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Tim Kidner "Hucklebrook Hound" (Salisbury, UK)

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Laurel & Hardy Volume 11 - Saps At Sea/Music Shorts [DVD]
Laurel & Hardy Volume 11 - Saps At Sea/Music Shorts [DVD]
Dvd ~ Stan Laurel
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £4.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Saps At Sea!, 30 Jan. 2013
This volume 11 DVD, that I have as part of complete "Collection" features the wonderful Saps At Sea as its main feature.

There's everything in this near-hour little gem - all the trademark L&H best bits of comedy that make up the brilliance of the best comedy duo in cinema history.

There's an extraordinary and brilliant marriage of sound effect and visual gag as Stan & Laurel bumble their way through eating, falling about and breaking things. It's one their most consistently hilarious and entertaining features, both the writing and performances are at their best.

A little Short at the end of the disc, Your Darn Tootin', that my old Halliwells film guide awarded four stars to (their maximum and seldom given rating) but I could never find it, anywhere. This one actually follows the theme of the disc - 'horns' (Saps At Sea is initially and largely set in a car-horn assembly plant) and has the duo playing various woodwind instruments in a spritely and comedic manner, on the streets. The accompaniment we hear is that of a sort of sort of wurlitzer organ, all breathless and a bit manic. Not sure if I found it as good as Halliwells did but was an enjoyable distraction and was a bit different.

A couple of other minor shorts, that are run-of-the-mill complete this better than most L&H volumes. As with all these volumes, some have a computer enhanced colour option as well as the original, standard black & white. Some, especially, I guess, the purists, won't like these whilst I'm sure many find them a good and living new way of seeing their old favourites - in my opinion, some work better than others and so, as ever, it's down to what you like yourself - but it's good to have the option.

Storm Over Asia [1928] [DVD]
Storm Over Asia [1928] [DVD]
Dvd ~ I. Inkizhinov
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £13.32

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!!, 30 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Storm Over Asia [1928] [DVD] (DVD)
I loved this movie - it takes a good silent film to keep me glued to the screen, many Silents have huge amounts of frenetic studio-bound talking heads, but of course we have to wait for the titles to see what has just been said.

Other reviewers have laid the premise of this one but as a Russian film lover and trying anything I come across (this DVD, just £3!!) and expecting propaganda and heavy symbolism, I had a tour de force of both Mongolian and Buddhist life, but far from being a National Geographic documentary, this had real passionate pizazz and incredible, often beautiful locations, with long-lost ancient rituals and occasions coming alive on the screen.

I think it unfair to criticise and thus mark down a film because of the style and way it was made, at the time - this is 1928, the film stock and prints has degraded and the technical aspects made for slightly sped-up and jaunty action, whilst almost all the huge casts would have been local amateurs.

However, what made it for me was the music - brilliantly (and I believe, the original choice overseen by the director just before his death, in the 50s) - the crisp stereo really prickling the senses and the variety - from strident symphonies to traditional music from the locations in the film, all perfectly matched to the action. So, when some of the strangest looking tube-like horns get blown by long bearded Mongolians, we get a strange sounding instrument, not an artificially contrived one. This might sound a minor point but for me, from the outset, it really put me in the mood and set me up for the duration.

So - whilst many of the rather turgid Silent dramas are rather hard work and there's a sense of relief when they finally end, this was pure pleasure all the way through. Put to one side any preconceived notions about communist regimes and heavy Soviet symbolism and enjoy this much lighter and enjoyable classic. (It IS critically considered a Classic, actually and not just my say so or opinion).

Isolation [2005] [DVD]
Isolation [2005] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Essie Davis
Price: £8.10

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mutant cow foetuses, instead of zombies..., 30 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Isolation [2005] [DVD] (DVD)
If my title hasn't put you off your takeaway Big Mac, then this unusual, modest, Irish set little horror flick from Billy O'Brien could well stir up your stagnant horror viewing.

Fed up with mutant zombies aimlessly running around or silly, annoying students driving nowhere on a moonlit night, with loud judders all but making up for genuine scares?

I'm not saying that Isolation will be the scariest thing you'll ever see but as it turns into 'Alien' territory, with dark, claustrophobic (& strangely familiar and homely) farm buildings and milking sheds becoming the space craft in that movie, it has its moments of being not very pleasant. At all, as the (whatever it is) wants to find a host in the farm-working humans in the story (all fair/good performances, from relative unknowns).

The basic premise is a fairly sound and pertinent one, an unofficial and one-man breeding campaign for improving his herd's growing and milking capabilities result in a calf being still-born....

Yes, it's a bit too long as it takes a long-winded approach to get on track, The Archers' approach seems naively quaint at times but the gore - as we 'know' its source - always seems real.

Isolation has quite a low IMDb score yet some TV listings reviews rate it highly. I'm going for a safer middle ground - if you want a different horror flick to rent or download tonight, (or see it on Film 4, as I did) then it's well worth trying out. Just be careful what you're eating!

Yorkshire Tea Bags (1 x 160's Pack)
Yorkshire Tea Bags (1 x 160's Pack)
Offered by jmlifestore
Price: £6.90

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent all-day, everyday tea, 30 Jan. 2013
Forget PG Tips, definitely avoid Tetley and don't presume that Twinings Everyday Blend is the best, simply because that awfully nice (& paid) Stephen Fry says it (probably) is!

Tea is relatively cheap, until you have to fork out 3 or 4 quid to replace what you've used and enjoyed over the weeks or months.

Yorkshire tea isn't the cheapest and is seldom heavily discounted or stuffed down our throats in BOGOF or mega deals (unlike the first two I mentioned). But, even their basic tea is a good, dependable one and one which I always try and buy. I'm reviewing the tea, not any Amazon deal, here - and yes, there are better teas (such as their 'Gold') but for bright refreshing taste and colour then this is fine for your everyday tea drinking.

Yorkshire Decaffeinated Tea Bags 80s 250g
Yorkshire Decaffeinated Tea Bags 80s 250g
Offered by Premier Life Store
Price: £6.66

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Expensive - but the best!, 30 Jan. 2013
Anything decaffeinated, whether tea, or coffee loses taste when the caffeine is extracted, as the caffeine is a natural product and ingredient in both the leaf, or bean.

Suffering from stress probably more than is good for me (like most of us, no doubt) an instant decaf is required and when it comes to tea, Yorkshire Gold decaf is the only one I've bought and tasted that still tastes of tea. Not as good as even a moderately tasting ordinary teabag but one that you can still at least enjoy.

Some decafs taste so insipid and 'blah' you'll just turn back to your usual normal tea and so any potential positive effects are completely lost! I've had a box of this on the go for a while now, I don't reach for it often but when I do, I know it'll be a decent cuppa.

Yorkshire Gold Tea Bags, 500g
Yorkshire Gold Tea Bags, 500g
Offered by E.U. Xtores
Price: £8.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "A Pot of Gold" - Rich, bright and perky tea!, 30 Jan. 2013
I agree with the other reviewer, the Yorkshire Gold tea in bags is the best you can get - at least that you'll find widely available, in most larger supermarkets.

Trouble is, like all the best things, it's pricey and seldom, if ever discounted or in BOGOF deals. I wish I could buy it more often but am getting through a big box of 'ordinary' Yorkshire teabags (nothing ordinary about even their basic tea!) at the moment, but I yearn for a 'pot of gold' as my next purchase. The thought of that malty rich, bright and perky tea taste is making my mouth water already!

Knocked Up / Superbad / The 40 Year-Old Virgin [DVD]
Knocked Up / Superbad / The 40 Year-Old Virgin [DVD]
Dvd ~ Seth Rogen
Offered by wantitcheaper
Price: £4.94

4.0 out of 5 stars Crude Comedy at its Best!, 30 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Even intelligent people enjoy Judd Apatow movies, amongst the crudity and bodily 'mishaps' lies an infectious enthusiasm and genuinely good and witty writing. There's always a loveable idiot in them, making us side with them and even love the losers though they do and say such ridiculously stupid things!

The weak one, is now, The 40 Year Old Virgin, hence my 4 instead of 5 stars. Knocked Up was on TV again, but on ITV2, which, with all the long and frequent ad-breaks, always cutting in at the worst times and actually cutting out dialogue, for no sensical reason, made it 2.5 hours long, going on well into the early morning hours.

How much better to get this set, for about 2 or 3 quid a movie, even less in my case as I got them secondhand! Like Apatow? - you can't go wrong with this set...

11w Osram Energy Saving Bulb DULUX S G23 2 Colour 830 Warm White (3000k)
11w Osram Energy Saving Bulb DULUX S G23 2 Colour 830 Warm White (3000k)
Price: £4.15

5.0 out of 5 stars For Angle-poise lamp., 30 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This fluorescent tube, from the well respected and long established bulb maker, Osram, fits my cheap angle-poise lamp, from Argos.

I thought that the unbranded and soon burned out tube that came with the lamp would be expensive or difficult to replace and to source the exact model. I even left it unused for a while.

To my pleasant surprise - and not getting it directly from Amazon (as always, shop around!) - I got it for about the price of a pint and now I take it and its bright, even white light for granted, now it's fitted.


Where The Buffalo Roam [DVD]
Where The Buffalo Roam [DVD]
Dvd ~ Bill Murray
Offered by westworld-
Price: £8.48

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Murray is Perfect..., 27 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Where The Buffalo Roam [DVD] (DVD)
Having just seen The Rum Diaries, starring Johnny Depp, now twice having portrayed the colourful and so interesting maverick journalist D S Hunter Thompson (first in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, directed by Terry Gilliam), here is the original outing, via Bill Murray.

Apparently, the movie went down like a lead balloon; indeed, like the source material, it's taken a good long while for the world to catch up him and his chaotic, drink & drug fuelled escapades.

Where the Buffalo Roam is much less road-movie than Fear & and not as pretty, scenery-wise as The Rum Diaries, yet it more than makes up the threesome of Hunter Thompson-based biography movies. From the outset, you know this is a weird one and will require almost all to be in a suitable mood, to embrace and appreciate its frankly manic and often plain daft (& childish) antics and 'story'.

However, the main thrust seems to be about Thompson's relationship with Richard Nixon, or at least what he wrote and thought of that particular President, leading to covering Nixon's 1972 Presidential campaign, where chaos rules supreme on the campaign plane.

Murray, with his stumbling and mumbling dead-pan comedic skill is perfect and can play stoned and drunk with the best of them - different to Depp, but just as convincing and entertainingly. Peter Coyote, as Lazlo, Thompson's unorthodox attorney is just as odd but compliments Murray whenever they appear together.

There are times when the gags and comedy get a bit grating and annoying but I found the film better than I thought it was going to be - it was cheap (£5) and then reduced (25%) in the HMV's (possible?) closing-down sale.

If you're in-tune for something warped, but less disturbing and hallucinatory than Fear & Loathing, particularly if you are familiar with and enjoy Hunter Thompson then this could be the bargain DVD for you. If you like a good Bill Murray comedy, too, then this it's a must.

Junkhearts [DVD]
Junkhearts [DVD]
Dvd ~ Eddie Marsan
Price: £10.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Marsden is King, here, 26 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Junkhearts [DVD] (DVD)
I'm surprised, here on Amazon at how many of the handful of reviewers had seen Junkhearts 'properly', at local indie arts centres and community cinemas - I saw it on Sky Movies Indie.

It was stuck away, out of sight in the graveyard slot and (yet again) Radio Times stuck two stars on (out of five) and only provided a brief synopsis, which all those who've made the effort to actually see the flipping film will know, hardly glows with optimism! Nothing about the great acting or the actual experience of actually seeing it.

Those brave enough to try it, as those reviewers who seem so knowledgeable have really appreciated this gritty little drama have been amply rewarded. Many really enjoy Marsden's work - I frankly, usually hate most of the roles he plays and that always (but shouldn't, I know) tars him with my brush of indifference and frankly, my own ignorance.

Taking a gentler role but also a far deeper one, he still totally unflatters himself as the PTSD suffering ex-soldier, who now leads a life stocking up on miniatures of alcoholic spirits from the local corner shop and not looking after himself. In fact, the make-up department has done a really excellent, frighteningly real job at making him look as an alcoholic could/would, with facial psoriasis, blotches, it's all there.

The story of how he first invites young rough-sleeper Lynette into his badly maintained and dirty flat as he feels a certain resonance, maybe to his own daughter, who he has not seen for many years. The way he has shut down the blinds through drink to try and escape the nightmarish flashbacks he suffers and how these slowly un-peel as Lynette gives him both something else to think about and her youthful optimism is both quietly life affirming but also handled very realistically.

There are no flashes of miracles or finding the Lord, or even finding a new job or quitting drinking for Marsden's character, because this is real life with real people and not Hollywood made up tosh. Sure, it's an ugly side of life we'd all rather didn't exist and if it has to, somewhere else and afflicting someONE else, please!

The little details don't really need a mention - it's the film as a whole you're going to see and remember and at times you do really wonder if the story, or the people ever do raise their chins above the floods of poverty and misery. People are usually stronger and more resilient than we are lead to believe, if they are given the chance to do the things they need, if they can be left to do it their own way and in their own time, but just given a gentle push by something profound and strong.

As other reviewers have said, this really is a good Brit drama and one worth rooting out, and rooting for.

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