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james peter wootton

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Switzerland (Lonely Planet Travel Guides)
Switzerland (Lonely Planet Travel Guides)
by Mark Honan
Edition: Paperback

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tells it like it is., 19 Aug 2004
I did most of the French side this summer and found it to be spot on. You could be travelling to a town/city by train and reading about your destination, when you get there its totally like the descriptions in the book. Theres lots of background info on Swiss soceity/culture which helps you to chat with the locals by knowing their frame of reference.
If you want a good holiday in Switzerland you have to travel around and see the natural sights, this book is great for planning your itinery.
Only flaw I spotted was I was walking on a bridge in Bern that wasn't on the LP map and was lost for about 2 minutes.
If visiting, its best to buy this before you travel so you can do a day by day plan. I did and it ran very smoothly thanks to the LP guide.

Pattern Recognition
Pattern Recognition
by William Gibson
Edition: Hardcover

8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's teh bombs..., 5 May 2003
This review is from: Pattern Recognition (Hardcover)
This is the first book I've read by the 'cyber-punk' pioneer Gibson, I only read it cos of panel-wide approval on a snooty R4 arts review show.
Synopsis: Cayce is a 'cool hunter' consulting for the blue ant advertising agency in London, she likes some video footage put out on the web, she investigates it, it becomes a riddle wrapped up in an enigma.
Review: The first 200 or so pages has to be some of the most up-to-the-minute, zeitgeist-flavoured prose I have read, its full of net-speak, cool design and branding analysis, and iconic wise-cracks. Imagine a fushion of Brett Easton Ellis, JG Ballard and Victor Pelavin. Its the only book I've read which does the internet justice - the net is almost a character in this thing. About half-way through it becomes a taut thriller which nicely ties up all the plot strings in the last few pages.
The verdict: Most enjoyable book I've read in ages, witty, thought provoking, interesting, very stylish writing. Anyone who canes the net, like me and some of you heathens, should run to the book-store now. Top read. As I like to say on the net - teh bombs.

American History X [DVD] [1999]
American History X [DVD] [1999]
Dvd ~ Edward Norton
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: 2.99

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We are not enemies., 1 Dec 2001
This is the only film i have seen which really tackles racism in a realistic and intelligent way. The Ed Norton character is an intelligent and articulate individual who convincingly preaches the twisted logic of racism. The film manages to convey most psychological explanations of racism - the authoritarian personality,the scapegoat hypothesis, in-group out-group bias, transference, etc, without feeling preachy. I can't think of a more socially important or responsible film than this. Derek's emotional oddessy is both moving and disturbing, with all points of view given equal airing, no matter how extreme. Personally I found the question asked of Derek 'Has anything you have done made your life better?' a stark and penetrating wake up call for anyone who is unhappy. The ending has been criticised for being overly emotional but I thought it was appropriate, Derek gets hurt by former chosen enemies who have not yet learnt the lesson he has. This makes us question whether Derek was wrong in the first place. This is a complicated film about a difficult subject which should be required viewing in all schools. The ultimate message is to do your best and try to get along with other people. Its not just about racism, its about personal choice, do we live to hate or do we try to make life better for ourselves and others. The director walked away from the film, my question is if he was unhappy with this cut, what would his version be like? This version is a technical, artistic and emotional triumph.

Audition [DVD] [2001]
Audition [DVD] [2001]
Dvd ~ Ryo Ishibashi

7 of 37 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars GARBAGE., 2 Oct 2001
This review is from: Audition [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
Much has been said about the japanese horror revival and how creepy it is. It is all nonsense, these films - audition, ring, etc, are very boring, unexciting films which may have something to say in japan, but very little elsewhere. I don't speak japanese but I imagine that these films are very poorly translated given that ring 2 was rendered unwatchable by white subtitles on a very bright image, this is very telling of Tartan's championing of these films. After watching audition I felt 'so what?', the story never really explains itself, the lurid end scenes are pointless as they are part of a dream sequence. I really wanted to like these japanese films, but they are very boring, lack structure and plot. Perhaps they are poorly translated and therefore if other versions become available I will give these films a second chance. This 'new wave' of horror is visually flat, has very little tension and is conceptually weak. Horror films are possibly the hardest films to artistically make, I can only think of a few really good horror/supernatural films - the shining, legend of hell house, the haunting. These japanese films don't match any of the previous and don't even work on a cartoon level like many other non-scary but entertaining films - romero's dead trilogy, the devil rides out' hellraiser, etc. If you want to see new, fresh, exciting filmmaking checkout 'requiem for a dream', 'Pi' or 'Breaking the waves'. It is such a pity that something like 'tetsuo' released over 10 years ago, failed to influence japanese fimmaking, instead we get absurd, po-faced rubbish like audition. Who would like this film? It is not really violent, but it does have one rather tacky s+m scene which although unpleasent (for non-s+m fans)its probably far exceeded by other legal material. I would have liked the film more if it had stuck to its rather sexist but semi-interesting intial romantic plotline. Perhaps I am missing the point, but personally I was horrified by how boring and pointless this film was.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 5, 2009 9:46 PM GMT

John Carpenter's The Thing [DVD] [1982]
John Carpenter's The Thing [DVD] [1982]
Dvd ~ Kurt Russell
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: 4.02

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They don't make them like this anymore., 26 Jun 2001
The Thing is the best body-horror film ever. It treats its subject very seriously, which may have seemed po-faced at the time, but is refreshing in our current spoof-ridden times. The cast are excellent and play the film straight, the odd bit of joking sits well with the film and never detracts from the gravity of the overall. The movie is more relevant today than in 1982, what with aids, foot-and-mouth, hospital superbugs and so on, this paranoid threat from within, is and will be the shape of things to come. Although the the threat in the film is alien, it stands as an allegory to human genetic intervention. A serious, clever film that is far superior to the usual rubbish we put up with today. Well acted and stunningly photographed this should be in everyone's collection. The DVD is excellent value, probably as it has loads of features to back up a really good film. The ending leaves you guessing, I change my mind everytime I see it, but look for breath trails in the final scene! You decide. A real classic, that is far better than the original.

by Victor Pelevin
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Identalism as the highest stage of dualism!?, 13 Jun 2001
This review is from: Babylon (Paperback)
Babylon contains within it one the funniest and perceptive critiques of our media-advertising age that I have ever read. Tatarasky somehow contacts Che Guevara via ouija board, and accesses a report on a growing organism called ORANUS which has developed a primative nervous system called the media, this in turn transmits 3 types of impulse, oral, anal and displacing wow-impulses. The oral wow-impulse causes cells (humans transformed to homozapiens through television)to ingest money in order to relieve self suffering brought about by the conflict of the self image and the ideal super self generated by advertising. The anal impulse induces elimination of money. I'll leave you to discover the rest for yourself, but Pelevin develops this premise in this short section and somehow manages to satirise EVERYTHING in only ten pages. This is only one aspect of this very well written and inventive novel. It stands alongside 'money', 'crash', 'fight club', 'dice man', 'atomised' and 'american psycho' as a modern classic.

Whatever [VHS]
Whatever [VHS]

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Let down by main actor., 23 Feb 2001
This review is from: Whatever [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This film is nowhere near as good as the novel. The main problem is the casting, the 'hero' is flat, his attitude does not dominate the film and Tisserand is not as alkward and garish as he is in the book. Basically I felt that the brutal humour of the original did not really come across in the film, even though it is quite faithful literally. The main actor does not match the vision in the book, the guy is too old and too much of a dork. The tragedy of the book is that he was trapped in himself rather than his appearance. The principal character should have been a well dressed and cultivated individual,who is physically impressive in order to offset Tisserand's ugliness. As it is, Tisserand appears to be the better looking of the two and this seriously unbalances the film. Given the cast it would probably have been better if the adaptation from book to film had been less true to the source material eg in the style of american psycho. Although I was dissapointed in the film I can see that I would probably have been impressed with it if I was not aware of the book. The actors do a good job but they are unable to convey the embarssment and humilitaion which makes the book such sadistic treat. If you enjoyed the film then you will love the book. If you are looking for real male angst comedy, read the book.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 10, 2013 9:10 AM GMT

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