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Dave (Cornwall)

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Three Men And A Little Lady
Three Men And A Little Lady
Price: £3.49

5.0 out of 5 stars A much better film than people give it credit for, 8 Aug. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A much underrated sequel that primarily works because they got the casting of the little girl spot on. All the performances are really good too.

Price: £0.00

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars dull dull dull, 20 Jan. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Archipelago (DVD)
Maybe the point of this film is to revel in its pure simplicity. But I just found it drab and the characters utterly tedious and boring people.

The film caught my eye because it is entirely made on the beautiful Isles of Scilly (specifically Tresco) but I assume it was a delibertate artistic choice to show it in a washed out and bland way. Given how dull the people in it are, I wonder if that fact combined with the scenery is meant to be some commentary on life in general; That it can loose its beauty and that every day run-of-the-mill existence is unexciting?

But in this case I don't think that potential aim makes for a satisfying experience. I could not recommend anyone spend time with these gormless individuals, whose collective lack of any measurable personalities run the risk of sending viewers to sleep. It does also seem a tragic shame to be knowingly around such amazing scenery and yet waste so much of what could have been a rich and diverse canvas of stunning cinematography.

In most films you look for something relatable but if you actually had to spend any time in a room with these goons in real life, the banality would make most people scream (or leave). The Isles of Scilly is a beautiful place but don't use this film or the tiresome people within it put you off visiting for real.

On several occasions the pretension of certain characters almost makes it unbearable. If I wasn't watching initially to see how the islands looked on film, I don't think I would have lasted beyond the 20 minute mark.

Greenberg [DVD]
Greenberg [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ben Stiller
Offered by ReNew Entertainment
Price: £4.23

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Really a drama laced with melancholy, 31 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Greenberg [DVD] (DVD)
Supposed to be a comedy but I didn't find anything amusing about it. Stiller plays a totally unlikeable and slappable idiot of a character and is surrounded by many other similar people. The film is a rambling chore and a bore that just remains utterly flat as a viewing experience. It was self indulgent and pointless from start to finish. Don't waste your time.

Jon Richardson - Nidiot Live [DVD] [2014]
Jon Richardson - Nidiot Live [DVD] [2014]
Dvd ~ Jon Richardson
Price: £4.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amusing DVD that has some wonderful routines., 6 Feb. 2015
Very funny show that has some great routines (particularly the whole section on train travel) which should leave fans of Jon eager for more. I have always found his practical approaches to situations and way of thinking to be both familiar and almost reassuring. I think it makes him very easy to relate to and thus makes him very watchable.

There are two special features included on the DVD. The first is a quite amusing outtake from the start of the show where you see that Jon took many tries to get his hat onto the hat stand.
There is also an feature length audio commentary with Jon and fellow comic Matt Forde. Whereas some stand-up DVD commentaries can provide an interesting insight into how certain routines have developed or other anecdotes surrounding the construction of the show, this rambling commentary is mostly rather pointless and personally I wouldn't waste your time listening to it.

I personally prefer this show over his previous DVD but either way, if you like Jon Richardson you should find a lot to enjoy in Nidiot.

Forgotten Men [DVD]
Forgotten Men [DVD]
Price: £10.00

4.0 out of 5 stars An important viewing experience, 7 July 2014
This review is from: Forgotten Men [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This moving and sombre documentary from 1934 is a rare account of the events of combat in the First World War made less than 20 years after it ended. It uses original footage taken on the battlefield and combines it with interviews with ex-servicemen on both sides. During the 75mins running time, it covers land, air and sea warfare and uses unforgiving footage to depict both the scale and reality of the awful conflict.

Although it only runs just over an hour and is not very technical, Forgotten Men is an important feature to view. It serves both as an historic document and also for a fairly unique and interesting viewpoint due to when it was made. In 2014, the centenary year of the beginning of WW1, it seems even more appropriate to serve as a reminder of what madness and sacrifice lies in armed conflict.

The single extra feature is a 12 minute interview with historian and author Max Arthur OBE who gives some additional insight into the main feature.

Drug War [DVD]
Drug War [DVD]
Dvd ~ Louis Koo
Price: £8.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Riveting low-key drama from mainland China, 20 Dec. 2013
This review is from: Drug War [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A lab accident leaves drug manufacturer Timmy Choi in the custody of veteran Police Captain Zhang. To avoid the death penalty, Choi bargains with his life and so assists the police in bringing down the hierarchy of the drug trafficking organizations. There then begins a fight for survival as the cop and criminal lines get blurred.

The above synopsis and the trailer for this film makes this movie look like a million others that we've all seen many times before. It is a shame because the marketing for this production betrays the intelligent and riveting story that takes place within. In addition the filmmaker deserves credit for often not resolving certain scenes in the expected way and taking us in various other directions instead. The attempts to be realistic and foil genre traditions is primarily what keeps Drug War interesting, as there are few films in this over-populated genre where it becomes genuinely difficult to guess what will happen next.

Although the pace could initially be described as plodding, it is necessary to allow the viewer to get a feel for the people and the situation they are in. There is not so much in the way of deeper character development here but rather an attempt to give enough information to enable the viewer to play along with the police in guessing what Timmy Choi might do next. Not knowing if he'll defect carefully raises the tension and draws you in.

The entire film was made in mainland China and so presents Western viewers with a different palette that gives the movie a flavour that seems more unusual and interesting compared to the usual Los Angeles or New York setting. The pockets of action, when they come, are low-key but due to the time spent with the characters, are made more dramatic both in their execution and resolution.

This is not a jolly film but it is bold and confident film-making with a conclusion that most Hollywood films would never dare go anywhere near (and so is worth seeing for that reason alone). Although generally fairly bleak it is never boring and is dusted with occasional dry humour. But primarily it stands as a noble and recommended example of how dramatic and dark character driven stories are being told with serious effect within blossoming mainstream film economies on the other side of the world.

The Kings of Summer [DVD] [2013]
The Kings of Summer [DVD] [2013]
Dvd ~ Nick Robinson
Price: £8.48

4.0 out of 5 stars A touching and quirky tale that also seems strangely familiar., 19 Oct. 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Children turning into teenagers is a stressful time both for them and the parents who thought they knew their children. In Kings of Summer we experience both sides' frustration in what essentially is a nostalgia trip of summer holidays and familiar parental conflict.

Joe is finding it increasingly difficult to deal with his single father attempting to manage his life. In an act of ultimate rebellion, Joe decides to escape to a secret clearing in the woods where, along with his friend Patrick and a strange kid called Biaggio, they set about building their own unique house to live in. They revel in the fact they are now masters of their own destinies and vow to live their lives on their own terms. However conflict arises between Joe and Patrick when a female friend is invited to see their new place and nothing is quite the same again. Meanwhile the two boys have been reported missing and are becoming the main focus of multiple news channels in an attempt to find them.

Kings of Summer looks like a loving childhood memory with cinematography that is stunning and dreamy in its presentation. The film is edited to seemingly give snap shot recollections of a million different adventures and bizarre ideas that only youngsters could invent. The world around them is also lovingly portrayed as the woodland bustles with wildlife of all shapes and sizes. Although the characters on screen are busy forging their exciting memories, there is undoubtedly something familiar for all of us in their exploits. Most viewers should be able to relate with their own experiences of both uncaged fun and the emotional roller coaster of the adult world.

The films splits itself between following the rural teenagers experience and the pursuit by the concerned parents. But although teenage angst and annoyed parents are nothing new, what makes it interesting is the brilliantly designed characters. The blossoming ambition and curiosity of the children is perfectly drawn against the dry sarcasm or cringe worthy perception of parental happiness. Each cast member has created realistic characters that seem real and plausible without a whiff of trying to appeal to the mainstream perceptions of how children should be seen on screen.

Sitting comfortably between films such as Stand By Me and Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom, Kings of Summer can be seen as an affectionate nostalgia trip that is well worth taking.

The DVD also contains a 20 minutes behind-the-scenes glimpse of the film production.

Petit Nicolas [DVD]
Petit Nicolas [DVD]
Dvd ~ Maxime Godart
Price: £8.41

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Charming and amusing family comedy!, 9 May 2013
This review is from: Petit Nicolas [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Petit Nicolas is a wonderful light-hearted tale that revels in the innocence of childhood whilst also showing that adults also make silly mistakes as well!

Set in 1960s urban France, this amusing family comedy is based on the best-selling books about a mischievous schoolboy called Nicolas. When he mistakenly thinks his parents are planning to abandon him to make way for a new baby, he enlists the help of his school friends to come up with a plan to make his parents change their minds. Meanwhile his dad is also hatching a plan to impress his own boss in order to win a lucrative promotion.

For the most part this story is told from the school childrens perspective. Director Laurent Tirard perfectly captures both the naivety and cunning of youth. Each of the classmates are amusing characters in their own right and there are plenty of jokes played at the expense of the adults. We occasionally dip into the imagination of various children and see situations played out that I am sure will be familiar to anyone who went to school!

From a performance point of view, although the adult cast are very good, it is obviously the many child actors that really impress. It helps that they are served by an intelligent and well designed screenplay, but that would count for nothing if it wasn't matched with such a fantastic group of youngsters. They have comic timing that would be the envy of actors twice their age and naturally this helps breathe life into the familiar classroom roles and really make the story work.

Although slightly short at just over 80 minutes long, Petit Nicolas is a funny film that should be enjoyed by both adults and children alike.

Jon Richardson - Funny Magnet [DVD]
Jon Richardson - Funny Magnet [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jon Richardson
Price: £5.13

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent first DVD release, 28 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm a big fan of Jon Richardson and I always look forward to his panel show appearances. This DVD is of his 2012 live tour and is certainly worth watching.
For anyone who is not familiar with his material, he mainly concentrates on putting himself down, admitting social & personal anxiety as well as focusing on and analyzing everyday routines of people's personal behaviour. This exploration of such familiar situations/irritations make him very easy to relate to and takes it further by looking at habits on an almost microscopic level.
On the DVD performance he did seem to do more of the squeaky voice than I remember him doing when I saw him live and so (for me) was on the verge of damaging some of his routines with its over-use.
The DVD also includes an audio commentary and also his appearance on Live at the Apollo.

This is a good show of a great tour. Although I didn't laugh quite as much as I did when I saw him live, I would still say that any fans of Jon should get enjoyment from watching this show.

Barbara [DVD]
Barbara [DVD]
Dvd ~ Nina Hoss
Price: £8.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very dry but watchable drama, 19 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Barbara [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It is the summer of 1980 and Barbara is a woman alone and working as a doctor in a small rural town in East Germany. She is there as punishment for previously attempting to escape to West Germany. She yearns to make it over the border and thus patiently bides her time whilst managing to use secret methods to obtain products from the other side of the wall. All of this is while she is under regular monitoring from the authorities. All is going to plan until she meets a friendly local doctor at the hospital called Andre. He seems to be very interested in her and tries to pierce her cold exterior. His true motives may possibly not be what they seem but she seems to very slowly warm to his kindness, all the while being very mindful of her original plans of eventual escape.

'Barbara' is the latest offering from Berlin Film Festival and German Oscars regular Christian Petzold. It is a film that requires patience as it is a prime example of prudent European film-making that dwells on small detail and very realistic portrayal of personal interaction. For anyone not normally familiar with anything outside of the typical Hollywood style of storytelling, the structure and execution of this story may come as a bit of a shock, but I think that is one of the reasons to give it a go.
Although it may be a little long, I was never bored and as the tension very slowly began to rise, I really became curious to see how it would conclude. Fast and exhilarating storytelling this is not, but that is not always a bad thing.

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