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THE WILD LIFE                              VHS VIDEO

2.0 out of 5 stars Great cast, not much else, 7 Oct. 2013
This review is from: THE WILD LIFE VHS VIDEO (VHS Tape)
Compared to the other the many teen films made in the 80s, 'The Wild Life' is seen rather rarely. It has never had an official DVD release in the UK or US (although it saw release on US laser disc, way back when). You'd think given the principal cast (Eric Stoltz, Chris Penn, Lea Thompson, Rick Moranis), having being written by Cameron Crowe ('Jerry Maguire, 'Vanilla Sky') and boasting an impressive musical score by Eddie Van Halen, it would be easily obtainable.

There are several reasons why it may not be available at the time of writing.

Despite having a great cast, the material with which they are given to work is rather poor. The film is a wall-to-wall barrage of crassness, with poor attitudes to relationships and sex, which combined with Chris Penn's overbearing portrayal of 'have a good time all the time' style jock Tommy just makes the film agonizing. Almost every one of Penn's scenes - although supposedly played for broad laughs - is irritating in the extreme, while Stoltz's character Bill is just spineless. We're supposed to pick him as the film's central sympathetic character and yet, he doesn't give the viewer any real reason to like him.

The film also explores a particularly nasty and seedy relationship between Anita (Lea Thompson) and a policeman (a moustachioed idiot cheating on his wife). Their scenes are particularly grim from the outset and then become more so once it is revealed that she is underage.

The only person who survives this debacle with anything resembling dignity is Ilan Mitchell Smith, whose portrayal of a chain-smoking, Viet Nam obsessed fifteen year old with major attitude is rather fun. It's a pity that Smith's second foray into major motion pictures was 'Weird Science' [the weakest of the John Hughes teen flicks even back then; now, it's just a bit creepy and borderline paedophilic].

80s teen comedies/teen right-of-passage movies from the 80s often dealt with things in a heavy-handed manner, but they seldom come more unsophisticated than 'The Wild Life'. It makes its closest predecessor 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High' appear to be the very height of sophistication.

Almost thirty years on, it's all too obvious why its screenwriter Cameron Crowe has all but disowned this cringeworthy, desperately sorry mess.

Perfect World
Perfect World
Offered by groove_temple
Price: £17.04

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Potentially good songs spoiled by cutting budgetary corners, 27 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Perfect World (Audio CD)
Honestly, I love Strangeways, but this disc is a waste of your time and money. It sounds like the master tapes were dropped in a muddy puddle. I've heard bad demos that sound better than this so-called finished product. How their record label can sleep at night after charging people full price for something which is of such poor audio quality, I'll never know.

Do you love Strangeways? Then buy Terry Brock's solo album 'Diamond Blue' instead, if you havent already.

Eric Clapton: Behind The Sun Tour [DVD]
Eric Clapton: Behind The Sun Tour [DVD]
Dvd ~ Eric Clapton

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Buyer beware!, 24 Nov. 2010
This concert was originally released on VHS as 'Live in 85'.

For reasons best known to EC and whoever owns the current rights, it has yet to be given a proper, official DVD release.

If you're a Clapton fan, you've almost certainly owned this concert in it's original VHS form since the 80s and if you're reading this, you're probably considering a DVD upgrade. You probably know this already, but just to confirm - this DVD is a pressing is NOT strictly official.
The box may look like an official Japanese release, but that's not an obi strip in the stock photo. It's actually a colour photocopied insert with the obi details included as part of the picture.

Although the DVD itself is a silver factory pressed disc as opposed to a DVD-R, it still looks shoddy when you open the box. The label side of the disc features no details about Clapton or the concert, just a brightly coloured picture of a wizard advertising the company who have (presumably) grabbed a cheap licence on this.

With regard to the programme itself, it's not DVD quality, but a very good transfer from the original VHS. The original opening credits have been removed, making the concert start rather abruptly and at the beginning of each song, you'll get an onscreen caption telling you the song title [this was not present on the VHS release so, presumably, it was done by this company while making the transfer and removing the original 'Live 85' credit sequence].

Generally, as far as "unofficial DVD releases taken from VHS transfers" are concerned, this is very good. However, if you already own this concert on VHS and still have the means to play it, you'd do just as well keeping your VHS tape, since picture and sound-wise, this does not offer a great improvement. If, however, you no longer have a video player - or else have never owned this concert - this release will do, at least until something authorised by Clapton appears.

I've no idea why there's never been an official DVD issue of this great concert, especially since the following year's show from Birmingham has been available officially on DVD for ages [Though, like the original VHS version, that DVD does not feature the full show - just the heavily edited Tyne Tees TV broadcast]. A second show from the same year has been officially released as 'Live at Montreaux 1986, so with the 'August' line-up more than represented on DVD, it's certainly time this show from Hertford, CT was given the respect it deserves.

If this had been an official release (ie: properly mastered for DVD and authorized by the record company), I'd have given it five stars. As it stands, the concert itself is still a five star watch, but the VHS quality picture and hastily put together packaging loses this item a couple of marks.

The First Five: "High Adventure in the Great Outdoors", "Pissing in the Gene Pool", "Art to Choke Hearts", "Bang!", "One from None" (Henry Rollins)
The First Five: "High Adventure in the Great Outdoors", "Pissing in the Gene Pool", "Art to Choke Hearts", "Bang!", "One from None" (Henry Rollins)
by Henry Rollins
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Be aware..., 26 Sept. 2009
...that while this book has some great content, the five original books have been abridged for this compendium. If you're a big Rollins fan, do yourself a favour and search out the five original books.

17 Album Box Set
17 Album Box Set
Price: £309.89

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Different issue of box set?, 14 Feb. 2009
This review is from: 17 Album Box Set (Audio CD)
I've recently picked up the 17 CD AC/DC box. Mine features the '74 Jailbreak' EP and the single disc version of 'Live'.

Are Amazon's details wrong on this page, or were there 2 versions of the 17 CD box set? I can't afford to shell out over £200 here for one which supposedly features the Aussie albums and tracklists only to receive one the same as the one I already have...

Any more info would be greatly appreciated.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 8, 2009 9:31 PM BST

Return Of The Pride
Return Of The Pride
Price: £13.40

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars a toothless lion, 13 Jan. 2009
This review is from: Return Of The Pride (Audio CD)
Back in the early 90s, I loved White Lion. Their 'Pride' and 'Mane Attraction' albums have a place in any decent melodic rock collection.

It's a little sad, given that Mike Tramp's post-White Lion sales have been so lacklustre, that the only way the record company would release this is if Mike agreed to release it under the White Lion name.

Without Vito, it's not White Lion. Tramp has effectively lost his co-writer and White Lion partner...and it shows. Mediocre to poor material, combined with a lacklastre production job makes this average at best. Factor in Tramp's vocals (now nine parts shot) and that makes this forgettable. Spend your money elsewhere.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 11, 2012 4:44 PM GMT

Jude Cole
Jude Cole
Price: £13.93

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rare debut finally becomes available!, 16 Nov. 2007
This review is from: Jude Cole (Audio CD)
For those who know, Jude Cole's 1987 debut has long been out of print on CD. It was last seen changing hands among collectors for anywhere between £50 and £90.
Despite what the below remarks say about '80s album repackaged for 2000 without letting anyone know', you'll know already whether you'll want this. Chances are, you'll have it on vinyl and have been wanting it on CD forever.

Granted, the music is of a late 80s persuasion and doesn't have the sophistication of Jude's later Americana tinged releases, but it's still a solid enough pop/rock release. Get it before it goes out of print again!

Somewhere Else
Somewhere Else
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £17.74

8 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre at best, 13 April 2007
This review is from: Somewhere Else (Audio CD)
I'm not sure where to begin, really. I've been a fan for years. Marillion have made thoughtful music that has really spoken to me. Music which cannot easily be compared to other bands.

This album is not good. The thoughtfulness and warmth has been replaced with pedestrian qualities and four of the songs have one-line choruses. Even a remedial songwriter like Noel Gallagher has written better choruses than that!

In short - I'm not just disappointed; I'm rather embarrassed at this limp collection of songs. It was three years in the making...I feel the band could have put this together in their sleep. Mediocre is about the kindest thing I can say.

If you are thinking about buying this, then don't bother. If you're new to Marillion try 'Brave' or 'Anoraknophobia' instead.

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