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Jon Billsberry (England)
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Air Doll [DVD]
Air Doll [DVD]
Dvd ~ Doona Bae
Price: £5.75

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cold hands makes a warm heart, 6 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Air Doll [DVD] (DVD)
As a fan of the new wave of quirky Japanese films, I'm happy to take a punt on most things. And the description of this film is pretty far out there. An inflatable sex doll comes to life and engages in a bittersweet romance. But that is not what I found and Amazon's description is a little misleading and does not do the film justice. This is not quirky pink skin flick stroke love story; instead it is a very serious and sad art film about the meaning of life. Given my own surprise, I thought I might write a few words to let you know what you get.

This film is a low budget one with an art house aesthetic. It is slow, claustrophobic, and quiet. The only special effect - a very minor one - is saved for the final scene and it is very understated. Instead, the film is an exploration of the meaning of life, love, loss, and loneliness. It is a thoughtful, philosophic film that forces you to think about your own life.

The story is very straightforward. An inflatable sex toy comes to life and enters the world as a young adult, but in a childlike state with no education or understanding of matters. She tries to make sense of things, but is seduced by the beauty surrounding her. Anything new and unusual catches her attention. After this initial fascination, she meets a range of people who help her reflect on the purpose of living. The film gets darker and darker in its contemplative mood and by the end, I found it heart breaking and deeply moving. One of the saddest films I've seen in many years.

In case you're wondering, there is a healthy dose of mainly female nudity and sexual intercourse throughout the film, but no front bottoms. It seemed appropriate given the subject matter and had a naturalistic and unself-conscious feel. I thought the level of nudity was well judged because it gave you a genuine sense that you are watching real `people' and real events.

This film really took me by surprise. I was expecting a quirky pink movie, but instead saw a very serious and reflective art house film about the meaning of life. It left me quite moved thinking about serious themes in my own life. I'm not quite sure I know what the film's message is, but the strength of the film is that I'm still thinking about it.


TT3D: Closer to the Edge (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD)
TT3D: Closer to the Edge (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD)
Dvd ~ Guy Martin
Offered by FUNTIME MEDIA
Price: £39.14

5.0 out of 5 stars TT3D - An almost perfect documentary, 12 Mar 2012
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I should start this review by saying that although I enjoy watching motor car racing (especially Formula 1), I've never followed motorbike racing and I don't ride a motorbike either. To be honest, they scare me half to death. And I came to this film having just seen the much-hyped Senna, which I enjoyed and admired, but wouldn't rate as a great film. I was fearing that it would be similarly over-hyped. But I couldn't be more wrong. This is one of the best documentaries I have ever seen and I would recommend it to everyone regardless of whether or not they like motor racing (of any type).

What makes this documentary so great is that it explores the human condition and, in particular, attempts to explain why these men risk their lives to win a race. And they certainly do risk their lives and they know they are risking their lives. The year of TT races that this documentary covers allows the filmmakers to explore the full range of experience. They do this by observing the participants and letting them talk. There is no attempt to force the analysis; instead, we see how these men are drawn into this obsessional pastime and it comes to define their lives. The film is quite extraordinary in the way you get behind the various characters and by the end you cannot help but admire their brave passion. The racing shots are pretty awesome as well. And if you don't know the story of that year's TT races, you will be drawn into a dramatic roller-coaster of emotion.

Only one aspect of the film disappointed me; the 3D. I wouldn't have minded if the whole film was in 3D or if none of it was (frankly I'd have preferred the whole thing in 2D so that I could concentrate on the characters). But the 3D version is deeply flawed because although most of the film is shot in 3D, they couldn't mount 3D cameras on the bikes. So what would have been the most amazing 3D shots ever - blasting around the life-threatening curves of the TT course - are absent. And the switching between the 2D and 3D causes you to notice and watch the effects rather than allowing you to focus on the story. But, of course, with this release, you can sit back and watch the whole film in blu-ray or DVD 2D, which is the way to go.

This really is a fabulous film and one of the cinematic gems of 2011.


Underwater Love [DVD]
Underwater Love [DVD]
Dvd ~ Mutsuo Yoshioka
Price: £5.75

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I've seen some strange films in my life, but this one takes the cucumber, 2 Mar 2012
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This review is from: Underwater Love [DVD] (DVD)
After reading Amazon's synopsis of this film - which is quite accurate - how could I not buy this film? A Japanese soft porn musical love triangle between a female worker in a fish factory, her boss, and a mythical creature from the deep, who is part man, part turtle and part bird. Imagine Twilight, Creature from the Black Lagoon, and Half a Sixpence. And yet that doesn't quite capture it.

The film is shot quite naturalistically and without any special effects. The creature is a bloke with a beak mask over his face and a turtle-shell shaped backpack. It is mostly shot under grey skies in a fish factory and on the side of a dismal harbour. The various people, apart from the Kappa, look, dress, and talk normally. So what we have here is a modern day fairy tale. The Kappa's appearance helps the lead character question her upcoming marriage and reflect upon what is important in life. Perhaps this is overstating the depth of the film; it is clearly more a throwaway piece of entertainment than a think piece, but there is more here than immediately meets the eye.

Soft porn? Not really. There's as much T&A as your typical French art house film, but no front bottoms. We do get close-ups of the Kappa's fantasy penis (cf. The Beast), which is pretty impressive in a foot-long knobbly kind of way. There is also an 'anal pearl', but you'll have to watch the film to find out what that is; suffice to say, it looks extremely painful.

The musical numbers are short and rather fun. The songs are light pop songs with catchy melodies and the dancing that accompanies them is deliberately hopeless, which makes them quite enjoyable. The musical numbers don't get in the way of the narrative and add to the ambience of the fun, low budget spectacle. The whole thing rattles along at a healthy pace and certainly never gets boring.

It is enigmatic and weird and an interesting comparison is with Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. But whereas that film takes itself far too seriously for its own good, this is a fun-filled 90 minutes of endearing strangeness.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 16, 2012 11:19 PM GMT


Perspectives on Organizational Fit (SIOP Organizational Frontiers Series)
Perspectives on Organizational Fit (SIOP Organizational Frontiers Series)
by Cheri Ostroff
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £75.13

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensible for Fit Researchers, 19 Mar 2010
This is the first book to focus exclusively on the subject of organisational fit. The editors, themselves experts in the field, have assembled many of the most-cited researchers in the field and asked them to reflect on the current state of fit research and where it might go. As is always the case with edited books, there is some unevenness between the chapters, but by and large this is a very successful book that is particularly good on defining organisational fit, something that has dogged researchers for many years, and discussing methodological issues. This makes it a tremendous resource for fit researchers and something that every fit researcher will not only buy, but also read (and cite).

It is a book aimed at scholars in the field, rather than a more general audience.

For a fuller review, please refer to a paper that my colleagues and I published in Personnel Psychology: Billsberry, J., Edwards, J.A., Talbot, D., Nelson, P.C., Davidson, R.A.G., Godrich, S.G. and Marsh, P.J.G. (2009). Perspectives on Organizatonal Fit edited by Cheri Ostroff and Timothy A. Judge, Personnel Psychology, 62 (4), 880-883.


The Flying Scotsman [DVD]
The Flying Scotsman [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jonny Lee Miller
Price: £5.81

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Film of the Year, 29 Dec 2007
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This review is from: The Flying Scotsman [DVD] (DVD)
Thanks to my Cineworld season ticket, I see many films in the cinema; one or two a week throughout 2007. My favourites for the year included Zodiac, the latest Harry Potter, The Lives of Others, and Brick Lane. But the best of all - and the best by a long way - was The Flying Scotsman. As others have mentioned, this is a biopic of Graeme Obree and about ordinary people doing great things. I found found myself drawn into the story and began to think (fancifully) about doing great things myself. The acting is great and tremendously realistic, the story is heroic, and yet there is a sensitivity at the film's heart as we follow Obree's obsession. As the film progresses (as is the case with all good biopics), you begin to get a sense that you understand the main character. Just when you feel this, the film ends by zooming into Obree's eyes and we realise just how little we really understand the man. There are many other reasons to watch the film; the drama of the cycling, the anger at the officials who banned his bike, the tenderness of the relationships, and some great feel good moments - but the real draw of this film is the exploration of a man's obsession, the support of his friends, and ultimately the realisation that we can never know what is going on in someone else's head. To me, this is the best British film since Punishment Park. If you only buy one DVD this year, this is the one to buy.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 29, 2008 4:20 PM GMT


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