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Robert BUCKNOR "Orbis non Sufficit" (United Kingdom)

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Becket
Becket
Dvd
Price: £0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars SCENERY-CHEWING GOOD, 12 July 2015
This review is from: Becket (DVD)
Rather good film enlivened by sparkling performances from two of the best actors the British Isles ever produced: Richard BURTON & Peter O’TOOLE. Their characters' antagonism informs the whole spectacle and keeps it simmering along nicely until the inevitably-tragic ending. The characterization is striking and vivid; illuminating the theme of honor-among-men with a good deal of humor and subtlety. The irreconcilable differences between the two will defeat one or the other as Thomas à Becket fights successfully with his conscience.

Psychologically, we have here a king without a mother’s affection; the vapid substitute of an insipid wife; and, decidedly-undisciplined children. Becket becomes the only love of Henry II’s life, yet the film wisely eschews overdoing any suggestions of homosexuality on the latter’s part since this is not the main thrust of this particular story.

Becket is shown as less emotionally-distraught than the king, because he has the inner strength his faith provides, and so becomes the conscience of the drama - as Henry becomes its catalyst. The latter’s grip on power is wholly dependent upon the subservience of those around him; including Becket – not upon any love or even respect for “their” king.

The ethnic conflict (between Norman & Saxon) became the class war of today. Yet, this film is somewhat historically inaccurate; while remaining a good story of two friends who eventually turn against each other in the ongoing battle between church and state. Nevertheless, these two characters represent these two not fully-reconcilable interests with great aplomb.

The single basic problem this movie possesses is its length. This does not spring naturally from the writing, but from the shooting style of using long, uninterrupted takes. Each individual scene is exquisite and would be spoiled by any attempts at reduction, but they each take a little too long to get to the point; making the film - as a whole - too long.


Two Lovers
Two Lovers
Dvd
Price: £0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars MATURE MEDITATION ON CAUCASIAN SEXUAL RELATIONS, 10 July 2015
This review is from: Two Lovers (DVD)
Well-cast, well-written and well-directed love story minus the often-obligatory gratuitous sex scenes. This one reverses the usual scenario by having a depressive male choosing between two women while running both - as ongoing girlfriends - unbeknown to each other. One is normal, but dull; the other pretty, but neurotic.

US films are showing positive signs of growing up as the audience itself ages with the passing of the post-World War 2 baby boom. This, then, is a profound meditation on modern, Western way of love, emotional need and meaning in life that obviously comes from direct experience.

Joaquin PHOENIX dominates throughout and even his body language effectively communicates a bereft, psychologically-disconnected soul who does not really know who he is nor what he wants. All of the performers, in fact, seize the opportunity to do some real acting; making this a totally engrossing experience.

All in all, a slight storyline, cleverly-plotted, that communicates its points loud and clear with just the subtlest of gestures to imply more feeling than could ever be shown.


A New York Winter's Tale
A New York Winter's Tale
Dvd
Price: £0.00

1.0 out of 5 stars NOT QUITE SHAKESPEARE, 3 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: A New York Winter's Tale (DVD)
Pusillanimous pile of pretentious codswallop; proving White culture possesses no real guiding or founding mythology to live by.

A completely absurd waste of fine actors that successfully manages to actually be about nothing whatsoever.


A Better Tomorrow
A Better Tomorrow
Dvd
Price: £0.00

3.0 out of 5 stars BLOOD BROTHERS, 29 Jun. 2015
This review is from: A Better Tomorrow (DVD)
Despite being unremittingly melodramatic, this is what you would expect from John Woo.

The themes - intensely expressed - of loyalty and male friendship are there, as usual, but neither is fully developed nor analyzed. The director’s trademark Christianity is also in evidence in this story of helping one’s brother and being willing to sacrifice oneself for him.


9 To 5
9 To 5
Dvd
Price: £0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars …YOU CAN RUN AN OFFICE WITHOUT A BOSS, BUT YOU CAN’T RUN AN OFFICE WITHOUT THE SECRETARIES!, 14 Jun. 2015
This review is from: 9 To 5 (DVD)
The ultimate employee revenge fantasy with three female archetypes plotting the downfall of their nauseating boss.

The performances are excellent and, while Dolly PARTON is not a great actress, she is a great screen presence.

The satire is to-the-point - but its scope is limited - while the farcical, black-comedy elements add to the sense of a genuinely-inspired situation-comedy.


No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency - Series 1
No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency - Series 1
Dvd
Price: £0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars CAUCASIAN WORLD-VIEW BUT STILL GOOD, 12 Jun. 2015
Engaging drama that uses well worn detective conceits to both parody detective fiction and to breathe some new life into it, by placing the action in (for wet-weather Brits, at least) an exotic location and having female detectives. This last fact is fully exploited in the stories since the proprietrix uses her intuition and empathy to get to the bottom of most cases rather than relying only on a hard-headed reliance on facts - a la the more masculine Sherlock Holmes.

An independent woman not needing to rely on men is the basic theme here. The actresses convey their roles well and, as the series progresses, we come to know them and to realize that they are usually right - even when they are stretching things too far, ethically.

After the first few episodes, the too prefect diction in which Tswanas appear to speak English and the Runyonesque lack of contractions begins to grate on ones nerves - despite their comic effect - and some leavening of foreign accents might have helped here.

The other problem with the series is that because it is a male creation, the condescending author's Western male view of women is always lurking under the surface. This leads to a greater focus on cases that reflect so called women's issues; there being little serious crime here. A related issue is one of a warm, vibrant culture; lending itself to being essentially a foreigner's investigation of a quintessentially-foreign (to the author, anyway) culture - favorably compared to the crime-ridden West. This is not so much about Botswana but more about a White man's fascination for it - albeit written with some wit and not a little insight.


No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
Dvd
Price: £0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Caucasian World-View but still Good, 12 Jun. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Engaging drama that uses well worn detective conceits to both parody detective fiction and to breathe some new life into it, by placing the action in (for wet-weather Brits, at least) an exotic location and having female detectives. This last fact is fully exploited in the stories since the proprietrix uses her intuition and empathy to get to the bottom of most cases rather than relying only on a hard-headed reliance on facts - a la the more masculine Sherlock Holmes.

An independent woman not needing to rely on men is the basic theme here. The actresses convey their roles well and, as the series progresses, we come to know them and to realize that they are usually right - even when they are stretching things too far, ethically.

After the first few episodes, the too prefect diction in which Tswanas appear to speak English and the Runyonesque lack of contractions begins to grate on ones nerves - despite their comic effect - and some leavening of foreign accents might have helped here.

The other problem with the series is that because it is a male creation, the condescending author's Western male view of women is always lurking under the surface. This leads to a greater focus on cases that reflect so called women's issues; there being little serious crime here. A related issue is one of a warm, vibrant culture; lending itself to being essentially a foreigner's investigation of a quintessentially-foreign (to the author, anyway) culture - favorably compared to the crime-ridden West. This is not so much about Botswana but more about a White man's fascination for it - albeit written with some wit and not a little insight.


The Lookout
The Lookout
Dvd
Price: £0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars HARD ROW TO HOE, 10 Jun. 2015
This review is from: The Lookout (DVD)
Above-average, low-key film about independence, self-determination and coming to terms with guilt with excellent performances all round.

An unusual heist movie with a genuine soul that is pleasingly-different to the usual Hollywood fare.


Lone Wolf by Dennis, Felix (2004) Paperback
Lone Wolf by Dennis, Felix (2004) Paperback
by Felix Dennis
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars REAL POETRY ABOUT LIFE, 26 May 2015
At last, here is a book (& CD & DVD) of poetry for those who do not normally like poetry.

Most modern poets eschew and ignore most modern people, which is why most modern people ignore and eschew modern poetry. However, here is a poet who writes about life as it is lived – from personal experience – who easily connects with his audience.

Dennis is also funny which helps a great deal in drawing you into both his world and his work.

Despite his great wealth, Felix Dennis is both earthy and accessible.


Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
Dvd
Price: £0.00

3.0 out of 5 stars OUT OF TIME, 26 May 2015
This review is from: Oliver Twist (DVD)
The BBC has done Shakespeare, Austen, Dickens, et al to death and are thus struggling here to relate the same old plot in a new way. Few writers today are as good as those three, so British tv is stuck with endless, and increasingly-desperate, retreads of overly-familiar material.

The worst aspect of this adaptation is exactly what scuppered so many in the past, there is no real story because there are no real themes - just visual verisimilitude.

The White belief in self-fulfilling concepts like Social Darwinism, White supremacism, social snobbery, etc are never explored in favor of acontextual potting; along with characters to whom things are done, without rhyme or reason, but who never really act as agents in their own lives. People here are never masters of their own destiny, such that Oliver Twist simply moves across the barren landscape of a culture lacking in empathy.

As a drama-documentary of the times in which it is set - and its present-day legacy - this dramaturgical lack is fine, but as a solid piece of dramaturgy it is as lacking in feeling as most of its characters.

As Blacks are so often represented in White dramas, the poor are presented as completely unable to better themselves without the intervention of both Pale and Middle-class saviors. Such false genetics used in place of true demographics tells us as much about today’s makers of television as it does about the White culture in which it is set.

One wonders why modern tv is so obsessed with evading any truths about the culture that spawned it. Like the culture itself, the BBC remains hopelessly mired in a past that is always misrepresented. Modernizing the dialog (& the Carry On humor) only make the whole thing seem more anachronistic than ever before: As with genealogy, there really is no future in it.


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