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Price: £3.84 - £8.95

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad for the price, 1 Sept. 2012
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These tops are currently going for £4.99 and are OK on that basis, although I agree with the two earlier reviewers about the sleeves, which don't terminate with anything resembling elegance. The material is thin and easily shows what you're wearing underneath; perhaps it's a matter of taste but I think tops ought to suggest, rather than point out, what lies under them. All that said, for a fiver you can't complain, they're comfortable, easy to maintain and the colours are good. I have two now and will probably get a couple more at this price - they're a cheap way to start a new colour scheme - but if the price goes back to £15 I wouldn't bother with them.

No Title Available

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for everyday use, 11 July 2012
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I walk everywhere and my footwear never lasts more than a year, but even so, these lasted only six or seven weeks until the strap broke away. I'm back to the sandals I had before. Really I would only recommend these for occasional use. They'd probably be fine on the beach. That said, though, the blue ones were a nice color and they fitted well.

Price: £14.81

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of his best, 28 Oct. 2010
This review is from: Lake (Audio CD)
Lake, recorded over a single weekend in 1990, is a varied (and variable) piece of work. Did I say work? This album is the sound of two musical minds at play, from the opening laughter of "Lake part 1" to its peculiar titles and sources (Chairman Mao's little red book provides the lyrics for "Art and Literature"). On this album there are odd little musical experiments, weird songs, bells overdubbed at different speeds and much more. the only misfire is "Chord" (AKA part 3) which, at 19 minutes, carries its single joke ("let's play the same chord until we get fed up") beyond listenability. Aside from that, this album's obvious enthusiasm is rather infectous, and in some ways it's a rather charming opportunity to listen in on Richard and Simon (or R!!! and S!!! as the original LP would have it) making something for pleasure, with no hope that the 300 copies they pressed up would ever sell. But sell it did, somehow, and they went on to make the hard-to-find but just-as-good Kretinmuzak in a similar vein.

Lake, then, is no masterpiece, but is a highly listenable snapshot of friendly creativity at its most playful.

4'33'' (3 parts: 30'' / 2'23'' / 1'40'', 1952)
4'33'' (3 parts: 30'' / 2'23'' / 1'40'', 1952)

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing as spring water, 20 Oct. 2010
This piece of music, seemingly a joke, is not: its purpose is to make the listener aware of ambient sound itself. The four-and-a-half minutes of silence make you aware of what you're missing while music blares at you (and how much of your music do you actually *listen* to?). Thus, the stillness of this piece has the effect of revitalising the eardrums, which need something like this as the palate needs a sip of water between courses. Even its splitting into three movements points up another sound: in concert performances, the movements are interrupted by the awful coughing you always get at classical concerts, followed by self-conscious laughter. But this is a studio rendition, and very nicely produced it is too: every instrument is there as it is meant to be.

This classical masterpiece is ideal for those fed up of the incessant sameness of mass-produced music, and would even make a good Christmas present for a discerning relative.

The Valley of Gwangi [DVD] [1969]
The Valley of Gwangi [DVD] [1969]
Dvd ~ Freda Jackson
Offered by ajdiscs
Price: £12.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Jurassic Park - Harryhausen style!, 8 Feb. 2010
The Valley of Gwangi is an odd story. A travelling circus of cowboys (whose star is a woman who leaps into a vat of water on horseback) discover a secluded valley in Mexico inhabited by dinosaurs. One of these is Gwangi,* an Allosaurus, who is captured, taken to the circus as an exhibit, and escapes. So far, so Jurassic Park (but with a twentieth of the budget). Things take a turn for the strange at the climax - a dinosaur in a burning cathedral is the closest you'll ever get to seeing what might have been if Pier Paolo Pasolini had made a monster movie.

This would be a very entertaining film, but the slow start and ordinary acting and directing make the first half quite a drag. However once the action starts it gets much more entertaining, with the unsurpassed Ray Harryhausen doing some of his best work. A scene where (live action) cowboys lasoo up the {animated) Gwangi is a lesson in precise modelwork, twenty years before CGI came along. Very, very impressive.

*In case you were wondering, "Gwangi" apparently means "big lizard" in a native American language - which language that might be (there are over 800) is not known.

Doctor Who - The Key to Time Box Set (Re-issue) [DVD] [1978]
Doctor Who - The Key to Time Box Set (Re-issue) [DVD] [1978]
Dvd ~ Tom Baker
Price: £24.50

63 of 74 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Out of time, 30 Dec. 2009
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Doctor Who's first season-long story arc starts off well but ends up tired and out of steam. It is almost painful to watch the ideas (and money) running out in the final two stories of this season. That said, the first four stories are either good or very good, with the odd moment of greatness popping up here and there. Tom Baker is slightly past his best here, but Mary Tamm's Romana is excellent, matching the doctor in intelligence and arrogance, and generally adding a touch of class to the proceedings. As usual with classic Doctor Who DVDs, there is a wealth of extra documentary material that puts other lines to shame - why can't all DVDs have this much extra stuff?

The Ribos Operation (****) kicks things off with a pair of con-men trying to sell a slightly-used planet to a warlord. it's all about the writing here: almost every character feels like a real person, the conversations is delightful and a scene in which the outcast Binro's belief that those lights in the night sky are other worlds is vindicated is one of the best scenes in the whole series, yet it has absolutely no relevance to the plot. great, great stuff. The only fly in this story's ointment is the Shrivenzale, a truly awful rubber monster even by Doctor Who's standards.

The Pirate Planet (***), written by one Douglas Adams, is great-but-lightweight fun, with a scenery-chewing villain and a deadly robotic parrot to give K9 a run for his money. Adams was a man of ideas rather than storytelling, though, and this tale doesn't quite add up to the sum of its parts.

The Stones of Blood (***) is excellent in its first, Earth-based, half, but once the story shifts to Hyperspace it falls down into pedestrian courtroom drama. However the creepy stone monsters and the wonderful Beatrix Lehmann bring this to life whenever they're on.

The Androids of Tara (****) Doctor Who is never better than when it steals, and here it's classic film The Prisoner of Zenda that gets the treatment. There's a rubbish monster of course, but mercifuly it's over and done with in 30 seconds and we can sit back and enjoy this delicious fantasy of robots, doubles and, um, robot doubles.

The Power of Kroll (*) is one of the worst DW stories ever made, with its hackneyed savages-vs-developers script and badly-realised giant squid. Can the Robert Holmes who wrote this [word I can't say on Amazon] be the same man who wrote The Ribos Operation? Or did a stray robot double from the previous story wander into the producer's office during a tea break and thrash out a script when no-one was looking?

The Armageddon Factor (*) starts off intriguingly, but runs out of ideas pretty fast. At one point the Doctor sets up a time loop, in which events repeat themselves over and over again, and by the end of this you'll know exactly how that feels. The scene that wraps up the story arc end is rather too short to feel satisfying.

Extras (7 1/2 hours): there are so many extras here (16 documentaries, 9 commentaries, 25 archive pieces and a whole load of other stuff including the 1979 Dr Who annual) that I'm not going to list and rate them all. Suffice it to say that A Matter of Time (on disc 1), which discusses producer Graham Williams's time on the show (and this season in particular) is the most essential watch, Stones Free (disc 3) is an interesting look at the Rollright Stones (used for location filming), and on disc 7 Tom Baker reads us some wonderful fireside ghost stories. The commentaries range from the sparklingly witty to the tired and dreary, while the production subtitles are, as ever, informative and helpful.

Now that the price has come down, this box set is worth a punt. There is a lot to enjoy among the dross and baubles.
Comment Comments (12) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 13, 2014 9:05 PM BST

Essential X-Men Volume 3 TPB: v. 3
Essential X-Men Volume 3 TPB: v. 3
by Chris Claremont
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag, 25 Oct. 2009
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Volume three of the X-Men reprint series is very much a mixed bag. Beginning with the return of Dave Cockrum and his anatomically awkward artwork, this feels like a step backward after the excellent John Byrne in volume 2. However he isn't the only artist here, in fact the presence of seven artists drawing twelve X-men gives an unsettled look to the proceedings. Luckily there is always Chris Claremont's ever dependable writing to hold things together.

As for the stories themselves, this book has a faint air of looking for the next big thing, and when it comes, it's not as subtly developed as the Phoenix saga. Instead we have a varied patchwork of stories, including what may well be the most important Magneto story of all. Also in this book an entire number is given over to an amusing bedtime story told by Kitty Pryde; the team fights Count Dracula (no really); Rogue, Caliban, Belasco and S'ym meet the X-Men for the first time; the Hellfire Club underwhelm slightly with a rather hackneyed mind-swap story (that trope surely has nothing to offer any more); Senator Kelly appears on Panorama (they should have had Robin Day interviewing him!) the Starjammers come to Earth and secrets are learned, and the Shi'ar imperial pretender Deathbird has some unpleasant new friends - the Brood.

There are also guest appearances by Spider-woman, Doctor Strange, Tigra and the Fantastic Four.

In summary, this is not an outstanding volume, but the introduction of Rogue and the Brood, and the character development of Magneto certainly make it essential for fans of the X-Men.

Doctor Who: Dalek War (Frontier in Space / Planet of the Daleks) [DVD] [1973]
Doctor Who: Dalek War (Frontier in Space / Planet of the Daleks) [DVD] [1973]
Dvd ~ Jon Pertwee
Price: £12.99

54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What the future used to look like, 10 Oct. 2009
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This 4-disc set of two consecutive stories from 1973 is great. Frontier in Space, the first story (2 hrs 23 mins), is a complex tale of interplanetary intrigue and diplomacy, in which the Master is engineering a war between to powerful empires, Earth and the proud, honourable Draconians, who face each other distrustully across the eponymous boundary. If this sounds like Star Trek, it is - it was written a month after the first UK broadcast of the similarly-themed "Balance of Terror". You wouldn't get away with that nowadays! This story is probably best remembered for its aliens du jour, the Draconians, who are both well-written and well-realised, with even close-ups bearing close scrutiny. It's a high point of science fiction alien makeup. Another high point is Roger Delgado, in his final appearance as the Master. Here he is almost jovial as he schemes to destroy Earth's empire, apparently solely to humiliate the Doctor. It's a playful interpretation of the role we get from Delgado here, and he has a great rapport with both the principals. Sadly, after five and a half excellent episodes, the ending is a real botch job. It's hard to work out what's actually happening. The various extras explain what went wrong, and what should have happened. That aside, Frontier in Space was always one of my favourites, and this release confirms its place in my Who top ten.

Planet of the Daleks (2 hrs 20 mins) is a different kettle of fish, despite segueing directly from the previous story. Written by Dalek creator Terry Nation, it's basically a rehash of two of his previous stories - "The Daleks" (1963-4) and "The Daleks' Master Plan" (1965-6). Longtime Who fans may experience deja vu while watching. However, there's still much worth seeing. Where Frontier in Space explores the broad sweep of interplanetary diplomacy, Planet of the Daleks emphasises the personal struggles of survival in a hostile environment and the search for courage and leadership, as a small group of people attempt to prevent the Daleks from learning the secret of invisibility. It's slightly let down by some cheap-looking production values, but the story mostly gets away with it due to the conviction of the cast (Jon Pertwee and Bernard Horsfall especially, and even Prentis Hancock is much better here than his lacklustre performance in Planet of Evil). While nowhere near as good as either Frontier in Space, or Nation's later Genesis of the Daleks, Planet of the Daleks is still a thoroughly entertaining adventure.

Extras (3 hours)
Frontier in Space:

Commentary with Katy Manning, producer Barry Letts and script editor Terrance Dicks, moderated by Clayton Hickman. A Thoroughly entertaining and informative soundtrack. *****

Perfect Scenario: Lost Frontier (30 mins) - This is an attempt to show how Frontier in Space drew on current affairs for inspiration. While there is much interesting material to illustrate the point, it's bizarrely framed in a pointless, distracting Matrix-themed science-fiction story where a future computer and student discuss the information. I'm going to sound like a Grumpy Old Woman here, but do we really need a documentary to be jazzed up with a back-of-envelope framing story and look-what-i-can-do effects? No more please. **

The Space War (18 mins) - cast and crew recollect the making of the serial. Quite interesting. ****

Roger Delgado: The Master (33 mins) - a biography of actor Roger Delgado. An excellent tribute to one of the show's best regular actors, with many clips from his appearances in everything from Quatermass to a documentary. There are also many fond reminiscences from his colleagues, and a moving description by his widow Kismet in which she describes hearing the news of his death in a car accident. A worthy tribute to a fine actor. *****

Stripped for Action: The Third Doctor (16 mins) - The third Doctor's adventures in comics appear to have been an artistic high point, and this is well worth watching for the beautiful illustrations. *****

Photo Gallery ****
Production subtitles - all the production trivia, alternate scripts, trivia and asides you'll ever need. ****

There's meant to be an easter egg, but I'm blowed if I can find it.

Planet of the Daleks:

Commentary wth actors Katy Manning, Prentis Hancock and Tim Preece, producer Barry Letts and script editor Terrance Dicks. A good-natured and lively commentary track. ****

Perfect Scenario: The End of Dreams (30mins) - the second part of this effort loses its way, as Planet of the Daleks had less current-events context to make this feasible. This idea hasn't worked and I hope all involved are sent to bed without supper. *

The Rumble in the Jungle (17 mins) - cast and crew look back at the making of the story. Quite good but nothing amazing. ***

Multi-colourisation (11 mins) - How episode 3 had its colour restored. The highlight for me was that some of the software for this highly technical and complex process was written in BBC BASIC! Fascinating exploration of the restoration, which incidentally is now indistinguishable from the other episodes, it's a first-class job. ****

Stripped for Action: The Daleks (14 mins) - a reasonable exploration of the Daleks' appearances in comics, concentrating on the early seventies. ***

Blue Peter (13 mins) - two items from the childrens' magazine programme, featuring an appeal for any information on the theft of two Daleks from the BBC, and their subsequent return. OK but a bit too long, especially as some of this was on the Genesis of the Daleks DVD. ***

Photo gallery ****
Production subtitles ****

TL;DR - Frontier in Space is a classic of TV sci-fi, Planet of the Daleks is good entertainment, the extras are variable but plentiful. Buy it.
Comment Comments (17) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 15, 2016 5:51 PM GMT

Price: £0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Douze pwan!, 16 Sept. 2009
This review is from: Waterloo (MP3 Download)
ABBA's entry to Eurovision was the beginning of the legend. They were already stars in Sweden but with this song the world got to know them - and fell in love. And listening to the song, you can tell why. It's just incredibly catchy, with a great stomping chorus. Not loving this is like not loving the sun coming out. Get it. Sing along. Put on your disco boots. It's ABBA at their best.

Jason And The Argonauts [DVD]
Jason And The Argonauts [DVD]
Dvd ~ Todd Armstrong
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £3.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic entertainment, 6 Sept. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've loved this film ever since I saw it as a kid in the early 70s. Having just happened to catch the second half again (it was on telly in a random pub) I knew I had to have it. Anyway, this is as good as I remembered it: Talos the bronze giant, the wonderful Hydra and, of course, the skeleton army, whose six minutes on screen comprise the best animated fight scene ever. Hercules, the undefeatable strongman of legend, is presented as a flawed human being rather than a perfect superman, and other characters are not all they seem at first. The king of Colchis also has an animated false beard, which is rather distracting, but this and one or two other minor quibbles don't get in the way of this classic slice of family entertainment.

There are a couple of Ray Harryhausen-related extras on this DVD - John Landis interviews the great man about this film (11 minutes), and there's an hour-long biography that covers much of his work, including clips from his early fairytale animation series (available on Ray Harryhausen: The Early Years [DVD], Sinbad films and some excellent storyboard drawings, culminating in footage of Harryhausen receiving his Oscar in 1992.

In a nutshell, your kids will love this film, and so will you.

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