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Cressida (Minstead, Hampshire UK)

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Lost Girl - Season 4 [DVD]
Lost Girl - Season 4 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Anna Silk
Price: 21.83

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Slow...muddled...uninspired..., 26 May 2014
This review is from: Lost Girl - Season 4 [DVD] (DVD)
In the beginning, Lost Girl was a fairly interesting series but Season Four shows that it has now run out of steam. The writing and direction are woefully inconsistent and much of the season-long story arc feels like it was made up as they went along. There is a lot more dialogue than action and much of that dialogue is repetitive and banal. There are fewer sex scenes than before - displays of flesh seem to be largely replaced by innuendo. Each episode runs for about forty minutes but frequently seem longer than that. There seems to be an excess of padding throughout the season. Just as the main plot begins to gather pace, it is put on hold for a totally superfluous episode about mermaids. A supposedly humorous episode about an alternative Christmas is a prime example of lazy and sloppy production. When the climax finally comes, it drags on and on until you end up shouting "Get on with it!" at the screen. In the midst of a fierce battle, Dyson and Kenzi pause to have a conversation while crazed zombies rampage all around them. Bo never seems to be where she is needed most. And no one seems able to decide what to do with the character of Trick. In the end, I felt more sympathy for the Morrigan than any of the other characters.

The performances are almost universally unconvincing. Anna Silk's ample cleavage is on permanent display but the rest of her characterization is decidedly flat. In fact, things often seem livelier when she is not onscreen. Sometimes the relationships between the characters make the show feel more like a soap than a fantasy. Most of the characters are in love with someone they cannot have and several of them behave like teenagers experiencing their first crush. Even Kenzi has lost her sparkle. Sometimes major characters are absent for entire episodes. There are occasional guest stars such as Linda Hamilton who is given little to do except follow some of the others around. All in all, it is difficult to really care about the characters, especially Lauren.

Much that happens simply does not make sense. So many of the Fae, with their supposedly special powers, seem amazingly inept. At one point, Bo descends into some sort of underworld and is told that no one has ever got out of it. But five minutes later, she escapes with ease, not even getting her hair mussed. Characters betray one another with alarming regularity yet new people are almost always accepted at face value. Sometimes the plot seems to twist just for the sake of twisting.

After the season finale, it is apparent what most of Season Five is going to be about but, based on the quality of Season Four, I think I will probably give that one a miss. All series eventually deteriorate but, sadly, Lost Girl seems to have done so more quickly than some others. As I watched this season to the bitter end, I could not help wishing that the makers of Lost Girl had spent more time thinking the magic question - what would Buffy do?

Art & Architecture: Musee D'orsay
Art & Architecture: Musee D'orsay
by Peter Gartner
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Book About A Great Place, 26 April 2013
Musee d'Orsay is my absolute favourite museum and I always try to spend at least a few hours there whenever I am in Paris. It's less crowded and more visitor friendly than its more famous neighbour just across the river, the Louvre. This beautiful building started life as government offices, burnt down, was derelict for a while, was turned into a railway station, and eventually someone had the inspiration to turn it into an art museum. The history of the building is only a small part of this book - the rest is devoted to its treasures. And such treasures! The paintings, sculptures and period rooms concentrate on the glorious period from the mid-19th century to just before the First World War. Impressionism and Art Nouveau are well represented. And the light and airy building is a perfect showcase for them.

This thick and slightly bulky book works both as a guide to the museum and its works (it includes floorplans) as well as a souvenir of a magical visit. Having said that, the book does not include any of the changes that occurred as part of the museum's 25th anniversary in 2011. But, as I said, most of the book is about the art and artists. I think anyone who has ever been to Musee d'Orsay will enjoy this book. And any art lover who hasn't been there will certainly want to go after discovering the delights contained in these pages. Incidentally, there is a companion book in this Art & Architecture series about the Louvre which is just as good.

Bones - Season 7 [DVD]
Bones - Season 7 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Emily Deschanel
Price: 11.25

27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Oh, dear!, 8 Oct 2012
This review is from: Bones - Season 7 [DVD] (DVD)
I have been a longtime fan of Bones but I'm rather disappointed in the direction the series has taken. Apparently, the viewing figures in America for Bones have been in steady decline and, after viewing Season 7, it's easy to see why. The problem, of course, is the pregnancy of Temperance Brennan and her resulting relationship with Seeley Booth which altered the entire dynamic of the series. What used to be a fairly gritty crime series with nice touches of offbeat humour has now morphed into a kind of romcom/soap opera with a crime background. All the characters have lost the edge that made them so interesting - the tensions and interplay between them have become banal and soft. Too often, the murder investigation of the week seems to be nothing more than a subplot to the trvial tales of two sickly sweet couples and their photogenic babies.

In a way, I'm relieved that this season is only thirteen episodes long although I agree that having to pay the price of a full season for it is a bit much. I don't know if I will bother with Season 8 when it comes out - surely not at full price. I have a feeling that a once intriguing and different series has now run its course. Which is a pity but probably inevitable.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 3, 2013 8:38 PM GMT

The Royal Ballet - Alice's Adventures In Wonderland [DVD] [2010] [NTSC]
The Royal Ballet - Alice's Adventures In Wonderland [DVD] [2010] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Lauren Cuthbertson
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 19.49

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The white rabbit learns to dance, 26 Aug 2012
The Royal Ballet's new version of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is certainly adventurous. It must be fantastic to see on stage. Sadly, on this DVD, the sometimes MTV-style camera work detracts rather than enhances.

This new ballet is quite ambitious with lots of clever costumes and effects (although a few would probably be more at home in a Lloyd Webber musical). The large and energetic cast give it their all, in particular Lauren Cuthbertson as Alice who seems to be almost constantly on stage. But the real star for me was Zenaida Yanowsky as the Queen of Hearts who gives a wonderfully comic and virtuoso performance. In fact, I was feeling somewhat restless during the first half of the ballet. But once the Queen of Hearts came into it, the whole thing was lifted immeasurably.

On the downside, the music is largely functional rather than memorable and a few scenes went on longer than they really needed to. On the whole, it is an enjoyable ballet. But I'm not certain I will be returning to it as often as I do some others. Still, it's always nice to see the Royal Ballet doing something new and different.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 2, 2014 12:01 PM GMT

Chopin: La Dame Aux Camelias [DVD] [2009] [2010] [NTSC]
Chopin: La Dame Aux Camelias [DVD] [2009] [2010] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Neumeier
Price: 23.07

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully romantic, 26 Aug 2012
This is a fantastic ballet and this DVD does it credit. Sometimes ballet on film can be disappointing or not filmed very well. But this DVD manages to capture the essence and beauty of this sadly overlooked work.

Based on La Dame aux Camelias by Dumas and originally made for the Stuttgart Ballet to feature the great Marcia Haydee, this is real ballet at its romantic best. The Marguerite and Armand pas de deux is one of the most sensuous pieces of choreography I have ever seen. And the choice to use music by Chopin was a wise one as so much of his music is, as a dancer friend of mine likes to say, dancey. The performances are superb, especially Agnes Letestu as Marguerite. My mother saw Marcia Haydee dance this role on stage and has raved about it ever since. But I cannot imagine it was much better than they way Agnes Letestu dances and acts it. This is a ballet worth seeing and remembering.

Sex Lives of the Famous Lesbians
Sex Lives of the Famous Lesbians
by Nigel Cawthorne
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 10.96

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It all started with Sappho?, 26 Aug 2012
An interesting idea for a book - but written by a man? Nigel Cawthorne has, of course, written of number of the "Sex Lives Of The..." books so I suppose this was an inevitable addition to the series. It covers a great many women through the years, some in more detail than others. And it should be pointed out that many of them were more bisexual than strictly lesbian but perhaps that is just nitpicking. Cawthorne writes in his usual gossipy style - sometimes giving us all the sordid details, other times merely dropping tantalising hints. But he seems to have genuine affection for his subjects. The book produces more smiles than raised eyebrows - or maybe that's just me. It's a good book to read on the train if you want to shock/annoy other passengers, or to read at bedtime in the hopes of having nice dreams.

The New Forest
The New Forest
by Matthew Conway
Edition: Paperback
Price: 14.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book, 26 Aug 2012
This review is from: The New Forest (Paperback)
I live on the edge of the New Forest and have seen many books in the local shops about this delightful corner of England. Some have been merely picture books, others are guide books with touristy type information, but this book really seems to capture the moods and magic of the Forest and its villages. The author gives us some lovely photographic images of the Forest (you can never have enough of those) but these are just a bonus to a thoughtful, interesting, and at times affectionate narrative about the Forest, past and present, and the animals who live there.

The New Forest is hardly new, having been created by none other than William the Conqueror more than a thousand years ago. And, as such, it has a rich and colourful history that includes smugglers and highwaymen. Recently, it has been designated a national park and remains a haven for various wildlife including the charming if not very bright New Forest ponies. This book captures all of that and more. I drive through the Forest nearly every day and, like the author, never fail to be fascinated by it no matter what the season. For anyone who loves the Forest, and those who simply want to know more about it, this book is highly recommended.

THE ROBBER BRIDEGROOM [The Robber Bridegroom ] BY Welty, Eudora(Author)Paperback 08-Nov-1978
THE ROBBER BRIDEGROOM [The Robber Bridegroom ] BY Welty, Eudora(Author)Paperback 08-Nov-1978
by Eudora Welty
Edition: Unknown Binding

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming and enchanting, 26 Aug 2012
This is a really lovely little book which I have read several times. A charming mixture of folklore and fantasy set in the 19th century American backwoods of the Natchez Trace. Eudora Welty delicately weaves a love story of a handsome bandit and a restless country girl, complete with evil stepmother and all sorts of mystical and grotesque supporting characters. The book is by turns funny and touching but always entralling. Just writing about it makes me want to read it again. That's partly because the book is so good and partly because I feel such a deep empathy with Rosamund.

Reluctant Nudist, The
Reluctant Nudist, The
by A W Palmer
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't be reluctant to read it, 26 Aug 2012
This review is from: Reluctant Nudist, The (Paperback)
This is quite a nice and slightly different book. Part detective story and part social comedy, it concerns a couple who mistakenly check into a naturist resort in France, then wake up to find a murder victim on their doorstep. Unable to leave because of the investigation, they try to adapt themselves to their new surroundings.

Anyone looking for a good whodunit will probably be disappointed. But the rest of the book is fun and fairly diverting. Although everyone is naked, the book is not particularly salacious. Admittedly,the nudist resort depicted in this book is not like any I have ever visited (yes, been there, done that, etc). It's more like fantasy or movie version nudist resort. But that doesn't detract from the book's basic charm. Hardly great literature but the perfect book to read whilst lying on a beach somewhere, naked or not.

Ian Hunter Band Feat. Mick Ronson - Live At Rockpalast [DVD] [2011]
Ian Hunter Band Feat. Mick Ronson - Live At Rockpalast [DVD] [2011]
Dvd ~ Ian Hunter Band
Price: 19.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now that's what I call music!, 26 Aug 2012
Ian Hunter has always been one of my musical heroes (my parents were big fans and I grew up listening to him) and Mick Ronson, one of the original Spiders from Mars, was not only a fantastic guitarist but quite dishy. This DVD - of a concert filmed in Germany - is quite simply great. These two legends were meant to be together and Ronson's early death was a true rock tragedy. But now we have this DVD to remember this collaboration by. I know the same concert had previously been released on CD but it's soooo good to have the visual as well. What a wonderful antidote to the &%@#!% that passes for music today.

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