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Graham Chapman (UK)

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Entourage: Complete HBO Season 7 [Blu-ray] [2011] [Region Free]
Entourage: Complete HBO Season 7 [Blu-ray] [2011] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Jeremy Piven
Offered by Champion Toys
Price: £10.99

28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nearing the End, 11 Feb. 2011
I've loved the Entourage shows and season 7 is still good, but running out of steam. Vince has an accident and starts to be a bit of a bad boy. Quite a good idea for a plot line as the character (and actor) were always a bit insipid during the earlier series runs. However, I'm not sure it works that well - he just comes across as bratty. Eric is growing up, together, at last, with Sloan (hooray!). The children, Turtle and Drama, are still doing the same old routines, but good fun. New character Scotty brings something to the party and there is the welcome return of Billy too. But really only Ari keeps this show going and I still think there would be mileage in an Ari spin-off.

Some pretty strong sex stuff in this series, including a really cringe-worthy episode of Ari having angry sex, and E and Sloan trying out ...well, you'll see for yourselves. It was embarrassing, or am I just getting old? Earlier series were less explicit, but sexier.

Anyway, I read a film is planned, but, surely, the show has come to the end of the line? It was great fun, though, on the whole - light, but very entertaining and Ari was always pure gold. Cheers, guys! Nice work one and all!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 21, 2011 10:59 PM BST

Price: £6.95

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Saw the Light, 29 Jan. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Anthology (Audio CD)
Have you seen the Columbo episode with Johnny Cash as the corrupt gospel singer? He sings a great song called 'I Saw the Light.' You can't get the Johnny Cash version, except on YouTube, but it is, naturally, a Hank Williams Song. Here is a huge Anthology of HW songs. Genius and lots of it. If you've ever been lonesome or had a hole in your bucket, Hank is the singer for you.

All together now:

'I saw the light / I saw the light / No more darkness / No more night'

Real Eyes
Real Eyes
Price: £13.31

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where Are We Going and What's The Future Showing?, 22 Jan. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Real Eyes (Audio CD)
Perhaps minor GSH songs, but still essential, the man will always be a legend in my mind.

Interesting re-worked version of Your Daddy Loves You, with a different arrangement / back melody. Gil's or the record company's attempt to make him more commercial?

Combinations - great vocal, well and truly miserable - straight track to depression - great hangover song.

Legend in his Own Mind - funky, quite funny, - personally don't think this kind of big sound helps GSH - the songs get lost in that kind of 70s OTT funk sound.

Not Needed - nice, sardonic lyric - 'they only call collect when you're not needed anymore'.

Train From Washington - political truth-telling - like the lyric, like the piano - not so sure on this brass sound production.

The Klan - a stand-out track - harmonica, rocks - everything comes together.

Actually, I haven't played this in a while, just listening to it again, as its out on cd, for the review, and, you know what, I like this album more than I remembered, even in spite of this attempt to give Gil a 'big' funk sound. Buy it, fellow Gil fans, if you haven't already.

A Fistful Of Dynamite (Special Edition) [DVD]
A Fistful Of Dynamite (Special Edition) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Rod Steiger
Offered by Click Buy Save
Price: £9.24

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adjust All the Maps, 12 Jan. 2011
'If I fall, they'll have to adjust all the maps.' (The Magician)

Consider how this film starts: the image of the ants in the tree stump in the hot sun, the waterfall of piss that disturbs them, the bare-footed, sweaty peasant, from whom the piss streams. One could write a film thesis just on the opening credits. However, let's not!

'Duck You Sucker' was Leone's masterpiece, an epic of politics and romance, comedy and tragedy. The interplay of low humour and intellectual dialectic, the personal and public issues arising from the characters, are Shakespearean. The drama and emotional thrust of the film as moving as Hemingway, certainly in novels like 'For Whom the Bell Tolls'. Leone should be bracketed with these cultural icons. His film-making was of the very highest quality.

The documentaries on the making of the film give wonderful insight into Leone's art and the art of film creation in general. This is a rare purchase where the extras are indispensable.

A few flaws - and, of course, real beauty could never be flawless: the soundtrack is very lyrical, but, to my taste, overdone. The Irish flashback scenes jar slightly, the soft-focus and over-romanticised setting undercut the power of the political and personal points made. The title lacks the gravitas the film deserves (Hemingway always chose titles that resonated). Nonetheless, one of the great films of any genre. Film poetry. It'll make you a revolutionary, in your heart, at least.

'But for the rich you sing.' (The Peasant)

Lunga Estate Calda (La)
Lunga Estate Calda (La)
Offered by Boemiurgo
Price: £10.86

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Might Even Live Forever, 1 Jan. 2011
This review is from: Lunga Estate Calda (La) (DVD)
The Long Hot Summer is a dreamy melodrama, with some of the atmosphere of a musical (without the songs), although it does have a lovely jazz score and the title track, by Jimmie Rodgers, is magical. The film is based on Faulkner stories and somewhat similar to Tennessee Williams in style, but it keeps to the sunny side in the end, with a light, summer touch. Tragedies flirted with, but neatly avoided.

The cinematography and dialogue are wonderful, but what makes it unmissable is Orson Welles playing a monstrous, if comic, father, intent on ensuring his daughters breed grandsons in order to extend his gene pool. Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward look beautiful and have great chemistry, but Orson carries the film, ending it with the assertion (or threat!) that since life is so good he 'might even live forever'.

Martin Ritt and Paul Newman also did 'Hud' together, one of the great American films, and although 'Long Hot Summer' isn't at that level, it's still a terrific film.

St Trinian's 2 - The Legend Of Fritton's Gold [DVD]
St Trinian's 2 - The Legend Of Fritton's Gold [DVD]
Dvd ~ David Tennant
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: £3.97

32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars School Pantomime, 31 Dec. 2010
What a lot of tosh!

The snobby criticism, not the film. Actually, St Trinians 2 is perfectly faithful to the spirit of the original St Trinians films. Those films were not masterpieces, they were typical examples of British humour, with silly plots and characters the public could relate to.

ST2 has a good script, it's funny, sassy and is basically a school pantomime on film. It is not crude or vulgar and I felt quite comfortable watching it with a 9 year old. I quite admire that the filmakers don't set out to oversexualize the girls. One of the themes of the film, in fact, is feminism and Ms Fritton's speech to the sisterhood before going into battle is a highlight. There was also a shocking revelation about Shakespeare, which has totally changed my view of the plays.

On the subject of Ms Fritton, Alastair Sim is often described as an acting genius, which he was, but Rupert Everett is surely as skilled and as lovable a comic actor. If I were a producer I'd be finding vehicles for this brilliant man. David Tennant and Colin Firth do good too.

The actors playing the St Trinian girls get the best bits, though, and have the most fun, dressing up as chavs (sorry, rude girls), geeks, emos and princesses. They do it well, they do it with style. Each tribe held its own, loyalty to the school and to the sisterhood coming first.

Great dialogue, daft plot, colourful costumes and popular music - pure panto. Makes ya proud to be British.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 13, 2012 7:38 PM GMT

Pretty, Pretty, Pretty Good : Larry David and the Making of Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm
Pretty, Pretty, Pretty Good : Larry David and the Making of Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm
by Josh Levine
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pretty, Pretty, Pretty Good, 21 Nov. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The series, certainly, but not this book. I took a flier on it, as a fan, like everyone, of the outstanding series. Unfortunately, it's basically a hack job, padded out with summaries of the episodes, no inside information as to the creation of the show or interesting analysis of the shows themselves. I have come across a couple of intelligent books on Seinfeld - such as the BFI one - but I am still waiting for a decent Curbs book. This is the second one I have now wasted money on!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 22, 2010 6:34 PM GMT

Hung Together: The 2010 Election and the Coalition Government
Hung Together: The 2010 Election and the Coalition Government
by Adam Boulton
Edition: Hardcover

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Huge Waste of Money, 19 Nov. 2010
I love a good political read, but this is a piece of egocentric tripe from Adam Boulton. There is undoubtedly a good story about the formation of the coalition government, but sadly this isn't is it. This is a mundane trudge through recent events with surprsingly little information and the story is spoilt by Boulton's huge ego. Right-wing, left-wing, neutral, I don't think this book will appeal to you. Save your money for a future account written by somebody who actually knows the story and doesn't spend large sections on his own dull media spats.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 24, 2013 9:30 AM BST

The Trip [DVD]
The Trip [DVD]
Dvd ~ Steve Coogan
Price: £4.88

60 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Trip - A Sentimental Journey, 9 Nov. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Trip [DVD] (DVD)
The product blurb here makes quite unjustified comparisons with Curb Your Enthusiasm. CYE has plots for a start. (Like Seinfeld.) And not just any old crap plots, but genius plots. The last Brit sitcom that had decent plots that I can remember was Fawlty Towers. The Trip is the anti-plot. It pretty much sticks two fingers up at plot. What The Trip does have is two very funny actors / comics, talking. These guys have funny bones, and to watch them sitting in a restaurant blathering away and doing impressions is a joy. The characters are likable, intelligent, suffering and absurd, as in Sterne. They come as a double-act, as comedians frequently do.

These shows are quite mesmeric. The minimalist style and direction and low key atmosphere are gripping. There is also a melancholy about the Trip that is touching; sentimental, in fact. I found it a very original programme, stylistically. Great to see TV comedy directed by someone of Michael Winterbottom's talent. Terrific series, thoroughly enjoyable.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 13, 2010 2:49 PM GMT

You Cannot Be Serious!: The 101 Most Infuriating Things in Sport
You Cannot Be Serious!: The 101 Most Infuriating Things in Sport
by Matthew Norman
Edition: Hardcover

21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Merry Christmas, 4 Nov. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Ok, I hate Christmas books like this. I hate books called a 100 or 101 anything. They are cheap, lazy, designed to rip off the punter. The title of this book is also crap. It sounds like a book from 30 years ago.

However, it is a book worth buying for two reasons:

One, Matthew Norman is an excellent journalist - one of small band who seem to cross the tabloid / broadsheet divide. Others would include journo's like Marina Hyde and,surprisingly perhaps, Piers Morgan, (but not, obviously, Julie Burchill, who is awful in every media).

Two, Matthew Norman is clearly obsessed with sport, even more than he is with food (and a full body photo of him will testify to his love of grub.)

And there you go, that's it - good writer, great enthusiasm, a rich subject matter, full of idiots and horrible people to belittle, all adds up to good reading material. Maybe the stupid title was the publisher's idea. It's Christmas, lets give Mr Norman the benefit of the doubt.

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