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Josh "The Claw" (Wherever I'm needed)

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Breaker Morant [1980] [DVD]
Breaker Morant [1980] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Edward Woodward
Price: 5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Military courtroom drama that bursts out into the bush, 30 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Breaker Morant [1980] [DVD] (DVD)
Nicely done drama about the British war with the Boers, where a 'take no prisoners' policy was officially-unofficially adopted by some units and the courts martial that ensues when the 'wrong' person gets shot. We get to see two different sides, both brutal in their way, of British Empire management. A good drama and a cultural study, made by Bruce Beresford who went on to make the excellent 'Black Robe' that immerses the viewer in the mission of French Jesuit priests in Quebec, in 1634, and the troubles and revelations they encounter.
Both are dark studies of turbulent clashes of cultures and interests. Breaker Morant. though not as accomplished as the latter Black Robe, is still a great film.


The Battle Of The River Plate/In Which We Serve/We Dive At Dawn [DVD]
The Battle Of The River Plate/In Which We Serve/We Dive At Dawn [DVD]
Dvd ~ Reginald Purdell
Price: 6.25

4.0 out of 5 stars Three classic War at Sea films at a great price, 30 Jun 2014
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In Which we serve is the best of the three, We Dive at Dawn is a close runner-up, with The Battle of the River Platte a worthy but not very inspiring plodder in the rear (would have done five stars if it had been on a par with the other two).
Absolutely classic British WWII movies, especially the older b/w ones. Patriotic flag wavers, but realistic, sweaty, gritty and sombre too, even some shipbuilding and home-front soap-opera thrown in as well.
Perfect for the war or naval enthusiast.


Generation War [DVD]
Generation War [DVD]
Dvd ~ Volker Bruch
Price: 13.75

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good WWII drama showing how the war effected a group of German friends, 30 Jun 2014
This review is from: Generation War [DVD] (DVD)
This is a good WWII drama, from a German perspective, showing how a group of friends were effected by the War. This series feels a little improbable as so much is squeezed in, but enjoyable if you can forgive that. Much criticism has been heaped upon this production by people who say it tries to shift the blame of many of the terrible things that took place on to other nations, but I think they fail to appreciate that this drama is not necessarily trying to tell the whole story (too much to tell) nor trying to tell a typical story, rather it wanted to show that not all Germans were total Nazis and in fact some had Jewish friends. So the story is exploring how those Germans tried to live their lives through that dreadful time. I think the makers of the program assume that most of the history is generally known, or is there to be read, and just wanted to add their piece to the puzzle. It was obvious to me that the German authorities were responsible for rounding up Jews and issuing awful laws, creating fear and oppression that was clearly influencing the behaviour of all of the characters. Showing anti-Semitism in other nations was not inaccurate, although of course it is not representative of those nations as a whole either, it was and still is a global issue. So, well worth a look, with a good story, excellent actors, authentic settings and period detail, action and drama.


The Fort
The Fort
by Bernard Cornwell
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly Cornwell's best book, 22 Jun 2014
This review is from: The Fort (Paperback)
I think this is the best Cornwell book that I have read. It does not have the same dashing adventure of the Sharpe novels or relentless action of his other historical novels, but he has recreated a fascinating piece of American War of Independence history for us to explore. It is a brilliant description of how the fledgling American states bungled the campaign to oust an English military expedition to reclaim a useful harbour, as a lack of professional forces and clashing personalities hampers their efforts to defeat the smaller but fully professional English force. I hope Bernard Cornwell does more in this vain. Ian Gale's 'Four Days In June' covering Quatre Bras and Waterloo is a similarly detailed account of events over a few days, also an excellent book and probably his best.
Don't expect the usual exciting Cornwell romp, but do expect to be drawn into a well crafted, researched and intriguing historical drama. Top notch!


Anno 1790 [DVD]
Anno 1790 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Peter Eggers
Price: 13.75

5.0 out of 5 stars Detective series set against revolutionary Europe, 16 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Anno 1790 [DVD] (DVD)
Excellent TV series about a doctor who gets roped in to law enforcement in late 1700's Sweden, bringing enlightened thinking to the previously crude methods of investigation (formerly they just tortured the first obvious suspect into confessing). Fairly well done series that may however, good as it is, have been wisely dropped when it was. Many series long outstay their welcome in my opinion, and this tale had explored about all it could in the relationships and historical events of the setting. A change of scene would have been required to extend the doctor's story. Norse Noir for the historians amongst us.


Iron Lord [DVD]
Iron Lord [DVD]
Dvd ~ Yaroslav. Tysyachu let nazad
Offered by Springwood Media
Price: 4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Russia at the beginninmg of the Middle Ages, 16 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Iron Lord [DVD] (DVD)
Amusing tale of Russia in the year 1010, fighting slave traders and conquering new territories. It is an odd concoction of elements: pagans, Christians, Vikings, bears, fighting, treachery and comedy. It is entertaining but was obviously too much going on for the budget available, yet I liked it anyway. Like a big budget fantasy/historical TV drama series squashed into one big bosh.


Outside The Law (Hors La Loi) [DVD]
Outside The Law (Hors La Loi) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jamel Debbouze
Price: 12.45

4.0 out of 5 stars Algerian fight for indepence, by immigrants in France, 16 Jun 2014
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Illuminating story of Algerian battle for independence, but by immigrants in France rather than in Algeria, so a good companion to the film 'The Battle For Algiers'. A good film but not quite getting the best entertainment out of the complicated subject matter. The directors previous film 'Days of Glory' scores better there, whilst also covering some of the same Algerian issues but during WWII.


Escape [DVD]
Escape [DVD]
Dvd ~ Isabel Christine Andreasen
Price: 4.54

3.0 out of 5 stars Medieval revenge film, 16 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Escape [DVD] (DVD)
Much is good in this film, a medieval chase/horror/revenge tale ... with some great acting, locations and props, but the clichéd story and bad guys lets it down. Effective tension and action however.


The Story Of G.I. Joe [DVD]
The Story Of G.I. Joe [DVD]
Dvd ~ Burgess Meredith
Price: 7.50

4.0 out of 5 stars True story of American G.I.s, 16 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The Story Of G.I. Joe [DVD] (DVD)
True story of war correspondent Ernie Pyle, following an infantry regiment through North African and Italian campaigns. Not all out action, but an interesting and moving account of war. Generally not the best of acting, but Burgess Meredith is excellent as Ernie Pyle and Robert Mitchum also stands out.


Gangster [DVD]
Gangster [DVD]
Dvd ~ Scott Speedman
Price: 5.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Based on the true story of Edwin Boyd, a notorious bank robber, 16 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Gangster [DVD] (DVD)
Canadian WWII veteran seeks life as an actor but ends up robbing banks, becoming something of a folk hero. Well done on a small budget, the acting and period detail are spot on, and it takes the gangster story into surprising territory for a film as it follows the ups and downs of this true story.


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