Profile for Blackmale > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Blackmale
Top Reviewer Ranking: 9,473
Helpful Votes: 511

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Blackmale (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-17
Much Love
Much Love
Offered by Giant Entertainment
Price: £1.18

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very limited appeal - IN RETURN far stronger, 9 Feb. 2011
This review is from: Much Love (Audio CD)
I rarely dispose of music. Once bought - it really just HAS to stay. I'll take care over what I allow to move in with me but occasionally surprise myself with some of the loathsome trash I still live with. Apologies to Shola Ama fans alive and still grooving but you're about to be upset.

I shelled out full beans for this one a decade ago, when buying CD's required serious financial commitment. I had major doubts about my wasted wonga back then, but still waited patiently to see if time would change this? After years collecting dust I decided to listen again.
....And it's still vacuous trash!
But, not without some small redeeming qualities:-
It is beautifully sung. Miss Ama in particular is sweetly flawless throughout and expensively produced with a crisp clean veneer over otherwise tasteless 90's synth and drum. Three cheery "pop tunes" make the case for themselves for no other reason they sound good to sing/dance to.

BUT! This project was hopelessly rushed.
I postulate - Chasing a meteoric rise to fame, riding the guaranteed groove that was Randy Crawford's seminal "YOU MIGHT NEED SOMEBODY" WARNER BROS leaped long before they looked and gathering nine minutes of serious pop, then slopped in 40 minutes padding. Nervously eyeing the calendar in the hope of a release date before the next Janet Jackson comeback was due, I reckon they wrapped up a parcel of rejected ideas for somebody more established and said "...ere Sholes luv, see what you make of these. Her Highness Diva Wassername thought they were the dogs wotsits, but there wasn't room on `er album." And poor Ama, still too young and trusting to argue, bought it hook line and sinker, rolling in her advance to back it right into the shops.
In context of the era, recalling when folk had the courtesy to dance with before they slept with a partner, you'd probably find it was perfect backing to a "well good hour" of bumpin' an grindin.' I don't argue. However, next morning playing a taped copy from the dashboard of your Cavalier GLSi, you might well be having second thoughts.....
Ama warbling aside, 40 mins of dull, meaningless, going nowhere, repetitive, lightweight, girly, bubble-gum, "...we got a love" " summer love" " were my only love" mind-numbing TRASH!
Pop should be cheap and disposable, dance music should make you want to. The follow up IN RETURN is simpler but vastly better.

I genuinely love the Crawford cover as an alternative without overtaking the original. #4 "Who's loving my baby," also gets my attention but the remainder barely passes for mood music at the dentist chair. I actually stopped for a double take at track #6. Here is a song desperately in search of a lyricist, endlessly cycling the same four syllables around as many different refrains as can be attached to a single key/tempo combination. IT'S JUST HIDEOUS!

3 half descent singles. The rest should have been hurled from the Walkman into the bin marked DEMO's.

Everybody Wants To Rule The World (In The Style Of 'Tears For Fears')
Everybody Wants To Rule The World (In The Style Of 'Tears For Fears')
Price: £0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A little thin for ZOOM. Otherwise up to the mark, 18 Jan. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
HiFi production, somehow sounds a bit FM-Radio here. All other boxes checked with the ending also welcome in place of the original fade out. Job done.

Are You Ready For Love (In The Style Of 'Elton John')
Are You Ready For Love (In The Style Of 'Elton John')
Price: £0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice recording, poorly edited, 18 Jan. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Glitch at the start, and a syncopation error at the lyrical opening, ruin an otherwise typically competent Zoom rendition of the original. For the uninitiated zooms are Hi-Fi reproductions with appropriate endings to draw you to a predictable close.

Soundlab 2 X 6.35mm Mono Jack - 3,5mm Stereo Jack, 1.2m
Soundlab 2 X 6.35mm Mono Jack - 3,5mm Stereo Jack, 1.2m
Offered by GiftLocalUK
Price: £2.21

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly very good., 18 Jan. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
So cheap as to defy consideration but here goes anyway.

These are heavily shielded leads, with a snug fit. They function and perform very well.
Wrapped and packed professionally to be guaranteed to arrive safely if you are going to use them yourself and retail ready if you buying inventory.

Solid, safe purchase.

Wonderful Christmastime
Wonderful Christmastime

4.0 out of 5 stars Titled to decieve..., 18 Jan. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought for the obligatory Christmas party, I need offer no furher juustification.
I add therefore the following. The embedded digital title refers to the source compilation album rather than any link to Monsieur McCartney et al having a wonderful time at Christmas. Consequently once loaded you'll struggle to find it. Unless you re-name the file you'll be repeatedly annoyed.

For what it's worth folk still love this. For one month each year - Essential.

The Last Exorcism [DVD]
The Last Exorcism [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ashley Bell
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: £4.37

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Possibly worth watching, probably not worth buying. And it's NEVER a horror., 18 Jan. 2011
This review is from: The Last Exorcism [DVD] (DVD)
The genre is NOT horror, of that I am certain,
However, on reviewing the final cut the producers were likely challenged by where to position the marketing and plumped for lowest hanging fruit.
THE LAST EXCORCISM trials everything from documentary, horror, occult, black comedy, teen horror/splatter movie, spoof etc. but fails to satisfy in any direction explored.
The cinema piece I saw was black comedy. I'll suggest they were aiming for the reaction we gave films like FARGO, but I stress that is where any similarity ends.
The superficial "exorcism" plotline appears to be a MacGuffin where the real intent, however poorly recounted, is simply an examination of one Reverend Cotton Marcus and his alleged conscience.

Set up in "mockumentary" fashion the film ticks boxes that are obvious to the point of cliché. Roving, single reference video camera made to look like outside broadcast news footage.
The associations with BLAIR WITCH are unavoidable and demonstrate poor judgement exercised by the producer. BW was intentionally more than 80 minutes of cinema. Here was a daring "you-can-only-get-this-the-first-time" multi-media experience drawing on then pioneering viral campaign techniques to suspend belief in advance with the precision crafting of a modern day myth. By the time you arrived at the screening you were at the concluding stage of an extended journey of self-induced convincing of the inconvincible. EXCORCISM borrows heavily from BLAIR to economise on explanation but utterly fails to do the former justice when it visibly abandons the whole idea switching uncomfortably to an almost routine presentation of the final act.
The film is doomed from the start through indecision. It bounces all over the place with heavy handed referencing of everything from SIXTH SENSE, THE EXCORCIST, said BLAIR WITCH and even RACE WITH THE DEVIL in approximately that order.
Too light to seriously engage, it is equally too heavy to be passed off as simply spoof and ultimately betrayed as plain poorly executed.

The film achieves an 18 rating on the basis of content not imagery. The book says "see blood `n' guts...give an 18 rating." The upset comes from the sense of being taken for a ride rather than the buckets of offal spilled for increasingly no good purpose. U18's will NOT be scared but it is not "suitable" for younger audiences owing to the subject matter and potential associations with occult and demonic possession. These remain unresolved issues with censors.

Redeeming points are few - Patrick Fabian delivers a measured account of the self-confessed snakeoil selling preachers exploitation of faithful but gullible Southerners. It is unlikely you'll see any of the supporting cast anytime soon.
EXCORCISM was crafted on a shoestring ($2million) yet raked in a fortune (relatively speaking) with +$64million worldwide so unfortunately the last laugh may have been on us.

It all drove off in the right direction, but at 83 minutes erupts abruptly in a car crash of insincerity and a hastily tacked on ending.
I stay on the fence offering the following in conclusion:-
The story told is worthy of merit. The storyTELLING is not.

Sherlock Holmes [DVD] [2009]
Sherlock Holmes [DVD] [2009]
Dvd ~ Robert Downey Jr
Offered by 101Trading
Price: £3.20

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Typically Ritchie, very Hollywood and Holmes is Irish don't you know., 18 Jan. 2011
This review is from: Sherlock Holmes [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
SHERLOCK HOMES (2009) is a witty, well-structured piece, hampered only by the need for some qualification. You really have to respect the genre in favour of the heritage that has grown around Mr. Holmes as Dr. Conan Doyle had once intended. There is no sleight against the Irish, just that Doyle landed Holmes so deeply among English gentry that you have to realign your perceptive points of reference to accommodate this interpretation. For better or worse is for you alone to judge, but it is too different for my liking.

Holmes is true to the book, by being kept to the fore and Watson n'er truly behind, but slightly aft of shoulder. Downey Jr. is still today on Hollywood's road to redemption but proves what could have been had he not veered off pursuing his own self-destruction. He is effective and thorough, only occasionally letting slip his practiced accent from the village of Noplace, Southern England.
We join with Holmes entering his middle years and coincidentally reflecting Downey Jrs' own recent past. Clearly talented, a natural if dysfunctional leader swayed by a cavalier attitude and frequently reckless expression. For a popular parallel, recall Robbie Coltrane's' "Fitz" from CRACKER and less 100 years and 100 lbs. you are right there.
Set in the grim docklands of London past, this could so easily have turned out as another Tim Burton factory product employing the obligatory dark talents of Depp & Bonham Carter against dusk-lit cantilevered architecture. Ritchie refreshingly gambles with an unexpected cast, some visibly artificial brilliance and wins.
This all assumes you buy into Ritchie's spunky interpretation. I didn't, so continued to enjoy as the academic-buddy movie it might otherwise be.
With the glory of LOCK STOCK and SNATCH becoming erased by his lesser and more recent offerings Guy Ritchie returns to his proven traits. We have gritty industrial cityscapes, digitally exposed. Occasional voice-overs "tour" guide us to ensure we don't wander off message as the rollercoaster hits the sharp curves. He cranks back or freezes frame rates for adrenalin laced sequences with frequent retracing of storyline to affirm the salient plot points.
The pace is relentless. Where you'd expect Holmes patiently pipe-sucking over modus-operendi, we find a bare-chested, brawling, bruiser fresh from the fair. Downey stays "in character" with consummate ease because he's playing his own Victorian alter-ego with anglicised phrasing.

The ever popular Jude Law is strong and far from side-kicked in his supporting role. He stays youthful, intelligent and as far removed from Conan Doyle's' bumbling moribund Doctor as Downey is from his gentlemanly Holmes. Kelly Reilly is classy in the adjacent position but could easily have handled lead female status as a superior Irene Adler. Instead we find Rachel McAdams is called in, probably to service the American PR role. McAdams may be pretty but remains pretty awkward throughout. Kelly's feisty ability imbued with restrained quality has the necessary credibility McAdams sorely lacks as well as an untypical beauty deserving of more attention from the lens.
The rest of the cast is tight and well placed, with only ALIENS (Gorman) William Hope looking hopelessly out of place as the other American (even though he's a Canadian) shoe-horned in to satisfy native audiences. It is all highly entertaining but missed the "best picture" mark for very good reason.

Ritchie's' meritworthy direction is rewarded by the assured string of cash-till rattling sequels it has given birth to, but he stretches this tall tale a tad too far for my liking. Holmes, Watson et al are borrowed like mercenaries for a quick win in a parody equally worthy as a standalone all new feature. Ultimately this is a another classic Hollywood "reboot" - conveniently forgetting all but the names and the places. This SHERLOCK HOLMES is as Gaelic as the words "Sherlock" and "Holmes" suggest.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 21, 2012 9:37 PM BST

Crash [2005] [DVD]
Crash [2005] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Sandra Bullock
Price: £2.69

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best story telling of 2005. Social commentary? Only if you are Republican..., 25 Dec. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Crash [2005] [DVD] (DVD)
Flawless performances from an understated cast, yet the vignettes offer barely a few minutes screen time apiece and most have probably enjoyed several weeks build-up in fur lined trailers "in-character" before playing to the lens.
Best performance? Take your pick, I won't be arguing, but for me Matt Dillon deserves the nod if only for the demonstrating just how far he has travelled since 90210 and THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT...

The film is far from perfect, and not the accurate portrayal it was held to be. The issues are as raw as you'll find them, but the characters remain superficial throughout. We get to know OF them without getting to KNOW them. I'll suggest Haggis took an enormous risk - and won - hanging his hat on story in favour of depth. None become worthy people. All are deeply flawed and possibly only one deserves redemption by the time the titles roll.

The film uses a well tried if complicated formula. Take a multiple of disparate characters and observe as they proceed in parallel toward the concluding common plot point where unrelated lives finally knit together. Use Pulp Fiction as your template, but there the similarity ends. This movie is best enjoyed completely unspoiled, so for synopsis you'll have to look elsewhere. Taking a break midway doesn't mean confusion, but missing even a single minute risks denting your appreciation of the complete work.
The direction is fluid and cohesive, though there is visibly still too much gloss for this set of LA tales. Haggis styles-it-out like Michael Mann...when he feels up to it.Heat [DVD] [1995]
While replete with epithets and stereotypes intended to flesh out the race based social commentary, I recommend Spike Lees "Joints" for cinematic accuracy on the American (because it is unique) race issue. Lee tells it like it is because he really was "there". Bold enough to tell white folks the truth. Honest enough to tell black folks the TRUTH. Highly controversial, often offensive, leaving no-one unscathed. Jungle Fever [DVD]

CRASH is class conscious, at times aloof and intellectual where it ought to be gritty ghetto. A "black" film for republicans? Unkind but valid. Haggis chooses race to steer the story carefully to his conclusion that our failure to understand each other is neither black nor white but human. We are equally capable of being exploited and of exploiting others. It's just a question applying sufficient motivation.

CRASH saves its gilt-edged moment to the three-quarter mark, whereupon we are treated to a "SIXTH SENSE" revelation so solid that Haggis could have followed with dancing girls wearing Hitler fatigues and still not lost the Oscar. Speaking of which, it is obvious why folk regard the Academy Award as a steal. Brokeback Mountain [DVD] [2005]was the one THEY just couldn't vote for. Though I am yet to see Gylenhaal & Ledger Mountain, Crash has too many vulnerabilities to have been assured victory in a straight punch-up. Ultimately the piece is bereft of character development, although due correction would turn this into the prelude to the long running franchise needed to fatten so many characters before your cinema ticket had run out.
It remains simply brilliant story telling with no wasted footage. If you had read it, if someone recounted the way we did when video still meant Betamax, or you watched it unfolding scene by scene, it delivers its taller tale with clarity and with very few plot holes. It is exceptional entertainment that lands only metres short of art. Watch it for the first time and you'll be talking about it for days. Re-run the disc and it decends to a good night in, so much hinges on the plot revelations that you'll need to leave a lot of time before watching again to get the same buzz.

Judged purely by what it is rather than what it tries to be, it remains my favourite of 2005 - no question.
Now, hand me that copy of BROKE YER BACK MOUNTAIN so I can change my mind...

The Passion of the Christ [DVD] [2004]
The Passion of the Christ [DVD] [2004]
Dvd ~ James Caviezel|Maia Morgenstern|Monica Bellucci
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.25

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive re-education, 25 Dec. 2010
No preaching, no prejudice, not even debate just a few notes and comments.

Speaking as a committed Christian, Passion did not evangelise me. However, though I have known this story line by line since a child, I was simply taking it all for granted. NEVER again.
Passion arouses exactly that for all the right reasons. However the one thing I am certain that it does, is to give you a participant view of the events played in near real-time detailing what each individual syllable physically means.
Horribly graphic - I watched twice in Cinemas yet it took four years of ownership before I could finally bring myself to view my own DVD copy. Even today there remain four scenes where I still HAVE to turn away. I just cannot face this content. Everyone knows about the production, but should you be reading having still not viewed this film, under no circumstances expect anything less than a truly disturbing experience. Educational? Absolutely. Entertainment? Highly unlikely.
Romans of the period were exacting but also stupefying in their cruelty and very well practiced as such. When I tested the accuracy of the depiction against the gospel texts and associated history, I found everything I saw to be entirely plausible and set in the correct historical context. That said, this is not the "...gospel according to..." noting that Gibson belongs to the fringe of Catholicism. As an amalgam of three of the four gospels the film can be seen as fair summary.
The Jews are not the criminals here, though the political arguments still rage on in USA. Any group upholding the status quo would have acted as they did. Global history in the time since is replete with new examples of the same persecution. We just DON'T learn!
I promised no debate but I ask just one thing. The ability to criticise is a right for which we should all be truly thankful. Some of the best comments come from the most ardent sceptics. I ask only that before you launch into condemnation about the film, it's motives or Christianity, please ensure you are sufficiently informed about (even if you do not believe)the subject matter. So much written and said is dismissal before the author ever understood.
My Bible is there to tell me the story. The film is a chilling reminder of just how immense a sacrifice someone gave for me 2000 years ago. I hang my head in shame that it takes a film to achieve this.
Forgive me. I, like they were, am only human.

Subtitles for the non-hearing impaired viewer - Most copies feature the cinema on-screen translation as the default selection, although this remains dependent on how your DVD machine navigates. If you deliberately turn-on subtitles or your machine auto-selects subtitles, you may see those intended for the hearing impaired that include the audio descriptive content you may find distracting.
Satan is played - convincingly - by a woman. Am I the last to discover this?
Though his visual performance is flawless, Caviezel's accent fails to convince. His inflection is typical of a natural English-speaker and at times distracting. The rest of the cast are convincing with their use of Latin, Italian and Aramaic vocabularies.
Mary Magdaleine - Casting too young. Should have had the appearance of a modern 60 year-old, not a current Italian supermodel.
There is a second cut of Passion. The theatrical re-release with the most graphic scenes removed. This was released to allow it to be used educationally with younger audiences. This is an apparently rare DVD title, but commentators assure that even bereft of a full five minutes of clips, it is still a harrowing viewing experience probably beyond the safe tolerance of younger eyes.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 10, 2011 12:26 AM BST

High Quality Black USB Laptop Slimline USB External CD ROM CD-RW DVD-ROM CDRW Combo Drive for HP Laptops Compaq Laptops HP Mini 110 Laptops and Netbooks BY Z-DRIVE
High Quality Black USB Laptop Slimline USB External CD ROM CD-RW DVD-ROM CDRW Combo Drive for HP Laptops Compaq Laptops HP Mini 110 Laptops and Netbooks BY Z-DRIVE

5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing simpler or more effective, 19 Nov. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Searched absolutley loads of alternatives before settling on this one.
Very cost effective. Extremly compact being only marginally larger than the disk surface and also likely slimmer than the net book it's mated to.
Very clean design, easily robust enough to survive the rigours of domestic portable use.
Powered up and was working in seconds. Disk was not needed but is supplied to fix complicated installs.
The unit plays using the juice supplied down the USB umbilical. For more power-hungry applications e.g. DVD burning, you hook up the supplied external power supply - itself very compact - and Burn as usual.
This is a highly efficient super effective solution, kept so simple, you just cannot go wrong with it.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-17