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Fanny Biro (London, UK)

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Jerry Sadowitz - Live In Concert - The Total Abuse Show [1988] [VHS]
Jerry Sadowitz - Live In Concert - The Total Abuse Show [1988] [VHS]

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Master in action..., 14 Jun. 2010
This is one of my favourite videos, comedian-wise. I saw him live several times in the 1980's/90's, and he was in a league of his own - swearing non-stop, but with obviously heart-felt anger and disbelief in the stupidity of life and its trappings, whether it be London Transport or readers letters in Scottish newspapers, making one laugh out loud, and then interspersed with excellent and made-to-look-too-easy magic and prestidigitation, of which he is one of the greats. No matter how angry he got, he rarely alienated his audience..

But seeing him live recently, I fear he is now going into the darker realms of sex and violence in his act, and the laughs are less frequent, which is made creepier by the fact he is getting older - and I worry that he is being eaten from within by acid which is not being relieved by comedy any more..

I prefer to remember him as he was, and this video is a classic, which I still watch every now and then... Buy this now...
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 27, 2012 4:56 AM BST

Gladiator (3 Disc Extended Special Edition) [DVD]
Gladiator (3 Disc Extended Special Edition) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Russell Crowe
Offered by wantitcheaper
Price: £9.98

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent bonus discs !, 17 Feb. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you love this film, you will be overwhelmed with information on every aspect of the 'making of', interviews, artistic background details, you name it (with the exception, unless I have missed it), the musical score, which I loved. The bonus discs last well over a couple of hours, so for the enthusiast you couldn't wish for more...

I love the interview with Ridley Scott, when he peevishly comments that surely if a film wins an oscar for Best Film, the Director should get one? (which he didn't) - I have to agree... And for anyone wondering how you direct a mega film in multi country settings, and keep your sanity, he'll tell you how...

Love this set!

It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World [DVD] [1963]
It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World [DVD] [1963]
Dvd ~ Spencer Tracy
Offered by MusicnMedia
Price: £4.39

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Big Screen Bonanza !, 17 Dec. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I also saw this in a big cinema 40 years ago, when cinemas were one screen only and holding a couple of thousand people all told - the atmosphere of communal enjoyment was electric.

This underated film directed by Stanley Kramer (and what a job that must have been, handling what are some of the biggest and most ego-driven actors going) is a must for comedy fans.

Featuring some of the 20th century's biggest stars, and to a person, acting their socks off and giving 110% all the time, is wonderful. The car stunts, and skills of the stuntpeople generally, as another reviewer notes, are breathtaking, given that no CGI existed. Yes, it can be over-long in parts, but you are swept along with all the characters to the mayhem of the last scenes.

For some years you couldn't even get this on video, so I was thrilled to buy the DVD recently.

Stage Whispers: Douglas Wilmer, the Memoirs
Stage Whispers: Douglas Wilmer, the Memoirs
by Douglas Wilmer
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a real page turner......, 11 Aug. 2009
Having been a long-time fan of Douglas Wilmer, since his Sherlock days, I couldn't wait to get going on his biog - it certainly doesn't disapoint. As the previous previewer says, it is up-front-honest about himself and his ups and downs, (not often found in auto-biogs) and a front-row seat in the Hollywood film world and a great-view seat in British theatre. He has always had a 'stillness' and solid charisma in his appearances, making his roles, especially in the epics, such as Fall of the 'Roman Empire','El Cid', into watchable mini-cameos, and he was in the now classic "Jason and the Argonauts". He would have been a very welcome addition in "Gladiator" for example...

He was there when the Elizabeth Taylor/Richard Burton relationship gathered pace during the filming of "Cleopatra", and acting as an ear to Burtons' outpourings. He has acted and relaxed with so many of the 'biggies' of the acting/directing world, and re-acted against many of the 'difficult' directors and lesser-talented of the film world, giving them the no-doubt-unwelcome benefit of his long experience, that I found myself trying to ration myself reading it, so I could make it last!

And with the recent climate of complaints by the public and media of the BBC regarding the quality of programming, it was unsettling to read of the great problems he encountered with BBC programme makers in the 1960's during the making of the Sherlock Holmes series, where he ended up re-writing much of the scripts himself, to try and raise the quality-bar. He has always strived for the best he could get, which comes over in the book.

I found it refreshing that he felt he could be quite up-front in his comments some of the big names, but as he implies, he was fed-up with being asked for input into others biogs, he felt he should write his own - and despite the various strangely italicised words and a couple of mis-spellings here and there, its worth every penny if you are a fan.

Charlie Chaplin: The Circus [DVD]
Charlie Chaplin: The Circus [DVD]
Dvd ~ Merna Kennedy
Price: £6.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What a discovery....., 28 July 2009
I stumbled across this film quite by accident - and am so glad I did.

I was sitting in a pub in June, watching the big screen showing Wimbledon Tennis - for some bizarre reason, there was a second screen on another wall, showing "The Circus". As it progressed, I gradually found myself forgetting the tennis altogether, and being completely absorbed in this simple, but elemental laugh-before-you-can-think subtle film. In particular, where he accidentally reveals a magicians trick, and causes chaos, by releasing, doves, rabbits and other assorted paraphanalia, to the hilarity of the circus audience. I laughed so much, I ended up spilling my drink and distracting the other customers.

I vowed to buy it as soon as I could, not understanding how I had missed it before, despite being a Chaplin fan. If you read Chaplin's autobiography, he makes no mention of the film at all - despite it winning an Academy Award. It was made at a stressful time in his life regarding relationships, and the disaster of the set burning down during the making of it - Probably just wanted to 'erase' the period from his memory..

Worth buying if you are a fan..

The Forsyte Saga: The Complete Series [DVD] [1967]
The Forsyte Saga: The Complete Series [DVD] [1967]
Dvd ~ Eric Porter
Offered by A2Z Entertains
Price: £42.90

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never to be bettered....., 16 July 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Its no wonder the nation were gripped when this first burst onto the tv screens - churches emptied and pubs complained no-one went whilst it was on...and over a total of 26 weeks, it was a soap-opera par excellence. With immaculate casting of believable characters, it was never less than a must-see week in week out. Copies of the books flew off the shelves in Smiths, and the newspapers discussed each episode, such as the rape of Irene, with great relish...

It shows, only too obviously, the value of actors trained in rep, rather than just tv, that they are heavyweight and three dimensional, and you really do care 'what happens next'. Eric Porter especially, playing Soames with a sympathetic edge, managed to 'age' from being a youngish Soames at the beginning to the old Soames, dying in his '80's, entirely convincingly, and was in every episode. And the redoubtable Margaret Tysack, playing Winifred, still gathering awards as we speak, in the theatre, shows her wonderful diction off to a tee...

The sets, being 1960's BBC, do appear rather shaky at times, with the occasional wobbling wall, and boom mike shadows on actors faces, a product, no doubt of financial constraints of the time. Being filmed in black and white, it fits the whole Victorian atmosphere.

A big bonus of the box-set is the extras - fascinating interviews with the main actors at the time of filming the last episodes, documentarys made at the time, out-takes, and filmed vox-pops - asking the man and woman in the street whether they were a 'Soames suporter' or an 'Irene supporter' ! Having had the video set for years, I noticed that on he DVD version, episodes are edited to cut in different scenes....

However, as one of the servants to the Forsytes might have said, "Its worth every flippin' penny, Maam" !
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 6, 2016 3:35 AM BST

Noises Off! [DVD] [1992]
Noises Off! [DVD] [1992]
Dvd ~ Michael Caine
Price: £4.00

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Noises Off" DVD, 8 Jun. 2009
This review is from: Noises Off! [DVD] [1992] (DVD)
Having seen various stage versions of this farce over the years, including the original West End run, the film makes you realise why it should remain a play - its the 'being there' factor of live theatre that gives it immediacy and magic. Some action also takes place in the auditorium, brushing by the audience itself, so you can really feel the panic and desperation of the characters on stage as they strive to deal with mounting chaos, struggling to maintain face and professionalism, despite ludicrous interuptions to their efforts. The script is sublime, and so finely constructed, (and technically breathtaking), that the play is still going strong in provincial theatres all over the UK today.

If I hadn't seen the stage version, the film may have had more impact, but I felt dissapointed. Obviously, you cannot replicate that theatre experience, despite the excellent cast, Michael Caine and Christopher Reeve, but I was willing to see it. I can't see myself watching it again, so I would say 3 stars out of 5.

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