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Profile for Hank Norville Carter > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
Hank Norville Carter "Juno" (Yorkshire, UK)

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Dvd ~ George Blagden
Offered by Prime GB
Price: £34.71

3 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So Bad It's Actually Not Good., 16 July 2016
This review is from: Versailles (DVD)
Dear Lord!
After The Tudors and Borgia I didn't think history drama's could be made any worse.
I was wrong. So very, very wrong.
This is a dreadfully written, badly acted, paper thin pretext for formulaic softcore pornography.
Attractive people revealing hints of toned flesh, whilst making faces of sexual ecstasy.....
Unbelievably cliched, hackneyed, jaded and unoriginal to the point of boring.
The dialogue deserves singling out to show students exactly how speaking should NOT sound.
Stilted and utterly unbelievable.
The history is laughably unresearched - almost as if the whole historic angle
was simply an excuse to dress the actors in outrageous costumes?

I hated it and learned nothing about the history, the building or the subject.
Teenage titillation of the crass and shallow variety.
A future 'The Cleopatra's' to be looked back on with amused disgust.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 16, 2016 11:07 PM BST

Upstart Crow [DVD] [2016]
Upstart Crow [DVD] [2016]
Dvd ~ David Mitchell
Price: £10.00

3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Give It A Rest, Elton. [Pregnant pause] I've Had Funnier Bouts of Gastroenteritis. {Canned laughter]., 16 July 2016
This review is from: Upstart Crow [DVD] [2016] (DVD)
More of Ben Elton's usual standard.
He doesn't actually write anything funny, he just has his performers hesitate before they deliver a line (to warn us)
then delivery with over emphasis (to remind us).
Then the cackle of canned laughter (in case the other indicators were missed).
"Really? [pause] Like a cat balancing a Wallnut Whip on its tail?"

I used to laugh my arse off at Blackadder,
but I was a schoolkid,
now I find it so formulaic, stilted and amateur.

And now that Elton has abandoned any of the left wing views he used to claim
and utterly assimilated into the Jimmy Carr tax avoidance without embarrassment brigade....
I actively dislike him and feel a fool that I ever believed him sincere.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 3, 2016 2:53 PM BST

Westminster Bones: The Real Mystery of the Princes in the Tower
Westminster Bones: The Real Mystery of the Princes in the Tower
Price: £1.99

1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One Possibility of One Aspect of One Monarchs Usurpation.Twisted into yet another Ricardian Fantasy, painted as History, 18 May 2016
"What if the two skeletons were an elaborate hoax?"
The entire premise and reason for this book - which then attempts to expand into [yet another] whitewashing of the
1483 rise to power of King Richard III.

The Ricardian position seems to be turning more and more into a Conspiracy Theory type of exercise.
Take a tiny aspect of ambiguously understood or contended information and,
by taking out of context, contorting or making leaps of logic,
transform it into a major issue which vindicates whichever position you wish to.

Not to mention that the Skeletons are only seriously doubted as being the Princes
by confirmed Ricardians - who would walk across fire before abandoning their maligned hero,
and the handful of professional historians who have made a good living out of catering to them.

When the Queen passes on the Crown maybe the Palace will finally allow DNA tests
that will verify whether the two skeletons are Edward and Richard ?

I am prepared to take bets on the outcome.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 31, 2016 12:03 PM BST

The Bizarre Biography of John McCain: a historical fiction series bizarre biography #1: Volume 1 (Bizarre Biographies)
The Bizarre Biography of John McCain: a historical fiction series bizarre biography #1: Volume 1 (Bizarre Biographies)
by john sons
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.18

1.0 out of 5 stars Not Political Satire..... Juvenile Fratboy Type Innuendo and Stupidity., 18 May 2016
This book, despite describing itself as 'parody' or 'satire' is neither.
There's a long history of political satire and this book doesn't belong to any part of it.
It is little more than obvious, crude immaturity framed around a prominent figure in the hopes of catching some convenient publicity
or mistaken buyers.
It also demonstrates a new low in the quality of English that can be used and still be published.
The writer mixes up 'of' and 'our', 'there' and 'their'. He even spells Roberta McCain (John's Mother) as 'Robertta'.
And all that occurs on the first page, whilst the birth of John McCain is being retold in the style and genre of the teenage stoner -
Baby dropped on head.... Doctor cares only about litigation..... Nurses are stupid with big tits.......

That one page is enough for me.

The Danish Girl
The Danish Girl
Price: £9.99

1 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Imagine if there was colour called Super-Beige..... Then GO LARGE., 18 May 2016
This review is from: The Danish Girl (Amazon Video)
A really bland movie.
The makers waited until everyone on earth supports Trans people
then they made this highly uncontroversial movie
starring that Toff who played the genius spastic with the robotic voice.

They'll probably make another movie which criticizes arranged marriages
or condemns the little known Spanish underground sport of El Calfo Kickingo
where a baby cow is mercilessly kicked to death by a small crowd of drunk Spaniards.

My word. He just admitted that he dislikes paedofiles.....
How edgy and controversial...
Let's criticize the Catholic Church....
That will show them how cutting edge we are
How unafraid to take on the systems Sacred Cows.....

A Most Violent Year
A Most Violent Year
Price: £2.49

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a Bad Film (but could have attained so much more.....)., 16 May 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: A Most Violent Year (Amazon Video)
A Most Violent Year has a lot going for it.
Some really great and, at the time, in vogue actors.
Including the 'Up and Coming' Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, Elyes Gabel and David Oyelowo.
The 'Established' Jerry Adler and Peter Gerety.
And the 'Come back kid' Albert Brooks. Who, now he's back on my screen, I can't help but wonder why he ever left...?
Much like another Jewish actor of that generation, Mandy Patinkin. Both seemed to gradually fade out before returning in a blaze of glory, quite recently.
Other aspects that this film has going for it include the early '80's New York period piece, providing literally TONS of design features and wardrobe options. We seem to progress in a cyclical way and, the early '80's are MASSIVELY nostalgic, at the moment.

However, there are a few occasions where the hint of a promise to bigger and better things are anything but subtle.
The subtext concerning the (beautiful but fiery and unpredictable Anna Morales) wife's family connections to Mafia figures.
This never extends beyond the wife receiving a pistol....? Despite it being hinted at, fairly blatantly.
At the very least I expected a concerned Father or Brother to turn up, offering the kind of help that Abel Morales was desperate to avoid.
And the family split over the dynamic of 'which way now?'
A few strong hints about Mrs Morales being born into a Mobbed Up family
and this same genetic connection is forcing the ambitious DA to make assumptions of extreme and vicious criminality
over all the evidence which suggests that Senor Abel Morales (husband of the Prizzi's Honor style hereditary Mafia Princess)
is, in fact, clean, legit, Kosher.....
He even jogs on his mornings and loves his kids.

This is where they pushed the character of Abel Morales a little too far into the 'Good guy' cliches, for my liking.

Someone avoiding accepting Mafia help because he recognised how dangerous it could ultimately be,
when his wife's family inevitably lost control and new silent partners started to turn up for increasing percentages of the gross.
rather than because it was the wrong thing to do.. Now that would have been a more realistic justification for his actions.

I also thought the ending was too tidy.
Everything was answered and explained,
all put together nicely, and wrapped up with a big, red ribbon.

This was a good film that, maybe, should have been given FOUR stars....(?maybe?)
However, the fact that this film had so much potential, and so many of the raw ingredients necessary
towards creating a GREAT MOVIE.
One of the few movies that becomes remembered as LEGENDARY...?
A Most Violent Year had everything it needed to achieve a status up there with the GREATS.
American Gangster was another movie which settled for being a 'Good Movie'
when it should have been a GREAT MOVIE!

East Side - West Side: Organizing Crime in New York, 1930-50
East Side - West Side: Organizing Crime in New York, 1930-50
by Alan A. Block
Edition: Paperback
Price: £31.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Essential and Irreplaceable. One of the Few Studies of Organised Crime that EVERY Reader MUST have., 16 May 2016
An essential and irreplaceable volume for anyone with a desire to understand the Mob, more specifically the underlying fundamentals of organised crime.
It's not a novel. It's not even a narrative history. So it's only reasonable to expect a little dryness, here and there. However, it's not nearly as dry as some of the scholastic titles I've managed to claw my way through, in the past. (Despite hating to read anything which stops being a pleasure - no matter how much information and knowledge are being imparted unto me).
At times this book is entertaining. I always find the knowledge enjoyable. And Prof Block actually creates a little humour, a touch of amusement, even, by being a skilled enough composer of language to avoid the worst excesses of academic drudgery (where the brevity and flow of the narrative are sacrificed, in absolute, for the sure and certain meaning that comes with extremely obscure vocabulary.
Anyone who's used higher education text books knows the essence of what I mean.

Kill the Dutchman!: The Story of Dutch Schultz
Kill the Dutchman!: The Story of Dutch Schultz
Price: £4.74

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic., 7 May 2016
A classic of the true crime genre.
Despite being decades old this biography of Dutch Schultz is still the best.

Deal with the Devil: The FBI's Secret Thirty-Year Relationship with a Mafia Killer
Deal with the Devil: The FBI's Secret Thirty-Year Relationship with a Mafia Killer
by Peter Lance
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars MISSISSIPPI BURNING. Amazing Side Story from Scarpa's Life. Completely TRUE!, 3 May 2016
Remember the movie Mississippi Burning?
Specifically the part where the Black FBI guy (pretending to be a violent Black Panther type) has the local Mayor tied up and, as he plays with the straight razor he's holding, he tell a story about some Klan guys slicing off a young Black guys balls and letting him bleed to death....?
Not surprisingly the Mayor quickly reassesses his policy of silent non-cooperation and tells the big Black guy with the straight razor EVERYTHING.
In real life the FBI didn't use a Black agent, posing as a radical.
They did something far worse.
They had their long time informant - a serial killing, drug dealing, Mafioso and paid informant called Gregg Scarpa, tie up the towns Mayor and convince him to reveal his secrets.
This led to the FBI locating the corpses of the three young civil rights activists who had been murdered by local 'law enforcement'.
And to the arrest and conviction of several men involved in the crimes.
I can only imagine that this true version of events was left out of the movie because, like the man said:
"Fiction has to make sense, facts don't".
Plus it would make the Feds seem less heroic.
They may have been fighting KKK racist murderers but knowing that they did it by using a psychotic mobster - one who was allowed to escape punishment for hundreds of serious crimes because his informant status provided him protection from the Federal Government (much like Whitey Bulger) for decades of his criminal career.....that kind of thing could make Special Agents seem a touch less special.

Definition of Irony
Scarpa was too racist to accept a hospital blood transfusion because it may have come from a Black person,
so he had his White friends donate blood and used that. Sadly his friends had been injecting steroids (and probably smack, if we're being totally honest) and the pure White man blood used for his transfusion was infected with HIV.
Scarpa contracts HIV, which eventually leads to the full blown AIDS which killed him.
One can only imagine how a group as homophobic and judgemental as the ultra macho, mob connected types who made up Scarpa's usual social circle offered their desperately ill friend moral support and emotional comfort....?
Who would have believed that racism caused AIDS???

Another interesting Scarpa fact.....
Joe Valachi started 'revealing' La Cosa Nostra secrets in 1962.
It shocked and amazed in equal amounts.
The FBI, which had denied the existence of a national crime syndicate up to the 1957 Apalachin Conference demonstrated that a coast to coast organised criminal group certainly did exist, started to learn specific facts from informant Valachi..... Or so we were told.
It later came out that Gregg Scarpa had been enlightening the FBI about all aspects of the American Mafia for THREE YEARS before Valachi said word one!
And Scarpa was higher up and far more informed on higher level facts than the lowly street soldier Joe Valachi.

I'd recommend this book for anyone with an interest in the final phase of the Mafia's Golden Age
but not for those with a naive perception of LCN.
They weren't Robin Hood figures, fighting corrupt authorities and defending the poor and powerless Italian immigrants.
They were psychotic parasites, using intimidation and violence to enrich themselves at the expense of poor immigrants.
If you want more of the Men of Honour fantasy and pseudo-historical fabrications,
read Joe Bonanno's autobiography
or anything by William Balsamo.

The Americans Season 3
The Americans Season 3
Price: £19.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 4.75 Stars. Season 3 Equally Good as Seasons 1 & 2. No Sign of Quality Dropping. Can't Wait for Season 4, 3 May 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Massively underrated TV spy drama, with all the nostalgia of 80's music, fashion and Cold War Trickery.
A surprisingly sympathetic approach to the Soviets motives - with the Americans often being portrayed as equally unscrupulous
as the communists, working on behalf of the Evil Empire.
This was the time when the West armed various groups of Afghan savages, so they could capture young Soviet conscripts
and use the US supplied camcorders to record home videos as the Mujahadeen primitives tortured them to death.
They'd then make sure that other Soviet boys saw the painful and medieval ways in which their comrades were dispatched from life.
The Afghans, with expert advice from US, UK, Pakistani and Turkish Intelligence Agencies, also imported opium poppy's and narcotic production expertise and deliberately targeted the bored, homesick and frightened young Soviets with cheap heroin - much like the Vietnamese had done to the Americans and Australians. It was a success. Making many Soviets into addicts and creating a market for heroin from returning troops on the streets of Mother Russia and Ukraine for the first time ever.
The policies were so successful that the Soviets were forced from Afghanistan and the collapse of the entire USSR communist system occurred within a few years.
THEN the multinational groups of Jihadis, Saudi Sheiks, Moroccan playboys, Egyptian Industrialists using weapons supplied by the West or captured from the Soviets and retaining Afghanistan as a base (because we Westerners had funded the most secure bases and training camps - within running distance of a maze of deep and intricate natural cave systems, far enough below mountains of solid granite to be secure from even the most powerful of deep penetration bombs and labyrinthine enough to enable people to remain hidden within the systems of caves for years at a time) after defeating the Godless Communists - which many took as proof of Allah's support for their Holy War, lots of them decided that they had a duty to help return Palestine to the Palestinians, and that could only happen by forcing Israels greatest defender and financier, the USA, to rethink it's support for the Zionist crusaders defiling some of Islams most holy of places,
Not long after the Jihadis we'd trained and armed in Afghanistan turned on us, the Iraqi's we'd trained and armed to fight the Iranians, also turned the weapons we'd supplied them against us.

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