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Thespionic (West Country)
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Million Dollar Baby [DVD] [2005]
Million Dollar Baby [DVD] [2005]
Dvd ~ Hilary Swank
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.22

5.0 out of 5 stars This Just Has To Be 5 Stars, 30 July 2015
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I really enjoyed ‘Gran Torino’ and had the same experience here. There’s something about Clint’s films that catches one’s imagination?
The storyline is very good, if stretching things a bit far at times? The final fight scene for example, would be lapped up by ‘wrestling fans’ and for me was a bridge too far? Come on Ref,’ grow a pair, kick the cheating bitch out – surely Clint should have been able to take the ‘belt’ into the hospital for her? Oh and by the way, I have reported her mother for fraudulent welfare claims and it serves her right too!
Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole film - it was one of those movies that keeps you engaged throughout, even if you had to smile at times at some of the goings on! Maybe it was a little over sentimental in places, but hay, some enjoy a weepy and clutching the tissues – sorry, I just need to blow my nose!
Yes, the acting was great, though at times I struggled to pick up the dialogue, but as no else has mentioned this, perhaps it’s just me?
Any film that grabs you for the whole duration, is action packed, has a good script and a fascinating storyline, coupled with excellent acting and cinematography can only mean one thing – 5 stars! Well done the ‘Man with No Name!’


On the Road (Penguin Modern Classics)
On the Road (Penguin Modern Classics)
by Scott Donaldson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

2.0 out of 5 stars Overly Frenetic and Ultimately a Little Disappointing!, 28 July 2015
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I have just finished this book – after two months of picking it up and putting it down again! only the finale in Mexico stirred my imagination and ran off the page in away that I could enjoy it or get into it. I’d very much like to know who had the audacity to call this book a modern classic. The read is mostly overly frenetic, lacks any real depth in storyline, or should I say diary extracts, and too often borders from predictable to mundane.
I struggled from the off, waiting for the storyline to pick up or just change, waiting for some actual meat on the adventures, but we just kept hitting bars, listening to jazz or racing across America, picking up the odd girl and meeting up with old friends, all ready to do the same?
The descriptions are all too brief, without depth, there’s nothing to get your teeth into or to enjoy or savour, in fact, the tale is damn right tedium of the first order for far too long. Do we really get to know the main protagonists in any depth whatsoever?
The author clearly thought his characters were of immense interest and full spell-binding charisma - unfortunately they are not. They are dull and uninteresting and far too one-dimensional. I have to be candid here and say that I was disappointed. I invested time that was ultimately misplaced.
Like others on here I found it difficult to actually read and really hard to get through, there’s a lot on each individual page – which ultimately meanders into one dead end or cul-de-sac after another! It was like being in a maze and once I’d started to read it, I kept on until stumbling out at the end - after a very long while going around in circles and ending up a the same place - in a bar , or in the car on the road again!
Surely a ‘classic’ has to be easily readable, there has to be a connection with the reader via the storyline and characters? You simply cannot compare this to the likes of Fitzgerald or Steinbeck, who were a great scribes – see how clear their stories are , how well written they are , how they flow off the page, how they evolve into something else as they go, how they surprise and fascinate you? How they make you think - did this tale engage you in this way? Perhaps I was expecting too much from a simple 'road' tale?
Salinger’s ‘ The Catcher in the Rye’ is also about a young man looking for more, or dissatisfied with his lot , but again it is easy to read, clearly laid out and of interest throughout?
This frankly cannot compete in comparison to the aforementioned writers? I suppose that some may like it or even love it, especially the jazz freaks, as the author clearly was. Well fair enough, but frankly this was truly beyond me - sorry!


Pacific Coast Highway: Take a Journey to the Very Best Smooth Jazz & Soul
Pacific Coast Highway: Take a Journey to the Very Best Smooth Jazz & Soul
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £18.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Another Top Notch Album, 24 July 2015
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This one is a little more up tempo than ‘101 Eastbound,’ which is definitely the smoothest thus far. However, I enjoyed this just as much as the music is so good – 28 cracking tracks with lots of sax’ thrown in.
I am gradually getting a good collection together of ‘Smooth Jazz’ compilations. I find them a brilliant listen whilst driving, on the computer surfing or just doing the ironing! Let’s face it tunesmiths, you can get it on anywhere!
I really don’t know too many of the artists but that really doesn’t matter to me as this is quality music for sure and so pleasing to the flappers on the sides of your head! So ‘101 Eastbound’ and this one are 1& 2, so far in the ‘smoothers' charts for me.


Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid [DVD]
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid [DVD]
Offered by qualityfilmsfromuk
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Western Classic ... and Still Great!, 23 July 2015
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This film hasn’t aged at all! The two sidekicks are just as pleasing on the eye as they were back in 1969. This is a great film and real classic of that era. The scenery in the film is to die for, no wonder the cinematography won an ‘AA.’ The script is pitch perfect, witty, and without sentimentality. The picture quality on the standard DVD is average. Redford got the Oscar for best actor ahead of Newman!
Robert Leroy Parker (Butch Cassidy) & Harry Alonzo Longaugh (Sundance) were real outlaws, of similar ages, and were robbing trains etc., nearing the end of our ‘Victorian period.’
I must admit that I could remember very few of the details from the film after all these years, except the bike ride & song, and the cliff jump of course. I’d totally forgotten that they fled to Bolivia where they so called met their end … just as Che Guevara had done in 1967!
This is still a top film and very captivating – Newman and Redford are just full of charisma and the film has a very good storyline and keeps you there throughout. You can’t beat quality?


Bonnie And Clyde [1967] [DVD]
Bonnie And Clyde [1967] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Warren Beatty
Offered by FREETIME
Price: £4.74

5.0 out of 5 stars Still a Top Watch - but get the Bluray Version, 21 July 2015
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This film is getting on for 50 years old now but still holds up well today. It caused a real stir when it came out in 1967 due to several violent scenes but from there on things became more and more graphic and the floodgates were open.
The acting from all concerned is top class, the film won all the top awards, nominations were flying in all directions. The film’s budget of $2.5 million was turned into a worldwide profit of $70 million.
I bought the ordinary DVD and I have to say that the quality of picture is poor – I wished I’d bought the Bluray version as this film is top notch.
Beatty & Dunaway have starred in many top films but I think it’s true to say that they both fell short of reaching the very top.
Like any film, this one takes a few liberties with the story lines but overall it contains most of the known facts. It's a first class watch and every bit as good, as I recall it from all those years ago.


Smooth Jazz - The Essential Album
Smooth Jazz - The Essential Album
Offered by leo of johnson
Price: £19.99

4.0 out of 5 stars All These Albums Are So Good, 19 July 2015
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I sort of progressed from’ popular’ smooth jazz to this authentic smooth jazz? There’s no doubt that as far as I’m concerned – these are the best sounding jazz albums for someone like me? I don’t want complicated, over bearing jazz… I just want something that’s soft on the ear, a sort of ‘drift away’ jazz, something you can lose yourself in half way through a bottle of Soave. You know, that jazz that’s on in the background somewhere, it sets the mood and you feel really good, even though you know nothing about music really, and in the morning you can still remember it, but not many of the people that you met or the conversations that you had? You just think … hell… I must find out what that music was. Well. All the smooth jazz albums make me feel like that as they're all so damn good.
Again, this is an excellent album and one that in time,I will play over and over for sure, but it is not as laid back as 101 Eastbound.
‘101 Eastbound’ is definitely the smoothest thus far, but I am still a purchasing and a listening!


101 Eastbound: Complete Your Journey to the Heart of Smooth Jazz
101 Eastbound: Complete Your Journey to the Heart of Smooth Jazz
Price: £60.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Real Smooth Jazz for Sure!, 18 July 2015
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I have now listened to: several Smooth Jazz albums - 1& 2, Essential Jazz, The Only Jazz Album and the Late Night Moods’ albums, and I l have to say that I loved them all.
Frankly people… I am a believer! Now, before you get all holy on me, I know some of these aforementioned albums are not strictly authentic ‘smooth jazz’ albums. After listening to this album I have to say that it is the best one thus far
I have also listened to a lot of the ‘Great American Song Book,' there’s some very fine jazz here too, though very different to this of course. There are so many genres of jazz but 'smooth' hits the button for me and my ears like it just fine!
This really is a lovely album for sure and just perfect to have on in the background, creating that perfect ambiance whilst you're doing the ironing... or what ever floats your boat!


Crash [2005] [DVD]
Crash [2005] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Sandra Bullock
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.72

5.0 out of 5 stars This Film Needs Thinking About!, 18 July 2015
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This review is from: Crash [2005] [DVD] (DVD)
This is definitely one of those films that you have to step back from and think – what the hell was that all about! On face value it seems like a film that’s only concerned with racism, but of course, there’s more to it than that?
So, we see the lives and actions of several blacks, whites, Iranians, Hispanics and other mixed races. We have: several police officers, a District Attorney, Store owners, a film director, a Locksmith, a maid, a health worker, husbands, wives, girlfriends, mums, dads, siblings – yes quite a mixture!
I had a good think about this film the next morning and the pennies slowly started to drop!
The film explores some of the reasons for racism – ignorance, fear, anger / revenge, simply the power to apply it, peer pressure, institutional racism, acceptance of white supremacy and force … and so on!
The film also looks at the outside influences on these characters lives – are they all just nasty people? There’s an awful lot packed into this film which needs chewing over to get the best from it?
Once I had got my head around it, it became a much better watch than I had originally thought; I could see why it won so many awards. Yes, a very entertaining film indeed.


A Clockwork Orange [DVD] [1971]
A Clockwork Orange [DVD] [1971]
Dvd ~ Malcolm McDowell
Price: £5.89

4.0 out of 5 stars A Ground Breaking Film from the 70's, 17 July 2015
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I was 18 when this first came out and at the time it was one of those ‘must see films’ as it was an experience that wasn’t on offer before?
Well, the first half hour certainly sets the scene, with violence, nudity and rape aplenty. It is a very compelling intro? These days of course, those sorts of scenes wouldn’t be anything out of the ordinary, but back then….
Ironically, ‘Straw Dogs,’ which also contained violence and rape came out the same year!
The film has definitely stood the test of time and is now seen as a ground breaking classic, even if it’s not everyone’s cup of tea?
Watching it some 40 years later, it didn’t quite have the impact that I thought it may have had. All the real action is very much at the beginning and things are a lot tamer thereafter as the story unfolds.
The film was ‘nominated ‘for ‘best film’ at the Academy Awards, Golden Globes and the BAFTA’s. Malcom McDowell was also nominated as ‘best actor’ at the GG’s. The film’s budget of $2.2 million was eventually turned into a box office return of $26.2 million, even allowing for the fact that the film was withdrawn for a while, due to its controversial nature.
I was looking forward to revisiting this film and I thought it was a very good watch, but not so blindingly brilliant that I would want to watch it again in the future. Time has watered the content down and perhaps there are better films from that period that really grip you all the way through – this film didn’t quite manage that with me.


Once Upon a Time in the West -- Special Collector's Edition (2 discs) [DVD] [1969]
Once Upon a Time in the West -- Special Collector's Edition (2 discs) [DVD] [1969]
Dvd ~ Henry Fonda
Price: £5.30

4.0 out of 5 stars Great filming - Not to Sure if it's a Classic?, 15 July 2015
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The best thing about his film is the quality of the picture (normal DVD version), the wonderful scenery and some very lavish sets – all top class I have to say and some of the cinematography is just brilliant - great opening sequence I thought. Having said that,
I found hard to take too seriously at times?
Too often we see the three protagonists' eyes – staring, leering, glaring, eye-balling, sizing up situations, looking fixedly, wincing, squinting … generally looking menacing! It was a little overdone IMHO.
But we do have three ‘badies’ for the price of one! ‘Old blue eyes’ Frank, (no relation by the way), is undeniably a nasty piece of work – he shoots women & children and can spit with the best of um. He also gets to defrock the alluring Jill – Nice one Frank. That beats being juror number 8 I know!
I have to say that ‘Cheyenne’ could do with a damn good shave and haircut. His sideburns were so thick that rumour has it that he had mockingbirds nesting in each of them! And, don’t ask him why his toes are sticking through the front of his cowboy boots!
Then there’s the old tunesmith, ‘Harmonica,’ who can ‘give you the old evil-eyed glare,’ shoot you dead before you’ve had the chance of your final slug of whisky, ignore the ladies, as he’s not too fussy about um, all without even blinking – not even once!
Apparently Clint turned down the offer of his role, just as Charles did the same to ‘The man with no name!’ What might have been? I’m with Clint on this one.He clearly wouldn’t have been able to pull hard on his cheroot, fix a glare and give the Clint squint, and play the licking stick, all at the same time? He's good, but not that good!
Don’t get me wrong here, I did enjoy the film, but to call it a classic and compare it to ‘Once upon a Time in America’ is quite ridiculous – that was a true classic, this is a very good film, beautifully shot, but not a great or believable storyline.


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