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Old Flozer (Ipswich, UK)

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Petit Nicolas [DVD]
Petit Nicolas [DVD]
Dvd ~ Maxime Godart
Price: £6.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a delight from start to finish, 27 Sep 2014
This review is from: Petit Nicolas [DVD] (DVD)
I watched this shortly after two gritty films set among young people in the Paris suburbs - what a change of tone! This is a delight from start to finish, and had us all laughing out loud every few minutes. Adapted from a comic, which which I'm not familiar, the look of the film reflects that with use of simple, graphical colour schemes and with slightly surreal camerawork and voiceover techniques that are reminiscent at times of Amélie. For those who speak French, there are some nice word plays that don't translate, but my wife and son who were reliant on the subtitles got just as much pleasure out of it (something of a testament as they were suffering a degree of French film fatigue at the time). The lead boys all give charming performances. I particularly liked the class 'low achiever' Clotaire, whose bewildered hangdog expressions had me laughing even when he had no lines. Sandrine Kiberlain, paying their teacher, is a constant favourite of mine, and this plays to her comic talent for expressing an air of resignation and mild disappointment with life through little looks and nuances. A brief appearance by the gorgeous Louise Bourgoin in a heap of cacti was an aesthetic bonus... Nicolas' parents give broad performances which are right for the comic book heritage and are both genuinely warm and amusing. This is a really refreshing film - simple, warm, direct, drawing its humour from situations and perspectives rather than spite. Absolutely recommended.


DELUXE SIPHON PUMP FLUID EXTRACTOR
DELUXE SIPHON PUMP FLUID EXTRACTOR
Offered by TEKBOX LTD
Price: £6.47

4.0 out of 5 stars simple and effective, 24 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I used this to pump out water laying in a difficult to access trench after a hot water pipe leak. You can shift a fair volume quite fast, so it worked well for me. Not sure how long it will last, but paid for itself on one job really.


Original Brand New Hard Drive Cable For A1278 Apple Macbook 13" P/N 821-0814-A Laptop Year 2009-2010 - 1 Year Warranty Sold By (Laptop-Accessories4u)
Original Brand New Hard Drive Cable For A1278 Apple Macbook 13" P/N 821-0814-A Laptop Year 2009-2010 - 1 Year Warranty Sold By (Laptop-Accessories4u)
Offered by Mac-King
Price: £27.99

5.0 out of 5 stars fine but handle carefully, 24 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It's a cable and it works, what's not to like... Just be careful handling it when fitting as it would be easy to snap a connector.


free uk post FLY BEE WASP BUG INSECT SWATTER ASSORTED COLOURS X 5
free uk post FLY BEE WASP BUG INSECT SWATTER ASSORTED COLOURS X 5
Offered by Price Dropped UK
Price: £3.49

2.0 out of 5 stars need stiffening up, 24 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
the handles are not stiff enough to allow a good swipe - they flop around allowing the fly to mooch away at its leisure. I've had almost identical ones where this was not the case so either I got a bad batch or they've cut costs.


The Class (Single-disc edition) [DVD] [2008]
The Class (Single-disc edition) [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Juliette Demaille
Price: £4.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and engaging view of education in the banlieue, 24 Sep 2014
I came across this film from browsing past Cannes winners, which has proved a somewhat hit and miss approach but is usually interesting at least. On this occasion I was well rewarded. For those who are familiar with contemporary French cinema, this feels like a blend of L'Esquive (for the inner city culture and dialogue) and Etre et Avoir (for the long-suffering teacher and his sense of vocation), but has more pace than the latter. I won't repeat the summaries which others have already done well here but rather set out what I enjoyed. The filming is in a documentary style, complete with occasional glances to camera from the non-professional kids, that lets the storyline emerge in a very naturalistic manner. The film is however mostly about engaging us with the teachers and a number of key individuals among the adolescents, and letting us observe the cultural dynamics that emerge within the group and the interaction of the French teacher with his class. Some of the kids are challenging to say the least, and the expectations of the teacher seem to be pretty low - active obstruction or passive resistance seem to be the default modes, and very basic articulations or pieces of work are treated as a triumph. The approach to teaching his class seems to be very chatty and discursive, and does make the viewer wonder what they are actually supposed to be learning, but that does of course lend itself to the film engaging us with their personalities and situations. I empathised with the teacher's frustrations to the extent of wondering why anyone would choose to do such a thankless job! If this seems rather gloomy in the telling, in the viewing it actually isn't, the film never fails to hold our attention and there are flashes of likeability from even the most difficult pupils. The director treads a careful path between showing the kids as victims of their environments (domestic, ethnic and cultural factors are all strong influences on their behaviour) and showing them as unsympathetic yobs, and lets a more complex picture emerge that recognises their challenges but does not absolve them of responsibiity for their behaviour. The wrap up scene jarred a little for me, with a rather pat and unconvincing reading surprise from one of the kids, though this was tempered by the frank avowal by another that she had learned nothing in the year. The teacher is presented in all his human frailty and does not have miraculous answers (I dread a Hollywood remake where that would doubtless be reversed....). In summary, not as energetic and uplifting as L'Esquive, but a frank, believable and highly engaging depiction of banlieue schooling. A film I will doubtless watch several times.


L'Esquive - DVD
L'Esquive - DVD
Dvd ~ OsmanElkharraz
Offered by CULTURE EMPIRE
Price: £15.11

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Energetic, engaging and uplifting, if at times incomprehensible!, 9 Sep 2014
This review is from: L'Esquive - DVD (DVD)
I came to this film having seen Sara Forestier in Suzanne and looked up her other work - discovering that she'd been in an award winning Abdellatif Kechiche film set my expectations high, as La Vie d'Adèle is to my mind a masterpiece. I landed a used copy with no English subtitles. Now my French is pretty good, but understanding much of the dialogue here is a major challenge; it has taken me repeated viewings and reference to a subtitles download file. From what I've read elsewhere, it is also still a challenge to native French speakers. If you only have school or 'holiday' French, this will be totally incomprehensible without subtitles. The style of the language is however core to the film, and in fact one of the things the viewer learns from the film is not to judge and stereotype the characters according to the social box that their language puts them in. This is the language of the banlieue, rich in Arabic borrowings and verlan (slang based on word reversal) and delivered in a guttural accent at the speed of a machine-gun. The language does become somewhat more standardised and comprehensible as the film progresses. However, despite the concrete surroundings and the aggressive verbal sparring, the kids are kids like any other and their activities and concerns are largely innocent. The incipient loves and crushes of the adolescents are woven around their rehearsals for a school performance of Marivaux's Le jeu de l'amour et du hasard, an 18C comedy of manners in which despite the obfuscations of social role reversals, love finds its pairings of 'social equals'. That message of inability to escape one's social condition is spelled out to the kids by their teacher and by the end, when we have seen through the bluster and developed an affection for these characters, we find ourselves concerned that their potential has already been circumscribed by their environment and upbringing. The style of directing is highly naturalistic, with many hand-held close ups of and quick cuts between the faces of verbally duelling protagonists, and yet there are echoes of the theatre too in the groupings, entrances and exits. There are some outstanding performances - Sara Forestier and Sabrina Ouazani in particular, though the former's accent to me is the most difficult to understand. I also particularly enjoyed a scene of the teacher's frustration with Krimo's attempts to deliver Marivaux's lines. Unlike most films set in the grim suburbs, and with a couple of scenes excepted, the overall tone feels quite positive and avoids the usual cliches. Overall this film may present some barriers to entry, but its sheer energy will be apparent and engaging even to those who cannot understand all the dialogue, and it's well worth more than one viewing.


Natalia Osipova: Becoming a Swan
Natalia Osipova: Becoming a Swan
Price: £8.03

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars an interesting glimpse but a missed opportunity, 22 Oct 2013
I'm a keen photographer, follow ballet photography in particular and am also a huge admirer of Natalia Osipova, who I feel is both one of the most technically accomplished dancers and most charismatic and charming performers on the international ballet scene. I therefore ordered this well in advance of its availability and was keenly awaiting its arrival. In short, plenty there for the enthusiast but overall a bit of a let down. The book effectively plots a pictorial journey from role characterisation and rehearsal through to realisation on stage, based on Natalia's portrayal of the dual Odette/Odile role in Swan Lake and focusing on how she builds out Odette. Andrej Uspenski has a privileged position as a fellow dancer, and so is able to steal glimpses that feel unobtrusive and also exploit his empathy and technical knowledge of dance. However, the photographs themselves are quite variable in quality. They have a journalistic rather than studio feel, which is appropriate, but technically they are just not that great. There are occasional focus issues, noise, burn out, and tonal muddiness, and whatever camera he is using does not seem to be great in low light. Contrast these with those of another dancer turned photographer, Enrico Nawrath, who does an exemplary job in catching backstage moments as well as more formally posed work with the Berlin Staatsballett, and you will see the gap between what has been achieved and what is possible. Another comparator is Gene Schiavone, who shoots in low light and is equipped to do so, showing no grain and digital noise in his work. Perhaps unfair as both of these are pros, and it is also difficult to tell what could also have been improved in the printing of the book as opposed ot the source material. I'll leaf through it a few times, but it doesn't draw the gasps of admiration that Nawrath/Schiavone could have produced from such an amazing subject.


Minkus - Don Quichot [Blu-ray] [2011]
Minkus - Don Quichot [Blu-ray] [2011]
Dvd ~ Anna Tsygankova
Price: £29.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Great production, pot luck on whether you can watch it.., 31 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Others have commented very well on the performances, I'll focus on the purchasing dilemma... I bought this having read the other reviews, most of which pointed out severe motion blur/judder, with a couple of exceptions. The price was low at £5 - at this level it was worth a punt. First the production - this really is a lovely performance, with an infectious energy and a joyful feel to it. Kitri is excellent, and supported by a strong cast. My only point of comparison for DQ is a fantastic live performance by the Mikhailovsky, with Osipova and Vasiliev. Hard to match those two, but the Don himself is more of a character in this production. So overall I'd give the performance itself 5 stars.

But...like many others I got the motion problems. For me it was at a manageable level, but this seems to be down to your specific equipment (and the individual's sensitivity to it - there may be people whose brains filter it out more than others). I have a 65 inch Panasonic plasma, and decent mid range Onkyo receiver and Pioneer bluray. I could see but cope with the motion blur on say a lead dancer's rapid jete. What I found more problematic was the effect when panning sideways with the leads in focus but the background out of focus; that gave a really unpleasant juddering effect. So that drags down the rating.

The rendering is a real shame as the company / dancers really did put in a cracking performance and deserve much better; this had the potential to be a real reference disc. Given the ratio of 'problem' to 'no problem' reported, Arthaus should really see if they can fix and reissue this. Highly unlikely to happen though, based on my experience trying to communicate with them, so I'd say buy it now but only if it's still cheap.


The Pharaoh's Daughter - Pugni/Lacotte/Bolshoi Ballet [Blu-ray] [2010]
The Pharaoh's Daughter - Pugni/Lacotte/Bolshoi Ballet [Blu-ray] [2010]
Dvd ~ Denis Caiozzi
Price: £29.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly entertaining, 17 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this on something of a whim and wasn't expecting great things. In fact, I was very pleasantly surprised and can see this becoming a disc that I will watch many times. To be sure, the music is 'incidental' and the plot is pretty irrelevant - but what this is about is an excuse to present attractive spectacle (in terms of costumes particularly) and some great dancing. Svetlana Zakharova is pretty much perfect in this. While in recent years she can come across as something of a steely eyed grande dame, the younger Svetlana here is softer and warmer, more engaging, while still technically absolutely dazzling. The male leads are also very impressive. In summary I'd say expect and forgive, indeed enjoy, the cheesy moments - and buy it for the spectacle and for Svetlana. As an afterword, the blu-ray quality is exemplary - demonstration quality.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 1, 2013 11:11 PM BST


Bigonzetti: Caravaggio [Blu-ray] [2009] [Region Free] [NTSC]
Bigonzetti: Caravaggio [Blu-ray] [2009] [Region Free] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Vladimir Malakhov
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £23.72

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerising leads, 22 Jun 2011
This is very different to a traditional production of a Giselle or Swan Lake, and there will be some to whom it does not appeal - very modern and stripped back, but powerful as a result. Personally, I love it and have watched it many times. The lead performances from Malakhov and Semionova are truly superb. Beatrice Knop is also impressively sadistic - the part where Knop squats in a Kali position with her feet rotated backwards is particularly chilling. The play of light and shade brings out the musculature of Malakhov to a startling extent, but it is Semionova who is a revelation - she has the physique of an Olympic athlete, but dances with stunning grace and sensuality, and amazing technique. Some of the choreography of the corps is a bit self-indulgent, but for me is really secondary to the lead performances.

Unlike another reviewer here, I have had no technical issues at all. The blu-ray transfer is demonstration quality, with superb detail and subtle gradations of lighting when rendering the chiaroscuro on which the work depends.


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