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Son Of The Rock (Oop North)

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Seagate Expansion 2 TB External Hard Drive, USB 2.0
Seagate Expansion 2 TB External Hard Drive, USB 2.0
Offered by AOT (VAT registered)
Price: £98.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Warning!, 23 Sept. 2013
I bought this about a year ago and it caused problems from the off. Initially it wouldn't work at all and I assumed my laptop was faulty after the HD suddenly started working so I proceeded to use the Seagate HD to back up all my files. It started acting strangely again after a few weeks and then lost all of my files: over 1.2TB's worth!

Seagate did not want to know at first but eventually agreed to replace it. The new one worked sporadically for 8 months and then, you guessed it, all my files were wiped AGAIN. It really is a very shoddy piece of kit which rarely worked smoothly. Luckily I had also bought another HD from Toshiba which has worked like a dream and backed up all my files on that.

An honest piece of advice folks: do not touch this with a barge pole! You may as well plug a brick into your PC or laptop as connect this thing. Just useless.

That's Me in the Corner: Adventures of an ordinary boy in a celebrity world
That's Me in the Corner: Adventures of an ordinary boy in a celebrity world
by Andrew Collins
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Smugness personified, 19 Mar. 2013
I was given this book along with other autobiographies as part of a study of the genre and I didn't have a clue as to who Andrew Collins was whereas all the other authors were known to me to some extent. Therefore I was genuinely looking forward to reading about someone of whom I knew nothing. That enthusiasm began to wane very quickly upon reading and I soon realised why his was a name I'd never heard any friend or relative mention: he is extremely dull but, paradoxically, extremely smug. He appears to have been careful never to say or do anything exciting, original or controversial. His CV (which is effectively all that this book is) reads like a blueprint for all ambitous but deadly dull media wannabes. You get the distinct impression that if he had been born a little earlier and to less affluent parents he probably would have become one of those personalityless Radio 1 DJs who blighted 70s and 80s radio and television in the UK with their endless self-congratulatory, airheaded waffle.

The smugness might be explained by his inexplicable knack of securing rather lucrative non-jobs in the media industry. How he secured these positions with a distinct lack of personality is a real mystery. He has long worked in an industry full of interesting and eccentric people but he has nothing interesting to tell us; there are no humorous or insightful anecdotes. What was he doing? The more you read the more you understand why: caught up in his own Catch-22 situation wherein he is so self-absorbed that he fails to engage with others and hence has nothing to tell us. He seems typical of a certain journalistic type: self-consumed, ambitious, insincere and views others as a means to an end. He takes no interest in the lives of others and so the rich vein of potential anecdotes that he could have tapped into merely passed him by. But that won't bother him I'm sure; his smugness is limitless.

A very very boring book which irritates and patronises with an aloofness that is insulting.

Back In Black
Back In Black
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £14.18

5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Listening, 10 Jun. 2012
This review is from: Back In Black (Audio CD)
This is one of the essential albums in any Rock fan's collection. It is easily one of the very best albums of the twentieth century.

I was ten years old when it came out and it was the first Hard Rock album I heard in its entirety. I was a fan of The Beatles and thought I'd never hear anything to match them. Then I heard 'Back In Black' and was, literally, astonished. It's a different genre from The Beatles, of course, but every bit as humane, clever and elemental. What an incredible introduction to a musical genre! After that it was Hard Rock and Metal for me all the way and I never looked back.

It is one of those rare albums that is consistent in the quality of the material; every track is a pulsating classic. From start to finish it just doesn't let up: the music is insistent and thumping, the lyrics are playful and inspired. It's up and at 'em, no holds barred, down and dirty, stripped bare rock 'n' roll played with utter conviction and sincerity at 100 mph by no-nonsense, working class geniuses. What's not to like? It makes people very happy.

Nevermind pills or therapy for the blues: listen to this and you'll find yourself tapping your feet, banging your head and smiling like you just won the lottery and found a cure for cancer! It is a thing of beauty, a thing of joy.

Eichmann [2006] [DVD]
Eichmann [2006] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Thomas Kretschmann
Offered by FREETIME
Price: £14.93

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Wasted Opportunity To Tell An Important Story, 29 April 2012
This review is from: Eichmann [2006] [DVD] (DVD)
There can be no morally weightier subject matter for any medium than the Holocaust. Therefore, any film dealing with this most important of issues must be one that is exemplary in all areas whether it be in research, in dialogue, in acting or in any aspect pertaining. Sadly this film is a failure in almost all pertinent areas. It is bungled and botched with only Thomas Kretschmann, as Eichmann, giving anything like a professional performance. The actor playing his interrogator is decidedly wooden. The dialogue is riddled with cliches, is often highly implausible and, worst of all,irrelevant.
There are also irrelevant sub-plots as well as extraneous scenes and characters that add nothing to the flow of the film. Some scenes are simply ridiculous, incongruous and utterly break the attempt at historical realism or credibility such as a scene where Eichamnn enumerates how many Jews he has had murdered whilst making love to his mistress! Then there is a scene wherein the same mistress (a character straight out of some perverse pantomime)deposits a baby on a desk in Eichmann's office and cajoles him into shooting the baby.

Eichmann's Israeli interrogator, Avner Less, is portrayed as having moral qualms about his job and as being hounded by the public: he has a swastika daubed on his front door: but he wasn't defending Eichmann, he was interrogating him! Why would he have any qualms or be persecuted by fellow Jews for doing so? It is just one of the cliches that these muddled up filmmakers just couldn't resist despite the fact that it is bizarre, inccurate and jarring.

The film goes into great, inaccurate, detail about Eichmann's myriad mistresses and extra-marital dalliances as if these events are the basis of our understanding of Eichmann's moral debasement; rather than his systematic murder of many millions of innocent people!
The film seems entirely to miss the point: it's as though the film were made by a bunch of High School students who have just heard about the Holocaust and believe that they are the only ones in possession of this new knowledge, "Hey, there was like this bunch of like German guys or somethin' who like killed like a lot of Jews and stuff like way back. Yeah, like even before there was like iphones and there was this dude Eichmann and he had lots of affairs with women who weren't like his wife which kinda makes him a bad guy!"
The film is unprofessional and shoddily put together. It is often disjointed, historically innaccurate and completely misses the point: Eichmann was the architect of genocide; we don't care how many women he had sex with!
A much better researched, much better scripted film on this subject is required or read Hannah Arendt's incomparable 'Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil' for a more mature and intelligent account of this arch criminal.

Kick Out The Jams
Kick Out The Jams
Price: £4.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intense, 21 July 2010
This review is from: Kick Out The Jams (Audio CD)
This album is full of the type of energy and righteous anger that we now asscoiate with RATM or Warrior Soul (both superb bands) so they really were ahead of their time. The MC5 also truly suffered for their art with their gigs and private lives being under constant surveillance by THE MAN and jail time being served on trumped up charges. The most famous track, 'Kick Out The Jams', has been covered by RATM of course and still retains its original oomph factor. It rocks like a m**********r. I don't want to bore people with a tedious micro-analysis of every track. This is a live hard rock/proto punk album with political redolence that kicks arse. Simple.

Smith (Puffin Modern Classics)
Smith (Puffin Modern Classics)
by Leon Garfield
Edition: Paperback

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A children's classic, 15 April 2010
I read Garfield's novel as a child in the seventies and found it enchanting. It took me away from 20th century post-industrial Scotland and completely submerged me in the world of 18th century London. Quite an achievement! Ever since I have enjoyed the history of that period and reading 18th century writers such as Fielding.

Strangely 'Smith' has the feel both of the 1700s and of the 1960s in which it was written just as 1963's classic film version of 'Tom Jones' looks sumptuously authentic and yet retains a certain sixties sensibility. These two periods are my particular favourites so that explains much of my enjoyment of Garfield's work but he was also a supremely skilled writer, a painter of worlds using words.

The one star review by 'CJ' posted here misses the point to some extent: Garfield's major skill was in writing beautifully descripitive passages; they are wonderfully evocative and take the reader on a journey through time that is simultaneously charming, convincing and achieved with marvellous deftness. He told a great yarn too but it is his utterly brilliant descriptive passages that enchant. To call it boring misses the point that Garfield has recreated the pace of life in that period. And he does it with such subtlety that some readers may mistake it for a lack of action. After all this was a time when the fastest transport on land was the horse. It is easy for modern readers to forget that the world was not always such a frenetically information-overloaded place and Garfield transports us with amazing skill to a time before all this madness.

Saturday Morning Pictures
Saturday Morning Pictures
Price: £8.70

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenally Good Album, 8 Feb. 2010
This album contains one great track after another but even if it only had 'Our Song' alone on it then it would be still worth buying. This track absolutely rocks like nobody's business. It is easily equal to the classic tracks of the Rock behemoths of the era with which we are all familiar. I recall hearing it for the first time in the early eighties. It was on tape and I virtually wore it thin playing the opening track over and over again. It is a masterpiece of riffing, intelligent lyrics and soaring guitars played by (apparent) giants!
After The Storm is another hard rocking track that drives along with clinical precision and intensity. Move That Wigwam rocks hard and also delivers a seering condemnation of the genocide of Native Americans in the old West. Moving and pulsatingly wonderful. These are great rock songs that are also highly original. Queen of the Sea is another fantastic piece that tells a story and reminds one of Moby Dick; it is a Folk Rock track that compares very favourably with both Rock and Folk bands of the era. An impressive achievement.

Stray managed to skilfully combine elements of Hard Rock, Folk and Jazz to produce a unique sound that really kicks butt especially on their earlier recordings. They deserved better than their near obscurity.
If you're a Rock fan there is no need to think twice. This is a brilliant album that you must have or forever miss out on a wonderful experience.

Poe: A Life Cut Short
Poe: A Life Cut Short
by Peter Ackroyd
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.99

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Tragedy Of Edgar Allen Poe, 8 Feb. 2010
This review is from: Poe: A Life Cut Short (Hardcover)
Peter Ackroyd is a towering writing talent. All of his work is a joy to read and this book is no exception. He writes with skill, striking a perfect balance between cold historic fact and the humanity of his subject.
It is a short book as Poe's was a short life and Ackroyd more than competently presents the known facts via his tireless research. It is extremely thorough but more than this it is a sensitive portrayal of a sensitive man.

Highly recommended. There isn't a better biography of Poe anywhwere.

Inglourious Basterds [DVD] (2009)
Inglourious Basterds [DVD] (2009)
Dvd ~ Brad Pitt
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £3.50

53 of 69 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Mixed Bag, 8 Feb. 2010
Where do you start with this peculiar film?
It is a mess but it includes some magnificent moments of sheer virtuousity. The acting is generally highly accomplished with the exception of Brad Pitt who appears painfully constipated throughout. His part requires minimal effort and it seems that that was all Pitt was prepared to make. Having said that it may be Tarantino's directing to blame for Pitt's wooden approach.
On the other hand Christoph Waltz is simply incredible. His performance is a tour de force with a skilfully delivered balance achieved between palpable menace and grotesque comedy. Waltz is a significant find; a towering talent whose skills in this film deserve recognition with an Oscar. It is worth watching just for his performance alone. The opening scene is deftly done and appears to promise an intelligent adult film that Hollywood did so well in the late sixties and early seventies but the film from there onward fluctuates between farce and magnificence.
There is an excellently choreographed set-piece in a Parisian cellar bar that is reminiscent of the best of Sergio Leone and much of the film is a homage to the classic Spaghetti Westerns of the sixties as well as Sam Pekinpah. Even the musical score brings to mind those great Westerns. However, too much of the film is downright infantile and ridiculous with little sense of direction.

Worth watching once but only once. Borrow.
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The Royal Hunt Of The Sun [1969] [DVD]
The Royal Hunt Of The Sun [1969] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Robert Shaw
Offered by DVD City Limited
Price: £17.72

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tour de Force acting from Christopher Plummer, 8 Feb. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The only negative criticism of this DVD is that it is true that the transfer is of a poor quality and the editing is faulty in places but the sheer skill of the performances and the magnificent script far outweigh these weaknesses. Robert Shaw delivers a highly accomplished portrayal of a basically decent man who is driven more by adventurism and curiousity than by greed. Pizarro is a Pontius Pilate-type figure who agonises over his role and the hypocrisy he knows is inherent in his position.
But Christopher Plummer's acting is a veritable tour de force. He is nothing short of amazing. To think that this is the same actor as the man in The Sound of Music is astonishing and only goes to show what a master of the art Plummer really is: he creates a powerful portrayal of Atahualpa, King of the Incas, that left a deep impression on me. It is a thoroughly convincing portrait of a man and his culture doomed and of a man who knows it but is powerless to do anything about it. Plummer is simply incredible in this part: beautifully balanced and painfully sensitive. I cannot praise him highly enough.
The script is intelligent and thought-provoking. It is a coruscating attack on greed and imperialism that is timeless and extremely moving. It is a film and a play aimed at an adult audience which is a breath of fresh air in this era of dumbed-down culture. Ignore the poor print (it is far from unwatchable!) and marvel at the geniuses that are Shaffer, Plummer and Shaw. Superb!

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