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Lee Thomas (South Tyneside, UK)

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Midnight Man [DVD]
Midnight Man [DVD]
Dvd ~ James Nesbitt
Offered by rileys dvds
Price: £14.20

42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars James Nesbitt is England's 'Enemy Of The State.', 6 Jun. 2008
This review is from: Midnight Man [DVD] (DVD)
I watched this 3 part mini series at a friends house last night, liked it that much so I bought it on DVD this morning.

James Nesbitt stars in this excellent thriller which bares a slight resemblence to the film 'Enemy Of The State.'

As it says on the box "This will definately have you on the edge of your seat".

Nesbitt plays Max Raban a disgraced journalist who is reduced to looking through the bins of famous people to find juicy stories, just so he can make ends meet. His phobia of crowds in the daytime forces him to work at night, hence the title 'Midnight Man'.

He is unliked by his old colleagues because they think of him as a paranoid person who is not to be trusted. Then one day Max finds himself drawn into a murder case involving a cover-up by the government. He becomes a hunted man as he begins a personal crusade to find the proof he needs to expose the truth to the public.

This 3 part thriller is extremely well written, directed and edited, giving the whole series a fast pace. Even the slower dialogue scenes are gripping. And also, because it is so well produced, it can seem at times like you're watching a big budget film.

The acting is superb by everyone in it (this is actually believe it or not, the first thing I've ever watched James Nesbitt in) and already I rate him as a top actor. He gives an exceptional performance of a lonely, unpopular and troubled man. Reece Dinsdale is also very convincing as a cold blooded man who kills and orders others to kill. And he's actually very frightening.

All in all this is a great mini series, (which although borrows little bits from the aforementioned film 'Enemy Of The State') it has a great story and plenty of originality and twists, that makes you want to see the next episode as soon as you've watched the previous one.

Actually, thinking about it, this is probably the only gripe I have against this DVD release. The whole show lasts around 2 hours 15 minutes. For the DVD I'd have thought it would have been better to edit the 3 parts into a feature length film. They have however cut off the 'Last Week on...' bits so you don't have to sit through a recap of the previous episode.

There are also no extra features sadly.

But apart from that, I'd recommend you buy this. You wouln't be disappointed!

Great stuff.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 19, 2016 10:19 AM GMT

Beastmaster 2: Through The Portal Of Time [VHS] [1991]
Beastmaster 2: Through The Portal Of Time [VHS] [1991]

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Beastmaster for the Kids - Trying to be like Masters Of The Universe maybe?, 5 May 2008
I bought this film a few years ago after searching for it for ages. I loved the first film, so I was eager to get my hands on this sequel.

When I watched it though I was very disappointed. The film starts off promising, and is true to the original. However, this only lasts about 20 minutes and the whole thing becomes a kid friendly, Masters Of The Universe type film.

Marc Singer is still great as the Beastmaster, albiet slightly dumbed down for this film, and the animals are still a joy to watch. But the other characters are just playing it for laughs, the villains are as scarey as Sylvester The Cat trying to kill Tweetie Pie and the acting is terrible. And what's with the awful thought bubbles coming from the animals heads!!!

The story has been critisized by many others as being poor. I.e. the Beastmaster comes to present day L.A. from his own distant lands or time. So again like Masters Of The Universe and to some degree, a fish out of water Crocodile Dundee idea.

Personally, I think the story might have worked better if they'd kept the tone dark and threatening like the first film. So instead of the villain stealing a nuclear device (so easily in a far fetched and a dumb idea I might add) from our world to use in his own, they could have had him simply cause havoc on Earth with his evil power. The Beastmaster then comes after him through the same time portal, to stop him and save the day.

Another thing I didn't care for was, they paired the Beastmaster up with a dumb, annoying teenager. Why didn't Seth (his fighting buddy from Beastmaster 1) come with him to battle the villain? And they could have met a more mature character in present day Earth to assist them and show them around!

It's still watchable for a laugh and a bit of escapism and definately not to be taken seriously (well you couldn't if you tried!!) But this sequel feels like it doesn't really have anything to do with the other film. The tone is just too lighthearted and the film can be best describled as a 'Carry On Beastmaster' type parody of the original film.

The creators of the first film had nothing to do with this one I hasten to add, which is a shame as I think a sequel by them would have been great!

There's still some enjoyment to be had here though, and there are some good moments in this film. But the fact that this film is still only available on VHS probably speaks volumes as to how poorly it was received upon release in 1991.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 7, 2010 2:41 PM BST

3 Lunas
3 Lunas
Price: £5.62

4.0 out of 5 stars A computer game soundtrack album puts Oldfield back on track., 13 April 2008
This review is from: 3 Lunas (Audio CD)
After the somewhat disappointing Millennium Bell album, Mike improves things for Tr3s Lunas.

This album features 13 (excluding a radio edit bonus track) individual pieces of music.

The music goes back to a 'Songs Of Distant Earth' feel, albiet slightly inferior to that album.

Although most tracks here are soundtrack material to his Tr3s Lunas computer game, I would say they're a lot more satisfying than some of the tunes on 'The Millennium Bell.'

The atmosphere on this album seems darker also, and less gimmocky, 'celebration' type stuff.

There was more time spent on this album too, about 2 years as opposed to the 6 or so months on the previous one. Giving it a less rushed, more developed feel.

I think the Millennium buzz effected everyone. Even though it actually wasn't until the end of year 2000!!

Overall, a better effort.

A watered down 'Songs Of Distant Earth' does more for me than 'The Millennium Bell.'

So 4 stars for this one.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 5, 2016 11:24 PM GMT

The Millennium Bell
The Millennium Bell
Price: £5.67

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sadly, a very average Oldfield album, 13 April 2008
This review is from: The Millennium Bell (Audio CD)
I must be one of the biggest Oldfield fans on the planet, however, even I cannot justify a 5 star review for this album.

The overall concept was a good idea, snippets of music to celebrate the last 2000 years. Sadly though this album was done in a rush and it certainly sounds like it.

Some of the tunes are great, some not so, and I think for the first time in Oldfield's history, he has produced an album where the stronger tunes work better out of context.

The bridges of music between the tracks are also very weak on this album, as if he hadn't enough time to think them through properly. And the vocal on 'Sunlight Shining Through Cloud' isn't very good.

The only decent way to appriciate this album I think, is to see and hear the tracks performed live on the 'Millennium Bell - Live In Berlin 1999' DVD. Here they come across so much better.

Like I said before, I'm a huge Oldfield fan, but even I felt I had to criticize a piece of his work, and not have a bias opinion all the time.

So, I guess this album was the one for me to give an average review to.

IMO, his worst album to date :-(
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 29, 2011 5:59 PM BST

The Beastmaster [DVD][1982]
The Beastmaster [DVD][1982]
Dvd ~ Marc Singer
Offered by BlueStringMedia
Price: £8.33

43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant film gets a dreadful UK release, 13 April 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Beastmaster [DVD][1982] (DVD)
Why is Amazon displaying the same reviews for the region 1 and 2 version of this film. The region 1 version (blue cover) totally outclasses the region 2 version (white cover)!!

First let me say I absolutely love this film, and I'd give it an easy 5 star review. However this review is for the region 2 version (white cover).

I suppose this is the one for me to review, seeing as how I'm from the UK.

Sadly this version is truely awful!!

First off, the sound and picture quality is crap. There's no way this is 'digitally mastered'.

Secondly, the overall presentation is poor, no special features in sight. As if they couldn't be bothered to make an effort for this package. They didn't even add the original trailor, something which even the old VHS had!

The wide screen presentation is also false, all they've done is took the full frame version and squashed it down to look wide screen. As a result the faces of the actors look rugby ball shaped and their bodies look short 'n' fat!

If you want a decent version of this film go for the region 1 version as it has excellent picture and sound quality, great special features, a true wide screen presentation and even a production booklet.

I hope that in the future, the powers that be will re-release this classic film as a decent region 2 version. But for now, like I said go for region 1.

Overall = 2 stars (Region 2) but a definate 5 stars (Region 1).
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 4, 2014 9:41 AM GMT

Price: £5.75

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nazareth, back with a vengeance!, 4 April 2008
This review is from: THE NEWZ (Audio CD)
I've been a fan for a relatively short time (2-3 years). However, I now own the entire Nazareth back catalogue on CD and I am very familiar with their music.

I saw this band live for the first time at the Carling Academy in Newcastle Upon Tyne, Feb 2008. They absolutely blew me away!

If the five tracks they played from the new album were anything to go by, then it was gonna be a good one, no mistake!

Well, this album is the heaviest rocker that the band has ever produced, and yes it's heavier than the 'No Mean City' album. The disc features 13 great songs and 1 wonderfully weird hidden bonus track.

The new line up featuring founder members Dan McCafferty and Pete Agnew, with relatively new-comers Lee Agnew and Jimmy Murrison, show us that this group has successfully re-invented itself for the 21st century and is capable of surviving for at least another 20 years.

The album covers many subjects, such as how our society has gone to the dogs, people who need to get a life instead of being hooked on the internet 24-7, relationships, tragedies of war and a certain lying american president.

The band have managed to stay faithful to the old Nazareth sound, but with a modern twist. It all works perfectly.

I cannot understand why this very under-rated scottish group has been so poorly treated in the UK in the past. I really hope that they'll now get the recognition they deserve and keep releasing new product in the years ahead.

We desperately need older, decent groups like Nazareth (especially in the UK), to show us how real music is produced and to get rid of all this boy, girl band and x-factor crap before it's too late!!

Long live the NAZ.

Lee Thomas

Music Of The Spheres
Music Of The Spheres
Price: £5.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This album is sensational, 20 Mar. 2008
This review is from: Music Of The Spheres (Audio CD)
I'm a huge Mike Oldfield fan. I've just finished listening to his new album again and it is absolutely sensational!!

This is possibly the best album Mike has ever released and will easily go into my top 3 favorites of his.

OK so he doesn't play instruments on this one as much as other albums, but it is all his compositions. The arranger, orchestra, guest pianist, and vocalist all make this a remarkable listening experience. Like all of Mike's albums I find it best to listen to it through a good pair of headphones.

The music flows along beautifully and hits several peaks throughout the 45 minutes.

Mike's classical guitar runs over every track, and it is crystal clear. The transitions between some of the tracks make the hairs on your neck stand up. (Especially track 10 into track 11, I thought). My favorite tracks are 2,3,4,5,8,9,11,14. Actually track 11 justifies the price alone!

By the way, even if I didn't like this album, I'd never give it 1 star. At least this is real music whatever your opinion of it may be, and it's a million times better than the crap in the charts now!!

So I say... well done Mike on a great album!

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