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Steven
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Patriot Games Special Edition [DVD] [1992]
Patriot Games Special Edition [DVD] [1992]
Dvd ~ Harrison Ford
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £3.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars and the winner is..., 7 Jun. 2014
With a mature, well paced story and some keenly defined characters, I find this the most satisfying Jack Ryan adventure to date. The strong cinematography deftly handles the lush rolling hills of Ireland as well as the barren desert settings of the middle east. The musical score makes its presence felt, particularly during an early windswept approach to an isolated hillside cottage. Ford portrays Ryan with a quiet rage whilst Sean Bean excels as his polar opposite, who projets an impulsive, impetuous menace. I've trawled through a fair bit of Clancy and find his narrative tortuously technical at times so I thought the screenplay did a refreshingly solid job of giving us an involved and exciting story without having to telegraph every little plot point, motivation or context.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 10, 2014 9:13 PM BST


The Sett
The Sett
by Sir Ranulph Fiennes
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Dead Sett, 29 May 2014
This review is from: The Sett (Paperback)
This was a real slog. Depressing too. When a group of connected criminals get together it's upto the host to come up with some fiendishly nasty form of entertainment. This particular gathering involves badgers and dogs into which stroll a husband and wife with their small child. Fast forward to a future time where a beaten man claws back some kind of life before embarking on revenge. All the ingredients are there. Loving family torn apart by a chance meeting which leads the lone survivor to seek revenge years later. As he did with the Feather Men and the Secret Hunters, Finnes courts controversy by stitching in real people and events into the narrative but this is much darker in tone and those other books had a sense of adventure to them; this doesn't and although it's technically proficient in terms of storytelling, it's a pretty grubby read.


The Secret Hunters
The Secret Hunters
by Ranulph Fiennes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth looking up, 29 May 2014
This review is from: The Secret Hunters (Paperback)
This sweeping tale of adventure has an interesting premise and skirts the line between fact and fiction. Although Finnes and his publisher decided to badge this as fiction, the marketing machine did a really excellent job of blurring the lines again. In any event, It's fast paced, boys own stuff which I enjoyed as a piece of fiction. A chance meeting in an Airport stirs a deep rage within Derek Jacobs causing him to lash out at the man before him. Derek's subsequent investigations into the malevolent stranger lead him towards a group of Nazi hunters and their quest to bring holocaust perpetrators to justice. The adventure ranges from Rwanda to the Antarctic as our hero tracks a group hell-bent on re-starting a new Reich. Finnes crafts another fine story and offers the reader shades of espionage, infiltration and action, although there are some very dark moments surrounding ww2. I thought it wasn't as good as the Feather Men but I enjoyed it more than I did the Sett.


The Feather Men
The Feather Men
by Sir Ranulph Fiennes
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Cracking read, 29 May 2014
This review is from: The Feather Men (Hardcover)
As a younger man, I absolutely lapped this up. It's a thrilling tale of high stakes adventure. The breezy narrative whisks you into the exploits of these highly trained men and their clandestine world of operations and activities. Fiennes and the marketing people blur the lines between fact and fiction in a tale that is both outlandish as it is plausible. I enjoyed the book as a work of fiction and remember having to suspend disbelief many times - that's not to say I didn't like it, I really enjoyed the underlying story, it has action, thrills and suspense to compete with any potboiler. One of my instructors is acknowledged at the beginning of the feather men, when I asked him if it was true, the bugger just smiled and said "might be".


3 Days to Kill [DVD] [2014] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
3 Days to Kill [DVD] [2014] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by RAREWAVES USA
Price: £10.95

20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Different, but likeable all the same., 28 May 2014
I guess there were a handful of similar scripts bouncing around the industry at the same time, this shares a fair bit with the likes of Taken and The Expatriate but as I liked them and thought the trailer looked good, I felt on fairly steady ground with their latest incarnation. I find Costner very likeable and he didn't disappoint. The screenplay is a little offbeat, quirky even, in that it deals with the well-worn path of CIA guy routing out the bad guys in Europe but it touches on Costner’s relationship with his ex and their daughter. The story isn't anything new but Costner plays an engaging character, a hardman who has reason to be more weary than most. The Parisian locations are a treat and the humorous tone compliments the slick, outlandish action; there's a great explosion right at the start and the final action segment is really well handled due to some decent production values. Some bits didn't work so well for me, Amber Heard spruces the place up but her confused character might as well be in a different movie altogether. Connie Nielsen is comfortable as Costner's ex and although the family segments slow things down a bit, they have reason to be in the movie and I didn't feel as though the scenes got in the way of the overall story. I particularly like how Costner's secret work is interupted from time to time and how his nature changes so much that when he bundles some schmo into a car boot for the third time, he's concerned enough to make sure the guy is comfortable.


Point Blank [DVD] [2011]
Point Blank [DVD] [2011]
Dvd ~ Gilles Lellouche
Offered by Global_Deals
Price: £2.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This nips along nicely., 27 May 2014
This review is from: Point Blank [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
Familiar characters carry this gritty, fast paced action thriller and the unfamiliar French locations lend a stark urban setting to the proceedings. Giles Lellouche plays an everyman hero, forcefully coerced into a dark criminal underworld where greed blurs the line between good and bad. I found him an appealing lead, very easy to route for when the chips are down. Despite being a run of the mill thriller, there is some creative flair on show, an exciting foot chase in the underground is rather good and a pivotal scene which is given to the viewer out of sequence are the kind of touches I especially like. Roshidi Zem again carries himself with leading man gravitas, his worldly face and ice cold eyes belie something of a quiet rage; I hope to see him in more weighty fare in time to come. I can forgive action thrillers most things and did so again during the final reel when the screenplay, althought exciting, veered towards the outrageous!


In The Blood [DVD]
In The Blood [DVD]
Dvd ~ Gina Carano
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £2.91

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bleeding out, 27 May 2014
This review is from: In The Blood [DVD] (DVD)
This curious little picture manages to showcase Ms Carano's obvious athletic talents whilst giving her some opportunity to show a little bit of range. When her new husband doesn't reach hospital after an accident and her frantic searching turns up nothing but dead ends, she files a missing persons report and is distraught at the lack of empathy and action being doled out by the local police on their honeymoon Carribean island. Hubby's rich family give her less than encouraging response and believing her to be a worthless gold digger, they leave the island believing the police, that the son has been done in. Ms Carano isn't going to be put off; having grown up with a criminal father who has taught her her all he knew, she isn't put off by overbearing cops, shady clubs or local hard men and it isn't long before she's breaking bones to get to the truth. Rather like Van Damme, whose first crop of movies showcased his obvious althleticim, the producers have roped poor Carano into a lower budget Taken style affair where she smashes her way through the criminal underworld looking for her hubby. There are some decent casting choices, Treat Williams, Louise Guzman and Danny Trejo are grossly underused by a fairly woeful script and the plodding screenplay which only comes alive when Ms Carano is kicking in doors and taking names. This isn't the picture to make Ms Carano a star. It's a really mixed bag which, if I'm honest, isn't helped by poor lighting, some uninspired locations and the use of locals instead of actors. That's not to say this is all cheap, the lukewarm script hides a interesting story and the hospital action scenes towards the end are inventive enough. The final showdown is staged in a shanty town which appears to have been chosen for budget pragmatism rather than gritty realism. On a plus side, Amaury Nolasco almost manages to be an interesting bad guy and the final slice of action is competently staged before some grossly moronic scripting makes an entrance. Gina is destined for much better than this.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 29, 2014 8:57 PM BST


Non-Stop [DVD] [2014]
Non-Stop [DVD] [2014]
Dvd ~ Liam Neeson
Price: £3.00

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Flying high, 27 May 2014
This review is from: Non-Stop [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
I found lots to like with Liam Neeson's latest vehicle. Ever watchable, Neeson plays a flawed, borderline unlikeable character whose personal problems present the bad guys with a doorway to their dastardly scheme. This offers similar thrills to the growing crop of plane set action pictures (Passenger 57, Flightplan, Red Eye) and whilst I enjoyed it and it's exciting at times, I can't say it offers anything particularly new, so if you don't want similar stuff with different faces, you might want to look elsewhere. Personally, this stuff is right up my alley and I found a real sense of paranoia at times, especially when the character knew his flaws were being exposed and although all seemed helpless he still got on with the job. The script doesn't hang about and there were plenty of decent characters and potential bad guys amongst the passengers and crew. I felt genjuine pangs of unease when the passengers banded together, strange how a fluff piece of entertainment can easily echo the tragic events of our recent past. Beyond that, this is by the numbers entertainment and not bad at all.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 12, 2016 8:59 AM BST


Vera - Series 1-3 [DVD]
Vera - Series 1-3 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Brenda Blethyn

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent police drama, 20 May 2014
This review is from: Vera - Series 1-3 [DVD] (DVD)
With a visual poetry reminiscent of the fasionable nordic noir, I viewed parts of my own region with renewed interest. Whilst I agree that the windswept landscape often looks bleak and cold, I take some enjoyment on looking at its rugged and natural beauty, although they could take some shots on sunny days, just once in a while to balance things out! The adverts for this didn't spark my interest and I avoided Vera until season three and only dipped in when there was nothing else on the TV. I'm glad I did though. Vera is the latest in a long line of offbeat detectives, full of contradictions, her shabby exterior reminds me of Columbo whilst the dogged approach to work puts me in mind of Prime Suspects Jane Tennison, although the sexism debate is refreshingly abscent. The storys aren't markedly different from any other police drama out there, with most murders boiling down to some localised human conflict. I find the characters particularly well drawn, I like the relationship Vera has with members of her team and especially with her Sargeant. I find strange comfort in the fact that she can barely reach the timeline board and that although she's oddly insular she's also worldly and kind. She doesn't suffer fools and gives credit where it's due, she's clever, but you wouldn't send her to the shop even with a list....I've met loads of people like that in my time...but I am a bit long in the tooth! I've ordered this product to catch up on the first two series.


The Jericho Mile [VHS]
The Jericho Mile [VHS]
VHS

4.0 out of 5 stars Cracking sports drama, 19 May 2014
This review is from: The Jericho Mile [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Strauss is brilliant and the likes of Brian Dennehy and Roger E Mosely prop up a strong supporting cast whilst the real prison set lends an added sense of realism to the tale. When prison officials realise how fast one of their inmates is on the running track they convince the state coach to trial him against two of his runners and after beating them, he agrees to let the coach train him for an olympic trial. The TV screenplay manages to consider, friendship, redemption, drugs and gangs as well as provide an uplifting sports drama into the mix. The script offers gritty realism rather than melodramatic hope but the ending is an uplifting affair and demonstrates that some measure of freedom can be found despite the surrounding walls. The instrumental soundrack of the Stone's Sympathy for the Devil being played over the last few moments is cool too. I thought this prison set sports drama was a classy act and was not surprised to hear that it was directed for TV in an early effort by Michael Mann.


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