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Kalah (Norway)

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Tom And Jerry - Complete Volumes 1-6 [Collector's Edition Box Set] [DVD] [2006]
Tom And Jerry - Complete Volumes 1-6 [Collector's Edition Box Set] [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ Tom and Jerry
Price: £16.91

3.0 out of 5 stars A flawe edition, 5 Oct. 2013
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Caveat emptor: these films have been cut from 4:3 format to 16:9 and while this works well in most scenes, some are flawed by the cropping of edges. Slightly noticable, more than a little annoying. Some scenes have also been cut, which is even more annoying if you're a connoisseur.
In addition to this, the packaging of this edition could be better: the discs are two-sided and packed with two discs half-way on top of each other, increasing the chance of damage. I would take them out of the original packaging and put the discs in separate covers.

Despite all this, you should pick this up if you're a fan. The music is incredible; much better in both composition, timing and execution than anything done today, and the drawing is also done in the good old way. :)

The Ascent Of Man : Complete BBC Series [DVD] [1973]
The Ascent Of Man : Complete BBC Series [DVD] [1973]
Dvd ~ The Ascent of Man
Price: £15.50

5 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too Dry For Modern Times, 15 Oct. 2012
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This documentary sets out like a series of lectures, given by Bronowski himself, who tours various locations to give more credence to the contents. Needless to say, the facts presented were established truths at the time and although some have naturally been eroded by time and changing paradigms, most of the content still stands today. The age of the documentary, then, does not take away from it the bulk of the message. It does, however, affect the presentation.

In recent years, documentaries have had to develop their presentation in order to reach the masses. TV series and films are being produced in such great amounts that they end up fighting for time on the screen - creating a driving force for producing documentaries that attract the attention of the general populace in new and inventive ways. Content is no longer enough. A popularistic presentation is also necessary. Notably, this is achieved through music, imagery and other exciting effects. "The Ascent of Man" has little of this.

In my opinion, the best documentary is the one that finds a suitable balance between the popularistic and being a pure university lecture. The former is too simplistic and lacking in nuance, the latter is dry and uninteresting. A decent balance between the two offers facts and context in an enlightening fashion; is interesting and engaging without compromising the message.

"The Ascent of Man" resembles a poorly structured university lecture - a lecture full of facts you may as well have read in the book designed for the course. Now, that may be well and good in a world where educating the masses through the television is considered a novel idea, but in today's world, it is no longer new. In today's world, this documentary contains too many dry facts. Thus leaving it too dry to be of use to the young - who lack the facts but have shorter attention spans than more adult students - and too devoid of context to be of use to those who have the facts but require more. On the scale from the purely popularistic to the university lecture, "The Ascent of Man" finds itself closer to the latter than the former. It was made for a world when documentaries were rarer than they are today. Its contents have more or less stood the test of time but, sadly, the presentation has not. Don't get me wrong: it was an outstandig piece of work. It was.

Mostly, this will serve you as an archive, or as a way of illustrating the evolution - not in mankind, but in the presentation of documentaries.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 3, 2013 2:19 AM GMT

Bone: One Volume Edition: 1 (Bone Series)
Bone: One Volume Edition: 1 (Bone Series)
by Jeff Smith
Edition: Paperback
Price: £29.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Best ... Comic ... Ever, 16 Oct. 2010
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"Bone" is a wonderful epic comic book rivalling the likes of "Asterix" and "Calvin & Hobbes" for its pure innovative quality. It has humour in the style of Frank Cho's "Liberty Meadows", storytelling quality the likes of which I haven't seen since reading "The lord of the rings", and a drawing technique I can only describe as deliciously simple.

The story is one of fantasy, resembling "The lord of the rings" in its general setting: small, relatively innocent creatures away from the safety of their peaceful home, cast into a scene of great turmoil, war and death far from what they're used to. The bone creatures will face great challenges, as their destinies become intertwined with the survival of the very world. Written like that, it doesn't sound like anything you haven't read before, but God - as they say - is in the details. The sub-plots are magnificent, the dialogues tremendously witty, and the drawing ... oh! the drawing!

It's all in black/white, and it's supposed to be that way (so sayeth the author himself). Trust me, colour takes away the magnificent contrast, and such editions should be avoided. This particular edition contains all the albums (which were released separately) in one very large package.

One drawback is that Amazon will ship this item as it is, book inside cardboard casing. To keep the precious pages safe from rain or other wet exposure, it should have been wrapped in plastic film.

Dante's "Divine Comedy": Hell, Purgatory, Paradise
Dante's "Divine Comedy": Hell, Purgatory, Paradise
by Dante Alighieri
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good contents, shame about the QT, 16 Oct. 2010
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This marvellous book contains the epic of Dante as he wanders down through Hell to reach Purgatory and Heaven. It is an English translation of the original vulgare Italian, so something will be lost in translation. The poetry, that is. Still, a must-read for anyone who has heard about "Dante's inferno" but can't really say anything about it.

The book is of medium quality, as the hard cover has a tendency to pull on the corresponding page, creating tension. This basically means that the cover tries to pull itself loose from the pages within, causing tears between them. Were it not for the fact that this seems to be a production error rather than the part of Amazon, and that it isn't really that big a problem, I'd have returned the item.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 9, 2010 9:16 AM GMT

Tiger Suit
Tiger Suit
Price: £6.08

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MORE! MORE!, 16 Oct. 2010
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This review is from: Tiger Suit (Audio CD)
The only drawback with this latest CD from Scottish sensation KT Tunstall is that there aren't more than 11 songs on it; having heard it all from beginning to end, all I wanted was to hear even more.

On "Tiger Suit", Tunstall mixes club rhythms with the already familiar sonorous voice heard in "Eye to the telescope" and "Drastic fantastic". It is a well-balanced, well-composed album consisting of both slow, quiet ballads and rock, mixing various percussion instruments with her guitar sounds and vocals. If you're a fan already, you're going to enjoy this very much. If you're not, you will be after this ...

The item arrives in a paper/cardboard sleeve, not those plastic CD covers of olden times. It's a good job they put that sleeve in a plastic foil casing, as it was raining on the day it arrived. Inside you will find the CD along with a nice little booklet containing the lyrics and a couple of sketches.

The Return of the Musketeers [VHS] [1989]
The Return of the Musketeers [VHS] [1989]

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pity it's not available on DVD..., 23 Jan. 2010
This third item in Richard Lester's series about the Musketeers Athos, Aramis, Porthos and D'Artagnan. Once again our gallant heroes are thrust into the political events of France and England in the 1600s. Once again the truly excellent actors Oliver Reed, Christopher Lee, Richard Chamberlain, Michael York and others entertain us with their feats of glory.

Much like the earlier films, Lester's approach blends comedy with seriousness. Background comments from bystanders, peasants and servants are casually yet thoughtfully strewn across the scenes with great timing; the swashbuckling is not as fierce as in the younger days of the musketeers, but remains entertaining in all respects.

It is a real pity that this item is not available for purchase on DVD.

Battlestar Galactica: Season 2 [2005] [DVD]
Battlestar Galactica: Season 2 [2005] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jamie Bamber
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £6.14

5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Show Continues, 16 July 2009
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Season 2 continues the travels of the battlestar "Galactica", focusing more on relationships between the characters we got to know in season 1. As a natural expansion of the series, both the subplots and the main plot grow. Some of the relationships become complex, others stay superficial.. and frankly I don't think they're always doing a good job on it. The acting is superb, although I question the probability of hardened soldiers sobbing over people they've met only recently. A couple of guest stars appear, most notably Lucy Lawless and a brilliant Dean Stockwell. The story is immensely gripping. It had me totally hooked from start to finish; I watched the whole season back-to-back, pausing only for sustenance and the occasional trip to the head.

The production is excellent. Let me give you a few examples: someone says the words "body bags" and then the camera cuts to a different scene with someone wearing bag-like raincoats... someone gets hurt, and the film slows as a drop of blood hits the floor, making it clear that human or Cylon: they both bleed. In a later episode, another blood drop falls the same way, linking one wound to another... It's all so terribly well made! It's as if they have thought through every single scene, trying to make each one special. And they are.

The episodes aren't as well interleaved as in season 1; you can't skip the credits after each episode, but at least you can still use the fast forward button. Instead of a single booklet with plastic holder "pages", the season 2 discs are held in separate holders with two discs in each; a solution I see as more cumbersome, but also more durable, than the layup for the season 1 set. As special features go, there are some nice deleted scenes, including one showing the first meeting between Tigh and Adama - a split second of which we have seen before - which is quite a nice moment, actually.

Watch this like I did, and you may as well order the next season right away. The ending of season 2 opens up for loads of character developments, loads of flashbacks, loads of new subplots - all in all a very exciting prospect. You'll be wanting to see what happens next, believe me...

Battlestar Galactica: Season 1 [DVD]
Battlestar Galactica: Season 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Edward James Olmos
Offered by Helgy
Price: £10.48

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Favourite, 29 Jun. 2009
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I have been looking for years to find a replacement for "Babylon 5" as the best sci-fi series on DVD. I thought "Firefly" was it... but that was cancelled after just one season. This time, though, it looks as though I might have a new favourite.

Season 1 of the "Battlestar Galactica" series begins where the miniseries left off. The story should be known to all by now; the few human survivors of the new Cylon war escape the colonies by means of a fleet of ships, escorted by the last known battlestar class military vessel - the Galactica. The Cylons have evolved since the last war; some of them look like humans now, and they have infiltrated all walks of human life to achieve their goals. This opens up for a host of plot lines. Anybody could be a Cylon, anything could happen... at any time.

The writing is part of what makes this show great. And with all respects to the creator of "Babylon 5" (J. Michael Straczynski), the stories in this show rivals his in quality. Perhaps not better, but certainly close. The excellence continues in the post-production. The camera work, the acting, the editing and the music amounts to nothing short of a work of art. Argh! It's so incredibly good it makes my ears bleed!

In the tradition of modern sci-fi shows, the story counts more than the effects. There are no lasers or shiny bits spinning around to satisfy your geekness; the fighters move by use of thrusters and shoot by use of guns and missiles. If you're hit, you might be dead or you might survive - depending on where the bullet struck. Realism. I love it. Especially since it's so well-made.

Each episode is about 40 minutes long, and plays interrupted by intros to each one. The intros consist of a short "previously on the show" summary, immediately followed by the teaser to the current episode, and the theme. The item is well-made. The discs are firmly locked in place inside the cover by proper plastic holders - like a booklet with the holders as pages. Shame they discontinued this layout; the other seasons don't look exactly the same as this first one - if you care about that sort of thing. There are some deleted scenes, but nothing major. The real reason for buying this thing, is that "Battlestar Galactica" is an amazing show. If you're a sci-fi fan, you might as well buy it now. And pick up season 2 while you're at it. You won't be able to stop after the first, believe me...

Battlestar Galactica - The Mini Series [2003] [DVD] [2004]
Battlestar Galactica - The Mini Series [2003] [DVD] [2004]
Dvd ~ Edward James Olmos
Offered by WorldCinema
Price: £3.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Beginning, 22 Jun. 2009
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A brilliant start to the new series, presenting the explanation of how the battlestar Galactica ended up heading the fleet escaping from the colonies attacked by the cylons, and the introduction of the major characters of the running show. This is where you have to start watching if you intend to see the rest of the series. The acting performances are great; the effects mind blowing; the story line more interesting than most science-fiction series out there.

This mini series plays as if it were a movie. Just put it in, hit play and the whole thing runs without pause; no breaks for credits or replaying of the intro - just 174 minutes and 11 seconds of scenes woven together as elegantly as nobody's business.

The bonus material, "the lowdown", starts out like a trailer, but carries on with commentaries from the makers and actors. For a little over 20 minutes, you get to hear about the challenges of remaking an old series with new technology and new ideas, as well as the actors' views on their characters and their relationships. This all mixed with clips from the actual film. Considered a must-have on new DVD releases, the bonus material is exactly what you expect it to be; a little extra taste of what is to come, but nothing exceptional.

Murder On The Orient Express [DVD] [1974]
Murder On The Orient Express [DVD] [1974]
Dvd ~ Albert Finney
Price: £4.00

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic title, stellar cast, 9 April 2009
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In this timeless classic, our Belgian detective (in his usual timely manner) finds himself on the Orient Express just as a murder takes place. A snow drift forces the train to stop, giving Poirot time to interview each of the passengers and investigate what turns out to be a most intricate case. As the detective unravels the clues left by the unknown assassin; the statements of the suspects; the murder's connection with the notorious Armstrong case from years earlier, we get the distinct impression that things are not as simple as they seem... and now we have ourselves a show.

I find Albert Finney's Poirot is not as purely cultivated as that of David Suchet, who has had years to perfect his role as the Belgian detective... but frankly, this is a matter of taste. Finney is not at all bad, even if I don't personally fancy his particular interpretation. The accent is a bit poor, but his body language, even his loudness does not bother me; it is a different way of doing it, but not at all out of place.

The rest of the cast, however, deserve a paragraph of their own. It is a list of juggernauts - Lauren Bacall is sharp, cold and talkative; Jacqueline Bisset shy and beautiful; Michael York the perfect gentleman; Sean Connery his usual authoritative and cultivated self; Vanessa Redgrave a golden bird lighting up the room whenever she enters; Ingrid Bergman a visual talent très magnifique. The list goes on, and that Bergman was the only one to take home an Oscar after this is a mystery to me - it could just as easily have been a nomination for Connery, Bacall and especially the director: Sidney Lumet. Frankly, the director did an excellent job keeping all this talent in check; you would want to unleash them all, giving each of them more time on the screen just as a matter of course... but that might have been a case of getting too much of a good thing - taking the limelight away from the mystery and its main protagonist: Hercule Poirot.

This item offers good value for money. It is a single DVD in a normal box, no extra wrappings, booklets or discs. You don't want that in a thing such as this. This film is a classic, and you don't really want hour upon hour of interviews with people you have hardly heard of, telling you about the intricacies of classic film-making and how the cast members insisted upon getting fresh pineapples in their trailers every morning... face it: all you want is the film itself on DVD - no sugar added. This item gives you that pleasure for less than a fiver - a good deal, my little grey cells think.

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