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Kalah (Norway)

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A Knight's Tale [DVD] [2001]
A Knight's Tale [DVD] [2001]
Dvd ~ Heath Ledger
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £2.73

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Modern Adaption of Chivalry, 23 Jun. 2007
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This review is from: A Knight's Tale [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
This typical story of a poor man's rise to glory and riches resembles the classic "Ivanhoe"... in absolutely no way at all. There's chivalry and love, to be sure, but you don't have to wait long to see that this is a modern adaption of the middle ages rather than a realistic depiction of a 1300s love story. Modern rock music is sewn flawlessly into the film, and the jousting arena with its spectators resembles a hockey stadium more than a medieval competition stadium. This is of course problematic. Whenever a modern connection appears, you find yourself thinking how inappropriate this is. The problem is easily solved, however. The film simply doesn't take itself seriously - it doesn't even attempt to make this a realistic depiction of the Middle Ages. It's a film about the American dream: "Rocky", set in the world of jousting. You find the foreign elements and anachronisms to be not an irritation, but rather... well, funny. Seeing "A Knight's Tale" from a modern perspective with medieval elements yields an amusing experience - a movie you can watch again and again without ever getting bored.

The acting is brilliant. Ledger, Bettany, Tudyk and Addy portray their characters with style and verve, not so much making you live yourself into the medieval world as much as making you identify yourself with the different characters. The hero, the bad guy, the love and the loyalty - all is done in a manner most convincing. Even the side cast plays amazingly. They'll make you laugh, cry and cheer... and then sing: "We will... we will rock you!"


The Gathering Storm [DVD] [2002]
The Gathering Storm [DVD] [2002]
Dvd ~ Albert Finney
Price: £4.62

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely magnificent, 10 Jun. 2007
Joining in with other recent depictions of great politicians and monarchs, this film describes in an exceptional manner the man Winston Churchill. Backed by such extraordinary talents as Vanessa Redgrave, Albert Finney brings Churchill to life in a most excellent way, giving us a thoroughly realistic image of his speeches, his beliefs, his narcissism - his strengths and his weaknesses. Along with his personal life, the troubling times are the centre of the plot. Churchill's particular manner made him the perfect opposite to Hitler, and one of the few men in British politics to stand up to German aggression in an era of appeasement. Churchill is one of the great men of history, for better or worse. This film should be viewed by young and old, and its message burned into the minds of all.


The West Wing - Complete Season 7 [DVD] [2001]
The West Wing - Complete Season 7 [DVD] [2001]
Dvd ~ Martin Sheen
Offered by Assai-uk
Price: £12.65

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All 'Bout The Lyman..., 12 Mar. 2007
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The last season of the series is an uprooting experience, taking a step farther away from the safe ol' White House and the good ol' days. Having now watched the whole marvellous series, I have a great feeling of nostalgia. The plot focuses on two things: the presidential campaign and its two opposing camps, and the ongoing politics of the current White House. Several long-time love stories of the series are brought to their conclusions, and political crises arise - as usual. The first episode features a short "three years later" flash forward, to the dedication of the Bartlet library, and through it you get a glimpse of the future without being told everything that will happen for the next few years. After this short intro, we are shot back into the present. And when I say "shot", I'm not kidding around. The pace is frenetic, and illustrates the true pace of a national campaign and the wear on the people running it. Josh Lyman is the centre of attention throughout, working himself to the brink of destruction to take his candidate to victory.

The fundamental problem of the last two seasons is that there is something missing. That thing is Bartlet. His wit and interactions with the staff. Alan Alda and Jimmy Smits do their parts very well, but their characters simply aren't as interesting as the president, who's not around much. Whenever the candidates say something enlightening, it just makes you feel like the writers are trying to make them look like the new Bartlet. You end up missing the good old days. Much of the fun is also gone; every moment is drenched in such a serious undertone that you miss the amusing puns and quick replies; when they try, more often than not does it fall short - the show has, in short, lost itself. The "magic" is what's missing. Another thing is the lack of a trademark exciting final episode; being the last of the series there is of course no need for a cliffhanger, but I'd still appreciate a bit more grandiose finale than this "back to the everyday doings of the new White House" stuff.

The acting is what keeps it alive. Allison Janney, Janel Moloney and Bradley Whitford are still central characters and as we all know, they've got some game. Whitford in particular is spectacular, centrepiece cast member as he is. The story is not strictly necessary, but the character interaction and development is something you'll want. I'd like to emphasize one episode as being better than the others...: "The Cold". The rest are decent, but nothing out of the ordinary. Seriously, you can stop after buying five seasons, but if you're a big fan, you should pick up the last two.

The only really BIG reason for buying season 7 is the developing story of Josh and Donna. He's been impossible as far as ANY romance is concerned for eight years, but despite her leaving him to find more serious work somewhere else he loves Donna like a sister... perhaps even a bit more?


The West Wing - Complete Season 6 [DVD] [2001]
The West Wing - Complete Season 6 [DVD] [2001]
Dvd ~ Martin Sheen
Offered by Assai-uk
Price: £10.60

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mediocrity Rules..., 12 Mar. 2007
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Season 6 is about two things: the president's increasing MS problems and the upcoming presidential election. Several things bother me about this season. One is the lack of in-depth electoral material. I realise that the producers have probably feared putting too much emphasis on how elections work would be considered as dull by the viewers, but I frankly don't see the point of once again showing detailed episodes of what the staff is doing and what strategies they are planning if we're not going to be shown anything new. We've seen it before, both in the flashback episodes of season 2 and in the re-election campaign episodes of seasons 3 and 4. I imagine the point of showing us this again is to build up a story under the new characters coming onto the scene. As well as, of course, that it would be slightly embarrassing having a presidential election without the typical behind-the-scenes and strategy footage so characteristic of "The West Wing".

As far as acting goes, I'm more than happy. Jimmy Smits and Alan Alda are exceptional actors who look and sound natural enough to hold their own in a series dominated by a brilliant cast - in some cases, however, their characters simply don't leave enough room for movement. The writers have once again to set up a plot in which only the "good men" dominate the field of politics. "If only all politicians could be like this", is a thought continuously popping up in your head, but as we all know, there aren't usually that many "good men" in politics. In fact, they are few and far between. Sorkin knew this when he designed Bartlet to be "a good man" (as CJ called him) and "the real thing" (as Josh and Sam called him), and he knew this when he put him up against the more "typical politician" governor Richie in the re-election. This time setting up two of these guys against one another resembles a pleonasm, a little too much of a good thing, though it has its advantages. The series will be nearing its very end before we know who wins, and it's actually quite a close race this time: it really wasn't as hard to guess that Bartlet was going to beat Richie.

Season 6 is also about the new roles of the old White House staff. Some leave to do other things, some stay in place filling new roles. Political juggernaut Josh Lyman finds himself in a bit of a vacuum when his beloved assistant Donna takes the plunge to develop her own career, and he wonders if he shouldn't be looking to the future himself. He does, finds himself a presidential candidate he can put his world-class political mind behind, and thus the stage is set. The new aspect of the campaigning is that we get to see several sides of it. One episode describes the same day from the different views; one is Donna's, another is Josh' and the third is Vinick's.

In fact, the only thing that makes this season worth buying, is the chance to be with your favourite heroes a bit longer. The whole season is a build-up to the next one, and if I hadn't known that the series was going to end with season 7, I'm not sure I would have bothered. If you're NOT buying season 7, drop this one too.


The West Wing: Complete Season 5 [2001] [DVD]
The West Wing: Complete Season 5 [2001] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Martin Sheen
Offered by movielovers786
Price: £11.74

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Little Mediocre..., 12 Mar. 2007
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The fifth season picks up where the fourth left off; with the last cliffhanger of writer Aaron Sorkin. By all means, the situation is handled well, and resolved in a manner befitting the series; though slightly quicker than expected. In a matter of minutes of viewing time, the crisis is resolved, almost as if the screenwriters wanted to continue onto other things. One wonders why, as there aren't really much more interesting things coming up.

With the emergency out of the way, the administration soldiers on, but one can already now see the effects of the exit of writer Aaron Sorkin - particularly with regards to the actual lines delivered by the actors. They're just not quite as good. It's not too noticeable yet, but the single episodes just don't hold their own in a season of 22 anymore; only one episode in this collection is worth hailing as a separate marvel: "The Supremes", guest starring the brilliant Glenn Close. The others are "all right", but not really anything to write home about.

There are political struggles between the White House and Congress, but that's nothing new. There are still quick and funny lines between the characters, but they've lost something. There's still great acting, but the performance is weakened somewhat by the plot, which just isn't as interesting as in previous seasons.

It's a must-have, of course, on a shelf already packed with seasons 1 through 4; you just can't leave with the kidnapping cliffhanger Sorkin provided upon his exit. And there's nothing to stop you from buying this season; it's really quite all right. It's just not the best.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 14, 2009 4:54 PM BST


The West Wing - Complete Season 4 [DVD]
The West Wing - Complete Season 4 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Martin Sheen
Offered by movielovers786
Price: £9.79

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Damn, This Is Good..., 12 Mar. 2007
As the re-election campaign draws to a close we get several examples of why this staff managed to get him the seat in the first place, and why Bartlet himself managed to beat his republican opponents once; and why he can do it again. His oratory skill is one of the primary reasons Sheen was cast for the series, and why Bartlet was elected the first time. This time, however, the guys find themselves unable to run the campaign they've always wanted to run. New temporary staff is drafted in to help teach them all "not to bother anybody" as a result of the president's MS blunder, and yet in the end Bartlet will be Bartlet.

Two Emmy awards this season; it's been going downhill from the start - from nine to eight to five to... two. That doesn't mean it's not as good as the others, the second season is better than the first, and this one is just as good as the third. The cast is still the same and they get better and better - the show just doesn't live up to the earlier seasons because of the plot. Too much of it is the sort of stuff we've seen before. The political battles... it's still just as well-made, it's just that we've seen it before. The continuation bit is the campaign, the character relationships and the romantic interests.

This is the last season with Sorkin as the writer, and he leaves with a bang. The ending is a real piece of work, a fantastic cliffhanger that leaves your heart pounding... and gets you to order the continuation before you can say "twenty-five".


The West Wing : Complete Season 3 [DVD]
The West Wing : Complete Season 3 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Stockard Channing
Offered by Quality Media Supplies Ltd.
Price: £11.89

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, 12 Mar. 2007
Starting out with a special episode made after September 11th 2001, this season has a lot going for it. For the third time in a row the series got an Emmy for outstanding drama series, and it is well-earned. Plot. Lines. Acting. It's all good. "Only" five Emmys this time, but in my opinion the third season ranks among the most entertaining, as the diversity between the episodes is high; the plot is hurled back and forth between issues foreign and domestic before you can blink. One minute you're watching a legislative battle on the hill, the next you find yourself in a very real war. The White House fights off MS accusations and launches a campaign for re-election while fighting both a hostile Congress and a world full of enemies. In a fight between the good guys and the bad guys in politics, some bad guys are worse than others, and some turn out not to be so bad after all...

Besides the story line running throughout, there are lots of separate side stories in this one, all stuffed with excellent acting - particularly from John Spencer as a blend between Chief of Staff, recovering alcoholic and Josiah Bartlet's best friend. The script is fantastic, and couldn't possibly have been better enacted. In one place it's drama, in another it's comedy, and there are usually only seconds between. The comedy bits are totally awesome. There are character developments, romantic interests in particular, and relationships developing otherwise as well.

If you buy season 3 though, you have to get number 4 as well; too much of this is about the re-election campaign, and you have to have the continuation to see how that goes. Also, the best part of the campaign is the last.


The West Wing : Complete Season 2 [DVD]
The West Wing : Complete Season 2 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Martin Sheen
Offered by Assai-uk
Price: £8.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Of Them All, 12 Mar. 2007
The very best season of the series takes off in rocket pace after the season 1 cliffhanger of the shooting at Roslyn. It continues with some of the best acting I have ever seen on any screen. Janel Moloney's performance, the look on Donna's face when she learns Josh has been shot is nothing short of breathtaking. And likewise, Brad Whitford's portrayal of Josh' post traumatic stress disorder in "Noël" (quite possibly the best episode of the entire series) is equally captivating. We also get some good flashbacks, showing us how the gang got together in the first place.

While recovering from those events, political life ensues, and brings the now well-known Emily Procter into her first major TV role as a republican attorney given a job at the democratic White House. This is funny stuff, and the scene where she is introduced to the fiercely democratic White House Counsel Lionel Tribbey in "And it's surely to their credit" is one of my favourites. What makes this season the best is the mass of great episodes - the perfect blend of an intricate story line, well-written lines and a cast of actors who have now gotten used to each other and give their relationships that extra hint of the real thing. These guys are friends, not just colleagues. It shines through.

As we approach the end, the MS saga begins, and the stage is set up for an incredibly gutsy re-election campaign along with a possible Grand Jury investigation in season 3. In between you get the stand-alone episodes that don't really fit in with the ongoing story, providing a break from the whatever and allowing you to catch your breath. Truly, 22 consecutive episodes of nothing but a single story line would have been too much. The single episodes are woven elegantly into the rest, constructing traits and letting you into the lives of the various characters. The whole thing is rounded off with an absolute masterpiece of an episode named "Two Cathedrals", where we say goodbye... to someone.


The West Wing - Complete Season 1 [DVD]
The West Wing - Complete Season 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Martin Sheen
Price: £9.99

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Rocks My World, 12 Mar. 2007
The second best season in the series starts out as being just another day at the office, with the president riding his bicycle into a tree, Sam accidentally sleeping with a callgirl and political issues up to wazoo. The first season got a total of nine Emmy Awards, and they're well deserved. The script is magnificent, the cast exceptional, and the plot varies from ordinary to divine.

What makes this season so good? What makes this season one of the two I could (and do) watch over and over? Well, the cast members are still working their way into their respective characters, feeling their way on how to deal with their own acting and reacting, and the fact is, it just gets better and better from start to finish. Once you start, you can't stop. The plot is engaging enough to keep you interested from episode to episode, and then all of a sudden something happens which leaves you completely star struck. Toby's conversation with Mr. Willis and the other congressmen, the staggering (literally!) performance of Roger Rees as the Lord John Marbury, and the increasingly quick and amusing bouncing-back-and-forth comments by Sam, Toby, Josh and CJ sets the standard for all the other seasons to come.

It also sets the tone for what kind of president Bartlet's going to be. Intense, oratory and passionate, the president goes from quoting Roman emperors to saying "well, duh" in the same sentence. Toby later describes him as "the two Bartlets": one is the absent-minded professor with the "Aw, Dad" sense of humour; disarming, unthreatening, good for all time zones, and the other is the Nobel Laureate searching for salvation; lonely, frustrated, lethal, who's father never liked him because he was too smart. On the one hand a scholar, on the other hand an average Joe who can say "get your fat asses outta my White House" when he feels like it.

This thing is great, which is why it got a total of nine Emmy awards. If you haven't bought this already, do so. That's all I can say, really.


The Complete West Wing: Seasons 1-7 (44 Disc Box Set) [DVD]
The Complete West Wing: Seasons 1-7 (44 Disc Box Set) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Martin Sheen
Offered by DorBox
Price: £59.79

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Series Totally Rocks, 12 Mar. 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have bought them all, seasons 1 through 7, and written reviews for each of them (see the seperate box sets)... It's my absolute favourite series, though the quality varies from season to season. From best to worst this is the order:

Season 2 - blows my mind every time I watch it, which is often
Season 1 - absolutely amazing, but fewer "gem" episodes in the bag
Season 3 & 4 - great and stable; might as well be a single season with double the number of episodes
Season 7 - Josh & Donna tries something new
Season 5 - something was lost after Aaron Sorkin went away...
Season 6 - it's good... but it could have been SO much better

The biggest difference between the Sorkin years (season 1-4) and the later stuff is that the seasons Sorkin wrote tend to have lots of great single episodes, tied into the series very elegantly. Seasons 5-7 tend to be a bit more continuous: each episode needs to be seen in connection with others to have its quality revealed. What Sorkin was good at was making each episode a quality stand-alone experience.

If you like political drama or even if you're just interested in a good show with a great plot and great acting, look no further.


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