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Derek Dominoe

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Mylo Xyloto
Mylo Xyloto
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £5.90

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mucially derivative, lyrically cringeworthy!, 3 Oct. 2012
This review is from: Mylo Xyloto (Audio CD)
Hard to believe this is the same band that gave us Parachutes and A Rush of Blood to the Head!

For the uncritical Coldplay fan, this will be another 'great' offering, reflecting the band's growth since X&Y. For those who expected more, this is a letdown of colossal proportions. Musically derivative and lyrically cringeworthy, Coldplay has steadily become a parody of itself.

On the few occasions I stopped to listen closely, I thought I was listening to Keane's Under the Iron Sea, but, sadly, Chris Martin pulled me back in with ludicrous lines such as he'd rather be a comma than a full stop. Come on, Chris, you're worthy of better than such pretentious tripe.

All in all, if you want to hear Coldplay at its best, revisit the two albums named at the top. Or try out bands such as Cinematic Orchestra (e.g. To Build a Home), which, although accused of ripping off the Coldplay sound, actually deliver something worth listening to.


L.A. Confidential [Blu-ray] [1997]
L.A. Confidential [Blu-ray] [1997]
Dvd ~ Kevin Spacey
Offered by Bonkers4Bargains!
Price: £24.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic that is not a film noir!, 27 Sept. 2012
Just wanted to point out that for all the positive reviews of LA Confidential, far too many refer to this masterpiece as "a film noir" or "a cult classic".

I may be picky but this movie is neither. Yes, LA Confidential has the trappings of a standard film noir: it deals with 1940s American crime and the police, and it is a minefield of conflicted moral choices and sexual tension, but the visual style and mood of the film are far too bold and colourful to ever be regarded as "noir".

Also, while the film may be properly regarded as "a classic", please don't use the term "cult" in this context. Russel Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kevin Spacey, Kim Bassinger, Academy Awards, successful box office, in what way is this a cult film?

Anyway, it's a fantastic film regardless of the labels.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 7, 2012 1:42 PM BST


The Wrestler [DVD]
The Wrestler [DVD]
Dvd ~ Mickey Rourke
Offered by HarriBella.UK.Ltd
Price: £3.35

5.0 out of 5 stars Call me Randy!, 25 Jan. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Wrestler [DVD] (DVD)
The Wrestler is a tremendous film. Mickey Rourke's performance is outstanding and he is superbly supported by Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Ward. Darren Aronofsky's near-documentary style suits this tale perfectly. There's nothing glamorous about the lives of these people - they're regular folk with regular problems and it's this stark depiction of life that wins this film all the high praise it has received.

Simple story-telling with magnificent performances. There's not really much else to say other than don't miss this!

The DVD has some nice extra material on the making of the film but it's the feature that wins this round.


Deliverance 35th Anniversary Remastered Deluxe Edition [DVD] [1972]
Deliverance 35th Anniversary Remastered Deluxe Edition [DVD] [1972]
Dvd ~ Jon Voight
Offered by Helen's Goodies
Price: £10.02

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You have to lose yourself before you can find anything, 22 Jan. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The plot is simple: four friends take a weekend break from the big city (in this case Atlanta) in search of some RnR in the wilds of Georgia by canoeing down a river that will soon disappear as the result of a new dam project. Quite soon into their trip things go wrong and they are thrown into a fight for their lives.

The back to nature / man versus nature aspects are obvious and interesting: have most of us drifted too far from our rural roots, how would we cope if faced with real danger in the wild? The other major theme is the nature and role of law - the law of nature vs the law of civilised society. The friends are faced with a dilema that isn't easily resolved. They do find a way to resolve it but the affect that decision will have on their lives is enormous.

Based on James Dickey's novel of the same name, John Boorman expertly weaves this simple story into a powerful commentary on the plight of modern man. Much like Fight Club, the suggestion is that post-war men have gone soft with easy, comfortable urban living. Burt Reynolds' character Lewis knows this and is intent on not being caught out when things go bad. John Voight's Ed suspects this but is content with what he's got - until he's pushed.

Deliverance isn't a fun film and it won't leave you with the feeling that everything has been answered and neatly dealt with. It is, however, superbly directed with terrific cinemaphotography and some excellent performances.

The DVD comes with the main feature and a fascinating retrospective documentary on the making of the film with contributions from everyone who was involved.


Kingdom Of Heaven (4 Disc Special Extended Director's Cut) [DVD]
Kingdom Of Heaven (4 Disc Special Extended Director's Cut) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Martin Hancock

5.0 out of 5 stars DVD Heaven, 21 Jan. 2010
Like most reviewers, although I enjoyed the theatrical release of Kingdom of Heaven, one couldn't help but feel that some things weren't quite right and that certain opportunities had been missed. Obviously, dealing with such a big story requires time and contemporary cinema-goers tend not to favour three-hour plus films; not forgetting that film studios want neatly packed products that can be screened in 90-120 minutes!

As a result, the original version of Kingdom was heavily cut from the story that Ridley Scott first shot. This led to a number of 'problems' with the story: what was the real reason for Balian's wife killing herself and what was basis for the animosity between Balian and the village priest; how was it that a village blacksmith could suddenly become so proficient in warfare and take on the defence of Jerusalem; what was really going on between Sibylla and Guy in the struggle for the throne? These and many other points of interest are expanded on and properly addressed. The characters are all allowed to breathe and the fuller story gets told.

One criticism that has been made is about Orlando Bloom in the lead. Some have argued that he simply isn't leadership material and doesn't inspire the kind of loyalty and urge to action as, say, Russell Crowe as Maximus in Gladiator. This is fair comment. Bloom isn't a man's man and does lack the underlying threat of violence necessary in a man who's going to war on behalf of Christendom. However, before totally panning Bloom, consider this, Balian is a very tricky character to play with an emotional side that is as fundamental to his story as the action. It's that balance that Scott was looking for in casting the role. I think Bloom handles the emotional side of Balian well and doesn't do too badly with the action. He works in the role, although it would be interesting to know who else Scott considered for the part. I wonder how fellow Lord of the Rings actor Viggo Mortensen would have faired...?

Al in all, this the Kingdom of Heaven we should have seen in the cinema but couldn't. One of the benefits of DVD is that it gives directors the opportunity to expand on stories where the practicalities of cutting a film for theatre often means drastic editing. The film is spread over two discs, including Overture, Intermission and Entractes - really nice touch - and is a treat to look at listen to. The remaining discs are packed with extras. A great edition of a, finally, great film!


Avatar: Limited Edition Steelbook [Blu-ray]
Avatar: Limited Edition Steelbook [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Sam Worthington
Offered by ludovico_institute
Price: £16.99

3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3D movie - 1D story-telling!, 17 Jan. 2010
The good news is that Avatar is amazing to look at! Make no mistake about that. The hype about the visual look of this film is, for once, totally justified. From the moment the film starts you know you're seeing something new and very, very exciting. Each new scene is a treat of fully-immersive viewing that will irrevocably change the future of film-making.

The bad news is that the film doesn't have a story that is original or interesting enough to justify the nearly three-hour running time. OK, there's a story and it has it's ups and downs but it's all old hat. We've seen this story many times over and it's, frankly, boring. I'm not going to spoil it for anyone here so don't worry about any spoilers. I'll just say that with all the attention to the technology and visual wizardry someone forgot that story and character are ultimately what make great films.

There are some very nice sci-fi elements - the nature of the Na'vi and their symbiotic relationship with their home world of Pandora was nice and fascinating, and the avatar concept was also interesting. But the story driving the film was lacking.

Nonetheless, this film marks a significant milestone in the history of film and for that alone we must applaud James Cameron and the people involved in making it happen.

As for the DVD release of Avatar, I can't see how watching the film at home is going to come anywhere near the full cinema experience so don't miss out on catching it in full 3D before the 2D DVD release.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 28, 2010 12:32 PM GMT


The English Patient (Special Edition) [DVD]
The English Patient (Special Edition) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ralph Fiennes
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £4.76

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lashings of praise for The English Patient!, 17 Jan. 2010
Anthony Minghella's adaptation of Michael Ondaatje's Booker Prize winner is a treasure of film and should be seen and owned by anyone remotely interested in good cinema. The film won 9 Academy Awards, and while recognition at the Oscars alone is not a stamp of greatness it is indicative of the impact the film had at the time.

Working closely with the author, Minghella has crafted a beautiful, intelligent story of love, betrayal, war, peace, national identity, land and borders (human and physical). The English Patient will endure as a classic, spoken of in the same breath with films such as Casablanca, Dr Zhivago, Lawrence of Arabia and so on.

One of my personal favourite touches in the film is the way in which the director uses various devices to link the shift from Italy to Egypt and back again. These devices are at first fairly obvious, audio or visual, but as the film progresses they become more thematic and abstract. Just a nice touch to keep you on your toes as the story moves from one location of time and place to another.

This DVD package is probably the best there is. The feature disc is superb and the special features include interviews with all the key people involved and a documentary on the making of the film.


Hard Times [DVD]
Hard Times [DVD]
Dvd ~ Charles Bronson

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Taking care of the in-betweens!, 12 Jan. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Hard Times [DVD] (DVD)
Got the DVD very soon after ordering and all was in order. Good price for under a fiver. The DVD itself has only the main feature and a trailer, and although I wasn't expecting anything major in the way of bonus material, it would have been nice to have something supplementing the film: a documentary about the Great Depression, for example.

As for the film itself, it's very good. The story and action are all handled well by Walter Hill and, of course, Bronson and Coburn are superb. The only point I would make is that the film misses the opportunity to make any sort of meaningful commentary on the Great Depression. We see aspects of how life was for some people but the scale of the poverty and hard times suffered by ordinary people isn't really emphasised. I just felt this could have added more intensity to context of the story.


Thunderbolt And Lightfoot [DVD] [1974]
Thunderbolt And Lightfoot [DVD] [1974]
Dvd ~ Clint Eastwood
Price: £4.99

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps a little too 'buddy-buddy'!!!, 21 Nov. 2006
Thunderbolt and Lightfoot is an excellent film and certainly a classic from Eastwood's acting career (the film was written and directed by Michael Cimino).

The basic story is a fairly standard crime, heist, road movie, and on the face of it, not bad at that. However, and I'm surprised nobody has commented on this in previous reviews, the quality of this movie as story-telling and film-making is in the less than subtle sub-text: they're all gay!

I'll leave it to you to discover the references to the sexuality of all four of the crooks but they are there for you to see. Taking this aspect of the story on board elevates the movie to another level of fascination and really exemplifies the qualities of the cast and direction.

One very important feature to observe is the handling of the different relationships of the two pairs of crooks: Thunderbolt and Lightfoot and Leary and Goody ('Goody' being a Puritan term for 'Wife').

This film is an interesting mix of genre and theme and some fine, if slightly over the top, performances. Michael Cimino has done very little better (see The Deer Hunter) and has certainly done a lot worse (don't see Heaven's Gate!).

The DVD itself is completely devoid of extras (I don't include the Theatrical trailer as an extra), however, the film alone is a gem.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 24, 2010 12:19 AM BST


The Proposition [DVD]
The Proposition [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ray Winstone
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £3.96

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Life is beautiful!" -The Proposition, 1 Nov. 2006
This review is from: The Proposition [DVD] (DVD)
The DVD

This is an excellent DVD package. On Disc 1 you get the superb main feature. On Disc 2 you'll find a raft of extras: loads of interviews and a Making of documentary that's almost as long (118 minutes) as the feature itself!

The Film

As for the film itself, the first point that must be made is that this is NOT a Western. Anyone who calls it a Western has no idea what they are talking about. A Western is a film about events taking place in the American West during the second half of the 19th Century, i.e. circa 1850-1900. There may be some variation on the date or location, e.g. drifting across the border into "Mehico", but what we're talking about is the good old Wild West.

The Proposition takes place in the Australian Outback in the late 19th Century. The parallels that exist with Westerns are fairly obvious (brutal landscapes, drifters on horses, indigenous population being mistreated by white settlers, gun-play, etc.) but that's where the similarities end. This is a morality tale concerning white settlers (British and Irish), indigenous aboriginals and local whites in Australia.

I thoroughly enjoyed this film for its beautiful photography, interesting characters, tense and foreboding story and brief history lesson on white settlement of the Australian Outback - not a subject one is overwhelmed with in films today.

The acting is outstanding from everyone in the film. Danny Huston (Arthur Burns) caught my eye in particular. Arthur, although a very violent and disturbing man, also comes across as intelligent, educated and not lacking a certain amount of integrity, at least where his `family' is concerned.

Guy Pearce puts in another fine, if limited, performance. For my money, Guy Pearce (L.A. Confidential, Memento), as one of Australia's leading actors, is building up a body of work that has, in my opinion, already surpassed that of Mel Gibson (Gallipoli was probably Mel's best effort) and will soon rival that of the great Russell Crowe (Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind, Master and Commander, The Insider, L.A. Confidential).

Other noteworthy performances come from the ever-excellent Ray Winstone, Emily Watson (the only female role in the film) and a very nice part for John Hurt.

Penned by Nick Cave (who, unsurprisingly provides the soundtrack), The Proposition is more than a violent tale of revenge and justice in an uncivilised and lawless land. It gets right into the heart of love, loyalty, beauty, colonialism, racism and so on.


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