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T. M. Fuller "TommyF" (England)

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Good Girl, The [2003] [DVD]
Good Girl, The [2003] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jennifer Aniston
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.73

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Seriously Funny but Seriously Laughable!, 30 Dec 2008
This review is from: Good Girl, The [2003] [DVD] (DVD)
I thought this film was a complete joke rather than a comedy. I have three main points that really frustrated me throughout having to sit through this awful piece of middle of the road Hollywood - so called - comedy.

First and foremost, why the hell did Gwen die of being sick and having 'a tummy ache' - quote from film. Her death was completely random, unnecessary, showed little planning and even worse timing because it neither fitted with the story (the audience barely knew the girl - totally undeveloped)and produces no real consequence or message. This pointless character's death was made into the one really comedic point in the film when the Store Manager announces 'Glen (instead of Gwen) is dead' - and this is meant to be a comedy film!?

Secondly, the relationship between Holden and Justine is another undeveloped aspect of the film- they end up having sex in the first 20 minutes of the film and have no connection bare a boring shop job. There is little chemistry between the two and the idea that Holden is supposed to be the guy of justines dreams is completley ridculous as he is mentally unstable and emotionaily stunted. He lacks any charm or maturity, childishly expecting Justine to leave her boring life for him with the money hes going to steal from his parents when he kills them. All he seems to do is cry in the car that isn't even his and sit with his boring parents watching television - WHAT A LIFE!! The passion betwen them was non existnce, and i couldnt help but cringe throughiut the lack lustre attempts to portray an ounce of chemistry. Even the sex scene was the most boring and unpassionate piece of acting ever.

The character of Bubba just added to the grotesque nature of the characters depicted. Bubba was presented as a junkie low life that somehow got Justine to sleep with him while his vile dog sat in the corner, occasionally jumping up to join in! Barbaric!! What did amuse me was the fact that during the sex scene Jennifer Aniston wears her top and looks like she's going to fall asleep - so bad is Bubba at sex.

The sub plot of gwen randomly dieing was topped by the useless character of Justine's husband who was fundementally thick. Anistons attempt at a stong southern accent was another laughable aspect and highlighted how this film was ultimatley an awful attempt at a comedy attempting to portray a romance - this film severly FAILED. The Good Girl failed on every level and certainly was not Seriously Funny as described on the DBD case - which is now in the bin!

Journey's End (Penguin Modern Classics)
Journey's End (Penguin Modern Classics)
by Robert Cedric Sherriff
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotion, Friendship juxtaposed with Pure Horror and Brutality, 6 Dec 2007
'Journey's End' opens in the bleak environment of the Western Front as a new arrival James Raleigh comes to join a group of soldiers in the trench system. The 'journey' on which the soldiers embark upon is contains two human attributes, the first being emotional attachment, the second being the power of perceiverance.

Sherriff does not need to go into the graphic details of what happens when the men 'go over the top', however he builds up a number of passionate friendships that both move and endear the reader. The first of these relationships is between Commander Stanhope and Officer Osborne who is 'the only man who could understand me' as described by the company commander at the moment of Osborne's demise. Their relationship is one of two brothers as they look after each other on the Front line - 'what would I ever do without you old chap' exclaims Stanhope, 'I do not know' responds Osborne - inferring the loving relationship the two characters share. At the moment of Osborne's death I was shocked at the anger that welled up inside Stanhope as he responded to the comments from the survivors of the daylight raid on 'the Boche'. He shouts at Hibbert - 'What did you say!...Get out of my sight!' in anger at losing his 'most trusted friend' and the sense of loss is only solidified by the explosion of emotion that feels his dialogue whilst conversing with Raleigh (the soul commanding survivor of the raid).

The audience can fully understand the sense of anger that is perpetuated by Stanhope at the loss of his comrade. The loss moves the reader as the emotional outpouring fills six pages of intense dialogue between the commanding officer and the other soldiers.

The opposite reaction can be found at the climax of the performance. Stanhope must deal with another loss, this time of his school friend and new arrival Raleigh. The young officer's death is one of immense sadness and brutality as the 'young boy's' dignity is ripped from him as 'he cannot walk sir' - though the most sombre moment comes when Raleigh asks 'is there something on my legs, I cannot move them' unbeknown to him that he is in fact paralysed from shrapnel breaking his spine. This horrific brutality is finalised with the death of 'that fine soldier'. This moment is devoid of anger or confusion, but bears down to the horrific truth of war time conflict. Sherriff highlights the horrific truth with the final dialogue between another officer and Stanhope. Stanhope must leave his fallen friend, 'I'm coming now', as he is called to duty. The audience is left feeling immense for the soldier who thought 'it awful nice of you to bother' when Stanhope fetches him a blanket and a candle as his last dying wish.

Sherriff allows two redeeming features to the two horrific deaths of the soldiers lie with the ignorance of Raleigh and the rapid death endured by Osborne whilst 'waiting for Raleigh on the Front line'. However this only adds to the brilliance of the play as a piece of anti war artwork.

Sherriff is fantastic at delivering a dialogue that not only amuses in places and heartens the audience but also plunges them to the depths of dispair at the brutality and senselessness of war. Two young men die in the play, along with six nameless others, however Sherriff only touches the tip of the iceberg with the play, but my does this tip deliver a piercing cut to the audience. It is emotive and passionate in its description of the group of men in the trenches, but accompanying this is a forceful message that highlights the stupid senselessness of the war effort and pays remeberance to the young souls who fell throughou the Great War.

Birdsong (Vintage War)
Birdsong (Vintage War)
by Sebastian Faulks
Edition: Paperback

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Brilliant - not an account, but a chilling narrative, 23 Aug 2007
This review is from: Birdsong (Vintage War) (Paperback)
I found `Birdsong' to be one of those books that once one got into their complex storyline; became an irresistible barrage of thrilling drama and passionate description. Sebastian Faulkes is a master of descriptive writing and there is no better example of his descriptive narrative than `Birdsong'. His use of multi time-settings and powerful, moving episodes of war and love dramatisation combine to form an accurate but passionate representation of the horrors of the First World War.
He begins with a romance, which is developed in pre war France, in the aristocratic region of Amiens. Stephen, Faulkes' character, lives with the Azaire family, whilst inspecting an industrial site in Amiens. Stephen falls in love with Rene Azaire's wife, Isabelle, and they spark off a passionate love affair. The love affair crashes back to earth when, after the newly joined couple flee the Azaire manor, and Isabelle learns that she is pregnant and returns home to plea with her husband. Faulkes describes pre France beautifully, as he pictures life in the country, `lounging under the sun for hours' and `fishing in the blue tinted lake'; and he painstakingly builds upon a `fancied romance', only for it to anti climax in his characters parting company; cleverly just before the entrance of the next chapter of his story.
Faulkes then moves forward a few years in time, to the Somme trenches in 1915/1916. He begins his account, introducing Jack Firebrace, a tunneller for the British army, who spends `most of the daylight hours underground' digging and burrowing through No-Man's Land, attempting to break through the enemy frontline. The story follows Firebrace for a few chapters and then Jack is united with an older Stephen, who is now a captain of his own regiment. Stephen then becomes the main focus of the story as he helps many of his men as they fall wounded or into madness. Faulkes is brutally brilliant here, and this part of the book involves one of the most devilishly powerful pieces of description I have ever read, as Stephen `clambers over the top into a wave of sound' and moves across No Man's Land. It is pure genius, the way in which, Faulkes tells of Stephen's hellish trudge across to the German's trenches; a journey which he does complete, only to be left in a shell hole gasping for water and comforting a fellow officer who has been shattered by fear. Faulkes' descriptive techniques is not just based upon trench life, he manipulates the fears of the reader, as he tells of Stephen's struggles whilst he is buried underground with his fellow solider, Jack Firebrace. Faulkes writes with obscene intricacy and holds the reader's attention drawing Jack slowly to death, whilst Stephen fights to keep Jack breathing and find away out of the earth tomb that they are both encased in. Firebrace's death is one of powerful bluntness, as Faulkes writes of Stephen's anger that `Jack had not fought to survive'; and holds Stephen's life in the balance, until he is retrieved by German soldiers to find out that the war is in fact over. The War is the part of the novel, which for me, gives `Birdsong' such acclaim as the `perfect but brutal war novel' as he blends camaraderie with friendship, loyalty and duty to Queen and country.
However, this it not the final part of the book, as half way through the war epic, Faulkes introduces a Seventies era, in which he introduces Stephen's granddaughter, a woman who is now desperate to find out everything about her estranged grandfather, of whom she never knew. Faulkes is not so adept at writing in the modern day as he is as moving through history, he falls into pitfalls where he makes society seem so much easier than it should be, and he really doesn't give enough time for the modern day storyline to be developed and examined. It still fits nicely with the rest of the book, however, I feel that he should have made more of an effort to link the war-time world to the Seventies era through more than the `whim of a granddaughter' .
Nonetheless, Sebestian Faulkes' novel is sheer brilliance if one wants to read an intense war narrative with an underlying romantic message. He writes with integrity, accuracy and subtlety as he describes pre, during and post War time eras, though the later era is a little rushed. His description is simply outstanding, his narrative voice and characterisation impeccable, and his story development near perfect. I love his passion and interest displayed through his war-time description as he seems to really `get down and dirty' to the truth about life in the trenches. He makes it seem real and almost become a three `D' image in which the reader can feel, taste and touch in their mind. It is simply a fantastic book, one of the best books I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Sebastian Faulkes, definitely a writer of pure descriptive and narrative genius.

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