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Mr. D. A. Donnelly (Texas)

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Adrian Mole: The Prostrate Years
Adrian Mole: The Prostrate Years
by Sue Townsend
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece, 22 Dec. 2009
I just finished reading "The Prostrate Years" this morning and I have those those same bittersweet feelings you get at the end of a great holiday. You feel happy and satisfied, yet sad that it is over. I have kept up with Adrian ever since his first appearance in "The Secret Diary..", and with each new volume, the books feel like you are catching up with old friends. Of course, alongside Adrian we find familiar faces in Pandora, Pauline and George, Sharon and Nigel, who have been their from the start. We again meet the people who entered Adrian's adult life such as Daisy, Gracie, Michael Flowers, Glenn, etc. Although, as some other reviews have stated, some characters are missing (I felt a void that one of my favourites, the legendary poet Barry Kent, didn't appear), there is plenty of entertainment to be found in the likes of Mr Carlton-Hayes, Fairfax-Lycett and my personal favourite, Bernard Hopkins.

Like the other books, 'The Prostrate Years' had me in tears of laughter. I very seldom "laugh out loud" when reading, usually I will smile to myself or "laugh inside" when I read a funny book, but Sue Townsend never fails to put me in a complete state of laughter - shoulders moving up and down, tears in the eyes, head tilted back, laugh booming - the works. And this one is no different.

Although it does deal with Adrian's battle with cancer and the sad, harsh realities of the illness - Adrian losing his hair, enduring radiation and chemo, his progressive weakness and dependability, Sue's genius is to blend these sad moments with brilliant Mole-style humour. Adrian attempting to buy a wig, his mothers insistence on driving him to and from the hospital, his interactions with his doctors, etc.

There are many subplots and themes woven into the narrative - the Father-son dynamic between Mr Carlton-Hayes and Adrian, Rosie Mole's paternity and the Jeremy Kyle show fiasco, Adrian and Pandora's relationship, Daisy's affair with the local toff - and it all takes place against a background of 2007/2008 British society. All the economic, political and social problems faced by the country also impact the villagers of Mangold Parva.

Most interesting of all, even though we all loved Adrian from the beginning, it's been great to see him evolve from a naive, pompous nerd with a self-inflated sense of importance into a man who is genuinely caring, compassionate, loyal, funny and somewhat wise - which just makes you wish all the more that the poor sod could catch a break now and then.

Can't recommend it enough. Warning: The deliberately open ending will leave you wanting more.

Lost in Translation [DVD] [2004]
Lost in Translation [DVD] [2004]
Dvd ~ Bill Murray
Price: £2.66

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "For relaxing times....make it Lost in Translation time", 29 Jun. 2004
Well I saw this movie on the big screen, and I just finished finished watching the DVD version, and I still think this is a fantastic film. I'm not going to get all artsy with everyone, but some of the visuals in this film are fantastic - the landscapes, the use of Tokyo's nightlights, the panoramic hotel views, you really feel like you are there. Someone already mentioned the shot of Bob Harris playing golf to a sensational backdrop..and it really is wonderful to see.
The acting and the story are of the highest quality. I've always been a fan of Bill, and although this is a departure from the traditional 'wise cracking' character we know him for, he still hits the role perfectly.
Both leads are perfect in their roles, although I think Scarlett Johnasson is a little bland at times. And why does Giovanni Ribisi always look, and talk, like he's just got out of bed?!
The growing relationship between the two is fabulous to watch. Themes of loneliness, isolation and emerging friendship are explored and it is sweet to watch them form a relationship in the midst of their foreign experience and personal problems.
As well as touching and engaging, this film is also very funny. and there is much humour in Murray's confusion with the Japanese culture, particularly whilst shooting the whiskey commercial.
The DVD extras are good..with an interesting music video (lots of Tokyo city shots), and the full version of Bob on 'Best Hit TV' which is extremely cringeworthy. The conversation would be better if Sofia Coppola had some charisma (you cannot dispute her film-making talents but my God she can be boring!). There's also the usual deleted scenes and trailer, which are always good to have.
All in all its a fantastic movie and a great DVD package. I don't think this is the sort of film to watch with friends. It's definitely a movie to watch alone, perhaps late at night, to truly appreciate the films message and feel its power. Great stuff.
And I can't review this without mentioning that Mr Murray was robbed of his oscar. Watch his performance here and I'm sure you'll agree.

Laurel & Hardy Volume 11 - Saps At Sea/Music Shorts [DVD]
Laurel & Hardy Volume 11 - Saps At Sea/Music Shorts [DVD]
Dvd ~ Stan Laurel
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £4.46

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Horn-A-Mania!, 18 Jun. 2004
What can I say...this L&H classic is one of my alltime favourites. Unfortunately, my wage packet was rather tight this month and I could only afford one Laurel & Hardy DVD from this newly released collection. I chose 'Saps at Sea' and wasn't disappointed...and neither will you be!
First, a brief synopsis for those who havn't seen this one hour film. Stan and Ollie are working in a horn testing factory. However, the constant noise and irritation brings Olly down with an extreme case of 'Horn-o-phobia', turning him into an uncontrollable violent maniac whenever he hears any sort of horn.
After unsuccessful attempts to recover at home (which involve usual L&H chaos including a unique music lesson, an encounter with a cross eyed plumber and Stan's destruction of their apartment lobby), Ollie take's his doctors advice (the legendary 'Fin') and decides to live on a dock-tied boat, in order to benefit from the sea air.
Unfortunately the boat doesn't stay tied to the dock for long, and ends up drifing far out to sea...with the presence of escaped convict "Nick". With the boys at the mercy of this violent killer, it's a case of keeping him happy until help arrives. And if you think THAT goes according to plan, you really need to watch more L&H!!!
The DVD presentation is is the clearest picture I have ever seen for one of these classics, and the sound enjoys excellent restoration also. Not bad for a movie made approximately sixty years ago! There are some good extras on here, including "Below Zero" when our heros try their luck at busking.
There is also the option of watching the movies in glorious B&W or even the computerized colour versions that were created in the early 1990s. Plus a Spanish version of 'Below Zero' and a silent movie are thrown in for good measure.
A great movie, wonderful presentation. If you're having one of those days when its raining outside and you feel low...spend an hour with the won't be disappointed.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 14, 2012 3:43 AM GMT

Here I Am [CD 1]
Here I Am [CD 1]
Offered by firefly-music-store
Price: £2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, 2 July 2002
This review is from: Here I Am [CD 1] (Audio CD)
Being a Bryan Adams fan for many years I was overjoyed to be channel surfing one day and come across the video for this new song "Here I Am". I was blown away by the whole package - the video (which I'm dleighted has been included on this CD), the song, it's a fantastic new direction for Bryan. His career has come of age as he still maintains the husky voice, guitar riffs and rock orientation but gives it a new style - very deep and thought provoking. I could get lost in this song. Any fans won't be disappointed by this song. Adams at his best :)

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