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Amazon Customer "calibandar" (Netherlands)

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Ethel & Ernest [DVD]
Ethel & Ernest [DVD]
Dvd ~ Roger Mainwood
Price: £10.00

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful story and superb animation, 28 Dec. 2016
This review is from: Ethel & Ernest [DVD] (DVD)
Just watched this tonight on the BBC. Beautiful story and superb animation.
This is , or is almost, Miyazaki level of animation.

The story here is at least as good as in Where the wind blows, which was also very touching.
The same applies here. The difference is that this is a brand new production and as such looks better, but it has to be said the animation of the 80's film has aged remarkably well ( like Watership Down or Plague Dogs).

I see no reason to deduct 1 or 2 stars here, very well done.

Bridge of Spies [DVD] [2015]
Bridge of Spies [DVD] [2015]
Dvd ~ Tom Hanks
Price: £5.00

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First Tier Spielberg and Hanks film., 15 Dec. 2015
This review is from: Bridge of Spies [DVD] [2015] (DVD)
This was a very good film. It has a solid story that is engaging to follow and the setting is beautifully detailed.
By that I mean that the houses, decor looks and feels both "old" and sophisticated.

The acting really stands out here, this is clearly one of Hank's best roles, and Wolf Hall's Mark Rylance is superb with his understated and impressive performance.

4.5 stars out of 5 if that were possible.

The Seventy Wonders of the Ancient World: The Great Monuments and How They Were Built
The Seventy Wonders of the Ancient World: The Great Monuments and How They Were Built
by Chris Scarre
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £23.70

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rather disappointed, 19 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Just got this book because I am interested in the subject.
Before I bought I compared it online with Justin Pollard's "Wonders of the Ancient World".
What this book had over the Pollard book was that it contained 70 wonders instead of the 40 in Pollard.
It spreads those 70 over about 280 pages and Pollard has 40 spread over 190.
What Pollard had over this book by Chris Scarre is that it had many more good reviews on Goodreads, and it is much more recent.
Also you could see inside the Pollard book and the pictures were very good. However it was harder to obtain secondhand.

What disappointed me greatly about Seventy Wonders are the pictures. Fully half of them are in black and white!
This gives the book and outdated feel as this is not a subject that does well with black and white pictures. It looks grainy and lacks vibrancy.
Each wonder gets about two or 3 pages and sometimes the main photograph accompanying it is black and white.

Otherwise the text is fine and I did appreciate the few artists impression for the seven wonders of the world.
But there are far too many black and white pictures here for this to satisfy what I was looking for, and compared to the Pollard ( which I have just purchased) it pales in this area. I have marked it down two stars because of this. It is an expansive book, but because of the inadequate pictures I found myself looking them up online anyway. In conclusion, while it is not without value, I at least should have gone for the Pollard book instead.

Slaine Brutania Chronicles 1
Slaine Brutania Chronicles 1
by Pat Mills
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.88

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting new style, 30 Jan. 2015
The latest entry in the Slaine series. My thoughts?

On the physical book: beautiful materials, hardcover and feels very good.

I wish these releases were a bit longer. It's interesting but as with Adrian Smith's "Hate" series, another beautifully drawn fantasy series, 90-100 pages for 15 pounds is too little imo. I would rather pay 10 pounds more now and have a book with say 160-200 pages.

Artwork: very different from Clint Langley's work. All in all it's a success. Looks good. Creature design is nice and reminds me of Roszynski's Thorgal series. The only character that Davies drew that I did not like at all was his version of Niamh. Slaine is a more realistic looking human than in some versions we have seen before. Which is both good and bad really.

This particular story ( as mentioned, actual story page count is some 85-90 pages I think, with 20 pages of supplemental material like artwork, covers) is very graphic and this definitely serves as a horror comic as well as Fantasy. But I like the storyline, will buy the next one, just wish there was more stortyh here.

Chronicles: Cloaks & Daggers (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug)
Chronicles: Cloaks & Daggers (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug)
by Daniel Falconer
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very very good, 14 Jun. 2014
This one is very much on the same level as the previous Hobbit Chronicles beauties from WETA.
But whereas I had some minor criticism of the previous ones, such as the Desolation of Smaug Chronicles which to my mind has far too small a portion allocated to Smaug ( instead he got his own book, which I bought, but that I felt was too much for the subject matter, not really compelling), this one can't really be faulted. At 256 pages, it is the biggest one so far.

This book is exhaustive on armour, costumes and set dressing of the Hobbit films. If I was to quibble, I would say that the focus is exclusively on the characters and costumes/weaponry shown in the first two films. So there's nothing here about Battle of Five Armies, which makes me wonder how that will be handled. Presumably that info will be put in the Five Armies book in December 2014, as I cannot imagine yet another book being released on this topic. But I would not have minded if they had shown some things about the final film, such as Dain and his warriors for instance, or the enemies we have yet to encounter.

But anyway, this book is very comprehensive and if you're interested in seeing gorgeous photos of the costumes, the weapons and armour, the tremendous amount of work done on set dressing, then this is simply the book to have. I like it more than the Creatures and Characters artbook released last year, it doesn't skimp on anything, it gives you what you want, and then some more.

People that have a lot of commentary are the excellent Ann Maskrey for costuming, the well known Richard Taylor and someone like Matt Appleton for weapons and armour, and Ra Vincent for set dressing. But many others speak as well, about stuff like saddling, the milliners, the making of weapons, the armour of the Elves, the Dwarves, the people of Dale, Lake Town, all the staffs and costumes of the Wizards, a very extensive section on the Shire to start the book off, even a small section devoted to Beorn's costume and his house and one on the Orcs. I really enjoyed just reading what the experts had to say next to a beautiful photo of the item. I also liked the collector's items section at the end, there is some amazing stuff that they made in terms of replicas that you could buy, if you can afford it. Stuff like the Radagast statue or the Thranduil staff looks very nice.

Job well done, I will be getting the next one in December.

Stake Land (Double-Disc Edition) [DVD]
Stake Land (Double-Disc Edition) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Connor Paolo
Offered by The Happy Zombie
Price: £3.69

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good post-apocalyptic film, 12 Sept. 2012
An earlier review on this page says:

"I know it's a bit cheap to make comparisons, but if you can imagine the best elements of The Walking Dead and The Road combined into a 98 minute adrenaline rush, you'll get some notion of how good Stake Land is."

And that is pretty much right if you ask me. As far as vampire apocalyptic films are concerned, this is as good as I've seen them, and I have seen quite a few with the zombie/vampire theme. I would rate Children of Men and The Road slightly higher as far as PA films are concerned, but otherwise this is a remarkably compelling film. If you've seen and liked 28 Days later, then I can say this is just as good.

On the upside, what makes the film so compelling is a country trying to stay on its feet in the face of utter chaos and destruction. It has a constant survival feel to it, and the actions show that there is no rest or mercy in this post-apocalyptic world. They group journeys ever northward in hopes of finding "New Eden" where they might escape the ferocious vampires.

I detracted one star because I feel the film falters somewhat at the end, and doesn't end on a note that I found completely satisfying ( it is not bad, but it stops before the story is finished if you ask me).

Prophecy: Clash of Kings (Merlin Series)
Prophecy: Clash of Kings (Merlin Series)
by M. K. Hume
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ponderous plodding book, 20 Mar. 2011
This book is written poorly enough that it becomes a signficant disappointment. I'm not familiar with Hume, other than having read the mixed reviews on the Internet of her Arthurian retelling trilogy. I was even more interested in a Merlin retelling, after all it has been so long since last we had a good one. Sadly this is not a patch on the Merlin trilogy by Mary Stewart, Stewart's masterful magnum opus. It's not near as interesting as Cornwell's series either. Lawhead's Merlin approach I found distasteful because of the heavy, in your face Christian angle, but at least he is a more capable writer than Hume, who plods her way through every paragraph. Cannot even give this two stars for effort. Avoid, or read some samples through Amazon's search inside feature before you decide.

In any case, the wait for a great new retelling of either Arthur or Merlin's legend, continues. MK Hume is not the one who will do it for us.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 19, 2012 10:53 AM BST

The White Ribbon [DVD] [2009]
The White Ribbon [DVD] [2009]
Dvd ~ Christian Friedel
Offered by jim-exselecky
Price: £6.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good film, 19 Feb. 2011
Pretty much everything appealed to me in this film. The German spoken by the narrator, the acting, especially the way actors interacted with each other, the vicious children, the strict adults, the whole atmosphere of the film. Sometimes a film just clicks and this one did. Just see it.

Zen [DVD]
Zen [DVD]
Dvd ~ Rufus Sewell
Price: £6.99

41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good show, but very brief, 16 Jan. 2011
This review is from: Zen [DVD] (DVD)
This pulls a similar stunt as the Sherlock Holmes show in 2010. Interesting, well done show, certainly worth showing, but it's no more than a miniseries, where a full series would have been deserved, and would have worked better. We're only just starting to get to know these quite interesting characters, the constant politicking going on, and the show is already done? Just a bad call by the BBC to make this show so short in my opinioin, at least give it 6 episodes. 3 is far too little.

That said, very nice work from Rufus Sewell and Caterina Murino as a leading duo, enaging romantic angle, fairly interesting plots, nice Italian setting. Could have been better with more time, but nicely done for what it is.

I do hope we will see a more extensive second season.

Mad Men - Season 3 [DVD]
Mad Men - Season 3 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jon Hamm
Price: £7.43

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic really, 12 Jun. 2010
This review is from: Mad Men - Season 3 [DVD] (DVD)
Along with Sons of Anarchy this is my other favorite recent US drama, post-The Wire/Sopranos. HBO has since stopped producing the goodies, though of course they produced excellent miniseries in John Adams & The Pacficic, but nothing since in series.

Mad Men seems like every episode is made with so much care, so much sensitivity and atmosphere. The setting is simply stunning, feels very real and draws you in. A great cast of characters, several lead characters. Not a very action driven show but very intriguing, superb dialogue and actors that seem to become immersed in the setting they are portraying. As good as tv gets really, and this 3rd season is no worse than the first two, in fact the plot comes to quite a climax at the end.

Excellent music in this series as well, I know it's already much applauded by others as well. Closing that final episode with Orbison's "Shadaroba" was wonderful, after such an emotional episode. I'll be there for season 4, airing as of this July in the US. 5 stars out of 5.

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