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Blade Runner 2049 [Blu-ray 3D Steelbook] [2017]
Blade Runner 2049 [Blu-ray 3D Steelbook] [2017]
Dvd ~ Harrison Ford
Price: £24.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars " More human than human"., 17 Oct. 2017
All I can say is thank God Ridley Scott stepped aside for this one. Villeneuve has not made a bad film yet and 2049 is a towering achievement. We saw what Ridley Scott did to follow ups of Alien; however glad he gave Villeneuve the go-ahead This is simply the film of the year and the most avidly awaited follow up of a sci-fi classic ever. In transferring Dick to screen in the original some of the philosophical and religious fat of the novel had to be cut away to make what we got. We got fights,city scenes of bustling market places, flying cars, questions of the replicant status of the Blade Runner, beautiful vistas and overheads, love with a replicant. BR2049 takes place 30 years after the 1st film concerned as it was with Harrison Ford’s Blade Runner. It would have been best to see the Final Cut of Blade Runner (1982) before coming to this film, because the themes of that film feed into this film’s story. In the future the Tyrell Corporation has gone bust and been replaced by Jared Leto’s more sinister Wallace Corporation. Ryan Gosling is K (a replicant) whose job it is to track down rogue androids, one of whom is Sapper Morton (Baptista), who tells K the only reason he’s able to do his job is because he’s never “seen a miracle”. K lives at home with his girlfriend Joi, who is a holographic projection. She changes her get up to suit his mood. He says I’ve never retired anything that was born: to be born means to have a ‘soul’. His superior Joshi (Robin Wright) says you don’t need one of them in this job. But he’s starting to have doubts about his job, his life, his purpose. There are twists in his character arc, which are momentous, tragic.

Then the film proceeds to pursue the absolute identity crisis of the original, asking the big questions: what does it mean to be alive, whatdoes it mean to have memory; how much do memories inform our past and our future; what does the slogan ‘more human than human’ (from 1st film) really mean? In all the versions of the 1st film it had a sense of visual grandeur, of awe that was breathtaking back then, which has influenced every single film since Blade Runner. In BR 2049 Villeneuve, who did the brilliant Arrival, that sense of visual awe is back again. Roger Deakins’ extraordinary cinematography has contributed to the breathtaking world view of dystopian LA: bleak, grey vistas ofcityscapes, rusty coloured industrial wreckage, an eco-collapsed world. The lighting is expressionist shadows and angular lines, broken by reflections of water. You become immersed in the sheer visual sense of Ozymandian decay. This recalls in BR1 when you 1st see the cityscape, the fires bursting from the tops of tall buildings, the pyramidical structures. You get too in BR 2049 that same sense of overwhelming awe. Also the score which goes from industrial growls to electronic transcendence of strange cosmic revelations, dancing around the themes of theVangelis score(from BR1), You become enthused by this film’s attempt to do the story justice, by its pace it has the confidence to deal with these big subjects. This puts it at variance to most modern blockbusters(why it may have bombed at box-office). This is its own movie. The screenplay was written by Hampton Fancher, who wrote the original BR screenplay. He’s managed to make the screenplay about all the things Blade Runner was originally about, which will enthuse all the original fans. It both respects the original but bravely goes somewhere else. The nature of Deckard in BR1 is an enigma, Villeneuve has again thrown this open to mystery. The enigma in 2049 is taken, explored, unpacked, and is preserved simultaneously. Has taken 1st film’s key concerns, but has its own vision of where to take those key, core concerns, that may or may not be in tune with Ridley Scott’s interpretation of BR. This film is of quite breathtaking visual beauty. It doesn’t let BR down, but shares the qualities that made it so great. This is world-building sci-fi. Will become iconic like the original.


Nausea (Penguin Modern Classics)
Nausea (Penguin Modern Classics)
by Jean-Paul Sartre
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A novel philosophy., 4 Oct. 2017
In the novel, La Nausee (1936), Sartre takes freedom as man’s inheritance in a Godless universe. He is condemned to freedom. The world outside him, the dull, solid world of the in-itself possesses neither significance nor value. Values are fashioned by us out of our sense of need and our projects for the satisfaction of those needs. For the hero Roquentin, what is man to do with this freedom? One can withdraw and observe it as something that simply is. Then it seems to sink into an in-itself, to change from what I am to something I merely have. As such it is unjustifiable and absurd, as it lies in a region beyond all justification. It is sheer contingency. It evokes not dread, but disgust, nausea. Roquentin lives alone, without love, family or connections. Things like a pebble he picks up on a beach, the knob of a door, a glass of beer, evoke a“sweetish sort of disgust.” He experiences absolute contingency as something horrible or menacingly senseless, a threat to imaginary freedom. The world of everyday reality has fallen out of the realm of being into the realm of existence.

For Sartre to be rather than to exist is to resemble the hero of a novel. The Sartrean hero is, must be, the demythologized modern equivalent of the tragic hero. The character must not be predetermined by plot, but a centre of indeterminacy. For Sartre temporality in the novel should be closest to ‘real’ time. A book should have continuous duration, development, and the manifest irreversibility of time. Nausea is an illustration of absurdity and contingency, but also the power of fiction to free us from them. The novelist has to avoid the errors of Roquentin, the historian who imposes an order, and of the Autodidact, who reduces the world to an alphabet.; without falsifying contingency, he has to make ‘adventures’ and rhythms, establish the place of the ‘privileged moment’ in the ‘irreversible flow of time’. Roquentin comes at the end to believe that he can see the shape of his life, and that he knows how to implement the lesson he learned form the song ‘Some of these day’- il faut souffrir en mesure. What’s needed is a novel ‘beautiful and hard as steel’. Nausea contains the viscous and the absurd, but also aspires to this condition. Only the “pure radiance “ of art gives salvation, for the hero to ‘wash himself of the sin of existing.'


The Words Sartre
The Words Sartre
by Bernard. (Translator) Frechtman
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars I write, therefore I am., 20 Sept. 2017
This review is from: The Words Sartre (Hardcover)
Sartre’s father, a naval officer, died two years after Jean-Paul was born, whereupon he and his mother went to live with her parents. Sartre thus grew up under thesupervision of his grandfather, Charles Schweitzer (uncle of Albert Schweitzer), who exercised a powerful, and not altogether a benign influence on the boy’s development. He was sequestered at home, and there encouraged in precocious literary aspiration until the age of 10,when he was sent to school, to enjoy for the 1st time the companionship of other children. Sartre’s own account of his childhood in Les Mots (1964) is mostly negative, and his grandfather is subjected to extremely unfavourable criticism. He was like the God figure. Due to his father’s death at an early age Sartre had no superego.

In 1964 Sartre renounced literature in a witty and sardonic account of the first ten years of his life, Les Mots (The Words). The book is an ironic counterblast to Marcel Proust, whose reputation had unexpectedly eclipsed that of André Gide (who had provided the model of littérature engagée for Sartre's generation). Literature, Sartre concluded, functioned ultimately as a bourgeois substitute for real commitment in the world. Sartre is inducted into literature from his grandfather’s library. His whole experience was through books rather than nature or real events, hence his idealism which took 30 years to get rid of. Charles despises the trashy literature read by his wife and daughter. But from thrillers and magazines Sartre derived his most personal fantasy world: optimism. From his grandfather he forged a will to write.

In some ways Sartre’s mother was the most important woman in his life, to which we can attribute his genius, the love of a beautiful young mother, the conviction that she has a genius, and the very strong relationship between mother and child. Sartre remembers his mother as an elder sister whom he would grow up to marry. However his mother remarried when he was 12. Sartre fostered the illusion he was her husband, her lover. That he‘d become a famous writer. Later in his life in 1946, Sartre found himself living with his mother again when her husband died. He lived with her for 16 years until it became too dangerous due to OAS bombs. He was her‘3rd husband.’ He was fulfilling to his mother what she wanted him to be when he grew up, her little boy. He also fulfilled his promise to marry mummy when grown up.

Sartre was convinced his mother wanted to give birth to a daughter; in the end she had to make do with Poulou, giving him the ‘sex of angels, indeterminate but feminine around the edges.’ He was ‘feminised through his mother’s tenderness.’ It made him stay away from rough games and boys. He reflected himself in his mother’s eyes, was ‘pretty and pampered’: he ‘lorded it like a little king in the world of women’. There is a famous episode where his grandfather took him for a haircut and he has all his beautiful blonde curls cut off, leaving him looking ugly. Satisfying his grandfather, he’d disappoint his mother: “I was pure object doomed to masochism.” Sartre begins to construct a sense of himself from the images that get projected to him from his doting mother and grandfather. Sartre is lost in illusions about how he’s going to become a great writer. He doesn’t really understand who he is; he begins to understand it when his locks are cut off. Sartre sees through his mother’s eyes how ugly, small and nasty he is. Always our sense of ourselves comes from other people.Expressing both grandiosity and vulnerability, he suffers a narcissistic wound to his body. He will feel shame every time he feels vulnerable, associated with his mother.The writing self is the powerful self that will protect him from vulnerability. It's the phallic consciousness.

Sartre records in Les Mots how his father's terminal illness precipitated his premature weaning, prompted his own attempt to die (in emulation of his father and resentment against his mother), and produced the estrangement from his mother which cast her forever in a different role : an elder sister, for whom there was no contestant in her possession. This is a crafted version of his childhood where his rational self takes over and is in control. His father’s death, he says ,was the « great event of his life : it gave me my freedom ». He wasn’t crushed to death by his father. Sartre describes his early childhood as paradise. « I was treated as a young prince that the Schweitzer family had begotten, a treasure that had not been clearly defined, but that exceeded all its outward manifestations ». » I had been told I was a gift from heaven, much longed for, indispensible to my mother and grandfather ». The child prodigy. However Sartre is aware of the abscence of his father, giving him a loss of self respect. He felt unstable and impermanent, and with Anne-Marie,having neither land,goods or home. She was treated as a child by her parents. Poulou becomes abstact,disembodied,dead,an impostor. Play-acting for the benefit of the adults, wantingto please them.

Although Sartre never wrote about Rimbaud, he takes Le Poetes de Sept Ans, as a model for Les Mots : like Rimbaud he’s cut off from other children but can see/hear them playing ; he’s also writing adventure novels set in jungle and desert ; he’s a solitary soul dreaming in the study ; he doesn’t believe in God, but loves maman.Literature became a replacement for outmoded religious beliefs in favour of the view that it should have a committed social function, however in the closing pages he despairs of that function : « For a long time I looked on my pen as a sword ; now I know how powerless we are. » He is the 60 year old man looking back with clarity on this formative episode, and the writing is crystal clear and beautiful. Part I is more embedded in that early life than part II as it discusses the complexity of family life.


The Colossus of Maroussi (Penguin Modern Classics)
The Colossus of Maroussi (Penguin Modern Classics)
by Henry Miller
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Epiphanies from the Greek book of revelation., 14 Sept. 2017
In 1939 Henry Miller accepted the invitation of his friend Lawrence Durrell to visit Greece and the island of Corfu. Europe was sinking into World War II. Miller, then 46, had ended one cycle of his artistic life, having written the novels for which he was famous, Tropics of Cancer, Capricorn and Black Spring; now he came to celebrate the Greek experience, with a Whitmanesque openness to this culture andlandscape soaked in its mythic splendour: “The light of Greece opened my eyes, penetrated my pores, expanded my whole being. I came home to the world.…" Miller becomes pantheistically resurrected in a non-sexual way; it’s also pre-Christian, another of his betes-noires, just like American civilization, England and technology.“Mechanical devices have nothing to do with man’s real nature-they are merely traps which nature has baited for him”. He loves boats, Katsimbalis almost drowns Miller in a boat, but Miller doesn't mind, because Katsimbalis shows him the Greek earth, the stoic Greek carelessness in the face of death and gives him Greek retsina and cognac to drink while intoning the glories of Greek literature and history.

His central anchor in this experience is Katsimbalis,the Falstaffian poet and storyteller.He practically worships this man and reveres him like a god. Katsimbalis tells his group of friends long, rambling stories that have no end, and endless variations. But although Greece is the object and Katsimbalis the subject, Miller’s real story is about himself, his solipsistic reveries that help him escape time and place, and rap to hisown heart’s content. You learn very little in terms of knowledge of Greece or it’s great monuments,sites and archaeology. This is a new kind of travel writing, where he makes rapturous pronouncements about the divinity in man and the possibility of an inner renaissance. We visit Mycenae, Knossos ,Delphi, taking in the rapture of Thebes and Eleufsis. He treats these places as milestones of the Greek spirit.Greece and the Greeks are of the essence,anything that betrays this, whether economic Greeks returned from America with it gospel of progress, money, ambition, or Greeks who became Americans(like the surgeon). Only the poor ones have his sympathy. He berates a French woman, wife to a Greek shop-keeper, about her “civilized” values, who hates Crete.

Miller is a guide of the spirit of men beaten down by the coming war, the fear,the repression, the rationalization, he lets rip with incantatory odes to the blue sky or the antaean earth. His anecdotes are gripping, he interactions with the Greeks are human, his love of them is profound. I especially liked it when he brings his love of people together with his love of place, in his trip to Phaestos,where the Minoans worshipped the female divinity.He gives himself up to a Lawrentian rapture,where he becomes resurrected along with the wider world ,”what great happiness lies in store for all of us.” He and Alexandros share a meal and talked “in the deaf and dumb language of the heart”. He becomes a joyous mystic in an Emersonian trance. “ The present way of life,which is America’s, is doomed as surely as that of Europe. No nation on earth can possibly give birth to a new order of life until a world view is established”. Miller becomes our companion as the skies darken and war lours over the horizon. He proffers Jeremiads to the coming American century, is a shaman divining the future of man. This book is his masterpiece wherein he gave his all. He captures the spirit of an earlier, happier age.


Cartes Postales from Greece: The runaway Sunday Times bestseller
Cartes Postales from Greece: The runaway Sunday Times bestseller
by Victoria Hislop
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Journey into the Greek idyll., 3 Sept. 2017
Cartes Postales is a good summer read as a book, finding a novel way to tell a story of travelling around Greece. We build the journey on post-cards Ellie receives from abroad (Greece) addressed to ‘S. Ibbotson’ with a Return to Sender to an Anthony Brown at an Athens address if undelivered. The postcards keep arriving weekly. Ellie is working, but applies for 10 days holiday, as her travel lust has been aroused to go to some of the places photographed. The person the cards were addressed to was unknown to Ellie. She also gets sent a journal/ diary of the itinerary travelled. The pictures are really at the heart of the book, but so also are Anthony’s journal jottings of the people he met and the places he went to. Anthony sends his missives to a woman (S) he was in love with, who seems to have left him. He is in love with Greece, its landscape, culture and people; Ellie is soaking the texture up too. He pours out his love affair with Greece into his journal, going from place to place.

We capture the mysterious edges of things, the people’s stories Anthony meets, which bring alive each locality. We don’t get a tourist slant on things, more the perspective of what it’s like to live in present day Greece with its economic troubles, the myths like Icarus, religious festivals like Epiphany, historical events like the Turkish/Nazi occupations , the civil war, the economic crash, the time of the Colonels, The Persians. On top of this there is the beauty of nature and the glorious temples and statues. All the time there is a sense of mortality, the Greeks live close to death, on every roadside there’s a memorial (Et In Arcadia Ego). This is my 1st reading of Victoria Hislop, but I know she’s set a lot of her books in Greece, and I liked it very much. Wherever Ellie goes she finds what binds the people are their sense of family. However many of the young have travelled abroad to other countries like Germany, France, UK to find a career or job. Hislop seems to breathe in the stories of ordinary Greeks. She joins Durrell, Miller, De Bernieres and Fowles in books in Greece.

This novel contains a series of inter-related short stories retold by Anthony by the locals after offering him a place to sleep and eat. Nafplion in the Peloponnese is a starting point. There is also a map doted with key locations, towns, cities and islands, excluding Crete. We get the parallel narratives of Ellie and Anthony, as if she’s shadowing his own musings (he’s a researcher into Cycladic culture). A character Eva, who bewails the fate of modern Greece, says poignantly to the men in a bar, “The gods gave the Greeks this idyll, but look what they have done with it.” There are lots of relics, ruins, desolation and wasted constructions that blemish Greece.The stories depict a lot of the powerlessness and anger of these realistic people.Hislop brilliantly describes the nature, places, bringing all the scents, sunrises/sunsets to glorious life. She not only loves Greece and the Greek people, she understands their cultural life. Ellie herself has felt the need to escape her own dull life into this adventure. The stories or stories within stories have a message in them, of love and hope and the battle against evil. Greece, its myths, its landscape and history are truly inspiring, brought into vivid and graphic description inimitably. Recommended.


Man Up [DVD] [2015]
Man Up [DVD] [2015]
Dvd ~ Simon Pegg
Offered by simply-well-priced
Price: £9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Rambunctious full up comedy., 1 Sept. 2017
This review is from: Man Up [DVD] [2015] (DVD)
I’m not a rom-com fanatic. Nor particularly a fan of Simon Pegg, and due to the nature of modern life, dating people is complex, being caught up in the social media we like to vaunt and the technical expertise needed to navigate your way through this minefield. However, I did like this film in the age of workaholism, Tinder and ‘girl power’. Man Up a new comedy from Ben Palmer the director of the Inbetweeners movie is an impressive way to raise the Lazarus of romantic comedy to the screen. Fast-paced, verbally audacious, a screwball of laugh-out-loud moments (courtesy of Tess Morris) this is an outstanding British comedy which reminds us why love is hard to find in the 21st century. This is largely due to the two main characters, especially Lake Bell as kooky, loquacious, 30 something Nancy, a singleton with a negativity to make her trip over every romantic opportunity. Fruitless set-ups and unsuccessful dates have wiped out her faith in any form of love. However, her sister Elaine is happily married and her parents are celebrating another milestone of their successful marriage. Not the greatest environment to be single, for sure.

On the other side, Simon Pegg is a dewy-eyed 40-year old divorcee Jack, who is desolate after his wife (Olive Williams) has left him for another man. Pegg is usually known for slapstick roles in Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Here he has a streak of undying idealism and romantic bravura which he hopes will relight the spark. Energy comes from the chemistry of the two performers in every scene.Auxiliary characters, like Lovibond’s Jessica, add spice to a great recipe. We also get Rory Bremner as a former school associate of Nancy and Ken Stott and Natasha Walter ,as her parents. Jack and Nancy are like misery’s bedfellows and love each other’s despair. They both have a love for excessive drinking, exchanging movie quotes, and silly life goals like ‘be more deviant’ or ‘accept you will never have a6-pack’ to amplify the romantic spark between them. And they like making lists.

As antagonistic as they are, meeting each other and seeing what they were doing wrong in their past relationships made Jack and Nancy realise their own culpability in their defective love lives. Man Up is a critique of the extinction of modern day romance. People are so immersed in their 1st world problems they rush ahead and blame anything else but themselves in their inability to find love. Nancy’s speech is a great punctuation mark to the film: she celebrates the stalwart qualities that have maintained her parents 40 year marriage and she wonders at the mishap that led to her meeting a wonderful man. Man Up is a serenade to romantic love(without sentiment) and the mishaps of the modern world. Has a great musical soundtrack.


Echoes From The Dead (Skumtimmen)
Echoes From The Dead (Skumtimmen)
Dvd ~ Lena Endre
Offered by Gravity 4 Dvd´s
Price: £17.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow burn thriller, 30 Aug. 2017
Echoes from the Dead is a Scandinavian thriller based on a good 1st novel by Johan Theorin set on the desolate island of Oland. After 20 years Julia Davidson(Lena Endra) has returned to her island home to sell her father’s house now he’s in an old people’s home. She has bad memories from this place as her 5 year old son Jens disappeared into the fog and his body was never found, Police thought he’d drowned. Her father is trying to put the fragments together since he received a sandal Jens wore that day in the post. Julia refuses to believe he drowned as no proof was found. A clairvoyant in the past said she saw in a dream Jens with a strange man. The sandal is in too good a condition for a boy who had drowned.

She blames her elderly father for the boy’s disappearance as she left them to go out to work that day. They are still striving to piece together the events that led to the tragedy. The story is told in tandem with that of Nils Kant, rich son of a local landowner, whose tale begins when he was a boy around the time of the Second World War. We rapidly discover that Nils is a nasty boy and even worse adult, whose actions eventually mean he has to flee Oland for South America, abetted by his doting mother, in the 1960s. Julia's conviction that Nils, as well as committing other crimes on the island, was also responsible for Jens's death, is soon shattered by her discovery of Nils's grave in the local churchyard. Gerlof, however, tells her of rumours that the body that came back for burial was not that of Nils. There are McGuffins.

The film is slow paced and atmospheric, and Julia’s paralysed life opens up and thaws and her ex-sea captain father finds new purpose. She has a relationship with a policeman whose father was killed by Kant. There are flashbacks and recalled memories, discussions with people who were there at the time. The twists and turns keep you watching. Endra from the Millenium series is superb.


The German Doctor [DVD]
The German Doctor [DVD]
Dvd ~ Alex Brendemuhl
Price: £2.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly scripted and directed film, 29 Aug. 2017
This review is from: The German Doctor [DVD] (DVD)
Wakolda ( The German Doctor) is an interesting film about what one of the Nazis( Joseph Mengele) who escaped to South America did( based on the writer/director’s creation). The true story of an Argentine family who lived with Josef Mengele without knowing his true identity, and of a girl who fell in love with one of the biggest criminals of all times. From the start there’s the uneasiness of an older man showing such interest in a young girl. The film tells you who this character is from very early on, so the film builds tension and suspense. He’s now known as Helmut Gregor (Alex Brendemuhl) practising as a vetenary surgeon on cattle. The audience is uncertain what is going to happen, as the narrator is the young girl Lilith (Florencia Bado). What are his motives? We see this man through the eyes of the family, as he gets to know them and insinuate himself. The film cleverly seems to humanise him into a complex character. He seems to have a true concern for the child; she has warmed to him like an uncle figure. Lilith just wants to fit in, her mother Eva (Natalia Oreiro) wants a ‘normal’ child, in the German community of Bariloche, where she is classed as a ‘dwarf’, due to being born premature, picked on by a group of students. Eva is willing to deceive her husband Enzo (Diego Peretti) by allowing Gregor to supervise her latest pregnancy and ply Lilith with growth hormones. Although Enzo is suspicious of the suave interloper, he is seduced by an offer to help mass produce porcelain dolls he fabricates in his workshop.

The story builds a sense of menace with the character of the photographer (a Mossad Agent) who stealthily takes photos of Gregor and informs agencies where he is. There’s also the sense of hydroplanes flying in and out with unknown visitors. A contrast in scenery between Lake Nahuel Huapi and the closed in secretive notebooksof the doctor. The thriller literally takes off from Lilith’s exploration of Gregor’s lab, sightings of the notebook entries, the investigations of the Mossad agent, and the psychology of the community that protected such criminals. The school has a bullying culture derived from Nazism. The visual setting is startling, as is the hotel itself. Lucia Puenzo uses a subtlety of approach, underplaying explanations, portraying the girl and her relationship with the main character perfectly. A brilliantly written film, with good acting of the chief character, the girl and the photographer( Elena Roger).


Submarine [DVD]
Submarine [DVD]
Dvd ~ Craig Roberts
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: £4.33

5.0 out of 5 stars Adolescent haiku., 28 Aug. 2017
This review is from: Submarine [DVD] (DVD)
Submarine is Richard Ayoade’s 1st film, after having made short music-based videos.His style is clipped, laconic, the unemotional-seeming wide-eyed alertness of a new talent, who has taken to the adolescent musings of his main character Oliver (CraigRoberts), the deluded diarist, who thinks he can save his parents’ marriage and lose his virginity to Jordan (Yasmin Paige). In some ways it recalls Holden Caulfield or films like The Graduate. There is the use of voiceover and subjective filming. Based on the translation of an interior novel to objective film, the film seems fresh, narrated by Oliver Tate, we get an adolescent’s view of middle aged depression, marital discord, illness, and the ins and outs of dating etiquette. As in The Graduate with Simon & Garfunkel songs, playing where there’s no speech, here we get songs by Alex Turner, celebrating young love, with sunsets shot in soft focus.

I got a feel of Wes Anderson too about the way he films the quirkiness of relationships and the adolescent view of the adult world. We seem to be in an analogue world where the school kids pass handwritten notes to each other in class.Oliver with his briefcase and duffel-coat has a distinctly nerdy air, whose main aim, outside of reading his dictionary is to get a girlfriend and lose his virginity. Oliver is a schemer, who wants to save his parents marriage, rescuing his mum Jill (Sally Hawkins) from the clutches of her ex-flame, spiritual guru Graham Purvis( Paddy Considine enjoying the role), and his dad, marine biologist Lloyd( Noah Taylor).Jordana is an emotion-hating pyromaniac, and is very much the centre of the film’s attention (or Oliver’s), she likes to burn her loved-one’s leg hair. Only the grown ups are gooey in the middle. Shot in natural light this film succeeds with brio.


To Kill the President: The most explosive thriller of the year
To Kill the President: The most explosive thriller of the year
by Sam Bourne
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars President poses a mortal threat, 24 Aug. 2017
Sam Bourne’s To Kill a President is very topical at a time when the Trump presidency is pitched between the teleprompter president or the rogue (off the cue) president ? The Sam Bourne books are written by journalist and broadcaster Jonathan Freedland long before Trump entered office.As with Trump, this (unnamed) president is playing war games with Kim Jong-Un, taking things potentially to the brink, he almost orders the nukes to be fired off at 3 am., but a young officer has the foresight to get the president to back down, with only 10 secs to go before they’re fired. This president is a volatile demagogue, sowing division in the population with his fiery rhetoric. Solid characterisation drives the novel, and the day-by-day pacing over a week. Maggie Costello is a seasoned, principled Washington operator, who served the previous president well, discovers the death of the president’s doctor, the morning after he was interviewed about the president’s health(mental) by Chief of Staff Robert Kassian and Defence Secretary Bruton. Although it was reported as suicide, Maggie Costello had viewed the body,where it was found, the head wound, the state of his clothing, and realised he’d been murdered. She finds out about the two WH staff who’d interviewed the doctor from the family at the funeral. Maggie gets wind of a conspiracy to kill the president by these two moderates who want to restrain his hand’s impulse to tweet and trigger nuclear Armageddon. In this White House, there’s an inner circle around the president of sexist, racist, supremacists who are the president’s core supporters. Maggie feels guilty for electing this president due to her uncovering a previous female candidate’s weakness with her emails. Due to Maggie’s knowledge she herself is given scares,also her sister’s family. She attempts to prevent the shooting, but now she’s been cast out of the system, nobody believes her. She is aware of the misogynistic deed of the President on a female member of staff. Two of the inner circle is revealed as extremely misogynistic and racist, one Maggie’s current boyfriend. Also scenes from around the world reveal assassinations of the president's debtors, detractors.

The only way to stop this sociopathic president, is by a conspiracy in the ‘deep state’( combination of the government and the secretservice). The novel charts the dynamics between his chief of staff and his defence secretary. These two patriotic men reach the glum conclusion this man poses a threat to both America and the world.The president sails over catastrophes any one of which would sink a decent president. They wrestle with where their duty lies, and reluctantly root for the unelected heroes,generals, intelligence chiefs, to remove this man who, though democratically elected,does not carry out the duties of his office. Normally you’d remove such a person through democratic means, but nothing is forthcoming in real world, leading to frustration. Conspirators have a democratic motivation to preserve the democratic order, which they feel is threatened. The president doesn’t observe usual political conventions, democratic norms: to preserve peace, safeguard society. These people’s loyalty is to the constitution, the country, not to the man. He damns all news as “fake”due to his narcissistic personality, wants their fealty, as if he’s a czar. With nuclear strategy, you don’t do bluff and bluster: you ratchet down, you don’t increase tension.This book is dynamic, well plotted and well told and a fantasy reminder, fiction to remind us all, democratic means to warn the world and to stop the president before it's too late.


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