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Mr. P. Fixter (Wakefield, West Yorkshire)

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King and Castle - The Complete Series 2 [DVD]
King and Castle - The Complete Series 2 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Derek Martin
Price: 18.03

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not As Good as Series 1, 18 Feb 2014
I was eagerly awaiting the second series of King & Castle, having thoroughly enjoyed the first.

Upon playing episode 1, the first thing I noticed that they have changed the theme tune to a bit of a jazzy number reminiscent of the Beiderbecke Affair.

Also there were different opening titles, with a story scene which seemed to be trying to emulate the later series of Minder (the Gary Webster years). I only managed to watch the opening credits onces (they just don't work for me), and for the rest of the episodes I forwarded through them.

Episode 1 is unfortunately absolutely awful, but thankfully the subsequent episodes improve somewhat - and the second series has a lot more "comedy" moments than the first, which is is a little more gritty.

In fact throughout watching the second series, it became clear to me that they were trying to make King & Castle a kind of Minder type show, attempting to make the two main characters similar to Arthur Daley and Ray Daley.
However overall this didn't work as the characters didn't have the same chemistry.

Nigel Planer (Castle) and Derek Martin (King) play good parts as individuals they just seem to me to be a little too much of an unlikely duo.

There are some familiar faces in the series, for example Shirley Stelfox plays Derek Martin's (Ronald's) girlfriend, and Lucy Speed (Natalie from EastEnders) plays an early career role as an 11 year old.

I was upset to read that Rowena Roberts (Hayley - David Castle's girlfriend), died in 1989 a year after the series was shown, of a stroke aged only 37/38.

I have to say my favourite character in the whole series though is Miss Wilmot, played by Mary Healy, who is King's receptionist/secretary of the Manor Debt Collection Agency - a gem of a role which she plays very well, and pulls off a very believable character.

I will be reviewing Series 1 in due course, but it's sure to be getting a higher rating than the two stars I'm giving Series 2.

Radio On [DVD]
Radio On [DVD]
Dvd ~ David Beames
Offered by A2Z Entertains
Price: 8.64

3.0 out of 5 stars Monochromatic, 23 Dec 2013
This review is from: Radio On [DVD] (DVD)
This is a 1979 film in black and white. I'm not sure if there's a plot. In fact there isn't really a plot. But what you will see are scenes beautifully shot. This is not a film that will appeal to the masses, but there is a lot going on visually. It a boring film, but it's cinematic. It appeals, but it doesn't appeal. It's hard to categorise or define. There's no other film like it that I've seen.

That's not really that helpful I guess, but take a risk. I did and my thoughts are not straight. Maybe that was intention.

The Sweeney [DVD]
The Sweeney [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ray Winstone
Price: 4.00

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars For A Modern Audience, 26 Aug 2013
This review is from: The Sweeney [DVD] (DVD)
As a fan of the original Sweeney series, I was keen to watch the new film. However I have to say it bears no resemblance to the original series.

The only similarity is by the names of the characters only. The "new" Jack Regan is not like the "old" Jack Regan. I know we are taking about two different actors, but the Winstone doesn't get close to Thaw. Perhaps this was the intention from the new writers. The same can be said for 'Carter'.

There is much more violence in the film compared to the old one, and there is also a sex scene at the beginning (featuring Winstone), and whilst we know Regan has an eye for the ladies, and you often saw him in bed with a woman in the old Sweeney after the act - we never saw actual sex scenes in the original series.

Overall, it has to be said that the film has been tailored for the modern audience with the level of violence which for some reason the modern viewer seems to thrive off.

Personally I much prefer the old Sweeney, and even the production and camera angles and direction of the old series are preferable to me, and it was filmed over 30 years earlier.

Ready When You Are, Mr McGill! [DVD] [1976]
Ready When You Are, Mr McGill! [DVD] [1976]
Dvd ~ Joe Black
Price: 9.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Does this go anywhere?, 21 July 2013
This play tells the story of a TV extra who has a line in a film. The play centres on the TV production company and crew trying to get one scene right, but are hit with all sorts of problems - personnel and technical.

There is a recurring scene in the play of a guy painting a shed, and I think what they are getting at here is that in the time it takes to shoot this small scene, a guy has managed to paint a whole shed - nothing more and nothing less, unless I missed the point of this entirely.

There is some amusing dialogue, but overall I don't feel the play goes anywhere and I was a little disappointed in the end.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 6, 2014 1:07 AM BST

River Cottage Veg Every Day! (River Cottage Every Day)
River Cottage Veg Every Day! (River Cottage Every Day)
by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 12.50

5.0 out of 5 stars I Use It Almost Daily, 14 July 2013
A quick review as there are already over 600 reviews on this book!

So in summary, this book has changed my way of cooking for my family. I use it several times a week. My wife and I are vegetarian but my kids are not. Family that we cook for (using the book) who are not vegetarian have loved every recipe we have done for them. All of the recipes are pretty straightforward and and nothing is particularly difficult.

The introduction says the book is "a vegetable cook book" (ie not a strictly vegetarian one), which is quite true as a number of recipes suggest using Parmesan, which is not a vegetarian cheese - however Hugh quite rightly 'gets away with this' if you like by this opening statement. If you are cooking for a vegetarian, it is worth being aware of this. (Similarly, many people don't realise that Worcester Sauce is not vegetarian due to the inclusion of anchovies - however Hendersons Relish is an almost identical substitute).

I noticed a couple of negative reviews saying there were loads of beetroot recipes - there are over 400 pages in this book and less then 10 recipes contain beetroot.

Buy it, use it, enjoy it - I have and I'll never be without it in my kitchen.

The Low Down [DVD]
The Low Down [DVD]
Dvd ~ Aidan Gillen
Price: 5.35

4.0 out of 5 stars A Study, 13 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Low Down [DVD] (DVD)
Like another reviewer said, this is more of an observation of a situation in life than a film.

To me this was very reminiscent of a Mike Leigh film, which were often studies of characters and people than films with a clear beginning, middle and an end.

Overall this was quite an enjoyable piece of British film, but one that requires an understanding of the type of film you're about to watch. My Dad for example, who is into Hollywood productions, will hate this film - I don't, it's very well observed.

The Complete Studio Recordings 1973 - 1988
The Complete Studio Recordings 1973 - 1988
Price: 23.14

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dream Release, 20 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Where can I start with this box set?

First of all, the actual audio on the CDs, which was primarily mastered from the original tapes and which were retrieved from the archives especially for this release.
Showaddywaddy's original albums were reissued during the 2000s, but were mastered from vinyl. Let me tell you this is streets ahead of those.

When the box set first arrived I headed straight for these tracks:

'Superstar' which, was the b-side to 'When', is a great track but has always had a muffled sound, even on the original release. This version of Superstar is absolutely crystal clear - it's like a completely new song!
'Teenage Love Affair' and 'Lucy Jane' were next - I am only used to hearing these with crackles. No crackles here!
'Tribute' - not everyone's favourite Showaddywaddy track, but to me a brilliant b-side and now in the best quality I've ever heard it.

Even 'Somethin' Else' on the Red Star album - what a difference!

Then we move onto the package itself - a top quality and sturdy box with excellent graphics houses the original albums all in their original sleeves. Not only that, the Trocadero LP has its gatefold reproduced, and even Red Star contains the original inner sleeve that was present in the original 1977 vinyl album.

And to top all this off, we have a bonus CD of rarities from the 70s to the 90s that have never seen the light of day - including instrumentals of 'When' and Pretty Little Angel Eyes' (these were not recorded as karaoke tracks - just part of the recording process where Dave's vocals would later be added in the studio), and versions of 'Mona Lisa' and 'Pretty Little One' which were to be released later, but these are earlier demo versions.

All in all an absolutely superb release. All of songs are given a new lease of life and overall this is a very exciting release which is sure to become a highly sought after collectors item in years to come, especially as only 1,250 are being produced. Get it while you can, you won't be disappointed - it knocks all previous re-releases out of the water by a country mile.

It was a pleasure to be asked to help out with a few bits and bobs with the release (primarily the memorabilia and cuttings scans), and also many thanks to all involved in the project - especially the guys at Demon, Alchemy Mastering, Dave B, Steve T, Chris D - an end product to be proud of.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 13, 2013 1:50 PM BST

Takin' Over The Asylum [1994] [DVD]
Takin' Over The Asylum [1994] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ken Stott
Price: 7.30

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Star - No Question, 16 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is the easiest 5 stars I can give - an excellent series.

I'm not a Dr Who fan and have not particularly watched David Tennant in anything before, but he plays an excellent part here.

Each character draws you in, from the patients, to the salesmen at Eddie's office and all the other people that they come across along the way.

Special mention to Ken Stott who plays an excellent part.

If you are a watcher of British drama from whatever era, 60s/70s/80s or 90s, then I cannot recommend this highly enough.

Price: 12.58

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strongest Album for Some Time, 16 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Nanobots (Audio CD)
Being a fan of TMBG for over 20 years, I was a little apprehensive about this album, as I feel a couple of their most recent albums for an adult audience (as opposed to the kids albums they have recorded), have been a bit hit and miss.

However after owning this album for a few month, such fears have been allayed.

Of course there are some throwaway tracks that personally haven't grabbed my attention since I bought it (eg Black Ops), but the best tracks more than make up for this, (Tesla, Nanobots, Call You Mom, Circular Karate Chop).

The band have also interspersed the album with a number of tracks under 60 seconds long, which has been a common theme throughout their career.

Overall, a quite enjoyable album, and I'm looking forward to seeing them on their UK tour in November 2013.

On a Clear Day [DVD] [2005]
On a Clear Day [DVD] [2005]
Dvd ~ Peter Mullan
Price: 4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and Easygoing, 16 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: On a Clear Day [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
As the title says, an enjoyable and easygoing film, a film where you don't want to have to think about it too much, and just want a relaxing evening in front of the telly.

A story of a man who is made redundant from the shipyard industry, and who undertakes the task of swimming the channel, with the help of his friends along the way, and with moments of joy and tragedy.

Overall a most enjoyable film.

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