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M. H. Costeris (Utrecht, the Netherlands)

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The Elemental: 1 (The Fire Trilogy)
The Elemental: 1 (The Fire Trilogy)
by Lisa
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and exiting book, 23 Jan. 2014
If you love London, enjoy the shopaholics books and aren't adverse to magical intrigue this is the book for you. Its a lively book about original modern women with magical powers who struggle with life, romance and world threatening catastrophes while debating the best place to have a perfect latte.
This is the first of a trilogy and I'm usually a bit wary of that because they tend to leave you hanging, but while there are tantalising hints about the deeper levels behind this story it does lead to a satisfying conclusion.

The First Movie [DVD] [2009]
The First Movie [DVD] [2009]
Dvd ~ Mark Cousins
Offered by Dogwoof Ltd.
Price: £5.75

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, moving and a completely new image of the world, 7 Jan. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The First Movie [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
One of the most beautiful and moving works of art I have ever seen.
The movie shows a small village in Irak where the filmmaker shows the children classic movies for children and then gives the children camera's to film their own lives and their own stories. The life of the village, its past and dreams all come out through the eyes of its children. It leaves you with the knowledge that though its horrors are very visible even in this out of the way place Iraq is beautiful, its children are wise and funny and that the visual of men gathered in a mosque can be a sight of pleasant community life, of softness and safety, and if that isn't a reversal of expectation nothing is.

Sherlock: Series 1 [DVD]
Sherlock: Series 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Benedict Cumberbatch
Offered by streetsahead
Price: £4.37

30 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Based on the first episode this is perfect, 28 July 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sherlock: Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
Only the first episode has aired so far but I have already pre-ordered this. I loved everything about it and can't wait for the next part.
The transition to modern times does not feel forced and the way they used aspects of the origional stories in unexpected ways made me grin. It was both dramatic and funny at times, the mystery was absorbing but the characters alone make this worth watching.
Benedict Cumberbatch is a perfect choice for Holmes, he is as compelling in this as he was Hawking, Amazing Grace and Atonement and I love his version already. Martin Freeman brings humour, dignity and courage to the Watson character while providing the 'regular guy' perspective. They seem to connect perfectly.
It is set in the present so no bad sets with fake victoriana here, but it amazed me how gothic London can still look. The modern sets are eccentric (fantastic Bakerstreet rooms) but believable and lively. Stephen Moffat is probably key to all this perfection.

If the Guy Richie movie led to the BBC commissioning this then at least one good thing came from that!

The Lives of the English Rakes
The Lives of the English Rakes
by Fergus Linnane
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining but shallow, 17 May 2010
This book collects accounts of the lives of some of the most dubious characters in English society from The Restoration until the Victoran age.
It is not a bad read but it is a bit of a copy and paste job. A large part of the text consists of quotes from secondary sources. They are all properly credited as far as I can tell, but that does contribute to the feeling that the writer didn't do any origional research but just constructed a narrative around things written by other people. That is not necessarily a problem, but I do find it odd to see 21st century history books quoted alongside Pepys, as though their information carries the same power to illustrate the 17th century.

It's the work of a former Sun journalist not a professional historian and had I known that before I bought it, I probably would have left it on the shelf.

No Title Available

56 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect acting, a beautiful and unforgettable movie., 9 Feb. 2010
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A movie based on the novel by Christopher Isherwood. Colin Firth plays a man who has lost his lover and finds himself unable to go on. He plans to end his life and we follow him through what should be his last day, during which he rediscovers some of the things that could make life worth living again, but it might still be to late for him.

Much has been made of the fact that the movie looks beautiful and it does, but more than anything else it's the acting that really lifts the movie towards perfection. Colin Firth shows a side I had not appreciated in him before, projecting tremendously understated but heartbreaking emotion both in the way he delivers his lines and his non-verbal acting. Perhaps with the gravity of the subject there was a risk that this would lurch towards melodrama but that absolutely never happens. In fact quite often the movie is funny as well as profoundly moving.

Visually the movie is perfect but I was struck by the quality of the sound effects as well. The way certain emotions and characters don't just project their own effect on the visual world of the movie but also carry their own sound theme throughout the movie opened the door to the main characters experience of the world in a way I had not expected.

Beautiful and unforgettable. A perfect debut.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 16, 2010 9:32 PM GMT

Stalking Bret Easton Ellis: A Novel in Two Parts
Stalking Bret Easton Ellis: A Novel in Two Parts
by Caroline Weiss
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wait for the next Brett Easton Ellis book, 17 Jan. 2010
Having reread all my B.E.E. books and impatient for the next one I thought I'd give this a try. The title and the subject-matter suggested some kind of homage to B.E.E. I liked the idea of it and I was curious to see what they had done. I shouldn't have bothered. It reads like a very pale immitation of The Informers without ever catching what makes that book so hypnotic.

Middletown [DVD] [2007]
Middletown [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Matthew Macfadyen
Price: £4.50

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing, 17 Jan. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Middletown [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
A young clergyman returns to his family to confront all sorts of unresolved issues and soon finds himself in conflict with the town.
I was expecting a thoughtful emotional drama about a man alienated from his roots by his religion.
What I got was a rubbish thriller with completely unbelievable plotlines and insane characters. It portrays religion as an excuse for violence and none of the people in it are remotely sympathetic so it's impossible to care what happens to them. It gives the actors no chance to show what they can really do. Very bad indeed.

The Swimming-Pool Library
The Swimming-Pool Library
by Alan Hollinghurst
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous writing, 10 Oct. 2009
This is to me above all a book about London, about a London that remains hidden from all but a few, described in a magnificent subtle language. Hollinghurst is no easy read, he's intricate and ellusive sometimes but so very much worth it.

Daniel Deronda [DVD] [2002] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Daniel Deronda [DVD] [2002] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by supermart_usa
Price: £6.26

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful production of a great story. Region 2 soon please., 12 Jun. 2008
This is a gorgous dramatisation of a great book, something to watch again and again.
I taped this when the BBC broadcasted it, fully prepared to buy it as soon as the region 2DVD was released. I'm still waiting for that to happen. It's a complete mystery to me why it has to take so long.
So for now I just keep hoping my old VHS tapes won't degenerate too fast.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 11, 2009 4:19 PM GMT

A Love Song for Bobby Long [DVD]
A Love Song for Bobby Long [DVD]
Dvd ~ John Travolta

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great acting, beautiful impressions of New Orleans, 1 Mar. 2008
This is a charming and funny movie.
The story isn't very complicated but it's beautifully acted. Travolta surprised me. You'll find yourself drawn to the leisurly world these characters inhabit. The music and the images of New Orleans before the flood are a perfect match.
The poetry quoted throughout the movie was a treat as well.

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