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Profile for Mr. A. Whiteside > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
Mr. A. Whiteside "tonyjackie3" (uk)
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Luther - Series 1 [DVD]
Luther - Series 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Idris Elba
Offered by Champion Toys
Price: £3.49

6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A decent series, 9 Jun. 2010
This review is from: Luther - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
I wasn't too sure about 'Luther' when it first started but it definitely got better as the series progressed. It had moments of tension, some compelling stories and in general a good cast.

At times I found the acting to be slightly off by a couple of character's including Idris Elba as Luther but by and large he had a very strong presence and he suited the role. I also found Saskia Reeves a bit hit and miss as DSU Teller but in the main the performances were good especially Nicola Walker as the wife of a serial killer in episode four. Ruth Wilson was also consistantly good as the intelligent but dangerous Alice. This was a series that didn't pull any punches at times and it was actually something I looked forward to watching which is always a good sign.

Will there be a second series? I think and hope that there will be as this is one of the best police dramas to emerge for quite a while and I recommend it without question. Four and a bit stars.

Inglourious Basterds [DVD] (2009)
Inglourious Basterds [DVD] (2009)
Dvd ~ Brad Pitt
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £3.50

11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Much more of a miss than a hit, 15 April 2010
I will start off this review by saying what I liked about this movie and first and foremost is the much lauded performance by Christoph Waltz as Landa. He is the best thing about this by a mile and I also thought that Diane Kruger was pretty good. The opening scene set in a barn is by far the best segment of the movie with bags of tension and it is very effectively performed. On the whole though, the rest of 'Inglourious Basterds' is a major let down.

As well as the two actors mentioned, the better performances are from the European contingent. It has to be said that Brad Pitt isn't very good here as his acting seems forced especially compared to Waltz. There is a bizarre cameo from Mike Myers that sounds like Austin Powers playing an English general, very odd and a tad ridiculous. Also, the story takes a long time to evolve until you realise after two hours that not really that much has happened. I know that Tarantino movies have shades of very black humour and long drawn out scenes but for some reason those traits don't work well here. Everything bulids up at the end to an extremely predictable bloodbath and a feeling of anti climax.

I do like a couple of Quentin Tarantino's movies. Pulp Fiction [DVD] [1994]is a classic and Kill Bill, Volume 1 [DVD] [2003]is a real blast. 'Inglourious Basterds' most definitely isn't a classic and I think that many people will consider it a disappointment.

Hannibal Rising [DVD]
Hannibal Rising [DVD]
Dvd ~ Helena Lia Tachovska
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £3.45

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the effort, 26 Mar. 2010
This review is from: Hannibal Rising [DVD] (DVD)
I had heard good things about this prequel from a couple of people and looked forward to watching it. I got bored before the end although I did stick with it until it became almost like a teen 'slasher' flick. It's OK to look at but there is just too much wrong with 'Hannibal Rising' for it to have any impact.

There is absolutely no sense of tension as you just know that whatever the situation, Hannibal is going to survive. Well, he has to as there have been three movies starring Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal in later years. As the young Hannibal, Gaspard Ulliel is mostly wooden and just not right for the part. Hannibal's releationship with his Auntie is strange and extremely unconvincing as is the idea of all of his tormentor's surviving the war and mostly sticking together. A major flaw was the fact that young Hannibal was known to the police as a multi murderer so how come he became a world respected Doctor of phsychiatry using exactly the same name?

As stated earlier, there is too much that doesn't work about this. There is some interest as to how he became the monster he was but ultimately this movies fails at just about every level.

The Wire: Truth Be Told
The Wire: Truth Be Told
by Rafael Alvarez
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good companion to the series, 17 Mar. 2010
I have to start this review by stating that I think that 'The Wire' is one of the best TV dramas ever and is right up there with Band Of Brothers - Complete HBO Series Commemorative Gift Set (6 Disc Box Set) [2001] [DVD] and Deadwood : Complete HBO Seasons 1-3 (12 Disc Box Set) [DVD] [2004]. I like many others, was sorry to see the series end but in retrospect it probably did finish at the right time. I was hoping that a book would be brought out as a guide to the series and 'The Wire: Truth Be Told' is a very good effort.

There are synopsies for every single episode from the five series, interviews with acors, directors, writers and even true life characters that people from the series are based on. Also featured are loads of photos including some in colour. There is even a short section on the tune that Omar whistled so there is very little missing here. One thing that did niggle with me a bit was the sense of 'we are brilliant and we know it' attitude that does surface from time to time. We all know how great this series was so it doesn't really need this book to remind us in the way it sometimes does.

Still, this is a fine book and very good work has been done by Rafael Alvarez. As a guide to the programme, I don't think it is as good as the excellent Deadwood: Stories of the Black Hills which tells the story of that fabulous drama in a, perhaps, more modest way. For all that though, this book is a must have for the many of us that are still mourning the end of the legend that is 'The Wire'.

Priceless [DVD] (2006)
Priceless [DVD] (2006)
Dvd ~ Audrey Tautou
Offered by Discs4all
Price: £2.42

7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Even Audrey can't save this, 16 Mar. 2010
This review is from: Priceless [DVD] (2006) (DVD)
This is a dull movie. Full of unlikeable and shallow characters, 'Priceless' tries desperately hard to be stylish and fails. The main female lead is gorgeous but a horrible, gold digging user and the male lead looks like Robbie Fowler and is a bit of a naive idiot, at least until he becomes some sort of super stud.

Will they end up falling in love and abandon their lust for money? It's a predictable story and the fact that they speak French and it is set around the French Riviera doesn't mean that it oozes class because it is a forgettable effort. I would give the movie 1.5 stars and it gets an extra half simply because Audrey Tautou looks great. I can't recommend this at all.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 30, 2014 3:04 PM BST

The Times Desktop Atlas of the World (World Atlas)
The Times Desktop Atlas of the World (World Atlas)

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A small but detailed atlas, 13 Mar. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I already own one world atlas and it's massive. What I was after was an atlas that was much smaller but with just as much detail and ' The Times Desktop Atlas Of The World' was just what I was looking for. It has very detailed maps, lists of the flags of the world and many facts relating to various countries. It is compact enough to carry around with you and it isn't too heavy.

If you too are interested in buying a reasonably small atlas then you would be hard pressed to beat this very good effort.

Up [DVD] [2009]
Up [DVD] [2009]
Dvd ~ Ed Asner
Price: £4.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A modern animated classic, 12 Mar. 2010
This review is from: Up [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
This is one of the best animated movies I have seen in a long time. It has a compelling story, an excellent lead character and it looks stunning. The length of 'Up' is just about right at just over 90 minutes and it doesn't overdo sickly sentiment. OK, the story is sentimental but it certainly isn't saccharine sweet and it is actually quite adult at times as it deals with death and there are a couple of scenes where blood is in evidence.

The opening ten minutes or so sets the scene beautifully. It is very well done and tells the story of Carl and Ellie's lives in a touching and very effective way and it paves the way perfectly for what is to follow. The voice acting is good across the board with Ed Asner in particular doing a great job as Carl. As stated earlier, the movie looks fantastic with stunning scenery and incredible lighting. South America is captured wonderfully well and the sight of a house being carried by balloons never fails to impress. If I do have one niggle, I did find the talking dogs a bit odd but at least this wasn't overdone. Also, nothing can quite capture the charm of the first part of the movie when Carl still lives at home.

'Up' shows that an animated movie can be just as rewarding and moving as any live action film and this fully deserves the many awards it has received.

Rosslyn Chapel Revealed
Rosslyn Chapel Revealed
by Michael T R B Turnbull
Edition: Paperback
Price: £20.00

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read but a few gripes, 6 Mar. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book about Rosslyn Chapel by Michael T.R.B. Turnbull has a lot going for it but it isn't the best book I have read about the subject. There is the history of the chapel included and also the many people connected in it's history. There are also several good photographs including quite a few in colour and there is little doubt that for the most part it is an interesting read and has been very well researched.

What I didn't like in particular was a tendency to stray too far from the subject matter because although many people might well be interested about the surrounding area around Rosslyn and other vague or even tenuous links to the place, I really wanted to know purely about the fabulous chapel itself. To be fair, there is a nice description of the building as the author takes us on a guided tour on the outside and inside of the chapel and this was the most interesting section of the book as far as I was concerned. But one thing that annoyed me was his constsnt reference to the Apprentice Pillar as the Prince's Pillar. OK, so the story of the appprentice being murdered by his master may well not be true, indeed the carving with the mark on it's head may just as well be based on the architect of the Temple Of Solomon. But to me and to many other people, the most famous part of Rosslyn chapel will always be known as the Apprentice Pillar and I thought the author was a little pompous in not recognising the fact.

This is a good book in general but not the best I have read. I can recommend A Rosslyn Treasury: Stories and Legends from Rosslyn Chapel, The Stone Puzzle of Rosslyn Chapel and Rosslyn Chapel: An Icon Through the Ages as being just as good as this if not a little better.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 3, 2010 4:46 PM BST

Appaloosa [DVD]
Appaloosa [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jeremy Irons
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.01

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars On the whole a disappointment, 2 Mar. 2010
This review is from: Appaloosa [DVD] (DVD)
This is a western that on the face of it should have been excellent. It has a good solid cast and it is good to look at but at the end of it all I found 'Appaloosa' to be a disappointment.

It is slow, at times ponderously so and some of the actors were miscast in my opinion including the usually very reliable Timothy Spall and Jeremy Irons. Both seemed to struggle with their accents and this made their parts largely unconvincing. As the two leads, Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen are OK but the macho buddy talk is at times overdone. Renee Zellweger plays a very unlikely love interest and she is reasonable at best. It is a relatively simple storyline but it isn't one that grips and it falls a long way sort of the likes of Once Upon a Time in the West -- Special Collector's Edition (2 discs) [DVD] [1969], The Good, The Bad and The Ugly - 2 Disc Special Edition [1966] [DVD] and Tombstone [DVD] [1993].

This isn't an awful movie at all but I expected much more and I wouldn't watch it again.

Seven Ages of Britain [DVD]
Seven Ages of Britain [DVD]
Dvd ~ David Dimbleby
Price: £13.55

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top notch television, 1 Mar. 2010
This review is from: Seven Ages of Britain [DVD] (DVD)
As I write this, there are still a couple of episodes left to go in this excellent series. If they are up to the standard of the previous episodes, which I'm sure they will be, then five stars is richly deserved.

In basic terms, this is a guide through the history of Britain and it has a very good host in David Dimbleby. He is enthusiastic without being over the top and presents in an engaging and educational manner. Seven Ages Of Britain [DVD] is a programme where you can really learn plenty about the place that you live and what has impressed me the most is the overall style of the series. It is beautifully filmed and the views inside St Paul's Cathedral just made me want to go there and visit. Another standout are the works of art that are shown and these are again talked about in an extremely interesting way. Many treasures are also seen and one example was the longsword used by King Edward 3rd which was a rare chance to see such an item.

This is high quality television with a host that suits the series totally. I do feel that it is a series that could be watched over and over again as it is so good to look at. Highly recommended.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 24, 2010 11:11 PM GMT

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