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N. Cooper "ethereal" (Western Australia)
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Jack Irish - Season 1
Jack Irish - Season 1
Offered by Atomic Movies
Price: £21.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pearce Perfect! This is the first new Jack Irish story ..., 1 Dec. 2016
This review is from: Jack Irish - Season 1 (DVD)
Pearce Perfect!
This is the first new Jack Irish story about the Melbourne lawyer turned private eye which, unlike the previous three TV films (each five star productions), has not been taken from a Peter Temple novel. I would love to say that Guy Pearce’s Jack Irish is suave and stylish but no, he fills the shoes (and cardigans) of the eponymous detective in Temple’s novels, perfectly. It would be hard to imagine any actor other than Pearce bringing Irish to life. It is amazing how the excellent Pearce, who has a perfect physique (which the viewer gets to see), can appear to be a physical shambles as he stumbles through back streets, looking more and more dishevelled as the story evolves, solving mysteries and falling in love with gorgeous women. Irish is like the best of detective characters, a moral, clever, flawed but lovable character with a great sense of the ridiculous and a quiet humour. In fact, it is a good idea to have the closed captions on so that none of the quiet mumbled remarks are missed. The cast of characters, many of whom were introduced in the previous films, are like old friends, like the three old Footy fans in the down at heel “Prince of Prussia” bar. This six episode series has complex plots which are connected and solved in the final episode. The Australian cast is superb, with Marta Dusseldorp, Aaron Pederson, Claudia Karvan, Roy Billing and Shane Jacobson to name just a few. Great music accompanies the story throughout and the writers and producers have excelled. This is the best ABC series in a long time.


Trapped [DVD]
Trapped [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ólafur Darri Ólafsson
Price: £12.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No Escape!, 1 Nov. 2016
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This review is from: Trapped [DVD] (DVD)
The title of this superb Nordic Noir drama describes very well the desperation of all of those involved in this story. A ferry arrives in a remote Icelandic harbour and a dismembered body floats into the harbour at the same time. Within hours a fierce Icelandic storm arrives, trapping all the town inhabitants and those on the ferry and of course among them is the unknown murderer. The team of three detectives are stranded alone as the Reykjavík experts cannot get through. The drama develops not only around the people on the ferry but also the relationships of the police with their families, the locals and the Reykjavík police. The suspense is maintained right until the climax. As with all Nordic dramas, the development of character is crucial and this is the case with the three detectives.The Icelandic scenery and extreme weather is captured not only by the excellent cinematography but also in the title sequence.


Retrograde Planet
Retrograde Planet
by David G Gibson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.54

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast-paced Fun and Murder in Scotland, 8 Jun. 2015
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This review is from: Retrograde Planet (Paperback)
This is not so much part of the “whodunnit” genre but more of a who, where and what dunnit. There is a cavalcade of characters ranging from “normal” to quirky to downright weird, who travel around Glasgow and then the Orkney Isles in the far north of Scotland, wreaking mayhem as they go. What begins as a straight forward murder reported by Angus Buerk evolves into a web of murder and intrigue with comic and often farcical interludes. Gibson keeps the action moving with humorous dialogue between proponents and delicious descriptions of the beautiful Orkney setting. This is not the usual dark, grim Scottish murder story, but more of a fun trip around dark happenings.


The Scrovegni Chapel in Padua
The Scrovegni Chapel in Padua
by Anna Maria Spiazzi
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent guide to a beautiful Chapel, 21 May 2015
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This is a perfect guide (55 pages) from Electa Art Guides (1993) to the Scrovegni Chapel, Padua, with a good historical introduction, photos of the interior of the chapel followed by 39 images of the Cycle of Paintings and then a further 14 of the Virtues and Vices and each one is described. Finally, the Vault, the Figured Frames and Crucifix are illustrated and described before the description of Apse and Sacristy and the restoration of the chapel. There are 2 pages of Bibliography. This is an excellent guide to the Chapel, with a perfect English translation. There is no tourist information for visiting the chapel. After reading this guide, I would be happy to visit Padua for this beautiful chapel alone.


Ever, Dirk: The Bogarde Letters
Ever, Dirk: The Bogarde Letters
by John Coldstream
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NOT an ordinary man, 19 May 2015
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How do you assess the number of stars to give an anthology of letters? If it is by the emotional effect they have on you and by the feeling of getting to know the writer, then this anthology is excellent. The editor is obviously constrained by the availability of letters, so this limits the period and breadth of them. Before reading them, I advise reading Bogarde’s autobiographies and his authorised biography by John Coldstream, (who edits this anthology), and get to know Bogarde’s life events which will clarify his letters to some extent, though there are footnotes etc to help with the more obscure entries. Sadly, I ‘discovered’ Bogarde, long after his death in 1999, by reading his autobiographies and finding his writing evocative and at times lyrical. I had the impression of a man dedicated to his professions of acting and writing, who was loving to his friends but rather melancholy. However, reading his letters brought the man to life for me, they are full of love, affection, enthusiasm, even 'joie de vivre', at times self deprecating perhaps searching for approbation and often there are the foibles of personality which we all have. His books are beautifully written but the letters, unedited, are full of bizarre spelling and punctuation and obviously written as though in conversation. As he writes on p421 “I am me. Wide out in the open”. The letters make you feel you are in conversation with him. They are so immediate that after the last short printed postcard, Coldstream writes “His ashes were scattered at his beloved Clermont”, and it is impossible not to feel the loss of a talented, loving, close friend.


Murray Whelan - Brush Off & Stiff [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Murray Whelan - Brush Off & Stiff [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Australian Movies, 21 Aug. 2014
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These two Australian movies are based on the excellent Shane Maloney novels, "Brush Off" and "Stiff". They star David Wenham as the accident prone, charming and laid back Murray Whelan, an assistant to a Melbourne Labor politician who in the second film becomes a Minister in the Sate Parliament. Murray becomes an ad hoc detective in pursuit of information in "Brush Off" about a union member's death and then in "Stiff" about the death of an artist. David Wenham is perfectly cast as he shambles through disastrous and very funny situations, in a shabby suit and always holding a plastic carrier bag, with an air of innocent incredulity at the events and behaviour of those he encounters along the way. Wenham only has to raise his eyebrows to evoke the humour of the situation as in the scene in the lift at the ballet company. He is very ably assisted by a wonderful Australian cast and in "Brush Off" there are cameo appearances by several Labor politicians of the time. These films are a delight and will introduce non-Australians to the lifestyle in Melbourne, the varied immigrant population there and to the great, laconic Aussie sense of humour.


Divine Designs [DVD]
Divine Designs [DVD]
Dvd ~ Paul Binski
Price: £12.96

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A splendid journey through time, architecture and religion, 6 May 2014
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This review is from: Divine Designs [DVD] (DVD)
This series is a wonderful introduction to the art and architecture of churches and finally mosques and temples in the UK. Paul Binski takes us on an entertaining and informed journey of churches and cathedrals starting with Norman churches through Gothic, Romanesque, Baroque, Arts & Crafts and more, explaining the art, architecture and changes in religion through time. Binski points out important architectural differences but also beautiful or quirky elements in the buildings. After the first few episodes, he leaves behind the well known, major cathedrals and visits interesting churches from all over, often telling the tale of the architect, the patron, religious schisms or the local history.The final episodes visit a modern mosque and temples and this completes the story of religious building in the UK . I write 'the UK', but only one church outside of England is shown, Alexander "Greek" Thomson's spectacular St Vincent St church in Glasgow. Binski has an engaging manner and the viewer feels he is in coversation with Binski rather than being lectured to.There are many interviews with people who are closely connected with the churches, mosque and temples which remind the viewer of the raison d'etre for the buildings' existence. The music throughout is a lovely accompaniment to the glorious visions. A map of the location of the buildings at the beginning of the episodes would have helped especially for non-UK residents. As there are thousands of wonderful churches around the UK, with individual and local variations in the architecture. a further series would be welcome.


The Politician's Husband [DVD]
The Politician's Husband [DVD]
Dvd ~ David Tennant
Price: £8.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful and satisfying drama, 21 Mar. 2014
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Having enjoyed David Tennant's performance in the "Spies of Warsaw", I ordered "The Politician's Husband". In the first episode of the 3 part series, the scene is set of a very happy, powerful and successful couple moving forward to the next stage in their careers in parliament where they are MPs. The plan to usurp the prime minister's position by the husband, Aiden Hoynes (David Tennant) with help from his long term friend and godfather to his children, Bruce Babbish (Ed Stoppard) is shockingly destroyed by Bruce in an 'et tu Brute' moment. The resultant collapse of Aiden's career and position then almost destroys his happy marriage to Freya (Emily Watson), as Aiden tries to use Freya for his own political ends. This is a gripping drama that follows the complex lives and emotions of the characters with loss of love and trust gradually undermining all the family relationships. The final scene is one of simultaneous success and failure. There are many Shakesperean undertones of love, lust, jealousy, betrayal and vaulting ambition. Paula Milne’s excellent screenplay and each of the actor’s perfect portrayals makes this riveting and satisfying viewing.


A History of Ancient Britain - Series 1 [DVD]
A History of Ancient Britain - Series 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Neil Oliver
Price: £8.30

49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Neil Oliver's Ancient Britain, 21 Mar. 2011
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In four episodes, Neil Oliver summarises thousands of years of human colonisation of Britain and takes us on a sweeping geological and archaeological journey. With excellent computer animations, visits to spectacular sites, fabulous vistas, original artefacts and interviews with specialists, Oliver entertains and informs. He maintains interest and momentum even though there is so little known about this period of history with no identified individuals, no known events or dates, and the lives and beliefs of the people having been extrapolated from a limited number of artefacts and sites.
As well as the fabulous sites such as Carnac, New Grange and Stonehenge (to name just some of the the best known), Oliver himself is a star of the series, with his full screen facial close ups to add gravitas to his words; his wry humour and his trademark flicking behind his ears of his shoulder length hair. However, his excitement and obvious interest in the people, places and objects is infectious and at times moving.
There were a few worrying moments when Oliver joined "new agers" for the summer solstice at Stonehenge but almost immediately he took this event to a more serious level. Apart from some exaggeration e.g. "this was the greatest natural disaster the earth has ever known", referring to a 10 metre tsunami off the east coast of Scotland, Oliver generally maintains a serious historical narrative.
This is an entertaining and informative series.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 26, 2015 11:44 AM BST


Agatha Christie's Poirot: Murder on Orient Express [Blu-ray] [Region A] [US Import]
Agatha Christie's Poirot: Murder on Orient Express [Blu-ray] [Region A] [US Import]
Price: £12.23

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A dark modern Orient Express, 5 Mar. 2011
Knowing both the original Agatha Christie book and the 1970s movie so well, I can understand the dismay of some reviewers who find that a well known and well loved friend has grown and changed so much. But perhaps Poirot has not changed so dramatically in "Orient Express". In "Appointment with death" there were many intimations of Poirot's intense religious life, (contrary to the character conceived by Christie who was certainly not religious). We have known Poirot for so long that we feel surprised and shocked to learn that he, who has always been morally upright, is now also seen to be seriously devoted to his God. This new development of character makes Poirot more human, as in his later years he is looking for spiritual guidance in his cases as well as to his famous little grey cells.
The extra scenes in the film at the beginning, with the accused soldier's suicide and of the stoning of the woman in the streets of Istanbul, set the dark atmosphere immediately so you know not to expect the lighthearted and humourus shenanigans and conversations of the 1970's film. They definitely belong to two different genre.
The excellent, disturbung, repetitive and almost discordant music adds an element of both frantic movement of the train but also unstoppable movement of events leading to a climax.
All the actors are, as ever in a Poirot production, excellent. David Suchet plays his winsome, annoying, arrogant but lovable personna to perfection, and the final scene when he is wracked with guilt and probably for the first time, shame, is heartbreaking.
For Poirot afficionados, a shocking but superbe coming of age!I have given 4 stars, not as a reflection of the quality of the production, but because it may differ from some Poirot fan's expectations
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 15, 2011 9:32 PM GMT


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