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Mr. A. L. Morris "andrew_l_m" (Surrey, UK)

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Braun Replacement Foil & Cutter - CruZer1, 2, 3, 4 - 2000 Series
Braun Replacement Foil & Cutter - CruZer1, 2, 3, 4 - 2000 Series
Offered by EveryDay-Shop
Price: £15.70

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth investing in., 3 Jan. 2010
I have had my Braun CruZer 2 for while - I have always found it reliable, though hardly brilliant. After the foil broke, I thought about buying a whole new shaver. I'm glad I bought this replacement kit - the shaver works much better with a new foil and cutter. It's like having a whole new shaver. The blade is very easy to fit and is a perfect fit on my now quite old razor.

Prokofiev: Symphonies no 1 & 5
Prokofiev: Symphonies no 1 & 5
Price: £8.53

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Karajan delivers the goods in Prokofiev's 5th, 22 May 2003
Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic deliver an outstanding performance of Prokofiev's mighty 5th Symphony, and a lively 1st. As concerns the 5th Symphony, Karajan leads the field with this recording, perhaps only matched by Koussevitzky's pioneering account from 1946.
The 5th Symphony is the recording of most interest here, and dates from 1968, although you'd never know it from the excellent sound, as its pre-digital sound is clear and grand, and although it is not quite digital standard, it is perfect for the large sweep of the Symphony. A recording like this certainly makes the case for the days of analogue recording.
In terms of interpretation, Karajan takes mostly fast speeds, though never overly so; he always lets the music have space and never rushes, but the pace is always maintained. Karajan emphasises more than any and else the meeting of the sublime and the ridiculous in the 5th. Such beautiful moments as the second subject of the first movement are handled with warmth and care, whilst the more extreme moments are handled equally brilliantly. Karajan makes us see that rather than a safe symphony, the 5th is always teetering on the edge between being safe and being subtly dangerous. In his hands, the slow movement becomes a hideous but compelling dark movement which is utterly convincing, and Karajan's concentration never falters. Karajan allows the end to become the runaway train that it wants to be, and the sense of mechanistic oppression is almost overwhelming.
In the 1st, Karajan favours fast speeds, which is good, as this allows us to appreciate the full virtuosity of the Berlin players, and his last movement is particularly thrilling. The recording dates from the early 1980s, and whilst the digital clarity is impressive, the sound feels just a little dry. Also, the contrasts between loud and quiet are just a little too marked, meaning that the loudest passages burst rather alarmingly from the quieter passages, and this does not really present concert realism.
Overall, this is one of the classical discs that everyone needs. The performance of the 1st is perfectly fine, but it is the 5th that really stands out. If you only own one Prokofiev disc, it should be this one. And it is really cheap, another attractive point.

Alien [DVD] [1979]
Alien [DVD] [1979]
Dvd ~ Sigourney Weaver
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.28

11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent DVD for Ridley Scott classic, 17 May 2003
This review is from: Alien [DVD] [1979] (DVD)
Fans of Ridley Scott’s 1979 science fiction classic ‘Alien’ could surely not ask for a better DVD release than this. The ‘Star Wars’ films and Tim Burton’s ‘Planet of the Apes’ may surpass this release in sheer quantity of extras, but you really feel than time has been taken over making the contents of this DVD as interesting as possible.
I must confess to not finding this film scary in the slightest scary. As a result, I have been more interested in the first half, in which Scott deftly creates atmosphere and foreboding, and the intelligent script sets up the relationships between the characters with great subtlety. The film becomes a little more formulaic after the ‘chest busting’ scene, but there are still surprises, and I admire he way that Scott is content not to play all of his cards at once, never really revealing the alien completely. The film’s originality and brilliance are undoubtable.
The picture and sound on this DVD are uniformly excellent. The picture has been specially cleaned up, and the refined sound allows us to appreciate the dramatic contrasts that are created with the minutely detailed sound effects, particularly in the contrast between the noise of the planet, and the eerie silence of the ship.
Ridley Scott provides an interesting and informative commentary, in which he explains technical aspects of the film, as well as explaining how certain problems were solved within the budgetary constraints. He is full of anecdotes about the shooting of the film and about working with the excellent actors.
Other extras include some deleted scenes, most interesting of which is a scene in which Ripley visits the alien cocoon. It is easy to see why many of the scenes were left out of the finished film, as many are slightly superfluous, and in many cases, the characterisation which they were intended to bring is easily achieved in the completed film.
As well as some slightly repetitious trailers, there is some brilliant conceptual art work from H R Giger and others, and perhaps most surprising of all is the amazing set of storyboards drawn by Ridley Scott, which were good enough to convince the studio to double the film’s budget. There is also a set of production stills which effectively show the process of making the film.
Another rarely encountered feature is the option of isolated music track, which showcases the wonderful score by Jerry Goldsmith (although its similarity to his score for the same year’s ‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture’ did put me off slightly), as well as the option for production sound track, which includes eventually unused music and pre mixed sound as the actors heard it, and it throws up a few previously unheard surprises.
Overall, this is a very good DVD of a very good film; perhaps my only wish is that there had been a ‘making of’ documentary. Ah well, you can’t have everything.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 26, 2012 6:36 PM GMT

Metropolis -- Two Disc Special Edition [DVD]
Metropolis -- Two Disc Special Edition [DVD]
Dvd ~ Brigitte Helm

16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film, great disc, slightly dissapointing extras, 22 Feb. 2003
I have in some sense been spoiled with this film. This print was the first that I saw, and I saw it at the National Film Theatre on its extended release there in early 2003. I was all too aware of the dissapointment surrounding the previous Eureka release, and it was the extremely negative press on that DVD that stopped me buying it. I'm glad I waited, because after seeing the new print, I went out immeadiatly and bought this version.
This version of the film is the most complete version since the original run back in 1927, and what is missing is represented by words describing the missing action. This works much better than I imagined that it would, and in some senses I am glad that some of the action is missing, as there are scenes that would have gone on too long if complete. Of course this does not mean that I would not be interested to see a more complete version, but I was releaved not to have to see Maria and Freder battle to open a locked gate whilst water rises around them 'Titanic' style (or is Titanic 'Metropolis' style?...)
The picture itself is amazing, at places it is astoundingly clear. The recorded sound is consistently good. Lang presents images of startaling imagination and technical finese, the city scape still looks amazing, as do the electrical discharges and the enourmous sets. The film has such a wonderful sense of scale about it; the back of the DVD box proudly proclaims that Metropolis had a cast of 37,383.
As if the amazing film and enhanced picture quality weren't enough, this version is presented with the wonderful original score by Gottfried Huppertz, and it seems amazing that this score has not been used in previous versions (one suspects that the cost involved is probably the reason). The score rise above the mearly melodromatic, and seems a woderful blend of Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss, with a pinch of Havergal Brian thrown in for good measure. Film scores can make or break a film for me, and this one is exceptional.
Some have questioned the political contenet of the film, and have suggested that the film has facist overtones in its portrayal of an elite mediator calming the unruly masses. This did not present a problem for me, the film is not explicitly right wing, and I have always had much more of a problem with almost painfull jingoism of Eisenstein's Stalin era films such as Alexander Nevsky. The political content does not interfere in with the story, which grows to increadible excitement by the end.
This DVD features an audio commentry, as well as a documentary on the context of the film, and other features such as stills galleries. The extras are really secondary to the film, as this disc would be well worth the money without them. That said, I was slightly dissapointed with the extras. The audio commentary, written by film historian Ennio Patalas, is delivered in a rather dry manner by an actor, and is rather uninvolving and essentially uninteresting. It does make some interesting comments on the origins of ideas and the sybolism of the film, but it often resorts to describing the on screen action, and is rather sparse with long periods of silence. The documentary on the other disc is delivered in the same soporific manner, but is altogether more interesting. Still, I don't think that anyone is buying this disc for the extras.
I would certainly recommend this film to anyone and everyone, and even though the extras are not as great as they could have been, the film is great, so who cares?

Reich: Different Trains / Electric Counterpoint
Reich: Different Trains / Electric Counterpoint
Price: £12.75

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And then they stopped playing, and I said 'More, more'..., 7 Feb. 2003
...and I applauded
It is not unreasonable to consider Different Trains to be Steve Reich's masterpiece. This may even go down in musical history as the pinical of modern American music. Haunting, beautiful, sad and exciting, Different Trains takes the musical style of a brilliant composer and transforms it into a piece of music that has both musical brilliance and emotional profundity. The repetitive sounds of the Kronos Quartet (at the peak of their form, might I add) and the voices of Holocaust survivers make a remarkable piece. The train noises used go from tacky to terrifying, as they are used for the jollity of the North American rail network, to being like the screams of helpless victims. I think that the last movement is the most effective, Reich leaves behind the train motif of the other movements, and the piece winds its way to a haunting and beautiful end.
The other piece on this disc, Electric Counterpoint, makes an interesting, if light weight, supplement. The piece is exceptionally well played and well written, and is genuinly likeable, though it lacks the depth of Different Trains. The first movement is the best, the other movements are less good, but still enjoyable.
The sound on this disk ranges from good to exceptional. Different Trains has a mono quality about it, and seems less polished than Electric Counterpoint. This said, it does not detract in the slightest from the music. The sound on Electric Counterpoint is brilliant, recorded in full blooded stereo. All in all, this is a brilliant, if slightly short, disc that is a must have for everyone with even a slight interest i modern classical music. Seriously reccomended.

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