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John Frame "There Is No Substitute For Equality" (Brisbane, Queensland Australia)

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Bona Drag
Bona Drag
Offered by Leisurezone
Price: £6.72

5.0 out of 5 stars premium Morrissey, 21 July 2010
This review is from: Bona Drag (Audio CD)
Bona Drag is a superb album which stands out in Morrissey's catalogue as a "Desert Island" disc. I could happily listen to "Interesting Drug", "Last of the Famous International Playboys", "November Spawned A Monster", "He Knows I'd Love To See Him" and "Ouija Board Ouija Board" in rotation for eternity. I'm looking forward to the 20th anniversary remastered version which is due for release in September 2010 (announced this week but not yet listed for preorder).

As for the product description suggesting that Morrissey's commercial and creative success faded after The Smiths, I'm sure it was reported that even Viva Hate sold more than all the Smiths albums combined. Every one of his albums has contained all time gems and he remains one of the world's best vocalists and live entertainers (backed by an astounding band of gifted musicians who deserve and enjoy mutual loyalty). His live act includes several of his Smiths classics, but performed with a dynamic intensity The Smiths could only dream of.

Something For Everybody
Something For Everybody
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £8.43

5.0 out of 5 stars honesty and integrity to match the musical artistry, 4 July 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Something For Everybody (Audio CD)
I'm a dedicated Devotee and am proud to own all their CD and DVD releases (plus a swag of vinyl and LaserDisc) and I love "Something For Everybody". The lyrical concepts and instrument sounds are definitive Devo and the production is excellent. However DEVO are not out to win over anyone who wasn't already prepared to like them - it's more as if they're rewarding fans with something genuine and fresh.

DEVO are obviously having a good time in the studio and it must be a joy to add a couple of these new songs to their current tour. Of the new promotional videos available online "Don't Shoot I'm A Man" is particularly good, and there are also several YouTube videos of recent live performances which prove that the band is in top form (including their incorporation of technology). There are also a few must-see episodes of a "reality show" on the making of this album.

There was an interesting collaboration with the Disney channel a few years back called "Devo 2.0" with talented kids performing selected Devo classics - bringing some very astute concepts to inform the minds of the future.

At this time when humans could easily continue to completely ruin the planet "Something For Everybody" keeps up DEVO's very good work in both entertaining and challenging their audience to actively engage in life with compassion, honesty and integrity.

On 3rd Sept '10 Brisbane's Courier Mail tabloid accused DEVO of being "unabashed sell-outs" because they reworked their original Whip-It video to promote the D-EVO digital x-ray scanning system by Fujifilm. Have a look at the promo video and you'll agree that it holds true to DEVO's tradition of humour with integrity.

Cowboys And Angels [2004] [DVD]
Cowboys And Angels [2004] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Michael Legge

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film - with superb surround sound, 30 Jun. 2010
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I received a preview disc for this film in May 2005 as it was being released in Australia. I popped the DVD into my PC just to see what this film looked and sounded like - and was immediately wrapped up in the visuals, the story and especially the sound. Even with a modest 5.1 speaker system I was amazed - it's hard to imagine a bigger or better experience in a cinema. Ninety minutes later I was happy to sing its praises.

I like that the script is very tight - yet allowing space for the characters to breathe. You can't help trying to second guess how they'll develop, because there's enough divergence to counter predictability - meaning that it all makes good reasonable sense and is very satisfying.

Filmed entirely on location in Limerick - the first time I'm aware of seeing this beautiful city on film. I enjoyed interviewing writer/director David Gleeson who says that the main characters are based roughly on his own experience as a young straight man with a overtly gay flatmate.

I'm stunned that there are so few positive reviews on Amazon for Cowboys And Angels - because among the hundreds of gay/queer films from around the world that I've viewed with an appreciation of their gay credibility and cinematic quality this film definitely is in my top ten.

The stunning surround sound mix by Germany's Sascha Heiny is just one of the attractions - and the film is certainly morally sound (being both very homo and hetero friendly). It's all round damned fine entertainment enhanced by beautiful Irish accents.

Anyone looking for a film to set as a benchmark for awfulness should go straight to the Australian teen surf lemon "Tan Lines" - and if you happen to find that you like Tan Lines then you must accept that you have no taste, and no sense of what's good, bad or indifferent in film making.

PS: for some unknown reason the Australian DVD release through ForceVideo had only 2.0 stereo, no subtitles and an inferior picture quality. The NTSC version preview disc was true 16:9 anamorphic, offered a choice of 5.1 surround or 2.0 stereo, an excellent commentary track and English language subtitles. This PAL version listed at Amazon UK is released by TLA, the same company as the NTSC version listed at (where the film gets an average 4.5 stars from 21 reviewers - a much more sensible result).
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Heaven On Earth
Heaven On Earth
Offered by zoreno-uk
Price: £7.49

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent live 1988 DVD with bonus remastered CD, 21 Jun. 2010
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This review is from: Heaven On Earth (Audio CD)
As others have mentioned, the "Belinda Live!" DVD (Philadelphia May 1988) is the star attraction of this edition. My brother and I saw Belinda in Brisbane, Australia on this tour and she rocked on par with the best I've seen - as proven in this film. The NTSC single layer DVD gives maximum video quality in its original 4:3 format, and I'm very glad that they maintained the audio in equally high quality PCM stereo (48kHz 16bit), rather than using highly compressed Dolby Digital 2.0 or a simulated 5.1.

This is among my all-time favourite live music films (a list which includes the 1981 alternative scene epic "Urgh! A Music War" in which the Go-Go's first won my attention). Glorious to watch, resplendent with powerful and rich sound, both complementing a stunning performance. I had no idea that this was the "bonus" disc until I opened the package, and I am very surprised and happy to own this major upgrade on the VHS version. I'm also happy to have a remastered and enhanced version of "Heaven On Earth".

Belinda's autobiography has just been released and in it she talks about her struggle to overcome intense addiction and her pride in her gay son. What's not to like about this woman?

The Martins [DVD]
The Martins [DVD]
Dvd ~ Lee Evans
Price: £4.05

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An immediate classic, 22 May 2010
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This review is from: The Martins [DVD] (DVD)
I bought The Martins purely because I'd nearly laughed myself to death recently while watching all three series of Gimme Gimme Gimme. Kathy Burke has already proven what a powerful and capable actor she is - and in The Martins she is in top form (as are all of the cast).

I have never seen a film with more intense dramatic engagement between the characters, but that's balanced by ample humour, genuine compassion and love. It's a hard, but ultimately rewarding and memorable ride.

Fantastic camera work, scenery and very impressive sound design. Certainly worthy of the descriptive "brilliant".

For a Friend: The Best of Bronski Beat, The Communards & Jimmy Somerville
For a Friend: The Best of Bronski Beat, The Communards & Jimmy Somerville
Price: £5.45

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most comprehensive and high quality collection of Jimmy Somerville material, 22 May 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This 2CD "Small Town Boy" collection shows Jimmy's own input especially in the selection and arrangement of the tracks. Every song on every one of his albums has been at least good - many are great, and quite a few - at least an album's worth - are all time classics performed with impeccable original style in his vocals and with consistently equally impressive musicianship and production.

Too many retrospective collections suffer from the volume of tracks being mismatched or some older tracks being compressed carelessly in order to compete with more modern ones (the unfortunate fallout from the loudness wars). However every track on this collection is pristine and both CDs are a pure joyous listening experience from start to finish.

I believe that Jimmy's voice and his songwriting are continuing to improve with age. I'm very happy with his 2009 "Suddenly Last Summer" laid back collection of acoustic cover versions, which provides the closing two tracks here.

I've interviewed Jimmy twice (in 1998 and 2005 - google my name and Jimmy's to hear them). His gentle manner, unflinching honesty and his passion for life convince me that he's one of the nicest, most vital and talented artists on the planet.

Even if you already own everything he's ever released on CD, you still could not possibly arrange and produce as perfect and representative a collection of the works of Jimmy Somerville. Superb value.

Peter Gabriel 4
Peter Gabriel 4

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars my first CD future proofed in high definition, 16 May 2010
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This review is from: Peter Gabriel 4 (Audio CD)
When Compact Disc players were first released, in late 1982, I was immediately won over by the promise of hearing master tape quality music free from wow and flutter and background noise. Initially there were only 20 CD albums to choose from, and since one of them was Peter Gabriel's fully digital 4th album I believed that fact alone was enough reason to justify taking a hire purchase agreement to buy Sony's debut CDP-101 unit for a hefty $1,200 Australian.

The CD was $25 - more than three times the price of a vinyl album - but the CD format exceeded my expectations and fully justified the cost. For at least a month this was my one and only CD - I heard it dozens of times at home and I proudly demonstrated the system to all my suitably impressed friends. My Peter Gabriel 4 CD was the first of the format to air on local community radio 4ZZZfm.

PG4 remains one of my top five favourite CDs - and the stereo SACD / CD hybrid is the ultimate way to own and enjoy it - with the high definition SACD format almost making it future proof. "Almost" future proof because I accept that SACD and DVD-Audio have both struggled to find popularity with more than a tiny minority of music consumers - due significantly to the lack of good titles available. I own less than 20 high definition discs, but they're good enough to make it worth owning a Yamaha DVD player which supports both SACD and DVD-Audio. The rapidly increasing popularity of Blu-Ray proves that it really ought to be the dominant format for high definition music (but there's been bugger all movement in that direction).

Every track here is a winner - and as much for the power and sheer beauty of the production (especially the percussion) as for the music and lyrics. I love "Shock The Monkey" - there's never been a single anything like it. "The Family And The Fishing Net" is an epic and emotive unique gem. However it's the perfect balance and arrangement of tracks which make this one of the most satisfying albums of all time. "Kiss Of Life" leaves the listener feeling wonderfully envigorated. Any format - SACD will do for now - which allows maximum fidelity for the enjoyment of PG4 should be warmly embraced. It should be noted though that my original 1982 CD stills sounds stunning (and absolutely perfect).

Hollywood, Je T'aime [DVD]
Hollywood, Je T'aime [DVD]
Dvd ~ Eric Debets
Offered by Gayfilmlover
Price: £6.39

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars polished, stylish and entertaining, 16 May 2010
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This review is from: Hollywood, Je T'aime [DVD] (DVD)
Hollywood Je T'Aime impresses mainly because of how polished and professional a product it is. On a technical level I particularly enjoy the artistic quality of the sound design for 5.1 surround.

After a recent major disappointment with the USA made C-grade "Tru Loved", this film has restored my faith in the talent potential of independent queer film makers.

Hollywood Je T'Aime doesn't set out to educate or lecture. It's a believable enough story to be based on real life experience. Jerome has reluctantly yet amicably separated from the man whom had thought to be the love of his life - and he is (only just) independently wealthy enough to test the possibility of a postcard perfect life on the other side of the planet.

Naturally neither California nor the Hollywood industry can live up to Jerome's expectations - but we do meet some wonderful people and get a glimpse of street life (enough to know that it's hard for the people who already live there to carve a niche for ongoing happiness).

The resolution is very reasonable and assures you that this is time well spent, and a film you'd happily see again and enjoy with friends.

Bedazzled [DVD]
Bedazzled [DVD]
Dvd ~ Peter Cook
Offered by A2Z Entertains
Price: £5.87

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The funniest and most beautifully filmed feature ever, 2 Dec. 2009
This review is from: Bedazzled [DVD] (DVD)
This 2.35:1 (16:9 anamorphic) DVD of Bedazzled is visually stunning. I'd been satisfied for many years with the LaserDisc - which is fullscreen 4:3, with washed out colours and very poor contrast. As I watched the DVD with my 82 year old mother she kept commenting on the truly beautiful colours - and while she didn't get every joke, she laughed herself silly (actually she had a head start in that regard).

The DVD does deserved justice to the creative talents of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore and to the equally fine talent of director Stanley Donen who makes every scene a work of art. The comedy is truly timeless, because its value is in the method of delivery, not just the punchline. In the bonus interview with Barry Humphries, he suggests politely that Bedazzled stands up well enough today as a classic, and he's clearly very proud to have been a part of this slice of cinematic history. I have no interest in seeing the "remake" - the original could never be equalled on any technical or creative level.

Stanley Donen's Bedazzled is high on the list of my top ten all time favourite films. My eternal gratitude and praise to the technical craftsmen responsible for this faultless restoration and transfer to DVD. I was too young to see it in the cinema, but I plan to live long enough to enjoy this DVD many times.

The scene I'll always cherish most is of Drimbleweed and the Vegetations - which gave me a taste for angst rock many years before The Smiths could fully satisfy it.
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Streamers [DVD]
Streamers [DVD]
Dvd ~ Matthew Modine
Price: £2.75

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film on the dramatic consequences of censored communication, 20 Nov. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Streamers [DVD] (DVD)
There is no other film that deals so confrontingly with homophobia - and with honesty.

It's a deliberately pressured and closed set, but careful editing softens the effect of the confined space. As in Hitchcock's "Rope", the camera never leaves the room, so the viewer feels caged, while the characters can come and go.

The setting is an army barracks in which the men will at any moment be sent overseas for active war duty. The characters have no choice but to negotiate how much they want to know or to accept about each other.

Long before "don't ask - don't tell" became official US Forces policy, society in general had enforced rigid control over how open any homosexual could be - and Service Personnel have always held the worst reputation for homophobia.

So when Richie flaunts his complete disregard for machismo and swishes around the barracks, he's making one hell of bold statement. He teases Billy mercilessly with come ons, and Billy does his best to call Richie's bluff.

"Streamers" is about the truly dramatic consequences of censored communication. It's a gripping, demanding, powerful and very satisfying film that leaves your head spinning and your heart racing.

You practically need a de-briefing session afterwards, but "Streamers" is certainly one of the most memorable of dramatic movie experiences - on par with "A Clockwork Orange".

The performance by the entire cast is impeccable.

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