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Thespionic "Thespionic" (West Country)
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Midnight Run [DVD]
Midnight Run [DVD]
Dvd ~ Robert De Niro
Offered by Sent2u
Price: £3.60

5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Entertainment & Excellent Lead Roles, 29 May 2015
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This review is from: Midnight Run [DVD] (DVD)
This film came 12 years after the iconic ‘Taxi Driver’ and just before another of his most celebrated roles in ‘Goodfellows. This is an ‘action comedy,’ with RD again carrying his ‘45’ to great effect.
De Nero has made so many great films but he has also proven that he is more than apt at comedy into the bargain. Whilst I believe that Charles Grodin steals the show here and should have won a top award for his performance, De Niro plays his ‘straight man’ role perfectly.
This is two hours of action packed, pure entertainment, without a one second interlude to pause for breath.
The film scored highly on IMDb & RT’s. It more than doubled its outlay of $30 million, so it was an all-round success, both financially and with the critics.
In terms of a light-hearted watch and for an evening’s raw entertainment this is 5 stars all the way.


A Room With A View (Special Edition) [DVD]
A Room With A View (Special Edition) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Maggie Smith
Price: £4.70

4.0 out of 5 stars Cinematography is the Real Winner Here, 24 May 2015
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I am not particularly a lover of ‘costume dramas’ but I do watch them as I like history and the contents of a particular period – the social make up, the attire, invention, war etc. etc. So of course I really enjoyed watching this, as for me it was outstandingly good on the eye. The Florence visuals were truly beautiful were they not? So too were all the period costumes and scenery, in fact the whole of the cinematography (HD version) was just wonderful. Unsurprisingly, the film won all the top awards for art & costume. As I live fairly close to Bath & Weymouth; I can well appreciate the Georgian period.
The story line as such is a little thin and it’s quite obvious early on as to what the final outcome is going to be. Maggie Smith won a BAFTA. I was surprised that Judy Dench did so too, as for me, her role was little more than a cameo? Both of these performances paled into the ordinary compared to Daniel Day – Lewis’s, Cecil Vyse, who was outrageously good … and yet won nothing? Helena Bonham Carter’s performance did little for me - or the critic’s apparently? I found most of the other characters very well played and of interesting.
The book was written at the end of the rather ‘staid and stuffy’ Victorian period; it looked back over, what was considered to be a more vibrant, if morally inferior Georgian period. It depicts the rich upper classes which that period is well known for – the rich getting richer and the poor becoming ever more poor!
I can’t say that I thought the overall film was particularly brilliant, though for the aforementioned reasons, I still really enjoyed it.


Match Point [DVD] [2006]
Match Point [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ Scarlett Johansson
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.92

1.0 out of 5 stars Oh Dear Woody!, 21 May 2015
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This review is from: Match Point [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
I am finally at the end of a 20 plus stint of Woody Allen films and up until now the vast majority had been very watchable – true! Just for the record, - 5 stars - 8, 4 stars - 10, 3 stars - 2, 2 stars - 1, & now 1 star - 1.
Right from the off I sensed that the acting here was like watching the local amateur dramatics… and a bad one at that! It was wooden, hammy, and at times a bit embarrassing? How could a cast as good as this turn in such an appalling effort? The lead role was abysmal, he murdered this film and seemed to drag everyone else down with him. The “Oh Mummy, Oh Daddy, Oh Darling, we really must popsy wopsy into the West Endy Wendy this evening to watch that adorable Turandot with that utterly divine Nessum Dorma ” overtones were just nauseatingly laughable.
It really was like an overdose of a posh East Enders in town, in fact, if Grant & Phil had gate-crashed the party; it would have been a vast improvement! Perhaps Dot Cotton should have been the love interest?
I can’t recommend one performance that stood out. The storyline was ordinary, the script banal, or perhaps it was the manner in which it was delivered, I’m scratching my head to think of one redeeming feature. I have never given one star before, but this film actually deserves it. I was thoroughly disappointed in this flick, but hey, Woody is entitled to a bad day at the office once in a while!
Woody has gone on record to say that he felt that this is one of his better films? In fairness, it scored very well on RT's & IMDb and It's screenplay was nominated for an AA, so what do I know! Kate Winslett apparently did a runner just before filming was about to begin
(clearly well informed) but the film still made 85 million$ from a budget of 15million$ - one of Allen's bigger success's.


Another Woman [DVD]
Another Woman [DVD]
Dvd ~ Gena Rowlands
Offered by Discs4all
Price: £4.35

4.0 out of 5 stars True to Life!, 19 May 2015
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This review is from: Another Woman [DVD] (DVD)
Firstly, like others on here, I have to say what a splendid performance this was from the lead – Gena Rowlands. I am staggered that she was ignored for all of the awards for that year (no justice), as was the film! The film I can understand, as it was an idea stolen from Bergman and so not a Woody original in totality.
The film itself is engrossing if not particularly exciting. I thoroughly enjoyed it as the plot slowly unravelled.
The film I believe looks at ones upbringing and how it shapes you in all that you do and see. You are to some extent what your parents want you to be? If those self-same parents have flaws, then the likelihood is that you’ll have those flaws too? Once you have been sculptured in a certain manner, seldom do you look outside of the self - centred / self -satisfied square that you are cocooned in, or look closer to home? We all suffer from false perceptions of ourselves, we have the idea that everyone must like us, or at least that no one would find us offensive?
How true it must be for most people that we have all lost a ‘golden opportunity’ at some point in our lives, or certainly made the wrong decision at a certain juncture, which has eventually caused some heartache or dissatisfaction in later years?
This film examines these aspects of life very, very, well and is therefore easy to relate to.


Bowfinger [DVD] [1999]
Bowfinger [DVD] [1999]
Dvd ~ Steve Martin
Price: £3.25

2.0 out of 5 stars Steve has Done a Lot Better - This is pretty Limp!, 18 May 2015
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This review is from: Bowfinger [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
Were they really laughing at this film 16 years ago? I watched this on the basis that it was meant to be one of Steve Martin’s funniest films! I was enormously disappointed - I found it utter tosh – sorry but after watching, Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, Lonely Guy & The Jerk, - all of which I gave a healthy 4 stars as I found them reasonably entertaining with some very witty moments. This one, for me was a 'titanic', it sank without trace. Eddie Murphy is so predictable, unfunny and now totally dated. Steve Martin – not as funny as normal and nor was his script. The rest of the cast were extremely average and did not engage me in the slightest - except for Christine Baranski, whom I did find mildly amusing with her OTT acting and fine set of nashers. IMDb & RT's now rate this a 3/5 movie which I would say is pretty near reality.
Clearly some on here thought it a great film and that's fair enough. Maybe this film has just aged badly, but to be candid, it bordered on plain silly and utterly moderate fare, as far as I was concerned … and so, it’s charity shop here I come with this baby!


Flappers and Philosophers: The Collected Short Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald (Penguin Hardback Classics)
Flappers and Philosophers: The Collected Short Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald (Penguin Hardback Classics)
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for the Coffee Table and a Quick Read, 18 May 2015
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If you’ve read ‘Gatsby’ then you already know what a wonderful writer Fitzgerald is. Here we have 640 pages of short stories – they cover 45 tales and the page range is from 40 per tale, to as little as 6 pages per tale. The book is presently beautifully and is not expensive to buy. I have the hard back version.
The book and stories are split into three time frames, from several of his books, which includes both novellas and most of his short stories. The time frames are: 1920 - 1922, 1926 – 1935 and 1937 – 1940, so between the wars if you like, covering such historical events as:
The Jazz Age
The Industrial Revolution &
The Great Depression
I have read four of the longer stories thus far - all immensely interesting and perfectly put together. It remains on my coffee table to pick up a will. It is just perfect if you have an hour to kill and don’t want to waste it! A perfect book should you like to read for an hour or so before nodding off to get your beauty sleep. I am going to enjoy this book for a long while yet.


Mighty Aphrodite [DVD] [1996]
Mighty Aphrodite [DVD] [1996]
Dvd ~ Woody Allen
Price: £3.80

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a Thing of Love , Desire & Beauty, 17 May 2015
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This is one Woody Allen film that I would put well behind the main batch. The storyline is rushed and the finale is wrapped up quicker than a late birthday present.
The redeeming feature is undeniably the performance of Miva Sarvino as Linda. She won both an Oscar & Golden Globe for her portrayal of the dizzy call girl. Helena Bonham Carter was also very attractive on the eye but had a much lesser role. Woody's a very lucky man!
The film is narrated by a group of Greek actors & choristers, which frankly I found unamusing and slightly irritating, for me it added absolutely nothing to the pic’! Woody is his usual self of course and always worth a watch, but the film is quite lightweight, unremarkable and easily forgettable. Had it not been for Miva’s performance; this would have been rated a 2 star film from me!


The Jerk [DVD] [2006]
The Jerk [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ Steve Martin
Price: £5.93

4.0 out of 5 stars A Funny Movie., 15 May 2015
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This review is from: The Jerk [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
This was Steve Martin’s big breakthrough and it couldn’t have gone better. It cost 4 million$ to make, and grossed 73 million$!
There are a lot of very good acting performances here, some great sketches, great one – liners and a bundle of laughs at regular intervals. Yes, it’s a bit slapstick and old hat in places, a bit childish if you like, but hay, it’s worth running with as the storyline is never less than interesting. This makes a very entertaining evening, even if for some it’s not ‘alternative’ enough. At this point in Martin’s career he was a top script writer and a very good comedy actor.


The Lonely Guy [DVD]
The Lonely Guy [DVD]
Dvd ~ Steve Martin
Price: £4.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Not Steve's Best but Still Very Funny, 14 May 2015
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This review is from: The Lonely Guy [DVD] (DVD)
This is Steve Martin in his prime. Perhaps the critics weren’t crazy about this film, but it definitely contains some classic comedy moments, which are still genuinely funny some 30 odd years later! A rather standard comedy then, some really good laughs but also some corn! I found it a thoroughly nice way to spend 90 minutes as I live alone and had nothing better to do other than water my ferns.
If you’re feeling a bit down then this film will lift you I promise, it'll give you something to smile about. Perhaps its not his best film but it is still very, very, watchable.
Worth getting for the scene and dialogue with the lease agent, the scenes at the restaurant, the bridge suicide scenes and the scenes with the dog & stick ... plus lots more! There's plenty here to press your chuckle button.


Death of a Salesman: Certain Private Conversations in Two Acts and a Requiem (Penguin Modern Classics)
Death of a Salesman: Certain Private Conversations in Two Acts and a Requiem (Penguin Modern Classics)
by Arthur Miller
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Poor Old Willy!, 12 May 2015
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*** Beware - Some Spoilers***
I have been in sales most of my working life and I can relate so much to this play / story. Selling is all about incentives – a fast track to the top and big bucks if you're good, but below the surface is the real pressure of the job - to produce the goods, week in, week out, the continual pressure of sales success and company profit, and on that your job depends. It's a life of continual ups and downs. The people in the business talk of ‘burn out’ and very few salespeople stay in the job for any length of time!
Willy was clearly burnt out in the end, maybe a bit of a dinosaur in a changing world. He was arrogant in many ways and clearly a contradiction in terms. Willy clearly had a concept of himself, his image and what he stood for and wanted for his family – the truth was that latterly he lived a lie and had a very fanciful grip on reality?
Willy loved his family and wanted the best for them, but couldn’t grasp the pressure he was putting his sons under. He also let his very supportive wife down badly.
He wasn’t against asking his only real friend and neighbour, Charley, for money when broke, but was far too proud to actually work under him when offered a job. He constantly talked up his old pals in the business world, and was justifiably proud of the the loyal stint he’d put in, but his long standing boss and his so called business pals failed to return that respect?
The storyline builds up gradually and it’s quite obvious very early on that Willy is struggling mentally and is not living in reality – things are going to hit the fan, it’s only a matter of when?
The finale is beautifully written – Willy is cracking, he's is on the brink, can he somehow turn the corner? A brilliantly poignant play and five stars all the way.


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