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Ian Armer (Lancashire, United Kingdom)

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Noah [Blu-ray]
Noah [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Russell Crowe
Price: £13.00

16 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Over the heads of the audience we go., 13 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Noah [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
A cinematic Midrash that confuses the audience expecting God knows what. It's visionary, serious, brilliant, flawed, brilliantly flawed and way smarter than the average movie-goer who snaffles down popcorn and texts during a movie. Ignore the haters, NOAH is a very, very intriguing and clever film. It requires WORK on behalf of the viewer. I've not stopped thinking about this movie, or its message, since seeing it theatrically and look forward to joining in the theological debate on Blu-ray.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 5, 2014 2:56 PM BST

Spartacus - Original Poster Series [Blu-ray] [1960] [Region Free]
Spartacus - Original Poster Series [Blu-ray] [1960] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Kirk Douglas
Price: £7.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, but what about the Blu Ray?, 22 April 2014
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Like many others I hesitated in buying the SPARTACUS Blu-ray due to the countless negative comments regarding the picture quality. So, without any fuss, let me spell it out - the Blu-ray is miles better than the grainy DVD, but - compared to something like CLEOPATRA - it's not the best Blu-ray out there. It's certainly worth upgrading for, however, and you will notice a vast improvement. Being reasonably cheap makes this a better alternative than the pretty naff DVD - but if you have a special edition DVD of SPARTACUS then keep it for the extras as this Blu-ray is rather lacking in that department. Swings and roundabouts.

Dom Hemingway [DVD] [2013]
Dom Hemingway [DVD] [2013]
Dvd ~ Jude Law
Price: £7.50

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What happens when a writer/director is not reined in? This movie., 20 April 2014
This review is from: Dom Hemingway [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Dom Hemingway is a depressing experience. If, like myself, you were suckered in by the brilliant trailer (give those guys an award) you might be alarmed to discover that not only is Dom Hemingway nowhere near as good as the trailer, it's also a relentlessly juvenile, rambling and painfully misogynistic experience. It's also immensely boring and fails - even at a basic level - of telling a decent story. Structure is out of the window and scenes trot by, failing to serve or propel the story forward. The film is borderline incoherent and is actually embarrassing to watch.

It's all from the (apparently adolescent) mind of Richard Shepard, who has hammered out a cliché spewing rag of a story. If you are fifteen and overexcited, it's probably the greatest movie ever made. For anybody else, it's a charmless, witless disaster. Is this where British cinema has taken us? Is this really what gets made and passes for entertainment? Believe the negative reviews - this film is a massive waste of time. A solid gold stinker.

Ignore the 5 star reviews. They probably worked on the film. Save your time and money. Watch something - anything - else.


The Harry Hill Movie [Blu-ray]
The Harry Hill Movie [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Harry Hill
Offered by The Happy Zombie
Price: £10.95

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well, I enjoyed it!, 29 Mar 2014
Okay, I concede - it probably shouldn't have been a cinema release, but did it really deserve the amount of vitriol poured over it? Some people obviously think so, because The Harry Hill Movie took a royal bashing by the critics and quite a few audience members. Why? Well, it's blatantly obvious why - the movie is a 70's throwback (Replace Harry, Nan and Abu with The Goodies) that tries to please the whole family but is possibly too genteel for modern tastes yet too post-modern surreal for the older generations.

Well, I really liked it, but you sort of have to tune in to the wavelength in order to fully appreciate it. The humour is genuine Harry Hill - not the mainstream TV Burp - and more akin to his stage shows than his more well-known TV series. The acting is very good, the songs are great, it's certainly not 'boring' and even if it is slightly hit and miss, the hit ratio is certainly higher than the misses.

Maybe it's not nasty enough? It's lacking the more explicit vicious streak that creeps into Hill's comedy, but I quite liked Harry's almost uncaring nonchalance about anything in the story that didn't directly affect himself. His constant dismissal of Abu (and the pay off) is gleefully rotten and Harry comes across as a selfish (if strangely likeable) caricature of his comedy creation.

The film refuses to pander to the TV Burp crowd (no Knitted Character here) but maybe that link to past glories might have anchored the movie as it feels quite adrift in a free-form comedy universe that seems to be finding its feet.

I can't say you'll enjoy it as much as I did. Maybe you will, maybe you won't - but if you are willing to go with the flow and plug into the humour, there's a lot of fun to be had here.

Milius [DVD]
Milius [DVD]
Dvd ~ Joey Figueroa
Price: £16.72

3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but also quite boring., 13 Feb 2014
This review is from: Milius [DVD] (DVD)
The problem with this documentary is that it is utterly indistinguishable from any other documentary of its ilk - talking heads, photographs with that strange 3D effect and a few clips. Fair enough, but this is JOHN MILIUS. It needed to be as audacious and OTT as Milius himself! Instead it's an interesting, routine and generic feature that gives us a very safe and pedestrian view of the life and times of this character. I can't say it's bad, but I wasn't really blown away by it either and after 70 minutes I was checking my watch. Attention grabbing but more rental than one to add to the collection.

The Richard Burton Diaries
The Richard Burton Diaries
by Chris Williams
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.09

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating, if sometimes tedious, character study of a man in decline., 25 Sep 2013
The Richard Burton Diaries are a fascinating, sometimes delightful, often tedious trawl through Burton's life as - and when - he could be bothered to keep up with his notes. Burton has a great literary voice and the early parts of the diaries (the 60's - 70's) are easily the most accessible as we follow Burton and Taylor through 'The Taming of the Shrew' and their luxurious, extravagant lifestyle. They are obviously very much in love and it doesn't take a genius to realise that, had they not suffered a few very personal setbacks and laid off the booze, they could have stayed very happy together. In fact, Burton's diaries only spring to life when ET is on the scene. Once divorced, they become drab, meaningless, almost painful to read. Some entries simply read 'Booze' and his callous, almost dismissive nature of his partners (including Susan Hunt) is sickening. They mean nothing to him. In fact, after reading the diaries, you come to the conclusion that Burton had nothing in his life really worth a damn. He hated acting, despised most people, loved words, was catty and critical of everybody around him and lacking some sort of focus...that he had with Taylor. After they had self-combusted they were both beyond hope of repair and the latter part of the diaries are a catalogue of misery, boozing, self-loathing and general pessimism.

The diaries are also, it has to be said, a bit of a slog. There are pages - and I mean pages - of sheer banality and dull as ditch-water descriptions of dinner parties, people and general tedium. Burton's insights are not always worth a read, it has to be said. Luckily, there are enough bright moments of genuine hilarity and warmth to keep the interest, but as a character study of a man (from his own lips) it is an obvious physical and mental decline of a great actor to a shambling wreck. As a Burton admirer, it's rather painful to say that, but the unending grey misery of huge swathes of his life as depicted in the diaries make one eager for the last page and a breath of fresh air.

The South Bank Show: Volume 1 (Ken Russell) [DVD]
The South Bank Show: Volume 1 (Ken Russell) [DVD]

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 1 star for the producers/distributors of this non-existent release!, 9 Sep 2013
What went wrong? This release was announced over 18 months ago and then Amazon informed me it would be released early in August 2013, then - nothing.

It's bad enough Russell's work is so poorly represented in the UK, but this (now apparently scrapped) DVD release should have been a golden opportunity for major reappraisal of one of England's greatest directors.

I'll keep checking back, but I'm not getting my hopes up!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 1, 2013 6:58 PM BST

Fratello Sole Sorella Luna (2 Dvd)
Fratello Sole Sorella Luna (2 Dvd)
Dvd ~ adolfo celi
Offered by VECOSELL
Price: £8.54

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Excellent alternate cut lumbered with abysmal DVD quality, 22 Aug 2013
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The Italian cut of BROTHER SUN, SISTER MOON is a good 14 minutes longer and structured differently from the US version, also using alternate takes and expanding upon already existing scenes. It also loses the Donovan songs and Ken Thorne's adaptation of Riz Ortolani's excellent score, used in this cut. Putting it simply, if you love the US version - and it's no better or worse than this edition - you should check this version out because it adds a different perspective and feel to the film, ditching the 'flower power' for, well, just a good Italian historical movie.

The downside? Well, it's a massive downside, I have to admit. If you watch the film on your PC or can alter the screen settings of your TV to 'PC mode' you are left with a rather VHS quality version of the movie. If not, you have to endure a badly pixelated, almost poor quality You Tube version of the movie. That this print was passed for domestic release beggars belief. It's almost as if the vow of Franciscan poverty was applied to this DVD re-master!

If you can suffer it, it's worth checking out - but I'd stick with the US release otherwise.

Vatel [DVD] [2000] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Vatel [DVD] [2000] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Tim Roth

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful film about dignity., 11 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Vatel splits opinion. For many it is a visual delight lumbered with a somewhat anaemic plot, often accused of being 'boring.' For some, myself included, it is a visual delight that captures the desperate illusion of fake dignity and misplaced loyalty. The film tells the story visually, rarely making any important character development through dialogue, but rather highlighting the empty servitude of everybody at the 3 day party. The King rules and everybody bends to his whim. Vatel is foolish enough to believe that he plays an important part in the affairs of his master's house by creating an event so magnificent that the King of France will bestow honour upon his master, the Prince, cutting his bonds of debt and raising him to a position of great affluence in the impending war with the Dutch. Vatel, to his cost, gradually discovers that he is wrong. He talks of dignity and class, but is desperate to make a good impression for the sake of his master. This conflict in his very nature - standing up for the down-trodden and pleasing royalty - displays his great strength and weakness that are at battle within his heart. Eventually, he is simply crushed by his own position, realising the hopelessness of it all and making a final, dramatic gesture to restore his dignity and freedom.

Vatel captures the mood and energy of the party magnificently. The feeling that you are observing spoilt, rich demi-tyrants is beautifully done. Julian Sands gives a wonderful performance as the King - even his gratitude reeks of a patronising fake sincerity. Uma Thurman and Tim Roth give able support, though neither are stretched. Depardieu gives a very understated performance - it's subtle, obsessed and he seems more interested in the details of the scene than what is actually happening (which is the point). When the moment comes, you see the realisation in his eyes and it is perfect.

Ennio Morricone's score is just beautiful. One of his best. It's visually breath-taking. There's a little blood and suggested sex but no profanity.

If you can get into it, the rewards are there. If you like movies that are more 'Hollywood' you'd better give it a miss.

Burton and Taylor [DVD]
Burton and Taylor [DVD]
Dvd ~ Helena Bonham Carter
Price: £5.10

5 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Trash., 27 July 2013
This review is from: Burton and Taylor [DVD] (DVD)
With a disclaimer telling you that it's all (more or less) made up for dramatic purposes, this drama was akin to everybody involved standing around the graves of Burton and Taylor and pissing (in unison) on both their memories and spinning corpses. If you liked this, you probably worked on it.

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