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To The Ends of the Earth - BBC [DVD]
To The Ends of the Earth - BBC [DVD]
Dvd ~ Benedict Cumberbatch
Price: £16.59

17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Casual viewers, beware, 19 Oct 2014
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It's very difficult ro review this series... The actors are very good, the setting is perfectly displayed, but this sea-voyage is dreary, long, tedious, with "nothing" happening except sea-sickness, bickering, and the ever-present tension and fear of the ship capsizing. It is a voyage of initiation, for those aboard ship as well as for viewers. Those who prefer action movies will die of boredom, the others will come to appreciate the care taken to make them feel as if they are actually engaged in that dreadful but enlightening journey


Jayne Mansfield's Car [DVD]
Jayne Mansfield's Car [DVD]
Dvd ~ Billy Bob Thornton
Price: £4.49

2.0 out of 5 stars Great performances transformed into weird vignettes because of an unwieldy script, 14 Oct 2014
This review is from: Jayne Mansfield's Car [DVD] (DVD)
Billy Bob Thornton's debut film as a director, Sling-Blade, was a great movie, with few characters and a very simple storyline. Jayne Mansfield's Car is the opposite. it boasts a strong cast, and most of the actors here give great performances, but the script is appaling, and these performances become little more than vignettes. If you love the short stories and novels of Raymond Carver, you may like this. I found it intriguing, but, in the end, very unsatisfying, considering the amount of talent going to waste here. Not a car wreck, as some critics have said, but unfortunately, a miss


The Conjuring [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]
The Conjuring [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Vera Farmiga
Price: £7.20

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good actors do not save cliché-riddled movie, 1 Feb 2014
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Cliché-riddled movie, bad script, no effective scares. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga couldn't save this. In the same genre, Insidious is much mores scary, and effective


Stand Up Guys [DVD]
Stand Up Guys [DVD]
Dvd ~ Al Pacino
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: £3.90

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent "feel-good" movie ;-) about aging mobsters, 29 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Stand Up Guys [DVD] (DVD)
Pacino. Walken. Arkin.
Need I say more?
The script is not very strong, but it's funny, lively, and the actors, even if they ham it up a little, are in well-defined territory for them. So they bring with them backstory, a feeling of "belonging" in this genre, which smoothes over some awkward moments. All in all, and even if there are a few "Viagra" jokes that some people think are beneath them and beneath the acting range of an Al Pacino, I really really enjoyed this movie, and hope you'lle give it a try


Grave Encounters 2 [DVD]
Grave Encounters 2 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Sean Rogerson
Offered by videosanddvds
Price: £2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Extremely mediocre follow-up to a good found footage movie, 29 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Grave Encounters 2 [DVD] (DVD)
My title says it all. Do try "Grave encounters 1" if you have not seen it, it has good performances and an intriguing script, with moments of real terror ( I am not speaking about gore, here, but about moments when the fabric of the universe seems to crack). This tries hard, but goes nowhere.


Five Days - Complete BBC Series 2 [DVD]
Five Days - Complete BBC Series 2 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Suranne Jones
Price: £15.66

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Some people discover their God-given mission late in life, 17 Jan 2014
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Some people discover their God-given mission late in life. I'm glad I'm still young enough to take up my staff and go walking among hills and dales to spread the word: KEEP AWAY FROM THIS TRAIN-WRECK OF A SCRIPT!!!!!

I really enjoy British TV dramas and am often surprised when discovering relatively unknown gems. The hype around the "Five days" series, and the great cast of actors, had me try this. It's a wreck, a complete wreck.

And that's quite an achivement for the screenwriter, given that the actors are for the most part excellent, their characters often well-defined. But the narrative itself is awful. Not only is it very inconclusive ( many red herrings abound and get you nowhere)but in the end, the explanation for what happened is such a ludicrous mish-mash of unlikely coincidences, ridiculous psychological explanations, etc etc... that should you try this, you'd find yourself, like me and quite a few others viewers it seems, wondering: how did anyone at BBC vet this script?????


George Orwell's Commander in Spain: The Enigma of Georges Kopp
George Orwell's Commander in Spain: The Enigma of Georges Kopp
by Marc Wildemeersch
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The man who tried to reinvent himself, 15 Nov 2013
For anyone with an interest in George Orwell, in the Spanish Civil War, for everyone with an interest in the genesis of 1984, Marc Wildemeersch's book will prove fascinating.
Georges Kopp was Orwell's commander in Spain, a "tall, ruddy flamand", very courageous, with an eye for the ladies, but also a deeply troubled and complex man, who tried to reinvent himself in Spain.
Kopp fell foul of the Stalinists, and Orwell, in "Homage to Catalonia" tells how he risked his own life and safety to try to free his comrade in arms, his friend, and quite possibily the lover of his wife. Wildemeersch has done his homework, traced conflicting accounts, and gives a fascinating overview of Kopp's life, putting into the light this companion of Orwell whose experiences in the trenches and in prison would deeply influence 1984 and Animal Farm.


Luther - Series 3 [DVD]
Luther - Series 3 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Idris Elba
Price: £7.00

7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Careful, Luther, there is a plot sinkhole ahead, 4 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Luther - Series 3 [DVD] (DVD)
I enjoy LUTHER, even though the plotting is often more fantastic than realistic. Idris Elba is great and so are the other actors. Too bad that this third series ends with a scenario that is irredeemably bad. Ludicrous. Pathetic. The first story, in two episodes, is quite good. The second story spontaneously combusts in the last episode. Inconsistent characters, ridiculous psychological motivations, quid pro quos abound. You get to the end and stand there aghast. Imagine someone had pulled something like that in any of the Prime Suspect episodes and the series would have stopped flat because of the inconsistencies. I suppose Luther fans, of which I am one, took some of the shenanigans in some episodes with a grain of salt because they loved the characters, but this goes far beyond suspension of disbelief. It is a ghastly, stupid ending, for a great character.


Inside the Stalin Archives: Discovering the New Russia
Inside the Stalin Archives: Discovering the New Russia
by Brent
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.75

2.0 out of 5 stars Not unpleasant, but a letdown, 19 Jun 2013
Jonathan Brent was instrumental in helping open the Russian Archives for the Yale University Press series "Annals of Communism", and for that we can be thankful to him, as the opening of these files enabled us to learn quite a lot that would otherwise have remained hidden. Even though revanchists are busy closing those archives again, light has been thrown on the Kirov assassination, on the Terror, and many other things.
Unfortunately, Brent's 15-year journey through the archives is often tedious, and he takes pleasure in droning on and on about little anecdotes that we could frankly do without. I don't need to read the Merlot in such a restaurant was fantastic, or what was on the blinis at Prof's X party.
This would have been the stuff of a good long detailed article. As a book, it's way too long, and the actual glimpses into the events detailed in the documents are few and far between. Thank you Jonathan Brent for opening up the archives, but this, though not unpleasant, is a letdown


Parade's End [DVD]
Parade's End [DVD]
Dvd ~ Benedict Cumberbatch
Price: £9.70

4 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars WWI: NOTHING MUCH HAPPENS, 13 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Parade's End [DVD] (DVD)
Great production value, good actors, yet this story never gets off the ground. Nothing happens, in technicolor. Dull lives, conflicts that never seem to erupt or get resolution. Even WW1 is treated, at times, as if we were in a Black Adder spoof with people being paraded back and forth between barracks and train stations befor being pulled back at the last moment. Some good characters, great actors...but how many times can Benedict Cumberbatch get teary while his mouth droops like a cartoon character, before you lose interest? Too bad.


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