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K. Edwards "katie_hobbit_9" (Isle of Wight)

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Doctor Who - Complete Specials (The Next Doctor/ Planet of the Dead/ Waters of Mars & Winter Specials) [DVD]
Doctor Who - Complete Specials (The Next Doctor/ Planet of the Dead/ Waters of Mars & Winter Specials) [DVD]
Dvd ~ David Tennant

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Faultless acting but let down by the plots., 27 Aug. 2010
It is always a pleasure to watch David Tennant as the Doctor, but there is a part of me that wishes for the sake of the story that the Doctor had regenerated after the cliffhanger in episode 12 of series 4. The four stories in this DVD collection are good enough, but there seems to be something missing in the overall story thread of this mini-series, as if the tenth Doctor's story was being stretched out longer than it should have been. Possibly also, due to his solitary travels, I felt a little distanced from the events and even the Doctor due to the lack of a companion who serves as a viewpoint character. However, the Christmas special, "The Next Doctor" offers us the possibility of meeting a FUTURE Doctor (rather than the past as has been in previous multi-doctor stories.) Though the story actually takes a different turn, it is a very human and compassionate tale that is told. "The Planet of the Dead" is average, with a rather 2-dimensional sidekick, but contains the chilling hints of the Doctor's death: "He will knock four times." "The Waters on Mars" stands out, as a rather terrifying look at when the Doctor is powerless to help... and even more terrifying when you see the darker consequences of the Doctor being the last remaining Time Lord, and the one who decides what the laws of time are. The series finale reintroduces John Simm as an even more psychotic Master than before, and the emotion is cranked right up thanks to Donna's grandfather Wilfred (Bernard Cribbins) in his promoted role as companion. The Doctor is troubled as never before by the prospect of his "death" - perhaps it's the knowing it must come and just having to wait, perhaps it's just his character in this incarnation, but we learn that regeneration is a frightening prospect. The plot involving the return of the Time Lords, seemingly all destroyed in the Time War, is full of potential but ultimately anticlimactic, despite the best efforts of all the cast. The real blow, though, is when the meaning of the prophecy is revealed as being something quite simple and mundane, and devastating.

Oliver Twist (BBC) [2007] [DVD]
Oliver Twist (BBC) [2007] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Timothy Spall
Price: £4.00

23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable enough, but it's far from Dickens, 20 Aug. 2008
It always makes my heart sink when I watch the "behind the scenes" documentaries of TV adaptations of books, and the focus is on how they've changed things, tried to make it "relevant to the modern age" and, by implication, improved upon the original. This is an enjoyable story, but it isn't "Oliver Twist." Now, I'm not a purist. I've just finished acting in a local version of the musical, Oliver! which also strays far from Dickens' original. But this one just isn't quite right. The characters keep the same names, but are not the same people. My particular gripe is with the way the Artful Dodger is portrayed. Dodger is a boy who thinks he's a man, cynical, arrogant and a joy to read about or watch. Yet here, he is yet another sulky, stroppy teenager. Oliver, on the other hand, the writers have decided to make less wimpy than he usually comes across. No harm in that - yet is there no other way than to have him answering back the whole time? The story itself is fine, for there at least the writers have kept close to the original. But at times the characters are barely recognisable.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 5, 2014 6:58 PM BST

Robin Hood - Series 1 - Volume 1: Episodes 1-5 [DVD] [2006]
Robin Hood - Series 1 - Volume 1: Episodes 1-5 [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ Jonas Armstrong
Offered by Qoolist
Price: £0.87

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good fun, 31 Dec. 2006
All right, there is no way that this series can be taken seriously, but it is enjoyable enough to allow me to suspend my disbelief. The cheese factor is bearable, though I could not believe the cheek of some of the lines: "I am your father;" "I shot the sheriff..." "No, you shot the deputy" to name just a couple. Minghella et al have plagiarised shamelessly, but in a tongue-in-cheek way. However, it is left to the supporting characters to give the programme the charisma it needs: what is with Robin Hood being reincarnated as an emo pacifist? Sam Troughton as Much is adorable and grows as a character through the series. Keith Allen hams it up as the Sheriff of Nottingham, and let's not forget Richard Armitage as the brooding villain with a bit of a heart. Marion is gorgeous and manages to avoid the stereotypes that are a danger for females in adventure stories: she is neither a doormat who spends her time working on her embroidery, nor a man's character in a dress, but a strong, feminine woman trapped in a seemingly impossible situation.

I look forward to series two, but I hope for some more bow action and less sulking from Robin next time around.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (with free artcards, exclusive to Amazon.co.uk)  [DVD] [2006]
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (with free artcards, exclusive to Amazon.co.uk) [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ Johnny Depp

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not up to the standard of the original, but what could be?, 31 Dec. 2006
After the swashbuckling, non-stop adventure that was The Curse of the Black Pearl, I couldn't help feeling just a little let down by its sequel. Not that it was a bad film; it was a very GOOD film, compared with many. But compared with the original, it seemed a little padded and a little forced.

Why do all fantasy stories have to be a trilogy? That's the question that haunts me over and over. Pirates of the Caribbean fits into the formula of having a first movie that is complete in its own right, while part two ends on a cliffhanger. We see it in Back to the Future and Star Wars, just to mention the first two that come to my mind. But sometimes it doesn't need to be stretched. It is impossible to judge this story accurately without knowing how it is to end, but the cannibal island scene, which takes up a large amount of screen time, though funny seems no more than padding. The repetition of gags ensures that the humour lacks the spontenaity of the original. "Why is the rum gone?" worked, thanks to its sheer absurdity, as a one off. "Why is the rum always gone?" stretches this.

The romantic tension between Elizabeth and Jack also seemed to be a case of pandering to the fangirls desire for at a price of the story's integrity. Elizabeth is starting to earn herself a reputation that if not quelled will cause the audience to lose sympathy with her (apart, of course, from the aforementioned fangirls.)

Having said that, Where Dead Man's Chest overcomes its flaws, it excels. Despite its padding, I did not get bored and went back to the cinema several time. The final half-hour had me sitting on the edge of my seat, and I was frequently in giggles. The three-way sword fight is an amazing piece of filming. Jack Sparrow's last battle with the Kraken and its aftermath left me in a state of shock. Let's see him get out of this sticky situation in part three!

The Battle of Evernight (The Bitterbynde Trilogy)
The Battle of Evernight (The Bitterbynde Trilogy)
by Cecilia Dart-Thornton
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Doesn’t live up to its prequels but has its moments., 6 Mar. 2006
The Battle of Evernight takes its time to start moving. The first few chapters, while entertaining, do little to advance the plot, and can be slow. Perhaps because by now you’ve read two books of colourful description, the eyes skim over the pages while taking in less and missing little. When Dart-Thornton gets into the action, however, she picks up the pace and hits you in the face with yet more surprises and twists. But just as you think a nice, tidy, but clichéd happily-ever-after is on the cards, the protagonist (now called by her real name, Ashalind)’s fortunes change and suddenly in the final chapter the story comes full circle. After that, the story ends too quickly and somewhat frustratingly, leaving old ends untied, and untying new ones. Dart-Thornton gives two versions of what happens next in the epilogue, though it is pretty clear that the “fanciful twist” is the “true” story – it just has to be. It is a strange, not altogether satisfactory ending, but certainly a memorable finale to a magical trilogy.

The Lady of the Sorrows (The Bitterbynde Trilogy)
The Lady of the Sorrows (The Bitterbynde Trilogy)
by Cecilia Dart-Thornton
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking, 4 Jan. 2006
Like its predecessor "The Ill-Made Mute," the second installment of Cecilia Dart-Thornton's trilogy is from another world. If you've struggled through the first book, you'll be used to her somewhat wordy language use by now, and the storytelling is as gripping as ever. The chapters are long, but the book keeps you hanging on, wondering what is to happen next. The myths that are woven into the narrative, whether as part of the protagonist's own experiences, or told by others, create an utterly alien but beautiful world. However, the story has its disappointments. The character's name changes nearly as often as some people change their socks, and it is the name that is needed to identify them. Perhaps because I read the prequel two or three times before picking up "The Lady of the Sorrows," but I found it difficult to get used to the person I knew as Imrhien by other names. Perhaps because I could identify with Imrhien the shy, disfigured outsider, I felt it difficult to empathise with her rebirth as Lady Rohain Tarrenys, not just acceptable to the eyes, but stunningly beautiful.(Why can't we have an ordinary-looking Plain-Jane heroine?) The portrayal of court life made me cringe in empathy, however, as the courtiers were reminiscent of the popular (and evil) kids at high school. "The Lady of the Sorrows", while patchy in places, is dramatic, romantic and alive.

The Ill-Made Mute (The Bitterbynde Trilogy)
The Ill-Made Mute (The Bitterbynde Trilogy)
by Cecilia Dart-Thornton
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dart-Thornton opens a window into another world, 4 Jan. 2006
I have to admit, the first time I picked up this book, I didn't finish it. Dart-Thornton's writing could be called over-descriptive and long-winded, if you are not in the frame of mind to appreciate it. However, on the second reading it became clear that she is an extremely intelligent writer, and though there are a lot of words to plough through, the rewards are well worth it. Her use of rich detail brings her world to life, when you read it in a receptive frame of mind. "The Ill-Made Mute" is no straightforward, bog-standard fairy tale or fantasy novel, instead it gives a tantalising glimpse into the Perilous Realm of the Fair Folk. It is not an easy read, but once drawn into the world, like the world of the Faeran, you won't want to leave. Comparisons with Tolkien are inaccurate, however, as this is one of the few really good fantasy writers with a mind and a style of their own.

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