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Van Der Valk - Series 1-5 - Complete [DVD] [1972]
Van Der Valk - Series 1-5 - Complete [DVD] [1972]
Dvd ~ Barry Foster
Price: 39.36

5.0 out of 5 stars Amsterdam intrigue on DVD..., 24 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
In between the TV showings of the original series of "Special Branch" (1969) and "The Sweeney" (1975), Thames Television delivered a classic piece of Detective fiction in the form of "Van Der Valk" - Commissaris Piet (Simon) Van Der Valk of the Dutch CID based in Amsterdam. It was a very good updated take on the character from a series of best-selling novels by Author Nicolas Freeling and a superlative characterisation by actor Barry Foster in the lead role. Furthermore, it was the marrying of Foster's performance with the intelligent and gritty realism of the scripts and location that made this a must-see of the time, and now Network DVD have presented us with the entire five series made over a twenty-year period so that we may revel in all the great drama amidst the entertaining studio and location settings of the period. The DVD set is not remastered and doesn't boast any extras, but all episodes are released in their complete and uncut glory spread over 11 discs (32 episodes in all). As a youngster, I was more familiar with the third series (1977) which was made by Euston Films for Thames, but watching the episodes of the original series from 1972 and 1973 (2nd series) was most enjoyable too as it not only gives us an insight into how the character of Van Der Valk was originally perceived for television, but also allowed us to experience the production process of the time - a mix of VT (studio) and film (location) work that assisted in the unfolding of the drama. The city of Amsterdam is beautifully captured in each and every overcast shot of period detail - trams, bikes, canals, and bars all add to the realistic take on a glorious setting. There was a gap of almost 14 years before the decision was made to begin work on the fourth series (screened 1991) and by this time the episodes were produced for a longer format: a two-hour time slot (the trend of the time). However, it's wonderful to see the older Barry Foster continue his memorable characterisation all those years on, and I feel that the series had lost none of that gritty style and intelligence that gave it an endearing quality almost two decades previously. In these longer early '90's episodes there is obviously an emphasis on the changing face of culture and environment, and a new face is added to the Van Der Valk family - namely an adopted daughter called Ruth who has a young child. The Van Der Valk's eldest son, Wim is also in the employ of the Amsterdam Police as an Inspector, and he plays a considerable part in some of the case-cracking proceedings of these later episodes, and reference is given to his brother in the final series although he never makes an appearance. A joy to watch the whole Van Der Valk experience once again, especially now that this fabulous DVD release is available at a fabulous price! Quality TV.


Kicking & Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock & Roll
Kicking & Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock & Roll
by Ann Wilson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 17.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Crazy On You', Ladies!!, 1 April 2013
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So great to read the autobiog of two of the most talented females in music to this day - sisters, Ann and Nancy Wilson of 'Heart'. "Kicking & Dreaming" is a brilliantly fascinating rock 'n' roll read, and a lot of the stuff I never knew before, therefore the revelations came in nice little bursts of shocks and surprises. I was nineteen years old when I first heard of the rock band 'Heart' in 1987, therefore I missed out on their first incarnation in the seventies. Furthermore, being a young UK citizen during their early days when they were rocking the joints throughout Canada and Washington, meant that I wasn't aware of their their music (or existence) from this early period, and of recent years it has been the most satisfying journey to discover this wealth of material; this discovery has lead me to proclaim that their music from this period is the most mystifying and celebratory. However, the sisters take us on a most-welcome journey all their own in this - their official story, and cover everything from the very beginning: Family, Love, Marriage, Parenthoood intermingled with all the music, albums, concerts, and touring along with the more darker sprinklings of humiliation, fear, anxiety, and heartache. The latter emotions encompass some of the more 'dirty' little aspects of the entertainment business and further to that a music world gone mad during the nineteen eighties - the dawn of the corporate, image-laden MTV era. Ann and Nance give us their accounts of every era without holding back, and its easy to understand how their creative process had got somewhat lost during the aforementioned eighties period even though it was their most successful time with such multi-platinum albums as 'Heart', 'Bad Animals', and 'Brigade' all of which spawned such million-selling hits as 'These Dreams', 'Alone' and 'All I Wanna Do', respectively. Nevertheless, as a career-odyssey as a whole, I am a big fan of their story and of the ladies themselves: Nancy is a very talented and accomplished singer-songwriter and musician, and Ann, whilst also sharing the same credits with her sister, is quite simply the greatest female vocalist in Rock music today! You'll enjoy the read, and discover a story full of Heart, Soul...and Rock 'n' Roll - 'Crazy on You', Ladies!!


The King of Rock 'n' Roll: The Complete 50's Masters
The King of Rock 'n' Roll: The Complete 50's Masters
Price: 16.53

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Completely Masterful!, 20 Dec 2012
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Ohh, the glory of it all! A reissue, and repackage, of the Grammy-nominated 5-Disc milestone from 1992 - confirmed by the RIAA ten years later as a two-time Platinum award winner - is an historical welcome to anyone looking to complete, or even begin, their audio overview of the beginnings of popular music and the phenomenon of Rock 'n' Roll. This collection consists of a massive 140 tracks which also includes several master outtakes and unreleased performances of both well-known, and not so well-known, classics. ELVIS PRESLEY was the man who popularized the art form known as Rock 'n' Roll, and in doing so broke through several authoritative and social barriers which opened up a whole new expressive culture of music for other talented artistes to follow suit. On Disc 1 alone, you are witness to that transformation of country to rockabilly to rock 'n' roll with the additional ingredient of the ballad tinged with blues flavourings (including his first ever demo recording!)- it is an audio education in itself; this most-popular Disc of the set includes all of his 'Sun' masters and the first hit-making platters of his RCA output. Throughout his 23-year musical reign on earth, Elvis had crossed-over several genres which also included popular Hawaiian and Latin-flavoured compositions along with achieving THREE Grammy awards for his influential Gospel-related output. It is the latter genre in this set which depicts his early homages to the type of music that so was a major influence throughout his Tupelo childhood, and a further extension of the sacred songs are the christmas tunes that were originally released as one of his many best-selling albums. The master recordings from his early, and best, movies are also included here and once again we are treated to other genres of music such as pure Country ("Love Me Tender") and Jazz ("King Creole") as well as the now-getting-heavier sounding beat of "Mean Woman Blues", "Jailhouse Rock", and "Hard Headed Woman". Furthermore, two versions of "One Night" are presented during this era: the well-known chart-buster, and the version which El recorded with the original 'raunchy' lyrics, namely "One Night of Sin"! Another double-representation is in the form "Old Shep" - the song which Elvis had grown up with and also features him on the piano here with both the master recording and an alternate take. And, speaking of alternate takes and unreleased songs too, there are several to be had on Disc 5 of this groundbreaking audio extravaganza. As mentioned previously, it is a repackaged set so the CDs are tightly secured inside - be careful when trying to 'prize out' Discs 3,4 & 5!! Also, the original extensive booklet with a great essay from Peter Guralnick (two years before his critically-acclaimed "Last Train to Memphis" biography) is also included in compact form. A fantastic reissue audio-wise at a truly-fantastic price!!!


Dallas - Season 9 [DVD] [2008]
Dallas - Season 9 [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Larry Hagman
Offered by Helgy
Price: 11.99

5.0 out of 5 stars End Game..., 1 Oct 2012
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Yes, it's the "Dream Season" - the one that supposedly never happened. However, looking back at the seasons that followed this one, I'll bet a lot of the veteran fans wish that some of the other stuff that took place during these later seasons were classed as a 'dream' too! Unfortunately, the final episode of this season was the deciding factor for myself, along with a number of other fans, and I chose not to continue watching 'Dallas' after this. Yes, I'm sure there are very entertaining episodes in the later seasons with J.R. getting shot a couple more times, and Sue Ellen becoming a stronger person (yet again!), etc. etc. But, personally, I'm afraid the credibility factor disintegrated overnight as soon as Patrick appeared in that shower scene. Nevertheless, I suppose this is the deciding factor for me to want to cherish this so-called "Dream Season" (Season 9 DVD), because I know that I won't be purchasing any more 'Dallas' box sets from here on in. Therefore, this season is a welcome addition to the collection because it presents us with a retrospective of life without Bobby Ewing, and a very entertaining life it is too! Don't get me wrong, I love Patrick and his character, but it is fascinating to watch the saga unfold as the Ewing clan pay their respects to Bobby throughout the proceedings and attempt to get on with their lives down on the ranch and in the offices, and accompanying bars and restaurants, of Ewing Oil. Some slick scripting, directing and acting commence with the early episodes in this season which is beautifully glued together by the welcome return of the brilliant Barbara Bel Geddes as Miss Ellie! It is a treat to be caught up in the tension and heartbreak that surrounds the family Ewing - you actually feel their loss, and moreso if you were a fan of Bobby it isn't difficult to get lost in the moments of bereavement. However, it was most definitely a changing of the guard and new characters, storylines, and directions were introduced amicably, and if we're to be honest in summary, this season holds one or two of the all-time best storylines throughout the entire run. Flipping over the coin, I realise that a number of fans don't particularly like the 'Emerald mine' storyline, and also can't seem to warm up to the deliciously villainous delights of Angelica Nero - but I thought that these two aspects of Season 9 were a good welcome change to what had gone before. Furthermore, it presented the script writers and producers with further possibilities for future seasons (at the time). The other highlights of Season 9 include the teaming of J.R. and cousin Jack at the helm of Ewing Oil, followed by the unwelcome (to J.R. anyway) presence of Pamela Barnes joining them on the board whilst she oversees the running of her son's inheritance from his father's will (plus to ensure that 'Dick Dastardly' (J.R.) is not running the company into the ground with one dodgy deal too many!). It's all riveting stuff, and I dare you not to be enthralled and touched by Ray and Donna's storyline this season - it certainly tops the highlights! Yes, I realise some fans say that it further took 'Dallas' away from its original concept, but once again I beg of you to open your mind to a welcome change...afterall, it is only a "Dream"...BAH!!! Goodbye to a classic and very entertaining drama series.


Black Stiletto
Black Stiletto
by Raymond Benson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 19.03

5.0 out of 5 stars All for the love of Judy..., 5 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Black Stiletto (Hardcover)
Twistin' an' a-turnin' with lies, deceit and flying bullets! The life of Judy Cooper Talbot continues in the sequel to 'The Black Stiletto: The First Diary'; it's all here as we further grow to love the southern 'cuteness' of our favorite Texan from New York. For all the 'hits' she gives, and takes - both physical and emotional - we feel her pain throughout this red hot track of a runaway train journey which covers the 'Black Stiletto' year of 1959. Judy tackles both the FBI and two gangland organisations who are slugging it out in the name of drug trafficking and prostitution. Meanwhile, in modern day New York, Judy's son, Martin has to pay a visit to his mother's old stomping grounds in order to confront the demons of the past...and the present. Mr. Benson has done it again, only moreso, as he shovels on the action and suspense with heapfuls of steaming anxiety. "Black & White" is a brilliant sequel in this fabulous series concept about an almost forgotten hero of another time who courageously choreographed her very own brand of crime-busting. Looking forward to 'Stars & Stripes' - due out in April, 2013!


Black Stiletto
Black Stiletto
by Raymond Benson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 19.44

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The First of Many is like the Twelfth of Never!, 21 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Black Stiletto (Hardcover)
I fell in love recently...with a lovely 72-year old lady who now, very sadly suffers from Alzheimer's disease. The very premise of my love for her began during the course of discovering the joy, triumph and heartbreak of her humble beginnings which were documented in her own diary of words which she had handed down to her son - whose very own existence appears to be teetering on the level of a very disillusioned individual who is struggling to keep the peace with his ex-wife and daughter...and a job that had originally presented him with long-term prospects. Furthermore, Martin Talbot experiences the biggest and most shocking revelation of his 'mundane' life when he begins to read his mother's diary from 1958 and discovers who she really was...and what she stood for! I love Judy Talbot (nee Cooper), and her story; I also love the assortment of characters she met, and fought, in a magical and most uplifting period of time in pop culture. I laughed, cheered, cried...cried some more...and read...read on to the very end. However, 'joy' became my most significant expression when I discovered that it wasn't the "very end" - the second book of Judy's diaries have been released...Ohh, sheer bliss! I love you, Judy...Thank you, Raymond!!


Beggarman, Thief
Beggarman, Thief
by Irwin Shaw
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A worthy printed sequel., 9 Oct 2008
This review is from: Beggarman, Thief (Paperback)
"Beggarman, Thief" is the printed sequel to Irwin Shaw's classic million-seller, "Rich Man, Poor Man" which was published seven years earlier in 1970.

The story continues in fine form detailing the events in the lives of the Jordache family from New York, which evolved around brothers Rudy & Tom along with their elder sister, Gretchen. We are immediately thrown into the thick of the action on the French Riviera in 1968 where the original novel left off. You will find a fascinating journey unfolding through the eyes of each and every one of these characters with Rudy Jordache as the head of the clan. It would be most beneficial to you if you read "Rich Man, Poor Man" first of all to give you a better knowledge and understanding of the story in general. However, Irwin Shaw's craftsmanship will allow you to easily absorb yourself as a first time reader of "Beggarman, Thief". The story takes us into the 1970's with an unexpected ironical twist at the end...

The original novel, "Rich Man, Poor Man" was adapted into the award-winning television mini-series in early 1976. The television series sequel entitled "Rich Man, Poor Man - Book II" was released later that year but had nothing to do with the printed sequel of "Beggarman, Thief". In fact, the TV series was screened before the sequel publication was released. Then, three years later in 1979 a four hour TV-movie was released which was based solely on the story of "Beggarman, Thief" - this appeared to be somewhat removed from the original mini-series of "Rich Man, Poor Man".

Nevertheless, a good read should be experienced by one and all especially if one and all begins by reading from the beginning of the story with "Rich Man, Poor Man".


The David Essex Double Bill [DVD]
The David Essex Double Bill [DVD]
Dvd ~ David Essex
Price: 8.70

66 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fabulous 2-for-1 odyssey!, 11 May 2008
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For any true Rock 'n' Roll fan and any former members of the growing-up cultures of the Fifties and Sixties...Seventies too, you just can't let these two get away - "That'll Be The Day" and it's sequel, "Stardust".

It's a fabulous roller-coaster ride that isn't just limited to the fairground, depicting the social and musical changes of life in 1950's Britain as seen through the eyes of the young man who turns out to be 'the minstrel of a generation' - Jim Maclaine...very amicably portrayed by teen Pop idol (at the time!), David Essex. Infact, it was Mr. Essex who was nominated for the Best Newcomer BAFTA along with Rosemary Leach as Best Supporting Actress in the role of his long-suffering Mother. A stellar cast including Robert Lindsay, Billy Fury, Keith Moon, Rosalind Ayres, James Booth, Karl Howman, Deborah Watling, and a brilliantly-acted performance by Ringo Starr add to the delight of this classic virtually rags-to-riches story of teenage angst and ambition. Jim Maclaine is a clever young man, but forsakes a prospective well-educated career for a life-changing journey on the back of a truck that drops him off at the seaside...and so part one of the odyssey begins. The film unfolds to the hit-making sounds of the late 50's which are a big influence on Maclaine's journey through adolescence away from the bosom of his family. He experiences all he is able to experience over a two-year period, then one day has a sudden change of heart...but does his heart really change that much?

The brilliant sequel, "Stardust" begins the continuing saga of Jim Maclaine's life from 1963 onwards and once again we are introduced to more cultural, and musical, changes and influences of life in the fast lane. David Essex reprises his role as the wayward hero but it's the teen idol from another time, Adam Faith who steals the show as Mike Menary - a shifty wheeler-dealer along with "Dallas" star, Larry 'J.R.' Hagman. It was Mr. Faith who got the BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actor, but the film itself won the Writer's Guild Award for Best Original British Screenplay which went to the writer of both films, Ray Connolly.

"Stardust" is the dark illustration of interchanging trends, attitudes and politics within the music business which combines the family and friendship aspects of the previous story. It is a classic tale of a bittersweet dream...and a sour nightmare. A great soundtrack is once again prominent throughout, along with another great cast which also includes Paul Nicholas, Ines Des Longchamps, Dave Edmunds, Marty Wilde, Peter Duncan, James Hazeldine, along with Keith Moon, Rosalind Ayres and Karl Howman reprising their roles.

This is a great must-buy DVD set as your practically getting both films for the price of one. Fabulous!


Dallas: The Complete Season 1 and 2 [DVD] [1978]
Dallas: The Complete Season 1 and 2 [DVD] [1978]
Dvd ~ Victoria Principal
Offered by Liz' little bookshelf
Price: 10.15

5.0 out of 5 stars The Origins of an Original, 10 April 2008
Here we have it - the first of the classic "Dallas" DVD sets!

The series that originally started out as a TV mini-series (the first 5 episodes on this package now re-titled as 'Season 1') and eventually was responsible for coining the term 'Soap' as a blueprint for a number of imitations to come.

This groundbreaking, award-winning ratings-grabber told the story of the oil rich Ewing family, and focused on the trials and tribulations of their everyday lives of power, wealth, love, greed, lust, and ambition. There are some wonderfully-written character portrayals and story lines that unfold in these early episodes which primarily centred around the events of youngest Ewing sibling, Bobby and his new bride, Pamela. All is not well from the off as we discover that Pammy is the daughter of 'Digger' Barnes - the oldest adversary and former oil-drilling partner of Bobby's 'Daddy', Jock Ewing. This causes quite a stir within both families and certainly doesn't bode well with Jock's eldest son, John Ross II ('J.R.'), who currently runs the Ewing Oil empire.

When "Dallas" starts to fully develop through these early seasons, so do the characters especially the dastardly 'J.R.' (brilliantly played by Larry Hagman who was robbed of an Emmy Award). For the most part, the series began to evolve around his evil doings both in bed and in the boardroom.

The "Dallas" DVD sets are a must-buy for any avid collector or television drama fanatic, and at this price this package is a steal. The series holds a highly re-watchable value and you won't be disappointed with this purchase. There aren't any doubts that you will want to continue collecting the rest of the series once you have had your first taste of the Ewing clan...at least up until the end of the so-called 'Dream Season' years later.


Star Trek: The Animated Series [DVD]
Star Trek: The Animated Series [DVD]
Dvd ~ Hal Sutherland
Offered by HarriBella.UK.Ltd
Price: 49.99

40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Unique Addition to the Franchise...and your Collection!, 23 Mar 2008
"Star Trek: The Animated Series" ("TAS")is released to DVD at last in this beautifully artistic package.

This Filmation production from 1973/74 always boasted a more mature and family-like appeal as opposed to the other Saturday morning 'kiddies cartoons' from back-in-the-day. What gives this series of 22 half-hour episodes a unique quality feel is the fact that the majority of the cast from the original live-action TV series from the sixties, voice act their own characters.

The scripts and plotlines add another unique touch to the whole proceedings, due to the fact that some of the original show's writers are part of the creative team for this animated series. The show clinched the 'Best Daytime Children's Series' Emmy Award in 1975, and this is a great accolade to a production which has always been considered as a separate entity to all the 'Trek' TV shows and films.

I can honestly state that as a youngster I was a fan of the original TV series, but as a mature adult I am more of a fan of this wonderful animated period piece. I understand that given today's ever-developing modern world technologies, "TAS" will appear to be very dated especially to most youngsters but this only adds to it's charm and appeal.

I am not a cartoon fan nor do I consider myself to be a 'Trekkie', but this production has got a special place in my heart as well as on my DVD shelf. It is creatively well-done making it a very entertaining viewing experience for all, and this 4-Disc set which features some nice bonus extras as well as a collectable booklet is well-worth the purchase price.

If you are a 'Trekkie' and you don't have this in your collection yet or you purely dismiss it because show consultant Gene Roddenberry never considered it as part of the franchise, then you don't really know what you're missing. It's about time "TAS" got the recognition it deserves and also got some positive reviews here on Amazon!
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