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Kalah (Norway)

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Battlestar Galactica: Season 1 [DVD]
Battlestar Galactica: Season 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Edward James Olmos
Offered by Helgy
Price: £14.52

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Favourite, 29 Jun. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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
Price: £2.44

5 of 5 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: £3.99

14 of 14 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.

Conspiracy [DVD]
Conspiracy [DVD]
Dvd ~ Kenneth Branagh

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Study In Organized Evil, 23 Jan. 2009
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This review is from: Conspiracy [DVD] (DVD)
This film about the infamous dinner at Wannsee in 1942, where "The final solution to the Jew problem" was discussed and outlined, is an excellent depiction of Evil put into system. The discussions range from the legal problems concerning mixed marriages, Jew relocation and use of resources, to the fastest and most effective way to exterminate the highest number of people at the lowest possible cost. The discussion is different from the well-known raving propaganda of Hitler and Göbbels in that these are poised, balanced and calm. It is not a little corporal shouting to a crowd, but highly intelligent people discussing the difficulties before them, each putting well thought out arguments behind their points of view. There are no weapons involved, no action music, blood, torture or exploding cars. If I were to put a single description on this film, it would be this: "Cold-blooded".

I have also watched the German version of the film, and I have to say that what feeling of authenticity is lost in the translation from the original language, is made up for in acting performances. The actors in this film perform no less than brilliantly, giving life and personality to each and every individual. Their emotions are carried not merely through the lines they recite, but through their facial expressions and body language. Wonderful direction, exceptional acting. The film is alive. It's as if you're actually there. It is truly enlightening and should be watched by any person who has an interest in history, psychology, philosophy or sociology.

Live From Baghdad [DVD]
Live From Baghdad [DVD]
Dvd ~ Michael Keaton
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £24.99

3.0 out of 5 stars CNN's Rise to Power, 21 Oct. 2008
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This review is from: Live From Baghdad [DVD] (DVD)
This is partly the story on how CNN went from being a "little network that could" to being the biggest TV news network in the world. The live 24 hr. news service CNN provides came to its right in Iraq, as a chain of coincidences and hard work from the team's producers caused them to be the only news broadcaster sending live from Desert Storm.

The acting is excellent, the script is decent, the story intriguing. The problem is that it all becomes a bit much to squeeze into a 100-minute-film. The rise of CNN is a factor; the relationships between the CNN employees is a factor; their outlooks on the oppressive Iraqi regime is a factor... how are you supposed to portray all this properly in under two hours?

I was left with a feling of satisfaction after seeing this; t'was quite all right. But I wouldn't necessarily see it again and again, even if it does have the delightful Bonham Carter in it. Honestly, some of the enormously talented actors aren't given much to work with. Still, I don't regret seeing it, and I don't regret buying it.

Top Gear: The Challenges 2 [DVD]
Top Gear: The Challenges 2 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jeremy Clarkson
Offered by 247dvd
Price: £4.03

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Greatness... with a slight drawback, 21 Oct. 2008
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This is a collection of challenges with our favourite team of car presenters and their house-trained racing driver. If you're a fan of the Top Gear programs, you need this on DVD.

The video is crystal clear, the sound is good, and there are English subtitles if you need them. You also get the interviews/laps by Lewis Hamilton and Simon Cowell, but don't be fooled by the "extended interviews" tag. They're just the normal interviews the way they appeared on TV. The other extras are for hard-core enthusiasts, but not really necessary if you prefer watching the program and the guys interacting rather than the cars.

The one drawback I wil mention is that the MUSIC is different from the one used in the TV show. Due to the unique way in which the BBC is funded, they were able to use a variety of movie soundtracks and collections on the show. But since this DVD is a commercial thing, they had to change all the music. And while the TV show music blokes know what they're doing... the guys who did this don't. In short, the music was better on the show.

Longitude [DVD]
Longitude [DVD]
Dvd ~ Michael Gambon
Price: £7.57

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can It Get Any Better?, 17 Aug. 2008
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This review is from: Longitude [DVD] (DVD)
Having watched this photoplay of one of the great, yet little known, people of history, I was left to wonder if the film could have been any better. Having watched it again a dozen times, each time more critically, I am left to answer unequivocally "no". The plot, the casting, the effects, the script, the production; everything. It's "all good."

Set in two worlds, "Longitude" sets out to depict the lives of two men: the first is John Harrison, maker of the first correct timepiece for use at sea, struggling with the Board of Longitude re the recognition of his work. The man dedicated his life to finding a practical solution to the problem of finding longitude at sea, a solution to which all navigators today owe their livelihoods. As is said: "There isn't a sailor alive today whose path isn't made safer, shorter and straighter by the possession of a timekeeper". The second man is Rupert Gould, a former w.w.1 naval commander who suffers from post traumatic stress (commonly referred to at the time as a "nervous breakdown"), with a fascination for clocks and timepieces. Gould sets out to restore the all-but-forgotten Harrison to his proper place as one of the world's great inventors, with such fervor that both his personal and his professional life suffer.

The story itself is interesting enough to make for an excellent documentary. Add to that a certain amount of intrigue, humour and storytelling, and you have an entertaining spectacle for young and old. Hammer out a decent script, line up some beautiful locations, and all that's left is find some good actors. Thank God they didn't screw up there. Sir Michael Gambon does the role of his life as John Harrison, Jeremy Irons portrays his modern-time advocate Rupert Gould absolutely brilliantly, and Ian Hart grows into the role of Harrison junior with every word he says. Add to these an absolutely amazing stock of supporting actors, with emphasis on Brian Cox, Andrew Scott and Samuel West, and you feel like you're standing right next to the gates of history. This is how it really happened; Gambon IS John Harrison, and "Longitude" is nothing short of a masterpiece.

Death At A Funeral [DVD]
Death At A Funeral [DVD]
Dvd ~ Matthew Macfadyen
Offered by 101Trading
Price: £4.99

3 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It's Trying Too Hard..., 17 Aug. 2008
This review is from: Death At A Funeral [DVD] (DVD)
It starts out nice, with a decent (albeit unoriginal) plot, dedicated actors and fair direction. There are problems both with the script and the execution, however. "Death at a funeral" sets out to be your standard British comedy, with intricacies and comic plots like improper nudity, irritating relatives and poo in somebody's face. Sounds promising, doesn't it. Moving on to the story lines, there's plenty of potential: a funeral, love, drugs that make people "funny", a gay midget with naughty photographs, not to mention the old coot in a wheelchair who needs help to reach the toilet. So with all this; all these potentially funny story lines, and good actors too... why doesn't it work? Well, it just doesn't. It falls short in several areas.

First of all there are the plot holes. Without going into specifics, you'll know what I mean. There are lots of things that just aren't logical, for no apparent reason, and some that are plain impossible. Then there's the blatant disregard for comic tradition, i.e. a joke is less funny the second time around. Trust me when I say there isn't much in this movie you haven't seen before; there isn't much you won't be able to guess. If it wasn't for the actors' good execution of various lines, you'd be bored with them. Because you've most likely heard them before. If you've ever watched a British comedy before, you'll recognize the plot, and if you're a keen comedy watcher, you'll be annoyed at the lack of originality.

To top it off, there's the conclusion. Rounding off the story. Summing up. The director has strewn loose threads all over the place, and now is the time to gather them all together and tie them elegantly into a knot which can only be described in one word: anti-climactic. Again, you'll know what I mean. After watching for the better part of an hour you're left wondering, "where will all this end up?" Disappointment looms when you realize the answer is, "nowhere, really."

If you watch and love British comedy, you'll hate this. If you haven't watched such things, well, then chances are there's something better out there, starring Hugh Grant or Rowan Atkinson. Kalah's top tip: avoid.

Time Team - Best Of [DVD]
Time Team - Best Of [DVD]
Dvd ~ Tony Robinson
Offered by adfilms
Price: £21.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Love This Thing, 11 Aug. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Time Team - Best Of [DVD] (DVD)
This 3-DVD package contains a collection of "the best" episodes of the series, as chosen by the team members. I absolutely loved this collection, and it made me want more. I would have bought the entire series, were it out on DVD.

Along with some core episodes, the extras contain some little fun the team had with a certain geofizz captain, and comments on each episode by Tony, Mick and Phil.

I absolutely loved this, and if you were a fan of the Time Team series, you will too. Get it. I promise, you won't be sorry.

The Complete Sherlock Holmes (Collector's Library Editions)
The Complete Sherlock Holmes (Collector's Library Editions)
by Arthur Conan Doyle
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Have Classic, 11 Aug. 2008
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The COMPLETE Sherlock Holmes collection is something you HAVE to have on your bookshelf if you ever read a book. Like Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Alexandre Dumas, Aldous Huxley, Oscar Wilde and SO many more... Conan Doyle is such a big name that no proper collection is complete without it. Have you ever said: "Elementary, Dr. Watson", knowing it was taken from a Sherlock Holmes story without ever having read one? My point exactly. A proper degree of classical education requires a certain amount of FIRST-HAND knowledge. You need to read the books yourself.

In this case, it doesn't take much of an effort; the stories of Holmes & Watson are quite entertaining. Some of them, frankly, aren't as good as they're hyped up to be, but others are everything you've ever heard.

The book is made in a solid hardcover, with properly well-printed, large pages with gold-lined edges. It's quite a big book, but each story isn't too long. You can read it some, and then leave it for a while if you so wish. This is great bedtime reading, though, and (as I said) something you need to have.
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