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D. Sedgwick "DSedgwick" (Liverpool)
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No Contacts? No Problem! How to Pitch and Sell Your Freelance Feature Writing (Professional Media Practice)
No Contacts? No Problem! How to Pitch and Sell Your Freelance Feature Writing (Professional Media Practice)
by Catherine Quinn
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.16

2.0 out of 5 stars If only it were this easy, 21 July 2014
Essentially this is a book of common sense tips such as the need to be organised and determined - there's certainly no fairy dust here nor are there short cuts.

However the point about persistence and selling oneself are useful enough, but I'm not sure I agree with all her advice e.g. never send the full story - I sold an article purely because the editor had enjoyed the full story and felt his readers would do too.

And this thing about pitching to editors of nationals and top magazines and calling back - hasn't worked at all for me - despite the author's reassurances (some) editors it seems do work with freelancers, but they use the same freelancers - ones they know and trust. The guerilla tactics sound good on paper, but won't get you very far in my opinion.

As for the website, why not include people who have used the 'formula' successfully? I reckon they're few and far between.

At the end of the day, it's who you know. Always has been and always will be.


Writing For Magazines: 4th edition: How to Get Your Work Published in Local Newspapers and Magazines
Writing For Magazines: 4th edition: How to Get Your Work Published in Local Newspapers and Magazines
by Adèle Ramet
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.26

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unfulfilled promises, 21 July 2014
Yet again a book that promises so much more than it is capable of delivering.

Far too much stuff about how to write character and plot and nowhere near enough on writing non-fiction for specific markets. Skim read this in an hour and came out non the wiser.


Zodiac [DVD] [2007]
Zodiac [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Jake Gyllenhaal
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.05

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ineptitude on a grand scale, 21 July 2014
This review is from: Zodiac [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
On paper perhaps this might have seemed like a good idea - unsolved high profile serial killiings, but the movie actually goes to show that there's a whole heap of difference between paper and reality.

The real problem here is a narrative that keeps jumping forwards in time and this is because in the real life case that's what happened - nothing much for years at a time - fine, but this really disjoints the film and never really allows the suspense to build in any meaningful way. There's never a constant suspect to play cat and mouse with - just a whole bunch of red herrings and hunches, which frankly amount to nothing.

The direction is also ploddy - for the murder of the taxi driver we just get into the taxi only at the very moment of the murder - heck we almost miss it - talk about building suspense!!

And the characters fade in and out, never building momentum whether it's the cop, hack or artist - the hack in particular seems to have no role in this film and is last seen looking like a constipated duck. Indeed there's loads of loose threads in what is a very, very sloppy screenplay. And to add insult to injury it's an overly long film which, with nothing better to do, is finally forced to lead the viewer into false surmises: For example when the artist visits yet another one of his leads he somewhat oddly follows this chap down into his cellar, meanwhile the creepy music starts....

But not to worry- he's quite harmless despite the fact he tells the artists he's the only guy with a cellar in these parts in a rather fiendishly ghoulish way. Crikey it's a sure sign of desperation as the film-makers desperately search for a way to inject even a little suspense into this awful mish mash of a film,

Probably one of the most inept displays of direction I've ever had the misfortune to see and as for the screenplay...

And blaming the real life story is no excuse - they made the choice to make this movie after all.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 24, 2014 11:36 PM BST


The Scapegoat [DVD]
The Scapegoat [DVD]
Dvd ~ Matthew Rhys
Price: £12.39

1.0 out of 5 stars agonisingly dull tale that fails to exploit its main premise of ..., 13 July 2014
This review is from: The Scapegoat [DVD] (DVD)
Plodding direction, ridiculous script and awful casting, ponderous acting...put it all together and you get this. It starts promisingly enough, but then it's just a predictable, agonisingly dull tale that fails to exploit its main premise of mistaken identity. One can only assume the original story is a whole lot more stimulating than this made for tv rot.


Alcatel One touch Tribe 30.40 smartphone on T-Mobile pay as you go
Alcatel One touch Tribe 30.40 smartphone on T-Mobile pay as you go
Offered by Prepaymania
Price: £30.00

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely dire, 3 Mar 2014
where to start with this? Well it takes an eternity to switch the thing on for starters - you literally have to squeeze the life out of the on button for ages! If that wasn't bad enough when you attempt to put credit on the phone you are asked to press '1' or '2' to choose an option - fine, but you just try to get the damned number pad up on the screen...it just won't appear, so you can't put credit on!! And the ruddy things keeps going off after about 30 seconds of non-use - not into sleep mode or something sensible, but completely off...and that;s just for starters...

An absolutely horrific piece of junk.


The Green Man [DVD]
The Green Man [DVD]
Dvd ~ Albert Finney
Offered by WholeFilmsMarket
Price: £48.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Ghosts! Who needs em?, 31 Dec 2013
This review is from: The Green Man [DVD] (DVD)
The first two parts of this mini series are rather enjoyable and fairly whizz past as we are drawn into the world of Allington and his mid life crisis. This examination of middle aged frailty is in fact the most successful part of this drama and Finney is a very convincing miscreant subsumed by his own weaknesses primarily for women and alcohol. If only it had stopped there.

But unfortunately it all becomes a bit lightweight once the rather unconvincing and in my opinion entirely superfluous ghost story rears its very ugly head. The ghost story is very weak and never really manages to grip or involve - the human frailty angle is far stronger and much more compulsive - as a result the third episode gets a bit bogged down in trying to turn into a conventional horror story with its demonic trees and ghost who is a dead ringer for the lead singer out of the Damned. Pity really because the last thing this drama needed was a ghost in any way shape or form - it was doing quite nicely before it took a wrong turn down the supernatural path.

Overall a good production somewhat compromised by the ghostly element - much better when focusing on the central character's shortcomings and mid life crisis.


Ayrton Senna The Second Coming.
Ayrton Senna The Second Coming.
by Hilton. Christopher .
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Chris luvs Beco ok?, 26 Dec 2013
Remember when you read Ayrton Senna the whole story by the same author? Well it wasn't quite the whole story - Mr Hilton, without any trace of irony, has somehow managed to squeeze yet another book out of his brazilian cash cow.

The Second Coming...hmm well the clue is in the title..this is Mr Hilton at his most sickeningly sycophantic - every page drips in the author's drool as he waxes lyrical about the object of his desires... the second coming thus is very apt: it turns Senna - quite ludicrously - into a quasi-religous figure who according to Hilton merely has to enter a room for people to fall silently on their hands and knees - such is the man's aura!! Of course to entirely appreciate this book you have to buy into the major premise that F1 is of any importance at all, you really have to believe like Hilton does that men driving cars around in circles for 200 miles once every other weekend has any sort of significance in this world - if you don't buy into this you'll be shaking your head in disbelief at the assumptions in this book.

I found the book utterly embarrassing and who knows perhaps the brazilian racer himself would have blushed at Hilton's gushing panegyrics if he'd ever read this book. I found myself laughing out loud when Hilton introduced 'women; into the text and how they adored Senna in a way that only Jesus Christ could be admired. These women it seems were not just run of the mill groupies, oh no they sensed Senna's inner holiness and were thus drawn inexorably to this formula one messiah...yes, this book really does make these types of assertions and thus is hugely entertaining - especially when one considers that Hilton was writing absolutely in earnest. Some readers might read the Senna story as one of a hugely spoilt and indulged young man who lived in an extravagant bubble called formula one in which he sought nothing more noble than personal glory and adulation, Hardly in the class of Gandhi, Mandela or The Dalai Llama - but don't tell Hilton that!!

On another note the book deals exclusively with seasons 1991-1993, which seems to have provided the author with the flimsiest of premises to write about his idol for the umpteenth time.

Overall a quite nauseating book, which if read in the right context can be exceedingly funny.


Ma Vie Est Une Enfer [DVD]
Ma Vie Est Une Enfer [DVD]
Dvd ~ Daniel Auteuil
Offered by The World Cinema Store
Price: £3.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Farcical french fantasy flop, 18 Dec 2013
This review is from: Ma Vie Est Une Enfer [DVD] (DVD)
This was only ever going to work big time or fall flat on its face.

If you buy into the plot then you'll love it, if you don't you'll just squirm in your seat for 90 minutes.For me it was the equivalent of watching a favourite uncle do the birdie song at a very tedious wedding disco..kept hoping it would get better, but it just didn't - if anything it just got more and more cornier the longer it went on. One of those films that all involved in will probably look back upon and shudder at the memory.

Still love french cinema and will put this one down to a blip.


Elisa [DVD] [1995]
Elisa [DVD] [1995]
Dvd ~ Vanessa Paradis
Offered by A2Z Entertains
Price: £10.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Back to screenplay school, 16 Dec 2013
This review is from: Elisa [DVD] [1995] (DVD)
This is an odd film to say the least, in fact its two films in one - not such a bad structural device, but in this film where neither half is connected too convincingly to the other, it feels all wrong.

The real problem is that the Vanessa Paradis character is non too likeable and comes across as a little madam thus making it very difficult to sympathise with her plight. The first half of the film contains a series of random events as Paradis leads her gang through the streets being very rude and very cool in a street cred sort of way - actually it all gets a little boring after the umpteenth time that Paradis is shown as a street tough gal - she blackmails social workers, interrupts weddings and generally becomes quite an irritating character.

Then the half time whistle.

Paradis then goes off to find her father and those responsible for her mother's suicide which is recounted in a series of not too convincing black and white 'evocative' flashbacks...and yet all the while it is almost impossible to become involved in her story - the girl is so unlikeable that as a member of the audience you never ever feel like rooting for her.

And so enter the obligatory performance from Depardieu playing...well himself, I guess. Here the story could have becomoe very intense, but instead just fizzles out...I hardly cared about the relationship between Deaprdieu and Paradis by the end of this, but the bright spot in this abysmal film was undoubtedly Paradis spending most of the movie in hot pants.

Overall a lame effort that needed a complete rebuild, in fact the whole thing needed to be rewritten - ideally into a completely different film.


Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa [DVD]
Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa [DVD]
Dvd ~ Steve Coogan
Price: £5.00

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars RIP alan, 14 Dec 2013
What a shame the writers decided to put an extraordinary character in an extraordinary situation - far better to have placed Alan in an ordinary situation - higher stakes strategy no doubt in these days of high octane movies, but one which would have allowed the character much more scope than this somewhat slovenly mish mash. i'd much rather have watched Alan getting married or meeting estranged offspring or something domestic - anything but this plotline.

The major problem here is the somewhat clumsy plot dominates the film and hence the characters of Alan, Lynne and Michael almost become afterthoughts - no grand plot was required, no guns or chases - I was far happier watching Alan and Michael in the petrol station, Alan and Lynne were hilarious in the hotel and mobile home - this foray into action comedy/thriller genre was a huge mistake and never really sits well with the elements from the original series.

There are a few gems in here, but nowhere near as many as the TV series which were packed full of memorable moments. Overall a tadge disappointing - though perhaps it was better to end this way and Alan can finally rest in peace.


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