadful, 31 Mar. 2008
How does a film like this ever get made? It beggars belief that anyone could have thought this was a film that needed to be made. If there was some killer reason to produce this movie, it hasn't made it into the final cut. It has a dreadful script, terrible direction, no structure, weak special effects, woeful miscasting (what was Cage thinking?) - this whole thing stinks! And not in a 'so bad it's good' kind of way. This is simply and irredeemably bad.


1408 [DVD] [2007] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
1408 [DVD] [2007] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't really know what it wants to be, 5 Mar. 2008
I'm not familiar with the Stephen King story, but 1408 suffers from wanting to be both a ghost story and a film about the psychology of loss. But because it doesn't make its mind up, the end result is an unsatisfying movie with some good points. Cusack is great, and bearing in my mind he is on screen for most of the film, his sympathetic and nuanced performance is the best thing in the film. The sets are effective and there are a few frights to be had. However the ending is clunky and does not scan (why does Cusack's character appear to Jackson's?). Disappointing.


1408 - Director's Cut Edition [2007] [DVD]
1408 - Director's Cut Edition [2007] [DVD]
Dvd ~ John Cusack
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £3.68

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't really know what it wants to be, 4 Mar. 2008
I'm not familiar with the Stephen King story, but 1408 suffers from wanting to be both a ghost story and a film about the psychology of loss. But because it doesn't make its mind up, the end result is an unsatisfying movie with some good points. Cusack is great, and bearing in my mind he is on screen for most of the film, his sympathetic and nuanced performance is the best thing in the film. The sets are effective and there are a few frights to be had. However the ending is clunky and does not scan (why does Cusack's character appear to Jackson's?). Disappointing.


Shooter [DVD]
Shooter [DVD]
Dvd ~ Mark Wahlberg
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £2.56

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 21st century take on the paranoid cinema of the 70s, 4 Mar. 2008
This review is from: Shooter [DVD] (DVD)
Shooter works as a contemporary political/action thriller. It has some interesting performances - Wahlberg is made for this kind of programmed patriot role, Glover brings a menacing gravitas and Beatty conveys an oily arrogance - and a narrative that drives along at a satisfying pace. The action sequences are well handled and there is an attempt at linking the story to Iraq, Abu Graib and more recent real world events.

However, the thing that struck me as most interesting in the film is the way that it evoked the tone and texture of 70s cinema. Most obviously, the government conspiracy is reminiscent of films like the Parallax View and Three Days of the Condor. But the film's support of violence (there is a line in the film that says you can't clean up the streets with a gun, even though that's exactly what's needed) is a flashback to the vigilantism of Dirty Harry. This makes for a surprising final message - that justice is impossible through the traditional legal processes and can only be found in the figure of the good man with a gun. A very interesting movie.


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