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Brian Levine

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Grand Theft Auto IV (Xbox 360)
Grand Theft Auto IV (Xbox 360)
Offered by Future Gaming UK
Price: £16.29

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting view of the 'real world'..., 25 May 2008
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
I like the premise - a thinly disguised NYC - but the underlying anti-immigrant/Eastern European/only way to make money message is disturbing when you consider that although the game is slated as being an 18, I think you'll find that a hell of a lot of under 18s are playing this. I didn't find the graphics mind-boggling. They're good, but I have yet to find a game that can mimic a studio-engineered TV sales trailer.

I think that if you want a bit of escapism then this'll do the trick; just don't expect it to necessarily live up to all the hype. Remember, it's just a sequel...
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 30, 2008 12:06 PM BST

Cabaret - Special Edition [DVD]
Cabaret - Special Edition [DVD]
Dvd ~ Liza Minnelli
Price: £3.70

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly risque..., 13 April 2008
The fantasist Sally Bowles, played delectably by Liza, is superbly cast as the American tart-with-a-heart opposite the seemingly-wooden but similarly amoral Michael Yorke. Opening in 1931 Berlin and the Kit-Kat Club, the latter spawning louche displays of extravagance, while outside Hitler gears up to take control of Germany.

The all-knowing, omnipresent master of ceremonies and the light fantasy of the club contrast poignantly with the slow-burning deepening of the relationships between the protagonists, including an intriguing three-wayer.

Cabaret is a metaphor for life: we'd like it to be a Cabaret, but the reality is often quite different. As Jonathan Swift wrote: 'Happiness is the art of being well-deceived' and its a moot point as to whether or not Sally or Brian are ever happy, or indeed Max. As for the master of ceremonies, played by a man with one of the most enduring faces in cinema, he sings Sally and us through a world which is gone forever but is paradoxically still with us. The final cymbal clash, and the resulting silence leave much food for thought.

A Bob Fosse musical, but its enduring popularity has much to do with its deeper side. Very much worth watching and the 30th anniversary disc does give you some useful extras for a few pence more.

Die Hard 4.0 [2007] [DVD]
Die Hard 4.0 [2007] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Bruce Willis
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £1.92

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yippekiyyay, m***********, 10 April 2008
This review is from: Die Hard 4.0 [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
Extremely well-written non-stop action film: funny, self-deprecating - I love the slick references to Bruce Willis's baldness - and jammed-full of action. This, together with The Bourne Ultimatum, takes the action genre up a notch: the extras are ok apart from the absolutely brilliant 4min 32seconds of 'Guyz Night' singing the Die Hard song (with a specially recorded verse for no.4). Believe me, everyone loves the middle eight...

Halo 3 (Xbox 360)
Halo 3 (Xbox 360)
Offered by Game Trade Online
Price: £11.95

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great even for the over-thirties, 19 Oct. 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Halo 3 (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
My son got this yesterday and was up til 3am playing it. Yes I know I must be a bad father, but I love this game too: it's very, very good indeed.

The Interesting Bits: The History You Might Have Missed
The Interesting Bits: The History You Might Have Missed
by Justin Pollard
Edition: Hardcover

8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History with a sense of humour, 15 Oct. 2007
Justin Pollard writes for QI but has also written some very serious history books, and the combination of wit, charm and intricate and extensive historical knowledge that fills this tome makes for a delightful read. It's one of those books you can pick up and delve into and possibly learn something as well as smile wryly.

It's a 'buy'.

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp / A Matter of Life and Death [DVD]
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp / A Matter of Life and Death [DVD]
Dvd ~ Roger Livesey
Price: £4.90

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely good buy, 6 Sept. 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm not sure which film is better, more touching or more in tune with Britain in the 1942-6 period than these two absolute gems.

'A Matter of Life and Death' pits the dashing David Niven against death: he falls to earth in his warplane during WW2, his plane wrecked beyond repair, and the girl on the radio tells him not to worry...he falls in love only to find he's dead. Someone up in heaven has made an error, and only with the help of an angel (reminiscent of 'It's Wonderful Life') can he sort out whether or not love will's called 'Stairway to Heaven' in the USA, which gives you a clue as to one of the more mmeorable sequences, accompanied by suitably unnerving music...

'Blimp' is an absolute masterpiece, with Roger livesey's best performance against the dazzling Deborah Kerr, both of them pulled through forty years of Empire and the realisation that the war against Hitler is life or death - it could almost have been given the same title as the Niven film.

A DVD in which both films display why Michael Powell and emeric Pressburger are two of the most enduring British film-makers of all time.

The Dish [DVD] [2001]
The Dish [DVD] [2001]
Dvd ~ Sam Neill
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: £3.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky side of the first moon mission, told from the ground.., 6 Sept. 2007
This review is from: The Dish [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
...where the ground is situated in deepest Australia and the satellite dish installlation receiving signals from Apollo 11 in July 1969 is run by none other than Sam Neill, who plays this to perfection. The juxtaposition of a small-town Australian backwater against Man's greatest achievement leads to some lovely and touching comedy, especially when NASA comes to the bush.

This is superbly well-acted, the soundtrack is excellent and the pace is slow, despite the rocket-propelled action going on 300,000 miles away.

A gem.

Layer Cake [DVD]
Layer Cake [DVD]
Dvd ~ Daniel Craig
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.60

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good film, great ending, 2 Sept. 2007
This review is from: Layer Cake [DVD] (DVD)
Nice study in how a nice boy turns bad. Daniel Craig is much better in this sort of film than he is as Bond. He really nails the character and is extremely convincing. I love the way violence is dealt with in this: it's simply business, not anything worth getting worked up about. And it's like the little diagrams you looked at in school about the evolutionary chain: small animals get eaten by bigger ones.

The same's true when you're dealing drugs and don't stick to all the rules...

The Bourne Supremacy [DVD] [2004]
The Bourne Supremacy [DVD] [2004]
Dvd ~ Matt Damon
Offered by Champion Toys
Price: £1.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than identity, 2 Sept. 2007
The first film made the minor error of trying to follow the book too closely, whereas the second ditches Ludlum's story in exchange for high-octane and gut-wrenching cinema.

This film is even more real than the first and Bourne has to be even more ingenious to evade his pursuers, who deliver him a crushing and shocking body-blow early in the film which I will not spoil here. The ending is extremely well-written, although little is said.

This is clever stuff: to make a 'Bond' type film that is actually real, not eyebrow-lifting (sorry Sir Roger!) and that moves like the clappers.

The extras make you warm even more to Matt Damon when you see how they filmed many of the high-speed action scenes and the conditions in which things were done. Just as well Matt's a hardy Massachussetts lad...

The Bourne Identity [DVD] [2002]
The Bourne Identity [DVD] [2002]
Dvd ~ Matt Damon|Franka Potente
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.51

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A realistic Bond, 2 Sept. 2007
Matt Damon is nothing like the Bourne I imagined from the Ludlum books, but he is none the worse for it. His normality makes him realistic and the quick editing style of the film gives us no time to breathe whilst he starts off on a jounrey to discover who he is and why he can disarm policemen in seconds, and not just with his smile.

The use of real locations as opposed to studio settings makes it even more realistic, and I think that if you like gutsy action thrillers with a bit of intelligence thrown in, then you could do a lot worse than buy this. The things Matt does with a Mini are quite extraordinary and it makes the Italian Job look very tame by comparison.

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