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Desperado [VHS] [1996]
Desperado [VHS] [1996]
VHS
Offered by pkeylock
Price: 3.94

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Customer Is Always Wrong, 19 Aug 2003
This review is from: Desperado [VHS] [1996] (VHS Tape)
So reads the neon letters over the bar in an inspired opening sequence, in a brilliant example of the originality and artistic flair that make the film compulsive watching. The Latin music is a heartbeat to the brutal underground of the drugs world, working out of the sleepy Mexican town. The film is full of clever touches, sumptuously shot with plenty of attention to detail, and features a stunning performance by Banderas as the mariachi hero. Buscemi does a highly credible job in his supporting role, and the other characters find their moments. It is a cynical genre film, one which deserves a place next to the Tarantino greats, and Rodriguez' tour de force.
There is no other way to see this film other than to buy it, because there is no way to watch it just the once. If you've ever loved a Western or Pulp Fiction, be assured you'll find this a worthwhile addition to your movie library.


The Fast And The Furious Turbo Edition [DVD]
The Fast And The Furious Turbo Edition [DVD]
Dvd ~ Paul Walker
Offered by Quality Media Supplies Ltd.
Price: 1.95

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oh Yes, 20 July 2003
This is absolutely the type of film which makes you want to run out and buy a hundred thousand pounds worth of equipment to turn your Fiat Uno into a fire-breathing mustang of 600bhp with neon underlights and jazzy decal on the side. Not only that, but it seems to have invented its own genre - there is no comparison to other films featuring car chases, youth culture, rap music and skimpily dressed young women.
As with the sequel, the first thing which you have to admit is that a plot would have been a terrible thing to waste on this film. There is one, and it isn't quite as thready as you might believe, but I can personally guarantee that you'll hardly notice. The film throbs with high-octane special effects and intensity of emotion from the young cast, incorporating ground-breaking vehicle stunts and an unashamedly glamourised peek into the racing 'sub-culture'. Diesel's type-casting as the muscle pays off, Jordana Brewster and Michelle Rodriguez give highly adequate performances, and although Paul Walker wrestles with some appalling dialogue to the point of infuriation ('But if I win, I take your money *and* your respect') and compares badly to Diesel's slick deliveries of even the most cringe-inducing line - it must be said that the man can do a good love scene, and an even better punch-up. Testosterone and sweat is rife, and all the sets reflect this atmosphere particularly well.
To anybody with an inkling to a purchase - it is absolutely worth your time, and when you fit that final six foot spoiler to the back of your Fiesta you may begin to realise the sheer power of this film to sweep you away.


Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science
Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science
by Richard Saferstein
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excruciatingly Wonderful, 19 July 2003
Open this textbook to any page, and it seems to be the same old dry text any chemistry student is well accustomed to. The truth, once you start from the beginning, is that this textbook is far from ordinary.
It is well-organised, informative, deals with the science of the subject on every level it requires from layman's terms to post-A Level and assumes very little about the reader's prior knowledge. The content is comprehensive, extremely interesting and well-written, studded with surprisingly difficult review questions, comprehensive chapter summaries which nearly make taking notes entirely redundant, and frequent, detailed case studies to aid application of the studies. It is well-illustrated, contains comprehensive references and recommended reading, and is by the far the best literature available on the subject at this time, keeping up to date with recent developments and technology.
Invaluable for science students from most disciplines and anyone with a serious interest in forensics, although you should be forewarned that the book does not deal with forensic pathology or psychology.


Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science
Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science
by Richard Saferstein
Edition: Hardcover

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excruciatingly Wonderful, 19 July 2003
Open this textbook to any page, and it seems to be the same old dry text any chemistry student is well accustomed to. The truth, once you start from the beginning, is that this textbook is far from ordinary.
It is well-organised, informative, deals with the science of the subject on every level it requires from layman's terms to post-A Level and assumes very little about the reader's prior knowledge. The content is comprehensive, extremely interesting and well-written, studded with surprisingly difficult review questions, comprehensive chapter summaries which nearly make taking notes entirely redundant, and frequent, detailed case studies to aid application of the studies. It is well-illustrated, contains comprehensive references and recommended reading, and is by the far the best literature available on the subject at this time, keeping up to date with recent developments and technology.
Invaluable for science students from most disciplines and anyone with a serious interest in forensics, although you should be forewarned that the book does not deal with forensic pathology or psychology.


Blade II [DVD] [2002]
Blade II [DVD] [2002]
Dvd ~ Wesley Snipes
Offered by gowingsstoreltd
Price: 2.80

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pass the Axe, 19 July 2003
This review is from: Blade II [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Let's get this straight - this film is not big, funny, or particularly clever. In any respect. However, that said, there is a good chance that you might enjoy it anyway.
It suffers from the curse of many horror sequels - that of having to cast off any intelligence and innovation the original film may have by repeating the formula with better special effects supervisors than script writers.
The outdated 'stop the spreading menace before it's too late' cliche is poorly used and feels out of place, as do many elements of the film from the computer nerd, to the team of vampire mercenaries. The traditional mainstays of the vampire film - the sultry temptress, the evil overlord bathing in blood in his old stone mansion - which the first film trampled with contempt are shamelessly propounded here.
The gore, whilst not particularly shocking, falls squarely into the 'gratuitous' category, with the puzzling appearance of a mid-film autopsy of one of the new breed rating as one of the most gruesome, ridiculous and highly unnecessary scenes ever to feature in a horror film.
It is particularly difficult to find favour with any of the characters, who are for the main part grossly overplayed, although you might respect the valiant effort of Leonor Varela to invest her part as the love interest and daughter of the conniving overlord with some dignity and credibility.
The film is a hash, borrowing mainly from the action genre, without success. It deserves its three stars, although perhaps not your hard-earned money, by virtue of the beautiful visual effects and heart-pounding action sequences. The ninja-style fight sequences easily rival those of The Matrix - I would argue that they far exceed them - the camera work is flawless, and every scene is highly atmospheric. It is a real shame that it doesn't excuse the film's other flaws, although it nearly carries the plot on its own.
The key to this purchase is to know what to expect - if a blood-drenched rehash of action movie cliches with the addition of the odd vampire or two is what you are looking for, then you will be far from disappointed by the presentation. Unfortunately, this film will always falter by comparison to the original Blade.


Stigmata [DVD] [2000]
Stigmata [DVD] [2000]
Dvd ~ Patricia Arquette
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: 2.90

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Doves & Demons, 19 July 2003
This review is from: Stigmata [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
The brilliant Stigmata is one the most intelligent and polished additions to the growing horror sub-genre of modern, surrealistic, gothic films designed to appeal to the younger end of the market - although the melodrama and unnecessary gore which plague similar efforts have found no place in this movie.
Whilst some of the composite sequences taking place as the protagonist, Frankie Paige (Arquette), receives her stigmatic wounds can tend to drag, the cinematic style is slick, dark, and highly atmospheric, with some stunning camera work. The sets themselves are well worth the viewing too, particularly the mahogany-lined vaults of Vatican City.
As far the plot goes - there is much to frustrate the expert theologian, with tenuous movie-science forays into dead languages and Catholic IT networks. However, the core thread of the story makes compelling viewing, creating a real sense of empathy with the main characters which keeps the suspense and adrenaline running high. The developing relationship between the main characters is extremely touching, even to the hardest rom-com cynic, mainly thanks to some sensitive acting from Byrne. The only and most vital flaw is the film's incessant need to explain everything as explicitly as possible without actually using subtitles - and occasionally actually using subtitles - though this is unlikely to bother the first-time viewer.
Although the chain of events which lead to the appearance of the stigmata - involving crying statues, pickpockets and a perennially absent mother on a trip to Brazil - beggars belief, you may well be left pondering anxiously on the film's tag line: Pray You're Not Next.
I can definitely recommend investing in this film - with the warning that due to the high reliance on suspense related to the ending, it is unlikely to give you the same adrenaline kick on the second viewing.


The Jigsaw Man
The Jigsaw Man
by Paul Britton
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Find me a Humble Forensic Psychologist, 7 Jun 2003
This review is from: The Jigsaw Man (Paperback)
Personally, I read this book following courses in forensic pathology and psychology. There is nothing uplifting about the dark world that this book struggles out from, and I didn't expect there to be any 'glossing over' for the purposes of this publication. I can't, therefore, judge this book for its clinical over-simplification and deliberately high-impact analysis of various cases - I can only warn the potential reader about the seemingly endless parade of human misery and death at the hands of the extreme minority.
Initially, to satisfy your curiosity, you will want details of the crime and of the offender which are enough to startle you. This book provides these cases in ample quantity, with highlights such as the West murders and the product tampering extortion which led to the redesign of all consumable packaging. After a certain number, though, you will wish for some mitigation, some depth, some *reason* for the crimes. The content is not for the emotionally sensitive, and some may feel that this book is serving as part biography, part macabre showcase, which is unlikely to be the combination which you are expecting.
Aside from this - there are obvious flaws with the style of the book. It is, after all, the work of a forensic psychologist and not a novellist, but the endless repetition and irrelevant biographical detail make it something of a trawl, which it need not be. They say that your first novel is always about yourself - I would suggest that you bypass this publication in favour of its sequel, "Picking up the Pieces", which reiterates most of the first book and is a far more compulsive and satisfying read.


Blade [VHS] [1998]
Blade [VHS] [1998]
VHS
Offered by dyerwilliams
Price: 4.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blood on the Carpet..., 6 Jun 2003
This review is from: Blade [VHS] [1998] (VHS Tape)
And on the walls, the ceiling, the street outside...
Despite the excess of everyone's favourite bodily fluid, there is still some kind of artistry and subtlety to the violence of Blade. Some is pure action trash - hails of bullets and the like, some is showmanship, and some is purely understated evil. The animalistic fervour of Deacon Frost is even strangely mesmerising.
The film is slick, visually interesting with careful use of lighting and pale colours to emphasise the vampire's skin, and thick with atmosphere. The dialogue is perfectly tuned, despite the machismo and heavy use of one-liners, and there is visible and sinister conflict in the painfully detailed character studies. Blade and Frost, played with intensity and skill by Snipes and Dorff, are interesting and complex as individuals and a combination. So, the love interest is a little tiresome, and the pain is gratuitous - the plot is full of suspense and twists, the story is disturbingly believable, and the movie is a visual feast. Not for the romantic comedy enthusiast, but an essential addition to the video collection of any fan of the action or thriller genres.


Blade II [VHS] [2002]
Blade II [VHS] [2002]
VHS
Offered by auczobe Orders Posted with-in 3 days
Price: 5.00

6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Twice the Budget, Half the Fun, 6 Jun 2003
This review is from: Blade II [VHS] [2002] (VHS Tape)
Don't let me dissuade you entirely - if you enjoyed Blade, then you will probably enjoy the sequel overall. You are just likely to feel a little disappointed.
To look at, Blade II is a beautiful creature of gothic dimensions. The sets are carefully designed, populated with a variety of interesting tableau, although you imagine that the producers must have saved a fortune on lighting. The special effects are slick, interesting and highly believable - the fight scenes are absolutely breath-taking, and the attention paid to the combustion of the vampire minions is amazing. You can feel the smouldering. All of the martial arts action looks authentic - although the film is sadly lacking in sword-play, preferring the silver bullet - and the inspired camera work heightens the experience. You might even forgive the costume designers for dressing everyone in skin-hugging black and sunglasses, since it at least allows for easy identification of the characters.
Unfortunately, the plot is appallingly predictable, simple, and thoroughly unrealistic. The characters - I refer you to the 'Blood Pack', and needn't say more - may as well be video game avatars for all the depth they have, and indeed appear as if they have stepped straight out of Quake Arena. The nice twist is ruined by the required suspension of belief - there is no subtlely of character development or interaction. Everything is vocalised, usually with some violence. Blade's budding relationship with Nyssa is underplayed and unsatisfying, as are the family ties with the other characters. Humans seem to have disappeared completely from the set, so the victim culture is overlooked. The villain is in the comic-book style, true to the film's origins, and an entirely unconvincing and unsurprising addition.
This film is a sequence of beautiful special effects sequences, strung together with some appalling dialogue and plot elements lifted directly from 'Judge Dredd' and 'The Matrix', of all places. The plot twist is unforeseeable, but of no further consequence, and there is not enough dramatism to the deaths because of the excess of gore. If this doesn't matter to you - and if you are an avid fan of the action trash genre then it might well not - then this is worth a purchase. Unfortunately, it was a disappointing sequel which used the popularity of the first film to boost its production value and cut corners on everything else.


No Title Available

4.0 out of 5 stars The First Hostages to Break the Mould, 6 Jun 2003
Overall, Truth or Consequences is not ground-breaking. The characters are slightly odd looking - Sutherland's glasses, Gallo's leather vests and greasy hair - and speak using aging street slang. The ending is predictable. The settings are grainy and tacky in a substandard Pulp Fiction style.
However, it is original and creative enough to add something to the action film genre - provided you could squeeze it into that category, the gore and explosions being limited and concentrated into several scenes for sudden eruptions of bullets and blood.
Of the main characters, Vincent Gallo is surprisingly annoying and instantly unlikeable, with Sutherland emerging as the driving power behind the group dynamics, with an on-screen intensity sadly lacking from his similar venture, 'I Fought the Law', perhaps even superceded by a mesmerising performance from irreverent cop Mykelti Williams.
The stars of the show, though, are the two hostages. We never expect these staples of the action movie to have depth - they usually represent a kind of extreme emotionality and humanity under threat by the 'bad guys'. Here, however, their changing relationships with their captors, their attachment and admiration combined with the potency of fear, is an untried and highly effective dramatic formula.
Martin Sheen also gives a surprisingly good performance as the mobster's right-hand man, a two-dimensional role he plays with considerable relish and panache.
The action is sporadic, and the dialogue may make you wince on occasion, but the suspense and emotionality of this film takes it above the 'action trash' genre and into a category of its own. Sutherland deserves hearty congratulations for this film, undeservedly faded into obscurity.


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