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Matt of York (England)

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Doctor Who - Series 2 [Blu-ray]
Doctor Who - Series 2 [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ David Tennant
Price: £24.99

0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing picture quality!, 17 Feb. 2016
The quality of the writing, acting, etc is not an issue here - it's the quality of the picture. You kind of expect pin sharp picture on a blu ray, and this ain't got it! The BBC can get stunning picture quality from old material - the recent restorations of the Joan Hickson Miss Marples made in the 1980s look heaps better than this!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 12, 2016 4:06 PM BST


MISS MARPLE: VOLUME THREE
MISS MARPLE: VOLUME THREE
Offered by Newtownvideo_EU
Price: £34.73

5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid!, 8 Feb. 2016
As with the other volumes, the restorations on this are superb.

"A Caribbean Mystery" seems to have some extra scenes that don't appear in the dvd edition!


Carrie's War (BBC) [DVD]
Carrie's War (BBC) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Juliet Waley
Price: £12.99

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real bit of class, 21 Sept. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Carrie's War (BBC) [DVD] (DVD)
I remember watching this when I was 8 years old over 40 years ago. The bits that stuck with me then were the extraordinary names, Mr Johnny, and the skull.
Watching it again as an adult I can now appreciate the real heart of the story - the relationships between families, and the relationaships between adults and children. The wartime setting is coincidental to the story, as is the story of the cursed skull. The cast is top notch, and features many actors I have grown up with on tv - Rosalie Crutchley, Avril Elgar, Patsy Smart, etc. Juliet Waley gives an extraordinary performance as Carrie - you can see every thought playing across her face. Aubrey Richards gives genuine pathos to the role of Mr Evans - he isn't the cardboard ogre people make him out to be. Nice to see Patsy Smart as a splendidly regal Mrs Gotabed - she usually played old crones!
All filmed on location, the film print is ok. If the original prints still exist it would have been nice to have a gleaming new transfer.


The Man Who Loved Redheads [DVD]
The Man Who Loved Redheads [DVD]
Dvd ~ Moira Shearer
Price: £5.75

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dull., 18 Sept. 2015
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Un-amusing, clunky comedy. Justin is especially wooden. The only redeeming feature is that the film preserves a decent chunk of Moira Shearer in "The Sleeping Beauty" with her regular Prince Florimund John Hart.


The Bell Family (Vintage Childrens Classics)
The Bell Family (Vintage Childrens Classics)
by Noel Streatfeild
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!, 11 Aug. 2015
Having read about this in various histories of BBC radio's Children's Hour, I thought I'd take the plunge. Un-surprisingly I never read this as a child, as Streatfeild was a no go area for a boy growing up in the 1970s!
I really enjoyed this. All the characters are well written, and the plot moves on at a good pace. The episodic nature of the original radio scripts still shines through, but that is not a bad thing.

I hope something remains in the BBC archives of the original radio series, especially Joan Hickson's legendary Mrs Gage.
Streatfeild wrote a book sequel "New Town" which it would be nice to see reprinted.


Talbot: Wheeldon: Alice's Adventures In Wonderland [Blu-ray] [2010] [Region Free]
Talbot: Wheeldon: Alice's Adventures In Wonderland [Blu-ray] [2010] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Lauren Cuthbertson
Price: £29.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning spectacle., 30 Jun. 2015
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The imagination and detail that has gone into this is truly staggering. The whole thing zips along at a stunning pace, especially the first act - I'm surprised nothing goes wrong technically.
I loved the whole framing device with Alice's parents becoming the King and Queen of Hearts - it gives a good plotline to the rather bitty nature of the original story.
Lauren Cuthbertson is fabulous as Alice - she captures that wide-eyed, gawky teenager to perfection. Her solos and partering with Sergei Polunin as the Knave of Hearts are so lyrical.
Where to begin with everthing else! Zenaida Yanowsky as the Queen of Hearts has be one of the great comic performances. Her spoof of the Rose Adagio from Sleeping Beauty (Jam Tart Adagio?) made me cry with laughter. The Cheshire Cat was stunning, and I loved the caterpillar.
Joby Talbot's lyrical and at times strident score is beautiful.
After watching a second time, I did wonder if this is really a ballet. Spectacle with some dance perhaps? Still loved it.


Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier[Krassimira Stoyanova; Wiener Philharmoniker] [C MAJOR: BLU RAY] [Blu-ray] [2014] [Region A & B]
Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier[Krassimira Stoyanova; Wiener Philharmoniker] [C MAJOR: BLU RAY] [Blu-ray] [2014] [Region A & B]
Dvd ~ R. Strauss
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £29.39

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Visually and vocally appealing production., 9 Feb. 2015
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I love this - a beautiful production with a strong all round cast. The projected settings are never less than stunning. My favourites are the Marschallin staring down an avenue of bare trees in a winter landscape at the end of act 1, and the transformation from the Vienna Riesenrad to the inn in act 3.

To my shame I have never heard of Krassimira Stoyanova, but what a lovely Marschallin. A warm, rich voice and personality, she was never the tragic, drama queen. She looked stunning in the last act in green velvet. Günther Groisböck was an unbelievably young Ochs, and sang superbly. I found his mannerisms a bit iritating, but that may have been intentional! Sophie Koch was as splendid as ever, and Mojca Erdman was a visually ideal Sophie, though some of the high notes seemed a stretch. Special mention should be made of Tobias Kehrer as the Polizeikommissar. A beautiful voice, and very handsome as well!


Lungbarrow (New Doctor Who Adventures)
Lungbarrow (New Doctor Who Adventures)
by Marc Platt
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but don't think about the backstory too much!, 13 Jan. 2015
I've been wanting to read this for a while, mainly because of its origins as a script for the aborted 1990 season of the classic Doctor Who series. Not willing to pay the high prices for a print copy, I finally found a free e-version on archive.org.

Others have given a good resume of the story so I won't linger on that. This is very much in the same vein as Platt's tv story "Ghost Light" - indeed elements were taken from the script of Lungbarrow after it was abandoned and used in "Ghost Light." I loved the central theme of the story taking place in a House that has trapped its occupants inside. The House is a character in itself, and the details of Gallifreyan home life are fascinating.

What is interesting in this story, is how elements from it have seeped into the 2005 re-boot. The Drudges could be the wooden creatures in Matt Smith's "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe." There are three dimensional pictures on the walls of the House similar to that in "The Day of the Doctor." Also the House is grown, a bit like growing the coral TARDIS in the new series.

I really enjoyed this, and didn't think too much about the backstory of the Doctor's origins. This seems at odds with the tv writers at the time wanting to inject mystery back into the Doctor's character - they seem to be laying everthing on the table in bucketfuls! Favourite character was the Doctor's cousin Innocet - a genuine friend to the Doctor, and a librarian to boot! The edition I have has a great set of notes at the end by Marc Platt where he discusses the differences between the tv script and the final book. He also details the many literary and artistic influences on the work.


Miss Marple: Volume One [Blu-ray] [US Import]
Miss Marple: Volume One [Blu-ray] [US Import]
Offered by Newtownvideo_EU
Price: £33.08

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning restoration., 18 Nov. 2014
My review is of the American blu ray release.

I'll get my only gripe over with early, namely that I have to go to the US to buy this. Just to say though that the blu ray plays fine on my UK blu ray player.

I have always loved the Joan Hickson Miss Marples, and have been praying for a restored, high definition transfer. I can say the results have surpassed my expectations – the picture quality is extraordinary for a thirty year old programme. Dare I say better than the BBC Colin Firth “Pride and Prejudice.” The colours zing out of the screen – Mrs Lestrange’s orange gloves and the green bus in “Murder at Vicarage” stand out in the muted winter landscape. Trees and the countryside look lush and green. A great improvement is in skin tones, which on other programme restorations have looked bleached out and waxy. Interiors which tended to look brown and yellow on the dvd edition are much improved - a case in point being the interior of The Majestic Hotel in “The Body in the Library.” In places the image is pin-sharp – the tea and scandal scene in “Murder at Vicarage” looks gorgeous. Night scenes are the only area where a drop in quality is noticeable – a bit more fuzzy and less defined. A lot better than the old dvd tranfers though.

One of the other great gains in this edition is the improvement in the soundtrack over the dvds which in places had terrible wobbles in the music score. This has been corrected for this edition, and we can hear Alan Blaikley, and Ken Howard’s scores in all their glory. Standout for me was the delicate glockenspiel solo which accompanies Ann Protheroe’s exploring of the attic in “Murder at the Vicarage.” Megan’s guitar motive in “The Moving Finger” is beautifully crisp.


Cider with Rosie (1971) - BBC [DVD]
Cider with Rosie (1971) - BBC [DVD]
Dvd ~ Philip Hawkes
Price: £5.95

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best evocation of being a very young child I have ..., 19 Oct. 2014
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I'll get the negative over first. The picture quality is fair - there are a lot of scratches, blobs and tramlines, but it doesn't detract from the viewing.

The first half hour of this is extraordinary. The best evocation of being a very young child I have seen. Everthing is shot from a low level, and edited in flashes and bursts as though odd memories are strung together. This makes things confusing and frightening - as though you are the young Laurie. Once he is older, it settles to fairly standard period drama.

Rosemary Leach is fine as the scatty mother, and the rest of the cast is a fine ensemble of familiar faces especially in the smaller roles. Louise Jameson, Trevor Bannister, Michael Robbins.

Interestingly two of the children, Stephen Grendon and Sophie Neville went on to appear as Roger and Titty in the Swallows and Amazons film a couple of years later.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 10, 2015 7:13 PM BST


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