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Portrait Of A Killer: Jack the Ripper - Case Closed
Portrait Of A Killer: Jack the Ripper - Case Closed
by Patricia Cornwell
Edition: Paperback

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Amateurish Nonsense!, 22 Aug. 2007
Without a shadow of doubt this has to be one of the most pathetic, moronic and ignorant books ever written. If it is meant to be a serious account of the Ripper murders then all I can say is I hope Patricia Cornwell never has to do jury service, otherwise some poor innocent soul may get put away for a very long time.

'Jack The Ripper-Case Closed' is complete and utter trash from the first page to the last. The only reason I read the whole thing through was because I just couldn't believe how bad it was. Cornwell's character assassination of the artist Walter Sickert without the merest hint of evidence pointing towards him is nothing short of contemptible and I would think if there are any relatives of the man alive today however distant, then they would surely have good grounds to take legal action against her. Cornwell's interest in necrophilia is bizarre, out of context with the subject and to be honest quite disturbing. Her ridiculous attempts at cockney slang have to be seen to be believed. The conclusions that are reached are total leaps of faith that most sane people wouldn't countenance for a moment.

This drivel might have been be a good laugh if it wasn't for the fact that these were real people involved and not just fictional characters to be used and abused at the authors whim. If your interested in a proper description of the known facts then a good place to start is 'Jack The Ripper: The Facts' by Paul Begg.

Avoid this tripe at all costs, it isn't worth a second of your time or a penny of your money!.

Doctor Who: The Movie [DVD]
Doctor Who: The Movie [DVD]
Dvd ~ Paul McGann

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, But No Masterpiece, 22 Aug. 2007
This review is from: Doctor Who: The Movie [DVD] (DVD)
He may be playing something of a watered down Tom Baker but Paul McGann seems to be totally at ease with the part of the Doctor and it's a shame he didn't get an opportunity to develop his character further. He fits into the mould so nicely that it makes you wonder what might have been.

Having said that I think 'Doctor Who: The Movie' is just a little too americanised for my liking which is not surprising as I believe the idea behind it was to launch it as a series on the other side of the Atlantic. They broke the unwritten rule that the Doctor should not fall for any of his assistants and certainly not snog them after only just meeting, after all he is a nine-hundred plus year old alien (or as this film would have it, half human) not James Bond!.

Eric Roberts is completely out of place as The Master and tries far too hard to be really evil, coming across as more of a pantomime villain than the scheming and ruthless timelord he's supposed to be. The person I most feel sorry for is Sylvester McCoy who is only there to die at the beginning so the Doctor can regenerate. I was never a fan of his time on the show but the poor man barely gets a line before he is rather crudely done away with.

To be honest McGann is the only real bright part in what is effectively a rather dull if quite well funded run-around. It's worth a look at if your a fan but it probably won't stick in the memory too long.

Portrait Of A Legend
Portrait Of A Legend
Price: £7.56

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Real Legend!, 21 Aug. 2007
This review is from: Portrait Of A Legend (Audio CD)
I first tried a Sam Cooke album about a year ago and was surprised that I already knew the vast majority of the songs. Again and again I found myself listening to a particular track and before ten seconds had past I'd be thinking 'Wow, I didn't know he wrote that one!'. I'd heard a number of versions of 'Chain Gang' for instance but never Cooke's original which incidentally is by far the best.

The man's vocal range and talent is just awesome as he demonstrates on 'Touch The Hem Of His Garment' in an early gospel record. But songs like 'You Send Me', 'Only Sixteen', 'Cupid', '(What A) Wonderful World', 'Chain Gang', 'Twistin' The Night Away' and of course the masterful 'A Change Is Gonna Come' (Cooke's response to Bob Dylan's 'Blowin in the Wind') show what a truly great song writer he was as well as a singer.

Who knows what he might have achieved had he lived longer!. Altogether this is an excellent collection of songs that are well worth getting hold of.

Stage-Land (Dodo Press)
Stage-Land (Dodo Press)
by Jerome Klapka Jerome
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Enjoyable Diversion, 21 Aug. 2007
This is a lovely short book of comedy in which Jerome K Jerome parodies the various stereotypical characters that regularly appeared on stage in plays in the late nineteenth century, many of which we can still recognise on television today. Written in the style of The Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Fellow, Stage-Land is at all times amusing and sometimes down right hilarious. The chapters are as follows:

The Villain
The Heroine
The Comic Man
The Lawyer
The Adventuress
The Servant-Girl
The Child
The Comic Lovers
The Peasants
The Good Old Man
The Irishman
The Detective
The Sailor

Jerome wrote situation comedy long before the phrase was coined and his work is perhaps an ancestor of TV sitcoms such as Hancock's Half Hour and Steptoe And Son. Stage-Land is a little gem and well worth an hour or two of anyone's time. For some bizarre reason The Hero has been missed out which is in earlier editions, otherwise it is fine.

Basil The Great Mouse Detective [DVD]
Basil The Great Mouse Detective [DVD]
Dvd ~ Vincent Price
Price: £5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Classic!, 20 Aug. 2007
I remember watching Basil The Great Mouse Detective at the cinema when I was six and absolutely loved it. Now some twenty or so years later I still love it for it's sheer relentless pace of adventure and the true Holmes-like quality it brings to the cartoon world.

Quite simply this is one of the very best Disney films ever and to my mind a very undervalued classic which is extremely enjoyable for children and adults alike. If a sequel is ever made I just hope they can do justice to the original.

My advice is to buy this DVD and see how good it is for yourselves, you won't be disappointed!.

1953 FA Cup Final Blackpool FC v Bolton Wanderers [DVD]
1953 FA Cup Final Blackpool FC v Bolton Wanderers [DVD]
Dvd ~ 1953 Fa Cup Final

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Matthews Final, 20 Aug. 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If your sick to death of modern footballers with their overpriced transfer fees, ridiculous weekly wages and silly inflated ego's then give this 1953 FA Cup Final a try. It's so refreshing to see two teams giving everything to win with a fair amount of skill and a never-give-up attitude. Compare this with the tedious coma inducing Man Utd VS. Chelsea final this year and I think you'll agree there could be no greater contrast.

Witness the late great Sir Stanley Matthews surging down the wing then popping up here, there and everywhere seemingly with the pace of a twenty year old. Indeed it is incredible to think that Matthews was actually thirty-eight at the time! in what was surely his last chance to lift that coveted trophy. Watch the almost-as-legendry Nat Lofthouse putting his body and career on the line in his eagerness to win the ball or Stanley Mortensen taking a magnificent freekick. Played at a time when football was still a contact sport Blackpool and Bolton serve up as good a final as your ever likely to see.

Amazingly all twenty-two players are still on the pitch at full time (no substitutes back then) despite a number of painful looking injuries which would have the players of today pathetically rolling around on the floor for minutes. Indeed, the sheer toughness and durability of these guys is inspiring to see. No arguments, no surrounding the referee when a decision goes the other way, no diving around at the slightest contact, just good honest football played the way it should be played and at the end of the game handshakes and pats on the back all round with true sportsmanship.

This DVD is a great reminder of yesteryear and well worth the purchase. If you like Football you will probably love this!.

Doctor Who - The Complete BBC Series 1 Box Set [2005] [DVD]
Doctor Who - The Complete BBC Series 1 Box Set [2005] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Christopher Eccleston
Offered by Game Trade Online
Price: £19.99

16 of 100 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars All Hype And No Substance, 17 Aug. 2007
When I first heard Doctor Who was coming back onto our screens after a sixteen year absence I was as excited as any other fan could be. With all the huge improvements in special effects and a much bigger budget how could it possibly fail to be anything other than great television, my expectations were sky high. To say the new series came as a bitter disappointment would be a massive understatement.

I had been a great fan of the first four doctors from the original series for as long as I can remember and though I tended to lose interest after the Tom Baker years I none the less retained a great affection for the show. The program used to have a recognizable story line, interesting characters and for the most part imaginative scripts courtesy of the writers. The new series has none of these. You just have to compare the abilities of a modern writer such as Russell T Davies or any of the others involved to the likes of Terry Nation, Malcolm Hulke, Robert Holmes and Douglas Adams to name but a few to know where the cream of talent resides, i.e in the past.

Christopher Eccleston is a good actor but because the Doctor's characterization in the script is so poor Eccleston goes around the whole time with a cheesy smile and generally flounders about trying to find something to work with within the void that has been written for him. Is it any wonder he chucked the part after just one season?.

Billie Piper may have a dormant talent hidden somewhere deep within her and if so then I wish she would hurry up and find it because she certainly cannot act. First we had to endure her pop career and none ability to sing being thrust down our throats for a couple of years, now it seems we're in for the long haul as far as her none ability to act is concerned. 'Good Looks' does not automatically mean someone has talent. The character of Rose is particularly boring and with the way Piper plays it, totally devoid of interest.

The stories are all rush and push, the point seemingly being to get the whole thing over as quickly as possible so the viewers don't get a moment to think. It's depressing to believe that audiences seem to have the concentration span of a particularly lazy amoeba these days. How people can get conned into thinking this sort of rubbish is quality telly I cannot begin to imagine!.

Next gripe is about the humour. There has always been quite a good amount of humour involved with Doctor Who, particularly with Patrick Troughton and Tom Baker. This was usually in context, with good-natured banter between the Doctor and his companions or the ribbing of an enemy such as Davros which made an excellent 'straight man' for Tom's Doctor. It was excruciatingly embarrassing when Eccleston's Doctor told one of the monsters to "stop farting" or words to that effect in one of the episodes and I would have difficulty in coming up with anything more unsubtle in it's place. Nobody would write a new Three Men In A Boat book complete with 'Nob Gags' or remake HMS Pinafore with Captain Corcoran walking out of the lavatory saying "I'd give it ten minutes if I were you", so why plunder and destroy the legacy of an all-time si-fi classic?.

In short, if this is the best that modern television can do then I personally will stick with the old stuff. This new series is cheaper in every respect apart from the money it took to make it. It is dross for the Reality TV generation and they can keep it!. A fabulous opportunity sadly lost.
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Doctor Who - The Tomb Of The Cybermen [1967] [DVD] [1963]
Doctor Who - The Tomb Of The Cybermen [1967] [DVD] [1963]
Dvd ~ Patrick Troughton
Offered by HalfpriceDVDS_FBA
Price: £12.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Troughton IS the Doctor, 19 July 2007
The Doctor along with Jamie and at the time a brand new companion Victoria, join an archaeological expedition on the planet Telos that has apparently stumbled across what they believe to be a lost and abandoned Cyberman city. But the place isn't as dead as first thought and while the expedition leader has only discovery and research in mind there are some amongst the party who have far more malign intensions.

This once lost Doctor Who classic is an enjoyable reminder of what the television series used to be without the frantic rush and silly over-the-top hype that the modern version seems to get. It has it's obvious flaws but 'The Tomb Of The Cybermen' still manages to tell a pretty good four part story. The cast work well together and Patrick Troughton is as always truly superb as Doctor Who number two. He manages to convey intelligence like all the other Doctor's, but also gives the viewer a real sense of the characters vulnerability. Please keep in mind that this story was made in the late sixties and though not deliberately meant to be offensive it is definitely not pc.

The God Delusion
The God Delusion
by Richard Dawkins
Edition: Hardcover

21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The God Delusion, 18 July 2007
This review is from: The God Delusion (Hardcover)
This book is as the title suggests an argument against the belief of and worship of God and indeed religion itself. Like all of Dawkins works it is well written, striving at all times to be logical and rational throughout.

The problem is that those people who are of an Atheist persuasion (including myself) will probably agree with and enjoy the reasoning and sentiments expressed while those who follow a particular faith or any kind of belief in a deity probably wont and don't. It becomes obvious as you trawl down this very review list what a person seems to believe. For instance a rating of 4 stars plus and you are more than likely an Atheist or at least an Agnostic and others leaving 2 or less stars are likely to be Theists.

I'm not saying Dawkins shouldn't write books like this, on the contrary I greatly admire his stamina because it must feel even to him sometimes as if he's constantly banging his head on a brick wall. There are those of us open to logic and reason, to cause and effect and those of us who simply are not and will never be. That is a crude way of putting it but none the less it is sadly a fact.

The best that Dawkins can really hope for is to act as water wearing away at rock so in the future when humans have finally developed past the kindergarten stage we may be able to put aside a need to believe in Ghosts and Goblins and above all God.
So after reading and enjoying The God Delusion I give it 5 stars. But there again, I am an Atheist!.

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