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Mephistophelean (London, UK)

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Yusuf Islam - Yusuf's Cafe Session - Live At The Porchester Hall [2007] [DVD]
Yusuf Islam - Yusuf's Cafe Session - Live At The Porchester Hall [2007] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Yusuf Islam
Price: £9.99

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars He's still got the voice and what a voice!, 31 Aug. 2007
As stated before, the DVD is actually split into three sections: (i) the live session at the Porchester Hall; (ii) a documentary where Yusuf Islam speaks about his life and some music videos including two songs of him strumming and singing while sitting on his settee.

The sound quality of the music from the live session on this DVD is fantastic. The video isn't quite as good (hence the loss of a star but I am watching this on a projector so it will probably look good on a TV). The truly incredible parts (for me) are when he sings Father and Son and Wild World. His voice has mellowed over the years and (I think) the songs sound better now than then.

The documentary was really interesting. It essentially narrates his journey from his youth, into the pop world, into Islam (and giving up of music and playing instruments) to picking music up again. I didn't know much about Cat Stevens (too young I am afraid) but I did find this documentary compelling as it really drew you into why he made the decisions that he did.

For me, the best part of the DVD are the two songs on the music video section where he is sitting on his settee with a guitar and playing Peace Train and Midday. It really feels like an expert musician just playing and having fun and this really comes across in the DVD.

This is one of the most enjoyable DVDs I have watched and is easily the best music DVD I own - not just the music but the extras too.


Bach - Brandenburg Concertos
Bach - Brandenburg Concertos
Price: £5.99

37 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must buy, 4 Mar. 2007
I don't know much about classical music unlike the other reviewers for this CD. However, I was fortunate in that my mother bought me a record (remember them?) of Concertos no 1,3 and 5. You get

1. all 6 Brandenburg concertos beautifully played by English Chamber Orchestra. Normally albums of Bach's Brandenburg concertos only have three of the concertos. Having listened to a few of these, the quality of this CD is at least equal to those recordings in my opinion.

2. two additional concertos: the Concerto for Oboe, Violin and Strings and the Concerto for Flute and Strings. The first of these, as observed in the other reviews, is stunning.

I think this CD is fabulous to listen to and is a complete steal for the price.


Aid to the MRCP Paces: Volume 1: Stations 1, 3 and 5 v. 1
Aid to the MRCP Paces: Volume 1: Stations 1, 3 and 5 v. 1
by Robert E. J. Ryder
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as Hall - buy it anyway because you need it for Paces, 3 Mar. 2007
The problem with MRCP Paces is that there aren't that many books out there to read. The main texts are this book, the Tim Hall book and the Baliga book.

In my opinion the Hall text the two Ryder books. The Ryder books tend to jump from one topic to another, almost as though you are reading what came into Ryder's head next! The Hall book, by contrast treats each station comprehensively and in a logical format.

Baliga doesn't have many pictures (as noted in many of the reviews under that book) and is far more theoretical than either the Hall and Ryder books.

Ryder doesn't appear to give much emphasis to the communication and ethics stations - certainly not in as comprehensive a manner as Hall.

Having said all this, it's slightly unfair to compare the Hall book to Ryder and Baliga as Hall has the definite advantage of having been published later and so can respond to how the Paces exam has developed.

My advice is to buy all four books (this, the second Ryder book, Hall and Baliga). They all have different detailed examples in them and it's important that you get as wide a variety of examples before taking the Paces. As noted above, there aren't enough books out there currently for Paces candidates to pick and choose books.

Anyone want to write one?


PACES for the MRCP (MRCP Study Guides)
PACES for the MRCP (MRCP Study Guides)
by MRCP(UK) Tim Hall
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Paces book out there, 3 Mar. 2007
The problem with MRCP Paces is that there aren't that many books out there to read. The main texts are the Ryder books and this one.

In my opinion this book is better than the Ryder text. It treats each station comprehensively and in a logical format. The problem with the Ryder books are that they are very haphazard. The books jump from one topic to another, almost as though you are reading what came into Ryder's head next!

Baliga doesn't have many pictures (as noted in many of the reviews under that book) and is far more theoretical than the Hall and Ryder books.

As noted in previous reviews, Hall also gives some detail to the communication and ethics station compared to either Baliga or Ryder.

It's slightly unfair to compare the Hall book to Ryder and Baliga as Hall has the definite advantage of having been published later and so can respond to how the Paces exam has developed.

Having said this, buy all four books (this, the two Ryder and Baliga). They all have different detailed examples in them and it's important that you get as wide a variety of examples before taking the Paces. As noted above, there aren't enough books out there currently for Paces candidates to pick and choose books.

Anyone want to write one?
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 25, 2012 11:42 PM BST


Lady In The Water [DVD] [2006]
Lady In The Water [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ Paul Giamatti
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £2.60

18 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like feel good fantasy films..., 6 Feb. 2007
... then this is for you.

If you like films with lots of special effects, twists or an intricate plot then this isn't for you.

It's essentially a tale about different querky personalities living in an appartment block who must all work together to return a water spirit to her home. (Yes - you will need to suspend your belief while watching the film but the director makes it easy for you to do this.) I thought the character development of the bit part characters was done well given the short space of time the director had with the multiple characters.

I really liked it but can understand some of the negative comments that it has attracted as this isn't a film that you get nowadays - a simple plot elegantly told on screen that draws you in and leaves you with a simple feeling of satisfaction having watched it.


The Ultimate Goodness Gracious Me (The Complete Series 1, 2 and 3 / Back Where They Came From)[DVD]
The Ultimate Goodness Gracious Me (The Complete Series 1, 2 and 3 / Back Where They Came From)[DVD]
Dvd ~ Sanjeev Bhaskar
Offered by Bonkers4Bargains!
Price: £48.35

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious, 6 Feb. 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This box set gives you all three series of the Goodness Gracious Me TV series.

For second generation asians, this was the series that finally gave life to all of the things we wanted to say about our culture but were afraid to.

It also allowed us to - finally - poke fun back at the staid culture we were living in that couldn't seem to understand why their version of assimilation wasn't right. The two sketches that stand out in this regard are the:

- restaurant scene where the family want the "blandest meal on the menu" and always mispronounce "James"; and

- the sketch in the office where the English person is told that he's not fitting in as he has an English name.

As with most things, the first series is the strongest with the jokes becoming slighly stretched by the third series.

However, other than Blackadder, this is the only series that has got both me (asian brought up in the UK), my wife (asian brought up in New Zealand) and my mother (first generation asian) to laugh out loud while watching TV.

If you want an insight into asian views of their own and British culture through comedy - buy this.

More importantly, if you just want to laugh - buy it.


Blackadder - The Complete Collection [DVD]
Blackadder - The Complete Collection [DVD]
Dvd ~ Rowan Atkinson
Offered by TastyMate
Price: £34.90

125 of 137 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Funniest TV series ever - shame about the DVD, 6 Feb. 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you are reading this and haven't heard of Blackadder, you are either:

(i) an alien;

(ii) on the wrong country Amazon website by mistake

In synopsis, this is the funniest TV series ever. The first series is a bit hit and miss. It wasn't that funny. Strangely (as i had never seen the first series) Baldrick is intelligent and Edmund is stupid. These roles are reversed in the later series.

The reason for docking 2 stars? The DVD is really bad. The picture is very grainy and the sound isn't great. It's as though all the BBC have done is take the original recording and slap it straight onto DVD without any regard for the quality that DVD can bring. What's awful is that I have been watching this on a computer set up and I can still see and hear the problems with this DVD. If you have a good TV and a surround set up with good speakers you will see the problems even more.

However, the quality of the comedy will see you through. For the price, definitely worth buying.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 24, 2011 9:30 AM GMT


Dungeons & Dragons - The Complete Animated Series [DVD] [1983]
Dungeons & Dragons - The Complete Animated Series [DVD] [1983]
Dvd ~ Willie Aames
Offered by Import-DVD-Shop
Price: £22.95

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Relive your childhood, 6 Feb. 2007
I was given this box set as a birthday gift and it's one of the best gifts I have had in a while.

Yes there is no introductory episode and yes there is no final episode (because it was never commissioned as explained both in the box set and if you do some Yahooing or Googling on the Net).

But it's a magical cartoon series that brings back your childhood memories. Often when watching TV series from my childhood I find myself thinking "How could I have ever like this" (Airwolf, A Team) but not with this cartoon series. It still retains its magical quality and some of the characters (especially Eric) make me laugh more now than when I was a child.

Interestingly some of the stories lines are not what I would expect from a cartoon series from the eighties i.e. some quite dark story lines that I appreciate now but don't remember back then.

With the current Amazon.co.uk price, this is a complete steal. Buy it.


Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Collection [DVD]
Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Collection [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jeremy Brett
Offered by Revival Books Ltd
Price: £27.87

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy It - You Won't Regret It, 6 Feb. 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This set is a complete steal.

You get two masterful performances:

1. Jeremy Brett manages to convey all of the cynical, disdainful, mean and yet sometimes comforting characteristics that Sherlock Holmes possesses (reread the books and you will see what I mean). Mr Brett also showcases his variety of acting talent (especially when Sherlock Holmes disguises himself); and

2. David Burke's portrayal of Watson is brilliant. He is not some simple stooge (as portrayed in some interpretations) but plays his part so that you feel as though you really get to know Watson the person as opposed to Watson the scribe.

The bit part characters are not the greatest but given that this was a TV series, the DVD is astonishing in both the video and audio quality.


Agatha Christie's Poirot - The Complete Collection (24 Disc Box Set) [DVD]
Agatha Christie's Poirot - The Complete Collection (24 Disc Box Set) [DVD]
Dvd ~ David Suchet
Offered by pokerbooks
Price: £150.00

64 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb - Buy it, 6 Feb. 2007
I agree with Mr Selitrenny - David Suchet is the definitive Poirot.

What makes this box set such good value is the visual and audio quality. Okay it's not 5.1 (Digital Mono) but I remember the series when it was on TV and the quality of the DVDs is far better.

What also shines through is:

- the quality of the acting;

- the comedy moments usually brought about by the impact of Miss Lemon and Captain Hastings - who have far bigger parts than in the books; and

- the excellent production values that mean that if you are like me and read the books a long time ago and can't quite remember the endings, each program is very cleverly put together.

I was lucky and managed to get it when it was cheaper than it currently appears to be on Amazon and other websites. My advice is still to buy it. You will be hooked and want to watch the whole set from start to finish.


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