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Thespionic "Thespionic" (West Country)

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Answers about the Afterlife: A Private Investigator's 15-Year Research Unlocks the Mysteries of Life after Death
Answers about the Afterlife: A Private Investigator's 15-Year Research Unlocks the Mysteries of Life after Death
by Bob Olson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.73

4.0 out of 5 stars A Really Interesting Read, 26 Jan. 2015
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I suppose I am an agnostic! Having said that, I have been going to see a medium for years – as I would like to believe that there is a form of afterlife, but I need more proof. I would also be very disappointed to end up just as a pile of ashes – and that’s your lot mate!
A lot of the things in this book come up through the readings that I’ve had. So I found some of this true and easy to relate to. The difference between the soul and spirit was interesting. So was past lives and the idea that your ‘spirit life’ is pre-ordained by your guides etc. I like the idea that there’s no hell but the idea that we may have been murderers & rapists, in one of our souls past lives, was a bit of a head scratcher?
I was not so convinced by the idea that things like the susceptibility to commit suicide or murder is also built into some spirits’ psyche whilst on earth and therefore ‘could’ happen whilst on the earth plain, but it’s OK as it’s only there as a learning tool, for the soul and guides to become wiser – really?
So, this after life which pours out love by the bucket load is quite willing cause pain, grief and decimation of friends and families lives in the name of educating the higher plain? After all this time on earth – haven’t they learnt enough already or by now?
Some of his theories are a little hard to accept and it’s silly to consider that Bob Olson is right in all that he says or believes. I think that all those who have ‘reviewed’ on here have naturally open minds?
The book can be a bit repetitive at times and with many questions you already know the answers - without having to read them over again - because he’s already given you the answer in a previous ‘similar’ question?
I enjoyed the book but the truth is that none of us will know until we get there, as there is no infinite proof of an afterlife, and possibly never will be.
Is there enough in this book to truly convince me… no, unfortunately not, but I did learn a lot which seemed very feasible, some did not?
For every hopeful, there’s a sceptic. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed, as one day I’d like to be back with all of those that I’ve lost.

Y Tu Mama Tambien [DVD]
Y Tu Mama Tambien [DVD]
Dvd ~ Maribel Verdú
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £8.59

4.0 out of 5 stars Boys Growing Up & Great Fun, 26 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Y Tu Mama Tambien [DVD] (DVD)
Julio & Tenoch are two teenagers in the infancy of the sexual experiences - they rut like bunnies but see themselves as sex Gods!
The typical immaturity and silliness of young boys is there for all to see and so is their leaning towards dope, beer, and girls and of course sex – just like young Brits!
The boys set off on a road trip with Luisa who is way ahead of them in maturity, but she is willing to be one of the gang. She seduces the both of them eventually, but this is the first of many lessons, emotions and truths along the way for the boys?
This is a fun movie with lovely scenery across Mexico and lots of scenes of a sexual nature. There is also a story here – the lessons of life, some are a bit humiliating, some great fun and some are sad? The film has English sub titles, this includes the commentary which introduces you to all of the characters which I found quite nice. A lot of the younger set will love this film I'm sure, but it's not a film to watch with your grandchildren, or if the vicar comes around for tea and biscuits!

Easy Rider [Blu-ray] [2009] [Region Free]
Easy Rider [Blu-ray] [2009] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Peter Fonda
Price: £7.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Well Worth The Journey, 25 Jan. 2015
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I was a teenager when this came out, but for whatever reason I didn't get around to seeing it.
Now I'm in my early 60's! I thoroughly enjoyed this film. I thought the scenery was just wonderful -Monument Valley, Utah, is staggeringly beautiful and was also seen in John Wayne's `The Searchers.'
We also see the deserts of Death Valley, Nevada, the Mississippi and the Levee's, the various bridges - all very eye -catching.
The trip through the `black' township area of Franklin, near new Orleans, with its the antebellum houses, was so beautiful and historic to look at. The film made a staggering 60 million$ - from a small budget. We even get a cameo from the now incarcerated murderer Phil Spector.
The plot is very simple of course - as most road movies are? The surprise for me was the hostility shown to the bikers from the `Southerners,' especially, after the racism shown to African Americans there - from what was clearly seen as `white supremacists - now they are even turning on their own, just because they look different or come from another State? Well, that's Red Necks for you I guess! Were they really like that in the late 60's?

Black Boy: A Record of Youth and Childhood (Vintage Classics)
Black Boy: A Record of Youth and Childhood (Vintage Classics)
by Richard Wright
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.31

4.0 out of 5 stars Are things Really Any Better for the Poor African Americans?, 21 Jan. 2015
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This is a very sobering account of what it was like being black (African American) in the American Deep South in the early 1900's. Slavery had been abolished of course, but the South's white supremacists were having none of that, `Jim Crow' laws made sure that the blacks were treated as second class citizens. The South had been used to looking down on the slave, black community, and figured on keeping someone below themselves in social status - for as long as possible!
These Southern whites were some of the most ignorant, intolerant and embarrassingly racist, social thugs in America's whole history. Their own social history shames the American nation and is a stain that will not go away.
I'd like to say that this is now resigned to history, but unfortunately old habits die hard in America, so it's not, race discrimination against African Americans in the States is rife, it's just done in a different way in the twenty first century - incarceration, lack of funding for black education, the recent 'shoot to kill' policy in black areas?
This book is yet another book that relives the White American racist traits. - To Kill a Mocking Bird, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Huckleberry Finn, The Story of Emmett Till & umpteenth Martin Luther King & the Civil Rights Movement books relay a legacy that won't die. The reason it won't go away is because they are still practicing it! That's why when you read books like this it's so very sad - nothing much has changed - even with a black President?
This book is good and slightly different because it spends time telling you how someone like Richard Wright really felt in that awful, intimidating and repressive environment, and how his emotions tormented him. He was one of the lucky ones; he had the savvy to get out. The other sadness from this story is how religion made some black people's lives even worse?
Richard's only real soul mate was his mother. It must have been a very long, lonely, journey? It's a relief to know that he eventually succeeded.

Duel (Special Edition) [DVD]
Duel (Special Edition) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Dennis Weaver
Price: £5.00

5.0 out of 5 stars As Fresh Today As it Was 40 Years Ago, 19 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Duel (Special Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
I hadn’t watched this film for 40 years! Back then I recalled it as a cutting edge thriller, one that we could all relate to. We’ve all had juggernauts behind us on the motorway, and it’s a thoroughly unpleasant experience!
This was Spielberg’s first film. It took 2 weeks to make, as he already had a TV blueprint to work from; it cost less than 500,000 $ to make. It has certainly stood the test of time? It remains as fresh today as it did then.
Many of the location sites from the film (cafes, garages, tunnels etc.) are still in use today! Even the truck survives!
The film was shot in the deserts of South California & Angeles National Forest.
Dennis Weaver - ‘Chester’ in Gun Smoke and the detective, ‘McCloud,’ was brilliant as the unsuspecting and then increasingly concerned victim of the ‘menacing’ tanker truck! Weaver died in 2006, aged 81. He leaves us this excellent thriller to remember him by.

The Straight Story [DVD] [1999]
The Straight Story [DVD] [1999]
Dvd ~ Richard Farnsworth
Offered by qualityfilmsfromuk
Price: £14.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant, Amusing & Engaging, 17 Jan. 2015
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What a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours! I found this film interesting and engaging; entertaining and amusing. David Lynch’s films are usually a little odd but he stays very much on the straight and narrow here.
This offering won’t blow you away but it will leave you with a feeling of satisfaction at the close. There are some great little cameos tucked away in here, non-more so than when Alvin is negotiating his repair bills or divulging his awful secret from WW11.
His charm is that he is very street wise, candid in his convictions, but also willing to give the folks he meets the benefit of his experience - the young female hitch hiker for instance? Oh yes, he also likes hot dogs!
However, just because age is on his side, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he gets it all right? This journey is made as a realization that certain things have to be put right – before it’s too late!
Sadly, as previously mentioned in other reviews, Richard Farnsworth had cancer whilst making this film. A year later its diagnosis was terminal; Richard shot himself at his 60 acre ranch in New Mexico. He was nominated for several major ‘best actor’ awards for this role - it’s a pity they escaped him. Nonetheless, he still had a very satisfactory career in film and television.

As I Lay Dying [DVD]
As I Lay Dying [DVD]
Dvd ~ James Franco
Price: £6.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Acting & Cinematography - Brilliant. Soundtrack - Awful, 15 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: As I Lay Dying [DVD] (DVD)
This could have been an utter classic, but for the awful soundtrack? The actors, especially Pa Budren, nail the `Redneck' Mississippian drawl to perfection, unfortunately, to decipher what they're saying most of the time is an absolute nightmare and has a ruinous effect on the film. Sometimes authenticity needs to be diluted?
Thankfully I had read the book - a `Deep South' classic. These stories are not easy to accept for the usual cinema goer - appearing unexciting and odd! They do however make an amusing read, but you'll have to take my word for it, having said that, it's not the point is it! Having read the book, I understood the film perfectly well, and so I thoroughly enjoyed it, I really did, but as I said, this wouldn't be for everyone, even if the soundtrack was crystal clear? This is very much an art-house film because of its background.
The cinematography is brilliant and is `HD' quality to look at. It cannot be faulted. The acting I have to say is quite superb, especially Tim Blake Nelson, as old man Bundren - Anse. In fact they are all excellent.
My only other gripe is the `river' scene, which in the book is a raging torrent; it's a real highlight of the tale. Here the river never looks worse than a babbling brook - it's somewhat undercooked!
If you've read the book then I think that you'll really enjoy this, as it's true to the script, and so, is easy to follow, even though the soundtrack is so irritatingly hard to grasp!
I totally fail to understand, how a film can cost millions to make, and fail on the simple concept that if the audience can't decipher the dialogue, then they can't follow the story and understand and enjoy the film to its maximum?
Do you remember the re-make of `True Grit?' Well, this suffers from the same deficiency. As one reviewer has already stated - sub titles is possibly the answer and if I watch this film again then that is what I'll use!
This film was very good in a lot of ways - it's a real shame that it missed its calling!

Into the Wild [DVD] [2007]
Into the Wild [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Emile Hirsch
Price: £3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars The Harshest of Realities, 15 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Into the Wild [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
Where to start! This is quite a story and a beautifully filmed adventure of an ultimately doomed journey.
As a parent of children who have gone off around the world backpacking I understand that the `children of today' see no boundaries as to what they can do - it's only their own individual lack of spirit that will stop some of them.
This apparently was a young man who was no longer able to cope with his dysfunctional and violent parents at home and therefore couldn't wait to get away and to follow his dream. Unfortunately his naivety cost him his life. He was a brave but ill-advised and foolhardy young man.
It took him nearly two years to get to Alaska, which proved to be the easiest and most enjoyable part, but within four months of being there his journey was over! It is quite clear from his diaries that he knew well before the end that he was in serious trouble out there on his own?
On day 69 of 113 he concedes -"Lonely, scared & trapped." On day 100 he depressingly and tragically writes - Death looms!" He also pinned a desperate 'SOS' message to the outside of the van,so as not to miss any potential rescuers, whilst he was out foraging.
How awful to starve to death like that, without a friend, in the middle of nowhere. He weighed just 5 stones when he died. It was a further 3 weeks before his decomposing body was found and eventually identified - no one should have such an undignified ending, how shockingly sad is that? He realised, too late, near to death, that, "Happiness is not real unless shared," - so, so poignant, and so gut wrenchingly sad?
He didn't know, but there was a Rangers' Station, just 7 miles from his location.
One wonders how long he would have lasted had he not come across that old 'hunters' bus? Perhaps he would have given up sooner and came home?
I really don't see this as some sort of wonderful crusade or adventure. It was in reality the waste of a young man's life - he had a loving sister at home, he was not on his own. He didn't live the dream - well, maybe just a little bit, but ultimately that dream killed him and denied him the prospect of a much fuller and richer life in time? His adventure was not a result! A Lovely movie for sure, but oh so tragic & sad.

Wild at Heart [DVD]
Wild at Heart [DVD]
Dvd ~ Nicolas Cage
Price: £5.00

4.0 out of 5 stars "What The Hell Was That All About?", 14 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Wild at Heart [DVD] (DVD)
‘Blue Velvet’ will always be one of my favourite films, but this pales in comparison. Yes, its great entertainment, if you like lots of surrealism, fantasy, sex and utterly bizarre characters, but this film goes too far IMHO to make it a classy or truly creditable film. If you just want a wingding or a blast for a couple of hours, to take you away from the reality of the shop floor or office then this’ll do nicely! It’ll take you so far away you’ll need your passport to get yourself back!
David Lunch’s work is well known of course, and very well respected - He has had over 30 award nominations for his films, winning 4 Baftas.
Quite how Diane Ladd, as Marietta, was nominated for an Oscar for her role in this - as the crazy mother of Lula is beyond me? I found her persona and depiction almost laughable, and totally hammy!
Having said that, I thought Defoe as ‘Bobby Puru’ just wonderful and very much one of the highlights of the film, Cage & Dern were very good as the lovers but the story was just so stupid at times that it rather devalued what they were doing.
For me Lynch tries too hard here to fill the film with weirdoes and the bizarre! - Blue Velvet gets it just right; this is simply over the top, but still good old fashioned entertainment. However, at the end you’ll say to yourself, “What the hell was that all about?”

Smokey And The Bandit [DVD]
Smokey And The Bandit [DVD]
Dvd ~ Burt Reynolds
Price: £3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Entertainment All The Way, 13 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Smokey And The Bandit [DVD] (DVD)
‘Deliverance’ will always be the film that I associate with Burt – a great movie. That was 40 years ago now; when Burt was in his prime. Five years later in 1977 we have his biggest hit - Smokey and the Bandit. Latterly in 97’, after a long lean run, he achieved his first acting awards with Boogie Nights, but the comeback faded away again. Perhaps Burt was never a great actor but his film credits are amazing, as is the money he must have earned!
I can’t say I think this is a great film in any way, but it was a huge financial success and cemented Burt as one of Hollywood’s top assets. At that time he was worth zillions – how sad that we now read he is about to lose it all – he could even end up homeless?
This is just a fun movie. It may be totally ‘cheesy’ but I’m giving it four stars for pure entertainment and hammy comedy value. It’s a simple enough tale but the action comes thick and fast and how people love those car chases don’t they?
In summary, Burt has had a great career; yes, he’s been in some real duffers, but there are a few, like this one, where it’s nice to catch up with him again, and of course, he looks just great. I just wish he'd looked after his money better?

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