Profile for amazon customer > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by amazon customer
Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,640
Helpful Votes: 442

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
amazon customer

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
Where Eagles Dare  [1968] [DVD]
Where Eagles Dare [1968] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Clint Eastwood
Price: £5.13

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It may be a purely escapist look at that conflict but is nonetheless a great ride., 18 Dec 2014
The perfect gift for all movie enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKER

In the tradition of films like The Guns of Navarone comes this World War II Adventure Film. Both are based on Alistair MacLean novels and have more in common with spy thrillers then any war drama. Where Eagles Dare in particular reminded me of the various James Bond films of the era, especially On Her Majesty's Secret Service for obvious reasons. OHMSS would actually come out the following year.

Burton makes for an unexpectedly engaging action hero and seems intriguingly comfortable, especially during a brutal fight on top of a moving cable car that still makes me wince even after all these viewings. Eastwood, who had not quite hit the A-list as yet, shows all of his qualities and also seems very comfortable as a straightforward action hero who doesn't get much to say but makes up for it by gunning down half the Nazis that were probably on the planet.

You don't put Where Eagles Dare on looking for a realistic portrayal of WW2 - you put it on to have two and a half hours of cracking action. It's one of the very best war action films ever made and you even get the lovely Mary Ure wielding a machine-gun. What more could you ask for?


Ben-Hur [1959] [DVD]
Ben-Hur [1959] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Charlton Heston
Offered by MusicnMedia
Price: £4.85

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ben Hur - in a class by itself., 17 Dec 2014
This review is from: Ben-Hur [1959] [DVD] (DVD)
The perfect gift for all historical buffs THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

This spectacle stands alone. It has never been matched before or since its release. It emerged amid the corny, cheesy, overacted, holier than thou biblical epics of the fifties and doesn't resemble any of them. Its characters were contemporary; none of that vacant "holy" look that permeated the genre. Charlton Heston was never better; his propensity for overacting reigned in. Stephen Boyd was the epitome of the hateful villain in his role as Mesalla. His seething hatred and lack of personal character was conveyed perfectly.

The chariot race was the greatest cinematic achievement in history. It was flawless, from the cavernous arena where the race took place to the breathtaking spectacle of teams of four horses running flat out without a hint of background music. It was pure realism - white knuckle, riveting, terrifying realism. What an achievement in direction and editing to give the impression of a seamless sequence of jaw dropping action. The crashes, the brutality, the beauty of the horses; nothing compares.

The sea battle was better than anything attempted in the realm of pitched battle at sea. The galley slaves, chained to their positions as their ship is rammed, was unforgettable, even though historically it has recently been proven that the rowers were in fact freemen, and therefore not chained..

This beautiful cinematic masterpiece was perfectly cast,had a triumphant, inspiring score, had pageantry that captured the glory of Rome, and ultimately inspired Christians with its reverent portrayal of Christ from birth until crucifixion. Yet, it wouldn't have worked without Charlton Heston - perfectly cast and displaying a command of acting rarely seen on the screen - subtle, powerful, explosive; unbelievable. Ben Hur - in a class by itself.


Antony and Cleopatra
Antony and Cleopatra
by Adrian Goldsworthy
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Triumph!, 13 Dec 2014
This review is from: Antony and Cleopatra (Hardcover)
The perfect gift for all Roman history enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

Adrian Goldsworthy after his success with that excellent biography Caesar: Life of a Colossus, once again proves that he is master of the genre with this his latest dual biography, Antony and Cleopatra. As with Caesar Goldsworthy's approach is chronologically through the lives and related events of our main protagonists. His aim is to dispel the romantic myths of this very dubious pair that has plagued us through the ages, and this he manages to do with his characteristic exhaustive examinations.
This is an illuminating account of two of the most overrated personality's in history. Tailor made for the general reader. Highly recommended.

The perfect companion to this excellent work, is the ROMA VICTRIX beaker. In his review Adrian says:
Over each scene is a profile of Vespasian, much like a coin - the centurion and his chums have shields with the Capricorn on them based on the Arch at Arausio, and plausibly interpreted as belonging to Legio II Augusta, which of course Vespasian commanded in AD 43. The designers have done their research well and got things right. All in all a very handsome and well made piece!


Waterloo [DVD] [1970]
Waterloo [DVD] [1970]
Dvd ~ Rod Steiger
Offered by hunting_for_a_bargain
Price: £25.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite possibly the best Napoleonic movie ever made!, 3 Dec 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Waterloo [DVD] [1970] (DVD)
The perfect gift for all Historical movie enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
I've always thought, as a film enthusiast, that it's an asset to have as little knowledge of history as possible. On many occasions, history buffs become so swept up in spotting inaccuracies that they forget to appreciate the quality of the film-making itself, the director's breathtaking vision, the unrivalled spectacle. Who was Napoleon? Once we've eliminated the possibility of his being a particularly nasty and tyrannical farmyard pig, all I can offer you is that he ruled France for a time during the early nineteenth century, and met his downfall at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Armed with this basic knowledge, I positioned myself before the biggest screen I could provide and began to watch 'Waterloo (1970),' directed by Sergei Bondarchuk. Just three years earlier, the Soviet filmmaker had released 'War and Peace (1967),' his epic eight-hour adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's celebrated novel and, drawing on his experience in filming battle sequences, concentrated all his efforts on an extravagant and awe-inspiring recreation of the Battle of Waterloo.

American actor Rod Steiger was cast in the role of Napoleon Bonaparte, a seemingly-unusual choice to portray a Frenchman, but Steiger brings a wonderful intensity to the character. Throughout the battle, Napoleon is depicted as a courageous and level-headed leader, who, due to the constant harassment of illness, was hampered in his decision-making and ultimately defeated, an outcome he accepts rationally, though not without much sorrow. Steiger even bears a considerable physical likeness to the French ruler, which is always beneficial. For the role of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, Christopher Plummer was cast, and he brings an air of unruffled nobility to the role, responding to the events of the battle with a calm, almost amused, expression that speaks of years of experience and unimaginable courage under fire. Orson Welles makes an all-too-brief cameo appearance as King Louis XVIII, and excellent supporting performances are delivered by Jack Hawkins and Dan O'Herlihy. Of course, the real talking-point of the film is Bondarchuk's incredible rendering of the famous battle, perhaps one of the most astounding ever committed to the screen.

It has been said that, while shooting 'Waterloo,' director Sergei Bondarchuk was in command of the seventh largest army in the world. More than fifteen thousand Soviet foot soldiers and two thousand cavalrymen were employed as extras during the Battle of Waterloo, and the organisation required to coordinate such an army is almost too staggering to imagine. Nevertheless, the director's commitment benefits the film substantially, and there are few sights more magnificent than thousands of soldiers erupting over the muddied hills of Waterloo, the aerial camera (supervised by cinematographer Armando Nannuzzi) sweeping smoothly over the devastation, swathed in canon smoke and the sporadic patter of firing rifles. The portrayals of each side in the battle are distinctly different, but relatively even-handed; whereas the French are depicted as loyal soldiers who pride themselves on tradition and ritual, the British are shown to be high-spirited and also rather down-to-earth. The Duke of Wellington ultimately emerges as the victor, but there is little solace to be found in his triumph, as he examines the bloody aftermath and tiredly reflects that "next to a battle lost, the saddest thing is a battle won."

The glorious Battle of Waterloo extends throughout the final hour of the film, more than making up for the poorly-paced sequences that preceded it, from Napoleon's return to France to his arrival at Waterloo {rumours of a four-hour director's cut, which might have improved the depth and pacing, have been persistent but unfruitful}. Despite this noticeable choppiness at times, there are regular instances of excellent editing, most notably on the night preceding the main battle, during which the two leaders are plotting their respective stratagem. Bondarchuk cleverly places Napoleon on the right of screen, and the Duke of Wellington on the left, leaving the audience with the curious illusion that the two men are conversing with each other. When it was released in 1970, 'Waterloo' was a considerable commercial disappointment, an unfortunate result for a film in which so much talent is evident. Aside from producer Dino de Laurentiis, another film-making heavyweight felt the effects of the film's box-office failure, as financiers for Stanley Kubrick's Napoleon Bonaparte biopic withdrew their support. That he never made the film is an incredible regret for anybody who has read Kubrick's 1969 interviews, in which he describes so enthusiastically his intentions for this would-be masterpiece.


Le Colonel Chabert [VHS] [1995]
Le Colonel Chabert [VHS] [1995]
VHS

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unforgettable masterpiece!, 3 Dec 2014
The perfect gift for all Historical movie enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
Colonel Chabert (Gerard Depardieu), one of Napoleon's greatest officers is declared dead following the battle of Eylau in 1807. But Chabert is not dead-he survives a severe head wound and after suffering great hardships, he returns to Paris years later only to discover that he has been declared dead, and his wife (Fanny Ardant) is remarried to Count Ferraud (Andre Dussollier). Chabert, now in poor health and suffering from memory loss, has lost his wife, his social status, and his fortune amassed under Napoleon.

Chabert seeks legal recompense through the services of the brilliant lawyer, Derville (Fabrice Luchini), but what exactly does Chabert hope to regain? His wife is married to another, his military past, in a France now ruled by the Bourbons, is an embarrassment, and his fortune has disappeared, and only the enigmatic Countess Ferraud holds the key to the missing fortune.

The film, Colonel Chabert is based on the book by Balzac, and as any Balzac fan knows, no other writer delved so intensely into the intricacy of the human soul-Balzac is fascinated with motivation-what drives us to commit illogical or destructive acts. Colonel Chabert is the story of a man who survives numerous atrocities only to discover that everything he longed to return to has simply vanished-even he is a ghost. Chabert's rage about his lost fortune-the loot and plunder from various military campaigns under Napoleon-serves under to underscore his anachronistic approach to wealth. Loot and plunder are no longer popular under the Bourbons, and the Countess Ferraud has moved on and now stakes her wealth on sugar mills & colonialism. Meanwhile Count Ferraud chases shimmering illusions of rank and power through the peerage, and he pesters his wife for money to indulge his schemes. Chabert wants to regain his fortune and stake it on an ad-hoc military training camp for those who wish to restore the emperor to the throne.

Gerard Depardieu as the shabby, destitute Colonel is magnificent. He is in turns violent, wretched, haunted, and pathetic. Fanny Ardant is in the words of Derville, "superb"-a desperate woman who escaped a brothel but who now fights for her position by keeping a tight rein on the purse strings. But the most fascinating role falls to Fabrice Luchini as the lawyer Derville-Derville is intrigued by the Colonel and his former wife, and in deciding to accept Chabert's case, he treats it as an exercise in observing human motivation. Ultimately it's Derville, a rising member of the bourgeoisie who holds the reins of power on the film. One of the most powerful scenes in this film (and there are many) takes place in Derville's office when he describes the moral atrocities lawyers witness-and participate in every day. Derville's speech is adapted directly from Balzac's novel.

"Lawyers see worse things than writers can invent. I've seen wills burned, mothers despoil their lawful children on behalf of those bred in adultery, wives use their husbands' love to murder them or drive them mad so as to live with their lovers. I've seen ugly quarrels over still-warm corpses. I have seen crimes, Sir, that human justice is powerless to punish. Our offices are sewers that no one can clean."(Derville to Chabert

Structurally, the film is flawless. The opening sequences of the frozen dead at Eylau are immediately contrasted with the noise and activity of Derville's office. Chabert sometimes relapses into reveries of his past life, and flashbacks include intimate moments with his wife and then scenes from the Battle of Eylau. One scene, accompanied just by the elegance of Beethoven's music (Ghost) shows the prelude to the battle as the French cavalry line up for a charge. There's a certain beautiful grandeur to this, which echoes the empty rhetoric of war-noble sacrifice, adherence to duty and blind courage in the face of death. The film follows the cavalry charge towards the Russians and then records the collision of the cavalry with musket power. All the elegance and beauty collapses in the face of such bloody, useless carnage-the realities of war. This film includes some of the most magnificent, terrifying and moving battle scenes ever seen on the screen. I have watched this film at least a dozen times, and I am still as fascinated by it as I was the first time I saw it. The director, Yves Angelo, skillfully creates sympathy for both the Colonel and the Countess, and shows that nothing is ever simple, and the complexities of life often cause us to commit acts that are never completely understood. The costumes are marvellous, the acting flawless, but for me, ultimately, it was the story that makes this film-a peerless study in human nature-unforgettable.


Band Of Brothers - Complete HBO Series Commemorative Gift Set (6 Disc Box Set) [2001] [DVD]
Band Of Brothers - Complete HBO Series Commemorative Gift Set (6 Disc Box Set) [2001] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ron Livingston

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tribute to the common soldier., 29 Nov 2014
The perfect gift for all historical movie enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
Band of Brothers finds us following the exploits of Easy Company of the US Army 101st Airborne division throughout their campaign in Europe, from their inception as raw recruits and grueling training all the way through to the end of the war. The commentary from the actual soldiers that were in those situations is touching, to say the very least. These commentaries also help to move the character development along quite a bit, as it lets us into their own personal thoughts on the situations they faced.

This project, to the best of my knowledge was undertaken at roughly the same time as Saving Private Ryan, using many of the same locations and also employing DreamWorks special effects, giving it a very familiar feel for anyone that has seen Private Ryan. As I've already touched on, the character development is greatly due to the fact that this story is not told in a two hour segment, but throughout several hour long intervals, giving us the chance to truly "get to know" the characters personalities as the story develops.

All of the actors in this series do an excellent job at playing the roles appropriately and making us believe the hell these men were put through.

This mini series is everything Saving Private Ryan was, as well as everything it wasn't. If you're a fan of war time stories and "army" movies, this is hands down the best of the best... I don't even think I could name ANY movies about WWII that could even compare to this one.

It's doubtful that a more fitting tribute to the men of Easy Company could have been devised than BAND OF BROTHERS, a truly remarkable film in every conceivable way. By turns engrossing, provocative and deeply moving, it stands as a testament to all those who fought and died for our freedoms, a lifetime ago.


Masada [DVD]
Masada [DVD]
Dvd ~ Peter O'Toole
Price: £6.70

4.0 out of 5 stars Impressive but flawed mini series., 27 Nov 2014
This review is from: Masada [DVD] (DVD)
The perfect gift for all historical movie enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
By casting Americans as the Jews and Brits as the Romans the original intention must have been to make the Romans the bad guys, but despite a highly effective "bad guy" supporting performance by David Warner (who won an Emmy for this) the Romans come across as reasonable and fair-minded and with the exception of a radiant Barbara Carrera the Jews come across highly unsympathetically as religious fanatics and terrorists. This is largely due to casting the cream of British theater acting as the Romans and comparatively weak US television actors as the Jews, the best of whom is Peter Strauss, who although a decent actor, has his limitations shown up in every scene he shares with O'Toole, who is at the top of his game throughout. O'Toole's penultimate speech at Strauss's house is wonderfully written and breathtakingly accomplished; it is so powerful, and his disgust at the fate of the Jews so profound, that the closing real-life scenes at Masada are greatly diminished in impact and fail to achieve their intended emotional effect, coming across instead as banal and jingoistic. Still, well worth your time and money


Roman Soldier vs Germanic Warrior - 1st Century AD (Combat 6)
Roman Soldier vs Germanic Warrior - 1st Century AD (Combat 6)
by Lindsay Powell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.38

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another worthy offering from Osprey., 26 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The perfect gift for all Roman history enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
Another good offering from Osprey and a great narrative from Lindsay Powell a meticulous historian. Considering the length of the booklet Powell packs in an enormous amount of information.

This volume revolves around the Varian disaster in the Teutoberg forest AD9 and the aftermath including the punitive campaigns of Germanicus and Tiberius, initially the author deals with the strategic situation prior to the conflict.

The next chapter deals with recruitment and motivation, morale and logistics, training, doctrine and tactics, leadership and communications, the use of allies and auxiliaries.

We then move on to the three campaigns and battles that decided the fate of the Augustus policy in Germania, described in great detail with excellent strategic maps, tactical illustrations, photographs and good artwork from peter Dennis.

At the end of the booklet is a comprehensive bibliography of ancient and modern sources, highly recommended


Pylos and Sphacteria 425 BC: Sparta's island of disaster (Campaign)
Pylos and Sphacteria 425 BC: Sparta's island of disaster (Campaign)
by William Shepherd
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Addition to my Collection!, 25 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The perfect gift for all history enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
An excellent concise and in-depth work depicting one of the most decisive battles in history. The authors narrative simple and easy to follow, with fine illustrations and map work throughout. Most of the points I was going to highlight have already been made by earlier reviews. Suffice it to say this is an exceptional Osprey work. Highly recommended.


The Hollow Crown - TV Mini Series [DVD]
The Hollow Crown - TV Mini Series [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ben Whishaw
Price: £9.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hollow Crown a Shakespearean extravaganza., 23 Nov 2014
The perfect gift for history enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
The Hollow Crown brings the plays Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V to viewers in a very comprehensive manner. While each director offers their own take on their respective serial, it really does feel like a unified body of work here, a dramatic telling of the history of the British monarchy.

Ben Whishaw, Jeremy Irons and Tom Hiddleston each portray the titular kings, but they are not the only big names here. Patrick Stewart, Julie Walters, Geraldine Chaplin, John Hurt, Richard Griffiths, David Morrisey, and others show up. This is a project that certainly attracted a high calibre of talent and for good reason.

These are solid adaptations of Shakespeare historical dramas Or tragedies, depending on your point of view and school of thought. If you' re not sure if you're a fan of "the bard? this probably isn't the best place to start. Henry V might be pretty accessible, but in the context of watching it after Richard II and Henry IV, it is much more interesting.

"The Hollow Crown" is couched in production values that lend an air of authenticity to all proceedings, from the use of appropriate locations around the UK to the gritty realism of Danny Cohen, Ben Smithard and Michael McDonough's cinematography as well as Odile Dicks-Mireaux and Annie Symons' striking period costumes and the I-can-feel-the-castle-drafts production designs of Andrew McAlpine, Donal Woods and Alan MacDonald.

Although it's a shame Henry V doesn't quite match the earlier parts of this four-play Shakespearean extravaganza, The Hollow Crown is still a wonderful achievement, bringing the Bard to vivid life and really showing what a great writer he was (and not just because your English teacher told you so). Highly recommended.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20