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Chris (UK)

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The Painted Veil [DVD]
The Painted Veil [DVD]
Dvd ~ Naomi Watts
Offered by Direct Entertainment Supplies
Price: £3.90

65 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, 20 Jan. 2008
This review is from: The Painted Veil [DVD] (DVD)
This film caught me by surprise. I hadn't heard much about it, but on a friend's recommendation rented from amazon.

It's an outstanding production. Great location and atmosphere that draws you right in and takes you to the place and period of the story, and in Porter and Watts two fine performances as leading characters that even Maugham would have been proud of.

The score is also excellent. A perfect accompaniment to the film, but a soundtrack that stands up in it's own right too.

The soundtrack won a Golden Globe Award for the film, but I can't believe the film didn't get nominated for any Oscar category at all.

But ignore the Academy. It's one of the best films I've seen for a long time.

Deep Water [DVD] [2006]
Deep Water [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ Louise Osmond
Offered by Discs4all
Price: £4.89

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling documentary, 28 Dec. 2007
This review is from: Deep Water [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
Comprehensive documentary recounting the story of amateur yachtsman Donald Crowhurst's ambition to win the Sunday Times round-the-world yacht race.

After experiencing difficulties en route to the Cape of Good Hope he attempts to win the race without ever circumnavigating the globe, by providing false positions, but in the end his love of family, his pride, guilt, the sea and ultimately insanity get the better of him and his only course of action is suicide.

This documentary is well constructed and told with sensitivity and empathy. The power of the sea on the participants, both physically and mentally, is telling. The DVD extras such as the interviews with Crowhurst's wife and children's demonstrate how well the family coped with the tragedy, and the interviews with the Sunday Times journalists of the period add a well-rounded completeness to this film.

Live Over Europe: 2007 (2CD)
Live Over Europe: 2007 (2CD)
Price: £7.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The definitive Genesis album-just get it, 8 Dec. 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Genesis followers fall into numerous factions-the Gabriels vs. Collins, Longs vs. shorts, progs vs. pops, and 70's vs. 80's crowds.

The band went from excellent prog rockers to pop rockers-like it or not. And this album takes the best of the lot, and shows that Genesis can still perform with vitality, energy, and!

Many other bands and artists of the same era that still tour offer up sloppy sounds, poor production and ropey vocal work. On this album Genesis demonstrate respect for their audience. A premium ticket price for a premium show. I didn't see one of these shows, but on the strength of this album I wish I had.

The tracks are the definitive mix of `old' and `new' Genesis. The songs sound fresh and well produced. Collins's voice has been pitched a little lower, but the production is good enough for me-previous reviewers have griped about the sound quality, but playing it loud is still good enough for my non-digital hearing.

Why 4 stars? Every track is excellent, but on multiple plays I'd take `One for the Vine' or another 70's song over "Two stools' anytime.

This album proves the band can still perform with the freshness and professionalism with which I saw them perform at Bingley Hall in the 70's.

OK, you've heard all these tracks before, but treat yourself, buy this album and enjoy them once more.

Surveillance: A Novel
Surveillance: A Novel
by Jonathan Raban
Edition: Paperback

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Skip this one, 3 Nov. 2007
This review is from: Surveillance: A Novel (Paperback)
I was influenced by the hyperbole on the cover and Raban's track record, but on reading this novel I found the story lacking and unresolved.

I'm a huge fan of alot of Raban's writing- 'Old Glory' and 'Coasting', and early fiction like 'Foreign Land'. Sadly though, this novel disappointed on every level.

Long Road Out Of Eden
Long Road Out Of Eden
Offered by Quality Media Supplies Ltd.
Price: £22.49

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like the Eagles, buy this, 3 Nov. 2007
This review is from: Long Road Out Of Eden (Audio CD)
Quite simply, 28 years on the Eagles have delivered an album commensurate with the quality of material they built their reputation on.

This is quality country rock, building on the same themes and the mix of styles they made their own. Immaculately produced with great songs, harmonies and the production you'd expect from a 'super group'.

Is it better than 'Hotel California'? Have they eclisped their finest hour? Who knows? Who cares?

This album proves that The Eagles can still create the quality of music that made them what they are.

Homage to Barcelona
Homage to Barcelona
by Colm Tóibín
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect primer for Barcelona and Catalonia, 28 Oct. 2007
This review is from: Homage to Barcelona (Paperback)
A slim volume that is an excellent introduction to Catalonia, its cities, history, artists and culture.

It isn't an historical essay,or writer's indulgence, but just a collection of well-written and easy-to-read chapters that you can pick off in any order, and get more context and detail than any Visitor's Guide can offer.

Why 4 stars? Because whilst this book stands the test of time ( this is the 2001 revision of a 1990 publication), the chapter on 'Nightclubbing' doesn't.

But don't let that put you off-buy it for the other 14 alone.

Agent Zigzag: The True Wartime Story of Eddie Chapman: Lover, Traitor, Hero, Spy
Agent Zigzag: The True Wartime Story of Eddie Chapman: Lover, Traitor, Hero, Spy
by Ben Macintyre
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable, 28 Oct. 2007
Bought this book as one of a number to read on holiday, and quite simply couldn't put it down.

Macintyre tells Chapman's WW2 story exceptionally well, keeping it pacey when it would be so easy to litter each page with footnotes and extensive background information.

Morris Dancers, co-incidences in the Berkeley, professional conjurors, excesses by the British and German elite, mistakes and double-crosses, the story of Chapman's Iron Cross, personalities and luck. Just some of the colour that make this story stranger then fiction but an absolutely compelling and entertaining read.

Can't recommend it highly enough.

Nigella Express
Nigella Express
by Nigella Lawson
Edition: Hardcover

16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect cookery book for our times, 28 Oct. 2007
This review is from: Nigella Express (Hardcover)
Until I saw the TV show I was sceptical about Nigella's ability to produce another bestselling kitchen proposition. But based on people's need for good nutritious food that can be prepared quickly and easily, this hits the spot.

The layout is simple and effective, with recipes and excellent photography on every spread.

Having prepared a number of the dishes I can say that they are as good-and as quick- as they look.

A Cookery Book that is a boon in a cluttered pre-Xmas field of releases.

The Life And Times Of The Thunderbolt Kid: Travels Through my Childhood
The Life And Times Of The Thunderbolt Kid: Travels Through my Childhood
by Bill Bryson
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining read, 16 July 2007
Having grown up in the UK in the seventies, and enjoyed Bryson's writing since the early 90's, I was concerned that his memoir about growing up in the American mid-west in the 50's was going to miss the mark for me.

Not at all.

Bryson draws on the universal aspects of childhood, weaves in his trademark humour and lightness of touch, and sets it all perfectly in the period using fascinating statisitical comparisons with today, and news clips that highlight some of the banalities of hindsight.

Often when a book has 'laugh out loud' on the cover, I'm sceptical. In this case it's true. And his lack of sentimentality, and any inclusion of an addiction story, make this a warm, funny and very entertaining light read.

Traffic and Weather
Traffic and Weather
Price: £16.23

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect 'power pop', 12 Jun. 2007
This review is from: Traffic and Weather (Audio CD)
The previous 'Welcome Interstate Managers' was an outstanding album (that I happened to discover by chance), and cynics may say this is more of the same, but the truth is it's perfect pop- strong melodies, clever lyrics, great rhythms, well conceived arrangements and polished production -that ensure FOW stand head and shoulders above much of today's mediocre pop and rock with this new album.

Why this group aren't bigger than they are amazes me. Every track is a winner and I can't recommend this album enough. Others here have suggested it is their album of the summer. I'd agree. And perfect 'road music'. So crank it up!

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