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M.W. Thrasher (UK)

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The Husband Swap (How to be Happy Book 3)
The Husband Swap (How to be Happy Book 3)
Price: 6.68

5.0 out of 5 stars Disarmingly honest and brave, 13 Jun 2014
Louisa has gone where most people are afraid to go. Her account of polyamory explores the socially unacceptable notion of being in a loving, romantic relationship with more than one person at any given point in time, taking the reader on a tumultuous ride of love, intrigue, devotion, heartbreak, insecurity, exploration and personal growth that every person in a relationship experiences -- X2. Make that X4. One for each person involved in a passionate love quadrangle.

This is a very brave story, not just for how it's told -- candidly and with no reservation -- but also for how it happened. How do you go from being monogamous to creating a life in which you share your partner with someone else, while your partner shares you in turn? What do your friends say? What does your family say? How do people around you react and what repercussions do you face? Can your life ever be the same once you go public with your choice to not be monogamous? This book tells all, revealing the revolutionary and complex facets of polyamory, tracing out how the process is a life-changing experience that requires commitment to the cause (love the irony!) and which involves a great deal of reward and pain. It's an inspiring and wrenching and ultimately satisfying tale. The more it hurts, the more compelling it becomes, reminding the reader that love is love.

by Neil Gaiman
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.91

5.0 out of 5 stars a league of his own, 8 Feb 2010
This review is from: Neverwhere (Paperback)
Gaiman is in true form again. He does not need to be compared to Pratchet or anyone. The man rocks. His prose sizzles!

The Weather Man [DVD]
The Weather Man [DVD]
Dvd ~ Nicolas Cage
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: 2.68

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bleak comedy that blows like the wind: everywhere!, 30 May 2008
This review is from: The Weather Man [DVD] (DVD)
'Easy doesn't fit into adult life,' David's father says to him in the car, and this movie makes that exact point with gusto. Unorthodox and all over the place, it touches on the small disillusionments that meet us around the corner and which sometimes pile up to make up a life nothing like we imagined. Not easy to identify, let alone confront and deal with, these disillusionments are a crucial part of growing up, as David Spritz finds out the hard way. Split between a broken marriage, an accomplished and unimpressed father, and a job he's good at but can't handle properly outside the office, this bleak weatherman has to fight his inner demons and get to the bottom of things before he can start accepting himself and his life as it is.

Cold and glum, and shot in constant bad weather, this movie has the uncanny ability to warm up ever so subtly, creating a welcome sense of realism rather than an over the top feelgood ending, and will probably leave you pondering on the various challenges of life, which start from things ever so simple and grow into great, big whirlpools of mess... Small comments that have turned into endless arguments, simple gestures that have been overcomplicated, little dreams that have turned into big nightmares. And amidst all that mess you may even remember the time someone chucked something at you and realise that maybe you deserved it, and that only you, and you alone, can change your life for the better.

Charlie Wilson's War [DVD]
Charlie Wilson's War [DVD]
Dvd ~ Tom Hanks
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: 2.72

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The picture just got bigger, 26 Mar 2008
This review is from: Charlie Wilson's War [DVD] (DVD)
A fantastic movie on all levels. Not only are the performances sleek and inspired, but there is a refreshing element of everydayness that makes the whole account watchable and enjoyable while retaining its seriousness. The gravity of the whole issue is not allowed to weigh the movie down, and the cheekiness of the presentation does not trivialise any of its messages. A perfect balance has been struck that delivers its message loud and clear.

It is important to notice that this movie transcends partisanship by extending itself into the real world. Specifically, the movie lacks an ending; even though it follows the war of the Afghan nation against the Soviets, showing how the US got involved, all the way to the defeat of the Soviets and even slightly beyond that, it stops there and does not follow through. And here lies the genius of this movie, simple and laconic: it gives us no ending! There in no proper ending to this movie, for the ending is out there, in the real world. We are actually left to understand the turn of events on our own, through the aftereffects of what the movie has shown happen twenty years ago, and to make up our minds as such. We are left to close the movie up with our own personal experience of the repercussions of what happened out there, and we are left to do it on our own and without lectures or cheesy endings.

And the best part of all is that when the DVD is released down the line, and re-released, and so on and so forth, we will still have an ending for Charlie Wilson's War. While this may make this movie difficult to comprehend in its entirety, say, fifty years from now, it makes it perfectly relevant now and allows the real world to explain the movie, just as this movie tries to explain the real world. Brilliant reciprocity. A great way to make a statement, even if the events are not entirely comprehensive. This is great storytelling, enjoyable and light-hearted. An effective way to touch a nerve or two. It'll incite hot questions amidst the apple-pie smiles and make an individual realise that defending democracy involves more than just arms. It involves brains, balls, vision, and an appreciation of the bigger picture... factors which were unfortunately absent in this tremendous geopolitical farce!

Charlie Wilson's War shows us exactly how idealism, zealotry, business-making, or just plain hype, can turn from blessing in disguise to an acrimonious curse, and may have an important thing or two to remind us (without drowning us in the pits of depression while doing so!)
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 1, 2010 2:09 PM GMT

Saving Private Ryan [DVD] [1998]
Saving Private Ryan [DVD] [1998]
Dvd ~ Tom Hanks
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: 3.50

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Saving the war genre, 4 Feb 2008
Saving Private Ryan. It's not as simple as it sounds. A squad is assigned to locate a soldier and bring him back alive so that he can be sent home because three of his brothers have died in the war. The order comes from the Chief of Staff. And right there and then you understand how this movie is going to develop. And you either think `oh yes,' or `oh no,' or `ok, this might be interesting.' And quite frankly, it is. It's very interesting. For there is more than one way to look at it, and that is always good news, especially with war movies.

The movie steers clear of mushy sentimentalisms and instead chooses to explore and develop the characters involved, their interactions as a group, the nature of their mission within the greater dynamic of the war, and the trials and tribulations they face in order to uphold a simple and noble principle: to protect the last surviving son in a family of four brothers. Like it or not, agree or disagree, the orders are set and the mission must be accomplished. And that is what gives this movie a backbone and bedrock. Its premise is solid, supporting with ease the great storyline, as well as the numerous perspectives that it may induce, and it delivers a fine and unnerving account of a diverse squad of American characters being immersed in the heat of battle. Tom Hanks steals the show as a troubled captain and much transformed ex-***, and Tom Sizemore delivers a fine performance as his right-hand man. Memorable and enjoyable performances are given all around by a very colourful cast, and the result is brilliant. Don't miss it. It's perhaps one of the great war-movies in modern filmmaking.

A Clockwork Orange [DVD] [1971]
A Clockwork Orange [DVD] [1971]
Dvd ~ Malcolm McDowell
Price: 3.52

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He are here, and he mean business!, 11 Jan 2008
The DVD synopsis concludes in the following way: 'Its [Clockwork Orange's] power to excite and perturb is undiminished; its warning about the state's encroaching hold over the individual, more relevant today than ever.' But it's much more than that! So much more!

This film is a masterpiece of visual style, language, and presentation, and to portray it as a piece that criticises state control over the individual is like judging the ocean on the looks of its surface. This is a disturbingly compelling story about violence and providence, and the state's totalitarian dispositions are just a valuable part of this story, not the other way around. So, mind your minds as you watch this once banned disturbance of a film, for it is not just a flickety flick on the gone wrong doings of the state, but it's instead a tour de force on the intricate woky workings of a sinful sinister youth, a youth gone mad with maddening manners. It sounds like poetry, and flows like it too, all the way to the end, and there is no reprieve for the weak and the easily-offended. Disturbed and disturbing this poetry may be, yes, true, but it is poetic all the same and very very appealing. It is a masterpiece, a great masterpiece cut by a monumental master mind, superbly adapted to the screen and made to work in visual stunnery. Viddy well, little brother. Viddy well.

Hannibal Rising [DVD]
Hannibal Rising [DVD]
Dvd ~ Helena Lia Tachovska
Price: 3.83

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Teenage Hannibal, so don't expect genial brutality, 9 Aug 2007
This review is from: Hannibal Rising [DVD] (DVD)
This is a film that reveals the birth of Hannibal in the child known as Aaron Thomas, who was unfortunate enough to experience something outrageous and dehumanising. More raw and direct rather than stylistically brutal, this installment of Hannibal is a simpler depiction of how it all started, and fittingly so, for it all must have started in simple terms before it got complicated and intriguing. Hannibal needed time to develop the complex professorial character that made him so thrilling, and this is before it happened... this is the emergence of a tormented soul that will find solace in repeated and increasingly brutal sacrifices that he commits with his own hands and teeth. This is Hannibal Rising, so expect to see a gradual and straightforward progression into evil through a story that provides roots and justification to the monster that will eventually emerge. And emerge it eventually does, in all its bloodcurdling glory. Hannibal... redemption through monstrosity! Would you blame him? Maybe not, not anymore. Would you fear him? Abso-bloody-lutely!

The Contender [DVD] [2001]
The Contender [DVD] [2001]
Dvd ~ Joan Allen
Offered by BAZZMEDIA
Price: 3.99

4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Flashy amateurism or feminist/liberal propaganda (even Gary Oldman protested), 24 July 2007
This review is from: The Contender [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
More like a platform from which to present an ideological creed rather than explore the repercussions of the explosive issues it so readily tackles, this movie fails to deliver. Its story falls flat as a pancake on a pan of hot issues and doesn't even make a sizzle. Consider this: A woman is caught on camera participating in an orgy, but her husband takes it as if it's the most natural thing to crop up from his spouse's past... The president shifts from being cool to being a downright jerk without the slightest effort, all the while being established as a man with morals, something like a Big Lebowski Wall Street Gecco... Laine Hanson is shown to be unjustly scolded for something she should realistically feel more responsible for... The characters don't engage themselves together but merely bounce off each other like electrons with smart mouths... I mean, mercy on the intellect, please!

The only good things about this movie are Sam Elliot (always a thrill) and Gary Oldman (ingenious). But beyond that this movie is nothing more than a feeble attempt to tackle a range of profound issues, and ends up looking like a partisan outtake marinated in amateur film-making and garnished in the reprehensible studio decision to ever go ahead with this movie in the first place.

A great collection of one-liners doesn't make a good movie, no matter how catchy some of those lines are. If you wanna see how issues can be interlaced instead of jabbed at you, then watch Syriana and see how it's done.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 23, 2011 10:04 PM BST

Being John Malkovich [DVD] [2000]
Being John Malkovich [DVD] [2000]
Dvd ~ John Cusack
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: 3.50

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outrageous and brilliant, 25 Mar 2007
This is a rare gem with Charlie Kaufman's signature. Symbolic and real at the same time, it switches between magical realism and exaggeration with effortless ease, making you laugh out loud in many places and without warning.

This is the story of a puppeteer who longs for recognition. When he gets a job in an obscure floor between floors (7 1/2th) where everyone seems to be delightfully bonkers, he discovers a door in the wall which leads inside John Malkovich for 15 minutes before being spit out by the New Jersey Turnpike.

Sharing his discovery with his cooky wife and his devious co-worker only complicates things, for each of them want to take advantage of Being John Malkovich in their own way. And if you thought that the movie was weird up to then, you've got another thing coming as John Malkovich is now made into an enterprise and invaded by a host of admirers who want to be him for 15 precious minutes.

Poor Malkovich feels that he is being taken over and tries to get to the bottom of this, ending up going inside the portal to his own mind... and I shall say no more.

Identity crisis, manipulation, misrepresentation... they are all investigated in this bizarre comedy. The story has so much potential that it could have in fact been made into an excellent drama/thriller. Yet, Kaufman seems to have a way of weaving jaw-dropping humour in his ingenious screenplays. And it works. One wonders what kind of a hobbit Charlie Kaufman really is. After all, this is a remarkable Alice in Wonderland tale with a post-modern twist.

Hail Malkovich for a brilliant performance:
1) Of himself
2) Of himself being possessed by others
3) Of his many selves (ingeniously done!)
4) In a conversation with Charlie Sheen

John Cusack is the weakest link, but Cameron Diaz comes across perfectly as a looloo animal lover with a gender identity crisis, and Catherine Keener is wonderfully annoying as a self-centred manipulative witch of a woman.

This is one of the gems of original storytelling and compelling moviemaking and deserves to be seen with an open mind. Malkovich...

North by Northwest [DVD] [1959]
North by Northwest [DVD] [1959]
Dvd ~ Cary Grant
Price: 4.39

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No mother, I have not been drinking!, 9 Mar 2007
Unarguably one of the most terrific movies to ever hit the screens. With an absolutely superb script and compelling cinematography, it sucks you in and keeps you thinking and guessing about what's going on and how it's all going to pan out. The story development is that good, for it hits a few natural chords, such as the confusion between a spy of many identities and a random man. How can that random man prove that he is not the spy of many identities that the others have mistaken him for? There is no way out of this dragnet once it sets around you, as Roger O. Thornhill suddenly finds out. And the more he tries to get out, the deeper he gets entangled. Naturally. And the avalanche gathers more snow as it goes along in true Hitchcock pace.

This film benefits from a haunting musical score, which has obviously provided considerable inspiration to Phillip Glass's musical style. The cinematography and the wide-angle and panoramic shots have also been influential to Godfrey Reggio's Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqatsi documentaries. It enjoys some of the most memorable scenes in cinema history, such as the chase scene on the faces of the presidents at Mount Rushmore, which is not short of metaphor or cheeky humour. British Hitchcock humour. There's plenty of it, and it is very well distributed and absolutely wicked. Just take a look at the way Roger O. Thornhill, or ROT in acronym form (a faceless and arrogant advertising executive) has to weave himself through a big mess, where his false identity sticks on him like a fatal disease. Or how about the last scene where the train rams its way into the tunnel just as Mr and Mrs Thornhill are about to make love... This is a great film in its entirety and provides one helluva ride. Truly remarkable!!

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