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Profile for Mr. M. M. Waller > Reviews

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Mr. M. M. Waller (England)

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Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy : Complete BBC Series [DVD] [1979]
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy : Complete BBC Series [DVD] [1979]
Dvd ~ Alec Guinness
Price: £4.72

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The name's Smiley ... George Smiley ...", 12 Feb. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
In an age where most audiences seem to care more about the muscles our super spies can flex in combat, how delightfully refreshing it is to see a more cerebral protagonist in the guise of George Smiley, without doubt Sir Alec Guinness's greatest ever performance. For tension building atmosphere and nerve shredding drama, you won't find anything finer. James Bond should hand over his "licence to kill" and sit himself down with a fine port and some stilton and watch how a real spy should conduct himself. This really seperates the men from the boys. Bourne, Bond would wet their pants if they had to come up against the evil forces that lurk within "the circus". The other thing about this great show is the pacing. It feels as if it's almost in "real" time. It is this slow moving pace which allows us to really involve ourselves in Le Carre's most perfect plot. All I can say is, that this is a real "keeper". Watching TTSP has now become a "once a year" ritual. Now go get some "Dow's Midnight" and some "Blue Cheese!!!"

Barry Lyndon [1975] [DVD]
Barry Lyndon [1975] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ryan O'Neal
Offered by ReNew Entertainment
Price: £19.53

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Barry Lydon !!!, 12 Feb. 2009
This review is from: Barry Lyndon [1975] [DVD] (DVD)
This has to be without doubt the most beautiful film ever made. They say a thing of beauty is a joy forever and such it is with Barry Lyndon, Kubrick's most perfect visual masterpiece. It's hard to describe the sheer joy of watching painterly image after painterly image unfold before your very eyes as you chart Ryan O'Neil's journey from rural Ireland to the turrets of Europe's finest castles. It is timeless and Kubrick allows us an almost tangible relationship with the entire era in which the story is set. You almost feel as if you can taste the air in every scene. It is the cinematic equivilent of a great long walk. It's truly invigorating and exceptional, poetic and dramatic. This is the stuff pedestals were made for ... Watch and immerse yourself in the great world of Kubrick's Barry Lyndon.

Shakespeare In Love [DVD] [1999]
Shakespeare In Love [DVD] [1999]
Dvd ~ Gwyneth Paltrow
Offered by HarriBella.UK.Ltd
Price: £3.18

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "For she shall be my heroine ... for all time., 12 Feb. 2009
This is my favourite film for many reasons. Firstly, it reminds us that creative genius is not just about some hallowed deity who must always be detached from the human experience. He/she must live, love, feel pain and loss just like the rest of us, just as every artist must borrow, steal and hustle to find his inspiration in this world. Stoppard's Shakespeare is a universal manifestation of the creative spirit. The genius of this film is to make the humanisation of a man we know so very little about into a living, breathing, multi dimensional creation. This Shakespeare is one of us and as he struggles with his latest play, "Romeo and Ethel the Pirate's daughter," we see him take some constructive criticism from a smug Marlowe in a seedy tavern and complain about the collapse of his "proud tower" to a back street psychiatrist played by Anthony Cher ... Christ, he almost sounds like me. And in the end, which is the real cherry on top of this already magnificent cake ... Stoppard shows us the transformative power of love as an idea that can live forever ... When Shakespeare turns his pain of losing Gywneth into art, we're close to the same idea Wagner had when he wrote Tristan and Isolde, an opera born out of the torment of Wagner himself loving a married woman he could not be with. Instead, Wagner consummated their love through his art and fashioned a masterpiece from it. And so, from one masterpiece to another, Shakespeare in Love is another transformative experience. What starts out as a bawdy knockabout comedy turns into a poetic treatise on the transcendent idea of love and art. Not bad for a british film.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 7, 2013 2:05 PM GMT

Kiss Me, Stupid [DVD]
Kiss Me, Stupid [DVD]
Dvd ~ Dean Martin
Offered by Discs4all
Price: £7.85

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "If you got what it takes, sooner or later someone's going to take what you got.", 12 Feb. 2009
This review is from: Kiss Me, Stupid [DVD] (DVD)
This film is far more provocative and outrageous than any "Clockwork Orange" or "Straw Dogs" etc etc ... But more than being simply controversial, this film is a perfect construction, as brilliant in its conceit as say, Mozart's "Cosi Fan Tutte." The very fact that Dean Martin agreed to parody himself to the extent he does, makes his legacy even greater in my eyes. This film has been referred to as "Pillow Talk" meets "Psycho". I especially love the irony that Ira Gershwin, that great poetic genius of Tin Pan Alley agreed to write some "dumbed down" lyrics for the two amateurs in Climax, Nevada. To my mind, this film is essentially about the decline and fall of popular culture in America. The cheap sentiments expressed in the mediocre fare served up by Waltson and Osmond only heightens the key moment in the film when the one sincere and deeply felt song, "all the live long day and the long, long night" is taken off the market. In other words, it's personal, so it's not for sale. Kim Novak listens to the song just as the American public did with all the great love songs from bygone eras. This scene is my favourite Wilder scene of all time because it epitomises the paradox at the heart of all his best work. That for all the seeming cruelty and insecurity of people's lives, a single gesture can redeem them almost instantly. I'm thinking of when Fred Macmurray prevents Lola's boyfriend from being framed in Double Indemnity. I'm thinking about when Jack Lemmon returns the executive washroom key in "The Apartment". In "Kiss me Stupid", Ray Waltson redeems himself by telling Dean Martin that no amount of money could buy the song from him. It was written for his wife and that's that. Wilder later disowned his own film, probably because he was embarassed by its failure. But for those of us that know, and there aren't many, this is possibly Wilder's greatest, surpassing even The Apartment, Double Indemnity and Ace in the Hole. And if you don't agree, then you can kiss me stupid ...
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 19, 2014 6:59 PM BST

Wagner: Parsifal [DVD] [2010]
Wagner: Parsifal [DVD] [2010]
Dvd ~ Christopher Ventris
Price: £34.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "This one goes out to Christian and Stephaan ...", 12 Feb. 2009
I must take umbridge with Mr Christian Hopkins and Stephaan Vanryssen, for these are two mortals immune to the joys contained within this sacred box. View for yourself a production so perfect in its conception that it is itself immune to criticism. Only praise does it deserve and so much so I shall heap plenty upon it. When I first saw it, I came as close to a spiritual epiphany as I hope to reach in an opera house or indeed in this life. I had a complete realisation of what Wagner intended with this, the greatest of all opera and so much more than just that ... Lehnhoff provides a timeless concept for Parsifal which unfolds before our eyes like centuries of time in one mass convergence. There are so many memorable moments I barely have space to name them. The nieve costuming of Parsifal in Act 1 as a boy playing with bow and arrow to the Act 3 warrior dressed like some ancient samurai. The perfect realisation of Titurel, a truly scary and demonic deity from beneath. The long, willowy flower maidens with their long sleeves like giant petals which attempt to engulf our protagonist. The seduction of Kundry with Parsifal where she sheds various layers before she becomes a natural woman, recalling his mother before "that kiss". The Act 3 denouement which brings everything together in one phenomenal staging which I can't imagine bettered in my lifetime. All in all, a lesson in the art of Wagner production. Like Greek fire, this one will burn again and again ...

Fergie's 2000 Goals [DVD]
Fergie's 2000 Goals [DVD]
Offered by Copeylad
Price: £23.69

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Wanna know how to keep the Scousers quiet ?", 11 Feb. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Fergie's 2000 Goals [DVD] (DVD)
Wanna know how to keep the Scousers quiet ? Stick them in front of this 4 DVD box set and watch them turn from repulsion to exultation as they succumb to the divine artistry of such greats as Sir Ryan of Giggs, King David of Beckham and the King of France himself, Eric Cantona. Let's not forget the "Hovis Lad" Scholesy, Wayne "Shrek" Rooney and "Valentino" Ronaldo who's love affair with the "step over" is up there with history's great romantic partnerships such as "Romeo and Juliet" and "Tristan and Isolde." And of course there's the gum chewing maestro Alex Ferguson who like the late, great Frank Sinatra gets better with age. Alex does all his singing from the bench and what sweet music he makes with his counter attacking methodology. I can't imagine such odes to joy could be had watching watching Liverpool's legacy.

The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes
The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes
Offered by soundtracksdirect
Price: £19.99

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Private Life Of Miklos Rozsa", 11 Feb. 2009
Adapted from his little known violin concerto, Rozsa has composed quite possibly the most beautiful film score EVER!!! Because Wilder wrote his Holmes to be modest, introspective and disillusioned, he was wise not to demonstrate this with heavy exposition but instead with Rozsa's sublime music which creates the emotional landscape of the movie. Billy always had incredible musical instincts with regard to his story telling, (see also, Double Indemnity, The Apartment and Kiss me Stupid.) And I can't help but get that gut wrenching feeling when I hear the melancholic refrain halfway through the opening titles. It reminds me of all the "lost loves" in my own life. Sherlock's humanity in Wilder's masterpiece comes from the exploration of his emotional vulnerability especially with regard to women. This music allows us to undertstand Wilder's delicate investigation by using a single violin as the instrumental alter ego of Sherlock himself. I simply can't recommend this rare, wonderful recording highly enough. Just go now, leave and buy it!!!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 15, 2011 2:26 AM GMT

The Art Of Excellence
The Art Of Excellence

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Desert Island Tony Album ...", 11 Feb. 2009
This review is from: The Art Of Excellence (Audio CD)
Hands up if you think you're a real Tony Bennett fan ... Hands up if you've ever heard this album ... If yes, then you'll know what I'm talking about. You have my permission to leave the room. If no, then you need to read on, because this is hands down, one of the most beautiful, artful albums ever recorded by any artist in the world, EVER!!! From first track to last, I have rarely heard more effortless, emotional singing from the big "B" (See also: cover photo.) My first memories stem from a late summer holiday spent in Astoria, Queens, the great birthplace of the great "B" himself. After late sultry nights in Manhattan, there were few better ways to unwind in the wee small hours than with a "cold one" from the ice box and Tony singing "why do people fall in love?" on the stereo, which is incidentally one of the greatest songs he's ever sung. I'm only allowing myself all this gross verbosity because I see that no one else has thought to review this remarkable album. What's the matter with you people!!! So, without any further ado, go ... fetch!!!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 5, 2011 11:31 AM BST

Wagner: Parsifal
Wagner: Parsifal
Price: £39.97

25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Quite possibly ...", 11 Feb. 2009
This review is from: Wagner: Parsifal (Audio CD)
Quite possibly the greatest opera recording ever made. At least to my mind. I feel sorry for those men and women who think that the point of Parsifal is to ramp up the drama, when the truth of the matter is that Wagner has created something here quite extraordinary. He has created a spiritual journey that leads a path into our very own hearts and minds. As a well seasoned opera enthusiast I find no better interpretation for spiritual depth than Karajan. This guy seems to find a zen like calm, much like Amfortas's leafy glade which in this recording is both compelling and beautiful in equal measure. P.S - I'm still bemused by the plaudits DG Thielmann's Parsifal received. It was a hopeless, bland run through, just like Boulez, who for my money is quite possibly the worst Wagner conductor ever.

Revolutionary Road
Revolutionary Road
by Richard Yates
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.22

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Ever get that feeling?", 11 Feb. 2009
This review is from: Revolutionary Road (Paperback)
Do you ever get that feeling reading a great book, when you suddenly find yourself becoming self conscious, as if all your unbearable human traits and personal foibles have been found out by the writer himself. So well observed is Richard Yates Masterpiece that despite the 1950's American suburban setting, you feel as if your own life is unfolding with every page. It is the kind of work that reminds me why I always wanted to become a writer myself. I hope to God that one fine day I manage to write a single paragraph as perfect as the great man himself.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 19, 2010 10:01 AM GMT

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