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UFC Ultimate Fighting Championship 49 [DVD]
UFC Ultimate Fighting Championship 49 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ultimate Fighting Championship
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: £8.67

8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another classic UFC slugfest, 8 Dec 2004
After the last Couture v Belfort fight at UFC46, MMA fans across the world were left with a real sense of anti-climax, after a night of excellent fights conculded with a main event that was stopped before a proper punch had been thrown. Once again we have the same main event, and while the fights leading up to it are as good if not better than those on the UFC46 undercard, this time the big fight doesn't disappoint, and we can at last draw a conclusion to the Randy v Victor debate. Keep an eye out for an appearance from Pride's light-heavyweight champion, the beastial Vanderlei 'The Axe Murderer' Silva, who has a challenge for the winner...
Elsewhere on the card, it's deja-vu from UFC47 - this event is a KO-fest, and no mistake! The best of the non-title fights include Chuck Liddell v Vernon 'Tiger' White (no thoughts of defence from either of these two warriors), Matt Lindland v David Terrell (blink and you'll miss it...) and Yves Edwards v Josh Thompson (ends by KO with an amazing flying kick), but that's not to say that the remainder of the fights are dull - quite the opposite.
In a world where Danny Williams v Vitali Klitschko is the biggest fight that boxing's tired matchmakers can come up with (and let's face it, either Randy or Vitor would dispatch either of those two 'fighters' within 3 minutes), it amazes me that anyone bothers with it anymore. If you are a boxing fan looking curiously at this DVD, don't waste your time, buy this now, and find out what combat sport should really be all about - I promise you'll not go back.

Open Water [DVD]
Open Water [DVD]
Dvd ~ Daniel Travis
Price: £2.63

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The middle ground, 1 Dec 2004
This review is from: Open Water [DVD] (DVD)
A previous reviewer claimed that no-one who reviews this film takes the middle ground, but, while I thought it fell far short of the class of Jaws, it certainly had it's moments.
As you probably know, the film is based upon conjecture about the fate of two divers left behind by their dive boat at the mercy of the weather and the local wildlife. The film ambles on a bit until the main characters' abondonment, and is largely unremarkable except for some nice underwater footage and some of the most gratuitous on-screen nudity since Swordfish. Once the pair surface to find their boat has gone, the film succeeds in ratchetting up the tension, and I did find myself on the edge of my seat. However, from there, the film wastes this tension as it unfolds, and comes to a very disappointing conclusion - don't get me wrong, I wasn't expecting a 'they live happily ever after' (that would have annoyed me even more) but there was something deeply unsatisfying about the end.
When I sat down to think about it, with the obvious exception of Jaws, films about sharks tend to suck (Jaws 2-4, Deep Blue Sea), so I shouldn't have been suprised to go home underwhelmed. Hopefully someone will soon get to work on filming the USS Indianapolis story, and do a better job of ending it than the film makers did of Open Water.

Ultimate Fighting Championship - 48 [DVD]
Ultimate Fighting Championship - 48 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ultimate Fighting Championship
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £11.95

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A breather between 47 and 49..., 5 Oct 2004
UFC 48 had a difficult task - to follow UFC 47, a fight card featuring some of the very best stand-up fights seen in UFC history, which ran like some kind of 'Ultimate Knockouts' compilation. Inevitably this release suffers in comparison, but the purists out there who want to see more than just big KO's have plenty to enjoy.
The main event pits Ken Shamrock, now fully recovered from the injuries that scuppered his chances against Tito back at UFC40, against Kimo, another Veteren trying to make his way back to the top of the heavyweight division. Ken won their previous match, in the early days of the UFC, but Kimo still looks as mean as ever, and this fight is by no means a foregone conclusion.
Also on the card, Tim Sylvia, finally free of all traces of 'anabolic agents', takes on BJJ wizard Frank Mir for the heavyweight title. The fight comes to an abrupt end when the referee jumps in early in round one, but the replays show the stoppage to be anything other than premature - and will leave you thinking that some fighters in the UFC are just too brave for their own good. Elsewhere, in the absence of his conqueror BJ Penn (now absent from the UFC's roster, and unlikely to return) former Welterweight champ Matt Hughes takes on BJ's BJJ instructor to try and extract a little bit of payback in a tight, technical match-up, Phil Baroni continues his one-man feud against Team Quest, in a rematch against Evan Tanner, following the premature and controversial stoppage in their first fight, and four more Welterweights (George St Pierre, Jay Heiron, Frank Trigg and Dennis Hallman) all vie to improve their position in the queue for a shot at the now-vacant title.
Even though this event feels a bit of an anti-climax following Chuck v Tito, Diaz v Lawler and all the other great fights at UFC47 it's still well worth buying if you are interested in MMA, indeed, the purists may well appreciate the technical fights to be found on this release more than the slug-fests at the previous event. But if you want slug fests, just wait for UFC49, which tops the lot...

Smashing Machine [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Smashing Machine [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Mark Kerr

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No holds barred look at no holds barred fighting, 24 Sep 2004
Thank you Amazon! Having been left with just 'Choke' and 'Rites of Passage' to satisfy my desire to see more behind the scenes MMA action I was eager to get my hands on this documentary, which has something of a reputation in the MMA community. When I finally got hold of a copy I wasn't disappointed.
The film follows the exploits of Pride fighter Mark Kerr, nicknamed (quite appropriately) The Smashing Machine. Do not expect a simple format of 'this is Mark training, this is Mark preparing for a fight, this is Mark fighting, this is Mark recovering from a fight' - you get all that, but more importantly you get an insight into what these warriors go through (for purses a fraction of the size a pro wrestler can make), and the effects, both mental and physical, of fighting no holds barred.
What sets this dvd apart from other MMA documentaries is the revelations it contains about Kerr's reliance on and addiction to opiates. We find out why he started using them, how they helped him in the short term, and most of all, how they almost led to his death. The scene after Mark is hospitalised, when he clears his flat of drugs and needles is particularly sobering.
Don't let me give you the idea that this film is just a depressing look at drug addiction - we see a very entertaining exchange between Kerr and Igor Vovchanchin the day after their fight comparing wounds with each other (and complementing each other on inflicting them...), and as the show progresses we see Mark's attempts to get back to his former, successful self, including a section where he trains with Bas Rutten ahead of the Pride Grand Prix. Rutten never disappoints in front of the camera, but here we see not only the wild and crazy guy who commentates on Pride events, but also a sensative, dedicated man with a lot of wisdom to share. It's only at the very end of the film that I began to wonder - what might Kerr have achieved if he had been able to follow all of Rutten's advice?
I'd recommend this to anyone interested in the world of MMA, whether you are a fan of Kerr's or not. I have never been among his fans, but after watching The Smashing Machine I found a real respect for the man.

Rites of Passage [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Rites of Passage [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Johnny/Andy Burrows

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent inside insight into MMA, 24 Jun 2004
Documentaries giving MMA fans a glimpse behind the scenes of the worlds most exciting sport are few and far between - since the release of 'Choke' almost 10 years ago there's been precious little, so 'Rites of Passage' is a welcome addition.
The film is in three sections - one looking at the careers of Enson and Egan Inoue, one following the fortunes of the fighters entered in the World Vale Tudo middleweight championships, and looking at the careers of Kevin Randleman and Eugene Jackson.
Fans of Pride will be familiar with the Inoues hard fighting style, and from the looks of their routines, this is largely a product of their hard training style, Enson is especially merciless (at one stage beating up on a student's cauliflower ear with undisguised glee) but he never asks for mercy when he steps into the ring, so I guess we shouldn't expect him to offer any.
UFC fans will recognise the Russian fighters involved in part two, Andrei Semenov and Amar Sulouev. At the risk of spoiling the suspense of the fight footage, it's interesting to see the attitudes of the two fighter when it becomes apparent that the two teammates will have to face off in the tournament final - no Tito Ortiz histrionics about friendships and contracts, just business.
Eugene Jackson will also be familiar to UFC fans (especially UK-based fans, who remember him as the recipient of a Mark Wier left hook that at the time gave Wier the fastest KO in the UFC) Kevin Randleman, former UFC champion and Pride challenger will be familiar to most MMA fans, especially since his recent KO of Mirko Cro Cop. This section of the DVD gives a fascinating look at two confirmed family men who make their livings cage fighting. Both have come from tough backgrounds, and while both are mean in the ring, outside they are humble, honest and friendly.
The bonus disk features a fourth part to the film, looking at a group of fighters from Northern Ireland trying to make their names at various levels of the game. This is truely eye-opening as we see the lengths these men will go to, and the pain and suffering they will endure for the sake of a fight purse which, unlike in the UFC and Pride, will barely cover their training expenses. Included on this disk are a batch of featurettes including ones about Mark Coleman and Ron Waterman, which are not up to the standard of the rest of the DVD, and appear somewhat tacked on.
I can't recommend this highly enough - it's not perfect, but in the MMA wasteland that is the UK it's an absolute gem. Now we just need the third part of the Holy Trinity of MMA documentaries (HBO's excellent documentary on Mark Kerr, 'The Smashing Machine') to get a UK release...

Richard Pryor - Live in concert [DVD]
Richard Pryor - Live in concert [DVD]
Dvd ~ Richard Pryor
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.77

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as it gets, 1 Jun 2004
Although some of his films (Stir Crazy and Hear No Evil... in particular) hint at the comedic genius of Richard Pryor he is funniest in stand-up, and until the release of this DVD there was precious little available on Region 2 DVD.
Is it offensive? Well, I'm not offended by it, and while I can understand that some people might be, they're not the type of people who would impulsively purchase this DVD, so what the hell? And anyway, no-one (not even Bill Cosby if you believe Eddie Murphy) is going to stop Pryor saying what he wants to say of stage, and that's what makes this material so great. People who have been turned off by other comedians who take this approach need not fear Pryor, however. Whereas Bill Hicks, Sam Kinison and George Carlin might be too in-your-face for some, this show is every bit as thought-provoking as anything done by these three without ever provoking anger or outrage.
Most importantly, the material is funny. Very funny indeed. So funny that by the time you've watched it all you will probably be in pain. You can't remain in any way dignified when watching Pryor at work, so don't even try - just laugh until you drop.
Make no mistake, Pryor is at the very top of the Premier League of comedians and, at a time something as banal and mediocre as Peter Kaye is considered cutting edge stand-up, we need this stuff more than ever.

Ultimate Fighting Championship 46 - Super Natural [DVD]
Ultimate Fighting Championship 46 - Super Natural [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ultimate Fighting Championship
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £10.58

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great DVD, if slightly anti-climactic, 13 May 2004
Ever since UFC40 the quality of cards put together by Zuffa has been of a very high standard, and UFC46 continues in this vein.
Most (if not all) fans of MMA now know that the Couture v Belfort main event ended before it began, with Randy suffering a cut eye (not around the eye, boxing fans, IN the eye) forcing the doctor to stop the fight without a meaningful punch thrown. After his exploits against Chuck and Tito Randy didn't deserve to lose his belt this way, but like the champion he is there was no complaining and no excuses (Tito please take note). This fight will happen again, probably at UFC49, and hopefully will last a bit longer next time.
If the main event was a let-down the same cannot be said of the undercard. Britain's great MMA hope Lee Murray makes his debut in the UFC, fresh from KO-ing the legendary Pele Landi in his last outing. With Ian Freeman and Mark Wier both the wrong side of 30, it's great to see a UK contender not racing against the clock. Murray looks very classy indeed in his fight with the tough Jorge Rivera, and should play a big part in the revival of the 185lb division (provided he doesn't get too sucked in to all the hype regarding a 're-match' with Tito Ortiz, who he KO'd outside a London nightclub in a street-brawl following UFC38).
In the most fascinating match-up I've seen for a long time, lightweight star BJ Penn steps up to 170lbs to take on the unstoppable Matt Hughes. Surely, even with his gargantuan talent, this would be an impossible ask for BJ...
Everywhere on the card the fights are of a high quality. BJ Penn brings along his jiu-jitsu instructor, Renato 'Charuto' Verissimo, who faces teak-tough former Champion Carlos Newton, and in the now obligatory grudge match, Frank Mir gets the chance to avenge the stomps he received at the hands (or should that be 'feet') of the slightly derranged, but always entertaining Wes Sims at UFC 43. While the grudge matches always add a bit of flavour it's good to see that, as always (well, nearly always, eh Mr Baroni?) the two fighters depart the octagon not as friends, but at least with a mutual respect.
As in the last couple of DVDs the commentary is provided by Eddie Goldman and Fear Factor's Joe Rogan (sporting a couple of beautiful shiners). Once again the UFC come up trumps. And just for the record, UFC47 was even better...

The Day Today : Complete BBC Series (2 Disc Set) [1994] [DVD]
The Day Today : Complete BBC Series (2 Disc Set) [1994] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Steve Coogan
Price: £5.80

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff, but slightly frustrating, 27 April 2004
At a time when Rory Bremner is considered satire we need The Day Todaymore than ever, and it's finally got the DVD release it deserves. One ofthe funniest shows of the 1990s, it never got the credit it deserved forbeing innovative (for example - watch it then watch an episode of TheOffice), but it's hardly suprising given the talent involved the creditsread like a who's who of comedy talent from the last decade.
There's just one problem - I was very much looking forward to hearing theaudio commentary, but it's nowhere to be found. If anyone knows how toaccess it they're a better man than I am...


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Songs To Make Love To, 21 April 2004
This review is from: Easy (Audio CD)
Back when FNM released 'Easy' as a single it didn't appear on 'Angel Dust'. Rather than shell out £12 on a new copy I opted to shell out £10 on the import EP 'Songs To Make Love To', which was the original incarnation of this single.
'Easy' and 'Midnight Cowboy' appear in their 'Angel Dust' incarnations, and it is the other two tracks that stand out here. Das Schutzenfest answers a question that only Faith No More fans would ask - 'What would it sound like if my favourite band recorded an Oom-Pah song?' For the record, the answer is 'mad as a balloon, but dammit if it doesn't make me want to dress in lederhosen and bang steins with a guy with a big moustache'. Almost as mad and even better is the cover of the Dead Kennedy's (I think...) 'Lets Lynch the Landlord'.
If you're a FNM fan you'll know how hard it is to discover previously unheard stuff, and if you don't already own this it's well worth a fiver.

UFC Ultimate Fighting Championship 45 - Revolution [DVD]
UFC Ultimate Fighting Championship 45 - Revolution [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ultimate Fighting Championship
Price: £8.99

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Starts slowly, then takes off, 6 April 2004
The latest offering from the UFC takes a while to get going, as the undercard fights are pretty average. Even Ricco Rodriguez v Pedro Rizzo, which a year or two ago could have been a main event, was very much a non-event. However, the reward for surviving the preliminaries is a main card packed with some great brawls.
Robbie Lawler gets us started against Chris Lytle. I've never seen a dull Robbie Lawler fight, and this is no different. Both there guys came to swing, and it's something of a suprise that it ended up in the hands of the judges. Following this fight is one of the most controversial in the recent history of the UFC as Phil Baroni continues his grudge against Team Quest fighters, taking on Evan Tanner. Having (only just) survived the traditional Baroni flurry at the start of the fight Tanner turned things around, and after a series of vicious knees to the midsection got on top of Baroni (who at the time was doing his traditional gasing out that follows his traditional opening flurry) only for Larry Landless to step in under the impression that Baroni verbally submitted. Mayhem ensued, and the two fighters will meet again at UFC 48 to settle this one.
How do you follow mayhem? With a bit more mayhem, this time in the rather rotund shapes of Cabbage and Tank. Having been submitted once by a good submission artist and once by a brawler with a few submission skills Tank seemed more wisely matched against the hard-headed Hawaiian, and (like me) the crowd were anticipating an 'Old School' Tank slugfest. They (and I) weren't disappointed, at least until the fight was stopped due to a cut, but the action continued between the cornermen as words (and a few blows) were exchanged between the two camps in the aftermath. Next up Matt Lindland has a rematch with Niko Vitale, who was the beneficiary of a freak KO in their last fight, when Lindland dropped himself on his head. Lindland is improving all the time, and has transformed from the Wrestler who first joined the UFC to a developing all-round mixed martial artist. If he enjoys the longevity of team mate Randy Couture, Lindland will be a force to reckon with in three or four years, and he looks very impressive agaisnt a clearly baffled Vitale.
If you want a template for a Wrestler turned MMA superstar, look no further than Matt Hughes, who's fight with Frank Trigg headlines the UFC45 bill. The last time Hughes headlined his fight was a bit of an anti-climax, but he wasn't fighting someone as dangerous as Trigg, and this fight is every bit good enough to top this bill.
This DVD also includes some of the celebrations of the 10th Anniversary of the UFC. If they keep putting together cards this good they'll still be here for their 20th.

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