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Gerry Valjean 24602 (Ancient Avalon)

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Carmen [The Restored Edition] [DVD]
Carmen [The Restored Edition] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Placido Domingo
Offered by 101Trading
Price: £9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars I Think That You Need to See The Stage Version?, 20 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I recently watched ‘Carmen Jones’ which is the ‘musical' version of Carmen, adapted to a more modern / American setting. I found it first class entertainment and really enjoyed it.
So to this, an outdoor filming of the opera with authentic opera singing, which the musical obviously lacked in totality, though, I have to say I still enjoyed the former equally as much!
The Spanish set film version has wonderful scenery and singing for sure, the HD is lovely, the plot essentially is of course very similar to that of the musical version, except that, it’s the authentic version of course : teasing gypsy girl, infatuated soldier & equally infatuated Toreador, instead of: good looking factory girl, infatuated GI and must have heavyweight champ!
Both work wonderfully well and both are both are very easy to follow, the latter with sub titles of course.
You can get as ‘snobby’ as you like about the singing, but essentially the rest is about the acting and the filming, and most importantly the ‘WOW’ factor. I’m giving both four stars.
What next then? Well, I could buy the stage version of Carmen on DVD to complete the set, but Instead, as I’ve really enjoyed the experience of ‘Carmen,’ I’ve decided to see it live on stage in a month’s time . I’m hoping that the atmosphere inside a theatre, with an orchestra / choir, the set, costumes and live singing will take it all to a very different level. I think there’s much more to come?


Chef [DVD]
Chef [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jon Favreau
Price: £10.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Wholly Entertaining, 15 Sep 2014
This review is from: Chef [DVD] (DVD)
This is such a nice film to watch. It definitely falls into the `Feel Good Factor' category.
It's sharp, witty and encompasses the sort of everyday life, feelings and folk that most of us are used to and can relate to?
As for the `Chef,' well, we are all now familiar with the `celebrity' status of this humble occupation, even if it has grown out of all proportion over the last decade. Frankly, so have many of their egos! Maybe great cooking really is an art form, though I still say that it all started with my Mum!
Talking of women, the film benefits from having some nice eye-candy, with Sofia Vergara and Scarlett Johansson putting in a shift.
I like Cuba and the Deep South, so to have a film that includes the Cuban sector of Miami and then move on to Bourbon Street, in New Orleans, in a sort of posh burger van was just heaven for me.
This is a great little movie with a nice story line and very satisfactory conclusion. Worth a viewing without a doubt ... and I'd be very surprised if you don't really enjoy it?


Mud [DVD] [2013]
Mud [DVD] [2013]
Dvd ~ Matthew McConaughey
Price: £4.50

3.0 out of 5 stars Worth a Watch But No Classic, 14 Sep 2014
This review is from: Mud [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Maybe this film is about more than a castaway ( Mud) who’s got just one shirt, one pair of blue jeans and one pair of cowboy boots… and needs a damn good shower, but there’s no doubt that he and the two boys ( Ellis & Neckbone) steal the centre stage. There is only a fleeting appearance from Reece Witherspoon.
The film is typical old Deep South countryside, complete with pesky – critters!
The film has an OK storyline and is reasonably entertaining as a watch.
If I was honest it was too overly –sentimental and slightly corny for me, though I still quite enjoyed it – ‘A Dallas Buyers Club’ it certainly is not.
This film made a big profit and so has done well financially, so plenty of people thought it worth their time to go and see it. For me, I could take it or leave it and I’ll be passing it on for the family to watch.


Big Fish [DVD] [2004]
Big Fish [DVD] [2004]
Dvd ~ Ewan McGregor
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.00

4.0 out of 5 stars A Fairground Ride!, 12 Sep 2014
This review is from: Big Fish [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
Fantasies and fairy tales are not particularly my cup of tea but with a good cast and intriguing synopsis I thought I’d give this a try.
I can only say … very enjoyable and totally entertaining. Yes, it’s a family film really but it never did anyone any harm to be ‘uplifted,’ and that is what this film does! The fantasy simply carries you along like a fairground ride. The various characters all add cleverly to the rather hap-hazard but easy to ‘buy into’ plot. No sex, no violence and no bad language – what a welcome change, and just as entertaining?


Sling Blade [Blu-ray]
Sling Blade [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Billy Bob Thornton
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £9.88

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Films I've Ever Seen!, 10 Sep 2014
This review is from: Sling Blade [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This is simply one of the best films I’ve ever watched. Of course, its contents immediately draws comparisons with the likes of, ‘Of Mice and Men’ or even ‘Forest Gump,’ though the story line is so very different.
There is something in us all that wants to protect a ‘simpleton’ and keep them out of harm’s way.
The lead performance is just perfection and whilst the film won a deserved Academy Award for the screenplay, the same for Billy Bob was unbelievably denied, though he did win ‘best actor’ from a whole host of other award groups.
The screenplay is just wonderful; it’s touching, hard hitting and at times hilarious. The film is quite long at two hours twenty, but not once was I bored, in fact I was totally engrossed- and that’s how it grabs you.
I don’t want to give away an inch of the plot, I would just urge anyone who hasn’t seen it yet – to do so - ASAP - with some fries!


Carmen Jones [1954] [DVD]
Carmen Jones [1954] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Harry Belafonte
Price: £8.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Star Entertainment, 9 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Carmen Jones [1954] [DVD] (DVD)
A Must Watch For All Musical Fans -
This film was made when I was one! It’s a theme from a theme? The opera, Carmen, by Bizet, first premiered in 1875. The ‘Musical,’ on Broadway, premiered in 1943, and then this film came along in 1954.
I have to say that it still looks very fresh and I found it excellent entertainment.
The highlight for me is unquestionably mid film, when we are treated to some brilliant dancing routines ; along with the rousing, ’Beat out the Rhythm of the Drum’ and ‘Stand up and Fight.’
Of course, Dorothy Dandridge is a knock out as Carmen and how cruel that she was to die at such a young age, just 42. It also has to be said that there were many fine cameo’s from the cast which made this film so watchable – I especially took a shine to ‘Husky Miller!’
Neither lead actually sang, they mimed, their voices dubbed over by professional opera singers, – not that you could possibly tell or that it made the slightest difference to the value of the film. In some ways they were ahead of their time? This must rank as one of the best musicals on DVD?


Collection
Collection
Price: £10.04

4.0 out of 5 stars Fine Album, 4 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Collection (Audio CD)
Tracy Chapman has such a clear and strong voice that it insists that you sit up and listen. I can imagine listening to this in a concert hall somewhere, being totally captivated and taking in the `easy listening songs, thoughtful lyrics and powerful vocals. Yes, she is a bit like Dylan isn't she?
She hit the big time back in 1988. An American, her first two albums went to No 1 here in the UK. Most of her chart success was early on in her career. This compilation album got to number 3 here.
With 16 tracks at an average time of 4 minutes each, this album is very good value. With her ability to write a song it's staggering that she hasn't had a hit single or album for so very long. As someone has already remarked, her music is timeless.
I read the lyrics on `Fast Car' and `Baby Can I Hold You Tonight' and just shake my head in admiration; just wonderful and so, so poignant.
Can you believe this - Tracy wrote `Baby Can I Hold you Tonight' when she was just 18! And, this truly brilliant song didn't even make the top 40 here! It was re-released years later... and fared even worse! There are some things in life that are just unexplainable! This song should have made number one?
What a shame the album enclosures omit the lyrics? Anyway, this is, as you would expect from a 'best of,' a very accomplished album and very easy to listen to.


Goodbye Solo [DVD]
Goodbye Solo [DVD]
Dvd ~ Souléymane Sy Savané
Offered by DVD Vault UK
Price: £5.89

4.0 out of 5 stars Well Worth a Viewing, 30 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Goodbye Solo [DVD] (DVD)
This film centres on a budding relationship. Solo is a black taxi driver and young father who is determined to to better himself. He picks up a fare - the much older, rather gruff and weather-beaten William, who for whatever reason seems to have had enough of life?
Solo is a very charismatic sort of guy; he has a big heart. I did though find his speech very hard to pick up and decipher early on in this film.
The film's centre is `Blowing Rock' in North Carolina. It's a rather mystic place, with `Indian' legend, and superb views over the Blue Ridge Mountains. It's a modern day tourist attraction.
William has decided he's going to end it all at the rock, by jumping off of it! However, Solo has other ideas and isn't going to let that happen if he has any say in the matter.
This film scored reasonably highly (8/10) on both Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB. I would go along with that rating, though I felt this could have been a real classic with a little adjustment - it didn't quite do it for me on the relationship side, though I still enjoyed the watch.


Genuine Negro Jig
Genuine Negro Jig
Price: £11.30

4.0 out of 5 stars So Different and a Great Listen, 29 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Genuine Negro Jig (Audio CD)
Like another reviewer on here, I also saw this band at St Georges, in Bristol, recently. They were indeed excellent and what a fabulous voice Rhiannon has?
The music is so varied; it’s almost impossible not to enjoy it. I had already listened to the album, ‘East of Eden, ‘before I saw them live in the West Country.
On hearing them there, I decided to purchase this earlier album as well!
This album has a couple of instrumentals and a several ballads in the mix.
I particularly liked the tracks: Trouble in Your Mind, Cornbread & Butterbeans & Kissin’ & Cussin’. As someone has already noted, there is not a dud song on here. I find it impossible to split the two albums mentioned. Both are first class listens; both reached number one in the American Bluegrass charts.


Improve Your Spelling (Usborne Better English) (Internet Linked)
Improve Your Spelling (Usborne Better English) (Internet Linked)
by Victoria Parker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

3.0 out of 5 stars A Worthwhile Book, 27 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As an adult, I would say that I am an 8/10 speller, who like many others, makes silly mistakes now and then and struggles with the odd word. I know that my spelling could be better! I Using a computer for so many years definitely diminishes your spelling prowess! I bought this book to go over the fundamentals once again, as it's a long, long time since I was at school!
Whilst the early part of this book is rather elementary it does get more a little more testing as you work through the latter part of the book. I definitely learnt a few things! There are lots of tests and exercises which I found quite fun. Whilst the book has only 30 odd pages,there is a lot of learning in here.
I think this book would definitely aid anyone who struggles a little bit with their spelling. All the fundamentals are in this book and how can any additional tuition be a bad thing for a child?


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