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Maleficent
Maleficent
Dvd

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars convincingly recasting one of the greatest screen villains in a feminist revision which is family and film buff friendly, 8 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Maleficent (Amazon Video)
Angelina Jolie and the production designers make this movie. Apart from the rather crude histrionics she displays in the battle sequences in the first half, Jolie delivers a nuanced and charismatic performance, convincingly recasting one of the greatest screen villains in cinema history in a perrformance equally memorable through the striking iconic costume design but with a feminist revision of a strong but wronged woman, who ultimately is redeemed through love. The core message is Disney at it's best, but one star off for some poor script development and the woefully conceived characters of the three fairies (what a waste of three great actresses!)


2001 - A Space Odyssey
2001 - A Space Odyssey
Dvd
Price: £2.49

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ) Much of this film is about conveying the sense of what it is like to live in space - it is also a ..., 8 Jan. 2015
This is a poem of a film. It is deliberately allusive in it's meaning, and if you are someone who only enjoys a 3 Act structure with a strong narrative with a strongly defined beginning, middle and end, then this is not for you (but try it anyway - blow your mind!) Much of this film is about conveying the sense of what it is like to live in space - it is also a journey of the mind - it is a puzzle, and it teases with hints at a solution, but in the end, it is about the journey, not the destination.


Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa
Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa
Dvd
Price: £3.49

2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 3 May 2014
Given the talent involved, this is a disappointment - one or two moments of hilarity only go to emphasise the lack of humour in this would-be comedy. Never mind, Coogan has gone on to other things, maybe this is Alan Partridges swan song.


Inception (Two-Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [2010]
Inception (Two-Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [2010]
Dvd ~ Leonardo DiCaprio
Price: £2.30

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ultimate Psychological Thriller - and Hollywood moonshine, 19 Aug. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There are plenty of reviews here that cover this film - so my five stars are for: hats off to Nolan, an amazing feat of screenwriting and direction, conveying an ultimately absurd and complex pretext in such a convincing cinematic manner. Truly impressive, combining commercialism and artistic intent in one. This will not appeal to purists but I love hollywood and its long tradition of delivering unashamedly packaged entertainments covering supernatural or otherworldly subject matter in apparently effortless exposition - (see 'Portrait of Jenny' "The Devil and Daniel Webster' and many many more).

Nolan delivers the package with dazzling skill - carefully crafted characters, including the unlikely Ellen Page's character as the genius teenage 'architect' of dreams who is sourced by Cobb's father at a University in Paris - she is the central character in supporting role which the main demographic attending cinemas 18-25 year olds, will identify with. Notice how she quickly becomes not only one of the team, but the trusted confidante who learns Cobb's darkest secrets - she is a proxy for the audience members, drawing them into the film.

The ridiculous subject matter is dealt with so skillfully that suspension of disbelief is absolute from frame one to the rolling credits - yes I did say ridiculous, but I am not being disrespectful, far from it - this is an amazing feat of screenwriting and direction - Nolan is a master in the great Hollywood tradition of weaving a dreamworld which we all buy into - on this evidence, perhaps he is their greatest exponent.

The Dark Knight was a greater achievement for its intellectual depth and Heath Ledger's astonishing central performance - but Inception is an extraordinary and daring piece of wizardry - I am not surprised it took 10 years to develop - nothing to do with special effects - it is the screenplay and direction which is so impressive -Mr. Nolan, I salute you


Hanna [DVD]
Hanna [DVD]
Dvd ~ Saoirse Ronan
Offered by wantitcheaper
Price: £2.30

2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Impressive central performance, 13 Aug. 2011
This review is from: Hanna [DVD] (DVD)
I saw this on a long haul plane trip - so probably an edited version - Ronan is outstanding as Hanna- the central premise is nothing new and may be a turn-off for those looking for originality- I have mixed feelings about it - keep thinking I should not like it as much as I do - so why do I? well this is a genre movie given art-house treatment: character development, emotional depth, and committed performances from all concerned - I particularly liked Tom Hollander's villainous supporting role - it is an entertainment that has some powerful scenes, pumped up by a kick ass soundtrack from the Chemical Brothers - and a beautifully sustained central performance from Saorise Ronan - one small example - you see the look of pain at having her dark side exposed when she is forced to coldly murder two thugs bent on killing witnesses whilst trying to apprehend Hanna - her teenage friend is a bystander and turns away in disgust -Ronan looks like she is developing into a major acting talent. Look forward to watching it happen.

Not to be taken too seriously, and you will enjoy.


Mindfulness with Breathing: A Manual for Serious Beginners
Mindfulness with Breathing: A Manual for Serious Beginners
by Ajahn Buddhadasa Bhikkhu
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A manual for serious beginners, and experienced meditators, 1 Sept. 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The book is a translation of a series of talks given by the late Buddhasa Bhikkhu, a renowned Thai meditation master and scholar of Buddhist teaching. Famous for his individual, and sometimes radical approach, when he died in 1993 he was acknowledged as among the most significant spiritual figures in the 20th century Buddhist world. His funeral reflected his life, no ceremony, no emphasis on him as a personality, but always pointing to the Dhamma, in other words, the ultimate reality of nature, or truth

The talks translated here are informal in tone, but extremely precise in giving instructions for the development of the 16 stages the Buddha proclaimed for breathing mindfulness meditation. This development covers both Samatha (calm) and Vipassana (insight) aspects of the breathing mindfulness practice. The 16 stages of breathing mindfulness culminate in the very highest attainment - enlightment - so even experienced meditators will gain much from careful and repeated readings of this text. Putting the stages into practice, by patient daily practice is the best way for lone meditators to establish mindfulness and eventually clear comprehension - but it is important to return to the text, as by our very nature we are more often than not asleep and miss or mis-interpret subtle but significant elements of the instructions for the practice. The emphasis is on direct experience, but also on following fully and completely the instructions given, if results are to be achieved. The reason for this is simple: the instructions provide a method for establishing the necessary conditions to experience the fruits of the practice. If the conditions are not in place, the results will not arise - cause is not present, so effect will not follow. Those who can should always seek a trusted and experienced meditation teacher if possible, as well as use the valuable material in this manual.


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