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Mr. A. E. Hall "brother_of_sadako" (Liverpool, UK)

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Lawrence of Arabia - Two Disc Set [DVD]
Lawrence of Arabia - Two Disc Set [DVD]
Dvd ~ Peter O'Toole
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.77

17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'There may be honour among thieves but there's none in Politicians', 1 Oct. 2006
A friend of mine said recently, while we watched Lawrence of Arabia: 'No matter how many times I watch it I never want it to end'. How else can you properly describe a film that goes on for more than three hours, contains many scenes which focus on a desert for long stretches and has no sex or drugs but yet still works?

David Lean directs the film to perfection, as it not only hooks you to the screen but captures the intense, stuffy, dream-like killer that is the desert - where time stands still. The acting is also stunning, with Peter O'Toole as the enigma of El Aurens, solider, prince of Arabs, lord of the desert, masochist, showman, genius and fool. Alec Guiness turns in one of the best performances of his career (and that really is saying something) and Claude Rains as the untrustworthy Dryden, telling lies to hide the truth, but remembering where he put it.

Many images in the film are awe-inspiring; the hero returning from the desert with Gasim in tow and the perfect show of Lawrence against the azure sky as the instigator of the fight between the two tribes is revealed (it was written after all), the camera panning during the charge on Aquaba to show the guns pointing to the sea or the blustering officer shaking Lawrence's hand in headquarters, not realising he has met him before, albeit where he reacted quite differently.

The script is also beyond belief. Among my favourite lines are:

Lawrence: 'There may be honour among thieves but there's none in Politicians';

Dryden: 'And let's have no displays of indignation. You may not have know but you have certainly had suspicions. If I've told lies, you've told half lies. And a man who tells lies like me, merely hides the truth, whereas a man who tells half lies, has forgotten where he put it'

Sherif Ali: 'A man can be whatever he wants'

El Aurens: 'Yes, but he can't want what he wants'.

Prince Faisal: 'The virtues of war are virtues of young men; passion and bravery. Then old men must make the peace, and the vices of peace are the vices of old men; mistrust and caution'.

Just for good measure, let me just say that the music is also exceptional, which when combined with the acting, directing, sets, story and script make a perfect film which never ever gets old.

Spartacus [DVD] [1960]
Spartacus [DVD] [1960]
Dvd ~ Kirk Douglas
Offered by Quality Media Supplies Ltd.
Price: £10.29

9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, Only it Doesn't Seem Like Kubrick, 1 Oct. 2006
This review is from: Spartacus [DVD] [1960] (DVD)
Spartacus is perhaps Stanley Kubrick's oddest film, in that it is 'normal'. It is a Roman epic, one o0f many produced around the 1950s and early 1960s but is one of the better ones. It does not quite measure up to Ben Hur but is still very good.

Kirk Douglas, Jean Simmons et al deliver great performances and the battle scenes are more gory than you would expect, and of course there is the now legendary 'I'm Spartacus, I'M Spartacus, I'M Spartacus' scene. It makes for a very entertaining few hours.

The film falls short of the great man's other work because of two points: Firstly, it could have been directed by anyone; the obcessive perfectionism and innovatism appear absent it what is a more standard epic. Also, the dialogue is often a bit corny, which given how the film is so heroic, nearly proves fatal.

Overall, Spartacus is very good but not incredible, but certainly worth watching.

Double Platinum
Double Platinum
Offered by samurai media JPN401
Price: £16.37

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars For Completionists Only, 24 Sept. 2006
This review is from: Double Platinum (Audio CD)
I have previously reviewed all of KISS' albums; all 18 studio records, the five live albums, the four solo albums, the tribute album and the compilation albums. Some are fantastic (or better) and some are not as great. For me as a KISS fan, all are worthy. Double Platinum is the only album for which even diehard fans will struggle to find a purpose.

Despite being the first of the compilations, it is the least interesting, there is virtually nothing to recommend it. Compiled from KISS first six studio albums, the tracks have been remixed, generally to poor effect, 100,000 Years in particular is ruined and Calling Dr. Love just sounds plain silly. Then there is the re-recording of Strutter in Strutter '78. This song serves little purpose other than to prove just how important quality production is to music; what was once a magnificent rock song sounds like a feeble and limp pop-rock jam. The only song that makes the album even remotely worth getting is a very good remix of Hard Luck Woman, other than that there is really nothing at all.

For the new fan looking to start there collection - start elsewhere, there are better compilations and album out there. For the completionists - this should be the last one you buy!
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 5, 2016 8:33 PM GMT

Star Trek 6 [DVD] [1992] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Star Trek 6 [DVD] [1992] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by M and N Media US
Price: £21.22

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'I've Never Trusted Klingons...and I never will', 10 Sept. 2006
Star Trek VI is a fitting conclusion to the original cast and crew. It provides thrilling drama and action and helps bridge a little of the gap between the original and the Next Generation.

The explosion of a Klingon moon has crippled the empire of the great alien warriors, leading to the unthinkable - peace between the Klingons and the Federation. The USS Enterprise is sent to escort an Imperial Klingon cruiser to Earth. Disaster strikes when the Enterprise appears to fire on the vessal - not ordered by Kirk or anyone on board. The Chancellor aboard the vessel is assassinated and Kirk and McCoy beam aboard to help and are promptly arrested. What follows is political intrigue, rebellion and deceit as Kirk and 'Bones' try to escape from the hell where they are imprisoned and Spock leads the Enterprise to defy Star Fleat to rescue them and determine just who plotted against the Klingons, how and why. The film ends with a spectacular battle, a last gasp rescue and a glorious shot of the Enterpise disappearing into the distance, bringing to an end the greatest quest of the greatest ship in film history.

Always exciting, well written and acted, the Undiscovered Country is a superb film, well worth watching for Trekkies and the casual fan alike and a great way to close the series. Live long and prosper.

Star Trek 5 [DVD] [1989] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Star Trek 5 [DVD] [1989] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by M and N Media US
Price: £21.49

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Made to be a Spectacular Finale to the Star Trek Phenomenom - it Failed!, 10 Sept. 2006
By the time Star Trek V, the Final Frontier was made, the creator the series - Gene Rodenberry - was getting old. Some said it was this that led to his desire to create a spiritual and radically different film. Unofrtunately, it is an odd numbered Trek film, and one of the worst.

After a strange beginning involving a mysterious vulcan enticing an alien on Nimbus III to join his unexplained quest the plot starts well enough with the main characters involved in a light hearted shore-leave. Then it starts to slide...

First off, the story is a little silly; the new Enterprise A is in tatters, with the transporter not working and many other faults. Despite this, Kirk and co are ordered to resolve a crisis on Nimbus III. Yes there are other ships in striking distance which actually work but it has to be the Enterprise! And of course those pesky Klingons are there again! No Romulans to provide a little variety, Klingons again.

After the renegade Vulcan - Sarek, Spock's half brother as it turns out and his band of rebels hijack the Enterprise the films starts to get ver confusing. Sarek has some kind of ability to 'brainwash' people by taking away their inner pain but we have no idea how. Then Sarek's plot is revealed - they are to travel to the mythical planet of Shakari, beyond the great barrier. Once beyond the barrier the enconter a mythical being who we assume is 'God'. Only problem is that God is not as nice as we would like him and wants to hijack the Enterprise. However the viewer is left asking the very question Kirk puts to 'the almighty': 'What does God need with a Starship?' Why is 'God' confined to this planet? And why does a photon torpedo and a volley from a Klingon Bird of Prey finish him? And what on Earth is going on here? None of these questions are answered and the film ends with a big question mark. It is too strange and seemingly thrown together to really enthrall.

I would rank this as the worst Star Trek film of the lot as it is less fun than Insurrection and less epic than the Motion Picture. If it had never been made, it would still have been easy to skip straight from IV to VI and far more fun. For Trekkies only!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 28, 2012 12:29 AM BST

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home [1987] [DVD]
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home [1987] [DVD]
Dvd ~ William Shatner
Offered by gaLcH
Price: £4.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'No, I'm from Iowa, I only work in Outer Space', 12 Aug. 2006
Star Trek IV is the most unique of all the Star Trek films. It is part science fiction and part comedy.

The films begins with the core crew of the USS Enterprise on Vulcan, preparing for the voyage home to Earth. As they journey back, the Earth is 'attacked' by a mysterious probe that is crippling the planet. Kirk and co quickly identify the probe as tracking down the humpback whale, a species extinct for hundreds of years, which has angered the species who have sent the probe. The only way to solve the problem is to set sail for the one place that still boast the whales; a place more dangerous and crazy than any the Enterprise has ever encoutered before - San Francisco in the 1980s.

Like later Star Trek films such as Generations and Insurrection, the film is a lot like an extended TV episode with light hearted humour. Unlike those to films, it is very dramtic and exciting and the humour is funny rather than corny. Scotty struggling to come to grips with the keyboards and mice of 1980s computers and Chekov asking a policeman about the whereabouts of 'nucleur wessels' in a thick Russian accent are hysterical.

Very unconventional, very funny, very enjoyable, true Trekkies should love it, as should everyone else.

Star Trek Generations - Dvd [1995]
Star Trek Generations - Dvd [1995]
Dvd ~ Patrick Stewart
Offered by Bridge_Records
Price: £3.55

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Would have been Better as a Two-Part TV Episode, 9 Aug. 2006
Generations is strange Star Trek film indeed. In some ways it was brilliantly done and in others quite poor.

Starting with the good, it is fantastic to finally see the Enterprise B, despite it being a bit too much a rip off of the Excelsior. When moving forward to the Next Generation part, the scene on the ship in the holodeck is excellent and a great way to bridge the Gap between the two eras. Also, Malcom McDowell's performance as Sorin is typically fine, and the end for the Enterprise D is stunning as is the Nexus.

Where it fails is that it does seem like a two part TV episode, albeit a grand one. Especially considering how the film used the same Enterprise from the TV show it would have doubtless been better to split the film in two, with the first part ending when Picard and Sorin enter the Nexus and then have a dramatic conclusion to the series.

Also, despite the enduring thrill of seeing Kirk in action again, having him, and his fellow retirees Scotty and Chekov handle the crisis with the Lakul almost single handedly while the Enterprise B crew sit around like lemons is a bit silly.

Finally - the Klingon Bird of Prey! Not only is the footage of it drawn mostly from Star Trek VI but it's a Klingon Bird of Prey - again! We had Imperial cruisers in I and II and then a Bird of Prey in III, IV, V, VI and now VII. Romulans for a change anyone? Or how about the Ferenghi? After all, the way in which the Klingons trade with Sorin for their own profit fits the big-eared devils much better.

Generations is not without merit but is far too flawed to be up there with the best and remains and odd numbered Trek film.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan [DVD] [1982]
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan [DVD] [1982]
Dvd ~ William Shatner
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £7.90

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'For hate's sake, I spit my last thee!', 8 Aug. 2006
I can still remember recording Star Trek II off the TV when I was about seven years old. I must have watched it twenty or thirty times and to this day I still love it. At worst, it is the second best of all the ten Star Trek Movies.

The Enterprise is no longer the great ship that saved the world in the first film, and its crew seem equally redundant. The once great ship has now become a training vessel for young recruits, and it is on one such routine jaunt that trouble strikes. The ship is called to investigate the strange breakdown in communications on Regular One - a space station building a device that can create life on a lifeless planet (and destroy whatever exists on it already) - when the Enterprise is confronted by another Star Fleet Vessel - the USS Reliant. Unbeknownst to Kirk and crew, the ship has been hijacked by Khan, a genetically engineered genius, hell bent on taking his revenge on Kirk. The encounter that follows is one of the best ever scene in science fiction.

Among its many strengths are the music (composed by James Horner, who would go on to win an Oscar for Titanic), its directing by Meyer (who later directed another great Star Trek film in VI the Undiscovered Country), its battle sequences (Star Wars eat your heart out) and the brilliant performance of Ricardo Montalban as Khan, with his last words to Kirk among the best moments in the whole series. And of course, the final climax of the film, with Spock's solution to the seemingly unanswerable `Kobayashi Moru' test proving the kind of drama that was unfortunately absent in some of the later Star Trek films.

Star Trek II is probably the best of the series. In terms of the drama, the plot, the acting, the directing, music and action, it scores top marks all round. A very well made film which should be of interest to Trekies and non-Trekies alike.

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock [DVD]
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock [DVD]
Dvd ~ William Shatner
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £8.78

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'The Kobayashi Moru has set sail for the promised land'., 8 Aug. 2006
Star Trek III, The Search for Spock is often knocked for being one of the 'poor' Trek films. Yet whenever I hear people talk about the 'even numbered films' being so much better than the odds, I always come back to this film which is the best exception.

There are certainly flaws; once the Enterprise has docked in orbit near Earth, tedium sets in. Thankfully the film does pick up shortly, but during that segment, it appears as though the series is tiring, with a crew without a purpose and the investigation of Genesis proving unengaging.

The strengths, however, are many and strong: The Klingon Bird of Prey is outstanding, as is Christopher Lloyd as its Captain. The battered Enterprise looks superb and this is BY FAR the best film for shots of the great vessel. Both the docking and the theft of the ship are wonderful sequences, as it the brief encounter with the Klingons. The best scene in the film (and perhaps the best in all of Star Trek) is the eventual destruction of the Enterprise. The scene is mesmerizing; never in my mind could I have expected to see such a fate for the great star ship.

Unfortunately the ending fails to captivate in quite the way it should. While certainly not boring, the incredible reincarnation of Spock is underwhelming.

The Search for Spock has some ordinary moments; these are mainly the parts in between the action which appear to be lacking in emotion (quite fitting seeing as how Leonard Nimoy was behind the camera). Nonetheless, the action packed parts in between make up for this and make this film thoroughly worthwhile.

12 Angry Men [DVD] [1957]
12 Angry Men [DVD] [1957]
Dvd ~ Henry Fonda
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: £6.39

66 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peddlers of the Common Blockbuster Take Note, 2 Aug. 2006
This review is from: 12 Angry Men [DVD] [1957] (DVD)
12 Angry Men is a forgotten classic. When talking about the greatest films of all time, it rarely comes up. Yet EVERY single person I have met who has seen the film has adored it.

In a movie world where big celebrities and expensive special effects seem to be what brings the money in, this film is so refreshing. In this film, there is only one star name - Henry Fonda. He plays one of only 14 speaking parts in movie. There are four sets: The courtroom (2 minutes at the start), outside the courthouse (30 seconds at the end), and then the bathroom and the jury room. No fancy effects, just 12 characters with nothing but a script in their heads to give to keep you entertained. This is how films can be done!

The plot is simple; a young boy is accused of murder. The case seems open and shut to 11 of the jurors who vote guilty. Only one (Fonda) is even unsure. When he wants to discuss further he is greeted by two bigots, desperate to put 'one of them' to the chair, a man who is only interested in going to watch his beloved Yankees and cares little for the outcome and a host of weary men, who are sick of the whole situation; very few are even prepared to listen. For the next two hours, every fact of the case is ironed out until what was black and white becomes very grey.

12 Angry Men is one of the finest films I have ever seen. Sidney Lumet's directing captures the stuffy, intense and claustrophobic atmosphere of the room while all the actors make their characters memorable. This film is a dream.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 23, 2013 2:59 PM BST

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