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Amazon Customer "dragondrums" (Ingleby Barwick. U.K.)

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What Dreams May Come [DVD] [1998]
What Dreams May Come [DVD] [1998]
Dvd ~ Movie
Price: £3.38

20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The film is not like the book, 14 Oct. 2005
This is a typical Robin Williams film, sentimental to the extreme which is fine if that's what you are expecting. If you are expecting a true rendition of Richard Matheson's book then forget it. The only similarity to the book is that Chris Nielsen, the main character, dies and discovers there is life after death. From thereon in the story differs wildly. The book focuses more on Chris's voyage of discovery in the afterlife and on his being drawn to his wife whose grieving is preventing him from fully letting go of his earthly life. The film sees the poor woman left grieving for not only Chris, but her two children who have been killed in a car crash.
All that aside, is this a good film? It depends on your expectations. The effects are excellent and the colour rendition of 'heaven' is truly amazing if somewhat Dali like in its surrealism. Heaven is portrayed a place from a renaissance painting. Hell is shown as a dark and despairing place, pretty much as you would expect but again filmed with flair and a brilliant eye for detail. Chris's 'guide' through the afterlife is played, with style, by Cuba Gooding Junior. Visually this film is a feast but the storyline will leave most viewers depressed and drained. It isn't a comfortable movie to watch. Unlike the book which, although very sad at times, portrays a more positive note, the movie leaves you with a feeling of desperation that so much tragedy could happen to one family.
It is probably worth viewing this film at least once as long as you are not depressed at the time...just keep tissues by your side. It isn't a movie you would want to watch time and time again.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 5, 2010 7:28 PM BST

Equilibrium [DVD] [2003]
Equilibrium [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Christian Bale
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: £2.90

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated Sci-fi, 14 Oct. 2005
This review is from: Equilibrium [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Equilibrium is a surprisingly good film and sorely underrated. Set in a future where emotions are banned, as is anything that may engender emotion such as music and literature, the storyline may conjure thoughts of 1984 or Fahrenheit 451. Make no mistake however; Equilibrium is no copy of those films.
After World War 3, it is decided that emotions lead to war and the prevention of further war can only be achieved by preventing the population from feeling. Every day the population have to take their prescribed mood dampening pills. Christian Bale stars as Preston, a law enforcement agent, who seeks out and destroys 'sense offenders', people who stop taking their medication and who actively read and listen to music. When Preston's partner (played by Sean Bean) is found to be a sense offender and he is forced to kill him, Preston starts questioning his world and the part he plays in it. He decides to take the dangerous path of skipping his pills and starting to feel.
This is no high octane, special effects packed film. There are a few, well choreographed martial arts fight scenes but for the most part the film relies on a good story set in a sterile, featureless and soulless setting to set the atmosphere. The movie has been well produced and the cinematography is first class. This is a film that belongs in the collection of any fan of science fiction.

The English Reformation 1530 - 1570 (Seminar Studies In History)
The English Reformation 1530 - 1570 (Seminar Studies In History)
by W. J. Sheils
Edition: Paperback
Price: £20.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good introduction to the reformation, 1 Oct. 2005
As a core text for my history degree, this book provided an excellent introduction to the English reformation. Shiels, an historian/lecturer with a particular interest in this era, has given a clear, concise background to the reformation; looking at the causes of it and the impact it had on the church and on the population. He takes the reader through the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward, Mary and ends with the early reign of Elizabeth. We see that the reformation was already gathering momentum long before Henry decided he wanted a divorce.
As would be expected from a book of this ilk, there are plenty of references which allows the reader to move onto further study should they so wish. At 128 pages you would be forgiven for thinking this book was too brief for serious study but in fact it packs a wealth of knowledge into its pages. The downside of this text is that it is, at times, a little too dry. This probably makes it unsuitable for the casual reader but, for the student it is an invaluable addition to the bookshelf.

Private Benjamin [DVD] [1980]
Private Benjamin [DVD] [1980]
Dvd ~ Goldie Hawn
Price: £5.54

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Goldie joins the army, 30 Sept. 2005
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Goldie Hawn plays the part of Judy Benjamin, a young socialite who is widowed on her wedding night. Distraught and with no purpose to her life and no skills to speak of she appeals to the listeners of a radio show to help her. One of the respondents is an army recruitment officer who, having convinced Judy that army life really consisted of yachts and condo's and sunbathing in California, manages to get her to sign up for 3 years. This is where the comedy really starts as Judy, who has never had to lift a manicured finger, gets a reality check and discovers that being in the army is not like being on holiday. Goldie Hawn is made for this kind of role, and as usual delivers the goods. There are some genuinely 'laugh out loud' moments as she struggles to adapt and make friends. Unfortunately the film seems to run out of steam half way through. Whereas the first half is true comedy, the second half has very little in the way of humour to offer. Having met a French gynaecologist who she falls for, she wangles a posting to Paris to be with him. This is where the humour disappears as Judy leaves the army to be with him and he turns out to be a control freak that turns Judy into a clone of his ex girlfriend. It's almost like watching two separate films.
This is a film that has stood the test of time and is still worth watching for the hilarious first half, just be prepared for the laughs to disappear.

Legally Blonde 2 [DVD] [2003]
Legally Blonde 2 [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Reese Witherspoon
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £1.94

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lightweight froth., 30 Sept. 2005
In Legally Blonde 2, Reese Witherspoon returns as the dizzy, but highly intelligent lawyer, Elle Woods. Busy planning her forthcoming wedding, Elle decides she wants her dogs' long lost mother to attend the happy event. Unfortunately the private detective, hired to find Bruiser's mother, discovers she is in an animal testing laboratory and they won't release her. Elle decides to take up the fight against animal testing and launches herself on an unsuspecting Washington senate.
Like all too many sequels, Legally Blonde 2 does not live up to its predecessor. The story is just an extension of the original move, nobody takes Elle seriously as she's blonde, dressed in pink, looks like Barbie, but she proves them all wrong etc. etc. The story line tries to push the moral issue of using animals in experiments. Unfortunately, the message is lost in all the froth that surrounds it.
This isn't the worst film you could watch, it's certainly ok for one of those nights when you don't want to have to concentrate too much and just want some simple entertainment. Just don't expect to be rolling on the floor laughing and be prepared to suspend all thoughts of reality with the totally unbelievable storyline. There are a fair number of extras on the DVD for those who like to explore more but, like the film, they are somewhat lightweight.

Unto Leviathan
Unto Leviathan
by Richard Paul Russo
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.00

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Science fiction as it should be., 13 Sept. 2005
This review is from: Unto Leviathan (Paperback)
This is a story written in the first person and written from the perspective of Bartolomeo, a man who is a misfit amongst the inhabitants of The Argonos, a massive spaceship that is trawling the galaxy in search of new life. Generations of humans have been raised on the ship and very few have ever had the opportunity to step on solid ground. Bartolomeo is a loner, brought up by various members of the 'upper levels', never knowing his parents and suffering from various physical disabilities. His only 'friend' is the Captain of the ship. So far, no evidence of extra terrestrial life has been found until the Argonos stumbles on a seemingly deserted alien craft drifting in space. Bartolomeo is chosen to lead an exploration team to investigate this strange ship in spite of opposition from the sinister Bishop, leader of the Church on the Argonos.
Richard Paul Russo has written an excellent tale, fast paced enough to keep the interest going but in depth enough to give a satisfying read. His alien craft is truly alien, unlike so many sci-fi stories that have the universe populated with humanoid life. The feeling of menace on the deserted craft is almost palpable. The one small criticism that could be levelled at this book is that the characterisation is not terribly strong, but, with such a strong storyline, this can be forgiven. All in all, a very good debut book, well worth a look.

Red Dwarf: Complete BBC Series 1 [DVD]
Red Dwarf: Complete BBC Series 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Chris Barrie
Offered by Bridge_Records
Price: £3.96

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Madcap trek through deepest space, 10 Aug. 2005
This is the first, and, in my opinion, the best Red Dwarf series. I remember watching this when it first aired on BBC2. I hadn't intended to watch it, it just happened to be on and I remember thinking it would be rubbish. Shows how wrong I was.
Ignore the low budget sets and old fashioned `special' effects and ignore the fact that the cast comprises unknown (at that time) actors. None of that matters with such a wickedly funny script played in a wonderfully over the top manner by its stars.
The Red Dwarf is a mining ship millions of miles from home. Dave Lister (Craig Charles) is about the lowest ranked member of crew possible, senior only to the tiny robotic Scutters. Arnold Rimmer (Chris Barrie) is only one step above him but is highly ambitious and opinionated (as well as totally deluded about his abilities), and just loves to pull rank over Dave. The two despise each other and swap insults with unfailing regularity. When Dave is found to have smuggled a cat on board he is threatened with stasis for the remainder of the journey if he doesn't hand the creature over for extermination. Dave opts for stasis and this is where the saga of Red dwarf really starts. When he comes out of stasis he finds that something has wiped out the entire crew of the ship and he has been in stasis for 3 million years. His only company is the ships computer Holly, a holograph of his deceased, neurotic, room mate come enemy, Rimmer, and a self obsessed, humanoid creature, simply called Cat, who has evolved from Frankenstein, Lister's smuggled cat. The humour mainly focuses on the banter and sarcastic comments between Lister and Rimmer, two people who loathe each other but are forced together for company. Holly and Cat, in this first season, play low key parts but have some brilliant one liners.
This two disc set not only contains the entire first series but also a myriad of extras including deleted scenes, `smeg-ups' and commentaries by the cast. You don't have to be a sci-fi fan to enjoy Red Dwarf, just a fan of quirky, `off the wall' comedy.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 21, 2009 1:06 PM BST

My Big Fat Greek Wedding [DVD] [2002]
My Big Fat Greek Wedding [DVD] [2002]
Dvd ~ Nia Vardalos
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £3.50

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Give me a word, any word..., 22 July 2005
Toula (Nia Vardalos) is a thirty something, single American Greek girl, and, in the eyes of her family, rapidly becoming over the hill. She herself is bored with her monotonous life, with nothing to do other than work as a waitress in her family's restaurant. One day a man walks into her restaurant and Tula's life is about to change forever. The instant attraction she feels seems to somehow give her the push she needs to climb out of her rut, and she promptly enrols on a college course, learns how to use make up and dress well and, best of all, gets a new job in her Aunts travel agency.
It is while she is working there that the stranger, Ian, reappears in her life. What follows is a heart-warming tale of two people falling in love whilst trying to overcome their differing ethnic backgrounds. Tula's family are determined she should marry a 'nice Greek boy' whilst Ian's, (John Corbett), family are very uptight, middle class and horrified by Tula's outgoing, lively, loud and, above all, large family.
The show stealer is Michael Constantine as Mr Portokalos, who believes everyone secretly wants to be Greek and whose favourite occupation is to tell people the origins of words ...of course, in his eyes they all stem from the Greek language, even kimono! His other favourite pastime is using Windex cleaner for everything from cleaning to treating wounds, and recommending the same to anyone who will listen. Constantine plays this role with real humour but also pathos.
The downside of the DVD is the complete lack of extras; it doesn't even have subtitles, which is very annoying when you're hard of hearing. That apart, this is a very funny, yet touching film, that is suitable for all the family to watch.

The Butterfly Effect - Director's Cut [DVD] [2004]
The Butterfly Effect - Director's Cut [DVD] [2004]
Dvd ~ Ashton Kutcher
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £1.20

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A butterfly flaps its wings..., 22 July 2005
Ashton Kutcher stars as Evan Treborn, a young man who throughout his childhood was plagued with 'blackouts'. No cause for these blank spots in his life was ever found in spite of extensive tests. His father suffered a similar problem and was institutionalised, Evan is afraid this will be his fate too. To try and make sense of what was going on he was encouraged to keep a daily journal. Although Evan had no memory of what happened during these episodes it was obvious from the behaviour of those around him that some horrific and traumatising events had happened.
When his mother decides to move the family to a different town the blackouts stop. Evan grows up and moves away to university. This is where the film takes a twist. Evan finds that reading his journals propels him into the past, to the events that scarred him and those he cared for, particularly his childhood sweetheart, Kayleigh. He realises that he can control this and even change the events. But like the saying 'when a butterfly flaps its wings a hurricane is felt on the other side of the world', Evan finds that for everything he changes, there is a knock on effect and it isn't necessarily good.
This is a dark and at times very disturbing film. The situations Evan faces are, at times, nightmarish. Ashton Kutcher, better known for lightweight comedic roles, shows he is capable of taking on more serious roles. His performance as the troubled young man is outstanding. The end, when it comes, is quite shocking yet somehow fitting. This is not a comfortable film to watch but is well worth seeing if you want something a little different.

Magician: 1 (Riftwar Saga)
Magician: 1 (Riftwar Saga)
by Raymond E. Feist
Edition: Paperback

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic fantasy, 20 July 2005
Magician is the first book in Raymond E Feist's epic Riftwar series. Set primarily on the world of Midkemia, a medieval, rural type world, the story centres on two boys, Pug and Tomas. Pug's ambition is to be a magician whilst Tomas wants only to become a soldier. All is going well in their lives until war erupts, changing the boys' lives forever. The twist in this tale is that the invaders are from another world, a place called Telewan that is medieval Chinese in style, populated by a harsh and cruel race. They have discovered a rift in space/time that allows them to cross to Midkemia where they cause havoc, murdering and enslaving the Midkemians. Naturally, as with all fantasy books, the two youngsters are, in their differing way, to become heroes and to save the day. One criticism could be that there is not much detail given regarding Telewan but Feist (along with Janny Wurts) has brought out the Empire trilogy which is a series set on that world. For anyone wanting that extra information, they will find those books a real treat.
This book seems (judging by previous reviews) to be one that you will either love or hate. Many have tried to compare it to Tolkein whilst others belittle that view. It certainly isn't Tolkein, but is an original and interesting book in its own right. Sure, many of the staples of fantasy are there such as elves and dwarfs, swords and sorcery etc. but there is enough originality in this book to make it a very worthwhile read.
This is a big book to read (in the USA it has now been split into two volumes) but don't let that put you off, it's not so heavyweight that it becomes a chore to read, nor so lightweight it becomes boring. It's certainly worth the time of any lover of fantasy fiction.

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