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Murder On The Orient Express [DVD] [1974]
Murder On The Orient Express [DVD] [1974]
Dvd ~ Albert Finney
Price: £4.00

4.0 out of 5 stars First five minutes, 1 Oct 2014
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The first five minutes of this film are some of the most disturbing and memorable in any film. This blue tinted opening sequence, showing the kidnap of a young child, are particularly eerie and atmospheric - in marked contrast to the opulent pink satined titles and grand orchestral theme tune.
This film continues to be one of contrasts: around the murder things are kept tight, whilst the interviewing of the passengers, perhaps inevitably, contain some longeurs. I don't know a thing about film lighting, but can say that they brilliantly capture the super white glare caused by being surrounded by snow, and the dimmed light of the carriages at night are used to great effect.
Albert Finney is an acquired taste as Poirot, but turns in a performance just the right side of ham. Occasionally though the plot plays second fiddle to the hugely impressive cast, but again this perhaps cannot be helped. The music is brilliant throughout. Not the easiest of the Agatha Christies to put on film, but this is entertaining and well put together.

The Go-Between [DVD] [1970]
The Go-Between [DVD] [1970]
Dvd ~ Julie Christie
Price: £8.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully acted and photographed, 17 Sep 2014
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This review is from: The Go-Between [DVD] [1970] (DVD)
An interesting marriage of a Losey's dark, modern style and the sweltering setting of an Edwardian Norfolk summer. Beautifully acted and photographed, the central theme - innocence lost - is subtly portrayed save for the the rather sudden and dramatic over-use of the piano soundtrack. In my view the best performances of the bunch are those by Dominic Guard and Margaret Leighton. These two best convey the pernicious nature of the romance between Christie and Bates, as the disquieting betrayal of both Leo and Hugh comes increasingly to the fore.

And Then There Were None [DVD]
And Then There Were None [DVD]
Dvd ~ Oliver Reed
Price: £10.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Second rate murder mystery, 16 Sep 2014
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This version is entertaining but somehow rather sterile. True, sunlit views of a deserted Persian hotel do add a certain eery hue to proceedings, but these are too oft repeated and draw attention to the lack of atmosphere elsewhere. Perhaps it's the determinedly pan-European cast, perhaps it's the over-prominent clunky soundtrack. Either way, something here fails to gel.

Oliver Reed and Elke Sommer try to conjure romance to leaven the body count, but come up with watery cliche instead. I suspect that the producers expected simply to ferry the excellent cast to the set, plonk them down with a script and let the magic begin. It just doesn't. From the uncomfortable shoehorning of Charles Aznavour's badly-dubbed rendition of 'Dance in the old fashioned way', to the film's utter lack of humour, this must rank as a disappointing addition to the Agatha Christie genre.

Airfix 1:48 - Gloster Javelin FAW9/9R
Airfix 1:48 - Gloster Javelin FAW9/9R
Offered by Buy-For-Less-Online
Price: £37.91

3.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful but be warned, 21 July 2014
Look, there's no doubting the detail and moulding of this model is first rate, and the best I've known from Airfix. But for all its many qualities, there are some fit problems to overcome in prominent areas (air intakes, exhausts and fuselage join). These can be overcome (that's the challenge of modelling etc.) but don't get the impression this kit is as good as flawless.

In addition, the application of the upper wing roundel decals (usually a high satisfaction/low skill part of the process) is very hard indeed owing to the vortex things (I am getting technical here) that the decal has to go over. The holes in the decal don't fit -I challenge anyone to apply these without cracking the decal. My advice would be to simply cut off the 'vortex things' and apply the decal flat. If you're keen to add them later they would not be too difficult to scratch build.

Fantastic for Airfix to have released this, but its many charms aren't always as accessible as some of these reviews may lead you to believe.

The West Wing - Complete Season 1-7 [DVD] [2006]
The West Wing - Complete Season 1-7 [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ Martin Sheen
Price: £49.82

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Well made fakery, 11 Jun 2014
There is no doubt that this is a well put together show. What remains so insidious is the faux documentary realism, for it is this that often seems to fool otherwise intelligent viewers. And here lies my concern. So many fans believe that 'The West Wing' delivers much more than simply drama - they feel that there is authenticity here - a belief that each episode delivers a 'what might have been' insight. They measure this belief against their own confident (but I suspect ill-founded) views that this is what The White House would ACTUALLY BE LIKE. These are people who are convinced by characters like the brooding Toby Ziegler. Mmm. I do not myself claim to know what life in American government is like, but have at least resisted the temptation to be drawn into this 'West Wing syndrome' where a brassy Capitol Hill theme tune and a knowing screenplay mask the fact that 'The West Wing' is like many other TV dramas, no better no worse, and no more authentic.

Psycho Drops Killer Million
Psycho Drops Killer Million
Price: £9.95

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haute cuisine noodle recipe, 16 Mar 2014
Take one chicken and mushroom pot noodle (available at specialist supermarkets and garages countrywide) discard the tiny puddle of inferior quality soy sauce contained within the sachet. Prepare according to the irritatingly matey instructions printed on the side of the pot. Following this, add three drops of Dr.Burnorium's 'Killer Million' preparation. Mix gently with a plastic fork (from the handful you thought you were clever nicking from M and S that time) and rest until the sweet corn is no longer chewy. The heat of this recipe will surprise you. There will of course be those who deride this, declaring that they have to add red diesel or some kind of nerve agent before they are ever truly satisfied, but take it from me the recipe above will warm enough for most.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 14, 2014 1:24 PM BST

Invisible Men
Invisible Men
Offered by groove_temple
Price: £28.31

4.0 out of 5 stars Despite all indications to the contrary......, 18 Feb 2014
This review is from: Invisible Men (Audio CD)
This album is really good. It's not really pop of course, as perhaps it was intended, and I doubt it even has pretensions to rock, but the best of Anthony Phillips' very British sound comes to the fore here with lively, melodic (I really hate that word but it is right here) and free spirited sound. 'Exocet' is a little bit close to the knuckle, but the other tracks are bang on the money. Music for a bunch of slightly whacky 70s Oxbridge types to enjoy on their way to a champagne picnic in 1983. In a VW Beetle. With a bad stereo. Perfect.

About Time [DVD] [2013]
About Time [DVD] [2013]
Dvd ~ Rachel McAdams
Price: £5.00

10 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars So sorry, but the pixie dust isn't working anymore, 22 Jan 2014
This review is from: About Time [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
There is no doubt that Richard Curtis has been responsible for some of the very best comedy of the last 30 years. Some of the Working Title productions are wonderful and joyous. I expected something great here, or at least good, but ended up disappointed. The plot had great potential, but it remained potential. A few rather unimaginative uses of time travel raised a brief smile, but nothing remarkable or involving seemed to happen. This film plays as if Curtis felt obliged to explore certain obvious plot scenarios, tick them off, and then tack on something a little more emotional for the last 10 minutes. I am sure there could have been more done with the central plot device - were I intelligent or imaginative enough I would make some suggestions, but I can't - I leave that stuff to the filmmakers, and here they let me down. There is certainly a flavour of Curtis's former greatness, but the characters are neither likeable, nor the script funny enough to really raise the pulse. I feel a little bit like I did after paying for Odeon premier seats to watch Working Title's 'Wimbledon' with Paul Bettany and that American girl whose name I can't now remember: a bit lacklustre. Neither film is awful, but the magic? Well it simply isn't there.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 7, 2014 12:08 PM BST

Madhouse [DVD]
Madhouse [DVD]
Dvd ~ Vincent Price
Price: £7.50

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The poor relation, 17 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Madhouse [DVD] (DVD)
This was the last of the four Vincent Price 'serial killer' films of the early 70s. With a pair of Phibes films and Theatre of Blood going before it, 'Madhouse' had a lot to live up to. It fails rather dismally I am afraid. The ponderous whodunnit of a plot combines with a really poor script to leave the impressive cast doing their level best, but cast adrift in a charmless gore fest. Where the previous films had some wry humour and were delivered with style and pace, this film looks a bit like a TV movie copy, simply designed to cash in. The use of an actor as the main protagonist is clearly lifted from Theatre of Blood, and thus suffers the more dearly by comparison with it. A pale, rather unpleasant spectacle to end a run of otherwise excellent films.

St George's Day [DVD]
St George's Day [DVD]
Dvd ~ Frank Harper
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £4.65

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unwatchable, 13 Nov 2013
This review is from: St George's Day [DVD] (DVD)
I bought this film at a supermarket for £3.00. My expectations were not high, but I thought it might pass away a couple of hours in a sort of below par 'lock stock' way. I am afraid that in the event I simply could not watch more than 25 minutes. The scene where Craig Fairbrass and Frank Harper argue in the car is dire and badly acted. The scene with the Russian drug dealers was worse. I gave up. Try this film if you like, perhaps it suddenly improves from minute 26. However I suspect that even in the pantheon of these kind of Brit gangster movies, this one is a real shocker. Shame is that Frank Harper was actually brilliant in 'Lock Stock'. File with all the other DVDs displaying the England flag/hooligans/Essex in the title.

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