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azindn (Arizona, USA)

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Long Way Round [DVD] [2004]
Long Way Round [DVD] [2004]
Dvd ~ Ewan McGregor

7 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Priviledged Stars Whining Across Europe, Mongolia, and USA, 13 Mar 2006
This review is from: Long Way Round [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
I have a love-hate dilemma with this docu made for TV special for several reasons. As a enormous fan of Ewan McGregor, the principle of a trip to experience the world seems a great notion, however, there is more to this story than simply two blokes out for a lark on bikes. This much touted adventure for the extreme sports fans as well featured the star and his best friend, actor Charlie Boorman, on BMW motorcycles on an around the world vacation.
Because of Ewan's star power, the pair are able to offset the cost of this adventure by hiring a television producer and charming companies to donate their equipment and services including two enormous BMW touring cycles, 4x4 SUVs, security equipment, camping equipment, designer duds for biking, tools, toolboxes, and the list goes on and on. They also had a contract with Bravo TV and a book deal in the bag. This is hardly a living off the land excursion, but an expedition that might turn into the ill-fated McGregor- Boorman Party.
Perhaps most offensive is the statement that the adventure was to raise awareness and monies for UNICEF charities for children, and not to profit McGregor and Boorman. Whether this is true is never revealed and if funds were raised for the organization, it's not disclosed, however, the television commercials and internet exposure was worldwide, much to McGregor's surprise. He doesn't seem to understand how expansive the power of the web worldwide.
Throughout the two discs set, McGregor and Boorman provide reality TV one-on-one interviews with their personal diaries of the day's activities. It is an informal discussion, usually provided after the pair have settled in for the evening and are about to retire. The humorous quips and obvious friendship and respect between McGregor and Boorman keeps the situation light, but as the conditions of the road deteriorate, so do the spirits of the star.
While Boorman struggles to remain healthy and keep the pair on the road, McGregor is at the mercy of his own off-road inexperience, away from wife, kiddies, and his security blanket, it is his own inability to be of tougher stuff that is exposed. He whines, they both whine, and when it becomes almost intolerable, they meet situations and people who live so far below the standard of the pampered upper middle class lifestyles it is obscene to listen to the pair complain without seething at their needed to just grow up. Wifey's were around to pick up or cook, but lots of humble and generous other women were doing it for the Mrs. McGregor and Boorman, who had not the fiscal wherewithall to take from meger larders.
Although invited to share the homes of kind folks along the road, nomads, and simple working class individuals, the experience of seeing the world as they've never known it is still trying for Ewan. It is only when the pair is exposed to the remains of the soviet block countries is there the beginnings of a reality check for the pair. Children dying of exposure to Chernobyl, children who live under the streets to survive, and nomads who are so foreign to McGregor that he at times seems childish and unprepared for their hard lives. His depression is real, yet, one wondered if anyone prepped McGregor what to expect? What a pampered poodle existance this man lives.
Only when the pair reach the United States, Alaska, through Canada, and into the northern states to NYC do the pair seem to relax among English speaking, cell-phone toting, westerners like themselves. But, it is during the hardship of the Road of Bones that McGregor seemed to finally grow up and with that experience under his belt, his entry to New York is a decided letdown.
I enjoy the personalities, but the premise still has an uncomfortable aura of privilege versus poverty that makes for uncomfortable watching through most of the series.


Brimstone And Treacle [DVD]
Brimstone And Treacle [DVD]
Dvd ~ Sting
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.72

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Devil Take Me Now!, 24 Nov 2001
This review is from: Brimstone And Treacle [DVD] (DVD)
An early Sting vehicle with outstanding supporting cast of Denholm Elliot and Joan Plowright, Brimstone and Treacle is deadly humorous. Sting is Martin, a seeming street hustler and pickpocket who targets curdmugeon Denholm Elliot as an easy mark. Lifting his wallet he finds his way to Elliot's home where he ingratiates himself to the family via tall tales of a relationship with the helpless and comatose daughter, Suzanna Hamilton. Her tragic hit-and-run accident has left her a vegetable and her parents embittered. Besides lying to the folks, Martin is up to no good when he offers to sit the brain damaged daughter while Mummsy trots off the the hair salon... Although suspicious of the unwanted guest, Elliots wife manages to find Martin's presence strangely comforting to their daughter -- but why? Brimstone and Treacle is a Dennis Potter treasure of black fun that pokes wicked humor at religion and good will towards all to the tunes of The Police, The Go-Go's and the melodeous trio of Elliot, Plowright and Sting! Not a film for younger audiences, this is still adult subject matter that taken with a grain of treacle is likely to make you wish all devils were as georgous as a very young and studly Sting.


Nora [DVD] [2000]
Nora [DVD] [2000]
Dvd ~ Ewan McGregor
Offered by Springwood Media
Price: £12.99

51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A GENIUS AND HIS MUSE, 11 Aug 2001
This review is from: Nora [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
James Joyce (Ewan McGregor) as a young university student finds his spiritual and sexual equal and partner in life in Nora Barnacle (Susan Lynch). Although the class difference is obvious to all but the pair, they fall in love against the advice of his friends who lust after Nora. Joyce convinces Nora to join him in Italy where he has a teaching position. The two begin their lives together living beyond their means, dressing fashionably, and fighting while raising children. Nora is anything but a quiet professor's wife. She is the life force that motivates Joyce. Although one of the major literary talents of the twentieth century, Joyce as McGregor presents him is insecure, neurotic, and insanely jealous. Theirs is a volatile relationship prone to public outbursts and sexual abandon.
Susan Lynch won the best actress award at the Dublin Film Festival for her performance as the earthy muse whose presence is as much a torture as inspiration to Joyce. Ewan McGregor in his first adult leading role proves he has matured as an actor of solid talent and sensitivity beyond juvenile leads. Shot on location in Ireland and Italy, Nora is a small independent film produced by McGregor's production company, Natural Nylon, and likely to be overlooked by most audiences. However, if solid acting, adult story lines, and turn-of-the-century costume biopics are your cup of tea, this film is worthy of its purchase price. The DVD version includes interviews with principal actors and director Pat Murphy.


Ewan McGregor From Junkie to Jedi
Ewan McGregor From Junkie to Jedi
by Brian J. Robb
Edition: Paperback

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent photos, Ewan-lushous!, 10 Aug 2001
A book for collectors of books on Ewan. Nothing new in terms of information not published in other sources. The best aspect of this publication are the photographs on almost every other page, very clever studio sessions of a young and half clothed kilted kutie. While none of these books on McGregor are authorized by the actor, this is one to keep for the witty quotes by McGregor and the glossy portraits of a very young actor before he was filthy famous.


The Serpent's Kiss
The Serpent's Kiss
by Tim Rose Price
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.22

5.0 out of 5 stars Text Over Image, 5 Aug 2001
This review is from: The Serpent's Kiss (Paperback)
The screenplay of the film Serpent's Kiss is better than the film. The film is unworthy of it's fine cast and director, and never manages to entertain. The screenplay however, is another story. This book is an opportunity to read and imagine the characters and story as it could be. I preferred the book to the film, not because of the obvious difference in medium, but because in my imagination, the book presents an intriguing and romantic tale that left the film in the dust. Illustrated with black and white stills from the film, it is a good addition for film collector libraries. In this case, the word is mightier than the camera.


The Serpent's Kiss [DVD]
The Serpent's Kiss [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ewan McGregor

20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Follies, Foliage, and Footsies, 12 Jan 2001
This review is from: The Serpent's Kiss [DVD] (DVD)
An uneven attempt to bring romanticism of 18th century costume drama in line with modern desire under the elm make this film a boring venture. Despite strong casting that features Ewan McGregor, Greta Scacchi, Richard E. Grant, and Pete Postelwaite, the story rambles and is at times incoherent. The story centers on the construction of a formal garden to mark the arrival of a businessman (Postlewaite) and his wife (Scacchi) to the local gentry class is marred by the arrival of the woman's lecherous cousin (Grant). Grant's presence is ominous and clearly an annoyance to landscape architect, Meneer Chrome (McGregor), whose own distraction by the couple's daughter is more than an obstacle to completion of his assignment. A lot of heaving bosoms by mother and daughter offer some distraction and foreshadow the ending. Unintentional comedic timing by McGregor make his character's statement "Garden design has made some progress since the Italian Rennaisance and their water games." an unfortunate commentary on the film. The entire production sinks under the weight of poor direction and wigs. This is a disappointment despite all good intentions by an excellent cast of actors.


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